KMC set to launch special drives as number of dengue cases climb

first_imgKolkata: The health wing of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will launch special drives in vast areas of Tollygunge, New Alipore, Golf Club and Jodhpur Park covering wards 81, 93, 95, 97 and 99, where the number of dengue cases has seen an alarming rise.A high-level meeting was held to discuss the measures to be adopted by the KMC to combat the situation on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh. Ghosh said that the number of people afflicted with the disease in these posh areas of South Kolkata is far more than the North and Central parts of the city. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe said many houses in New Alipore, Jodhpur Park and Golf Club remain under lock and key and the civic workers have no access there. Recently, the civic workers used a ladder to reach the roof of an abandoned house at Baghajatin in ward 99 and found mosquito larvae there. Apart from this, some abandoned factories in South Kolkata and the southern fringes of the city have posed a serious threat as well, as the conservancy workers cannot go inside the factories and clear the accumulated garbage. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayGhosh has ordered the civic employees to break open the locks of such factories under Section 546 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 and conduct cleaning operation. The Deputy Mayor regretted that despite repeated requests, there are many people who are not cleaning the containers that store water, at least once a week. There are also owners who do not clean flower vases, pots and the trays of refrigerators at least once a week. The clear water accumulated in these serve as potential breeding ground for the Aedes Egypti mosquitoes, which are primarily responsible for causing dengue. Ghosh added that the newly-acquired drones have helped KMC spot water patches on the roofs of high-rise buildings, which serve as breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. He appealed to people from all walks of life to follow the dos and don’ts listed by KMC, in order to check the spread of the disease.last_img read more

Liberal government to spend 16M to showcase Canada at G7 media centre

first_imgOTTAWA – The Trudeau government will spend nearly $1.6 million to market Canada to foreign journalists coming to Quebec City for next month’s G7 summit, conjuring echoes of the political uproar the federal Conservatives triggered in 2010 with a similar sum for the same objective.This year, careful attention has been paid to ensuring the summit’s international media centre is draped in Canadiana — right down to the maple syrup on the menu.The goal is to not only use the media centre to advance Ottawa’s chosen themes for the summit, but to sell Canada — and the popular Charlevoix tourist region — to foreign media. It will focus on Canada’s technological, touristic and culinary strengths.Due to security reasons, most visiting journalists are unlikely to get anywhere near the Charlevoix town of La Malbaie, where the G7 leaders will actually meet in early June. Instead, about 2,000 journalists will be stationed about a two-hour drive away at the Quebec City convention centre.A key objective of the government’s “showcase exhibit” at the media centre will be sharing highlights and flavours from Charlevoix and other parts of Canada with visiting journalists.A similar $1.9-million effort to promote Canadian tourism caused a political migraine for former prime minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government prior to the G8 and G20 summits in Toronto and Ontario’s Muskoka region.Most of the disapproval focused on Ottawa’s decision to pay $57,000 of that amount to build an artificial lake at the media centre, part of an effort to showcase Muskoka to those journalists who were unable to travel from Toronto to Huntsville, Ont., for the G8 meeting.Critics — including then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and then-NDP leader Jack Layton — seized on the so-called “fake lake” and hammered the Harper government for it. Harper defended the project as a well-planned “marketing pavilion” for Canada.“There are thousands of visitors from around the world,” Harper said at the time. “This is a classic attempt for us to try and market the country.”The Tories also faced flak for using a $50-million G8 legacy fund to build a $100,000 gazebo and to pay for streetscape upgrades and parks far from the summit site in the riding of then-Treasury Board president Tony Clement.Eight years on, the controversy still strikes a familiar chord on Parliament Hill. Last week, Treasury Board President Scott Brison used it as ammunition as he took a shot at the Tories during question period.“Those are the same Conservatives who took millions of dollars from a border infrastructure fund to build gazebos and fake lakes hundreds of kilometres away from the border,” Brison said.For this year’s G7 summit, the Liberal government awarded the $1.58-million contract to Montreal-based firm C2 International Inc. It will develop the showcase for the media centre, which will be in open to journalists around the clock from June 7-9.“It will be an incomparable opportunity to promote our country and demonstrate its expertise and know-how, in addition to positioning Canada as a must-see tourism and culinary destination, as well as an innovation hub at the regional, provincial and national levels,” said the government’s public tendering notice for the exhibit.“The International Media Centre must become a strategic summit site. It is a home base and an information centre, but it is also a showcase for Canada.”Additional costs for things like food, beverages and equipment needs for the media are not part of the contract.C2 International’s concept for the media centre will go well beyond the standard summit formats of providing coffee, donuts, a stage and video screens, president Richard St-Pierre said in an interview. Contractual and security considerations prevented him from sharing many details.St-Pierre called his concept a modern, interactive approach that will encourage dialogue among foreign journalists about the main themes of the summit and Canadian values in general.“Canada is absolutely great and we don’t know enough how great we are — it’s about time we show the world that we are.”The company’s approach to organizing events focuses on workshops and stimulating participant feedback, rather than relying on the one-way, monologue methods of conventional conferences, he said.The media centre, he added, will also seek to sell Canada to the world as an innovative country by, for example, promoting Montreal’s strength in artificial intelligence.Marketing the country will also mean that the food served at the centre will be inspired by Quebecois, Canadian and First Nations cuisine.C2 declined to share specifics about the menu, but noted it will feature maple syrup and is not expected to include poutine.“As a country, yes, we have the Rockies, we have beavers, we have great forests — but it’s also much more,” said St-Pierre, whose company will host the annual C2 Montreal business conference this month, with speeches by rapper Snoop Dogg and American whistleblower Chelsea Manning.“It’s (artificial intelligence), it’s the warmth of the Canadian people, it’s how we know food, (how) we love our wine. So, all of those things have to be reflected in the media centre.”— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Mandatory minimum changes one part of planned overhaul of justice system

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberal government is set to begin tackling mandatory minimum sentences this spring, but advocates for reform have been waiting a long time for the promise to play out.“It’s something the government promised long ago and its delivery is overdue,” said Eric Gottardi, a Vancouver defence lawyer and past chair of the criminal justice section at the Canadian Bar Association.“We are all kind of looking forward to it with bated breath.”The Liberal campaign platform was silent on mandatory minimum sentences, but then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould with reviewing changes to the criminal justice system and sentencing reforms the previous Conservative government brought in as part of its tough-on-crime agenda.Many of those changes involved imposing — or increasing — mandatory minimum penalties for dozens of offences, which critics decried for taking away the ability of judges to use their discretion in handing down a punishment that fits not only the crime, but also the person convicted of committing it.The push to finally begin introducing legislative amendments on that front came as part of the response to the worsening problem of backlogs in the courts, which took on new urgency after the Supreme Court of Canada last year imposed strict limits on the length time an accused can wait to stand trial.Changes to bail, preliminary inquiries and the reclassification of offences are other policy areas where the federal government is looking for solutions to that problem.“Was it a kick in the butt?” Wilson-Raybould said after an April 28 meeting with provincial justice ministers on whether the ruling accelerated plans for reform.“I think it was a call to action for all of us, absolutely.”Yvon Dandurand, a criminologist at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., said the Liberals could bring back some more flexibility to judges by creating special exceptions to some mandatory minimum penalties, an option he outlined in a report provided to the Justice Department last year.Dandurand said he suspects the coming legislation will include a mix of adding special exceptions to some mandatory minimum sentences while abolishing others.He said he also thinks, based on what he has heard from Wilson-Raybould and her officials during consultations, that they will go beyond reversing the last decade of changes.“(They) said this sentencing reform they are contemplating is not just a matter of setting back the clock and changing what has happened during the Conservative government… but going back to principles and more fundamental changes to the sentencing regime that we have,” Dandurand said.The last overhaul of the sentencing provisions in the Criminal Code happened in 1996.Conservative MP Rob Nicholson, who spent more than five years as justice minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, said he does not want the Liberals to touch any of the mandatory minimum penalties.“We were targeting very serious crimes,” including the sexual exploitation of children, said Nicholson, who is now Opposition justice critic.“If some of them are going to be getting a break in the next couple of weeks here, I mean obviously we’ll oppose that.”The Supreme Court, however, has already struck down two of the Conservative sentencing reforms last year, including a mandatory minimum penalty of one year behind bars for anyone convicted of a drug offence. That measure was introduced in 2012 as part of an omnibus crime bill.Alistair MacGregor, the NDP justice critic, said he would like to see the Liberals allow for more judicial discretion in some cases, such as for non-violent offences and first-time offenders, especially if the judge sees hope for rehabilitation.A federal government source said it is too early to get into detail, but noted Wilson-Raybould was asked to look at all mandatory minimum penalties.The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss matters not yet made public, said choosing which ones to amend is a matter of finding a political consensus over what will work.Gottardi said he remembers leaving consultations with Wilson-Raybould feeling “buoyed and inspired” by the bold vision and encouragement to think outside the box when it comes to criminal justice reforms.Now, he said, he suspects the Liberals might end up disappointing him.“I have the sinking feeling that the reality of politics is quickly seeping in and we will see a much more muted response to mandatory minimum sentences than a lot of us are hoping for,” Gottardi said.That view stems from how much time has passed and the fact that the Liberal government ended up taking a “pretty careful and cautious approach” to legislation on difficult issues such as medically assisted dying and the proposed legalization of marijuana for recreational use.Barry Stuart, a director with the Smart Justice Network of Canada, said he believes the circle around Wilson-Raybould is open to a “sea change” and he is willing to wait as long as it takes for the federal government to get it right.“I don’t want another quick bandage on the system — I’m patient,” said Stuart, a retired Yukon judge.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

Canada human rights plans fraught with peril say experts and activists

first_imgOTTAWA – Luis Fernando Monroy has literally found himself in the crosshairs of a Canadian foreign policy dilemma: Is Canada truly living up to its commitment to protecting ethnic and minority rights across the globe?In April 2013, he was shot three times in the face and once in the back by security guards outside the gates of Guatemala’s Escobal mine, operated by Canada’s Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX:THO).Monroy was part of group protesting the environmental impact the Canadian mine was having on his rural southeastern Guatemalan community, the disruption of rural life in the indigenous area and a lack of consultation.That has become a familiar complaint against Canada’s all-dominant mining industry, which owns more the half the companies operating in Latin America, Asia and Africa.Last week, the United Nations working group on business and human rights concluded a visit to Canada by urging the government and business to “step up their efforts to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business activities, both at home and abroad.”The UN panel called for “meaningful consultation” with indigenous groups affected by natural resource projects.“Canada may say it respects human rights,” Monroy said Thursday. “They don’t consult with us … they just roll over all of our rights.”In a striking foreign policy speech this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed the protection of minority rights of all kinds — an issue that will rear its head Friday when International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau releases her development policy review.That’s because the new development plan is expected to contain new details on how government aid projects can find partners in the private sector.Alex Neve, the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, said public-private development partnerships are not inherently bad.But unless the government can develop something successive ones have failed to deliver — a corporate social responsibility process with real teeth — its broad-based advocacy of human rights, and plans to partner with business on aid projects, are fraught with danger, he said.“We still do not have the laws and policies in place to hold our mining companies to account for their human rights performance when they leave the country,” Neve said. “It’s a significant shortcoming and would really undermine what is at the heart of the ministers’ vision.”Phil Robertson, the deputy Asian director of Human Rights Watch, said Canada is seen as one of the “good guys” in the region where he works, because of what Freeland professed on behalf of the government.Freeland said Canada’s role in the world is to “set the standard for how states treat women, gays and lesbians, transgendered people, racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious minorities, and indigenous people.”But Robertson said there are less-obvious pitfalls as Canada pursues its trade and business interests in Asia — a key part of the government’s economic growth strategy — and it embarks on public-private aid partnerships.In countries such as Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, “there are still ongoing issues with vulnerable minorities,” he said.The government and companies have to be wary about whom they strike business deals with and whether they represent legitimate grassroots interests, he said.“These elite interests who would present themselves as possible business partners don’t necessarily reflect the people on the ground.”Well-intentioned Canadians need to be wary, he said, of “assurances that everything is sorted, the land is completely free to be used” because that might not be the case.The business interests that rolled through his corner of Guatemala ignored the input of local indigenous communities, said Monroy, who has now become an activist since the attack on him four years ago deprived him of his sense of smell.After he was shot, he spent 16 days in hospital and had four operations, and then underwent 18 months of physical therapy because his nose was shattered in a hail of rubber bullets, he said Thursday in an Ottawa diner one block from Parliament Hill.Also Thursday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for a lawsuit filed by the protesters against B.C.-based Tahoe, rejecting a bid by the company to challenge the venue.“Canada says it brings development to other countries. Actually what it brings are mining projects,” Monroy said through a translator.“We have a right to a healthy environment. We live off the land. It’s what we have. It feeds us. It’s our future. We don’t need these big companies coming in saying they’re bringing development when really what’s happening is destruction.“This is not the development we need.”last_img read more

Australian fire crews arrive to support BC wildfire suppression efforts

first_imgKAMLOOPS, B.C. – Fifty experts from Australia are expected to arrive today to help with the wildfire battle in British Columbia’s central and southern Interior.Fire information officer Navi Saini says they’ll put the Australians where the need is greatest, taking advantage of their expertise in equipment, technology and logistical support.The experts arrive as 155 wildfires burn across the province and more than 45,000 people are forced from their homes.Apart from concerns for their property, many evacuees are also worried about the pets and livestock they left behind.RCMP Staff Sergeant Annie Linteau says officers took a man into custody after finding him in an evacuation zone trying to feed a friend’s pet — an issue she says could have been avoided if the owners followed procedure and contacted their regional government for help.The Cariboo Regional District says the B.C. SPCA is also increasing its efforts to rescue or care for animals left behind in evacuated areas, and they’re encouraging residents to contact the SPCA if they need help.last_img read more

Port Angeles residents replace Canadian teens stolen shoes

first_imgPORT ANGELES, Wash. – When someone brandished pepper spray and stole a young Canadian tourist’s shoes last month, community members decided they wanted to make things right.A 16-year-old boy was walking back to his hotel room Oct. 6 when a man pulled up on a BMX bike, brandished a can of “bear mace” and demanded the boy’s limited-edition red Air Jordan shoes. The family asked Port Angeles police not to publicize the teen’s name.After hearing about the incident, community members decided to track down a new pair of shoes that they could return to the young man.“I think like a lot of people, we were just bummed to hear that happened to someone who came to visit Port Angeles,” said the Rev. Joe DeScala of Mended, who helped. “I — like a lot of people I spoke to — felt for that young man, and we needed to make it right.”DeScala and Lila Adams teamed up to get the young man a new pair of shoes, which retail at about $200.The plan was to raise the money to buy the new shoes, but Mended went ahead and purchased the shoes before all the money was raised.“We ordered the shoes just to get them coming,” DeScala said.The shoes arrived late October, and DeScala dropped off the shoes at the Port Angeles Police Department to be shipped to the young man.Tracking down the shoes wasn’t easy, DeScala said.He wanted to purchase them locally, but they were nowhere to be found. When he stopped by Athlete’s Choice, he was told they were a limited edition and each store received only a few pairs; they needed to be ordered online.Adams said it was unacceptable that a visitor to Port Angeles was treated like that.“I thought we could rally to fix this,” she said.She set up a bank account at First Federal to collect donations for the shoes and left a card at the police department to be sent to the boy.She also painted Port Angeles rocks and hid them around town in an effort to raise awareness.“I really wanted our town to make sure this kid has some new shoes,” she said.Port Angeles Police Chief Brian Smith said he plans to talk with the boy’s mother to double-check he has the correct address and then he’ll ship the shoes.He has spoken to the mother once already, and she was appreciative of the effort, he said.“This reminds me of why I live in Port Angeles,” Smith said. “We have a lot of great people who on their own come together to help someone.”No arrest had been made as of Oct. 27.DeScala said he has heard a lot of negative comments about the person who stole the shoes, but he believes people should focus on the positive.“I think there’s a lot more good out there, and this is just an example that no matter how much bad there is, people will do the right thing,” he said.___Information from: Peninsula Daily News, http://www.peninsuladailynews.comlast_img read more

Male MPs staff are bystanders to sexual misconduct former staffer says

first_imgOTTAWA – It was 2007 and Lauren Dobson-Hughes was a young, ambitious NDP staffer on Parliament Hill when a much older MP suddenly kissed her in front of at least 20 people — and no one seemed to bat an eye.The MP, himself a New Democrat, grabbed her around the waist and dug his fingers into her body before planting his lips on hers.“He pulled in my head right to him and he gave me this giant wet kiss,” said Dobson-Hughes, who was 25 at the time and shaken by the encounter.“I went to the washroom to wash his spit that was dribbling down my cheek.”Male politicians wield enormous power on the Hill, and yet MPs and staff members alike continue to be little more than bystanders who do nothing to help create a safe workplace for female counterparts, said Dobson-Hughes, now a prominent advocate for women’s rights.“Nobody else thought it was weird,” she recalled.“You take your cues from people around you who are in positions of power, and if they don’t think that’s weird, if that didn’t even momentarily give them a second glance, then (you think), ‘Maybe the problem is me then … OK, that’s just normal.’”Sexual misconduct is nothing short of “rampant” on Parliament Hill, a place that runs on a steady supply of cheap young labour, usually female, she added.And by their very nature, political parties are built off perverse incentives to ignore or even actively bury allegations of harassment or sexual misconduct.“It is not in a party’s interest to highlight, investigate, that one of their own MPs has been accused of sexual harassment or that everybody knows this person is a sexual harasser,” she said.“It damages the party electorally, it causes a media fuss, diverts your message … staff know that. They don’t come forward.”In a voluntary survey of female MPs last month, The Canadian Press found more than half of respondents — 58 per cent — had personally been the target of one or more forms of sexual misconduct while in office, including inappropriate or unwanted remarks, gestures or text messages of a sexual nature.Thirty-eight of 89 female MPs took part in the voluntary, anonymous survey.Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and Green party Leader Elizabeth May say they worry the most for vulnerable young staffers and interns on the Hill who might resist speaking up about misconduct for fear of losing what little job security they might already have.“I think of staffers — where do they go?” Ambrose said in an interview.“My appeal to them was, ‘Come to me … please know you can come to me.’ But the truth is, would they? I don’t know.”Ambrose agreed parties are naturally inclined to protect their brands, as opposed to encouraging staff to come forward about misconduct.“Do you want to be the political staffer that comes forward to say that this particular person in this particular party is a problem?” she said. “I can see all kinds of backlash against a young woman like that … there’s even more reason to not speak out because of the whole political image issue.”May and Ambrose both say it’s high time male MPs started calling out their colleagues.“If you hear something in your caucus meetings you think is just bad form, tell your male colleagues,” May said. “Politics and power run together, which means power and politics and sex run together, and men in positions of power are going to abuse that.”For her part, Dobson-Hughes said she’s pleased veteran New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen is calling on his male counterparts to usher in a culture change and combat sexual misconduct.Cullen, elected in 2004, said he’s heard no end of stories about male instigators on the Hill.“Asking women to carry this load … while owning none of the responsibility ourselves is ridiculous and unhelpful,” he said.“People know it has been going on, we haven’t done anything about it … With some effort and with some thoughtfulness, it could become a good example of a workplace. It is not right now.”— Follow @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

Tories pan Liberal caucus proposal to decriminalize use of all illegal drugs

first_imgOTTAWA – The war on drugs may move to a new battlefield in Canada, if Liberal MPs get their way: the 2019 federal election campaign.They’re pushing the Trudeau government to go much further than legalizing recreational marijuana. In a priority resolution they hope will be adopted at the Liberals’ policy convention in April for inclusion in the next election platform, the national caucus is calling on the government to eliminate criminal penalties for simple possession and consumption of all illicit drugs.Newly-minted NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has taken a similar stance.But the Conservatives, who have opposed many elements of the plan to legalize pot by July, are signalling that they would object to decriminalizing the use of other, harder drugs even more strenuously.“The Conservatives haven’t been satisfied or in any way pleased with what they’re doing in the area of marijuana. I think it’s going to be a complete mess in this country,” Conservative justice critic Rob Nicholson said in an interview.“That being said, to expand this … to do anything that does anything except discourage people from taking opioids and strong drugs I think is a mistake,” he added.“If you’re saying it’s OK to consume this, you’re not sending out the message here that this is a huge problem that tears families apart, destroys peoples’ health, decreases the safety within this country. Because who’s going to be providing them with this? These are the criminal elements.”Many Conservatives feared legalization of pot would be just the first step towards legalizing other, harder drugs. But Nicholson said he’s frankly surprised that Liberal MPs aren’t even waiting to see how legalizing cannabis works out before starting down that slippery slope.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly ruled out legalization of drugs other than cannabis. He has not so far commented on the resolution advanced by his own caucus, which does not actually go so far as to advocate legalization of other drugs.Rather, the caucus is proposing that Canada adopt the model that has proven successful in Portugal in significantly reducing overdose deaths, decreasing illicit drug use and reducing the social cost of drug abuse.Since 2001, Portugal has expanded treatment and harm reduction services, such as safe injection sites, and eliminated criminal penalties for simple possession and consumption of all illegal drugs. A person found in possession of a drug for personal use is no longer arrested but ordered to appear before a “dissuasion commission” which can refer the person to a treatment program or impose administrative sanctions.“We see on all the metrics that matter, in terms of a public health approach, positive success stories,” Toronto Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said in an interview.“We’re certainly not talking about legalizing all drugs here. We’re talking about a step that would decriminalize (drug use) … I think the easiest way of thinking about it is we currently use the criminal justice system to tackle drug abuse and let’s use the health system as much as possible to tackle drug abuse instead.”In a recent byelection in Toronto’s Scarborough-Agincourt, the Conservative candidate ran social media ads, one of which featured a grainy photo of a junkie injecting heroin into his arm. The ads warned voters about the Liberals’ plan to legalize pot and create more safe injection sites.“The Trudeau Liberals want to bring dangerous drugs into our community,” one ad asserted. “The Liberals are rushing to legalizing (sic) marijuana despite concerns being raised by police and health professionals. And now they want to legalize prescription heroin!”It’s not hard to imagine how much sharper Conservative attacks would become if the Liberal party adopts the caucus proposal. But Erskine-Smith said Liberals shouldn’t let that deter them.“If the Conservatives want to ignore the evidence and lash out in some tough-on-crime way, I say have at it. It hasn’t worked in the past and I don’t think it will work,” he said.“I hope we’re past the point of worrying whether Canadians are going to buy into this idea … It doesn’t matter what political stripe you are, if you care about the evidence and you care about what works, I think you’ve got to get past the politics of it and what the easy attack ad is and follow the evidence to save lives.”last_img read more

Canucks help fight stigma of addiction in new public awareness campaign

first_imgVANCOUVER – NHL players have supported teammates through substance use, and now it’s time for the Vancouver Canucks to acknowledge fans battling their own addiction issues, retired goalie Kirk McLean says.McLean is the ambassador of an awareness campaign the Canucks announced Monday by placing two ads around Rogers Arena. They each feature a man and a woman and the tagline: “People who use drugs are real people. Get involved. Get informed. Get help.”The campaign is in partnership with the province’s Mental Health and Addictions Ministry, which will also include messages on television, social media and billboards.British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016 because of an unprecedented number of overdose deaths.The BC Coroners Service recorded 1,208 fatal overdoses between January and October last year. The powerful opioid fentanyl was detected in 999 of the confirmed and suspected deaths during that time, an increase of 136 per cent from the same period in 2016.McLean stood in the stands on Monday during a Canucks practice as players saluted first responders including paramedics and firefighters who are often on the front lines reviving people who have overdosed.He said he’s hoping the ads will spark conversations among friends and families as they attend Canucks games so the stigma attached to illicit drug use is broken, among professional athletes too.“Hopefully people take notice and we use this celebrityism, so to speak, to say: ‘Listen, athletes have issues too. They’re just like everybody else. Yes, we put them up on pedestal but some go home and have to deal with drug abuse and mental health issues and hibernate in their homes by themselves.’ “The message to fans is: “You’re not alone. We’re here to help you out,” McLean said in an interview.Three of McLean’s former teammates suffered through mental health issues and addiction to drugs and alcohol, including one who was suicidal, said McLean, who retired in 2001.“It was scary, it was hard core” he said. “Some days we weren’t sure if we were going to see them again.”He noted former Calgary Flames player Theo Fleury, who became addicted to drugs and alcohol after surviving sexual abuse by his junior coach and then went on to help others struggling with addiction.Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy said the campaign is meant to leave a powerful impression on people who could help others struggling in silence.“Turning the tide on this overdose crisis will take each one of us,” she told a news conference at Rogers Arena.Leslie McBain, whose son, 25-year-old Jordan Miller, died of an opioid overdose in 2014, said the campaign will reach an important segment of society that’s been hit hard by overdose deaths.“A lot of fans, mostly men, are part of the cohort that is dying at home alone,” said McBain, who attended the news conference.McBain called on other sports teams to get involved in spreading the message about drug use, especially to reach young fans who need to know it’s OK to talk about drug use.Paramedic David Hilden was also in the stands as the Canucks paid tribute to first responders.“It’s just an acknowledgment that addiction spans all walks of life,” Hilden said of the campaign.“A lot of people look up to them as mentors in society, and certainly the young kids. That’s the people we need to get a hold of and educate.”Hilden, who has been on the job for 33 years, said the number of overdoses has escalated sharply.“We see it on a fairly regular basis daily, all day, all night. It’s everywhere in British Columbia.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

Nova Scotia Finance Minister Karen Casey to table budget March 20

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Liberal government says it will table the 2018-19 provincial budget on March 20.Premier Stephen McNeil has said the province intends to present its third consecutive balanced budget.He says the upcoming document will respond to continuing challenges in areas such as health care and education, but cautions it will be “in a way we can afford.”The budget to be presented by Finance Minister Karen Casey will also include the capital plan.In her December fiscal update, Casey said the province is projecting a $28.9-million surplus for 2017-2018, about $7.6 million higher than forecasted in September.last_img read more

Trudeau expects cannabis supply shortages to be fixed within a year

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the biggest challenge associated with the legalization of cannabis has been the supply shortage — but he expects it to disappear within a year.In an end-of-year interview with The Canadian Press Friday, Trudeau predicted the problem would be resolved “during the coming months and perhaps the coming year.” He noted the scarcity of cannabis was most pronounced in Ontario and Quebec.Trudeau said he remains unhappy with Quebec legislation introduced this month that would raise the legal age for cannabis consumption to 21 from 18.The province’s restrictive approach could prevent it from attaining one of the chief objectives of legalization, in particular curbing organized crime, he said.“If young people aged 18 to 21 are forced to buy pot from criminals, it will not help us eliminate the black market,” Trudeau said.Rather, he continued, it will sustain “a black market that is going to sell to 18-to-21-year-olds, but that is also maybe going to sell to youth of 17 or 16.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hearings into SNCLavalin affair start today but not with WilsonRaybould

first_imgOTTAWA — The House of Commons justice committee will begin hearings today into the allegation that the Prime Minister’s Office improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.Wilson-Raybould herself has been invited to testify, but likely won’t appear until Monday and, even then, it’s unclear if she’ll have much to say.She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment on the affair since the allegation from anonymous sources first surfaced in a Globe and Mail report almost two weeks ago.The Liberal-dominated committee wants to hear first from academics about the legal principles underpinning the affair, which prompted Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from cabinet last week and the departure this week of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted aide, principal secretary Gerald Butts.Those principles include the recently adopted legal provision allowing for remediation agreements in corporate corruption cases, a form of plea bargain in which a company pays restitution but avoids a criminal conviction that could bankrupt it.They also include the so-called Shawcross doctrine that spells out the degree to which an attorney general may consult with cabinet colleagues about a prosecution.Opposition members of the justice committee maintain the hearings will be meaningless unless Trudeau waives solicitor-client privilege to allow Wilson-Raybould to speak freely and unless senior officials in his office, including Butts, are called to testify.MPs are also scheduled to vote today on a non-binding NDP motion calling for a public inquiry into the affair and the waiving of solicitor-client privilege.Conservative senators, meanwhile, have also introduced their own motion calling for an inquiry by the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Wilderness survival book borrowed in 1977 is finally returned to BC library

first_imgVANCOUVER — A book about surviving in the outdoors has been returned to a B.C. library branch more than four decades after it was checked out.The book, “Wilderness Living: A Complete Handbook and Guide to Pioneering in North America” was borrowed from the Union Bay branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library in 1977.It was returned anonymously to the Courtenay branch last Monday.Library spokesman David Carson says the book’s subject matter “adds to the mystique of its whereabouts over the past four-plus decades.”He says the book is in excellent condition considering its extended absence from the shelves.Carson says overdue materials for adults accrue a daily fine of 30 cents until a $10 cap is reached — which is lucky for whoever who signed it out.“The fine would have been in excess of $4,500 without the cap,” said Carson, adding that he doesn’t know if the book will go back into circulation.He noted that it’s still being sold and is considered a valuable resource for outdoor survival.Carson said although ideally, books are returned before their due date, it’s not unusual for items to be returned late.“But to have a book returned from the time when Stars Wars first came out — and for it to be in such good condition — is definitely not common,” he said. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Monster Energy drink recalled due to possible glass fragments

first_imgOTTAWA — Monster Energy Canada Ltd. is recalling one of its drinks from the market place.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the Caffé Monster Salted Caramel Energy Drink could contain glass fragments.The 405 ml drinks have best before dates of Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, 2020 (UPC code 0 70847 03184 0) and were sold at stores across the country.There have been no reported illnesses linked to the product, and consumers who have the drinks are urged to return them to the store where they were purchased or throw them out.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

I want to remember Survivors families mark Broncos tragedy forever with ink

first_imgIt’s a day many want to forget. It’s the people they want to remember.“I always have him with me now,” former Humboldt Broncos hockey player Ryan Straschnitzki says after a three-hour tattoo session in Calgary.Permanently inked into the skin of his right arm is the motto of Boncos head coach Darcy Haugan: “It’s a great day to be a Bronco gentlemen.”Haugan was one of 16 people who died after the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a crossroads in Saskatchewan last April 6.Straschnitzki, paralyzed from the waist down, was one of 13 players injured.“I think everyone lives by that quote,” says the 19-year-old from Airdrie, Alta.Other players who survived have also had Haugan’s words marked onto their bodies. Straschnitzki has 10 hockey pucks as well with the jersey numbers of the teammates he lost.Chris Joseph of St. Albert, Alta., never got a tattoo in all his years of playing in the National Hockey League.He has one now, in memory of his 20-year-old son, Jaxon, who died.It’s a favourite photo of Joseph holding a crying two-year-old Jaxon at a Vancouver Canucks family skate. “We always found it funny and joked about how his hockey career almost ended before it started,” Joseph says.“I put it on my left forearm because I wanted to see it every day. The reminder isn’t of that day. The reminder is of Jaxon’s memories.“I don’t care to remember April 6 that much. It’s every single day before that I want to remember.”Kevin Matechuk of Colonsay, Sask., waited a month before his son, Layne, woke up from a coma. The 19-year-old is still suffering from a brain injury and has trouble speaking.Matechuk got the word “believe” tattooed on his arm with his son’s hockey number — 28 — under it.“We just really felt that we had to believe that Layne was going to get better,” he says. “Just about a month ago Layne wanted it too, so he got it on the same spot.“A lot of times when I get kind of depressed and feeling down and if Layne’s not around, I just look at it and it reminds me of how far he’s come and it helps.”Tyler Smith of Leduc, Alta., was also injured in the crash but recovered enough to rejoin the Broncos for a month at the beginning of the hockey season.Smith, 20, had 16 birds tattooed on his left shoulder blade to honour those who died.“I don’t know what it is about a tattoo, but it definitely just gives you a sense of comfort and peace … You have something on your body to represent them and hold that memory.”One of the birds has a pink tail, explains Smith, in memory of the team’s athletic therapist, 24-year-old Dayna Brons of Lake Lenore, Sask., the only woman riding on the Broncos bus that day.Janelle Glessman has an intricate tattoo on her leg to remember her sister. It’s a fox (because she and Brons both painted a fox at an art class), two sunflowers with brown centres like her sister’s brown eyes, and various leaves and flowers in groups of five.“She had so many fives that happened throughout her life,” says Glessman.The sisters were born five years, five months and five days apart. Brons was born in May, the fifth month. She played sports and just about every time picked the number five to wear.Brons died in hospital five days after the crash.“It took me awhile on what I wanted,” says Glessman. “Every part of the tattoo has meaning.”— Follow @BillGraveland on TwitterBill Graveland, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Raptors prevail over Warriors in Game 3 to take 21 lead in

first_imgOAKLAND — People he’d pass on the streets of Toronto would tell Danny Green to stay positive and keep shooting, keep shooting, keep shooting. Fans filled his Instagram inbox with similar messages. Even Shaq had a few words for the slumping player on Wednesday.The Raptors sharp-shooter ended his slump in spectacular fashion on Wednesday. And now Toronto has regained momentum in the NBA Finals.Green had six three-pointers in an 18-point performance to lead Toronto to a 123-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday at Oracle Arena.Toronto now takes a 2-1 lead into Friday’s Game 4, also at Oracle.Moments after the decisive win, Green joked about the shooting tips he received from former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.“I spoke to him before the game briefly. He’s always on the TNT set. And every time I see him, he’s giving me his pure shooting advice — because he was good at it,” Green deadpanned. “But just the fundamentals, the small things, telling me to be confident and just hold the follow-through.“And obviously after a good shooting night, it’s easy to see that his advice has worked,” added Green, who played with Shaq in Cleveland in 2010. “He’s always been that guy to me every year that we get on the playoffs or on this stage where he comes over and tells me stay confident and give me his shooting advice.”Green’s success from three-point range was part of a big night in that category for the entire team. Toronto’s 17 three-pointers tied a record for most threes by a road team in Finals history.Kawhi Leonard led six Raptors in double figures with 30 points. Kyle Lowry had 23 points and nine assists for the Raptors, who are making their NBA Finals debut. Pascal Siakam had 18 points, while Marc Gasol finished with 17, and Fred VanVleet had 11.WATCH: Calgary rallies behind Raptors The Warriors, who swept Portland in the Western Conference final, were playing their first home game since May 16. Oracle Arena, which has seen the Warriors win four of the past five NBA titles, is in its final season as home of the Warriors. The team is moving to the new Chase Center in San Francisco next season.Pockets of Raptors fans dotted the arena, enough to produce an audible “M-V-P!” chant when Leonard went to the free-throw line. There were also plenty of stars on hand including Beyonce and Jay-Z.Vince Carter was in attendance as part of ESPN’s broadcast crew, a full-circle moment for the former Raptors star who won the dunk contest during NBA All-Star weekend at Oracle Arena in 2000, an event that helped put Toronto’s basketball team on the map.Canadian Tenille Arts sang “O Canada,” while Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performed an electric guitar rendition of the American anthem. Rapper Lil Pump performed at halftime.The Raptors led for all but 30 seconds of the first quarter, despite 17 points from Curry. A Siakam step-back shot capped a 13-3 Raptors run that put the Raptors up by 10. They stretched their advantage to 12 with 2:13 left in the quarter, and led 36-29 heading into the second.Ibaka’s free throws had Toronto up by 14 points midway through the second. The Warriors responded with a 10-3 run to pull to within seven. The Raptors took a 60-52 lead into the halftime break.The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Monday. A Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Oakland. Stephen Curry had a playoff-best 47 points for the banged-up Warriors, who lost for the first time in six games at Oracle Arena.“My dad used to tell me the stats don’t matter, just the final score,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said on Curry’s big night. “So we’ll take the win and be thankful for that.”Danny Green says the ‘job’s not done’ against WarriorsGreen’s huge game ended a lengthy dry spell for the Raptors long-range specialist, who made four three-pointers in the entire six-game Eastern Conference final against Milwaukee.Green has now made six or more three-pointers in three career NBA Finals games, the second most in history.“Danny’s buckets I think boosted our whole team’s confidence because we’re kind of used to most of the year relying on those,” Nurse said. “I think that when he banked a couple there and then he kind of kept it going, I think it was just a huge confidence boost all around.”Moments before tipoff, Nurse noticed three words scribbled on the whiteboard in the Raptors’ locker-room: “Let it rip.”“I [asked Lowry], ‘Did you write that?”’ Nurse said. “But he said, ‘No, but that’s what I’m thinking.”Lowry was the Raptors’ motor. VanVleet figured the veteran point guard was in for a good night.“He came out firing tonight and he was big,” VanVleet said. “I think putting him on Steph early got his juices going a little bit as a competitor. He was unbelievable for us tonight. Every time we needed a bucket, he gave us one. Every time they made a run, he had an answer. Kyle was unbelievable.”The Raptors led virtually from outset, going up by 12 points in the first quarter, stretching it to 14 in the second, and 16 in the third to stun the yellow-clad crowd, which hadn’t seen a loss at Oracle Arena since April 25 — Game 5 of the opening round of the playoffs versus the L.A. Clippers.READ MORE: Warriors even up series with win over Raptors in Game 2There was zero letup by Toronto in one of its most consistent games of the post-season. With 29 seconds left in the third, Leonard hustled to keep the ball inbounds after Lowry’s shot was blocked, then fired a deft pass to Green, who launched his sixth three-pointer of the game. Toronto took a 96-83 lead into the fourth.“They outplayed us. They deserved it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.The Raptors held their proverbial foot to Golden State’s throat in the fourth. A Serge Ibaka steal led to an easy Siakam dunk just three minutes into the quarter that set the tone for the final frame. Leonard drove to the hoop three minutes later to put Toronto up by 17 points.A driving layup by Draymond Green sliced Toronto’s lead to 10 with 2:28 to play, but then Leonard, with Curry and Alfonzo McKinnie all over him, got a pass off to VanVleet, who drained a three-pointer as the shot clock buzzer sounded. The play with 1:37 left put the Raptors back up by 13 and sent many Warriors fans to the exits.“We answered a lot of runs,” Nurse said. “Each time they chipped, we kind of answered back.”Virtually any fan left sitting departed when Gasol connected on a three with just over a minute to play. Toronto fans in attendance chanted “Let’s go Raptors!” over the game’s dying seconds. They broke into a raucous singing of “O Canada” as the players headed for the locker-room.“All around the world, there’s Canadian fans surprisingly. That’s one thing I learned being on this team, a lot of Canada is all over,” Green said. “Raptors fans are crazy, man. They’re all over the place and they come from all over the place to watch the games and to support us.”The Warriors’ slogan is “Strength in Numbers.” But they were down in numbers on Wednesday.Klay Thompson, one half of the Splash Brothers with Curry, was ruled out shortly before the game because of the left hamstring injury he suffered in Game 2. The Warriors were already without Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney because of injuries.“The whole point was not to risk a bigger injury that would keep him out rest of series,” Kerr said. “That was the decision we made. I feel very comfortable with it. I never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he would have gotten hurt.”The Raptors have their own battle wounds. Lowry has been playing with a serious thumb injury since the conference semifinals, and Leonard, who played just nine games last season with San Antonio, has hobbled at times.The Raptors captured Game 1 of the Finals 118-109, but dropped a 109-104 decision to Golden State in Game 2, allowing a 20-0 Warriors run that straddled the end of the second quarter and the first five minutes of the third — the longest run in NBA Finals history.WATCH: Players speak after Game 3 win for Raptorscenter_img With files from CityNewslast_img read more

In the news today Aug 23

first_imgFour stories in the news for Friday, Aug. 23———GRITS DIG UP VIDEO OF SCHEER SPEAKING AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGELiberals went trolling Thursday for young, progressive-minded voters with 14-year-old video footage of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaking out against same-sex marriage — a tactic that prompted Jagmeet Singh to vow that New Democrats won’t prop up a minority Conservative government. Singh’s statement came several hours after Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted a short, edited video of an April 2005 speech Scheer gave in the House of Commons explaining his opposition to the Civil Marriage Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in Canada later that year. Along with the video came a challenge to march in Sunday’s Ottawa Pride parade, with Goodale noting that Scheer has never yet participated in any Pride parade.———SCHEER IS PASSING THE BACK, LETTS’ PARENTS SAYThe parents of Jack Letts, a British-Canadian man imprisoned in northern Syria, are chastising Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for saying he wouldn’t lift a finger to help their son. Scheer might react differently if his own child was locked in a foreign dungeon without access to a lawyer or contact with his family, John Letts and Sally Lane said in a statement distributed Thursday. The couple, who live in Oxford, England, said it is time for Canadian politicians to show leadership and demonstrate that Ottawa is able to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens. Questions about the fate of Jack Letts, who is being held in a Kurdish jail in Syria, recently resurfaced following word that Britain had revoked his citizenship. Letts’ parents said their son, who still holds Canadian citizenship, went to Syria for religious and humanitarian reasons, not to fight for the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.———QUEBEC MAKES BIG CUTS TO ECONOMIC IMMIGRANTS IN 2019New statistics show Quebec is making good on its promise to reduce its share of immigrants in 2019, but the province has cut deeply in the category of skilled workers, which runs contrary to the government’s stated goals. In the first six months of 2019, the number of immigrants to Quebec in the economic category fell by 32 per cent compared with the same period in 2018. Within that category, the province has so far accepted 41 per cent fewer skilled workers than it did in the first six months of last year. The numbers were compiled by Jack Jedwab, president of the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration, using data from the federal Immigration Department.———ETHNIC MEDIA LOOK TO PROD VOTER TURNOUTZuhair Alshaer spends most of his day editing articles and organizing interviews with politicians for his Ottawa-based Arab Canada newspaper, to introduce Arabic-speaking new Canadians to federal politics. The community Alshaer’s paper serves is growing — more immigrants are arriving in Canada from Africa, Asia and the Middle East than ever before, surpassing Europe that was once the dominant source. And it is also becoming more politically engaged: The voting rate of immigrant from West Central Asia and the Middle East increased to 73 per cent in the 2015 election from the 57 per cent recorded four years earlier, the largest increase among the 10 immigrant regions studied by Statistics Canada. Research published by Statistics Canada in 2016 highlighted that new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Statistics Canada will release its retail trade figures for June.— Transat shareholders convene in a special meeting today to vote on Air Canada’s $720-million bid for the company.— Federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi will announce funding today for a geothermal power project in Nisku, Alta.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Three dead two injured in highway crash on southern New Brunswick highway

first_imgThe Canadian Press MONCTON, N.B. — Three people have died after a car lost control and rolled over Sunday evening on a highway in southern New Brunswick.A spokesman for the RCMP says a car was travelling west on Highway 2 near exit 465 in Dieppe when the crash occurred at about 5:45 p.m.Sgt. Mario Maillet says that two people died at the scene of the crash and a third person died later in hospital.There were five people in the vehicle, and Maillet says the driver and one passenger were treated but do not have life-threatening injuries.A section of the highway was closed for over 12 hours and reopened at 5 a.m. Monday.An investigation is underway into the cause of the crash.last_img read more

Jimmy Carter And The Elders Welcome US Efforts To Restart IsraeliPalestinian Peace

first_imgConcluding a 3-day visit to Washington DC and London, The Elders today warmly welcomed the tireless efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.They also warned that there is no military solution in Syria and that only dialogue between all parties concerned can bring about an end to the war.In Washington, the Elders’ delegation, including former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, UN-Arab League peace envoy to Syria and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and former US President Jimmy Carter, was briefed by US Secretary of State John Kerry about his plans to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The Elders also met President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice and US policy experts, including at the Brookings Institution. In London, they met British Foreign Secretary William Hague.Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Jimmy Carter took part in a public event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington DC) on Monday. This evening, they will speak at Chatham House (London) to discuss the future of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Syrian crisis.Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, said: “We were impressed by Secretary Kerry’s tireless commitment to bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table after five years of stalemate. The United States’ reengagement in the region is a welcome development.“All conflicts can be resolved. But as Elders, we know that the negotiations ahead will be difficult and that there will be bumps on the road. We appreciate the seriousness and urgency of Secretary Kerry’s efforts to resume peace talks.“We believe that the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the heart of the instability in the wider Middle East. It is time to help the parties get together and find a permanent solution.”Former US President Jimmy Carter said: “If Israelis and Palestinians can address the key issue of borders as a priority, based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps, there is hope that the other issues can be resolved.“The Arab League’s recent endorsement of possible adjustments to the 1967 borders, combined with the European Union’s commendable insistence on upholding the illegality of occupied territories, are encouraging signs that complement the current US efforts.“We are confident that progress towards a two-state solution – with a democratic and safe Israel living next door to an independent, free and viable Palestinian state – will be met with overwhelming support by both peoples in the region.”Commenting on the Syria crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria said: “There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. Sending more weapons to Syria will only deepen the conflict. The flow of arms to both sides must stop.“Media has been reporting over the past months about one side or the other having the upper hand. But neither side is in a position to win the war. And in the meantime, the killing and destruction continue.“We must get out of this vicious cycle through a political process. It is extremely difficult to bring together those who have been killing each other for two years. But more and more people, including the Syrians, are recognising that the only solution to the Syrian catastrophe is an inclusive dialogue with all the countries that have an interest or an influence in this crisis.”last_img read more

Viola Davis Helps Raise 45 Million To Fight Childhood Hunger In America

first_imgThe Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) have announced they have raised more than $4.5 million in support of Hunger Is, a joint charitable initiative designed to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood hunger in America.Viola Davis Joins Safeway Foundation and Entertainment Industry Foundation to End Childhood Hunger.The campaign kicked off in April with a month-long in-store fundraiser in more than 1,300 Safeway stores across the U.S. Additional funds were generated through online donations at The year-round campaign encourages individuals and communities to get involved in solving this widespread problem that too often goes unnoticed and, according to the USDA, affects one in five children in America.Concurrent with the launch of Hunger Is, public service announcements appeared on television, in print, online, and out-of-home media featuring Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis, who shared her compelling story about growing up hungry.“I am so thrilled at the incredible success of this important initiative. Millions of children go to bed hungry every night and it’s time we all take action to end this nationwide problem,” Davis shared. She went on to say, “I’m looking forward to the continued momentum of this meaningful campaign as this is just the beginning.”“We are grateful to our customers, who heard our call to action and chose to help make a difference in the lives of children,” said Larree Renda, Safeway Inc. Executive Vice President and Chair of The Safeway Foundation. “We are off to an amazing start and will continue our efforts with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Viola Davis, who is a passionate champion in the fight against childhood hunger.”Funds raised through the campaign will go toward programs focused on eradicating childhood hunger and improving health-related and education outcomes. During this inaugural year, breakfast programs will be the focus, giving children a healthy start to their day and the best chance to excel. Research shows that children who eat breakfast have better school attendance and achieve higher math scores than children who lack adequate access to food.In the coming months, the Hunger Is Project Advisory Committee will be convened, enlisting hunger experts from across the country with a critical understanding of how hunger affects children from rural to urban communities. These experts will include representatives of Hunger Is collaborators Feeding America – the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity; the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) – the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the U.S.; and No Kid Hungry – a campaign which connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The Project Advisory Committee will help identify hunger programs throughout the U.S. that will make a difference in reducing childhood hunger.“We are so thankful for the incredible support for this campaign from Safeway customers, employees and the general public throughout the U.S., who agree it’s simply unacceptable for our children to be hungry,” said EIF President & CEO Lisa Paulsen. “Too many kids are not getting the nutrition they need to reach their full potential, and we’re privileged to work with The Safeway Foundation to engage communities across the country in helping to change that.”More information about the issue is available at, along with simple ways for individuals to donate.last_img read more