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Archeologists find evidence of unmarked Acadian graves at Nova Scotia’s Fort Anne

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Archeologists believe they’ve found evidence of unmarked Acadian graves, potentially 2,000 of them, at Canada’s first national historic site at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, N.S.

They explored the site in early December, using ground-penetrating radar that can collect data from depths of up to three metres.

“We actually found a series of anomalies in a regular pattern that are approximately a metre below the surface that are all facing in an east-west orientation. And we believe those to be evidence of unmarked burials,” archeologist Sara Beanlands told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.

There are 234 gravestones on the site, including one from 1720, the oldest known cemetery marker with a British inscription in Canada. But historians and local volunteers have long believed as many as 2,000 Acadian people are also buried there, in graves that were either unmarked or with markers that have been washed away.

That belief is based on records from St. Jean-Baptiste church, which existed on the grounds in the 1700s. The next step will be to overlay the data collected last month with the information in the church records.

Fort Anne is believed to be the birthplace of Acadian culture and was a place of frequent skirmishes for control between the Scottish, English and French.

Parks Canada gave permission to explore the area to volunteer historical group Map Annapolis, which contracted Boreas Heritage Consulting to undertake the search.

“The people that we believe may be in this area, again due to parish records, go back to pre-1755. So this is the culture of Acadians,” said Heather LeBlanc of Map Annapolis. “This is an area where the British, the Scots, and the Acadians all lived at one point and fought over this area of land.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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