23. 03. 2019
Alberta chiefs boycott consultation meetings

Alberta chiefs boycott consultation meetings

EDMONTON – A dozen northern Alberta chiefs say they will boycott the province’s attempt to implement legislation to regulate consultation with industry over development on their lands.

“We’re sick and tired of someone telling us what to do and thinking for us,” Rose Laboucan, chief of the Driftpile First Nation, said Thursday. “We can think for ourselves.”

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net


  • First Nations say Alberta silencing their voice

Laboucan is one of 12 chiefs who hand-delivered their message to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Frank Oberle as he waited for them to show up at a meeting to discuss the Alberta Consultation Levy Act.

The boycott means no Treaty 8 chief will meet with government representatives on the act. Nor will technical staff co-operate with government staff in the field.

The chiefs want the legislation rescinded. If it isn’t, they say they will file a lawsuit over it.

Read More: First Nations say Alberta silencing their voice

The legislation, which has been passed but not enacted, attempts to standardize and regulate how industry must consult with aboriginals about development on their lands.

A single government office is to set standards for when consultation is required and how much is enough. It is also to outline what would be necessary for what kind of project.

A levy on industry is to be imposed to ensure First Nations have enough resources to fully participate. The law would allow for benefits agreements between individual bands and companies to remain private, although the deals would be part of provincewide data that would be released.

Aboriginals have objected since the bill was first introduced in early 2013. They say they were handed a finished piece of legislation instead of being consulted when it was being drafted. They also say their numerous submissions to government on the bill were ignored.

Read More: Alberta First Nation drops lawsuit over oilsands project: company

They suggest it gives them no voice in choosing which land is made available to industry and imposes restrictive timelines on small bands already struggling to keep up with proposed development.

“We’re tired of the Alberta government undermining us as First Nations,” said Steve Courtoreille, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation. “It’s time we pushed back.

“Every First Nation has the right to say how they want to be consulted.”

The legislation proposes an industry levy, to be distributed by government, to help First Nations pay for research and other costs associated with considering development proposals. Courtoreille questioned the intent of that money.

“They’re offering bribes to get First Nations to sign off — which means selling out.”

Oberle called the word unfortunate.

“‘Bribe’ is a horrific term,” he said.

Oberle said industry and government had agreed with First Nations that they required more funding to ensure they can play a meaningful role in the consultation process, and that the proposed levy on industry is meant to supply that funding.

Oberle said his staff has met repeatedly with aboriginal leaders and have offered to change parts of the legislation, including clauses that would have forced the disclosure of any deals between industry and bands.

“I’m disappointed the chiefs of Treaty 8 have chosen this path,” he said. “We have more talking to do.”

The government will not rescind the act, Oberle said.

The boycott is the latest in a number of conflicts between the provincial government and aboriginal groups, mostly over influence on industrial development in northern Alberta.

Lawsuits have been filed over project approvals and the province’s new regulatory regime that explicitly prevents panels from hearing constitutional arguments. The government’s main planning tool in the oilsands region is universally opposed by area bands and is the subject of a legislative review.

Bands are also angry that they’ve been shut out of regulatory hearings.

Oberle says the relationship with aboriginal groups is “great,” pointing to expenditures on restoring reserves after flooding in southern Alberta last summer.

“I make no apologies for Alberta in its relationship with First Nations,” he said.

Read More →
23. 03. 2019
Germany puts plane, lasers on stand-by for possible volcano eruption – National

Germany puts plane, lasers on stand-by for possible volcano eruption – National

BERLIN – Germany has put a specialized aircraft and a network of laser measuring stations on stand-by in case Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano erupts.

The transport ministry says the measures are designed to swiftly determine the threat to airline traffic from ash spewed into the atmosphere by an eruption.

WATCH: Aerial footage of Bardarbunga Volcano

Germany’s transportation minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said Thursday that the laser measuring stations can detect ash concentration up to an altitude of 12 kilometres (7.5 miles).

READ MORE: 500 earthquakes rock Iceland volcano in just a few hours

The 2010 eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajokul in Iceland caused some 100,000 flights across Europe to be cancelled because officials worried the ash could damage jet engines.

HangZhou Night Net


  • Eruption risk reduced at Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano, but warnings remain

  • Scientists watch for signs of eruption as earthquakes surge around Iceland volcano

©2014The Canadian Press

Read More →
23. 03. 2019
5 ways to beat the winter blues and stay happy beyond ‘Blue Monday’ – National

5 ways to beat the winter blues and stay happy beyond ‘Blue Monday’ – National

The third Monday of January is not the most depressing day of the year, according to mental health professionals — despite what others might have you believe.

It was dubbed “Blue Monday” in 20015 by a travel company that wanted to encourage people to book winter escapes.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net


  • 7 common suicide myths

  • 25 happiest cities in Canada

  • People over 30 aren’t as happy as they used to be: study

  • Young Minds: Stress, anxiety plaguing Canadian youth

But it could be argued that people do have reason to feel a little blue this time of year. For one, the high of the holidays has worn off and been replaced by the harsh reality of your Christmas spending (and eating). Being in the depths of winter with seemingly no end in sight also doesn’t help.

Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to get through the slump.

1. Vitamin D and light therapy

Up to 10 per cent of North Americans are said to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Experts have suggested the feeling of sadness associated with the disorder is partially due to a lack of Vitamin D, which is produced by natural light.

“Vitamin D is what is called the sunshine hormone [or the] sunshine vitamin,” Dr. Venkat Gopalakrishnan, department head of pharmacology at the University of Saskatchewan, told Global News in December.

People can boost their vitamin D levels by drinking milk, eating fatty fish or taking a supplement, he said.

WATCH: Maintaining vitamin D levels key to battling seasonal depression

One of the other most common treatments for SAD is light therapy, which involves the use of special lamps for about an hour a day to mimic the type of light a person receives on a sunny day.

Tabletop units can range from about $70 to around $200.

READ MORE: Light therapy benefits for non-seasonal depression as well: study

2. Stay active

If you’re one of those “January joiners” who resolved to get fit this year and have already fallen off the bandwagon, don’t worry.

You still can (and should) get back to a workout routine. Any health professional will tell you that physical activity is not only great for your body, but also your mind.

Exercise releases endorphins that can be a great stress-buster.

And there are plenty of ways to work on your fitness this winter while enjoying the great outdoors.

WATCH: January is the time of year that many people resolve to get fit but many people are also facing new financial realities. Here are some tips that won’t break the bank.

3. Spend money on experiences, not things

Psychology professor Tom Gilovich of Cornell University says you’ll be happier — and your happiness will last longer — if you spend your money on experiences (like travel and concerts), rather than things (like clothes and gadgets).

He’s spent more than 12 years studying the subject.

There’s a simple thought experiment Gilovich has used to demonstrate this. He asks his test subjects to think of the three best things and experiences they’ve ever purchased. Then he asks them to tell him about themselves.

“People take their most significant experiences and embed them in their narratives much more than their material goods,” he said.

“Ultimately, we are the sum total of our experiences.”

Gilovich explained that we feel more connected with our loved ones when we share an experience with them.

WATCH: It turns out owning that pair of Manolos is not going to help you be happier after all. A study shows people who spend money on experiences instead of things are much happier.

4. Give unto others

In addition to spending on experiences, research shows spending on others makes us feel good.

“We tested this idea in poor countries where many of our participants reported having trouble meeting their basic needs,” Elizabeth Dunn, a UBC psychology professor, said in 2013.

“And even in these relatively impoverished areas of the world we find people are happier when they spend money on others rather than themselves.”

READ MORE: Happiness from giving to others may be a universal trait, say authors from UBC and Harvard

There seems to be a biological explanation for it.

“There is what’s called dopamine, which is a hormone and a neurotransmitter, that is released into your brain if you do help,” Alisha Sabourin, a Edmonton-based therapist, told Global News in 2014.

Dopamine sends a surge of excitement to the brain, which reinforces the act of giving.

The benefits can include decreased anxiety and blood pressure, along with an increased feeling of self-worth.

Volunteering has been shown to be particularly good for people with depression, as it gets them out of the house and socializing.

WATCH: Su-Ling Goh explains why it feels so good to give

5. ‘Happy wife makes for a happy life’

There may be some scientific proof to that cheesy line you always hear at weddings.

A 70-year study out of Harvard suggested that the key to a long, healthy life is a happy marriage. Owning a puppy and hanging on to a group of good friends can help as well.

A happy relationship is what kept the majority of the men in the study thriving. Only four of the 31 men who stayed single were still alive when the study wrapped up..

Meanwhile, more than a third of those with companions were still alive even into their 90s.

“The finding on happiness is that happiness is the wrong word. The right words for happiness are emotional intelligence, relationships, joy, connections and resilience,” George Vaillant, a Harvard psychiatrist who directed the study for 32 years, told the Daily Mail in 2012.

READ MORE: How to improve your relationship

If subjects didn’t have meaningful relationships, a pet dog often filled the void, the study noted.

The animals are believed to help keep your immune system strong, while daily walks with pets get owners into the habit of regular exercise — which brings us back to tip number two.

Sexologist Jessica O’Reilly: How to have a healthy marriage

Sexologist Jessica O’Reilly: How to have a healthy marriage
Keys to a successful marriage
How to spice up your sex life

If all the tips above fail you and you just need a little pick-me-up, there’s always comfort food.

WATCH: Sometimes nothing beats the cozy comfort of a homecooked meal

Watch below: If you’re feeling down today, you’re probably not alone as Monday was officially known as Blue Monday. It’s labelled as the most depressing day of the year but as Su-Ling Goh reports, there’s not a lot of evidence to support that claim.

-With files from Global News

Follow @TrishKozicka

Read More →
23. 03. 2019
Impaired driving cases still far too high: RCMP – New Brunswick

Impaired driving cases still far too high: RCMP – New Brunswick

MONCTON, N.B. – New Brunswick RCMP’s Traffic Services Unit have charged over 523 people for impaired driving so far this year, a number that’s still far too high, says Sgt. André Pepin.

It’s little improvement over the last year when impaired driving charges were up 35 per cent in the Codiac region.

But Pepin said Thursday RCMP are getting more calls from citizens identifying an impaired driver.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

“If you believe the person is impaired then you may save a life so don’t be afraid of calling,” Pepin said.

The numbers are little comfort to Kali O’Dell.

O’Dell’s parents were killed by a drunk driver near Salisbury, N.B. in 2006. She and her little brother were instantly orphaned.

 “Living without my parents is absolutely terrifying,” she said.

“They missed my prom, they missed my graduation, they are never going to meet my boyfriend.”

O’Dell, now 20, has been speaking out publicly against impaired driving for years. But the latest figures seem to show people are not listening.

Last year, RCMP launched a program called Team O’Dell, aimed to improve enforcement.

“They know it’s wrong and should not be doing it, it’s just plain stupidity at this point,” O’Dell said.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving say the numbers could show more people are getting caught.

“Probably 50 per cent of charges that are resulting now are from anonymous calls from people from their cells phones,” said Scott Kennie, with MADD.

If you observe a potential impaired driver, RCMP ask you to call 911, state your location, the vehicle’s description and their direction of travel.

Read More →
23. 03. 2019
The Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine in maps and numbers – National

The Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine in maps and numbers – National

Watch above: Russia denies it, but the evidence of an invasion of Ukraine is becoming overwhelming. Stuart Greer reports.

The situation in Ukraine is once again in a perilous position, with President Petro Poroshenko saying Russian forces have invaded the country’s troubled East.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

The “full-scale invasion,” as Petroshenko called it, prompted an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Thursday afternoon and condemnation from Canada, the U.S. and European leaders.

Poroshenko’s comment came after two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicle reportedly crossed into the country on Thursday and Grad missiles were fired at a border post.

In the past month alone, the number of people killed in the conflict between the Ukrainian government and separatist groups, aligned with and supported by Russia, has risen sharply. So, too, has the number of Russians getting involved in the conflict.

Global News takes a look at the numbers and geography of the current state of the crisis in Ukraine.

At least 2,249 — Fighting in the east has killed at least that many people in eastern Ukraine since April. That tally does not include the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down on July 17 by artillery fired from the separatist-held territory of Donetsk.

But the number of people killed —including civilians, separatist fighters and Ukrainian troops — has doubled in just the past month. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOCHR), the death toll on July 26 was at least 1,129. UNOCHR said, at the time, that number was based on “conservative estimates.”

Map: Areas of Ukraine where there has been anti-government or pro-Russia separatist movements since March

1,000+ — NATO said Thursday “well over 1,000 Russian troops” supporting separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine…

20,000 —… But, NATO said there’s at least 20,000 more soldiers assembled on the other side of the Russia-Ukraine border.

Map: NATO released satellite imagery Thursday that it said showed Russian troops in Ukraine.

NATO caption reads: Russian military units moving in a convoy formation with self-propelled artillery in the area of Krasnodon, Ukraine, well inside territory controlled by Russian separatists. The image was captured on 21 August 2014. There is confidence the equipment is Russian, since Ukrainian units have not yet penetrated this far into separatist controlled territory.

NATO handout

NATO caption reads: “Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions near Krasnodon, Ukraine. They are supported by logistical vehicles which are likely carrying extra ammunition and supplies. This configuration is exactly how trained military professionals would arrange their assets on the ground, indicating that these are not unskilled amateurs, but Russian soldiers. Russian artillery systems like these have recently shelled Ukrainian positions outside the city of Luhansk in conjunction with a separatist counteroffensive to attempt to break the Ukrainian siege of the city.”


NATO caption reads: “Military deployment site on the Russian side of the border, near Rostov-on-Don. This location is approximately 31 miles or 50 kilometres from the Dovzhansky, Ukraine border crossing.”


NATO caption reads: “This photo depicts what are probably six Russian 153mm 2S19 self-propelled guns located in Russia near Kuybyshevo. This site is situated 4 miles, or 6.5 kilometres, south of the Ukraine border, near the village of Chervonyi Zhovten. The guns are pointed north, directly towards Ukrainian territory (see North indicator on image). See image 5 for an overview of where these guns are situated in relation to Ukrainian territory.”


NATO caption reads: “Wider overview including the position of the self-propelled guns from image 4. Note the North indicator on this image, and remember that the guns are orientated in this location. It is clear that from this location, it would be impossible NOT to fire into Ukrainian territory. This is clearly NOT an exercise; these guns are being used to support separatist forces operating in the territory of Ukraine.”


3,000-4,000 and zero — Russia Today, the Kremlin-run, English-language news agency, said that is the approximate number of Russian citizens who “joined anti-government fighters” to take on the Ukrainian military. Russia Today also reported the Russian OSCE representative Andrey Kelin said “there are no soldiers or equipment present” in Ukraine’s east.

Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told media that the 3,000-4,000 Russian citizens who have entered the region are volunteers, but said many of them are “military men” who used their summer break to fight for the freedom of the region, according to Russia Today.

READ MORE: Canadian fighter jets edge closer to Russian airspace

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, addressed that claim at the emergency meeting of the UN Security council, saying:

“One of the separatist leaders that Russia has armed and backed said openly that three or four thousand Russian soldiers have joined their cause. He was quick to clarify that these soldiers were on vacation. But a Russian soldier who chooses to fight in Ukraine on his summer break is still a Russian soldier. And the armored Russian military vehicle he drives there is not his personal car.”

READ MORE: More Canadian aid on its way to Ukraine: Baird (Aug. 15)

11 — Russia plans to send 11 new vessels to its Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, Russia’s Ria Novosti reported Thursday. Sevastopol has long been the home port of the Black Sea Fleet.

Since tension from the annexation of Crimea, following the Maidan protests and the toppling of Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin announced plans to add a total of “30 new ships by 2020” to the fleet.

The vessels to be added to the Black Sea Fleet, according to Ria Novosti, include “two anti-sabotage boats, six service vessels, two diesel-electric submarines and two frigates.”

READ MORE: Ukraine crisis: Are sanctions against Russia working?

Map: Where’s Russia?

The Canadian government, through its Canada at NATO 桑拿会所 account, posted a map reminding Russia where its borders lie, labeling Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula as “Not Russia,” adding Russian soldiers “keep getting lost [and] ‘accidentally’ entering Ukraine.”

In response to Canada’s jab, the Russian Mission to NATO tweeted its own version of the map, saying it is “helping our Canadian colleagues catch up with [the] contemporary geography of Europe.” it also highlighted the Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Canadian map, posted Wednesday, has been retweeted more than 24,000 times and favourited nearly 10,000 times. The Russian map, shared Thursday, has been retweeted more than 300 times and favourited at least 100 times.

6 —Canada promised to send six CF-18 jets Canada to the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued Russian involvement in the war.

41 — Canada has a growing list of individuals and entities, in Russia and Ukraine, it has sanctioned in response to Russian involvement in the continuing crisis.

As of Aug. 6, the 41 individuals and entities subject to Canadian sanctions included leaders in the self-proclaimed separatist organizations Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.

The list also includes the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and key figures in the Russian government.

-With files from The Associated Press

Read More →