Month: October 2019

Kwakiutl launch two days of action to assert rights over territory

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe people of Kwakiutl First Nation on Vancouver Island are taking part in a major demonstration.They’re protesting what they say is the government’s lack of respect for the community’s claim over traditional territories.On Wednesday, during the first two days of protests, they’ve occupied the property of a logging company.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith was there.last_img

Winnipegs North End rallies in the face of recent violence

first_imgAPTN National NewsWinnipeg’s North End neighbourhood is coming together in vigils and rallies to promote positive change, in the wake of recent violence in the community.Attendance was strong at two vigils held in remembrance of recent deaths in the community, while a weekly rally called “Meet Me At The Bell Tower” is seeing growing support from residents.APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler speaks with some of the activists and leaders in the North End about their efforts and the response they’re seeing.last_img

Increased police presence and helicopter join Winnipeg round dance

first_imgAPTN National NewsWinnipeg played host to another Idle No More round dance this week.That’s not surprising but what was above maybe was.A helicopter circled the protest, while police were seen on nearby roof tops with cameras.Police said it was for safety reasons.APTN National News reporter Ntawnis Piapot has the story.last_img

Concerns grow over the use of a herbicide in New Brunswick

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe New Brunswick government spends over $2 million annually to spay over forested areas of Crown land.Glyphosate, also known as Round-up or Vision, is the most commonly used herbicide on the planet.In forestry, clearcutting and the use of herbicides go hand-in-hand.APTN’s Trina Roache has the story.last_img

James Bay Cree fear declining caribou herd

first_imgAPTN National NewsFor most of us, the picture of the Canadian .25 cents quarter is as close to the woodland caribou as we’re going to get.That’s not the case for the James Bay Cree, at least right now.But they fear that future may become a reality with a declining herd, as the number has dropped by half in the past decade.Many point to logging as the culprit.APTN’s Tom Fennario reports there is a way to save the herd – if everyone agrees to it.last_img

Fentanyl Death Healing and Preparing for the Next Big Drug

first_imgBrandi Morin, APTN National News“Call an ambulance! Someone call an ambulance!”Brad Provost was sitting in the dark theatre high off a recent hit of fentanyl he had snorted in the bathroom with his girlfriend.She was in a different theatre watching a movie with Provost’s cousins and had since come into the theatre where Provost sat a few times to wake him up after he had nodded off.When he assured her he was ok, she went back to her seat.The next thing he recalled was his cousin rushing in and yelling, “She’s not waking up! Your girlfriend’s not waking up!”She had stopped breathing and lay there for about 20 minutes before anyone noticed.A fentanyl overdose is a silent killer.It comes in the form of deep relaxation and causes the user to feel extreme fatigue. It looks like the victim is sleeping, but their organs are shutting down.They’re dying.Provost said he sprang to his feet as adrenaline rushed through his veins overbearing the drugs in his system.He ran over to the next theatre to see his girlfriend passed out in the chair not moving, or breathing. He pulled her over to the aisle and began performing CPR. He said it was a frightening scene. She gave no response as vomit began spilling out of her nostrils.“Call an ambulance! Someone call an ambulance!” he shouted.According to Provost, his girlfriend had overdosed before, but she had always pulled through.During the ride in the ambulance to the hospital, Provost prayed for the best.They had plans to turn their lives around. They were going to leave the drug infused streets of Lethbridge, Alta., and go to live on the Blood Tribe reserve – a place where they would have a roof over their heads.They talked about their plans to get off the drugs and be together, healthy and strong.It was the one decision to make the stop at the drug dealers and head to the movies before they left town that changed everything.Although emergency responders were able to get her heart going again, the odds weren’t good.For two days Provost said he stayed sober and sat by his girlfriend’s side in intensive care.His girlfriend’s family started arriving along with tensions toward Provost. They soon asked him to leave and to this day blame him for what happened to her.One day later she died at age 37.“I lost her…they (her family) don’t understand. It’s been almost two years now. I have no idea why they’re blaming me. I pray and hope they get over it,” said Provost.Brad ProvostAfter a two-week drug fueled rampage following her death, Provost said he wanted to get clean.He chose to get it over with. Cold turkey. He checked himself into the Foothills Detox treatment center in Fort Macleod, AB.He said detox was the worst pain he’s ever experienced.So bad that he cried. At one point he went to hospital for treatment. Three weeks later said he was “free.”“It’s like Dante’s inferno – Dr. Sue ChristensonDr. Sue Christenson, a physician at the Lavern Clinic on the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta (Provost’s home community) deals with hundreds of cases of fentanyl users.Christenson said she has witnessed withdrawal’s that’s the stuff of nightmares.“It’s like Dante’s inferno,” said Christenson. “Like needles being stuck into your body. Sweats. I’ve seen people horribly dry heaving, uncontrollable diarrhea, inability to sleep, severe depression. It’s horrible. Avoiding withdrawal is what drives addiction. People are terrified of it.”She doesn’t recommend the cold turkey method of quitting. Right now Christenson is treating about 300 patients with suboxone, a drug that’s a partial opioid agonist that helps to diminish the withdrawals.“For people that are taking these medications or drugs (fentanyl) on a regular basis- the brain uploads receptors and it needs a certain amount to just feel comfortable. Which is why when you don’t have them you feel horrible and you’re in withdrawal. The suboxone has a chemical in it that’s a partial opioid agonist so it stimulates those receptors but not the ones that cause you to decrease breathing, so it’s safe. It takes away withdrawals and cravings, but doesn’t activate the receptors that make you high,” explained Christenson.She said the failure rate for the cold turkey method is 98 percent. However, the suboxone success rate is only about 20 or 30 percent. But it’s a heck of a lot better than two percent said Christenson.The Blood tribe, population 12,800 declared a state of emergency in March 2015 after fentanyl began claiming lives at an alarming rate.The painkiller, sold on the black market in a pill, patch or powdered form can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin. Christenson said people in her First Nation are more subject to pain, whether it be from growing up in adverse conditions or residual and intergenerational affects from colonization like the Indian residential school system. Traumatic experiences can affect child brain development and make people susceptible to addiction, she said.Often times the numbing effects of fentanyl can be a quick fix from dealing with grief as well.“It’s like, ‘give me a break for a moment, I’m hurting so much.’ If the drug is readily available and brought to you- because it’s easier to get fentanyl delivered to your door step here than it is to go to a doctor and talk about your problems and get another pill,” she said.It’s a problem that’s rapidly growing and affecting people from all walks of life in western Canada.Overdoses claimed the lives of 374 people in British Columbia in 2016 and 374 in Alberta that same year. An average of 34.4 deaths per month in Alberta.Christenson said the drug is spreading eastward and warned officials there to expect its imminent arrival. There were four fentanyl related deaths in Saskatchewan in 2016, nine in Manitoba and numbers rose back up with almost 200 deaths in Ontario.“You’re literally dealing in death when you’re selling this stuff – RCMP Corporal Curtis Peters The overdoses are mostly caused by illicit fentanyl intake that’s manufactured mostly in China then shipped to Canada’s ports, according to the RCMP.Prescription grade fentanyl is highly regulated and used for people suffering from severe pain such as cancer or people undergoing surgery.RCMP Strategic Communications Unit, Corporal Curtis Peters, said most of the customs seizures have to do with illicit fentanyl. But organized crime groups are now learning how to make it and are starting to manufacture it in Canada.Although the RCMP said they can’t quite pinpoint as to why fentanyl use is more prominent in the western provinces.“We know that it’s manufactured here in the west by organized crime groups who have a foothold here in these two provinces,” said Peters. “The pills are largely pressed in Alberta and BC. I think the availability of it being here and the distribution network is contributing to the problem for sure.”Peters said during a recent raid one officer was exposed to the powered form of fentanyl and had to be given its antidote, naloxone.Because of the deaths, Alberta RCMP is now going after drug dealers.Bobby Weasel Head, 41, was charged with manslaughter last year for selling tainted fentanyl to Roxanne Blood, 41, and Timothy Eagle, 46, who died in their home on the Blood reserve in March 2016.Last fall police in Edmonton laid a manslaughter charge against Jordan Yarmey, 25, for the fentanyl overdose death of Szymon Kalich, 33.It’s becoming more commonplace to hold dealers to account, said Peters.“To me, the people that are selling this poison, that’s a problem. You’re literally dealing in death when you’re selling this stuff. And it’s driven strictly by greed. They sell it for profit. Playing with people’s lives and getting rich off of it- it’s terrible. It’s disgusting,” he said.RCMP enforcement efforts have been ramped up to include training police dogs in the detection of fentanyl, increasing awareness campaigns on social media and main stream media, officer training, educating frontline workers and distributing naloxone kits.A take home Naloxone kit from the City of Ottawa.Naloxone allows a five minute window of survival after an overdose. In the past year, the Province of Alberta allocated almost $17 million to combat the opioid crisis including almost $1 million for take home naloxone kits.The Blood Tribe has been using naloxone for over a year and has seen a significant reduction in overdose deaths. As of spring 2015 there were 40 fentanyl related overdoses and 20 deaths.There have been two deaths on reserve and three off reserve since naloxone was introduced.“We have a lot of people in the community trained in naloxone kits,” said Blood Tribe Deputy Chief of Police Kyle Melting Tallow.“We’re still seeing a lot of people that are overdosing but they’re using the kits. You’ll go into houses and you’ll see several kits stacked at the door. You’ll see used kits as well,” he said.Melting Tallow said there are at least two overdoses in the community a day, however users will administer the naloxone kits and then continue to get high.Christenson hopes that the kits will become common place.“Every citizen in the province should consider getting a kit. I think it’s going to become like CPR. We’ll have these kits on the walls to be grabbed in the event of an overdose,” said Christenson.It’s a crisis that will never go away, she added, once this is dealt with another drug will take its place.“I think it’s probably going to get worse and I just want to be prepared for the next wave.”The next wave is already hitting the streets in the form of carfentanil which is 100 times more potent than fentanyl and W18, a designer drug which is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.Beds in the Kanai Wellness Center on the Blood reserve. Photo: Brandi Morin/APTNFirst Nations like the Blood Tribe work with Health Canada which has committed $65 million over five years to the opioid issue.Meanwhile, the Blood Tribe has its own treatment center that treats patients from all over Canada called the Kanai Wellness Center.Indigenous groups are also working with Alberta Health Services which is funneling out $8 million for new treatment beds.An opioid dependency clinic opened last May in Cardston located in Southern Alberta is treating 129 people with new patients being added daily.A 300 bed treatment clinic is set to open this spring in northern Alberta. With an additional 11 treatment centers scattered across the province.“We’re also working with groups in cities around the province around establishing supervised consumption services to provide a safer space for people to use drugs but also those wrap around services that come with,” said Alberta Associate Minister of Health, Brandy Payne. “A key piece is ensuring that we’re investing in treatment.”She recognizes that Indigenous groups have been highly affected and the province will continue to provide supports.“We do know that Indigenous people have been very hard hit by this whether they’re living on reserve or off and we want to make sure we’re providing supports needed,” said Payne.Provost said he has now been clean for 18 months. He said he did it for his girlfriend. He reflected back on his demeanour while he was doing fentanyl.“I was at a point in my drug use where I didn’t even care. I didn’t care if people were dying off of it…but now I tell people every time you use that stuff it’s like putting a gun to your head,” he said. “Usually something really bad has to happen for someone to come off it-for me I had a wicked wake up call.”Provost speaking to a group at the detox centre on the Blood reserve in Alberta. Photo: Brandi Morin/APTNHe now has a place of his own in Fort Macleod and goes to the detox center to speak to patients about how to get clean.He said it’s rewarding and a chance to give back, but it’s not easy being sober.“Times are tough when you’re sober. It’s a lot harder because you face everything head on.”There are several coping mechanisms Provost uses like surrounding himself with good people, going to sweats and doing yoga.Looking back he said when his girlfriend took fentanyl that fateful day she knew the potential dangers of her choice.“You can’t make anybody do drugs. If they’re going to do them, they’re going to do them. My girlfriend was very intelligent, she was very smart. She never let anybody make her do anything. She was very independent. She wanted to do it (fentanyl).”He believes she is now a guardian angel and that her spirit is close by. She often visits him in his dreams to tell him everything’s going to be ok.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

As BC residents head to the polls whats at stake for Indigenous

first_imgTina House APTN National NewsResidents of British Columbia are going to polls Tuesday to cast ballots on the next provincial government.APTN looks at what this means for Indigenous people.And what’s at stake.thouse@aptn.calast_img

BMO pot financing marks policy shift for Canadian banks

first_imgThe Bank of Montreal’s (TSX:BMO) participation in a major financing deal for licensed marijuana producer Canopy Growth marks a big policy shift for Canada’s biggest banks, which may be warming up to the cannabis sector.Canopy (TSX:WEED), Canada’s biggest licensed cannabis producer, announced yesterday that BMO Capital Markets and GMP Securities were leading its $175-million bought deal offering of roughly five million shares.Until now, Canadian banks have been reluctant to service the country’s burgeoning marijuana industry, leaving smaller banks and financial institutions to cash in on pot companies’ financing and commercial banking needs.However, the legislative landscape in Canada is changing rapidly as the federal and provincial governments gear up for legalization of cannabis for recreational use by this summer, and pot stocks have seen significant gains over the past year in anticipation.But BMO’s participation in the Canopy deal comes as lawmakers crack down south of the border — where many of Canada’s big banks have ties — on marijuana, which remains illegal in the U.S. under federal law.Attorney-General Jeff Sessions earlier this month rescinded an Obama-era memo that suggested that federal lawmakers would not intervene in states where the drug is legal, allowing legalization to flourish.last_img read more

Prosecutor Mans drink scam defrauded NeYo Brian McKnight

first_imgCINCINNATI – A New Jersey man is accused of running a multimillion-dollar scam that bilked singers Ne-Yo and Brian McKnight, who invested in a sports drink company.Kevin Foster, of Montclair, faces 16 charges including wire fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion.Six of those charges were added Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.Foster, who served as Ne-Yo’s business manager, is accused of convincing the star to invest $2 million in a drink called OXYwater. Prosecutors say the 42-year-old Foster didn’t disclose that he served as a controller for the business or that he earned commission on investments.Prosecutors say Foster pulled a similar scheme on R&B star McKnight to keep the business solvent.A message seeking comment from his attorney wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.last_img read more

Constellation Brands spending 5 billion to increase stake in Canopy Growth

first_imgTORONTO – Global alcohol giant Constellation Brands will invest $5 billion in Canopy Growth Corp. — the largest strategic investment in the cannabis space to date — which the marijuana producer says will help it scale up and fend off competition from established players in big pharma and booze who are hungrily eyeing the pot industry.Canopy chief executive Bruce Linton called the infusion of capital “rocket fuel” for the Smiths Falls, Ont.-based licensed producer, enabling it to extend its global reach as more markets legalize cannabis around the world.Canada will this fall become the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for recreational use, sparking a flurry of activity in the homegrown sector. But in the coming years, Canopy’s competition will be the likes of “big pharma,” and “packaged beverage,” rather than Canadian cannabis companies, Linton told analysts on a conference call Wednesday.“This about accelerating and getting way further out there before those other big names are in,” Linton said. “Getting our products, staking our claims, having the leverage that we have now and moving up.”As part of the deal, the global producer of beer, wine and spirits will make Canopy its exclusive global cannabis partner.Constellation Brands will own 38 per cent of Canopy under the deal, in which it will acquire 104.5 million Canopy shares at a price of $48.60 per share. Canopy shares closed Wednesday’s trading session on the Toronto Stock Exchange at $42.20, up more than 31 per cent.The investment follows a deal last year that saw the Corona-beer maker acquire a nearly 10 per cent stake in Canopy for $245 million and included collaboration on the development of cannabis-based drinks.Its chief executive Rob Sands called the deal a “powerful partnership” as markets for cannabis are “opening up much more rapidly than appreciated.”“This is an extremely exciting time to be part of what could potentially be one of the most significant global growth opportunities for the next decade,” Sands told an investor conference call Wednesday.The Constellation deal comes as other alcohol companies have also started honing in on the cannabis industry. Earlier this month, Molson Coors Canada entered into a joint venture with the Hydropothecary Corp. to develop non-alcoholic cannabis-infused products. As well, Heineken-owned Lagunitas Brewing Co. recently introduced a cannabis-infused hoppy sparkling water in California.Constellation’s investment on Wednesday is by far the largest strategic investment seen in the space to date, said Russell Stanley, an analyst with Echelon Wealth Partners in a research note.“Cannabis is quickly becoming a truly global business… We view the Canopy/Constellation news as further proof that a global market opportunity awaits, with Canadian-listed companies well positioned to participate given their head start and superior access to capital,” he said.Linton said Wednesday the money would largely be used to position the licensed producer for international expansion opportunities as cannabis becomes legal in new regions. Priority markets include the United States, Europe and Latin America, he added.“As we look around the world, we’re going to be expanding production, we’re going to be doing more research, we’re going to develop more intellectual property… And we’re going to be way more global,” he told analysts on a conference call.Canopy’s target acquisition list exceeds $1 billion for international assets and non-cultivation assets in Canada, Linton said. The licensed medical marijuana producer doesn’t intend to acquire any cultivation assets at home, as it is easier to build their own, but would be eyeing domestic assets such as bottling lines, he added.As part of the partnership, Canopy has a services arrangement with Constellation to use its resources, which would help with a U.S. expansion once permitted, Linton added.The U.S., where cannabis is legal for medical or recreational use in several states but remains illegal at the federal level, is the “best market” and will become “federally legal sooner than people think,” he said.“We are going to do everything that is fully federally lawful to be available in a market. And we think there are mechanisms of action that we can take that we’re working through. There will be nothing federally illegal in what we do,” he said.Constellation will also receive 139.7 million new warrants, which are exercisable over the next three years. If Constellation exercises all of its existing and new warrants, its ownership in Canopy would exceed 50 per cent.The agreement Wednesday will also see Constellation nominate four directors to Canopy Growth’s seven-member board of directors. The investment, which is expected to close by the end of October, is subject to customary closing conditions, including Canopy shareholder approval and regulatory approvals.The investment deal came as Canopy reported a loss of $80.3 million or 40 cents per share for the quarter ended June 30 as it continued to ramp up its operations ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada later this year.The loss compared with a loss of nearly $9.1 million or six cents per share a year ago.Revenue for the three-month period totalled $25.9 million, up from nearly $15.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier.Companies in this story: (TSX:WEED)last_img read more

Back to business in Waterton Lakes National Park

first_imgBusiness owners are breathing a huge sigh of relief now that the evacuation alert has been lifted in Waterton Lakes National Park.Parks Canada spokesman John Stoesser says the area has received 32 millimetres of rain, which is sufficient to rescind the alert that was issued last week.It was lifted just in time for one of the park’s busiest months.Shameer Suleman with the Waterton Chamber of Commerce says September is not only profitable but also his favourite month of the year, as he’s been in Waterton Park for nearly three decades.“The weather is great, the animals are out, and so to lose such a big lucrative month last year was a big hit for a lot of business owners and the thought of losing it again was crushing, two years in a row,” he said.However, he adds thankfully the wind and rain came, and they can return to business as usual.The 860-hectare blaze remains entirely on the U.S. side of the border in Glacier National Park, about seven kilometres away.Waterton was devastated by a wildfire last September which consumed more than 190 square kilometres within the park and led to a two-week mandatory evacuation.last_img read more

Americas Got Talent Notre Dame football top ratings

first_imgLOS ANGELES, Calif. – TV viewers are idling away the final weeks of summer the way they started it: with reality programs.Half of last week’s 20 most-watched programs were unscripted contests, according to Nielsen Co. figures released Wednesday.The field was topped by NBC’s two episodes of “America’s Got Talent” and the Notre Dame-Michigan football game, helping make the network the most-watched for the ninth consecutive week.Notre Dame’s prime-time 24-17 victory drew the team’s biggest audience on NBC in 13 years, since a game against University of Southern California in 2005.Amid a sombre week of tributes to the late Sen. John McCain, a rerun of “Saturday Night Live” provided a reminder of the politician’s trademark humour. The episode featuring him as host gave the show its biggest audience in six weeks, NBC said.NBC won the week in prime-time with an average of 5.1 million viewers. CBS had 3.5 million viewers, ABC had 3.7 million, Fox had 1.7 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Univision had 1.18 million, Telemundo had 1.17 million and the CW had 780,000.Fox News Channel led the cable networks with an average of 2.2 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.8 million, USA had 1.36 million, HGTV had 1.3 million, ESPN had 1.2 million, History had 1.06 million and CNN had 1.05 million.ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. The “NBC Nightly News” had 8.1 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.8 million.For the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.78 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 9.9 million; Notre Dame Football: Michigan at Notre Dame, NBC, 7.1 million; “Sunday Night Kickoff,” ABC, 6.55 million; “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 5.86 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 5.84 million; “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 5.78 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 5.74 million; “World of Dance,” NBC, 5.06 million; “Dateline Classic,” NBC, 4.93 million.___ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.___Online:http://www.nielsen.comlast_img read more

BC OGC launches groundwater monitoring research project in Northeast BC

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Oil and Gas Commission announced today that it will be teaming up with Geoscience BC, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Calgary on a research project to install 30 new groundwater monitoring wells in the Peace Region.Starting this summer, a team led by UBC’s Energy and Environment Research Initiative, with collaboration from the OGC and Geoscience BC, will drill a total of 30 wells as part of the groundwater monitoring network in the Peace Region. The first eight monitoring wells will be drilled this summer, with more wells to be drilled in the spring and fall of 2019 before the project concludes in 2020.Samples will be taken at regular intervals to see if methane is present in Northeast B.C. groundwater, and if so, how much, what its origins are, and its prevalence in areas near oil and gas development. “Potential impacts to groundwater from energy resource development are controversial and scientifically-based answers to many questions related to this are needed,” said the project’s principal investigator Dr. Aaron Cahill, who is also co-director of UBC’s Energy and Environment Research Initiative. “In particular, more information is needed on groundwater conditions in areas of resource development in B.C., including levels of methane and other hydrocarbons close to oil and gas wells. This new research project will generate high quality scientific data to address concerns related to resource development in the Peace Region.”Oil and Gas Commissioner Paul Jeakins added that the data gathered from the project will give the Commission more information, and therefore strengthen its oversight of the oil and gas industry.last_img read more

MLA Bernier concerned about impact of ALR recommendations on oil and gas

first_imgBernier said that one of his chief concerns is the potential ramifications for the natural gas extraction industry due to the upcoming final investment decision from LNG Canada, which is anticipated to occur before the end of the year.“The last thing we need is to be raising more red flags that could stand in the way of building TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline,” he added. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier says he’s concerned about some of the recommendations that were made to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham in an interim report by an advisory committee looking into revitalizing the Agricultural Land Commission and Agricultural Land Reserve, saying that those recommendations could have a negative impact on the Peace Region’s oil and gas industry.The committee’s interim report, released last Wednesday, identified 13 recommendations for legislative and regulatory change, as well as four recommendations for action to protect the ALR.The committee also identified 14 key issues that are still under consideration for its final report. Among the recommendations for action to protect the ALR, the committee made two recommendations to mitigate the impacts of oil and gas activity on agricultural lands.The committee recommended that a Deputy Minister-level multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional task force to develop a strategy focused on how a balance can be achieved between agriculture and oil and gas extraction, as well as for the ALC to have an increased presence in Northern B.C.“The Committee has previously noted that it is imperative there be a government-wide policy shift in identifying agricultural land and industry as a resource equivalent to other resources, and oil and gas is no exception,” reads the report. “It is essential an ‘agriculture-first’ approach be applied to the ALR in the Northeast.”The report goes on to say that, “The development of the energy sector has exceeded the capacity of the current regulatory environment to protect farmland. The impacts of oil and gas extraction on agricultural land and farm businesses in Northeast B.C. have reached a breaking point. Cumulative impacts over the last decade from accelerating oil and gas development have rendered portions of agricultural lands unusable and others difficult to farm. With continued changes in extraction and processing methods along with the pace and scale of development, these activities that were once considered temporary are no longer. Instead they are permanent industrial sites built on farmland and next to farm communities.”However, Bernier says that the committee’s report contains recommendations that would seek to undo changes that were made by the previous Liberal government in 2014 which he says gives farmers with ALR land more flexibility.“For over fifty years both industries have operated side by side in harmony and without major incident,” said Bernier. “Four years ago the previous government divided the ALR into two separate zones in order to recognize regional differences and give farmers more opportunities to make money on their land. The Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee for Revitalizing the ALR wants to change all that, and quite a bit more.”last_img read more

Guide Outfitters Association of BC speaks about Bear Ban Lawsuit

first_img“If the judge grants certification, the lawsuit then gains momentum, has a timeline and has a schedule, a time when it goes to court. I guess there will be some process where all the outfitters join or are included in this, that have a grizzly bear quota, that want to be a part of this class action lawsuit. I think that people are rallying together quite strongly in support of Ron and his efforts. I guess we’ll see if the legal system agrees with the case he’s presenting.” “This is not about the number of grizzly bears, this has nothing to do with science or the need for more science. We have a lot of bears in British Columbia, they’re very healthy. The latest reports have their range expanding and their density is increasing. So it’s really about some politics and we’re, quite frankly, really disappointed that politics get involved in wildlife management.”Generally, Ellis feels that most people care about wildlife and that the outfitting community has the ability to file a lawsuit for damages.“I think, generally, most people care about wildlife and, in this particular instance, the outfitting community has the ability to sue for damages, the resident hunting community does not. So if we had a choice, I’m not speaking for Ron, but if we had a choice and if you were to ask him, I would bet my house that he would pick opening the hunt again and proper wildlife management over having to sue the Government for damages.”According to Ellis, this ban has repercussions on not just the economic side, but also on the lives of other wildlife that are having to deal with the grizzly bear population.“It has all kinds of repercussions, it’s common knowledge, and there’s a fantastic study out of Alaska if people are aware of that, they really need to look at the mortality on moose calves by grizzly bears. They put GoPros on the chests of grizzly bears and it was pretty amazing. The average was over six weeks or so, a grizzly bear was eating one moose calf a day. You can’t manage the land and you can’t manage the wildlife that lives on that land if you’re picking and choosing which species you’re going to manage and which ones you aren’t. You need to manage all of them and, I think, that’s really what we want.”The next steps for the lawsuit, according to Ellis, is they will be going forward for a certification where a judge will decide if this lawsuit has legal standing. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Back in December of 2017, the B.C. Government put a province-wide ban on grizzly bear hunting.In December 2018, Ron Fleming, owner of Love Bros. & Lee, had filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for all B.C. guide outfitting businesses allegedly harmed by the hunting ban.Scott Ellis, Executive Director of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., says the hunting ban is more about politics and less about the actual population of grizzlies.last_img read more

BC SPCA partners with Northern Lights Estate to launch wine that protects bears

first_img“British Columbia is fortunate to have an abundance of wildlife, including both black bears and grizzly bears,” says Daniell. “But, as urban development expands into wild animal habitats, bear encounters have become a normal part of life, with tragic consequences for the bears.” In the fall, as bears prepare for hibernation they need to build up fat to survive the winter. They seek out easily accessed foods, including compost, garbage and fruit trees. “Unfortunately, these food sources bring bears and people closer together,” says Daniell. “Over time, bears may lose their natural fear of people and start to associate people with food. Sadly, hundreds of ‘problem’ bears end up being killed by conservation officers in B.C. every year.”The BC SPCA is reminding British Columbians to do their part in keeping B.C. bears safe by being aware of the following attractants;Ripe or fallen fruitUnsecured garbage and compost/food scrapsOutdoor pet food storageBird feedersOutdoor fridges and freezersBeehivesChicken coops“We can all take easy steps to protect bears from becoming victims,” says Daniell. “And what better way to reward yourself for making the effort than with a glass of The Bear wine?”For more information on where to buy The Bear wine, visit PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The BC SPCA has partnered with Northern Lights Estate Winery and has launched ‘The Bear’, a new Pinot Gris-style wine that is raising awareness and funds to help BC bears.Using surplus apples sourced from local properties to make the wine and the goal to deter bears from entering developed areas in search of leftover or fallen fruit. ‘The Bear’ will help protect local bears as well $2 from the sale of each bottle will be given to the BC SPCA to help animals in need across B.C.In a statement by Craig Daniell, Chief Executive Officer of the BC SPCA says the initiative is a creative example of how individuals and businesses can make a difference for B.C. wildlife.last_img read more

Gurugram may get extra security cover in these elections

first_imgGurugram: Placed under the sensitive category along with Mahendargarh and Faridabad, Gurugram may get more security these elections. Based on the surveillance the Haryana government has placed the Lok Sabha constituencies under the normal, sensitive and super sensitive category.Kurukshetra, Bhiwani and Sonepat have been placed under the normal categories. On the other hand, Hissar, Sirsa and Rohtak have been placed under the super sensitive areas where more violence is expected during elections. It is important to note that on account of jat agitations and other forms of agitations that turned violent the Haryana public administration has been on constant vigil to restore law and order situation. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIn the past Gurugram has been on the edge with various events like Ram Rahim arrest, jat agitation and Padmavat. While the district administration on various occasion was able to prevent any acts of violence during the release of Padmavat there was an act of violence that was reported from in and around the city. In the past elections district police not having adequate force, special commandos of Haryana police have also been deployed for the security of polling stations. The past trends have shown that there has not been violence that has been reported from the polling stations of Gururgam. In the last Lok Sabha polls, Gurugram recorded 70 per cent polling.last_img read more

Cross FIR filed against family attacked by mob in Gurugram

first_imgGurugram: A week after Sajid Siddiqui filed a complaint against the mob attack at his home on March 21, a cross-FIR has been filed against Mohammad Sajid’s family. The FIR has been filed in Gurugram’s Bhondsi police station under Section 34 (acts are done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means). The complainant in the case is Rajkumar. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”After being treated, he heard that the situation had blown out of proportion in the village and there was a mob attack. On hearing all this, he preferred to leave the hospital without telling anyone,” Subash Boken, the Gurugram spokesperson said. Sajid’s brother Dilshad had filed an FIR in the case March 21, the day when the incident happened. A video of at least 25 men vandalising Siddiqui and attacking his family went viral. No arrests have been made in the case yet. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe victims also alleged that the suspects’ family and friends have been mixing with people visiting their home since the attack to keep a tab on their plans. “We are living in constant fear of being watched,” Mohammad Sajid, the owner of the house, said. The family had earlier stated that they were being pressured to reach a compromise with the suspects. The migrant Muslim family, which was attacked by a group of men with sticks and rods in Dhumaspur village of Bhondsi, said on Wednesday that they will seek legal counsel if the police register a cross-FIR in the March 21 violence that left at least 12 of the family injured, including three children. The family denied claims that the 18-year-old suspect’s head was injured when the family allegedly pelted stones after a petty fight over cricket. The family instead claimed that Rajkumar, who surrendered at the Bhondsi police station on Tuesday, was injured when “the mob” entered their home and beat the family members. Meanwhile, villagers from Nayagaon, where the suspects live, maintained that they too have suffered physical harm and that the police must register a cross FIR. The Gurugram police have highlighted that cross-FIR has been filed after the verifying all the claims.last_img read more

German greenhouse emissions fall for first time in 5 years

first_imgBerlin: Germany said Tuesday it had reduced emissions of greenhouse gases signficantly for the first time in five years in 2018, although it has already abandoned self-imposed targets for the end of this decade. Europe’s largest economy — which is haltingly transitioning away from coal and nuclear to cleaner energy forms — lowered output of the gases by 4.2 per cent year-on-year, environment minister Svenja Schulze said in a report. A helping hand came from the unusually mild weather, which reduced the need for heating. But Germany also “drew more energy from wind and the sun and less from coal, oil and gas,” Schulze said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIt also achieved a slight reduction in emissions from transport. In total, Germany pumped 868.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, some 30.6 percent below levels in 1990 — the year taken as a benchmark for its climate targets. Last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fourth government officially gave up on the goal of slashing output by 40 percent by 2020. Experts had long highlighted the goal as unachievable. But Berlin still aims to cut greenhouse emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared with 40 years before, with a long-term goal of zero net output by 2050. “In the course of this year,” minister Schulze aims to pass a far-reaching climate law with a “detailed road map” for energy production, taking into account a planned exit from coal power by 2038.last_img read more