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Mi’kmaw man urges N.S. golf club to remove Indigenous imagery from logo

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A Mi’kmaw man is calling on a Cape Breton golf club to change its century-old logo, saying it’s disrespectful to Indigenous people.

The logo for the Lingan Golf Club in Sydney depicts an Indigenous person wearing a headdress superimposed over a map of Cape Breton.

“It kind of left a sour note in my mouth,” said Bryson Syliboy, who is from Sipekne’katik First Nation but now lives in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.

TV ads showing the logo caught his attention in recent months.

“The headdress that they’re depicting is not even a traditional Mi’kmaw headdress,” he said.

“They’re not honouring us, they’re not using our image properly. And it just reaffirms stereotypes.”

Syliboy tweeted his disapproval this week, urging his more than 2,700 followers to contact the golf club and express their disappointment.

“So fed up with companies using native mascots,” he tweeted along with the hashtag #notyourmascot.

The Lingan Golf Club describes itself on its website as one of the oldest golf clubs in Canada “with a strong history and tradition.”

Moe Brygidyr, club president, said the logo is 110 years old and the club means no disrespect by using it.

“The logo itself is not a caricature,” he said. “But rather is a symbol of a chief wearing the proper regalia and is a symbol of leadership.” 

The Lingan Golf Club in Sydney. (Facebook)

Benita Bunjun, an assistant professor at St. Mary’s University in the department of social justice and community studies, noted the use of logos that may offend isn’t unusual.

“It’s very common to have these inappropriate images, especially associated with sports, all over North America,” said Bunjun.

“Maybe today it can be said that it’s seen as leadership, but certainly 110 years ago, Indigenous people’s knowledges, ways of living, their histories, were being erased.”  

Bunjun said the logo should be removed.

“At the end of the day, we’re in 2019. This is not appropriate.”

Brygidyr said no one else has ever complained about the logo. He said many of the club’s members are Indigenous and the golf club has hosted the Mi’kmaw Summer Games in the past.

However, he said the board will consider the request to change the logo at its next meeting in May.

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Record one million job losses in March: StatCan

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OTTAWA — More than one million Canadians lost their jobs in the month of March, Statistics Canada is reporting. The unemployment rate has also climbed to 7.8 per cent, up from 2.2 percentage points since February.

Canada’s national statistics agency released its monthly Labour Force Survey on Thursday, using March 15 to 21 as the sample week – a time when the government began enforcing strict guidelines around social gatherings and called on non-essential businesses to close up shop.

The first snapshot of job loss since COVID-19 began taking a toll on the Canadian economy shows 1.1 million out of work since the prior sample period and a consequent decrease in the employment rate – the lowest since April 1997. The most job losses occurred in the private sector and among people aged 15-24.

The number of people who were unemployed increased by 413,000, resulting in the largest one-month increase in Canada’s unemployment rate on record and takes the economy back to a state last seen in October, 2010.

“Almost all of the increase in unemployment was due to temporary layoffs, meaning that workers expected to return to their job within six months,” reads the findings.

The agency included three new indicators, on top of the usual criteria, to better reflect the impact of COVID-19 on employment across the country.

The survey, for example, excludes the more commonly observed reasons for absent workers — such as vacation, weather, parental leave or a strike or lockout — to better isolate the pandemic’s effect.

They looked at: people who are employed but were out of a job during the reference week, people who are employed but worked less than half their usual hours, and people who are unemployed but would like a job.

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Employee at Ottawa’s Amazon Fulfillment Centre tests positive for COVID-19

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OTTAWA — An employee who works at Amazon’s fulfillment centre on Boundary Road in Ottawa’s east-end has tested positive for COVID-19.

Amazon says it learned on April 3 that an associate tested positive for novel coronavirus and is currently in isolation. The employee last worked at the fulfillment centre on March 19.

Two employees told CTV News Ottawa that management informed all employees about the positive test in a text message over the weekend.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Amazon spokesperson Jen Crowcroft wrote “we are supporting the individual who is recovering. We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”

The statement also says that Amazon has taken steps to further protect their employees.

“We have also implemented proactive measures at our facilities to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, maintaining social distance in the FC.”

CTV News Ottawa asked Amazon about the timeline between when the company found out about the positive COVID-19 case and when employees were notified.

In a separate email to CTV News Ottawa, Crowcroft said “all associates of our Boundary Road fulfillment centre in Ottawa were notified within 24 hours of learning of the positive COVID-19 case.”

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Ottawa facing silent spring as festivals, events cancelled

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This is shaping up to be Ottawa’s silent spring — and summer’s sounding pretty bleak, too — as more and more concerts, festivals and other annual events are cancelled in the wake of measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The province has already banned gatherings of more than five people, and on Monday officials announced city parks, facilities and services will remain shut down until the end of June, nor will any event permits be issued until at least that time.

“This leaves us with no choice but to cancel the festival this year,” Ottawa Jazz Festival artistic director Petr Cancura confirmed Monday.

This was to be the festival’s 40th anniversary, and organizers announced the lineup for the June 19-July 1 event the day after Ottawa’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. 

The Toronto and Montreal jazz festivals had already pulled the plug because of similar restrictions in their cities, so Cancura said the writing was on the wall.

“We have a few contingency plans to keep connecting with our audience and working with our artists,” Cancura said.

People holding tickets to the 2020 festival can ask for a refund or exchange for a 2021 pass.

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