Connect with us


Indigenous leaders are less than thrilled with Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle





For the third time since 2015, Indigenous people in Canada have a new minister overseeing their access to basic services in their communities. In a sudden cabinet shuffle by Justin Trudeau on Monday, it was revealed that Jane Philpott, the minister of Indigenous services, will become the Treasury Board president, while Seamus O’Regan, the former minister of veterans affairs, will replace her.

Philpott, who held the newly created portfolio for more than a year, moved the dial on issues like child welfare and clean water on First Nations. For Indigenous leaders, her abrupt departure forces them to build a new relationship—one with O’Regan—at a time when some First Nations people across the country seem ready to pronounce reconciliation dead.

“I’m a little disappointed, mainly for selfish reasons,” says Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. “Minister Philpott brought a breath of fresh air into the relationship that we had with the federal government and was truly willing do things in new ways.”

Dumas notes that Philpott was approachable when dealing with First Nations leaders, and well served by her experience before politics working as a doctor overseas and later serving as health minister. He says that as far as he’s aware, many of the key officials within the minister’s office will remain with Indigenous Services Canada and he’s prepared “to give them an opportunity to honour their words.”

RELATED: In the Trudeau government, what’s a cabinet shuffle for?

Before walking into an introductory meeting with both O’Regan and Philpott on Monday, Ontario regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald described the former minister’s departure as a “hard loss,” but noted that O’Regan is known as a “relationship builder” in Ottawa. “We have to do rebuilding,” she says, adding that O’Regan’s cabinet experience relieves some of her cynicism. “That’s definitely a bonus—if he were just coming from the backbenches to cabinet, then I’d be a lot more concerned.”

Chief Bobby Cameron from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents First Nations in Saskatchewan, acknowledges Philpott as someone who has a “passion for First Nations people” and who made herself accessible. “With any new appointment, many of us are always surprised,” he says. “However, we welcome him because he has a lot of work ahead.”

Still, O’Regan is sure to encounter skepticism. The decision to hand over this portfolio to him is a peculiar one, given his lack of experience on the file and criticism of how he handled the veterans affairs portfolio, a role now held by Wilson-Raybould, the former justice minister who, according to a CBC report, turned down Indigenous Affairs (she is of First Nations heritage).

When Trudeau announced O’Regan’s appointment, he briefly touched on the new minister’s credentials: “He certainly has some experience, as a young person going to Labrador.” O’Regan himself has highlighted that time, along with land-rights work he did in government earlier in his life.

RELATED: Trudeau on the cabinet shuffle, including today’s big move up—and down

And the two are close friends. That much became clear when it emerged that the two enjoyed a controversial vacation together on Aga Khan’s private island in the winter of 2016.

O’Regan steps into the role during a tenuous time between Indigenous people and Ottawa—this after the RCMP raided a camp held by a clan of the Wet’suwet’en in northern B.C., who were protesting a proposed gas pipeline on their traditional territory. “There’s been some unrest and some discord,” Dumas says, adding that despite the unfavourable comparisons between O’Regan and Philpott, he doesn’t believe the new minister “comes without any skills.”

Dumas remembers O’Regan’s days as a host on CTV. “He seems to be someone who makes every effort to be approachable and available,” he says. He also remembers O’Regan showing off his bruised knuckles after hours spent knocking on the doors of constituents prior to the 2015 election.

Cameron is less concerned with O’Regan’s lack of relevant experience—”I’m sure his staff are getting him caught up”—than with what he sees as a shaky grasp of Indigenous issues within the minister’s office. “Some of them don’t really understand what First Nations’ perspectives and positions are. That’s where we as elected leaders come into play. They need some lessons on inherited treaty rights.”

Before he was elected, the PM famously said that no relationship was more important to him than that with Indigenous peoples, and these are words Dumas and others have not forgotten. Cynics might wonder where his friendship with O’Regan ranks in the overall order. Some, however, try to see the bright side of that dynamic.

“With him being Trudeau’s close friend,” Cameron says, “it could be a good thing for us… that could work in our favour.”



Source link

قالب وردپرس


Future of Ottawa: Chefs with Kathryn Ferries





This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Kat Ferries on the future of chefs, or read posts from Quinn Taylor on bars or Justin Champagne on fine dining.

Kat Ferries is Sous-Chef at Stofa Restaurant and a 2020 San Pellegrino North American Young Chef Social Responsibility Award Winner.

Apt613: What is the current landscape for chefs in Ottawa?

Kat Ferries: There is such great talent in Ottawa with so many chefs either being from here originally or have returned after traveling and have since opened some incredible restaurants. Many chefs have focused menus that really highlight their strengths, their heritage, and their passion for food. Dominique Dufour of Gray Jay, Marc Doiron of Town/Citizen, Steve Wall of Supply & Demand, Daniela Manrique Lucca of The Soca Kitchen, and so many more are all cooking up beautiful and delicious food in this city.

If you care to make a prediction… Where is the food industry in Ottawa going for chefs in 2021?

The industry right now is, unfortunately, in a really tough spot. The pandemic has been so devastating on mental, physical and emotional levels for so many and I know that many of my friends in this industry are burning out. There are many discussions happening on work/life balance and what is healthy for everyone. Some may never return to the long, hard hours we are expected to put in day after day and instead opt for a more flexible schedule or hire more staff to lighten the load on everyone, with some even leaving the industry indefinitely. Some may throw themselves back into this industry 10x as hard and create some of the best restaurants and concepts we’ve yet to see. I think all that will happen after the pandemic though.

For this year, it’s mostly about survival and finding happiness in creating what we can in the spaces we have while following all the laws and guidelines from public health officials. I think we will see more chefs creating experiences for guests that we otherwise wouldn’t have: think pop-ups, virtual dinner clubs, cocktail seminars, collabs, etc.

Where in your wildest dreams could the Ottawa culinary community grow in your lifetime?

I would love to see the Ottawa community support more small, local restaurants so our streets are bustling late into the nights like they are in Montreal, New York, or Europe. Having a local restaurant to frequent should be so much more commonplace, where you can enjoy a night out more often than just Friday or Saturday night. I would also love to see many more of our local chefs highlighted for the amazing food they create!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

Turning all our restaurants into mini-markets for customers to enjoy the food and wine of their favourite places at home. We have bottle shops for all your wine, beer and cocktail needs as well as menus that reflect what each restaurant does best. Some have even pivoted to a point where they are 100% a store and have paused any type of “service-style” dining.

Continue Reading


Future of Ottawa: Fine Dining with Justin Champagne





This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Justin Champagne on the future of fine dining, or read posts from Kathryn Ferries on chefs or Quinn Taylor on bars.

Justin Champagne went to culinary school at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He got his start in fine dining restaurants at C Restaurant under Chef Robert Clark, then at Hawksworth Restaurant under Chef Eligh. He staged at three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn under Chef Dominque Crenn before moving to Ottawa and spending five years at Atelier, working his way up to Sous-Chef. He’s now the Head Chef of Bar Lupulus.

Apt613: What is the current landscape of fine dining restaurants in Ottawa?

Justin Champagne: Ottawa punches well above its weight class when it comes to quality restaurants in general. Fine dining is no exception to that—we have some amazing chefs here that are doing really great things. We also have some phenomenal sommeliers in town that are a huge factor when it comes to a guest’s experience in a fine dining restaurant. While there are some fantastic fine dining restaurants in town I do believe there’s room for more, and definitely room for more creativity and unique styles of cooking! I think we’ll see more small fine dining restaurants opening up, “micro-restaurants” where there’s maybe 20 seats. This will be over the next few weeks as the industry did take a big hit financially with COVID-19, but we still have a lot of great young chefs who have the fire inside of them to open their own location!

If you care to make a prediction… Where is fine dining going in Ottawa in 2021?

I’m not sure it’ll be 2021 or 2022 with the way the vaccine rollout and stay-at-home order is going, but I do expect there to be a wave of people looking to go out to fine dining restaurants. We’ve been cooped up cooking for ourselves or ordering takeout for over a year now. People are getting antsy and ready to go out and have fantastic meals again with exceptional wine and not have to worry about doing all the dishes afterwards!

Where in your wildest dreams could fine dining go in Ottawa in your lifetime?

That’s the fun part about “fine dining,” it can go anywhere and it can mean many things. Fine dining is about amazing service and well thought out, unique food that the kitchen spent hours fussing over, being meticulous in execution. Outside of that, you can have a lot of fun and be creative in different ways. My wildest dream I guess is that fine dinning restaurants begin to thrive and are able to charge without backlash the kind of prices that they need to charge in order to keep the lights on and pay their staff a proper living wage!!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

I’m not sure if I would really say there’s been a best “innovation” in my industry during the pandemic, but I will say that seeing the “adaptability” by all the restaurants in Ottawa has been incredibly inspiring. Ottawa’s food scene has always been a tight-knit community, “everyone helping everyone” kind of mentality. And this pandemic has really helped show that—restaurants helping restaurants through all of this!

Continue Reading


Ottawa’s Giant Tiger chain celebrating 60 years in business





OTTAWA — An Ottawa staple, along with what might be the most famous cat in Canada, are celebrating a milestone Monday.

Giant Tiger is 60 years old.

“It all started with a very simple idea,” says Alison Scarlett, associate VP of communications at Giant Tiger. “Help Canadians save money every single day. Bring them products that they want and need. When you focus on those core principals, it really is quite simple to succeed.”

In 1961, Gordon Reid opened the first Giant Tiger in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. The company now has more than 260 locations across Canada and employs roughly 10,000 people.

“If you were at our store on opening day 60 years ago, the in store experience would be a little bit different from your local Giant Tiger store today. So that’s changed. A lot of our products and offerings have changed or expanded as Canadian consumers wants and needs have changed or expanded,” says Scarlett.

The homegrown department store continues to be a favourite for many shoppers looking to for the best deals on everyday products.

Helen Binda has been shopping here for decades.

“Many years. I can’t remember when. I’ve always loved Giant Tiger. It’s always been a good store for me.”

“I think its amazing and I think that we need more department stores,” says shopper Fay Ball. “And if it’s Canadian, all the better.”

The Canadian-owned family discount store carries everything from clothing to groceries, as well as everyday household needs. They’ve also expanded their online store and like most retailers provide curbside pickup during the pandemic.

“Doing what is right for our customers, associates, and communities. That has enabled us to be so successful for all of these years,” says Scarlett.

To celebrate, Giant Tiger is hosting a virtual birthday party at 7 p.m. Monday with live musical performances from some iconic Canadian artists.

You can visit their Facebook page to tune in. 

Continue Reading