Manitoba supporting Orange Shirt Day initiatives

Ahead of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday, Manitoba’s government is supporting community programs across the province, Premier Heather Stefanson and Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere announced on Sunday.

“Sept. 30 is an important day for reflection, learning, listening, healing and reaffirming our collective commitment to work with Indigenous leaders, Knowledge Keepers, elders, survivors, and all Manitobans to advance truth and reconciliation and move forward together to build a brighter future for all,” said Stefanson.

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Manitoba is providing more than $370,000 to support community events and programming including traditional ceremonies, cultural and artistic performances and healing support across the province leading up to the day.

Some of the initiatives receiving support include:

  • Two-Spirited People of Manitoba’s sixth annual Two-Spirited Powwow;
  • Brandon Urban Aboriginal People’s Council Truth and Reconciliation Week events at the Riverbank Discovery Centre;
  • Wa Say Healing Centre Orange Shirt Day Powwow and Survivors Walk;
  • Anish Corporation’s Memorial Round Dance to Honour Our Survivors;
  • West Region Treaty 2 & 4 Health Services’ commemoration event;
    Cree Nation Tribal Health Centre’s Every Child Project/Journey to Healing event;
  • Manitoba Museum’s three-day, free admission Orange Shirt Day event;
    National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s five-day educational program;
  • Manitoba Moon Voices: Reconciliation Night music event;
  • Manitoba Moon Voices: The Healing Video Project;
  • Sagkeeng First Nation Health Centre’s traditional feast and fanning ceremony;
  • Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group commemorative monument and gathering event;
  • The Pas Family Resource Centre round dance and barbecue;
  • Manitoba Inuit Association Inuit self-care kits; and
  • St. Adolphe Friendship Trail Walk.

“As part of our commitment to the truth and reconciliation process, our government passed legislation in 2017 to recognize Sept. 30 as Orange Shirt Day,” said Lagimodiere.

“To encourage reflection and discussions about the trauma of residential schools on First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

“I am honoured to announce today that we are continuing to take purposeful action on our path to reconciliation by supporting a variety of initiatives that will support healing, learning and relationship-building.”

As part of the provincial government’s observance of the day, non-essential government offices will be closed and flags at all provincial government buildings will be lowered to half-mast.

The Legislative Building and the Memorial Park fountain will be lit orange. As well, all Manitoba schools will be closed.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kelowna-based company helps Fairmont Pacific Rim eliminate plastics

A Kelowna-based company has helped Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel eliminate the use of non-essential, single-use plastics.

Back in 2018, GreenStep Solutions, located in downtown Kelowna, launched an extensive audit of all single-use plastics within the hotel operation.

The process included reviewing the purpose and frequency of single-use plastic practices, removing items entirely, identifying reusable alternatives, and introducing sustainable materials.

As of August 2022, GreenStep awarded Fairmont Pacific Rim the third-party verifier’s first Single-Use Plastic Free Certification within the North American hospitality sector.

“Since 2008, we have worked with thousands of businesses across various sectors to help them on their sustainability journey and we are beyond pleased to award the first hotel this impressive certification,” said GreenStep Solutions president and CEO Angela Nagy in a press release.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Fairmont Pacific Rim to serve as a beacon of progress in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

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The audit led Fairmont to make several changes including:

  • Reusable cherry wood key cards replaced 36,000 plastic key cards.
  • Over 198,000 small bath amenity bottles have been replaced by large format refillable bottles.
  • The hotel will eliminate thousands of pounds of plastic water bottles each year with recyclable alternatives.
  • 12,500 plastic laundry bags used per year have been replaced with a reusable cloth alternative.
  • In-room amenities such as razors, toothbrushes, cotton buds, and shower caps have been replaced with environmentally-friendly versions.
  • Fiber-based solutions have replaced all food and beverage take-away containers and cutlery.

“This certification is a major milestone for our hotel and one we hope to inspire continued sustainability efforts across our industry,” said Fairmont Pacific Rim regional vice president and general manager Jens Moesker in the press release.

“Changing long-held industry practices required creative solutions from all of our staff and this achievement is a testament to their commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship demonstrated by all.”

To mark their certification milestone, Fairmont Pacific Rim says guests can add a $20.00 CAD fee to their booking, with proceeds from the add-on donated to Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian-based non-profit organization that aims to end ocean plastic waste.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

B.C. rural health advocates launching initiative to help solve health-care issues

As the search for answers to B.C.'s rural health care crisis continues, small towns feel they're being shut out of the process and so as Travis Prasad reports, they are mobilizing a committee to come up with concrete action.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on a health-care crisis that has been plaguing rural B.C. for years.

“We’ve been struggling with recruitment and retention, with enough physicians, nurses, midwives, for two decades,” said Dr. Jude Kornelsen, with the UBC Centre for Rural Research.

“We’ve been struggling with adequate patient transport from their community to a larger centre.”

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Advocates for health care in small communities have said for far too long the wants and needs of residents have been ignored.

“They’re not feeling very listened to,” said Peggy Skelton, BC Rural Health Network’s president.

“They feel like people are discussing what should be happening in rural areas without really discussing it with the people who live in those rural areas.”

The health network said solutions to health-care challenges are much harder to fix in small towns compared to urban centres.

“Rural is not smaller urban,” said Dr. Kornelson.

“That’s one of the mistakes made in planning. (It’s) completely different, (in terms of) economies of scale and access to resources.”

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The B.C. premier has said he’s heard frustration, despondency, and a lack of hope on the future of health care from rural mayors.

“My job is to hear those concerns,” John Horgan said in Whistler last week.

“I’m well aware of them. These problems didn’t arrive yesterday and they won’t be solved magically tomorrow.”

But advocates want action now.

The BC Rural Health Network is launching an “implementation committee.”

Researchers and residents will be giving policymakers evidence-based solutions to rural health-care challenges.

Over this past summer, hospitals in communities such as Clearwater, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Merritt, Oliver and Mackenzie have all had to temporarily close their emergency rooms due to staffing shortages.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

ArriveCAN delayed U.S. crews trying to help Canada as Fiona wreaked havoc: N.S. premier's office

WATCH: Fiona update: 1 day after the massive storm hit Halifax

Power crews from Maine headed to help Canada amid post-tropical storm Fiona were delayed at the border due to the ArriveCAN app, the Nova Scotia premier’s office confirmed to Global News on Sunday.

ArriveCAN is a controversial mandatory COVID-19 pre-screening tool for people arriving in Canada — one the federal government is reportedly set to make optional at the end of the month.

The province of Nova Scotia and the state of Maine have a memorandum of understanding that allows them to provide mutual assistance in managing an emergency or natural disaster.

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Fiona, a record-setting storm, leaves path of destruction in eastern Canada

But as Fiona battered Nova Scotia, the crews from Maine faced a hurdle at the border due to the app — an issue that was only resolved once the federal government intervened, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said in a briefing on Sunday.

“I do know that there was a situation where some crews from Maine were having an issue at the border … We became aware of that, we alerted the federal government. My understanding is that that was dealt with pretty quickly. But … there was an issue to begin with,” said Houston.

Post-tropical storm Fiona made landfall early Saturday morning, bringing severe wind, heavy rain, and leaving hundreds of thousands without power across eastern Canada.

The fierce storm toppled a number of trees across the region, with some falling into power lines, cars and houses, and there have been multiple reports of blocked and washed-out roads as crews begin assessing damage in areas where the storm has already passed.

As of 6 a.m. AT on Sunday, nearly 267,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were still affected by outages, 82,414 Maritime Electric customers remained in the dark and more than 20,600 homes and businesses in New Brunswick were without power, with some provincial utility companies warning it could be days before the lights are back on for everyone.

Newfoundland Power reported outages affecting more than 3,600 customers, as high-end tropical storm force winds knocked down trees and power lines, although Environment Canada said winds would diminish this morning.

— With files from the Canadian Press and Global’s Alex Cooke 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Protesters march to Toronto city hall in call for action against gun violence

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto has been plagued by a surge in gun violence this year. But financial help is on the way from Ottawa with a focus on preventing guns from ever making it into the hands of youth. Kayla McLean reports.

On Saturday, crowds of mourners and protestors marched from the Yonge Street and Bloor Street intersection to the steps of Toronto City Hall in Nathan Phillips square.

Participants — many wearing clothes commemorating those who had died — marched to draw attention to gun violence in Toronto and called for it to end.

At the heart of the event were the families of those who had died as a result of gun violence, organizers said.

“No one is listening to their voice and that’s why we are doing this, providing (a) voice for them and opportunity for them to speak up about their concern, their trauma, their grief,” Louis March, the founder of Zero Gun Violence, told Global News.

“(We march) to make sure that the government hears their voice and does what is necessary to stop this violence.”

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Some in attendance said they had seen loved ones killed in the past few months.

“We came today to support everyone that has lost people — mothers, kids, everybody,” Jesiah Martin said.

“I lost my dad this year, so we just came out here to support. And his favourite colour was red, so we came out here in red. So everybody hearing this, drop your guns. Just help the community.”

Jesiah attended the event with his siblings and mother, Aisha, all dressed in red.

“We came out as a family today to represent the absence of Brandon Brooks, who was my children’s father who was recently murdered in April due to gun violence,” Aisha, who did not provide a surname, said. “We are here to stand in his absence to bring community awareness that guns need to be put down.”

Brandon Brooks was killed during a shooting in M’Chigeeng First Nation at the beginning of April, Ontario Provincial Police said. Five people, all from southern Ontario, were charged with first-degree murder.

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“He was a nice, loving man,” Brandon’s daughter, Taya, said. “Every day he would take me to the park.”

Data maintained by Toronto police shows there have been 302 shootings and firearm discharges in 2022 so far. A total of 146 people have been killed or injured, with 31 firearm-related deaths.

Knia Singh, who is running in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral race, said the key to blunting the edge of Toronto’s violent crime is an increase in mental health resources.

“More police and stiffer sentences are not going to solve this violence; getting to the minds of people, mental health and ensuring that they have support is what is going to reduce violence in this city,” he told Global News.

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March said that while resources are being dedicated to the problem, policy is failing to make a difference in Toronto.

“There’s a lot of talk, there’s a lot of money being spent and we still have the problem,” March said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

A Fiona wedding: Couple ties knot in PEI during wrath of storm

Post-tropical storm Fiona is set to hit the Atlantic coast making for yet another major weather event that will have missed Ontario. The last major event was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Ahmar Khan reports.

Naomi and Tyler Wheeler have lived through a pandemic, wildfires, heat waves, minor earthquakes and most recently a post-tropical storm that laid waste to huge swaths of Atlantic Canada.

As the former hurricane Fiona pounded Prince Edward Island on Saturday, devastating much of the province, the couple pledged to weather storms — and any other apocalyptic events life sends their way — together.

In front of just 16 guests, down from the 85 they’d hoped to entertain, the Wheelers professed their love for each other and exchanged rings at the Rodd Charlottetown hotel in the capital city’s downtown core.

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The couple officially tied the knot in Halifax in 2017 in a small ceremony and decided to have a party later.

“We tried to schedule it three times,” Naomi Wheeler said with a laugh. “And then COVID kept getting in the way. Of course, a hurricane happens when we reschedule.”

The couple live in the bride’s California home town, while the groom hails from Montague, P.E.I. They wanted to have a party for Tyler Wheeler’s family and other friends who wouldn’t be able to make it to Los Angeles.

They landed in Charlottetown Wednesday when Fiona was churning its way through southern waters. But as the storm approached Canada and warnings grew stringent, their friends cancelled. The couple was disappointed but understood. They wanted their friends and family safe.

“There was the whole stages of grief about it,” Tyler Wheeler said. “We’re just kind of in disbelief that this could happen.”

The couple then simply decided to go with the flow, said the bride.

“The flow is just a hurricane.”

The wedding was delayed by an hour-and-a-half while the officiant, Sarah Haberl, and the groom helped patch up a family member’s roof. The Wheelers first met as students at a 2013 party in Montreal. Later that evening, the pair recognized each other at a club where they had gone to act as “wing people” for friends.

“We were terrible wing people,” said the bride.

Nine years later, as Fiona raged, the couple finally celebrated their love and friendship with their closest friends in a storm-adapted ceremony they said was sprinkled with personal touches.

The room was lit with 30 candles and three iPhone flashlights. The invocation and vows were read by candlelight and a headlamp, Haberl said.

The ceremony included a poem, a little bit of the childhood of the couple and had some “lovey-dovey things,” she said.

The rings the Wheelers eventually exchanged were first passed around the room so guests could offer a blessing on them.

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The raspberry and vanilla swirl cake was topped with fresh flowers and made by the groom’s sister-in-law.

One of the first songs partygoers danced to was the well-known sea shanty `Barrett’s Privateers.’

“We had to get a little bit of Nova Scotia in there,” the groom said.

Amid the celebration, the couple said there was a touch of sadness because the groom’s grandparents couldn’t attend.

Reflecting on their ceremony and the past few whirlwind days, the bride said they didn’t realize how fast and how bad things could get with the weather. But Naomi Wheeler said she also feels overwhelmed by the amount of support she got and how everyone came together.

“I think we embraced it. It was a lovely, lovely, cosy, intimate evening,” she said. “I feel very loved.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Overnight shooting in Surrey, B.C.’s Fleetwood area sends one to hospital

One man is in hospital with “serious injuries” after a shooting in the Fleetwood area of Surrey, B.C., Saturday night.

Surrey RCMP said officers responded to a report of gunshots in the 16200 block of 80 Ave, around midnight.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim.

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Investigators are conducting neighbourhood canvassing and are looking to speak with witnesses.

Police said they believe the shooting to be a targeted incident and the parties are known to each other.

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Anyone with potential information is being asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Storm Fiona: Nova Scotia premier tours ‘heartbreaking' aftermath in Cape Breton

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said it was “really heartbreaking” to see the extensive damage post-tropical storm Fiona brought to Cape Breton, after a tour of some of the hardest hit areas of the island on Sunday. “Fiona definitely left a mark on the province,” Houston told reporters during a stop in Glace Bay alongside some of his cabinet ministers.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said it was “really heartbreaking” to see the extensive damage post-tropical storm Fiona brought to Cape Breton, after a tour of some of the hardest hit areas of the island on Sunday.

Fiona hammered Atlantic Canada Friday night into Saturday, causing widespread power outages, washing out roads and downing trees.

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As of 1 p.m., more than 252,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without power — and for some, it could be days before the lights are back on. Power crews from neighbouring provinces and Maine have arrived to help.

Houston confirmed crews from Maine were temporarily stopped at the border due to the ArriveCAN COVID-19 pre-screening app.

“Fiona definitely left a mark on the province,” Houston told reporters during a stop in Glace Bay, along with some of his cabinet ministers.

He said the priority at this point is to reconnect power and find safe shelter for everyone.

“We know that there’s a lot of people who are without right now. Our local MLA here, John White, tells me he knows of dozens of families right now that don’t have any place to go. So we’re concerned about that. We’ll do everything we can to support them,” said Houston.

The province’s request for federal financial aid and military support have both been approved, and help is currently on the ground or on the way.

“Just the effort that’s required to move the trees, to move the brash, it’s a huge undertaking,” he said.

“I think, in Dorian, there was somewhere around a thousand military personnel that came to support Nova Scotians. We’re hopeful that will be at least in that range this time.”

He said once the clean-up and recovery efforts are taken care of, there will be a closer look at improvements the province can make with infrastructure and communications services, which proved to be a problem during Fiona.

State of emergency still in effect

Local states of emergencies were declared in Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) and Victoria County on the island.

CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall said the state of emergency remains in place for seven days because it’s simply unsafe for people to be travelling around.

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“As we get to understand truly the depth of the damage in our communities will be able to revisit that,” she said.

“Right now, the importance of that local state of emergency is that we’re trying to keep people away from dangerous situations, away from the areas that are really, really precarious.”

She added that even driving through the Glace Bay area, there are active power lines down.

“We don’t want people walking into them. The winds can pick up again. We know that there’s going to be a bit of rain coming in. So this local state of emergency is very, very important to adhere to right now.”

More than 200 displaced

McDougall said more than 200 people have been displaced from their homes by the storm in her area — including an apartment building with over 100 residents — and the number could grow.

“Unfortunately, as this progresses, we’re going to see that number increase as people get in — insurance folks, what have you — to really kind of dig in and see what the damages to those buildings that still are in a precarious situation, there are going to be places that are deemed evacuation necessary,” she said.

She said it’s been an “all hands on deck” approach, with the municipality working with its provincial and federal counterparts before the storm even arrived.

Initially, Centre 200 in Sydney had been chosen as an emergency shelter. The Canadian Red Cross had already set up cots.

However, the arena lost power and a backup generator system failed.

CBRM then partnered with the Coast Guard College and the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre to set up two medium to long-term shelters.

McDougall said the municipality is now in talks with the Salvation Army to bring in community food trucks, as supplies begin to run low among residents.

We’re kind of creeping up to that 72-hour mark. What are we going to do? Because we know most of our stores here, they don’t have power. We don’t have access to replenishing any of those supplies,” she said.

“So Salvation Army’s partnership with the United Way here is to identify where the worst hit areas are and create that schedule of community food trucks to offer those nourishing meals.”

McDougall thanked all the community organizations and leaders who have been working together to help out.

“Amidst the chaos, there’s a lot of beautiful things happening.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Pedestrian dead after fatal hit and run in Brant County, Ont.

OPP are investigating a fatal hit and run that left a pedestrian dead in Brant County, Ont.

Police say around 1:21 a.m. Sunday, emergency crews responded to Muir Road for a report of a person laying on the road.

Police determined a pedestrian had been struck by a car. They suffered life-threatening injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

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OPP says the suspect vehicle is described as a Ford pickup truck with damage to the front right corner and missing a passenger mirror.

Automotive repair facilities, scrap yards and local repair outlets are asked to contact OPP if a vehicle matching the description was recently being repaired.

Anyone with information or surveillance footage of the incident is asked to contact police at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

1 dead after two-vehicle crash on Highway 401 near London, Ont.

OPP say one person has died after a collision on Highway 401 near London, Ont.

Police say emergency crews responded around 2:45 a.m. Sunday to the westbound lanes of Highway 401 at Elgin Road.

Two vehicles had collided and one person died, police say. Their name has not been released.

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The highway was closed but has since reopened.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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