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Deal reached between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and RCMP over road access for pipeline company

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After three days of talks with the RCMP, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say an agreement has been reached over the enforcement of an interim injunction order to allow pipeline workers into the nation’s traditional territory.

Hereditary​ chiefs met Thursday in Smithers, B.C., with the RCMP and representatives from Coastal GasLink.

They have agreed to allow the company access to do pre-construction work as specified in the interim injunction order for the time being, following arrests on Monday.

“We are adamantly opposed to this proposed project and that will never change, but we are here to ensure the safety of our people,” said Chief Na’Moks who attended Thursday’s meeting.

Coastal GasLink president Rick Gateman spoke briefly to reporters after the meeting, describing the talks as productive and respectful.

“As a result of these discussions, we have worked out many of the details that are required for us to have free access to the bridge and beyond,” he said.

The Coastal GasLink project is run by TransCanada Corp., now officially known as TC Energy, and is meant to move natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the coast, where a liquefied natural gas project is scheduled for construction.

Wet’suwet’en members had set up checkpoints on a remote stretch of forest service road and a bridge preventing people working on the project from accessing their traditional territory, which sits about 300 kilometres west of Prince George, B.C.

President of Coastal GasLink pipeline Rick Gateman leaves the office of the Wet’suwet’en after meeting with RCMP members and hereditary chiefs to discuss ways of ending the pipeline impasse on Wet’suwet’en in Smithers, B.C., on Thursday. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

On Monday, RCMP officers moved in on one checkpoint to enforce the injunction.

Fourteen people were arrested and the chiefs said they’re concerned about community members who were there, saying it was a traumatic experience. “That will never happen to our people again,” Na’Moks said of Monday’s enforcement actions at the Gidimt’en checkpoint.

Ironing out conditions

Thursday’s meetings were aimed at ironing out concerns raised Wednesday evening regarding some of the conditions  the chiefs wanted met in order to allow Coastal GasLink workers and contractors into the area.

For example, they wanted to know if the RCMP will allow the people at the Unist’ot’en camp to keep the gate up at the entrance to their camp.

After talks wrapped on Thursday, hereditary​ chiefs said Coastal GasLink will be allowed “soft access” through the territory for the time being. The company will be permitted to remove obstructions on a bridge where the checkpoint is still in place. Chiefs said one metal gate will remain in place.

The chiefs have said Thursday’s deal doesn’t mean they’re consenting to the Coastal GasLink pipeline being built through their traditional territory. “This is not consultation or accommodation in any sense,” said Na’Moks.

Coastal GasLink applied for an injunction at the B.C. Supreme Court in November, stating people at the Unist’ot’en camp were preventing their workers from gaining access through the forest service road. Coastal GasLink requested an interim injunction while the matter was working through the courts so pre-construction work could begin.

With that interim injunction granted, the RCMP has been tasked with ensuring access is granted as stated by the courts.

LNG Canada, whose liquefied natural gas export terminal the pipeline connects to, issued a statement Thursday afternoon touting local support for the project and its economic benefits. 

“Despite opposition Coastal GasLink is currently facing, LNG Canada has every intention to continue to advance our project and maintain our construction schedule to deliver jobs and economic benefits to First Nations, local residents and British Columbians,” CEO Andy Calitz said.

“Projects like our own provide an opportunity that many First Nations and northern communities have not had before and may not see again.”

Calitz said further construction delays could jeopardize investor confidence in energy projects in B.C. and Canada.

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Ottawa Book Expo 2020 – Authors, Publishers look forward to a top-notch Canadian book fair

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Diversity has always been a complex issue, no matter where you look.Case in point, world-famous writer, Stephen King, has recently come under criticism for his views on diversity. The best-selling author had stated, “I would never consider diversity in matters of art, only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.” Many criticized the novelist as being out of touch and “ignorant,” but one cannot deny that King’s opinions on diversity, mirror the thoughts of a whole lot of people in the creative industry.

The Toronto Book Expo is coming back in 2020, with a multi-cultural concept that aims to include marginalized authors.  The Expo intends to celebrate literary works of diverse cultural backgrounds, and the entire literary community in Canada is expectant. Book-lovers and writers alike, are invited to three days of uninhibited literary celebration where diverse cultural works will be prioritized. At the event, authors will be allowed to share their culture with a broad audience. The audience will be there specifically to purchase multi-cultural works.

Multicultural literary expos do not come every day. In Canada, there is a noticeable lack of literary events celebrating other cultures. This leads to a significantly lower amount of cultural diversity in the industry. The Toronto Book Expo would aim at giving more recognition to these marginalized voices. Understandably, more recognizable work will be prioritized.

The Toronto Book Expo is making a statement that diversity is needed in the literary community. The statement is truly motivating, especially if you consider the fact that this could mean more culturally diverse works of literature.

There is a lot of noticeable cultural ignorance in literature. This is an issue that needs to be addressed and books are one of the best means of improving multi-cultural diversity in literature. The Toronto Book Expo is going to fully utilize books to fight ignorance in the literary industry.

Real progress cannot be made if there is a substantial amount of ignorant people in the industry. In spite of advancements made in education in recent years, there is still a considerable percentage of adults who remain unable to read and write.The Toronto Book Expo aims to bring awareness to social literacy issues such as illiteracy.

It is important to uphold high literacy levels in the community and to support those who are uneducated. A thriving society cannot be achieved if the community is not able to read their civil liberties and write down their grievances.

The major foundation of a working and dynamic society is entrenched in literature. Literature offers us an understandingof the changes being made to our community.

The event would go on for three days at three different venues. Day 1 would hold at the York University Student & Convention Centre at 15 Library Lane on March 19. Day 2 would be held at the Bram and BlumaAppel Salon Facility on the second floor of the main Toronto Reference Library near Yonge and Bloor Streets in downtown Toronto on March 21 and day 3 of the expo would take place at the internationally famous Roy Thomson Hall.

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A Week In Ottawa, ON, On A $75,300 Salary

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Welcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.Attention, Canadians! We’re featuring Money Diaries from across Canada on a regular basis, and we want to hear from you. Submit your Money Diary here.Today: a biologist working in government who makes $75,300 per year and spends some of her money this week on a bathing suit. Occupation: Biologist
Industry: Government
Age: 27
Location: Ottawa, ON
Salary: $75,300
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,930
Gender Identity: Woman

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Ottawa doctor pens nursery rhyme to teach proper handwashing

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An Ottawa doctor has turned to song to teach kids — and adults, for that matter — how to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs.

Dr. Nisha Thampi, an infectious disease physician at CHEO, the area’s children’s hospital, created a video set to the tune of Frère Jacques and featuring the six-step handwashing method recommended by the World Health Organization.

Thampi’s 25-second rendition, which was co-authored by her daughter and Dr. Yves Longtin, an infectious disease specialist at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, is featured in the December issue of The BMJ, or British Medical Journal. 

Thampi said as an infectious disease physician and a mother of two, she thinks a lot about germs at home and school.

“I was trying to find a fun way to remember the stuff,” she said. “There are six steps that have been codified by the World Health Organization, but they’re complex and hard to remember.” 

Thampi said she came up with the idea to rewrite the lyrics to the nursery rhyme on World Hand Hygiene Day in May, when she was thinking about how to help people remember the technique. 

She said studies have shown that handwashing is effective in reducing the risk of diarrhea-related illnesses and respiratory diseases. 

“So I’d say it’s one of the most important and easiest things we can do.”

The video includes such often-overlooked steps as “wash the back,” “twirl the tips around” and “thumb attack,” which pays special attention to the first digit.

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