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RCI English section: goodbye
14-05-2021
RCI English section: goodbye
Canada's international broadcast service from the English language team of Radio Canada International has come to an end. RCI, (originally the International Service, CBC-IS) was initially created towards the end of the Second World War. The purpose was to broadcast news and information from home via shortwave to Canadian military personnel fighting in Europe.  It also began providing  reliable news and information to recently liberated countries and to Germans still in the war. That reliable news and information was considered of great value during the subsequent Cold War years, as  several more languages were added to the service such as Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish. Other language sections included those such as Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese. With 14 language sections in 1990 and some 200 staff, the full  English and French newsroom provided news of interest and importance for each language section specifically targeted to each of the various broadcast regions around the world. Following a major budget cut by Radio Canada of some 80 per cent in 2012, the shortwave and satellite service was terminated along with the majority of staff including the newsroom and some language sections. In recent years, only Chinese (Mandarin), Arabic, and Spanish remained along with English and  French.  RCI was transformed into a much smaller internet-based operation consisting of three people per language section. Until the pandemic obliged people to work from home, RCI language sections had weekly video programmes in addition to the daily online reports. Shown here in Nov. 2018 are Marc, Lynn, and Levon, with web editor and show contributor Marie-Claude Simard. In December 2020, the domestic public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced that the English and French sections of RCI would close for good in May. In their place curated stories from the domestic English and French public broadcaster will be provided. The Link weekly video, with Terry (sitting in for Levon), Lynn, and Marc, Oct 2019 A manager will now oversee the staff of eight who will adapt curated stories from the CBC and Radio-Canada into Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish, along with Punjabi and Tagalog. They will also create a weekly podcast, with field reports in Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish and Punjabi. An effort was and is being made by the RCI Action Committee to preserve and even expand the service which has garnered great support from a former prime minister, former diplomats and many academics, but the end date has come.  This is the last entry by the RCI English section. From the English Section consisting of Lynn, Marc, and Levon,  faithful and long-time popular replacement Terry Haig, and recently also Vincenzo Morello, as well as the many other dedicated producer presenters and news staff over that long history, we thank you for having shared our stories over these many years. - 30 - additional information RCI: Dec 3/20:Canadas public broadcaster announces new cuts to Radio Canada International RCI History- 50th anniversary booklet
Exercising could help in pandemic but stress, anxiety a barrier
12-04-2021
Exercising could help in pandemic but stress, anxiety a barrier
Researchers at McMaster University say that the COVID-19 pandemic “has created a paradox where mental health has become both a motivator for and a barrier to physical activity.”  A study was done to find out how and why mental health, physical activity and sedentary behaviour changed during the pandemic. After surveying more than 1,600 subjects, the researchers say people want to be active but they find it difficult to exercise because of stress and anxiety.  The respondents said the pandemic had triggered higher psychological stress and moderate levels of anxiety and depression. Meanwhile, aerobic activity declined by about 20 minutes a week, strength training declined by 30 minutes weekly and sedentary time increased by about 30 minutes a day when compared to the six months before the pandemic began.  Researcher say getting regular exercise can be difficult at the best of times and may be more difficult in a pandemic. (iStock) Too anxious to exercise "Maintaining a regular exercise program is difficult at the best of times and the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may be making it even more difficult,” said Jennifer Heisz, lead author of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster. “Even though exercise comes with the promise of reducing anxiety, many respondents felt too anxious to exercise. Likewise, although exercise reduces depression, respondents who were more depressed were less motivated to get active, and lack of motivation is a symptom of depression.” The researchers also found that some demographics were hit harder than others. In particular, people with lower incomes and younger adults struggled to meet their physical activity goals. “It is plausible that younger adults who typically work longer hours and earn less are lacking both time and space which is taking a toll,” said Maryam Marashi, a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology and co-lead author of the study. Researchers offered tips to help people get active Based on what they found, the researchers designed a toolkit and advice to help people get active. That advice included adopting the mindset that some exercise is better than none, lower exercise intensity is better if one is feeling anxious, move a little every day, break up sedentary time with standing or moving breaks, and plan workouts like appointments. They also suggested additional psychological supports would help. “Our results point to the need for additional psychological supports to help people maintain their physical activity levels during stressful times in order to minimize the burden of the pandemic and prevent the development of a mental health crisis,” said. Heisz. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Pioneering hospital celebrates medical milestones
31-03-2021
Pioneering hospital celebrates medical milestones
The Montreal General Hospital was founded in 1821 and is famous for many medical firsts including the fact that its founding doctors established Canada’s first faculty of medicine program at McGill University. The hospital treated patients through several major outbreaks of disease from  the deadly flu pandemic of 1918 to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now one of only three Level 1 trauma centres in the province of Quebec. It is part of Canada’s largest hospital system called the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). 'No shortage of history makers' “The Montreal General Hospital has no shortage of history makers in its first 200 years,” said MUHC President and Executive Director Dr. Pierre Gfeller. “While Sir William Osler, credited with pioneering bedside teaching in Canada, is often named, consider that the hospital might not have existed as early as it did were it not for the Female Benevolent Society, which identified the need for the four-bed ‘House of Recovery’ to address poverty and illness in the city. Then there is Miss Nora Livingston, whose founding of the School of Nursing helped transform the profession, and Drs William Wright and Eleanor Percival, the hospital’s first Black and Female attending physicians. Their actions and those of many more have altered the course of our institution, health system and community." Sir William Osler, introduced the novel practice of having medical students learn not only in class but at patients' bedsides. (University of Pennsylvania archives) Cancer break though and pain research celebrated To celebrate the hospital’s 200th anniversary there will be a large-scale exhibition posted online and several other activities. The virtual exhibit is billed as a journey through the two centuries of hospital history, medical innovation and exceptional individuals and teams. It features photos, artwork, text and videos from local and national collections and takes viewers through the excitement of the biomedical revolution. It highlights breakthroughs such as Dr. Phil Gold and Dr. Samuel Freedman’s discovery of the first biomarker for cancer and Dr. Ronald Melzack's contributions to pain theory which paved the way for research and treatment.  Nora Livingston pioneered nursing education and introduced standards to elevate the level of patient care. (Montreal General Hospital) Hospital was funded through philanthropy The Montreal General Hospital was one of the first public healthcare institutions in Montreal, and it relied largely on funding from community sources. Although health care is publicly funded in Canada, the General still benefits greatly from philanthropy.  Besides the virtual exhibition, the year’s activities will include a book launch by celebrity hockey surgeon Dr. David Mulder and public lectures on topics ranging from Mental Health and Aging to Trauma and Emergency Care. The theme for this anniversary is Reaching and Exceeding and is inspired by the quote from the poet Robert Browning, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” The logo features an infinity symbol, which the hospital says represents the endless pursuit of excellence of healthcare workers and support staff. The anniversary logo features an infinity symbol, meant to represent the endless pursuit of excellence. (MUHC)
Report shows residential school victims received about $3B in compensation
12-03-2021
Report shows residential school victims received about $3B in compensation
The cost of compensating victims of Canada's now-infamous residential school system was over $3 billion, according to a final report released Thursday by Parliament's Independent Assessment Process Oversight Committee. The committee, which has been overseeing the compensation process since 2007, says just under 28,000 people received payments. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the efforts to redress the damage inflicted on generations of Indigenous children forced to attend the residential schools established by the federal government and run by Christian Churches. Their aim was to assimilate the children into the dominant Canadian culture. The first known residential schools were established in the 1820s.  A 1945 investigation in parental complaints at the Gordon's Reserve school in Saskatchewan reported that one dinner that children were fed consisted of a single slice of bologna, potatoes, bread and milk. An estimate 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend residential schools. (General Synod Archives/Anglican Church of Canada) The last one closed in 1997. In all, roughly 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended the schools. The number of school-related deaths remains unknown due to an incomplete historical record, though estimates range from 3,200 to upwards of 6,000. Most of the children died from malnourishment or disease. Some children who attended the schools in the 1940s and 1950s were even subjected to science experiments in which they were deprived essential nutrients and dental care. After six years of investigating how the schools were run and why they came to be, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, issued a final report in 2015 that branded the program "cultural genocide," and issued "calls to action" in pursuit of proper reconciliation and compensation. Joyce Hunter, whose brother Charlie Hunter died at St. Anne's Residential School in 1974, passes Clement Chartier, president of the Métis National Council, as she carries a ceremonial cloth with the names of 2,800 children who died in residential schools and were identified in the National Student Memorial Register, is carried to the stage during the Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec on Sept. 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang) "Children as young as three were forcibly removed from their families and communities and taken to the schools," the report released Thursday states. "For most, the residential school system was profoundly negative and had a lasting impact on the children, on their families, and on their culture." The court-approved compensation scheme arose out of a comprehensive class-action settlement in 2007 involving survivors, the federal government and churches that ran the schools. Claimants were entitled to up to $275,000 each based on the nature and level of abuse suffered. In all, the report says, 38,276 claims were received and adjudicators awarded $2.14 billion in compensation to 23,431 claimants. Another, 4,415 claimants received compensation directly from the federal government. Thursday's report shows the government paid out $3.23 billion in compensation and other costs, and the process itself cost another $411 million. You can read the full report HERE. With files from The Canadian Press (Colin Perkel), CBC News (John Paul Tasker, Susana Mas), RCI (Levon Sevunts)
New report provides numbers on how much food is wasted in Canada
06-03-2021
New report provides numbers on how much food is wasted in Canada
A new United Nations report puts some numbers on the amount of food that goes to waste in Canada. The report, from the United Nations Environment Programme relies mainly on a 2019 study by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It suggests that the average Canadian wastes 79 kilograms of household food every year. That adds up to 2.94 million metric tonnes of household food waste annually. By comparison, the average American wastes 59 kilograms of household food per year and the average person in the United Kingdom wastes about 77 kilograms of household food per year. The report, released Thursday, estimates that 17 per cent of the food produced globally each year is wasted.  Food waste has become a growing concern because of the environmental toll of production, including the land required to raise crops and animals and the greenhouse gas emissions produced along the way. (iStock) That amounts to more 930 million tonnes (1.03 billion tons) of food. "The fact that substantial amounts of food are produced but not eaten by humans has substantial negative impacts: environmentally, socially and economically. Estimates suggest that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed," the report says. The report says about 61 per cent of the food waste happens in households, while the food service industry (26%) and retailers (13%) account for the remainder. Canada did not have data for the food service or retailer food waste portions of the study. The UN is pushing to reduce food waste globally, and researchers are also working on an assessment of waste that includes the food lost before reaching consumers. A report released in Jan. 2019 found that  58 per cent of all food produced in Canada — 35.5 million tonnes — is lost or wasted and about a third of that wasted food could be "rescued" and sent to communities in need across the country. Read the full UNEP report here. With files from The Associated Press, CBC News,
Justin Clark, a man of extraordinary perseverance and courage, dies at 58
27-02-2021
Justin Clark, a man of extraordinary perseverance and courage, dies at 58
Justin Clark, a man who never learned to take no for an answer, died Thursday at the age of 58. Born in 1962 with cerebral palsy,  unable to walk or talk, he leaves a legacy few Canadians will ever match. Clark became a pioneer in the fight for the rights of disabled people--determined that they should be treated as full-fledged human beings. Justin Clark, who died Thursday at the age of 58, is pictured with his friend and former teacher Robbie Giles as they attend Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. Their friendship was fast and lasted (see below) a lifetime. (Submitted by Robbie Giles) After spending his youth at the now-closed Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls, Ontario, he decided that he wanted to control his life. He sued his parents for the right to leave the institution they had placed him in as a child. "The 6 day trial began in November 1982 in Perth, Ontario," writes Anoop Kalsi in her review of the proceeding, published in Dec. 2018. "Justin testified by pointing to a board filled with symbols, a bliss board, which read his answers aloud. This was the first time a bliss board was used in a Canadian court," writes Kalsi, a paralegal at Baker Law in Toronto, whose senior partner David Baker had represented Clark. "When Justin finished his testimony, his parents stood up from their seats and applauded," writes Kalsi, adding: "You can read Justin’s testimony in the unpublished manuscript written by Audrey Cole and Melanie Panitch in PDF here and in text here." Clark is pictured with John Matheson, the judge who presided over his case. "He was not a 'mentally retarded man,' who could not learn, the court found. He was a 'gentle, trusting, believing spirit' and 'very much a thinking human being,' the judge ruled, giving him control of his own affairs." From Kelly Egan's obituary and tribute to Clark published Friday in the Ottawa Citizen. (See link below.)  (Submitted by Carole MacLauchlan) The ramifiations of the stand Clark took and the decision Judge John Matheson made nearly 40 years have had a profound effect on--and for--Canadians. Following the ruling, guardianship laws were re-examined, and in some provinces, rewritten.  Disabled people are no longer "put away." And more and more, a disabled person--not his guardian--gets to make the important decisions that affect his or her life--though that fight continues. And anyone who ever met him or had their life changed because of him is not about to forget Justin Clark and his victory in that courtroom back in 1982. Here's something from the website of British Columbia's Community Ventures Society. "The example Clark set is one that we should all be thankful for," says the post. "He took a bold step to change the course of his life and the lives of many others. He has clearly experienced the benefits of this and we're sure many others have as well." For most of his adult life, Clark lived at Foyers Partage in suburban Ottawa but took the time to play bocce at a rehab centre once or twice a week. (David Gutnick/CBC) In November 2018, Clark was the subject of a radio feature by Montreal-based CBC journalist David Gutnick.  "Today, at 56, Clark is thriving. He has travelled widely — to Germany, Switzerland, France and to visit a brother in the United States. He sees his siblings and friends regularly, and corresponds with them by email," Gutnick reported. "He loves his job at ComputerWise, where he designs greeting cards and calendars. Once or twice a week, he plays bocce at the gymnasium of an Ottawa rehab centre." Clark leaves an extraordinary legacy. Robbie Giles, Justin Clark's former teacher, visits him at his home at Foyer Partage in Ottawa. “I just fell in love with the wonderful soul that he was,” Giles told told the Ottawa Citizen's Kelly Egan. (David Gutnick/CBC) In an obituary and tribute to Clark published Friday in the Ottawa Citizen, Kelly Egan quotes Clark's dear friend Robbie Gil...
CETA trade deal: Three years later, Canadian agriculture still dissatisfied
30-09-2020
CETA trade deal: Three years later, Canadian agriculture still dissatisfied
In 2017 the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement was negotiated and signed into force with great satisfaction by Canada's Trudeau government to improve trade between Canada nad the European Union, notably in the agricultural sector. It was supposed to be advantageous for both Canada and the European Union.  A year later there were already rumblings in Canadian agriculture and by 2019 the Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) was saying the deal had not only not increased Canadian exports but in fact had hurt the sector. The group said since CETA. the agriculture sector had lost about 10 per cent of its exports to Europe while imports from Europe had increased by the same amount meaning about a $3.5 billion trade imbalance. RCI- Oct 21/19: CETA trade deal - advantage Europe Now one year later CAFTA wrote a letter to the EU Directorate of Trade staing its concerns about the deal writing "to express our serious concern over the lack of commitment the European Union (EU) is demonstrating to adhere to the spirit of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)". The letter goes on to criticise the EU saying  the deal has harmed Canada, " because of a wide range of technical barriers and trade distorting measures that were to be lowered or eliminated altogether through CETA continue to block access to the EU market for Canadian products. The reluctance from the EU Commission and EU member states to abide by the spirit of the CETA and remove these barriers has been disappointing and surprising given the EU’s own focus on ensuring its trade agreements are put into practice and enforced properly". In addtion this week no less than five former Premiers have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. The five former Premiers include those of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, The say the deal was to "increase Canada’s exports by nearly $1.5 billion annually. The pact also included commitments to resolve issues related to technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary provisions and other non-tariff barriers" It goes on to say, "CETA has now been in force for three years and it has failed to deliver on its promises for Canada’s agri-food exporters. This outcomes results from the EU Commission and EU member states continuing to impose a wide range of trade barriers for pork, beef, canola, sugar and grains, or failing to reduce those that were to be lowered or eliminated altogether through CETA The letter goes on to urge the Prime Minister to raise concerns about what are seen as ongoing barriers and restrictions hurting Canadian agricultural exports concluding with ". In the weeks ahead, we urge you to take up these issues with your counterparts as one of your top foreign policy priorities. additional information - sources CAFTA: Sep 20/20: Open letter to EU Directorate of Trade Sep 21/20: Open letter from former Premiers to the Prime Minister Alberta Farmer: D Fraser: Sep 25/20:  Canada not benefitting from CETA Barbeau says
Canada pushes former finance minister for top OECD position
28-09-2020
Canada pushes former finance minister for top OECD position
Canada's Bill Morneau, had been a confidant and advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  since the Liberals came to power in 2015. He had also held the very important portfolio of finance minister since that time. His involvement with the WE Charity and especially 'forgetting' about accepting an expensive free trip for his family from the charity amid the federal scandal surrounding the multi-million dollar sole-source contract of which he was a part, is said to have caused him to suddenly resign last month. Rumours of a rift over Trudeau's massive COVID emergency spending, remain rumours, and likely without much foundation given that  on Friday, the government announced in a statement they were backing Morneau as the Canadian choice to head the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The influential international organisation will name a new Secretary-General on March 1, 2021 for a five year term heading the 37 member group of mostly highly-developed countries. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria of Mexico, seen here in an Oct. 2017 photo, will not seek a fourth term after 15 years, opening the international competition for the top job (Matt Dunham/AP/Canadian Press) On its website the OECD describes itself as working with governments, policy makers, and citizens, "on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, we provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting. Morneau was in Paris this weekend for meetings with OECD ambassadors The competition for the top job at the OECD is tough, with the current head, Angel Gurria of Mexico not seeking a fourth term,  possible candidates include a strong contender from the U.S.  White House advisor Chris Liddell, is an Oxford graduate who has also been a top executive at Microsoft and General Motors. Candidates from Estonia and the Czech Republic would likely have a strong positio as would Sweden’s Cecilia Malmström, a longtime EU commissioner.   An additional point in her favour is that a woman has never headed the OECD. The European members may also want one of their own after over two decades of non-European heads. The last European to head the organisation was  Jean-Claude Paye of France from 1984 to 1996 In spite of an impressive C.V. the fact that Morneau resigned under a cloud may also play against him. At least one critic has said that after Trudeau mocked the previous government's failed bid for a U.N. Security Council seat and then failed himself, the Trudeau government's 'vigourous support' for Morneau may be setting Canada up for another international embarrassment. Adding to the factors against Morneau is that a Canadian had recently held the job. Donald Johnston was OECD head for ten years from 1996 to 2006. Member countries can put forward their nominees until the end of October. additional information - sources iPolitics: A. Freeman: Aug 21/20: OpEd: Sorry Mr Morneau but the OECD is exploring other candidates at this time Politico: A.Blatchford: Sep 25/20: Bill Morneau emerges from Liberal scandal to make pitch for OECD top job Gov't of Canada: Sep 25/20: Statement of support for Morneau's  OECD bid Bloomberg: T.Argitis: Sep 25.20: Canada nominates former finance minister Morneau for OECD post
Canada History: Sept. 18, 1936 – The fastest steam locomotive
18-09-2020
Canada History: Sept. 18, 1936 – The fastest steam locomotive
No sooner had man invented motive power, than the quest began for who could achieve the fastest speed, on land, in the air, and on water. When it came to railways, Canada briefly was in world record speed territory. In the mid-1930s, the Canadian Pacific Railway began exploring a new concept for a fast passenger train to revive interest in inter-city rail travel. By 1935 the CPR had built air-conditioned four-car trains to be pulled by their new 'lightweight' 4-4-4 F2 locomotive series, numbered 3000 to 3004. Two would operate on the Montreal-Quebec City run, two for the Toronto-Windsor run, and one on the Calgary-Edmonton service. These were dubbed "Jubilee" class locomotives to denote 50 years of transcontinental passenger service by the CPR. A similar 4-4-4 series, slightly shorter with smaller drive wheels was also dubbed Jubilee, and built the next year were known as F1 and in the 2000 numerical series These F2 3000 series Jubilee's had big 80-inch drive wheels, were semi-streamlined and operated at an unusually high boiler pressure of 300 psi. In July 1936, the first of the F2 Jubilees rolled out of the Montreal Locomotive Works, which would cease building engines during the war to become a builder of Ram tanks, and Sexton self-propelled gun. F2 Jubilee 3003 showing Jubilee class livery (source unknown via fourthjunction) It was on this date in 1936 (some sources say 1937) that number 3003 set a Canadian steam locomotive speed record while apparently on an air brake test run. While pulling the special four car train on the CPR Winchester run between Smith's Falls Ont. and Montreal,  #3003 hit an officially recorded speed of 112.5 mph near St-Télésphore, Québec. The engine's high speed ability couldn't save steam however. By the early 1950's diesel, cheaper to operate, was clearly taking over. By the mid 1950's, most steam loco's had begun being replaced. Budd cars, self propelled passenger cars, also took their toll on the shorter intercity runs. Apparently none of the 3000's survive. It seems some confusion between Montreal and Calgary about which one was to preserve the last example meant that both surviving F2's were scrapped in 1957. Shiny new 3000 shown in 1936 said to be at the Montreal Locomotive Works, One of five of the F2 light fast 4-4-4 semi stramliners ( Glenbow Museum) It is interesting to note that the locomotive speed record remained in Canada until 1974 when broken by a diesel engine and soon after by the somewhat short-lived and troubled "high-speed" turbo trains. Even today it is rare that passenger trains in Canada reach 100 mph (160km/h) and only on a few limited stretches of track. The fastest speed on record for a steam locomotive goes to Britain's 'Magnificent Mallard" a highly streamlined engine that briefly achieved 125.88 (202.5 km/h) on a slight downgrade in July of 1938. additional information -sources Old Time Trains- CPR F1 F2 class 4-4-4 Jubilee Fourth Junction: The 'Chinook" CPR Jubilee 3003 North Valley News: C Stevenson: Station to Station- Through the United Counties with the Canadian Pacific Railway Portal to online railway photos of Canadian Archives Exporail Canadian Railway Museum (St Constant, Qc) exporail.org: Canadian Rail (magazine): May 1967 Toronto Historical Rail Association TRHC- Facebook
Canada history: Aug 31,1993: Canada’s military bids farewell to Germany
31-08-2020
Canada history: Aug 31,1993: Canada’s military bids farewell to Germany
Canadian Forces Europe (CFE) ends On this date the last of Canada' s military forces said goodbye to their home away home in southern Germany. CFB Baden-Soellingen, and CFB Lahr had been the site of Canada's NATO forces for some four decades. Perhaps 350,000  Canadian soldiers occasionally with families saw service in Germany starting in the 1950's with the establishment of commitments to NATO. Raising the Canadian Flag, at the Caserne as part of takeover of the base Sept 1967 ( via CMPA) The Canadian presence began in France and Germany in the 1950's with airforce wings, but when France withdrew from NATO the two wings there were moved into the two existing German locations with the contingent at CFB Baden (originally Canadian Forces Station Baden) seeing an influx of new personnel in 1963 and 66, eventually becoming the RCAF's main fighter location equipped with CF 104 interceptors. CFS Baden had begun in 1953 with Canadians flying Canadair F 86 Sabres. One of the Secure Ammunition Storage (SAS) bunkers used to store nuclear weapons for CF-104 aircraft during the short period that 1 Wing Lahr aircraft had a nuclear strike role (1969-70). (Unknown source CMPA As France subsequently withdrew all its forces from Germany,  the Canadians also moved into CFB Lahr which originally had been a German airship base in the First World War. France later occupied the base before leaving in 1966. The main gate to the Lahr airfield -undated ( Lynn Marie- Pinterest) Canadians then began to move both air and land units to the huge site with an airfield outside Lahr and a large 'caserne ' in the town.  While the airfield became the centre for mechanised units and others , the caserne later became the site of military offices, schools, store, and recreation centre. Canadian MPs (in pre-unification RCAF Police uniforms) take over from French security forces at the Lahr airbase, 6 September 1967 (Photo: DND) Lahr was home to 4 Canadian Mechanised Brigade group of armour, artillery, engineers, service battalion, field ambulance, tactical helicopters, and so on. At any given time there at least 1,100 Canadian troops in Germany. The Canadians had a long and warm relationships with the German people and many a young German woman found themselves a new Canadian husband. Not all Germans loved the Canadians, such as the peace demonstrators outside the airfield gate in 1981 (via CMPA) However, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the need for an established military presence in West Germany allegedly came to an end and with it the end of a permanent Canadian presence. The closure of the bases was announced in the 1990 budget as a cost cutting measure. 155-mm M109 SP Howitzer, Ex Regensprung, Lahr, Germany, 9 Sep 1975.. Germans often didn't love the huge military vehicle movements through town, but usually understood why and were generally appreciative of the Canadian presence ( LAC Mikan 4748867) CFB Baden airfield was closed in March 1993 with units leaving over the summer and only a handful of personnel remaining until the permanent closure on December 31. Video image of some of the last flights of Canadian fighters at CFB Baden in 1993 ( what you havent' seen- Youtube) The last unit to leave CFB Lahr was 4CMBG on this date in 1993, and the base permanently closed and handed back to the city on this same date exactly one year later. additional information- sources MacLean's: Phillips/Fulton: Jul 19/93: Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye Canadian Press (CTV): Jul 2/11: Canada paid $6M to clean cold war bases in Germany Canadian Military History: B Forsyth A Schnitzel and a glass of wine: Former Canadian military base in Lahr (Pt 1) Canadian Military Police Assoc: The Lahe Military Police Section Military History books: Harold Skaarup: 4CMBG-Canadian Forces Europe 189570-1993
Joe Norton, a no-nonsense down-to-earth Indigenous leader, is dead at 70
18-08-2020
Joe Norton, a no-nonsense down-to-earth Indigenous leader, is dead at 70
Joseph Tokwiroh Norton, a straight-talking, no-nonsense, down-to earth man who spent much of his life fighting for the rights of members of the Mohawk Nation and other Indigenious people in Canada, has died. Norton, who served for nearly 30 years as the Grand Chief of Kahnawake, across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, was 70. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake confirmed Norton's death shortly after 9:30 p.m. Friday, saying he suffered a fall at his home in the afternoon and had been taken to hospital. Grand Chief Joe Norton is pictured in Kahnawake on Sept. 18, 2018. (Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS) “He became known as a strong voice for Indigenous solidarity, defiance and determination. As a statesman, he carried a vision in continually striving for the advancement of Indigenous governance," the council said in a statement.  Following the news of Norton's death, public figures paid tribute to Norton. Yesterday, we lost Grand Chief Joe Norton, who was a dominant force in First Nations leadership for more than three decades. He was also a wonderful friend and mentor, and was always warm and supportive. My thoughts are with Joe’s family as he journeys to be with our Creator. — Perry Bellegarde (@perrybellegarde) August 15, 2020 Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde described Norton as “a dominant force in First Nations leadership for more than three decades” as well as a wonderful friend and mentor in a tweet on Saturday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his consoldenes, writing that Norton was a "passionate advocate for his community and served with distinction."  For three decades, Grand Chief Joseph Norton was a passionate advocate for his community and served with distinction. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy - and my thoughts are with his family, friends, and entire community as they mourn his passing. — Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 15, 2020 Former Quebec native affairs minister Geoffrey Kelley remembered Norton as a very determined--but fair--leader. “Joe Norton defined Mohawk pride,” Kelley told the Montreal Gazette in an interview.. “He was someone who stood up for his community, his people, his nation. He was a man who gave almost his whole life to leadership in his community, and he made a great contribution to Kahnawake and to Indigenous rights and Indigenous causes right across Canada. He was an extraordinary individual.” Norton first gained public attention as a key Mohawk negotiator during the 1990 Oka Crisis--a 78-day standoff between Quebec Mohawks and Canadian soldiers over the proposed expansion of a golf course near the town of Oka.  (In 2002, Norton was honoured with a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now known as Indspire) for Public Service in 2002, for his role as a key negotiator in the Oka crisis.)  He later negotiated agreements with Quebec government ensuring more power. Members of the Quebec government and Native leaders talk to the media in Quebec City regarding a preliminary agreement to remove the barricade at Oka. on Aug. 2, 1990. From left are Lauwrence Cantoreille, Joe Norton, Mohawk chief of Kahnawaka, John Ciaccia, minister of Native Affairs, Quebec premier Robert Bourassa and Konrad Sioui, of the Assembly of First Nations. (Clement Allard/THE CANADIAN PRESS) This past February, Norton spoke out against a court order to dismantle a railway blockade in the community, which had been erected in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, saying Quebec provincial police and the police service operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway had no place in the community. A long-time ironworker, a former star lacrosse player and a fluent speaker of Kanien'kéha, Norton was first elected to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake in 1978 and became grand chief in 1982, serving until his retirement in 2004. He returned to politics in 2015 and was elected leader once again.
Coalition group outlines plan to cut Montreal police budget
08-07-2020
Coalition group outlines plan to cut Montreal police budget
A coalition of over 20 community groups in Montreal have released an outline of 10 demands to slice the budget of Montreal’s police force in half and reinvest that money into community programs, during a news conference yesterday. The Defund the Police Coalition other demands includes to disarming and demilitarizing the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), as well as decriminalize all drugs, sex work and HIV status. The coalition wants the funds deducted from the SPVM’s budget to be redirected into programs created and run by communities to prevent harm including harms related to violence, mental illness and drug use.  “Defunding is not just about taking money away from the police, it’s about reinvesting into Black and Indigenous communities. Communities that have been deeply divested from and that suffer daily from police violence and criminalization,” Marlihan Lopez of Black Lives Matter Montreal said at a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s about choosing an economy of care over an economy of punishment.” According to the city of Montreal, the SPVM had an operating budget of about $662 million in 2019.  The coalition also advocates for an investment in Indigenous models of justice and empower Indigenous communities to address all harms committed by Indigenous people, and to empower other oppressed communities, especially Black communities, to run similar approaches to justice.  “We must create structures and mechanisms that build resilient, safe, and compassionate communities,” a statement on Defund the Police Coalition's website said. “It is our hope and mission that we may live in a society void of policing, one where neglected communities may thrive, and justice for all Montrealers is upheld.” Last month, when Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante was asked about reforming the police, she said it was a “big, big conversation.” Quebec has been called out for systemic racism in the past. Just last month, anti-racism demonstrations were held in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, and Rimouski, to demand an end to police harrassment and discrimination.  In October of 2019, three independent researchers found systemic bias in street checks done by the SPVM and said that Indignenous and Black people were four to five times more likely to be stopped by police than white people. The SPVM had no policy on street checks until today. The police force said its new street check policy indicates that street checks will be done based on observable facts and not any discriminatory motives.  With files from CBC News and Claire Loewen
Tension as migrants mass at Greek border
05-03-2020
Tension as migrants mass at Greek border
Turkey has said it can no longer support the mass influx of migrants from Syria and elsewhere. It says it will no longer keep them from attempting to cross into Greece and Bulgaria as they seek to head into European Union countries. Paul Heinbecker is the Deputy Chair of the The World Refugee Council, and a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, and Germany. ListenEN_Interview_3-20200305-WIE30 As the mass at border crossings with Greece, or attempt to cross the Aegean to Greek islands, the Greek forces are attempting to keep them out. The Deputy Chair of the The World Refugee Council, and a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, and Germany (CBC) Tear gas and piano wire use is prevalent, with heavily armed police and military standing at border points, while patrol vessels forcibly turn back rafts and boats attempting to cross the sea. Greek patrols were forcing rafts and boats back from attempts to cross the Aegean from Turkey. In some cases warning shots were fired into the water in front of the rafts. (CBC) Heinbecker says Turkey seems to have a legitimate position as he says the EU has not lived up to agreements with Turkey for funding and resettlement to help that country deal with the almost 4 million migrants now there. Turkey has been housing almost 4 million migrants, many of whom want to head to the EU countries, and have begun camping out at the borders with Greece and Bulgaria, hoping for a chance to cross (CBC) Turkey had also wanted to set up a safe zone in Syria where people fleeing the civil war there could go, but Heinbecker says, NATO and the EU seemed not particularly interested. Greece has moved police and fully armed military into position along its borders to prevent migrants from crossing. (CBC) Turkey is now reported to have sent 1,000 armed police to the border to stop Greece from forcing the migrants back into Turkey. Athens says it has prevented as many as 35,000 from crossing in the past five days and is said to be preparing to deport hundreds of other who have managed to slip across. The two countries have a long history of belligerence and so tensions are rising. Additional information Al Jazeera: Mar 5/20: Turkish police bolster Greek border to stop migrants' return BBC: Mar 3/20: EU chief says Greece is Europe's shield in migrant crisis Thomson-Reuters (via CBC) Mar 4/20: Greek and Turkish police fire tear gas as migrants try to cross into Greece Associated Press (via CBC) Mar 3.20: Greece PM rips Turkey as thousands of migrants seek entry into Europe
Federal politician takes the gun licence course
03-03-2020
Federal politician takes the gun licence course
In Canada where the often bitterly heated debate about firearms has been raging on and off for decades, a federal politician decided he needed to be informed by fact, not opinion. Tako Van Popta is the Conservative Member of Parliament for the riding of Langley-Aldergrove in British Columbia ListenEN_Interview_1-20200303-WIE10 Van Popta says he had never held a firearm before taking the required course (and other processes) to obtain a “possession and acquisition licence” (PAL) for firearms. This also includes paying fees of course, along with written spousal approval and other references, police background check, and daily scrutiny. Interestingly, legal gun owners are the only segment of society subject to daily police checks. MP for Langley-Aldergrove in British Columbia, Tako Van Popta was challenged by constituents to learn the facts of gun ownership in Canada. Here he takes the instruction course required as a part of the long and somewhat expensive process to obtain a gun licence (supplied) As a politician who would be involved in debates on the subject, he admitted he knew almost nothing about firearms. He was challenged by constituents to learn first hand and realised that to better understand the situation he would take the mandatory ownership and owners course. He says he doubts many of the politicians who debated and voted on gun laws like C-71 actually know about the extent and restrictions of current gun laws in Canada. Hunters and target shooters say they are "easy targets" for increased restrictions and mandatory gun buybacks as they are the ones who obey laws. One expert says the government plan for  (mandatory) buyback of semi-auto rifles will cost billions, not the half million the government claims. Van Popta says that money should be spent on the "real problems" of underfunded social programmes and fighting criminal gangs and gun smugglers instead. (CCFR) Van Popta also expressed dismay at the Liberal government proposal to create a mandatory buyback of semi-auto rifles through a possible ‘order in council’ which would avoid a debate in Parliament. He also believes the vast sums spent on such a programme will not make Canada safer, and that the money should instead be spent on policies he says would target the real problem of gangs and illegal gun smuggling. After taking the course, he is very doubtful he would become a hunter or even buy a firearm, but may accept invitations for target shooting. Van Popta also says it would be a good idea if other politicians informed themselves first hand of Canada’s firearms laws and requirements before taking a position and creating laws which could negatively affect over 2 million legal owners, and the tens of thousands of employees at small businesses throughout the country serving hunters and sport shooters. Additional information-sources Fraser Institute: G Mauser;  Jan21.20: Trudeau government’s ‘buy back’ gun program likely a multi-billion boondoggle Ottawa Citizen: Mar 2/20: S. Yogarnetnam:Proactive policing, not gun buybacks or CCTV cameras: Ottawa Police Service iPolitics: T. Naumetz: Feb 4/20: Liberal Red Flag plan panned by gun safety advocate and firearm lobby leader Open Parliament: debates on C-71 Poly Remembers: gun control lobby website Canadian Firearms Safety Course (mandatory)
Natural gas pipeline and blockades divide Canadians
27-02-2020
Natural gas pipeline and blockades divide Canadians
The construction of a natural gas pipeline across northern British Columbia has  divided Canadian opinion. A small group of hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs and supporters has opposed the project, while the elected chiefs, and apparently most of the Wet’suwet’en, have approved the pipeline. This has caused friction within the band, but also resulted in many protests in cities across Canada, including several railway blockades all in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs. The protests and blockades have caused major disruptions to the economy with large scale layoffs of rail workers and others. As business, industry, agriculture and rail passengers increase demands on the federal government to end the blockades, the Trudeau government insists that patience is needed and not forced removal of the illegal Indigenous blockades as demanded by some. A survey this week shows the situation has left Canadians almost evenly split on what to do about the situation. Angus Reid Inst. Feb 25,2020 The non=profit Angus Reid Institute found 47 per cent of Canadians agree that patience is the best way to resolve the situation. On the other side 53 per cent say the blockades should be brought down, by force if necessary. The difference of opinion on actions is mirrored by the difference of opinion on the issues. Over half (56%) say the issues at stake are the economy, or the need for rule of law. Under half (44%) say the main issues are indigenous or environmental concerns. Regardless of stance on how to end the blockades, the clear majority of Canadians think Prime Minister Trudeau has failed to handle the situation well. Only one in five (21%) think he’s done a good job, with a mere three per cent saying “very good”. Whether Canadians agree with the Trudeau stance on patience, or disagree saying force is an option to end barricades, the majority say he has not handled the crisis well (CBC News) Other findings include the fact that another clear majority of respondents feel the situation has set back relations and reconciliation efforts between Canada and indigenous groups (80%) Another majority (78%) feel the situation has damaged Canada’s reputation internationally as a place for investment. Interestingly support for the Coastal GasLink pipeline itself seems to have grown from 51 per cent at the beginning of February and the start of the conflict, to 61 per cent this week. Meanwhile, after three weeks of major disruption to the economy caused by blockades, it now appears the dissenting chiefs have agreed to meet with provincial and federal politicians this week. Two days of meetings have been set aside for the discussions starting later today at a Wet’suwet’en office in Smithers British Columbia. Additional information-sources Angus Reid: survey
Burkina Faso faces ‘astounding’ displacement crisis: report
11-02-2020
Burkina Faso faces ‘astounding’ displacement crisis: report
Burkina Faso is facing one of the world’s fastest growing displacement crises threatening to engulf the entire West African country and spill over into neighbouring Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire, warns a report by the U.S.-based NGO Refugees International. Burkina Faso has emerged as the latest epicentre of a conflict that has already consumed much of neighbouring Mali and Niger in Africa’s troubled Sahel region, said Alexandra Lamarche, a Canadian humanitarian worker who authored the report for Refugees International. And the speed at which the situation in Burkina Faso has deteriorated has caught the country’s government, the international community and aid groups off guard, Lamarche told Radio Canada International in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. “I was in Burkina in the Fall and they estimated that by the end of the year there’d be about 330,000 internally displaced and instead by Dec. 31 they had reached numbers of 530,000 and now we’re at 613,000,” Lamarche she added. (click to listen to the podcast interview with Alexandra Lamarche) ListenEN_Report_3-20200211-WRE30 The numbers are expected to climb even higher, she added. “NGOs are estimating that there might be closer to 900,000 by April but I would be shocked if numbers weren’t actually higher than that,” Lamarche said. Astounding levels of violence Source: “Humanitarian Response Plan 2020: Burkina Faso,” OCHA, (January 2020), https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/sites/www.humanitarianresponse.info/files/documents/files/hrp_2020-bfa-fr_abridged-web.pdf The level of violence and the rapid increase in the number of internally displaced people are “astounding,” especially since Burkina Faso was once known for its relative stability and harmony across ethnic, religious, and linguistic lines, she said. Intercommunal tensions are on the rise, and the country is grappling with its first major humanitarian crisis in recent history, Lamarche said. UN food assistance agency warns of escalating crisis in Burkina Faso Canadian gold mine hit by deadly attack in Burkina Faso won’t reopen in 2019 And increasingly the country’s civilian population is caught in the crossfire as "a motley assortment" of armed groups – jihadist insurgents, criminal elements and local self-defence militias set up to protect rural communities – have plunged the country into violence, Lamarche said. Grappling to provide services and security A Burkina Faso soldier patrols at a district that welcomes Internally Displaced People (IDP) from northern Burkina Faso, in Dori on Feb. 3, 2020. (Olympia De Maismont/AFP via Getty Images) For its part, the government of Burkina Faso is struggling to meet the needs of its population and to provide basic security in large parts of the country, she said. Meanwhile, aid groups are scrambling to mount an effective response to the crisis, Lamarche said. Aid groups are hampered by a lack of funding and government policies that prevent them from providing humanitarian assistance to some of the most vulnerable populations who live in huge swaths of Burkina Faso controlled by various insurgent groups, Lamarche said. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) currently estimates that $295 million US ($392 million Cdn) will be required in 2020 to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, the report said. International donors, including Canada, will need to quickly ramp up funding to “nip this in the bud” and stop the instability in Burkina Faso from spreading to neighbouring countries, Lamarche said. “We’re seeing increasing violence by the Togo border, it’s only a matter of time before it goes into Togo,” Lamarche said. “And a lot of these countries, like Burkina Faso, have never witnessed this type of violence, they are ill-equipped to be responding to these types of needs.”
Officials say 63 Canadians among those killed in Tehran plane crash
08-01-2020
Officials say 63 Canadians among those killed in Tehran plane crash
Ukraine's foreign minister says 63 Canadians were among the 176 people killed when a Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane crashed just minutes after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday. Flight PS752 was en route to Kyiv when it went down. Ukrainian authorities initially said it appeared mechanical failure was the cause of the crash but later said nothing could be ruled out. Former pilot and former Transportation Safety Board of Canada crash investigator Larry Vance spoke with CBC News' Suhana Meharchand about the range of possibilities investigators will be looking at to try to figure out why the plane lost its signal after climbing to about 8,000 feet before crashing. ListenEN_Interview_4-20200108-WIE40 The three-and-a-half-year-old Boeing 737-800 crashed just hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi military bases, housing U.S. soldiers. Airlines from around the world, including Air Canada, rerouted flights from the area pending further investigations into what happened, Evin Arsalani and her one-year-old daughter, Kurdia, were among those killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed near Tehran Wednesday morning. (Evin Arsalani/Facebook) In a statement offering his condolences, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will ensure the crash is "thoroughly investigated." In addition to the 63 Canadians, there were 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainian passengers and crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons on board. There were no survivors. A close friend confirmed to CBC News this to be University of Toronto student Mojtaba Abbasnezhad, a victim of Wednesday's crash. (Mojtaba Abbasnezhad/Facebook) Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he had been in touch with the Ukraine government, tweeting, "Our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims." Payman Paseyan, a member of the Iranian-Canadian community in Edmonton, said multiple people from the city were on the plane, including many international students. Meanwhile, CBC News reports that a family of three, a University of Toronto student, and a Greater Toronto Area dentist are among the 63 Canadians who lost their lives. With files from CBC, CP, AP, Reuters
Refugee advocacy group sounds the alarm on crisis in Mali
17-12-2019
Refugee advocacy group sounds the alarm on crisis in Mali
Mali is on a perilous course, says Alexandra Lamarche. Nearly eight years after the onset of crisis in the West African country, the international community remains heavily focused on stabilization and counterterrorism, with little to show for its efforts, says the Canadian humanitarian worker. In fact, the humanitarian situation in parts of the country seems to be getting worse, says Lamarche, who travelled to Mali in September on a fact-finding mission for Refugees International. In the last three years, the number of Malians displaced from their homes has more than quadrupled, and conflict and displacement is increasingly spreading to previously stable areas of the country, Lamarche says. Humanitarian organizations are struggling to effectively provide for the 3.2 million Malians in need of assistance this year alone, and aid efforts are hindered by underfunding and a complex security environment, Lamarche says. Refugees International published her report Mali’s Humanitarian Crisis: Overmilitarized and Overshadowed, last week. Radio Canada International had a chance to speak with Lamarche for a podcast episode discussing her report and its recommendations for improving the humanitarian situation in Mali, addressing root causes of the conflict, which has now spilled to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso, and implementing the terms of the country’s peace agreement. (click to listen to the podcast interview with Alexandra Lamarche) ListenEN_Clip_3-20191217-WME30
GTA immigrants have trouble climbing corporate ladder: report
02-12-2019
GTA immigrants have trouble climbing corporate ladder: report
While many immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area have made great strides in landing their first job in Canada, very few of them make it to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, according to a new study. The study, conducted by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), shows that only six per cent of executive positions in the leading public, private and non-profit organizations are occupied by immigrants, despite the fact that they make up nearly half of the GTA population. The picture gets even bleaker if one factors in race and gender: only about 4.2 per cent of executives in the GTA are from racial minorities, and only two per cent of executives are immigrant women of colour, according to the study. “There is a lot of effort by the governments, by employers, and by the settlement sector to find ways to advance immigrant talent,” said Yilmaz Ergun Dinc, the lead author of the study. But most of these efforts are focused on immediate outcomes of landing the all-important first Canadian job, Dinc told Radio Canada International. “There isn’t that much attention being paid to what happens after,” he said in a phone interview. “Do immigrants advance in their career? Do they reach management positions?” Leveraging skills and talents of immigrants It’s important to have answers to those questions because Canada’s immigration system is built on the premise that the society will leverage the skills and talents that immigrants bring, Dinc said. “And if you don’t have immigrants at the top leadership positions, that means there is a bottleneck there, that you are not fully utilizing the talents and competencies of the people that you are bringing here,” Dinc said. “That’s very costly for Canada and for the world because these are talented people that bring their insights and experience from all around the world.” Immigration: benefit or burden? Loans help immigrants obtain Canadian credentials There is a lot of research that shows that diverse leadership drives innovation and creativity, Dinc said. “You don’t want homogeneous leadership whether it’s companies, whether it’s the non-profit sector, whether it’s government making the same decisions,” Dinc said. “Different minds think differently. That means they will find different solutions to the same problem.” Research also shows that organizations that have more diverse leadership achieve better competitiveness and have higher profits, Dinc said. “Canada wants to have very diverse labour markets and also to be connected to the global markets to do business, but without immigrants in decision-making roles Canada’s labour market will not have that global outlook,” Dinc said. “You need immigrants to realize their full potential and reach executive positions if you want Canada to be competitive in the global fora and the global economy.” The study suggests a few strategies to help immigrants reach executive positions. Inclusion training for current leaders and executives has shown to be very helpful, Dinc said. Mentoring and sponsorship also make a big difference because immigrants don’t always have the same networks as people who were born in Canada, he added.
Canadian charity teams up with egg farmers to care for African orphans
07-11-2019
Canadian charity teams up with egg farmers to care for African orphans
Janine and Ian Maxwell want your money. Not all of it… But as much as you can spare to help them care for more than 250 orphans and abandoned babies at their orphanage in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and the 2,500-acre farm that produces food for a network of 30 churches and schools in the tiny Southern African kingdom. In their quest to feed their orphans, the Maxwell’s and their Heart for Africa charity have partnered with Egg Farmers of Canada, which manages Canada’s egg supply and represents egg producers. Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada, said he was so impressed by the story of the Canadian couple, their work with orphans and their Project Canaan Farm when he first heard it several years ago that he decided to visit them in Swaziland, as the country was known before it changed its name to Eswatini in 2018. Canadian egg farmers help feed Swaziland orphans “We were amazed at what they had already achieved with their 2,500-acre farm, with the orphanage for children and also with community feeding programs,” Lambert said in a phone interview from Ottawa, where he was hosting the Maxwells, who are in Canada as part of their month-long fundraising tour of North America. “Malnutrition in the country is a huge problem, the country has been devastated by HIV/AIDS and within that they’ve lost a generation of adults,” Lambert said. “So there is, if you can believe it, a half a million orphans and vulnerable children in the country, that’s more than half of the population of the entire nation.” (click to listen to the full interview with Tim Lambert, Janine and Ian Maxwell) ListenEN_Interview_3-20191107-WIE30 The partnership between Egg Farmers of Canada and Heart for Africa was announced in late 2014 and since then Canadian egg farmers have helped locals build an entire egg farm from the ground up, Lambert said. The farm now has 5,000 hens in two houses, offers fresh eggs to thousands of people in the community and is providing a locally produced protein that’s essential for human growth and development, Lambert said. The Egg Farmers of Canada also got help from other industry partners, such as Sanovo, a Danish company that donated equipment to hard cook and chill the eggs, and the Saskatchewan Eggs Producers donated a delivery truck for the operation, Lambert said. Lifesaving protein https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AuOhVNZHuw “We’re able to distribute over 4,000 eggs every day and to date we’ve distributed over five million eggs,” Lambert said. The eggs are distributed in some of the most remote subsistence farming communities in Eswatini, said Janine Maxwell, who grew up in Northern Ontario. “We have been in a drought for the last two-and-a-half years and we still don’t know whether the rains are coming so they haven’t even been able to plant their maze crops, which is their staple, for the last few years,” Maxwell said. “We had already been running this feeding program with these 30 partners and feeding local children but we’re seeing more and more children coming into the program because there is no food at home, and there is no food in the schools.” Each child gets a hard-boiled egg along with their nutritious MannaPack meals provided by the U.S. charity Feed My Starving Children, she said. “That protein is so important for their brain development, for their body development,” Maxwell said. 'I knew I couldn't go back to my life leisure and pleasure' https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=8MuEzmmhM1E Maxwell said she was heartbroken hearing the stories of orphaned children during her travels through Africa. A former marketing executive, she travelled to Africa in “search for the meaning of life” after witnessing the 9/11 attacks during a business trip to New York that eventually led her and her husband, Ian, to re-evaluate their lives’ priorities. “That search took me to Africa and I fell in love with the people,