zoom The West African Gas Ltd (WAGL) has taken delivery of two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers from the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in Ulsan, South Korea.Featuring 38,000 cbm, the new vessels, named MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas, are expected to “ensure stability in the supply of LPG,” according to WAGL, a joint venture company of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Sahara Energy.With a length of 174 meters and a width of 30 meters, the new carriers have a marter value of around USD 40 million each, according to data provided by VesselsValue.“I am particularly delighted that the venture we started a few years ago has achieved this enviable milestone as we take delivery of these vessels,” Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, said.WAGL was established in March 2013 while the shipbuilding contract for the two 37,500 mt LPG carriers was entered into in May 2014.
zoom Israeli container carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) has added the Port of Wilmington to its Z7S service, North Carolina Ports said. The weekly service is scheduled to start calling the port in June and connects South China, South East Asia and the Indian sub-continent to the US East Coast main ports.The Z7S service is the first container service to call the Port of Wilmington using the Suez Canal, according to North Carolina Ports. Its rotation includes access to Da Chan Bay, Yantian, Cai Mep, Port Kelang and Colombo.The shipping firm plans to deploy eleven 5,000 TEU vessels in the service.ZIM is another returning ocean carrier to the Port of Wilmington after a slot chartering agreement with the CKYHE Alliance in early 2016.To prepare for growth, North Carolina Ports ordered in January this year two New Panamax ship-to-shore cranes with an option to purchase two more from China’s Shanghai Zhenjua Heavy Industry (ZPMC) for the Port of Wilmington.North Carolina Ports plans to invest over USD 120 million in its infrastructure over the next few years. The projects include the turning basin expansion, berth improvements, the expansion of the container yard and the addition of new cranes.
zoom Philippine-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has signed two 25-year agreements to operate the international ports in Motukea and Lae in Papua New Guinea (PNG).ICTSI said that the terminal operating agreements were signed by ICTSI’s PNG subsidiaries, Motukea International Terminal Limited (MITL) and South Pacific International Container Terminal Limited (SPICTL), with the PNG state-owned enterprise, PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNGPCL).The contract scope covers the operation, management, and development of the two ports.As agreed, MITL shall provide and deploy cranes, berth and yard equipment for the Port of Motukea. Newly developed and situated near Port Moresby, the Port of Motukea is envisioned to service all port and shipping activities previously done at Port Moresby.On the other hand, SPICTL shall provide and deploy cranes, berth and yard equipment at the Port of Lae. The port is the largest container handling facility in PNG.Just last week, ICTSI went on to buy a 34.83% stake in the Manila North Harbour Port Incorporated (MNHPI) for USD 34.5 million.The port operator said the purchase would allow ICTSI to “contribute its experience, expertise and state-of the-art technology and infrastructure” to enhance the operational efficiency of the domestic terminal in the Port of Manila and improve the traffic condition in Metro Manila.
zoomImage Courtesy: Royal Caribbean Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique to order a sixth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2023.The order is contingent upon financing, which is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of this year, according to the company.“This order is a reflection of the exceptional performance of this vessel class and the extraordinary partnership between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd,” Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, said.“This is the twenty-third cruise ship that RCL will be building at our shipyard, and we are especially proud of it,” Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added.Royal Caribbean Cruises’ fifth Oasis-class ship, ordered from the French shipyard in May 2016, is scheduled to join the owner in the spring of 2021.
Twelve Nova Scotia wildlife species have been added to the province’s endangered species list. The list, created under the Endangered Species Act, now includes a freshwater mussel, three new plant species and a number of other new animals. The freshwater mussel species, the yellow lamp mussel, has been categorized as a threatened species. It is found in only two rivers in Canada, including Sydney River on Cape Breton Island. Threatened species are defined as species that may become endangered if sufficient conservation action is not taken. Three plant species — Eastern white cedar, lileopsis and prototype quillwort — were all categorized as vulnerable. Under the act vulnerable means: “a species of special concern due to characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events.” Eastern white cedar has always been recognized as uncommon in Nova Scotia and is currently found at only 32 sites. Department of Natural Resources staff will work with landowners and the conservation community to increase awareness about that cedar in the province and develop a management plan to support its conservation. “By addressing the impacts of our activities on species at risk we contribute to our broader goal of environmental sustainability,” said Natural Resources Minister Brooke Taylor. “While many people in Nova Scotia are taking the situation seriously, I encourage all Nova Scotians to learn what species are at risk in their communities and to support wildlife conservation efforts.” During this round of assessments, several species were categorized as extinct or extirpated. Extinct species no longer exist in the world. An extirpated species no longer exists in the wild in Nova Scotia, but exists in the wild outside the province. Sea mink, great auk, Labrador duck, passenger pigeon and eelgrass limpet have been listed as extinct while Eastern wolf, woodland caribou and Atlantic walrus were listed as extirpated. Provincial and federal legislation together provide protection for species at risk. Nova Scotia’s Endangered Species Act prohibits activities that could disturb or destroy threatened or endangered species. A total of 36 species have now been listed under the Endangered Species Act in Nova Scotia. Species at risk are determined by the Nova Scotia Species at Risk Working Group, a group of independent science experts. A complete list of species at risk and the reasons for their listings are available atwww.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/endngrd/specieslist.htm .
More than 100 University of King’s College frosh students will shed some light on energy efficiency on Saturday, Sept. 9, when they go door-to-door in some Halifax neighbourhoods. The students will be giving away compact fluorescent light bulbs donated by the Department of Energy and the Climate Change Centre. The project is one of the many initiatives planned for this fall by the Climate Change Centre, a Clean Nova Scotia program funded by the Department of Energy. The province is investing $60,000 to help the centre continue climate change and energy education projects and expand into new initiatives, like the frosh student light exchange. The funding is an extension of a $35,000 investment provided earlier this year to cover federal funding that was discontinued in April. “Each and every Nova Scotian can make a difference by using energy more efficiently,” said Energy Minister Bill Dooks. “This funding will help all Nova Scotians learn how we can reduce both our energy use and our greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.” Daisy Kidston of the Climate Change Centre said the investment will help ensure Nova Scotians not only have access to information, but are able to put that information to work. “Our goal is to get the information out there, and then enable people to make use of it,” said Ms. Kidston. “This light bulb campaign is a perfect example. Some renters and homeowners may not be aware of the benefits of using compact fluorescents, but this allows them to experience it while removing the barriers. Hopefully the experience will also inspire a new generation of leaders at the university level.” This fall, the Climate Change Centre will continue its focus on public education and outreach to Nova Scotians interested in learning more about climate change, energy efficiency, and energy conservation. The organization will work with a wide variety of Nova Scotians including youth, faith groups, and senior citizens.
Local Area Office: 902-863-7378 Fax: 902-863-7175 -30- ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Canal Bridge Canal Bridge located on Main St. in Antigonish will be reduced to one lane for repairs today, Thursday, Feb. 7 until Friday, Feb. 8. Work takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The federal budget announced today, Feb. 26 will have little impact on Nova Scotia. “After seeing the federal budget, it’s obvious that the big story of the night is the premier ringing the bell at the stock exchange in New York,” said Finance Minister Michael Baker. “There’s not a lot here for Nova Scotia.” The federal government continued to emphasize direct funding for individuals and institutions, rather than for provinces. “This confirms what we’ve been saying — we have some tough challenges ahead in our own budget,” said Mr. Baker. Today’s budget showed that federal revenues to Nova Scotia are soft, and national economic growth is slower than it has been. “If the federal government has to be cautious, in their very positive situation, then we have our work cut out for us in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Baker. “We have some tough choices to make in the weeks ahead.” There are several positives in the budget: the federal government has provided some certainty to municipalities about future gas tax funding; Nova Scotians will also benefit from the Public Transit Capital Trust Fund; and the adjustment to the earned exemption in the Guaranteed Income Supplement will help many Nova Scotians. Another positive initiative is the police officer’s recruitment fund which is estimated at $2.2 million a year over three years to the province. Nova Scotians will, like all Canadians, benefit from the tax free savings accounts.
CAPE BRETON COUNTY: Traffic Congestion Expected at Big Pond On Monday, April 22, heavy traffic is expected on Highway 4 in the Big Pond area from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the funeral of Rita MacNeil. Parking is limited in the area and drivers should slow down and be alert for pedestrians. RCMP will be on hand to guide traffic safely through the area but delays are possible. -30-
CONTINUING WORK INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge Crowdis Bridge is closed until further notice for repairs. A detour is available via Crowdis Cross Road, West Big Interval Road and Hatchery Road. GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Melford Brook Bridge The Melford Brook Bridge, on Route 344 at Middle Melford, is closed. A two-lane detour bridge is in place until a permanent bridge is built. The speed limit is reduced to 60 km/h and warning signs are in place. HANTS COUNTY: Shubenacadie, Bridge Trunk 2 Shubenacadie Bridge on Highway 2 is reduced to one lane until Friday, Jan. 31. The speed limit is reduced to 50 km/h in the construction area. VICTORIA COUNTY: Englishtown Ferry The Englishtown Ferry is out of service for repairs until further notice. Check 511 for updates. HANTS COUNTY: Glen Brook and MacInnis Brook Bridges The Glen Brook and MacInnis Brook bridges, on Route 202 in West Gore, have a 24-tonne weight restriction until further notice. LUNENBURG COUNTY: LaHave ferry The LaHave cable ferry is out of service for cable repairs until further notice. Continue to check 511 for updates. COLCHESTER/HANTS COUNTIES: Highway 102, Shubenacadie River Construction is taking place on Highway 102 at the bridges over Shubenacadie River until September 2015. Traffic is normally two lanes in both directions, however drivers are urged to travel with extra caution in the area. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Sydney River Bridge The Sydney River Bridge on Keltic Drive is closed for replacement. While the bridge is closed, the province is providing a free shuttle bus service between Coxheath Arena (305 Keltic Dr.) and Walmart (65 Keltic Dr.). A detour route for drivers has also been marked. The shuttle bus schedule is available at http://novascotia.ca/tran/highways/srb.asp. INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 1-tonne weight restriction. -30-
Every day students across Nova Scotia make positive differences in their schools and communities and now is the time to recognize them. The Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizenship Award honours students around the province who demonstrate excellent leadership and a strong commitment to creating safe and inclusive spaces in schools and communities. “Students in Nova Scotia are doing many great things to address bullying and discrimination in their schools and community,” said Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant. “They are taking initiative to make Nova Scotia a safer and better place to live, and they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.” Now in its second year, the award is given annually to up to 20 students in Primary to Grade 12 in public, private, or home school. An individual award and a group award can be given to students in each of the eight school boards and the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Board. Two more awards can be given to students in private school or who are home schooled and registered with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Nominations must include a description of their role in the project or activity and how it supports the promotion of safe and inclusive communities, and must be accompanied by two references. Nomination forms have been sent to schools and can be found at http://antibullying.novascotia.ca . The deadline for nominations is Friday, Nov. 28.
Le gouvernement déposera une loi sur la réforme de l’éducation (Education Reform Act) plus tard aujourd’hui, 1er mars, à l’Assemblée législative. La loi renforcera le système d’éducation et jettera les bases pour d’autres améliorations, y compris la Commission sur l’intégration en éducation. « Nous entendons depuis plusieurs années que notre système d’éducation doit changer. Nous procédons maintenant à une réforme essentielle qui nous permettra de concentrer nos efforts sur la réussite des élèves » affirme Zach Churchill, ministre de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance. Pour unifier le système, les sept conseils scolaires élus anglophones seront éliminés à compter du 31 mars. La somme de 2,3 millions de dollars correspondant aux appointements et aux dépenses des membres des conseils sera réinvestie dans les écoles. Selon la loi proposée, les bureaux des conseils scolaires seront renommés centres régionaux d’éducation. Ils continueront de prendre les décisions régionales et locales qu’ils prennent à l’heure actuelle. Les directeurs généraux des conseils scolaires deviendront des directeurs généraux régionaux et relèveront de la sous-ministre de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance. Le Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) demeurera en place. Une loi concernant le CSAP sera déposée plus tard au cours de la session. Pour la première fois, il existera une loi distincte pour le CSAP afin de protéger les droits culturels et linguistiques des Acadiens et des francophones. Un nouveau Comité consultatif provincial de l’éducation sera formé. Il comptera jusqu’à 15 membres, y compris des représentants de toutes les régions, de divers horizons et de diverses communautés, ainsi qu’un représentant ayant des connaissances ou de l’expérience en matière d’intégration en éducation. Deux nouveaux postes de directeurs généraux représentant les communautés afro-néo-écossaise et mi’kmaw seront créés au ministère de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance. Le ministère collaborera avec ces communautés pour renforcer leurs voix. Les directeurs d’école, les directeurs adjoints et d’autres superviseurs passeront du Syndicat des enseignants de la Nouvelle-Écosse (NSTU) à une nouvelle association, soit l’Association des administrateurs d’écoles publiques. Cela signifie qu’ils ne seront plus membres de l’unité de négociation du syndicat, mais ils continueront d’être affiliés au syndicat. Cette affiliation assure la protection de l’ancienneté et de la rémunération, et fait en sorte que les directeurs d’école et les directeurs adjoints auront les mêmes avantages sociaux et le même régime de pension qu’ils ont à l’heure actuelle. Le gouvernement souhaite également appuyer l’excellence en éducation, mais il adoptera une approche différente de la recommandation formulée par madame Avis Glaze dans son rapport concernant un Collège des éducateurs. Le gouvernement collaborera avec les enseignants et le syndicat pour élaborer des normes en matière d’enseignement et de leadership. Le gouvernement a également accepté de collaborer avec le syndicat sur plusieurs recommandations qui mettent l’accent sur certains domaines tels que les activités parascolaires, le perfectionnement professionnel, les stratégies de recrutement des enseignants, l’éducation en milieu rural, l’éducation des nouveaux immigrants, l’éducation en français, les élèves qui vivent dans la pauvreté et les enfants pris en charge. Les comités d’école consultatifs seront appuyés pour leur permettre de promouvoir les priorités de leurs collectivités. Des consultations avec les membres actuels auront lieu au printemps afin de déterminer des détails tels que la structure, les membres et les mesures de soutien nécessaires pour les membres. En plus des mesures législatives, les enseignants auront maintenant une voix plus forte en ce qui a trait au choix des ressources pédagogiques et des manuels scolaires pour leurs classes. Les spécialistes du soutien à l’enseignement passeront moins de temps dans les bureaux régionaux et plus de temps dans les écoles où il travailleront de plus près avec les enseignants et les élèves. « Notre vision pour les élèves est de leur donner le même bon départ et les mêmes chances de réussir après l’obtention de leur diplôme, souligne M. Churchill. Les changements inclus dans la loi sur la réforme de l’éducation renforceront notre système pour faire en sorte que tous les partenaires puissent concentrer la totalité de leurs efforts sur nos enfants. » Pour obtenir plus d’information sur les changements apportés au système d’éducation, consultez le https://novascotia.ca/educationsystem (en anglais seulement).
Hundreds of additional families across the province will have access to pre-primary when the program expands to 56 new schools this September. This will mark year three, of a four-year rollout, that will bring the total number of schools in Nova Scotia delivering the program to 201. The expansion will see 84 new classrooms and based on Grade Primary enrolment data, it is anticipated about 1,400 four-year-olds could access the program. “Access to early learning opportunities the year before a child starts school supports lifelong success,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “This is a program that families want in their communities and we are one year away from being able to give every four-year-old in the province the opportunity to participate.” Government will invest about $10.2 million this year to expand the program, bringing the total annual investment to $34.2 million. This year, more than 3,000 children enrolled in the pre-primary program. Pre-primary implementation in the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial and Strait Regional Centre for Education has already been completed. The Tri-County and South Shore Regional Centres for Education will have fully implemented the program this fall. Lisa Conway’s son, Hunter, was one of the first children to attend pre-primary when it was launched at Rockingstone Heights Elementary in Spryfield in 2017. Lisa said the program supported her child to enter school by helping him learn to socialize with other children his age. “Since he completed pre-primary, what I’ve noticed is that his vocabulary has improved greatly,” said Ms. Conway. “I would recommend the program to other families because it helps children become more social and they learn to co-operate with each other at a younger age.” The expansion of pre-primary will save families thousands of dollars in child care costs and create more opportunities for early childhood educators in Nova Scotia. About 224 more early childhood educators will be needed to support the new classrooms. More than 400 early childhood educators will be employed by the program next year. Families who live near a school community that is offering pre-primary and wish to register their child, can contact the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial or their Regional Centre for Education. For a full list of the new pre-primary locations and more information about the program, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/pre-primary .
New Delhi: NDA nominee Om Birla was on Wednesday unanimously elected speaker of the Lok Sabha with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the opposition assuring him of their whole-hearted support in the smooth conduct of proceedings in the House.Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, DMK’s T R Baalu and TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay were among those who backed Birla and urged him to be impartial as presiding officer of the lower house. “I on behalf of the government and the treasury benches assure you full support in conducting the House. I also assure you that your order will prevail and you must be tough even if anyone from our side (treasury benches) crosses the limit,” Modi said, congratulating Birla. Birla assured the members that he will run the House in an impartial manner and everyone will be heard. “I have been a member like you from 2014 to 2019. And here we should raise issues which matter to the last person standing in the row,” he said.See P5
New Delhi: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has been left utterly disappointed with the “quality of cricket” being played at the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales. England, Australia and India have sealed their spot in the semifinals, while New Zealand is almost there in the knockout stage of the tournament, despite their loss to England in their last group stage encounter. “I am not happy with the quality of cricket being played in this World Cup,” said Akhtar on his Youtube channel. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “The quality of cricket has gone down immensely. It has become very easy to score runs. The bowlers don’t have the quality, the pace and the spin, which bowlers in 1990s and early 2000s used to have. “There are three powerplays and two new balls which has made it very easy to score runs,” he added. Speaking about Wednesday’s game where England thrashed New Zealand by 119 runs to seal their spot in the semis, Akhtar said that the Black Caps played like “amateurs”. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open “I was disappointed with the way New Zealand played against England. They didn’t give any fight and meekly surrendered before England. They played like amateurs. They didn’t play quality cricket,” said Akhtar. With England’s win, Pakistan are technically out of the contention of making it to the semis. In order to make it to the knockout stage, Pakistan needed India or New Zealand to defeat England in their last two matches. However, it didn’t happen. Akhtar, 43, feels Pakistan have no one to blame but themselves for their disappointing campaign in this edition of the World Cup. “The match against West Indies cost us badly. Then their match against Sri Lanka got abandoned. After that, they lost the game to Australia which they should have won. These three matches made it very difficult for Pakistan. They themselves have got out of the tournament. Nobody else is responsible for their loss.” He, however, wants Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men to play for their pride against Bangladesh in their last group stage fixture at Lord’s on Friday. “All is not lost still. We have to play for our pride against Bangladesh. Pakistan have to make sure they don’t get humiliated and therefore they should play good cricket against Bangladesh,” he insisted.
New Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Monday said it has designed and implemented a State Wide Area Network (SWAN) for the Uttar Pradesh government as part of the e-governance initiative.The network infrastructure now digitally connects all state headquarters, district headquarters, block headquarters and tehsil headquarters across Uttar Pradesh and enables delivery of Government-to-Government as well as Government-to-Citizen services in a seamless manner. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe digital infrastructure – UPSWAN 2.0 – was launched by the state Deputy Chief Minster Dinesh Sharma. It entails 885 Points of Presence (PoPs) across the state and is designed to provide secure, high-speed connectivity for delivery of government services to citizens over a Closed User Group network, an Airtel release said. All state headquarters will be equipped with upto 10 Gbps connectivity while district, block and tehsil headquarters will have up to 10 Mbps connectivity. A dedicated Network Operations Centre has also been set up in Lucknow to monitor the network performance, the statement added. “UPSWAN will enhance efficiency and enable seamless e-delivery of government services to citizens even in deep rural pockets. These include filing of applications for pension and financial aid, registration for employment, issuance of birth and death certificates.”
TORONTO – Canada is not immune to online extortion, despite apparently sidestepping a massive attack that temporarily crippled networks around the world, a cybersecurity expert said.Atty Mashatan, a professor at Ryerson University’s School of Information Technology Management, said it was nothing more than a fluke that Canada appears to have been largely spared from Friday’s ransomware attack that disrupted services in Russia, the U.K., Ukraine, Spain and India.Attacks like this one, dubbed “WannaCry” for the “WannaCrypt” technology used to execute it, happen when a type of software seizes control of a computer, encrypting its contents and rendering them inaccessible.“The vehicle that the malware going from one device to the other is spam. The most common way that they do that is via a link in an email,” Mashatan said. “It looks as if it’s from someone you know, in your contacts. You click on it, and bingo. The actual malware, the file, is downloaded.”The perpetrators then demand hundreds or thousands of dollars to unlock the victims’ computers — essentially holding the documents, photos and other items on the computer for ransom.“This one wasn’t really a targeted attack at all,” Mashatan said. “They usually run this campaign and hope to infect as many devices as they can.”“This time around we were lucky,” she said. “There’s so many people who are emailing one another within the U.K., whereas the traffic between the U.K. and Canada is not as much.”But if the wrong person had clicked on an infected link, they could have spread the ransomware to Canada.A hospital in Oshawa, Ont. said Saturday it appeared the ransomware threatened its computer system, but a spokesman for Lakeridge Health said the facility’s system was able to deflect the attack.“Our antivirus software contained the attack and so while we’ve had to reset some of our systems we weren’t affected in the same way that other places were,” said Lloyd Rang, in an interview Saturday.“Patient care wasn’t affected and neither were any medical records or health records breached in any way.”Computer users worldwide — and everyone else who depends on them — should assume that the next big “ransomware” attack has already been launched, and just hasn’t manifested itself yet, Ori Eisen, who founded the Trusona cybersecurity firm, told The Associated Press.The attack appears to be “low-level” stuff, given the amounts of ransom demanded, Eisen said Saturday.He said the same thing could be done to crucial infrastructure, like nuclear power plants, dams or railway systems.A representative from Public Safety Canada said the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre is aware of the reported attacks, but made no mention on whether any Canadian users were affected.The Communications Security Establishment, a Canadian intelligence agency, said in a statement Saturday that the federal government’s computer networks do not appear to have been affected by the attack.In the meantime, Mashatan said it’s important for everyday people to remain vigilant to prevent these attacks from spreading.She said people should keep their computers’ operating systems up-to-date, because the latest updates often patch up security holes. People should also avoid clicking on suspicious links.—With files by The Associated Press.
NATUASHISH, N.L. – Fifteen years after the Innu of Davis Inlet were moved to a fresh start in nearby Natuashish, leaders are once again fighting to keep kids as young as 11 from sniffing gas.“They’re doing it right on the street,” said Simeon Tshakapesh, deputy grand chief of the Innu Nation in Labrador.He took a late-night walk three days after a fire May 8 at an abandoned house known for gas-sniffing injured two boys who, according to police, were 11 and 17.The younger victim was flown to Toronto for treatment while the other was sent to hospital in St. John’s, Tshakapesh said. RCMP described both their injuries as serious.Tshakapesh wanted to see for himself what he calls a “solvent abuse epidemic” in the remote coastal community of 1,000 residents.He figures about 20 people — some adults, several teenagers and some kids as young as 11 — are getting high on gasoline in plastic bags.The fire conjured old headlines back in 1993. Video recordings of kids at Davis Inlet sniffing gas and yelling that they wanted to die made international news. Media reports beamed images of decrepit housing without running water.Almost a decade later, the federal government helped relocate residents to new homes in nearby Natuashish.Tshakapesh said alcohol continues to flow in the officially “dry” community. He also described a range of street drugs from pot to cocaine.Similar problems plague other small towns and big cities across Canada, he added.The Mushuau Innu people who lived off the land for thousands of years are still struggling with white ways forced on them over the last century, the deputy chief said.“We’re stuck in two worlds,” he said from Natuashish. “We have TVs, satellites, cell phones, the Internet, Facebook.“The Mushuau Innu came out of the bush not even 50 years ago. We were a nomadic people.”Tshakapesh said one of his own children struggles with solvent abuse.“There’s a lot of peer pressure and I understand that, living in an isolated community.”About 60 people, including leaders and residents, met for four hours Friday to discuss solutions, Tshakapesh said. They include plans for more night patrols, prevention programs, summer camp and maybe a small theatre space or teen recreation centre where bored kids can gather.There are hopes the province will soon hire a full-time mental health therapist, Tshakapesh said.He and other leaders are painfully aware of comments on social media asking: “Where are the parents?”“When the parents are having their own personal problems, it affects our children,” Tshakapesh said.The provincial government says it’s working with Innu leaders to increase support services.“The health and well-being of children and youth depends upon a safe, secure and nurturing environment at home and in the community,” spokeswoman Krista Dalton said in an e-mailed statement.“We are committed to continuing our efforts to collectively find solutions to these complex and critically important issues.”There are no pat answers or quick fixes, says a now-retired St. John’s lawyer who has lived in Natuashish since 2010.Garry O’Brien also served as Mushuau Innu band manager for more than two years. He wrote a letter to the editor in 2013, arguing that “essentially all the present problems of the Innu are of our making, however well-intentioned our society may have been.”He described how the rampant dejection seen in the confines of Natuashish evaporated as Innu led him and his wife in 2011 on a 180-kilometre snowmobile trip. Their lives were in the hands of their guides.“In our ordinary dealings with them as nurse practitioner and lawyer we were the ones with the expertise. It must always be remembered that all humans require dignity and as such we seek it in the feedback received from our day to day activities.“The ancient Innu way supplied the Innu with all the dignity they required. When the Innu were no longer free to live the old way, they lost nearly all of their sources of self-respect or human dignity.”O’Brien suggested the way forward is through celebrating and urging Innu youth to get educated in “the white man’s ways,” while still revering their own traditions.Tshakapesh agreed that, above all, young people must know and respect where they come from.“We are Innu. We cannot be healthy or successful in life without understanding and embracing our culture, our language and our connection with our land and animals.”Tshakapesh said addiction prevention is ideal but aboriginal groups — Innu, Inuit and Metis — must also collaborate to build a multi-treatment youth centre in Labrador. He fears that the scourge of potent, deadly drugs such as fentanyl is still to come.“We need to get ready. If not, we’re going to be in really dire straits 10 years from now.”— By Sue Bailey in St. John’s
The Canadian Paediatric Society says its members are “increasingly” being asked by parents about the option of seeking medically assisted death for children, while a survey of doctors found nearly half of the respondents supported assisted death for kids with “progressive terminal illness or intractable pain.”Some 2,600 pediatricians were asked to participate in a survey about inquiries regarding assisted death for minors, both by parents and by children themselves. About 40 per cent responded, the society said Thursday.Thirty-five pediatricians said they had “exploratory discussions” with a total of 60 patients under the age of 18 in the preceding year. Nine pediatricians received “explicit requests” for assisted death from a total of 17 minors.Another 118 pediatricians said they had exploratory discussions about assisted death with the parents of sick children, involving 419 kids in all.Forty-five respondents said they had received explicit requests for assisted death from parents, involving a total of 91 children. More than half of the requests involved a child under a year old.A second survey was submitted to almost 2,000 members of the Canadian Pediatric Society and had a 29 per cent response rate.In that survey, 46 per cent of respondents said they would support assisted death legislation being extended to include so-called “mature minors,” a patient under 18 who can understand the nature and consequences of a particular decision.Dr. Dawn Davies, a pediatric palliative care physician and chairwoman of the Canadian Pediatric Society’s bioethics committee, said she was surprised by that response.“I didn’t think that there would be that much support for it,” said Davies, adding that pediatricians who supported the idea did so with many caveats.“There was a lot of ‘Yes, but …’” she said. “Yes, it could be supported, but there would have to be a lot of oversight.”Thirty-three per cent of the pediatricians who responded said assisted death should not be considered for minors under any circumstances.Davies said it’s “far too early” to make any decisions, but the medical community should start thinking about issues involving assisted death for minors and when it could be the more compassionate choice.There needs to be “a recognition that parents are making this request not as a self-serving thing,” she said, “that children have illnesses where there is really profound suffering.”Legislation enacted in June 2016 allowed eligible adults the right to seek out assisted death in cases of incurable illness or intolerable suffering. The bill also ordered an independent review regarding the idea of assisted death for mature minors. The review will be presented to Parliament in December 2018.Davies, who was one of the co-authors of the two surveys, said only two countries — Belgium and the Netherlands — have laws allowing assisted death for children and such cases are extremely rare.“I don’t know how much we can learn from them because the numbers at this point are so small,” she said. “Globally, there does not seem to be a lot of places to look for direction.”In the meantime, as a palliative care physician, Davies thinks there might be fewer requests for assisted death if end-of-life care were improved.“Given that all of us will eventually die, it’s going to be the common experience of our entire population,” she said.“Medical assistance in dying … is accessible to every Canadian, but excellent palliative care has not been similarly enshrined.”
Five stories in the news for Monday, Nov. 6———CRA VOWS ACTION ON PARADISE PAPERSThe Canada Revenue Agency says it won’t hesitate to investigate new evidence of offshore tax evasion following a second massive leak of tax haven financial records. The leak of some 13.4 million records, dubbed the Paradise Papers, lifts another veil on the ways in which the wealthy — including more than 3,000 Canadian individuals and entities — stash their money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. Among the names appearing in the records are former prime ministers Brian Mulroney, Paul Martin and Jean Chretien. Neither the CRA nor any court has determined the Canadians did anything wrong.———FAMILIES LOSING PATIENCE FOR NO-FLY KID WOESA gaggle of young constituents — and their parents — will descend on Parliament Hill today to press politicians to resolve ongoing airport hassles that children face due to security list snags. Ten families from the group known as the No Fly List Kids plan to make their case to MPs and ministers with the aim of ensuring that funding for a new computer system to fix the problem is included in the 2018 federal budget.———‘ALARMING RATE’ OF INDIGENOUS OVERDOSE DEATHSA decade-long study has found that Indigenous drug users in British Columbia are 13 times more likely to die compared with other Canadians of the same age. The study, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, included 610 Indigenous people who smoked or injected drugs in Vancouver and Prince George and were between the ages of 14 and 30. Forty people died during the study period between 2003 and 2014, and 26 participants have died since then. The study calls for cultural connections as a path to healing deep-rooted pain.———MILLENNIALS MORE LIKELY TO ATTEND REMEMBRANCE DAY CEREMONIES: POLLA new survey suggests millennials are leading a gradual resurgence of interest when it comes to attending Remembrance Day ceremonies. The poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Historica Canada found that 29 per cent of respondents plan to attend a ceremony to honour fallen soldiers on Nov. 11, up three per cent from last year and marking a return to recent highs established in 2015. But the online survey suggests Canadians between 18 and 34 are the ones most likely to pay their respects in person.———VALERIE PLANTE TO BECOME MONTREAL’S FIRST FEMALE MAYORValerie Plante scored a stunning upset in Montreal’s mayoral election on Sunday, defeating incumbent Denis Coderre to become the first woman to win the post. In her victory speech, the 43-year-old Plante reiterated campaign promises to improve public transit in Canada’s second largest city and also add more green spaces and social housing. Coderre, a former Liberal MP and cabinet minister who was elected mayor in 2013, says he’ll now be leaving municipal politics.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY— Musicians including Sting and Elvis Costello pay tribute to Leonard Cohen in a Montreal concert that is being held a day before the first anniversary of the Montreal native’s death. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend.— Nova Scotia Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc unveils Canada Post’s Halifax Explosion commemorative stamp in Halifax.— Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Sherry Romanado, parliamentary secretary (Veterans Affairs) mark the start of Veterans’ Week with a candlelight vigil.— 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the first Parliament of Canada.— Trial for three Calgary police officers accused of assault.— CBC’s first broadcast of its revamped flagship nightly news program, “The National.”———