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ST. GILLES, QUEBEC, CANADA RESIDENT TO JUDGE AT 147TH ANNUAL WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW

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New York, NY —St. Gilles, Quebec, Canada resident Mr. Jean-Louis Blais is among the judges at the 147th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Presented by Purina Pro Plan in New York, New York on May 8-9, 2023. The iconic dog show is set to return to New York City at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City. He will judge Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers during his first judging assignment at Westminster. The Best of Breed winners he selects will advance to the Sporting Group evening competition on Tuesday, May 9.

Mr. Blais bought his first Labrador Retriever in 1979 and registered his first litter with the Canadian Kennel Club in 1981. He and his wife Madeleine Charest have produced over 135 Canadian Champions and 35 American Champions (most of them owner/handler and shown in Specialties) under their permanent registered kennel name, Chablais. Additionally, they have bred many dogs that have become Champions worldwide. Most notable wins include Best of Breed at the Canadian National Specialty several times, Best of Breed at the American National Specialty, and winning Best of Breed three times at the prestigious Labrador Retriever Club of Potomac Spring Specialties.

Blais began judging in 2006 and is currently an AKC-licensed judge for the Sporting, Hound, Working, Non-Sporting, and Herding Groups. He primarily judges in Canada and the US, including the Canadian and American National Specialties and Best of Breed and Non-Regular Classes at Labardor Retriever Club of Potomac. He has also officiated in Mexico, Brazil, Spain, the Philippines, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Denmark, Argentina, Costa Rica, and in the UK.

For 2023, Westminster Week returns to New York City kicking off with Canine Celebration Day on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The day commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the Masters Agility Championship and the 8th Annual Masters Obedience Championship with new family fun-filled events like dock diving, a breed showcase, and a demo ring for visitors to see herding, scent work and freestyle obedience. The breed competitions will take place at the same location on Monday, May 8 (Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Breeds and Group judging) and Tuesday, May 9 (Sporting, Working, Terrier Breeds, Junior Showmanship Finals, and Group judging followed by Best in Show).

For the schedule of events click here. For television coverage click here. Live streaming of daytime events and dog show results can be found at westminsterkennelclub.org.

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About the Westminster Kennel Club

The Westminster Kennel Club, established in 1877, is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of dogs. It hosts the iconic, all-breed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the second-longest, continuously held sporting event in the U.S. after the Kentucky Derby, and since 1948, the longest nationally televised live dog show. The Club’s mission, which enhances the lives of all dogs, celebrates the companionship of dogs and promotes responsible dog ownership and breed preservation. The Club advocates for purpose-bred dogs, with an understanding that each breed has a legacy and history that deserves to be taught, honored, and preserved. The Club uses education to raise awareness and encourage owners to conscientiously select dogs that are the right match for their families. The annual dog show—a conformation competition for purpose-bred dogs—and the Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship—where dogs from all backgrounds are eligible to compete—make Westminster Week with nearly 3,000 dogs from the U.S. and around the world, a pinnacle experience for any dog lover. America’s Dog Show has captivated canine enthusiasts for more than a century. WESTMINSTER. There’s only one.® Visit us on, westminsterkennelclub.org, on TwitterInstagramFacebook and TikTok.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world’s most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Our more than 8,700 U.S. associates take pride in our trusted pet food, treat and litter brands that feed 51 million dogs and 65 million cats every year. More than 500 Purina scientists, veterinarians, and pet care experts ensure our commitment to unsurpassed quality and nutrition. Purina Pro Plan is a leader in the advanced nutrition category, with more than 140 targeted formulas to help your pet thrive throughout every stage of life. It is also the food of choice for 15 of the past 16 Westminster Best in Show winners*. For more information, visit www.proplan.com or follow @ProPlan on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

 

Purina promotes responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products and our support for pet-related organizations. Over the past five years, Purina has contributed more than $150 million towards organizations that bring, and keep, people and pets together, as well as those that help our communities and environment thrive.

 

Purina is part of Nestlé, a global leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness. For more information, visit purina.com or subscribe here to get the latest Purina news.

 

*The handler or owners of these champions may have received Purina Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.

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Why Ontario Premier Doug Ford is at war with the LCBO – BBC.com

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Why Ontario Premier Doug Ford is at war with the LCBO  BBC.com

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U.S. President Joe Biden steps aside as Democratic candidate, ending re-election bid

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WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden is removing his name as the Democratic candidate in the November election following weeks of mounting pressure over the 81-year-old’s mental acuity and ability to win the faceoff with Republican rival Donald Trump.

Biden says it has been his greatest honour to serve but he believes it is in the best interest of his party to stand down and focus solely on fulfilling his duties as president for the rest of his term.

Growing numbers of Democrats were urging Biden to drop out following a disastrous debate performance against Trump and multiple missteps on the world stage during the recent NATO leaders’ summit in Washington.

Biden told supporters Friday he was ready to get back on the road this week after recovering from COVID-19, which he contracted during a critical time for his campaign.

Biden criticized Trump’s acceptance speech at last week’s Republican National Convention, saying it presented a dark vision for the future, and indicated he would forge ahead with his own campaign.

But he issued a social media post on Sunday afternoon saying he would not be running, adding he will speak to the nation and provide more detail later this week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Joy in Newfoundland after ‘Lucky 7’ fishers survive harrowing days lost at sea

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NEW-WES-VALLEY, N.L. – There was a powerful word being repeated in the joyful Newfoundland community of New-Wes-Valley on Sunday: “Miracle.”

Over and over, residents out walking or chatting to one another in local stores said the fact that seven fishermen from the area had somehow survived roughly 48 hours in a life raft in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and were found by search and rescue crews was nothing short of miraculous.

“It’s once in a lifetime you’ll see something like this, when all the people survive,” said Frank Granter, who worked for the Canadian Coast Guard for 35 years. He was out walking through the sunny, seaside community on Sunday afternoon, stopping to talk to neighbours about the rescue ahead of an evening parade to celebrate the men’s survival.

Daphne Crocker leaned over her balcony and spread out her hands. “What a mighty God we serve,” she said about the fishermen coming home.

Granter agreed it was a miracle the Lucky 7 returned. “But October, November, it would have been a different story,” he said.

The Elite Navigator fishing boat and its crew seemed to vanish on Wednesday night. The craft was reported missing on Thursday after transmitting its final signal at around 8:30 p.m. the night before, the Canadian Coast Guard said. The vessel had caught fire and sank, forcing the crew to hastily disembark and wait for rescue on the life raft.

A massive search soon followed, involving four coast guard ships, a Cormorant helicopter, a Hercules aircraft and many local fishing vessels.

In New-Wes-Valley, which is an amalgamation of three small fishing communities along Newfoundland’s northeast coast, people braced for the worst. Fishing is among Canada’s deadliest professions, and tragedy is a common thread linking people in fishing communities across Atlantic Canada.

But on Friday night, out on the Atlantic ocean, searchers saw a light from a flare. It brought them to a life raft, where the seven fishermen — the Lucky 7 — were waiting.

Fisher Toby Peddle was among them. He said he was terrified as he jumped off the sinking fishing boat as it was pulled down into the depths. He can’t swim, he said, and he didn’t have a survival suit on.

“It was either jump and risk drowning or stay and be burned,” he said in an interview Sunday. “There was no time to think about it. I just knew I had to jump.”

He said the captain and another crew member, Jordan Lee King, had made a plan to reach him as soon as they hit the water.

“Jordan had said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll catch you before you even get in the water,’” recalled Peddle.

Sure enough, when Peddle jumped, King kept him afloat and quickly brought him to the raft, the fisherman said.

“I was relieved I made it to the raft. I couldn’t swim a stroke to save my life,” he said.

Peddle praised the actions of the captain.

“He did the best job he could have possibly done. He kept everyone calm in the life raft for over 48 hours. He’s a hero.”

“He just kept telling us, ‘We’re going to be fine. They know where we are, they’ll find us,’” he added.

He said it was very hard hearing the sound of helicopters flying overhead and realizing pilots were unable to see the life raft through fog. It was “the worst feeling of all,” he said.

They fired the final smoke flare in the boat at dusk on Friday, and it was spotted by the coast guard, he said. When he saw a helicopter flying overhead, “it was a moment of relief.”

At the wharf in New-Wes-Valley on Sunday afternoon, Peter Barfoot’s phone was pinging relentlessly in his pocket. He is good friends with David Tiller, one of the rescued fishermen, and he’d just launched a fundraising campaign to buy Tiller a new guitar.

The instrument went down with the Elite Navigator and Barfoot said it was “a no-brainer” to mount an effort to buy him a new one. He’d raised about $1,600 by Sunday afternoon.

“They’re heroes,” Barfoot said, shaking his head in disbelief. “How often do you hear this? It was a dire situation that turned into what it is now … They’re alive. They got a second chance at their life.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2024.

— With files from Michael Tutton in Halifax

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