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Red Deer Restroom just might be the loveliest lavatory in Canada!

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Technically it’s in Gasoline Alley which means Red Deer County can also lay claim to this magnificent water closet at the Sweet Market Esso Station on the city’s south edge.  Canada’s best restroom contest has named the top 5 finalists and three incredible Alberta biffies are on the list!

Clearly the Sweet Market Esso’s palatial potties are the most beautiful, but that does not make it the clear cut winner.  The Sweet Market will need Central Albertans to rally behind this luscious lavatory if they’re going to win.  This is a voting contest so you can do your part to make sure the Sweet Market Esso ‘wipes up’ the competition.

Just look at this beauty!  Voting information is below.

News Release from Cintas Canada

The Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, AB is a finalist in the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom contest!

The five finalists include:

  1. Toronto Zoo – Toronto, ON
  2. Surrey Park – Surrey, BC
  3. Sweet Market Esso Station – Red Deer, AB
  4. The ROOFTOP – Calgary, AB
  5. Borden Park – Edmonton, AB

The public can submit multiple votes for the Toronto Zoo and the other four finalists now through July 9 at bestrestroom.com/Canada.

The facility that receives the most votes will win $2,500 in facility services from Cintas to help maintain their award-winning washrooms.

 

Cintas Canada Unveils Five Finalists in the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom Contest

The polls are open now through July 9

Cintas Canada, Ltd. invites the public to vote for the five finalists in the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom contest! The polls are open now through July 9 at bestrestroom.com/Canada. The facility that receives the most votes will win $2,500 in facility services from Cintas to help maintain their award-winning washrooms.

Cintas’ nationwide contest highlights businesses that have invested in developing and maintaining exceptional washrooms. “These five facilities demonstrate a commitment to prioritizing hygiene and customer service – especially as cleanliness is so important right now – combined with creativity and whimsy not usually seen in washrooms,” said Candice Raynsford, Marketing Manager, Cintas Canada.

Nominees for this year’s contest were judged on five criteria: cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements. The five finalists include:

Toronto Zoo – Toronto, ON

 

Designed with the Toronto Zoo’s mission of connecting people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction in mind, the new washrooms in the Zoo’s Tundra Trek feature iconic Canadian species. The design draws on inspiration from our natural world for its fresh yet familiar atmosphere. From the cool blue mosaic walls that represent the calm transition of horizon to sky, to the dark and dramatic overhead features that represent the vast night sky across the tundra, no detail is too small. Each handwashing unit features a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser and hand dryer. The trough-style sink eliminates water splashing on the floor and includes hooks on the outside of the counter to hang a purse, backpack or coat. This state-of-the-art facility modernizes the Toronto Zoo’s guest experience in a visually stunning way.

 

Surrey Park – Surrey, BC

The intent for the park washroom was to create a playful, durable, safe facility that works well within the City of Surrey’s park contexts. The washroom was designed to be universally accessible, hands-free with no-touch fixtures and configured for solar power. It also features public art panels on all four sides of the structure. The design employs a distinct form, strong colours and unique use of materials.

 

Sweet Market Esso Station – Red Deer, AB

The washrooms at Sweet Market Esso boast decorative high-end tiles and five-star finishes, giving the restrooms a classy feel, mimicking a fancy hotel suite in Italy rather than a convenience store restroom. These washrooms are always a topic of customer conversation in the store where selfies take center stage. The constant comments regarding the awe of it all – plus the extreme cleanliness – are great reminders of the sheer elegance and grandeur these restrooms provide for the customer.

 

The ROOFTOP – Calgary, AB

 

The ROOFTOP restaurant is a unique “weather managed” outdoor patio experience located in downtown Calgary. The adjacent indoor washrooms were designed to be inclusive, engaging and distinctively unique. As you enter “The Alley” you are greeted by a life-sized bobblehead re-imagined as your personal concierge. Walk in to immerse yourself in the funky and fun graffiti wallpaper sections taken largely from the “John Lennon Peace Wall” originally created in Prague. Elements of surprise abound throughout these unusual washrooms, including the porta-potty door in the “Mostly Men” area and hidden selfie walls.

 

Borden Park – Edmonton, AB

Designed by gh3, the washrooms are at the core of the single-level pavilion surrounded by highly reflective glass. An integrated approach to environmental sustainability is evident in the choice of materials: wood, concrete and glass were selected for their durability, permanence and timelessness. The washroom features hands-free elements to reduce germs and a stainless-steel trough-style sink that prevents water splashing on the floor. The sleek washroom stands as a striking improvement on the typical concrete options, and a sign of outstanding design to come.

For contest updates, fun facts and washroom trivia, “Like” Canada’s Best Restroom on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CanadasBestRestroom.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

New year, old issues: Enbridge, state of Michigan renew Line 5 hostilities in court

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WASHINGTON — Enbridge Inc. and the state of Michigan are renewing their legal hostilities over the future of the controversial Line 5 pipeline — and their latest court battle looks an awful lot like the last one.

Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were dealt a setback last November when District Court Judge Janet Neff granted Enbridge’s request that the case be removed to federal court, a decision that prompted Michigan to abandon that particular challenge.

Instead, the state is focusing its efforts on a separate but similar circuit court action filed in 2019 that spent last year in a state of suspended animation, and which Enbridge is once again arguing should be heard by a federal judge because it comprises an important foreign policy question.

Too late, Nessel argues in her latest tract of court documents, filed Friday with the very same judge who heard the original arguments.

“The present action was pending in state court for nearly two and a half years before (Enbridge) removed it to this court,” she says. Federal law makes it clear that cases can only be removed to federal jurisdiction within 30 days of a complaint being filed, the documents note.

“It is more than two years too late, and federal courts do not condone this type of gamesmanship and abuse of the removal statutes.”

By Nessel’s logic, Enbridge knew perfectly well it could have petitioned to have the case removed when it was originally filed but opted not to do so until now — a “remarkably dilatory” act based on an argument that “defies the facts, the law and basic common sense.”

Enbridge has yet to file a response to Nessel’s latest brief. However, the company has repeatedly indicated it has no plans to shut down Line 5 voluntarily and will continue to fight in court to keep it running.

The overarching question — whether a dispute over the lawful operation of an international, cross-border pipeline should be heard by a federal judge or at the state court level — is a carbon copy of the battle the two sides fought in front of Neff for the better part of last year.

The clash first erupted in November 2020, when Whitmer abruptly revoked the 68-year-old easement that had long allowed Calgary-based Enbridge to operate the line. She cited the risk of environmental catastrophe in the Straits of Mackinac, where Line 5 crosses the Great Lakes.

The pipeline ferries upwards of 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids across the Canada-U.S. border and the Great Lakes by way of a twin line that runs along the lake bed beneath the straits linking Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Proponents call Line 5 a vital and indispensable source of energy, especially propane, for several Midwestern states, including Michigan and Ohio. It is also a key source of feedstock for critical refineries on the northern side of the border, including those that supply jet fuel to some of Canada’s busiest airports.

Enbridge and its allies, including the federal Liberal government, insist that the pipeline is too vital an energy artery to both countries for it to be suddenly shut down, and the question of its continued safe operation is one to be settled between Ottawa and the White House.

Central to that argument is a 1977 bilateral treaty that was conceived to avoid disruptions to the cross-border flow of energy, one that proved to be a key element in Enbridge’s strategy to convince Neff that the controversy should be adjucated by a federal judge.

Canada said late last year that planning was “well underway” for bilateral treaty talks between Canada and the United States in the dispute over the pipeline, although the timeline for formal negotiations has never been publicly disclosed.

Last year, lawyers for the federal government also filed a statement in court expressing support for Enbridge’s argument, known in legal parlance as an amicus brief. It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether Ottawa expects to do so again.

The White House has acknowledged that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an environmental assessment on Enbridge’s plans to encase the underwater portion of the twin pipeline in a deep, fortified underground tunnel. But they have so far resisted pressure to get involved in the dispute itself.

Critics want the line shut down, arguing it’s only a matter of time before an anchor strike or technical failure triggers a catastrophic environmental disaster in one of the area’s most important watersheds. Michigan has every right to take whatever steps are necessary to protect it, the National Wildlife Federation said in a statement.

“This motion is critical because if successful, it will allow the state courts to consider for the first time whether the risks of a rupture of Line 5 in the Great Lakes justify the continued operation of the pipeline,” said federation attorney Andy Buchsbaum.

“If Enbridge’s gamesmanship is successful, it would allow Enbridge to circumvent Michigan’s ability to protect the Great Lakes and to tie the case up in federal court by months, if not years, leaving the Great Lakes in great danger.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18,2022.

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Monahan’s two-goal performance powers Calgary Flames past Florida Panthers 5-1

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CALGARY — Sean Monahan’s first two-goal game of the season helped the slumping Calgary Flames to a surprise 5-1 victory over the NHL-leading Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

After scoring a power-play goal on a deflection at 16:03 of the second period to make it 3-1, Monahan put the game away in the third, making it 5-1 at 6:43, taking a drop pass from Johnny Gaudreau and neatly beating goaltender Spencer Knight on a move from in-close.

Rasmus Andersson, with his first of the season, Matthew Tkachuk and Blake Coleman also scored for Calgary (18-11-6), which snapped a four-game losing streak and won on home ice for the first time since Nov. 29.

The Flames entered the night 2-7-1 in their previous 10 games.

Sam Bennett scored the lone goal for Florida (26-8-5), which had its four-game winning streak and nine-game points-streak (8-0-1) snapped.

The next outing for both teams will be in Edmonton with the Panthers’ second stop on a five-game road trip taking place on Thursday. Calgary isn’t back in action until Saturday when the Flames play the Oilers at Rogers Place.

Markstrom, who has given up four or more goals in four of his previous five starts, made 28 stops to improve to 13-8-5.

After starting the last seven games, Sergei Bobrovsky got the night off with Knight getting his first start since Dec. 30. Knight made 26 saves. His record falls to 7-5-2.

Calgary got off to a fast start, getting a power play four minutes into the game and taking just 23 seconds to take advantage with Andersson knocking in his own rebound from the slot.

The Flames extended their lead to 2-0 at 11:36 of the first. A stretch of prolonged pressure by Calgary’s newly formed second line culminated in Coleman’s seventh goal, the assists going to his linemates Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund.

But Bennett, in his first game back in Calgary scored 12:36 into the second to cut Florida’s deficit in half. Bennett was traded to Florida ahead of the trade deadline last season after logging 402 games with Calgary over six seasons. He’s been a revelation since joining the Panthers scoring 22 goals in 40 games.

The power play was key for the Flames striking twice on three opportunities after entering the game 0-for-10 during the losing streak.

Gaudreau had his first four-assist game ever on home ice and just the second of his career. Tkachuk also kept his offensive hot streak going with three points. He has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) over his last eight games.

Although the Panthers own the league’s best home record at 21-3-0, they haven’t enjoyed the same success away from FLA Live Arena, now 5-5-5.

For the Flames, they have struggled similarly at the Saddledome, picking up their first win since Nov. 29. They’re 5-4-4 on the year.

Notes: Gaudreau’s only other four-assist game was in Nashville on Feb. 21, 2017… It was the first time this season Florida did not get a point from a defenceman… Mason Marchment returned to the Panthers lineup for the first time since Jan. 1. An assist gives him a five-game point streak.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2022.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press

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