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Top 5 health trends for 2017

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Dec 28th, 2016

With the new year around the corner, health expert Bryce Wylde shares the top 5 trends that will keep your body healthy:

  1. The lupin bean and vegan omega 3 sources:
    Also known as the miracle bean, lupin bean is high in fibre and protein. It is completely vegan and lowers cholesterol, making it great for diabetics!
  2. Guar bean from India:
    Fibre is 2017’s protein! Did you know about 60% of North Americans have confirmed IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) making fibre much more necessary in our daily diet. This soluble fiber is invisible, tasteless, odourless and colourless. It also helps with the absorption of minerals.
  3. The latest application for probiotics, Blis-K12:
    Blis-K12 is an oral probiotic that supports healthy bacteria in the mouth. Available in chewable or swallowable forms, Blis-K12 assists in the fight against sore throats!
  4. Nootropics (from Silicon Valley) crank up cognitive function:
    ‘Noootropics’ or ‘smart supplements’ improve cognitive functions including memory, creativity, and motivation. They can be found in vitamins B6 and B12.
  5. Boosting energy sources:
    Fire up your mitochondria for clean energy, good focus, and better sleep patterns, with theanine (an extract of green tea).

 

Check out the full video here:

What’s open and closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

News staff | posted Friday, Dec 23rd, 2016

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Christmas Day and the start of Hanukkah are just around the corner, so expect malls to be packed as shoppers make the final dash to buy their presents.

All will be quiet on Christmas Day with most malls, grocery stores and tourist attractions closed. The frenzy will resume on Boxing Day as malls brace for a crowd of shoppers in search of deals.

Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, several businesses including government offices and Canada Post offices will be observing Dec. 26 as a holiday for Dec. 25 and Dec. 27 as a holiday for Dec. 26.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, everyone!


Transit

TTC
Dec. 24: Saturday service (subway and most routes start at 6 a.m.)
Dec. 25: Sunday service (subway and most routes start at 8 a.m.)
Dec. 26: Holiday service (subway and most routes start at 6 a.m.)
Dec. 27: Holiday service (subway and most routes start at 6 a.m.)

GO Transit
Dec. 23: Early homebound service (Check the GO website for schedule details)
Dec. 24: Saturday service
Dec. 25: Sunday service
Dec. 26: Saturday service
Dec. 27: Saturday service

Shopping

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Eaton Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Erin Mills Town Centre
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Fairview Mall
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Pacific Mall
Open all year round

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Square One
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Promenade
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Toronto Premium Outlets
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Grocery/drug stores

Loblaws
Dec. 24: Most stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Most stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.

Longo’s
Dec. 24: Most stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 24: Closed
Dec. 26: Most stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.

Shoppers Drug Mart
Select stores will be open on Christmas Day. Click here to check the hours at your local store.

Sobeys
Dec. 24: Most stores will be open from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Most stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO
Dec. 24: All stores will open at regular hours and close at 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local LCBO.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

The Beer Store
Dec. 24: All stores will open at regular hours and close at 6 p.m. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Tourist attractions

AGO
Dec. 24: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Casa Loma
Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

CN Tower
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Ontario Science Centre
Dec. 24: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Dec. 24-26: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Royal Ontario Museum
Dec. 24: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Toronto Zoo
Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Government offices and banks

Dec. 24: Most bank branches will be open but government offices are closed
Dec. 25: Closed (no mail delivery)
Dec. 26: Closed (no mail delivery)
Dec. 27: Closed (no mail delivery)

Note: Most City of Toronto operations and all municipal offices will be closed on both Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, with the exception of 311 and emergency services.

Toronto Public Library

Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Toronto garbage collection

Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday and curbside garbage isn’t collected on any Monday, which is when Boxing Day falls, there are no changes to the curbside pickup schedule.

City of Toronto recreation centres

Dec. 24: Community recreation centres will close at 4 p.m., except those with scheduled permits.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed

Note: Indoor arenas and historic sites will also be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre will be closed on Christmas Day.

Click here for list of activities to do in the city over the holidays.

Holiday tipping and gift giving etiquette

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Dec 1st, 2016

BetterGroceryShopper-Feature

Did you know, over the course of the lifetime of a millennial they’ll spend $76,000 on tipping?

So, how should you be tipping this holiday season, and to who? Alex Benjamin, CEO of Lendful, shares his tips for tipping and gift giving this holiday season.

 

Personal trainer & hair dresser: tip equivalent of session.

Home-services (i.e. garbage man and mailman): a small gift, or Tim Hortons gift card.

Cab drivers: dependent on your relationship, $20.00 is a safe tip.

 

However, as we head into the New Year remember to budget your holiday gift-giving. A simple thank-you card always goes a long way! Watch the segment below for more advice.

 

Winter Emergency Kit

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

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As we prepare for the upcoming winter, here’s a complete list of what you should keep handy in your vehicle:

  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Shovel
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Booster cables
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Extra clothing and footwear
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Smartphone and charger

3 tips for creating a holiday shopping budget

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 11th, 2016

money-featured
    • Tip 1:  Figure out what the holidays are for.
      • You need to get to the core question of “what are the holidays for?”
      • Family time, gift-giving, activities, shows.
      • Distinguish between traditions and habits.
      • Traditions: Something we hand down.  Things we do every season that are deeply important to us.
      • Habits: An acquired behaviour that is involuntary.
      • You and your spouse and family: Holidays are not an individual thing.

 

  • Tip 2:  Renegotiate the terms.
    • Change can be difficult. Especially around something some emotional.
    • Who: Pick one of your family members who you think will be able to think differently, and talk to them first.  (Don’t go to most change averse person first. Build some support).
    • What: Say, “Looking ahead to holidays and how we do it this year.  What could we keep? What could we do differently so we have more of what we want?”
    • When: Now. So people haven’t shopped.  And the emotions are running as high.
    • Why: Align spending with what the holidays are about, so you can lower stress.
    • Pitfall:  Making it personal.  “You don’t want to exchange gifts anymore, therefore you don’t love me”.
    • More likely it’s because I want to simplify my life and use money for other things.

 

  • Tip 3:  Develop a holiday spending budget.
    • Have a number and stick to it.  It doesn’t even matter what the number is.
    • If you have no money worries.  Don’t do this.  Do some eggnog shooters and go shopping.  But most people aren’t in that situation.
    • List everything.  And I mean everything.
      • Gifts
      • Immediate family
      • Relatives
      • Friends
      • Teachers
      • Host/hostess gifts.
      • Charity
      • Food
      • Liquor
      • Entertainment
      • Clothing
      • New outfit for the holiday party
      • Travel
      • Cabs to parties
      • Babysitters
      • Gas to drive to Sarnia
      • Flights
  • Make some trade-offs.
  • We don’t do big gifts as a couple.
  • Our family does almost no gifts.
  • Figure out how you’re going to pay for it.  Let’s say it is $1,500.  Where is that money going to come from?  Where are you going to cut back to cover that amount?
  • Shop with a list and stick to it.  Virtually impossible, I know.  It is you against the retailer.  Especially now that I have kids.  “Abby would like that”.

What you need to know this Thanksgiving long weekend

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

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Maple leaf cookies on pumpkin pie. GETTY IMAGES/Tom Merton

What are you thankful for this year? That will be on mostly everyone’s mind this weekend as families and friends gather around the table to give thanks and share a meal together.

For those who are spending Thanksgiving weekend enjoying the comfortable weather (highs in the mid-teens are expected), there are several events across the city.

Keep in mind that there is a subway closure on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) all weekend and a late opening on Line 4 (Sheppard-Yonge) on Sunday.

As always, be sure you check out our list of what’s open and closed over the long weekend.

Events

Pumpkinfest Toronto
If you’re looking for some family fun this Thanksgiving weekend, Pumpkinfest Toronto is your one-stop shop.

Guests of all ages can enjoy the Pumpkin Express train, traditional farmers market, baked goods sale and a princess meet-and-greet. There are also plenty of prizes to be won in the bull riding, costume, pumpkin carving and “Little Miss Pumpkin Fest Toronto” contests. The autumn-themed fun runs all weekend long from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Pumpkin patch. GETTY IMAGES/Paul Keleher

 

Toronto Zoo Panda Party
There’s a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this weekend at the Toronto Zoo. Along with Thanksgiving, Canada’s giant panda cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, are celebrating their first birthday.

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Panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo on March 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The three-day party includes panda-themed activities, photo opportunities, giveaways, interpretive stations, panda mascots, and more. The pandas were born to mother Er Shun on Oct. 13 last year. The Toronto Zoo says the female panda, Jia Yueyue, tends to be more independent, while Jia Panpan is quite an instigator, often play-wrestling with his sister.

The celebration runs in the Front Entrance Courtyard and Panda Interpretive Centre from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday through Monday.

Harvest Brunch at Casa Loma
Need a break from all the cooking this Thanksgiving weekend? Let Casa Loma do the work for you.

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Casa Loma in Toronto. Photo via Wikipedia/Creative Commons/Maria Carmen.

 

The city’s famous castle is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Brunch, where guests can experience the splendour and elegance of the space. Reservations are required and the meal costs $60 for adults and $45 for children aged 13 and under. After brunch, guests are encouraged to explore the castle grounds at their leisure.

Halloween Haunt
If you’re up for a scare this Thanksgiving weekend, Halloween Haunt has once again transformed Canada’s Wonderland.

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A paranormal presence near a window. GETTY IMAGES

 

The heart-thumping event promises to be more terrifying than ever with 20 haunted attractions, including the return of Zombies 4D Interactive Dark Ride.

There are also mazes, scare zones, live shows and 700 monsters prowling the park. You can check it out this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight. Remember to keep the costumes at home. Canada’s Wonderland says guests wearing costumes or face paint will not be permitted.

Torontoberfest
Brewers Backyard will be hosting its final event of the year this long weekend. Torontoberfest is returning to the Evergreen Brick Works on Monday.

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Stock image of beer. LEHTIKUVA/Jussi Nukari

 

 

The Oktober-fest themed celebration will feature a lineup of Ontario craft brewers, including Beau’s, Granite, Muddy York, Junction and Big Rig. If you’re looking for some food to enjoy, WVRST will also be on hand, serving up delicious sausages, along with Delight Bite and Sugar Mamma’s. Torontoberfest runs from noon until 5 p.m.

 

What’s open and closed

Open

  • TTC will run on holiday service
  • GO will run on a Sunday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Several malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

 

Closed

  • All LCBO and Beer stores will be closed
  • Most grocery stores (select ones are open but call ahead)
    Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
    Government offices, municipal buildings, and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery

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Fall colours can be seen in foliage on the Canadore Trails in North Bay, Ont., on Oct. 12, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Wendy McCann

 

TTC and road closures

Partial shutdown on Line 1
TTC workers will be hard at work this weekend making the subway system better for all of its riders – something to be very thankful for. But the work comes at a cost.

Subways won’t be running between St. George and Pape stations on Line 2 due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct on all three days.

On Sunday, subway service will start at 2 p.m. on Line 4 between Sheppard-Yonge and Don Mills stations due to signal upgrades. Shuttle buses will be running in both cases.

Road closures for construction
The intersection of Bay and Richmond streets will be closed from 6 a.m. on Thursday to Tuesday at 6 a.m. for TTC track replacement work, road reconstruction and sidewalk repairs.

Estrada superb as Blue Jays thump Texas in ALDS opener

NEIL DAVIDSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

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It was a beat down but this time the bad blood stayed under the surface.

Toronto rocked Cole Hamels for five runs in the third inning and a near flawless Marco Estrada delivered 8 1/3 stellar innings as the Blue Jays thumped the Texas Rangers 10-1 Thursday to win Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

Jose Bautista, Public Enemy No. 1 in Texas, slammed a three-run homer in the ninth inning off reliever Jake Diekman to rub salt in the wound. No bat-flip this time. He put his weapon down gently after the blast to left field, where the fan who caught the ball whipped it back into play.

The Jays slugger was happy to keep the focus on baseball rather than rehash Toronto’s recent Hatfield-and-McCoy-like feuding with the Rangers.

“I wanted to avoid all the questions about the whole ordeal because we’re baseball players, not UFC fighters, and we came here to play ballgames,” Bautista said. “That’s why I wanted everybody to kind of focus on that in our clubhouse. And we did and we played a pretty good game today and hopefully we continue to do that.”

It was Bautista’s fourth home run in his last eight post-season at-bats. He is tied with Joe Carter for most playoff homers by a Blue Jay with six.

Toronto came close to its first complete game of the season – and the first of Estrada’s career. But Elvis Andrus tripled to open the bottom of the ninth and scored on a Shin-Soo Choo’s groundout. Manager John Gibbons then brought in Ryan Tepera to close the door.

“Two outs away from finishing it. Unfortunately I couldn’t,” said Estrada, who failed to convince Gibbons to keep him in. “But who cares, we won. That’s all that matters.”

Estrada (1-0) gave up one run in 8 1/3 innings on four hits with six strikeouts in a 98-pitch performance with 72 strikes. He becomes the third Jay in playoff history to record a start of eight-plus innings while giving up one run or less (Dave Stieb, 1985, and David Cone, 1992).

In contrast, Hamels allowed a playoff career-high seven runs in the shortest outing of the 2008 World Series MVP’s post-season career.

While Bautista relishes the big stage, Estrada says he treats it like any other game.

“I don’t change anything. I just think of it as another regular-season game. Why am I going to add extra pressure on myself?”

Estrada is like baseball’s answer to Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. Both are single-minded.

“Essentially it comes down to the same thing – stopping pucks,” Price said in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

Estrada can relate.

“Basically I just try to pound the zone. I look at Russ’s glove and I try to hit it as many times as possible,” he said, referencing catcher Russell Martin.

Gibbons, meanwhile, savoured a game where the drama came early not late.

“In reality we were due to break out ? Can’t say we necessarily relaxed, but it was kind of nice to have a game where you have a little breathing room, because we haven’t had too many of those lately.”

Toronto’s performance had many rushing to the record books.

ESPN Stats says the Jays are just the third team in post-season history to win Game 1 of a best-of-five series by at least nine runs on the road (joining the 2002 Cardinals and 2011 Rays). It also notes that teams up 1-0 in a best-of-five MLB post-season series win the series 70 per cent of the time, although it didn’t work for Texas last year against Toronto.

It was 32 degrees under the sun at first pitch before a sellout crowd of 47,434 that had little to cheer about at Globe Life Park.

The Jays sent nine men to the plate in the third, scoring all five runs – all with two outs. Troy Tulowitzki did the bulk of the damage with a three-run triple.

Melvin Upton Jr. hit a solo homer in a two-run fourth for Toronto. Josh Donaldson, who had two singles, two doubles and a walk on the day, drove in a run in each of the third and fourth. His four hits tied a club post-season mark.

While Hamels (0-1) wobbled in 3 1/3 innings, Estrada was rock-steady, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters he faced. The only Ranger to get on during that stretch was Adrian Beltre, on a second-inning infield hit that saw first baseman Edwin Encarnacion make the play only to find no one was covering first.

Estrada retired 12 straight after Beltre before Andrus singled to open the Texas half of the sixth. Andrus was promptly caught stealing as Choo struck out – it was that kind of day for the Rangers.

The 33-year-old right-hander faced just one batter over the minimum over eight innings, helping ease the load of a Toronto bullpen that was looking to rest closer Roberto Osuna and his sore shoulder.

Toronto outhit Texas 13-4.

Thursday’s game marked the first meeting of the teams since a wild game on May 15 in Texas. Baseball gave way to payback as Bautista was hit by a pitch and then clocked in the face by a Rougned Odor right hook when the second baseman objected to the Jays slugger’s hard slide. The ensuing brawl resulted in discipline against 14 players and staff.

The Rangers were still seething at Bautista’s three-run homer, complete with bat-flip, which served as the coup de grace in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS.

Bautista, who drew boos throughout the day, started his payback Thursday by helping the scoreboard keep ticking in the third.

The lone blemish on Hamels’ line in the first two innings was an early walk to Donaldson. But the bottom fell out in the third.

Ezequiel Carrera walked with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and came home one out later on a Donaldson screamer that went off Beltre’s glove at third and into right field. Donaldson, whose slide into second on the play survived a Texas challenge, went to third on an Encarnacion hit that deflected off Hamels’ glove.

Bautista’s RBI single, after an eight-pitch at-bat, made it 2-0. A Martin walk loaded the bases before Tulowitzki cleared them with a triple that centre-fielder Ian Desmond lost near the wall. The ball left Tulowitzki’s bat at 102 m.p.h. and travelled 395 feet.

It was Tulowitzki’s first post-season triple – and the first by a Blue Jay in 23 years (Paul Molitor, October 1993).

Hamels, who is making US$23.5 million this season, needed 42 pitches to get out of the inning. Estrada threw a total of 44 in his first four innings.

It was Hamels’ first start against Toronto since last season’s playoffs. The 32-year-old left-hander had never beaten the Blue Jays (0-4 in his career including the post-season).

Texas finished as the top seed in the AL with a 95-67 record that included a franchise-record 53 home wins. Toronto had to beat Baltimore in the wild-card game after ending up the fourth seed at 89-73.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he does not expect any fallout from the one-sided loss.

“Given how our club has played all year long, and we’ve been in these type of situations before, look, we’ve come back and played well after these type of games. And with the veteran group that we have in there, I don’t worry about the collateral damage in a game like this. Obviously we would have liked to have a played a lot more competitively. But the other thing that you’ve got to look at, too, is Estrada threw a heck of a game.”

Neither team will have much time to reflect on it, given Game 2 starts at noon local time.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize

Mark Lewis and Karl Ritter, The Associated Press | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

Juan Manuel Santos

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a press conference at the Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, on Feb. 10, 2015. GETTY IMAGES/AFP/Luis Acosta

 

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to end a five-decades-long civil war that has killed more than 200,000 people in the South American country.

The award came just days after Colombian voters narrowly rejected the peace deal that Santos helped bring about, and Nobel authorities conspicuously left out his counterpart, Rodrigo Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, from the honour.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that voters’ rejection doesn’t mean the peace process is dead.

“The referendum was not a vote for or against peace,” it said. “What the ‘No’ side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.”

Santos and Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, signed the peace deal last month, ending a half-century of hostilities, only to see a major setback in the shock vote against the agreement in a referendum six days later.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it believes that Santos, “despite the ‘No’ majority vote in the referendum, has brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution.”

It said the award should also be seen “as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process.”

The agreement was reached during more than five years of at first secret negotiations in Cuba.

Santos, 65, is an unlikely peacemaker. The Harvard-educated scion of one of Colombia’s wealthiest families, as defence minister a decade ago, he was responsible for some of the FARC’s biggest military setbacks. Those included a 2008 cross-border raid into Ecuador that took out a top rebel commander and the stealth rescue of three Americans held captive by the rebels for more than five years.

Under the peace deal he negotiated, rebels who turn over their weapons and confess to war crimes will be spared time in jail. FARC will also get 10 seats in congress through 2026 to smooth their transition into a political movement.

Santos and Londono met only twice during the entire peace process: last year when they put the final touches on the most-controversial section of the accord — the part dealing with how guerrillas would be punished for war crimes — and again last month to sign the accord before an audience of world leaders and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

It was the first time the peace prize went to Latin America since 1992, when the committee awarded Guatemalan human rights activist Rigoberta Menchu.

A record 376 candidates were nominated for this year’s award.

Last year’s peace prize went to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet for its efforts to build a pluralistic democracy.

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