HALIFAX — A new report from an ongoing public inquiry into decades of abuse at a Halifax-area orphanage says a fragmented system of care was not equipped to address the needs of children who were vulnerable.Inquiry co-chairwoman Pamela Williams says it’s an idea that has consistently emerged as the inquiry has conducted its work over the last three years.Williams, who is chief judge of the provincial and family courts, says there must be fundamental changes in the way agencies operate to create “stronger trusting relationships” with the community at large.Co-chairman Tony Smith, a former resident of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, says “silos” have to be broken down within a care system that is not designed to address the unique needs of the African Nova Scotian community.A report released by the inquiry in January also pointed to a culture of silence and shame that contributed to the abuse at the home.Friday’s interim report precedes the inquiry’s final report, which is expected in the spring.The restorative inquiry is made up of former residents of the orphanage, community members and the provincial government.Launched in late 2015, it has a mandate to examine the experiences of former residents and systemic discrimination and racism throughout the province. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — New research suggests that the health of Indigenous women recovering from the trauma of partner violence improves when the healing process integrates elder-led circles and other cultural elements.The study from the University of British Columbia and Western University focused on nurses working with women individually over the course of six to eight months.Their treatment included weekly circles or group activities led by an elder, which involved sharing personal stories and aspects of Indigenous culture through ceremonies, cultural teachings and traditional crafts.Colleen Varcoe, a professor of nursing at UBC, says at the end of the program, the women reported significantly fewer symptoms of trauma and depression and a better quality of life compared with how they felt in the beginning.Study co-author and ’60s Scoop survivor Roberta Price says cultural teachings, stories and songs bring out the strength in women. Participants included 152 Indigenous women from different First Nations and language groups who were living in Vancouver and Surrey, B.C.Most had survived childhood abuse in a residential school, in addition to partner violence.The study did not include a control group that received treatment without elder-led circles or cultural elements and the results were self-reported.The program was tested in British Columbia, and is now being tested in three provinces to make sure it’s effective for all women.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The accessibility law that took effect in Ontario 14 years ago and has served as a blueprint for similar legislation in other parts of Canada has fallen well short of its goals and continues to leave disabled residents facing daily, “soul-crushing” barriers, a former lieutenant governor has found.David Onley, a wheelchair user tasked with reviewing the implementation of Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, delivered a withering indictment of nearly all aspects of the law in a report quietly tabled in the provincial legislature this week.The scathing report said disabled residents are barred from full inclusion in the province at nearly every turn, likening some of the barriers they face to long-abolished Jim Crow laws that perpetuated racial discrimination in the United States.He said Ontario is nowhere near realizing the goal at the heart of the act, which promises to make the province fully accessible by 2025. He said only urgent, wide-ranging action from the provincial government can put a stop to the ongoing cycle of human rights violations.“This is a matter of civil rights, and people with disabilities are being discriminated against on a daily basis in multiple ways,” Onley said in a telephone interview. “We don’t like to use the word discrimination because it gets tossed around, but what other word describes the situation? It is discrimination.”Onley said the most obvious manifestations of that discrimination can be found throughout Ontario’s public and private buildings, many of which have physical features that actively shut people out.Onley — Ontario’s first disabled lieutenant governor — said some personal examples include restaurants featuring automatic doors atop a flight of stairs or hotels with accessible washrooms but beds too high for him to climb into from his motorized scooter.“For a person using a wheelchair, stairs are like a sign that says you can’t enter here. The same goes for a deaf student in a classroom without captioning or a blind woman trying to find her way in a building without accurate Braille signage,” he said in the opening chapter of his report. “The message is: you don’t belong here.”Onley said design barriers are no different than “the signs of a bygone era in foreign countries, telling people which water fountains they could or could not use and which restaurants or buses they could or could not use.”While Onley identified built environment barriers as one of the most pressing concerns, he listed a host of other problems with the law he said the government has failed to properly address since it took effect in 2005.Other issues included lack of enforcement, accessibility rules that are slow to be developed and even slower to be implemented, and information-technology standards that are already out of date although they haven’t been fully applied.Some of the issues are even more fundamental, he said, citing the fact that the law does not currently define “accessibility” and leaves people across the province to come up with their own interpretations. Even the definition of “disability” is problematic, he said, saying AODA’s current language positions disability as a medical issue rather than one of social exclusion.Clarifying those key terms is among the 15 broad recommendations Onley provided to the current Progressive Conservative government, who had frozen work by committees tasked with developing accessibility standards since taking power last June.Others involve the government radically changing its approach. Onley urged Premier Doug Ford to lead the way in making accessibility a priority across all ministries, not just the one ostensibly handling the file.He also urged the government to redesign the provincial education curriculum to make accessibility a focus starting as early as kindergarten and extending through the post-secondary years. He likened the efforts he wants to see with past campaigns that brought public smoking and environmental protection to greater public prominence.Onley singled out architects as a particular target of educational efforts, noting trainees in the field learn next to nothing about inclusive design.Other recommendations included offering tax breaks and other financial incentives to those improving accessibility in public buildings and private homes, significantly bolstering enforcement efforts, and lifting the freeze on developing new accessibility standards in areas like health care and education.The government said it acted on the last recommendation already and will be meeting with committee heads to get work back underway.Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho did not respond to Onley’s other recommendations, but thanked him for the report.“We aim to modernize our approach to accessibility to make things easier for families, workers and businesses in today’s Ontario,” Cho said in a statement.Accessibility advocates lauded Onley’s report, saying his “blistering” findings should be of particular concern to other Canadian jurisdictions.David Lepofsky, chair of advocacy group AODA Alliance, said Manitoba and Nova Scotia both put legislation in place that’s weaker than Ontario’s in many respects. The federal government, he said, is poised to follow suit unless the senate makes amendments to strengthen the proposed Accessible Canada Act, the first national accessibility law in Canada’s history.“The thing that we’ve learned, that the Onley report shows, is that just doing what Ontario did has helped, but nowhere near as much as what we need,” Lepofsky said. “(Other governments) need to learn from that and be better.”Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada’s health program for refugees and asylum seekers is getting a $283 million boost over the next two years.Immigration officials say the funding increase — contained in last week’s federal budget — is needed because more people are making refugee claims.The number of asylum claims in Canada more than doubled over the last two years with 55,000 people making refugee claims in 2018.The refugee health program provides health care coverage for claimants while their applications are being reviewed but some reports suggest there is confusion among health care providers about how the program works.Early findings of a study being conducted by law professors at the University of Ottawa have found some refugees are being turned away by health care providers who are under the mistaken assumption they do not qualify for health coverage.Lead researcher Y.Y. Brandon Chen says health practitioners aren’t fully aware that previous cuts to the program were reversed and are also often frustrated by the red tape involved in getting reimbursed for refugee health costs. The Canadian Press
GODS LAKE NARROWS, Man. — RCMP in northern Manitoba say a two-year-old boy is dead after being attacked by dogs.Police in Gods Lake Narrows says they received a report of a dog attack on a child in the community early Monday afternoon.Officers found the child with life-threatening injuries in a wooded area not far from where he lived.He was pronounced dead on scene.Police believe the boy wandered away from his home and was attacked by several dogs.RCMP say community members were forced to shoot several dogs that were seen returning to the scene. The Canadian Press
The Duchess of Cornwall received a canine guard of honour as she visited Battersea Dogs & Cats Home this week with her two Jack Russell terriers.Duchess of Cornwall and Paul O’Grady at Battersea Dogs & Cats HomeCredit/Copyright: http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/news-and-diary/the-duchess-of-cornwall-visits-battersea-dogs-cats-homeA dozen homeless dogs stood in two lines wearing blue jackets as The Duchess fed them treats, petted them and chatted to volunteers at the home, in south west London.The Duchess has recently adopted the two terriers from the charity and it was the first time she had visited Battersea with her new companions in tow.Her Royal Highness got Beth in August 2011 when she was a three-month-old unwanted puppy and later adopted Bluebell in September 2012 after she was found wandering alone in a London park with a painful skin condition.The pair appeared in fine form when they emerged with The Duchess from the royal car, straining at their leads to explore the smells of the home and barking at the cameras as they were photographed.Staff who treated the two dogs commented on how well they were looking and said they were delighted that Bluebell’s fur had grown back.“She’s the nicest dog,” The Duchess said of Bluebell. “Both of them are. They are very happy and they love it… These two, I must say, have turned out to be stars.”The Duchess visited the home in October 2010 to open the charity’s new London cattery and to mark Battersea’s 150th anniversary. During Wednesday’s hour-long visit The Duchess met Paul O’Grady, the television presenter and ambassador at Battersea who himself adopted a Jack Russell from the home in the summer.He told The Duchess: “I think mine’s got a bit of Rottweiler in her. She is tough.” The Duchess replied that her dogs are “very tough too”.Before leaving the Battersea home, The Duchess was given two goodie bags for her dogs, and in turn left the home a bag of Highgrove products donated by The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation.Source:PrinceOfWales.gov.uk
Actor and UNICEF supporter Michael Sheen has been visiting Chad to see how money raised during last year’s Soccer Aid match is making an impact on child hunger.Michael Sheen sings and plays with children next to a rural health centre in Chad supported by UNICEFCredit/Copyright: UNICEF/2013/Chad/Jordi MatasThe celebrity football game raised nearly £5m for UNICEF’s work for children, thanks to all donations from the UK public being matched pound for pound by the UK Government.In Chad, recent drought and food shortages mean children are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.The money raised through Soccer Aid and matched by the UK Government is helping UNICEF strengthen health systems in the country so more children can be screened for malnutrition and be reached with life-saving care. Children are also receiving vaccinations against killer diseases, and mosquito nets to stop them getting deadly malaria while they’re sleeping.Aid from countries like the UK can make the difference between life and death for a malnourished child. Find out about UNICEF’s 2013 campaign against child hunger here.Source:UNICEF UK
The fear of people with mental illness is problematic, says actor Glenn Close in a CBC interview.Borne of ignorance and usually misrepresented in the media, most people associate mental illness with violence and shun both those suffering with it and their families. Ironically, support and friendship are key ingredients in recovery and management.Close says her nephew was diagnosed with a disorder as a teenager and spent two years in a psychiatric hospital, but when he came out, he had lost all of his friends. Close’s sister Jessie wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until decades later because she wouldn’t pursue it for fear that her young daughter would lose friends as well.“One day when we were visiting my mother,” says Close, “my sister Jessie came up to me and said, ‘I need your help. I can’t stop thinking about killing myself.’ Even though her son Calen had already been diagnosed as living with schizoaffective disorder, we were absolutely clueless about what Jessie was struggling with. That was a huge and shocking wake-up call for me, and it started my journey into the education and awareness around mental illness.”It’s because of the stigma that the afflicted don’t disclose it, and why people don’t realize that the person at the next desk or on their board of directors could be one of the 20 percent with mental illness. Close says the reaction to her Bring Change 2 Mind was overwhelming because people suddenly felt recognized instead of isolated, and felt the relief and hope that comes with the connection to a community of families experiencing the same thing.“It’s astounding to me,” says Close. “It’s something our family talks about, how really clueless we were about mental illness. We had no vocabulary for it. When Calen was diagnosed he was 19, which is very common for that kind of illness. Jessie, however, had always been known as ‘the wild one, the irresponsible one, the one that couldn’t hold down a job’, and we come from a hardheaded tradition where you’re just supposed to pull up your socks and get on with it. She really fell through the cracks in our family because of our ignorance. She wasn’t properly diagnosed until she was 51 years old. What hurt she went through, what her children went through, she lost a lot of years because of that.”Mental illnesses are chronic illnesses, so learning to manage the day-to-day symptoms and learning to live beyond the label, that the person is not the diagnosis and should not be defined by it, is essential.“Have the courage to talk about it,” says Close. “Attention must be paid.”Copyright ©2013Look to the Stars
In an open letter published in The Times (London) newspaper and promoted through a digital billboard at Waterloo station, American celebrities Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah and Robert Kennedy Jr joined US NGOs, trade groups and businesses such as Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club, the Rachel Carson Council, Friends of the Earth, the Organic Consumers Association, Dr Bronner’s and NYR Organic to warn British citizens of the dangers of growing GM crops and urge them to speak out before it’s too late.The warning comes at a critical time as the European Parliament will vote in January whether member states can decide for themselves to grow GM crops or not. If this legislation is passed, the UK could see the planting of commercial GM crops within the next six to eighteen months.The letter, which highlights the problems and challenges which American farmers, consumers and others have faced over nearly two decades of growing and eating GM crops, was delivered to Downing Street by a delegation which included fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, actor Jeremy Irons and chef Val Warner and MPs, Zac Goldsmith and Michael Meacher. It also included the two campaigners from the US who helped drive the letter, Pamm Larry and Diana Reeves, as well as Beyond GM Director, Pat Thomas, who coordinated the effort in the UK.The fully referenced letter, signed by groups and individuals representing some 57 million members and supporters, argues that GM crops have never delivered on their promises to increase yields and profits or to decrease pesticide use. In fact, they have done the opposite with the cost of growing GM crops now greater than conventional crops in the US and pesticide use 24% higher amongst GM farmers than non-GM farmers planting the same crops.The environmental harm caused by this increased herbicide has also led to the destruction of vital insect and bee populations. The population of the Monarch butterfly, for example, has dropped by over 80% in some parts of the US as the herbicide, Roundup, kills milkweed – the Monarch’s key food source. It also damages soil structure and makes essential micronutrients unavailable to the plant and therefore our food.The Americans warn that after nearly 20 years of use, GM ingredients are now everywhere in their food chain – over 70% of all processed foods in the US contain them. As a result, traces of glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – have been found in high levels in the breast milk and urine of American mothers as well as in their drinking water. The levels in the breast milk were around 1,600 times higher than what is currently allowable in European drinking water.The American signatories believe their experience of using what they call a “failing agricultural technology” serves as a warning to other countries about to journey down the same road. They conclude that GM food “has never really been about public good, or feeding the hungry, or supporting farmers. Nor is it about consumer choice. Instead it’s about private, corporate control of the food system.”Susan Sarandon says: “Instead of bringing certainty and security, GMOs have raised more and more worrying questions about their effectiveness, their necessity, and even their safety. Polls show that the majority of US citizens – and in fact citizens everywhere – either want them labelled or taken out of the food system altogether.”Activist attorney Robert Kennedy Jr says: “An informed and engaged public is one of our greatest weapons against widespread threats to health and environmental justice. Initiatives like The Letter from America highlight clearly the problems we have faced in the US in the 17 years we have been planting and eating GMOs.”Vivienne Westwood, who was one of the British celebrities who helped deliver the petition to Downing Street this morning says: “GMOs are a democratic issue. They are a massive, unethical experiment in human and environmental health. People are voicing legitimate concerns about how they and their families will be affected by eating them, how planting them will affect the environment and biodiversity, how forcing them on developing countries will disempower and impoverish farmers there and most of all why, if so many unanswered question remain about GMOs, our government is continuing to try and force them on the British public.”Pat Thomas, the campaign director for Beyond GM says: “The American experience of GMOs shines a light on how our own food future will unfold if we continue to race pell-mell down the road to a genetically modified Britain. It also can teach us about the importance and effectiveness of public engagement. Biotech companies have spent a lot of time and money sidelining public opinion, and turning the GM debate into an abstract and academic affair. It’s time the public was brought back into the ‘public debate’ about what they eat, and what they feed their children, and it’s time politicians and regulators started listening.”For the full version of the Letter from America please visit: www.theletterfromamerica.org.
The Giving Back Fund’s Sports and Entertainment Philanthropy Summit will take place on July 25 in Los Angeles.Sports and Entertainment Philanthropy SummitThe Summit is a day long, classroom style retreat for staff and managers of foundations large and small. Through speakers and interactive panels you’ll learn cutting edge information, techniques and tips for growing your established nonprofit or getting your new organization off the ground. Plus, built in networking breaks give you an opportunity to create lasting connections with other nonprofit leaders and the event speakers.The speakers include:Carol Cone – On Purpose, CEODr. Richard Lapchick – UCF DeVos Sports Business Management, Program ChairJon Duschinsky – The Conversation Farm, FounderJay Samit – SeaChange International, CEOSpeakers from industry leading organizations will be covering: • How to use Social Media to support your cause and grow your organization • New Fundraising techniques and tactics that you should be using • Regulations and Compliance issues for nonprofits you need to know • New marketing concepts and approaches for any size budget • Innovation in the nonprofit world and what it means for your organization • How crowdfunding can change the way you fundraise. • Getting celebrity participation for your cause and raising public awareness • And MORE!To find out more about the event, click here.
Bill Clinton released the following statement on the sixth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010:“Six years ago, over 200,000 Haitians were killed in the devastating earthquake, and countless more were displaced from their homes, loved ones, and support systems.“I am deeply grateful to the many partners within Haiti and around the world — including through the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative — who have remained steadfast in their dedication to the rebuilding effort, often in the face of considerable challenges. Together, Haitians and their partners are working today to create jobs, grow small businesses, revitalize Haiti’s once-vibrant agricultural sector, and protect the environment.“Much remains to be done, but I continue to believe that Haiti has a bright future, and will continue to do what I can to support the resilient Haitian people as they build the country they envision.”
Sport Relief has announced that James Bay, winner of best British Male Solo Artist at this year’s Brit Awards, is releasing a very special version of his track ‘Running’ as the official Sport Relief 2016 single, available to download on iTunes now.The original song is from the deluxe edition of James’ Double Platinum, number one debut album, Chaos and the Calm, and this new version has been re-recorded live from the world famous Abbey Road Studios to raise money for Sport Relief. The track is available to download on iTunes from today.The video for the single was filmed during James’ live recording at Abbey Road Studios and is available to watch now on Vevo. James Bay is also planning a special live performance of the track which will be shown as part of the Sport Relief Night of TV on Friday 18th March on BBC One.James Bay said: “I was very proud to be asked by Comic Relief to release ‘Running’ as the official Sport Relief single and it was such a great experience to record this special version live from Abbey Road Studios. This song is one that is very close to my heart and it feels like the perfect fit to release it with Sport Relief. Having been given the opportunity to see first-hand where the money raised for Sport Relief goes, I am very proud to be working with the charity to help raise money for people living incredibly tough lives both here at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.”Comic Relief Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Cahill, said: “We’re very excited to be working with James and are so grateful to him and Republic Records for recording this fantastic version of ‘Running’, which is the perfect track to have as the Sport Relief single. This year’s campaign is set to be the biggest and best yet with more ways than ever for people across the nation to take part, raise cash and feel proud.”James recorded the track in Abbey Road Studios last month. The single is produced and written by James Bay.
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Arcand was living on the streets in 2014 when a stranger heard him playing a piano in Churchill Square downtown. The music was so beautiful that Roslyn Polard asked if she could take a video of his performance.More than three years later, the video of Arcand playing the song he wrote has been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube.As the page views started to add up in 2014, people from around the world wanted to learn more about the pianist.The CBC met Arcand a few days after the video hit the internet. A friend had told him his performance had gone viral on YouTube. One of Edmonton’s most famous musicians died peacefully last week.Ryan Arcand, known as the city’s piano man, didn’t play at the Winspear Centre for Music or at the Jubilee Auditorium. But his fingers danced over piano keys in public squares and churches, and finally in the supportive housing facilities that became his home in the final years of his life.He was 46. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook
Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Could the story of the Vegas Golden Knights be coming soon to a theatre near you? (Getty Images/CBC Sports) Advertisement The Vegas Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final feels like a ready-made sports movie — clichés and all.A scrappy group of literal outcasts defying the odds, sticking it to the establishment and rallying after a tragedy to reach improbable heights? The script practically writes itself.So, might as well cast it and start production, right? LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The Golden Misfits — working title — has the potential to fuse the sheer lunacy of Slap Shot and emotional stakes of Miracle with the mass appeal of the Mighty Ducks film franchise. The NHL even brought up the subject with the Golden Knights recently, with the players and coaches weighing in on their cinematic counterparts.But in order to achieve peak authenticity, it’s time for an expansion draft (er, casting call) to find the right actors. And should Vegas win the Cup, it’d be a bigger heist than anything Danny Ocean ever schemed up… Facebook