APTN National NewsThe public hearings began Tuesday in Kitamat, B.C., over the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.The $5.5 billion Enbridge pipeline proposes to run directly across Alberta to B.C.s northwest coast.First Nations and environmentalists say no to the project.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith was in Kitamat and brings this report.
APTN National NewsJust as the heat of summer is starting, a Montreal man is biking across the country with an important message to share.Gordon Bird will be stopping in Native friendship centres along teh way with a warning.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin has this story.
APTN National NewsA prisoner death in the Saskatoon police detention cells is opening old wounds for a First Nation family.An unidentified 57-year-old man was picked up for public intoxication.That was Tuesday evening last week.By Wednesday morning he was dead in a cell.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnoff met with the family of a 19-year-old man who died in the very same cells more than two years ago.
Larissa Burnouf APTN National NewsA tiny Cree community in central Saskatchewan received messages of hope, love and encouragement from complete strangers on the other side of the country.Over the weekend, “I Love First Peoples” delivered more than 500 gift-filled shoeboxes to all of the elementary and high school students of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation School.
An announcement was made regarding the Muskrat Falls Project from the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dwight Ball.Premier Ball was joined by the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, as well as the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety.Courtesy GovNL
(Camp Cloud spokesperson Kwitsel Tatel poses with Coldwater elder Sonny Oppenheimer, who hand delivered his band’s letter to water protectors on Saturday. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)Justin BrakeAPTN NewsThe Coldwater Indian Band has thrown its support behind Camp Cloud as water protectors there continue to stand their ground against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion while facing possible eviction at the hands of police.On Saturday Elder Sonny Oppenheimer visited the camp on Burnaby Mountain to hand deliver a letter from chief and council written after water protectors were given a 72-hour eviction notice.Read the letter here: Coldwater Indian Band“We here at Coldwater Indian Band offer our support in standing up against Kinder Morgan and the Government of Canada in protecting OUR land and water,” reads the July 19 message, signed by councillor W. Gerome Garcia.“As we are at the headwaters of the Nlaka’pamux our ancestral belief is ‘Water is power’ and it needs to be protected.”Coldwater has been fighting the federal government and Kinder Morgan over an alleged failure to adequately consult with the band and over the routing of the pipeline expansion, which they say will cut through the community’s aquifer and threaten its members’ drinking water.After reading the letter aloud to water protectors Camp Cloud spokesperson Kwitsel Tatel thanked the band for their support and said she would also like to hear from the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the Assembly of First Nation national chief candidates, who will be in Vancouver for the AFN election this week.“The Coldwater Indian Band is supporting Camp Cloud, and I am so happy,” Tatel said in a Facebook livestream Saturday, adding she has expressed her support for the band’s fight against the pipeline running through its aquifer.Speaking to water protectors around the sacred fire shortly after, Oppenheimer highlighted the significance of the threat to his people’s drinking water.“The people that are around you that are in their homes, and yet they can turn the water on and think nothing of it. And they drink their coffee. Can you imagine if the runoff through that tap was contaminated — what would they do? What kind of life would you have? You’d have no life,” he said.Here’s what elder Sonny Oppenheimer from Coldwater Indian Band said to #CampCloud water protectors gathered around sacred fire Saturday evening. 2/2 #transmountain #bcpoli @APTNNews pic.twitter.com/Opay3u10zd— Justin Brake (@JustinBrakeNews) July 22, 2018“It’s just sad how people treat Mother Earth and her gifts,” he continued. “I really thank you guys for standing and being present, and for what you do. All the warriors that you have in your heart, that down one day it’ll be mentioned to your grandchildren: this is what my grandmother did, this is what my grandfather did.”On Saturday, a few hours after their 72-hour eviction notice from the City of Burnaby expired, Camp Cloud held a press conference to announce they will continue to stand their ground on Burnaby Mountain.On Monday they say they’re scheduled to meet with the City’s manager, Lambert Chu.“The sacred fire at Camp Cloud is as old as our nations,” Tatel said Saturday at the press conference.“We are here to raise awareness for the health and safety of all people and all animals. We are here to express our opposition to this expansion for public safety, public interest and public health. We are meeting our responsibilities to that end at Camp Cloud.”email@example.com@justinbrakenews
(Guy Dumas and Richard Yarema about to embark on a trip with APTN Investigates back to a former behaviour modification camp for young offenders in northern Saskatchewan. Photo: Christopher Read/APTN)Christopher ReadAPTN InvestigatesOn an emotionally difficult journey through the past, two men who were sent to a behaviour modification camp as young offenders in the 1970s, recently returned with APTN Investigates to the remote facility’s site in northern Saskatchewan.Last Resort is investigative reporter Christopher Read’s first episode for Investigates. The story chronicles the brief and violent history of “wilderness challenge” camps where the majority of campers were Indigenous.Richard Yarema, 58 and Guy Dumas, 59, were teenagers when they were sent to a fly-in camp operated by the Ranch Ehrlo Society on Norbert Lake, Saskatchewan. The lake is a half-hour plane ride north of La Ronge, SK.Watch Christopher’s video story: Earlier this year, after major surgery, 58-year-old Richard Yarema of Dauphin, Manitoba felt he was at a crossroads in his life and he sent a letter to APTN Investigates.Yarema’s letter painted a grim picture of his mistreatment at a behaviour modification camp for teenaged boys he was sent to in the mid 1970s as a young offender.While in hospital recovering from open heart surgery, Yarema heard a voice telling him it was time to confront his past and address what had happened to him.“I thought this was a chance to make things right. And to listen to that little inner voice that you do have. And my inner voice told me to get on with it and do it and it was confusing because I was still kind of loopy. But there were people talking and around me and they said ‘what did you say?’ Because I said real out loud. ‘Okay. I will,’” said Yarema.Richard’s heart attack at age 16 <> (Yarema and Dumas say this is a partially re-built version of a box where boys in the wilderness challenge program would be banished for days at a time. Photo: Christopher Read/APTN)“Yeah this is where if you got shunned this is where you got put. You weren’t even allowed to go here to see what it looked like,” said Yarema.“It was restricted. You couldn’t come up here,” said Dumas.“You got caught going up here you were in shit,” said Yarema.“You’d stay here,” said Dumas.The men said part of the original structure remained, but it had also been rebuilt since their time in wilderness challenge.“This used to all be enclosed. There was no little holes like this. This was a little different,” said Yarema. “Someone rebuilt this thing out of nostalgia or some f**king thing. Now that I’m looking at it, this is more like a POW camp than any kind of rehabilitation bullshit that they said it was. It’s getting me angry.” <> (Richard Yarema at age 16 at Ranch Ehrlo’s wilderness challenge camp on West Norbert Lake. Photo courtesy: Richard Yarema)Yarema, who is from Dauphin, Manitoba, was placed at the West Norbert Lake camp in 1976. He lived there with 15 or so other boys, including Guy Dumas, who was from Pukatawagan, Manitoba.Incredibly, Yarema believes stress caused by the brutality of the camp led him to suffer a heart attack at age 16.Yarema and another boy had stolen canoes and were caught about 24 hours into an escape run.After they’d been brought back to camp, Yarema said they were beaten and forcibly stripped.“’Oh you’re unclean, you’re this, you’re that,’” Yarema said he and the other boy were told. “We were stripped of our clothes literally while we were standing. Like ripped right off our backs, kicked in the back, punched.”Next Yarema and the other boy had their hair cut, and then they were made to dig a pit for several hours, and were not allowed to rest or eat.At a point when he thinks he had been without sleep for about 50 hours, Yarema remembers collapsing, feeling as though he had an elephant on his chest, and then having an out of body experience.“And when I fell to the side I died, basically for a better word,” said Yarema. “’Because I remember being floating on top.”Forty years later, after his recent open heart surgery, Yarema said his surgeon made a note on his chart and asked him a curious question: “He said, ‘When you were 16, did you have a heart attack?’ He said for sure I had a scar on my chest. Like on the inside of my heart. He said this shouldn’t be there at this point in your development of your heart.”And Yarema also says his surgeon told him he had seen scarring on his lungs, which the doctor attributed to untreated pneumonia.Yarema’s surgeon declined to confirm the account through a Winnipeg Regional Health Authority spokesperson.But Yarema remembers having a serious lung infection at the camp, which staff members refused to take seriously.“Oh it’s nothing and you’re just trying to get out of work,” Yarema said the staff told him.“I told them no that’s not it, I’m spittin’ up blood,” said Yarema, “and I spit on the table … there was a big red blob with a big green glob in it.”Nonetheless, Yarema said the illness went untreated.Dumas says he also suffered neglect at the campBoth Dumas and Yarema said that medical aid and/or evacuation for boys who were ill or injured just didn’t happen unless it was a broken bone or something more serious.Yarema recalled being knocked out cold when another boy dropped a log they had been carrying on his head. He said the injury went untreated.Another time, Yarema said he held another boy’s hand while the boy intentionally severed a muscle in his other hand with a bucksaw so he would be unable to work, and would have to leave the camp.And Guy Dumas recalled an incident at the camp where he was forced to go on a hike though he was feverish and was in and out of consciousness.“I became extremely, very sick.” He said. “I fell back from the group, like, I collapsed. I was just sweating profusely.”Dumas said he collapsed a few more times before being allowed to return to the campsite.“They decided I couldn’t hold the group back anymore,” he said. “I walked back by myself and I went straight to my bunk. No one checked on me.”As well, both men recalled food and shelter deprivation, isolation and humiliation being used as punishment.Wilderness challenge changed YaremaYarema says he came home from the camp after the licence was pulled. He’d been there about a year.Haunted by the memory of being held down and slapped regularly in the camp, he taught himself to fight, and made a vow to never be treated like that again.“I was 185 pounds and I swore to myself, I said nobody, I don’t care who you are. I don’t care how big you are. I don’t care how many of them you are. No one will hold me down and ever slap me again. No one will touch me again,” he said.Yarema also connects his experience at the camp to his alcoholism.“Soon as I got out I was only 17 but the first place I went was the bar after I seen my family. I don’t think I stayed a day sober for about 10 years. I went on a 10 year binge, he said.His mother Pearl Yarema remembers how her son had changed when he got back from the program too.“He was so quiet, kind of reserved and he didn’t want to talk about anything,” she said.And one day she found him alone in the basement.“He was cowered in a corner and he had his hands like this [protectively] and he was hiding like he made himself so tiny,” she said. “And it really upset me. So I said to him, I said honey what’s the matter? And he didn’t talk. He didn’t speak. So, I sat beside him and I held him, and I held him, and I held him. And I cried, and I cried, and I cried. And then all of a sudden he goes ‘Mom!’ I said are you ok Rick? And he said. ‘Yeah. Why?’ And I said – nothing, nothing Rick. I’m just glad you’re yourself again.”It wasn’t the last time Pearl Yarema would see her son like that.“He had moments like that, where he’d do that,” she said. “Like he would isolate himself so bad and he would just cower. Like almost afraid – like shaking. And I told my husband about it and he said ‘Oh my god what did they do to him up there?’”Wilderness challenge historyThe West Norbert Lake camp, which Yarema’s probation officer arranged to have him sent to in 1976, was a project of the respected Saskatchewan social services provider: the Ranch Ehrlo Society.The basic idea was to transform a juvenile delinquent’s love of high speed car chases and breaking and entering into a love of pursuits more along the lines of paddling a canoe 50 miles across a lake or learning to survive in the woods.Wilderness challenge was considered by some to be a promising new approach for dealing with the most challenging young offenders, those who were having frequent contact with the judicial system and at risk of facing adult court.(Cover of Neill Armitage’s thesis which was the theoretical basis for Ranch Ehrlo’s wilderness challenge program. Neill Armitage also worked for Ranch Ehrlo, supervising the wilderness challenge program)After an experimental version of the camp funded by the Donner Canadian Foundation completed a two-year feasibility study starting in 1973, the program began full operation at Flinthead Lake and at East and West Norbert Lakes in northern Saskatchewan.Referrals came from social services agencies across the country.The program housed about 60 boys when fully operational, but in 1977 the camps were abruptly closed by the Department of Northern Saskatchewan in the lead-up to a public scandal.Shutdown, scandal and royal inquiryIn March of 1977, Gary Lane, an opposition MLA in the Saskatchewan legislature, tabled notes from an RCMP investigation into alleged brutality and mistreatment happening in the wilderness challenge program.The police investigation had been triggered when a camper in the wilderness challenge program named Donny Pedersen, now deceased, was apprehended by the RCMP in his home community of Buffalo Narrows. Pedersen was on a break from camp and after being picked up by the RCMP, had complained about the brutal punishments he and other wilderness challenge boys were being subjected to.(Donny Pedersen at Ranch Ehrlo’s wilderness challenge camp in 1976. Photo courtesy: Richard Yarema)When RCMP’s investigatory notes – as well as notes from a Department of Northern Saskatchewan investigation – were tabled in the legislature, the allegations of assaults and brutal discipline made headlines.(News of the wilderness challenge scandal appears in an April 26, 1977 edition of the Ottawa Journal)There was heated debate in the legislature and by June of 1977 a royal commission of inquiry into “wilderness challenge camps as proposed and operated by the Ranch Ehrlo Society” was announced.In total, 51 witnesses were called, but just 13 were boys who had been placed at the camp. And neither Richard Yarema nor Guy Dumas were called to testify.But Linda Hope did testify.(Linda Hope, seen here in the mid-seventies when she was a social worker with the Department of Northern Saskatchewan. After investigating with the RCMP, Hope insisted that the wilderness challenge camps have their licences pulled. Photo courtesy: Linda Hope)Hope was a mid-career social worker. She spent three days on the witness stand of the inquiry. After she had visited the camps with the RCMP, the licences for the camps had been pulled at her insistence.“I went back to the director and said I’m not going to be responsible for licencing this program,” said Hope, “It’s not appropriate, it’s wrong. And there was a bunch of waffling going on but I said if you want to then it’s on your head. I don’t want to be responsible for saying that this is an okay treatment place for juvenile boys.”Hope was horrified by what the boys were telling her.“They were being beaten, they were being hit. They were not listened to. Nobody wanted to talk to them,” said Hope. “But mostly the discipline was so brutal. It was really, really hard to listen to when they talked about you know black eyes, things they were forced to eat, being humiliated if they did something wrong they would have to stand naked in front of the group.“And then the others would shout different things at them because of what they had done. And each one of them had gone through humiliation in different ways with the staff.”But Hope’s reaction to the allegations she heard – as well as her gender, were used against her by the commission of inquiry.In the inquiry report, Hope was described as “emotional.” And she and a co-worker were even referred to as “girls” in the inquiry transcript.While testifying before the commission, Neill Armitage, who wrote the thesis that was the basis for wilderness challenge, was asked about denial of food being used as a punishment.Armitage confirmed that denial of food was used as a tool to modify behaviour.“For example,” Armitage explained, “if an individual, say, refused to help out in collecting the firewood that would be used to prepare a meal – he wouldn’t eat.”And when asked if deprivation of food might be a human rights violation, Armitage said he saw it from a different perspective.“You know, using these tools of fear, hunger, fatigue, loneliness as a means of building character,” Armitage told the commission.In the commission’s final report, some version of the alleged occurrences of slapping, punching, denial of food, humiliation, etc., were often acknowledged to have happened – but these incidents were usually minimized – often in light of the notion that the boys placed in the camps were “hard core delinquents” and this is what they sometimes required.Commissioner John H. Maher – a judge of the District Court for Saskatchewan – authored the final report which cleared the Ranch Ehrlo Society of wrongdoing and found the decision to close the camps was unjustified.But in the end, Ranch Ehrlo – suffering major revenue losses as well as staff layoffs and resignations in the wake of all the bad publicity – never re-opened its wilderness challenge camps.Ranch Ehrlo todayIn Ranch Ehrlo’s 2004 book about itself “Go Forward with Pride: A Historical Review of the Ranch Ehrlo Society,” editor Geoffrey Pawson, Ehrlo’s founder and long-time director, suggests that allegations of brutality by wilderness challenge boys came about because when investigators arrived the boys sensed an opportunity.Pawson, who was away doing graduate work in California when much of the abuse was alleged to have happened, writes, “The residents picked up on the tenor of the questions and proceeded to tell them a range of made-up stories.”When APTN Investigates took Richard Yarema’s and Guy Dumas’s allegations to Ranch Ehrlo, we asked specifically about that line in the book.Malcolm Neill is Ranch Ehrlo’s vice president of residential services.“I haven’t spoken to any of the boys about any of their experiences at wilderness challenge, said Neill. “I understand that the allegations were investigated by the RCMP and then there was the public inquiry. So I don’t know if they were made up or not made up.”Responding to the allegation that Richard Yarema may have been put under so much stress that he had a heart attack at age 16 while in wilderness challenge, Neill said, “That sounds abusive. That is not something that we would – anyone at Ranch Ehrlo – would endorse today. I have no reason not to believe Mr. Yarema. I don’t know if he’s told that story to the authorities but I implore that he make a complaint to the police because that’s totally inappropriate.”At the end of APTN’s interview with Neill, he summarized his feelings about the information we’d brought to him.“I know what I believe in,” said Neill. “I know what the people who work at Ranch Ehrlo today believe in. And we certainly don’t believe in treating people – our children – the way they describe their experience.”Going back to wilderness challengeIn mid-September, Richard Yarema and Guy Dumas went back to Ranch Ehrlo’s former wilderness challenge camp on what is now called Norbert Lake [formerly named West Norbert Lake].The cabins, built by the boys in wilderness challenge, are still there. And the site is still used occasionally by Ranch Ehrlo for excursions.Exploring the camp, Dumas and Yarema came across something they’d forgotten about – a wooden box built on a slope a little way from the cabins. A place, they said, where boys would sometimes be banished to for days. (The cabin Richard Yarema and Guy Dumas lived in while in the wilderness challenge program. Photo: Christopher Read/APTN)But Yarema and Dumas were back at Norbert Lake to attempt a reconciliation with what happened to them there 40 years prior.“I have to let it go, I’m almost 60 years old,” said Dumas, his voice breaking with emotion.“And today I want to reconcile, I want to let go” he said.With Yarema present, Dumas sang a Cree honour song through heaves of tears.Afterwards the two men embraced.Later, Yarema found the spot where he’d dug the pit and suffered a possible heart attack at age 16.After softly retelling the story of what they’d done to him at the spot, the anger came back into his voice.“They came up with punishments that came right out of a POW f**king movie,” he said.Asked how he was feeling, Yarema said, “Ice cold. I’m just kind of vibrating inside. I haven’t had anyone to talk to for a long time. And Guy has opened up my eyes, in a lot of ways – for the forgiveness of stuff. I think I can forgive now. But I’m not going to forget. Because something like this you can’t forget. It’s going to be with you for the rest of your life.”firstname.lastname@example.org@chrisread1970
PARIS – France’s finance minister is defending a deal to merge French high-speed train maker Alstom with Germany’s Siemens as crucial to keeping European industry globally competitive.Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters Wednesday that the deal is especially important given growing competition from Chinese train makers to meet worldwide demand for the kind of high-speed trains once exemplified by Alstom’s TGVs.President Emmanuel Macron’s government is under fire over the Alstom deal because the French state owns 20 per cent of Alstom and has repeatedly intervened to save its jobs.Critics accuse the government of letting Germany buy out a French industrial champion.
LONDON — Britain’s 2-day-old draft deal to leave the European Union is in danger of collapsing, increasing the likelihood of a disorderly, economically painful exit from the bloc next year.British politicians in favour of leaving the EU have criticized the agreement reached Tuesday after more than a year and a half of negotiations. They say it keeps the country bound to the EU under unfavourable terms and floated the idea of unseating Prime Minister Theresa May.Even if May remains in her post, the British Parliament might reject the deal. Britain’s formal exit is set for March 29, so that would leave little time to seek an alternative.Here’s a look at how Britain got into this situation:___REFERENDUMMay’s party, the British Conservative Party, has long been split between those in favour of EU membership and those who want out.One advantage of membership is it gives seamless access to trade across 27 other countries. The EU is Britain’s biggest trading partner.Opponents have argued the EU took too much political power from London; many want to restrict immigration from other EU member countries as well.To settle the question, former Prime Minister David Cameron called for a nationwide vote on whether Britain should stay or go. On June 23, 2016, 52 per cent of voters said they wanted to leave.___NEGOTIATIONSThe unexpected outcome threw the country into chaos, with Cameron resigning and the value of the pound tumbling 15 per cent in a day. May eventually took over as prime minister. In March 2017, she submitted the formal notice of Britain’s intent to withdraw from the EU. The action started a two-year countdown and negotiations on the terms of the exit and for future EU-U.K. relations.The difficulty of the negotiations quickly became clear. The EU took a tough approach. It insisted Britain would no longer enjoy any of the bloc’s “four freedoms”: the freedom for citizens, money, goods and services to travel and operate across borders without hindrance.In a bid to solidify her power and the stated goal of ensuring a “strong and stable” government would be seated at the Brexit negotiations, May called a general election for June 2017. The move backfired, and her Conservatives lost their majority in Parliament. She had to create a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.___IRISH QUESTIONThe talks on a Brexit deal remained stalled for months, largely over the problem of the future border between Britain’s Northern Ireland and the EU’s Republic of Ireland. The fear was that reinstalling a hard border with import duties and travel restrictions would renew sectarian violence.The EU insisted that Britain should not be allowed to enjoy the fruits of staying in its seamless trading union. So it proposed allowing Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union, but not the rest of Britain. May’s government rejected that, saying it threatened to break up Britain.___THE DEALWith the clock ticking, British and EU officials intensified their efforts and reached a draft deal on Nov. 13.The agreement envisions Britain leaving the EU as planned on March 29 but remaining inside the bloc’s single market and bound by its rules until the end of December 2020. That would buy time to work out a permanent post-Brexit trading relationship.Other terms call for Britain paying 39 billion pounds ($50 billion) to settle outstanding obligations to the EU. British and citizens of EU countries would be allowed to remain where they currently live and work.The deal also commits the two sides to a “backstop” solution that keeps the U.K. in a customs arrangement with the EU as a guarantee the Irish border remains free of customs posts. The backstop would last until superseded by new trade arrangements, which both sides say they hope to have in place by the end of 2020.___POLITICAL BACKLASHMany pro-Brexit politicians immediately slammed the deal. They said it would leave Britain a vassal state by making it observe EU customs rules that it will no longer have a say in shaping. Some pro-EU politicians favoured calling another vote on whether Britain should leave the EU at all.May has defended the deal as providing the continuity businesses need while the country and the EU agree on a long-term trade relationship.Two Cabinet ministers and five junior government members resigned Thursday and a leading pro-Brexit lawmaker called for a no-confidence vote on May.___NO-DEAL RISKSIf Parliament rejects the draft deal, the more likely it is that Brexit happens without any agreement spelling out future relations with the EU. Businesses and most economists view that as a worst-case scenario for the British economy.It would mean a return of tariffs on trade between Britain and the EU as well as border checks on goods. That could delay shipments of everything from food and fuel to clothing and cars. Some companies have been stockpiling to prepare for such a possibility.And Britain would drop out of Europe-wide protocols that govern areas such as aviation and prescription drugs, threatening to ground flights and disrupt supplies of drugs.Carlo Piovano, The Associated Press
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — British Prime Minister Theresa May is launching her fight to save her Brexit deal over breakfast with her Dutch counterpart, the first of a string of meeting with European leaders in coming days.May arrived early Tuesday at Rutte’s official residence in The Hague and was travelling later in the day to Berlin and Brussels.Her whistle-stop tour came on the day that British lawmakers had been scheduled to vote on Brexit.Instead, May went to the House of Commons on Monday and conceded that the divorce deal she struck last month with EU leaders was likely to be rejected “by a significant margin” and postponed the vote.May said she would seek “assurances” from the EU and bring the deal back to Parliament.The Associated Press
Karp notes that he hasn’t heard how the oil sands community feels about this motion but believes they will be heavily involved in the discussions. CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As a way to help boost its economy, the region of Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray is considering no new work camps to attract more people to live in the community.They’re not the numbers that the Mayor of Wood Buffalo and his council want to see, as a large portion of the population lives in 109 fly-in fly-out work camps.According to a report from the oil sands community alliance, 58 percent of workers fly from privately owned aerodromes and only 5 per cent actually live in the region, meaning a big number are not paying taxes.Bradley Karp from Country 93.3 in Fort McMurray says that the city wants more people to call Fort McMurray home.“Trying to attract people to stay here has been a bit of an issue. When you have 30,000 people who live within 120 kilometers of you and 1 in 6 of them are flying in to the 31 airstrips in the region bypassing the local airports just flying straight in to the site then flying home and not spending a dime in town.” says Karp.Karp also adds that council is considering taking drastic action.“Asking for a notice of motion for a council meeting coming up in January that administration takes steps to impose a full on prohibition of any new camp accommodations and end renewals for existing camp accommodations within 120 kilometers of the city.”He notes that it’s been a tough few years for the community, adding the wildfires didn’t help with already declining vacancy rates.READ MORE: One year later: A look at the Fort McMurray wildfire and rebuild by the numbers“It’s a bit of a double whammy. We had the oil price crash and then a lot of people left leading up to the fire and then the fire happened so we went from a town of zero vacancy where people were renting out closets to sleep in, to people begging people to stay in their basements.”
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The federal government’s attempt to sell oil leases in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska has again drawn a modest response.The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports the Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday received 16 bids on 16 tracts covering 272 square miles (705 sq. kilometres). BLM received seven bids in 2017.The BLM this year offered 254 tracts on more than 4,375 square miles (11,330 sq. kilometres).Federal officials say the modest bidding can be attributed to the lack of access to the most prospective areas.The sale took in $1.13 million.Environmental groups oppose expanded drilling in the reserve west of Prudhoe Bay.They say oil development will imperil caribou herds and ecologically significant wetlands used for breeding by migratory waterfowl from around the world.The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — The corporate owner of the Wynn and Encore resorts on the Las Vegas Strip is accusing a company building a $4 billion casino across the street of copying its building design.Wynn Resorts Holdings has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit alleging that Resorts World Las Vegas wants to mislead the public to believe its new 3,000-room project is affiliated with Wynn.Malaysia-based Genting Group plans to open Resorts World in 2020.Officials in Las Vegas did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.The lawsuit filed Dec. 21 includes photos of bronze glass and horizontal design elements on the curved facade of the Resorts World property.It says that looks like the copyrighted design of Wynn properties in Las Vegas and the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.The Associated Press
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The city of Dawson Creek will be hosting the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Camp at the Encana Events Centre.The camp will see the National Women’s team take on the Fort St. John Huskies and the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks in a series of exhibition games.Tickets for the event are on sale and cost $10 per game in advance, or $15 when bought on the day of the game. A family pack is also available for $45 which entitles guests to four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, and four pops. To purchase tickets call 1-877-339-8499, or visit: http://www.tigerboxofficeplus.ca The camp runs from September 10th to September 16th, but games don’t commence until the 13th. The full schedule of games can be found below:September 13th – 7:00 p.m. – Canada Red vs. Canada WhiteSeptember 14th – 4:00 p.m. – Canada White vs. Fort St. John HuskiesSeptember 14th – 7:00 p.m. – Canada Red vs. Dawson Creek Junior CanucksSeptember 15th – 12:00 p.m. – Canada White vs. Dawson Creek Junior CanucksSeptember 15th – 3:00 p.m. – Canada Red vs. Fort St. John HuskiesSeptember 16th – 10:00 a.m. – Canada Red vs Canada White
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Mounties in Grande Prairie are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing man.21-year-old Daryn Middleton was reported missing on Wednesday morning. He was last seen in the Meadowview neighbourhood of Grande Prairie on August 18th.Middleton is described as Caucasian, standing 6’2” tall, weighing 145 lbs., with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. There is a concern for Middleton’s well-being, and the RCMP would like to locate and speak with him as soon as possible.If you have any information about his whereabouts, please contact Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Old Fort Road is now open to traffic. With the Peace River Regional District lifting the evacuation order for the majority of properties, the Ministry announced the semi-permanent road over the slide is complete.“I would like to thank the residents of Old Fort for their patience during this difficult time, and the crews who worked hard to get the road built so swiftly,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We know this has been a stressful time for people who had to be evacuated, and I’m happy to hear the road is in place and people are able to return to their homes, now that it is safe to do so.”An automated monitoring system is providing continuous updates on movement in the area, and an operating protocol is in place to respond appropriately. Although the road is open to local traffic, it will remain a construction zone with reduced speed, and load limits as crews continue to make improvements. Traffic control personnel will be on site for the first week to help regulate traffic. Drivers are reminded to obey signage and traffic control at all times and use caution as the road is narrow with curves, steep grades and limited visibility.Drivers are advised of the following:The speed limit will be posted at 30 kilometres per hour, but reduced to 15 kilometres per hour around curves.Vehicle weight restrictions of 50% legal axle loads will remain in place.Single-lane alternating traffic or road closure may be required during extreme weather events or if road conditions deteriorate.Residents are asked to report any signs of slide movement or incidents to the local maintenance contractor, Yellowhead Road and Bridge, which can be reached 24/7 at its emergency line: 1 888 883-6688.
During the investigation, four adult males and three adult females were arrested.All seven persons were released without charge at this time, pending further investigation and charge approval from the Federal Prosecution Service of Canada.In a release, the RCMP say this is a significant disruption to drug trafficking in the community. The Prince George RCMP is committed to enforcement and prevention initiatives that combat the possession and sale of drugs in the community.If you have any information about illegal drug activity in the Prince George area, please contact the Prince George RCMP at (250)561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Prince George RCMP’s Street Crew Unit with theassistance of the North District RCMP’s Emergency Response Team, executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at a residence on Isle Pierre Road, approximately 30 kilometres west of Prince George on Wednesday, November 21.Police say approximately 1.5 kilograms of what they believe to be methamphetamine and 1 kilogram of what they think to be cocaine was located in the residence along with cash, drug trafficking paraphernalia and a loaded firearm.The street value of the drugs was estimated to be more than $50,000.
California: A California jury on Wednesday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman who said that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused her mesothelioma. The verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, marks the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate, which faces more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. J&J said it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” in the course of the trial. The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company denies that its talc causes cancer, saying numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown that its talc is safe and asbestos-free.
New Delhi: A CBI team is likely to leave for London to assist local authorities in the extradition case of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi whose bail plea will come for hearing before a court there on Friday, officials said. A Joint Director-level officer has been deputed to leave for London Wednesday with necessary documents, they said. The 48-year old diamantaire is accused of swindling over 2 billion USD from state-run Punjab National Bank in collusion with his uncle Mehul Choksi. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details He was spotted living in an upscale locality in London by the UK-based newspaper The Telegraph. Nirav Modi was later arrested on the basis of the extradition request of India and a Red Corner notice issued against him on the request of the CBI last year. He was produced before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week, wherein he contested his extradition to India. District Judge Marie Mallon denied bail to Modi and remanded him in custody till March 29, saying there was substantial grounds to believe that he would fail to surrender if granted bail. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid had certified India’s extradition request for the fugitive diamantaire earlier this month, triggering the legal process kick-started with the issuance of a warrant. The news of the certification of India’s request came after Modi was tracked down to a three-bedroom flat in the Centre Point tower block of luxury apartments in West End of London. He is believed to have arrived in London last year and was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February 2018. Modi was also reportedly living in the heart of the city above his jewellery boutique Nirav Modi on Old Bond Street, which has since closed down. He is now believed to be running a new business which describes itself on the UK’s Companies House register as a wholesale trader and retailer of watches and jewellery in specialised stores.
Hyderabad: In a scathing attack on the Prime Minister, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao accused him of lying on central allocation to the state and said his campaign speech was “below the level of sarpanch”. Rao also said he does not have a desire to be the Prime Minister. Taking exception to Modi’s criticism against him that he consulted astrologers, the TRS president asked “if this is what the Premier should talk about”. Alleging that the Prime Minister did not speak the truth about allocation of funds to the state, Rao, also referred as KCR by many, demanded that Modi apologise to the people. “What does Narendra Modiji speak? KCR sees horoscope… Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Is this what is to be spoken, for the Prime Minister to speak? Should persons running the politics of the country speak like this? In this country, the Prime Minister speaks going below the level of a sarpanch,” he said. Rao, who was speaking at an election rally at Warangal, was alluding to Modi’s comments on him at a rally in Telangana last week that Rao consulted astrologers which affected governance. “Narendra Modi ji, you are speaking absolute lies today. (You) are bragging that you are giving Rs 35,000 crore (to Telangana). You did not give Rs 35,000 crore. My brothers and sisters should know. Delhi is not taking care of us. We are taking care of Delhi,” he said. Telangana gives about Rs one lakh crore to the Centre annually in the form of customs duty, income tax, centre’s share in GST and others, he said.