CALGARY – Alberta’s annual tradition of revealing the most popular baby names had special meaning Friday for one member of Premier Rachel Notley’s cabinet.Notley teared up as she announced that Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and her husband are expecting their first child later this year.The premier said it will be the first time that she knows of that an attorney general in Canada has given birth while in office.Fellow legislature members Stephanie McLean and Brandy Payne were both pregnant when they were appointed to cabinet last year.“We’re so excited,” Notley said at a Calgary baby store.“It’s really important for us in cabinet to have a new baby every year, really just to keep the dynamic entertaining and fun.”Notley announced the news alongside Ganley and McLean before revealing the province’s most popular baby names in 2016.For the third year in a row, Liam topped the names for boys and Olivia was the favourite for girls. Other popular names for boys included Benjamin and Lucas, while Emma and Sophia were the runners up for girls.Some of the more unusual names were Riversong, Notorious-Link, Righteousness, Awesome, Zyron-Thunder and BlueEagle.Alberta welcomed 55,594 babies in 2016, shy of the previous year’s record-breaking 56,529.Alberta has one of Canada’s youngest populations, with an average age of 37.8, compared with the national average of 41.“The fact that we have so many young Albertans, it’s one of many signs of our economic strength,” Notley said.“And, in fact, what we are starting to see already is that population shifts are moving back into Alberta’s favour. Fewer people are moving away as a result of the oil price slide. And we … continue to be a net growth province, even through the worst of economic times.”
MONTREAL – The death of a 12-year-old girl after she was struck by a hockey puck has prompted a Quebec coroner to ask the province to study the possibility of installing protective nets in all arenas.The accident occurred April 1, 2017, while Annie Alaku-Papigatuk was watching a hockey game in Salluit, a community in northern Nunavik.She was sitting in the second row around the middle of the rink where there was no protective net when a puck struck her in the head near her right eyebrow.A report by coroner Steeve Poisson says the young girl started crying, but did not lose consciousness. The girl said she was OK and able to walk and an adult who was with her applied a snow-filled bag to her head.Alaku-Papigatuk was accompanied home where she later complained of a headache and started to vomit.The following morning, her father noticed she wasn’t breathing and took her to the local health centre where medical personnel tried unsuccessfully to revive her.An autopsy later revealed Alaku-Papigatuk died as a result of the head injury caused by the puck.Poisson says a protective net around the perimeter of the arena would probably have saved the girl’s life.He has recommended that Quebec’s department of education, leisure and sport study the effectiveness of installing netting in all hockey arenas in Quebec.