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Peace Region Co-ops donate to SJHL player support program after Humboldt tragedyPeace Region Co-ops donate to SJHL player support program after Humboldt tragedy

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Co-op in Fort St. John is one of almost 200 locations across Western Canada to donate to a player support program launched by the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Monday in the wake of last Friday’s tragic crash involving members of the Humboldt Broncos.SJHL President Bill Chow announced yesterday that the league was establishing the Assistance Program for anyone, both within the Broncos organization and in the league’s other 10 teams, who are directly and deeply affected by the crash last week that claimed the lives of 15 members of the team.“The SJHL is overwhelmed with the support for the SJHL Assistance Program. This program will aid in providing mental health assistance, counselling and grieving for all the players of the SJHL,” said Chow. “Should there be funds available, the extra monies will go into an education program in memory of the lives lost on April 6, 2018.”- Advertisement –Federated Co-op CEO Scott Banda announces that Federated Co-operative Limited would be matching donations of other Co-ops in Western Canada for the SJHL Assistance Fund. Supplied photo.To get the program started, 44 local Co-ops that are part of the Co-operative Retailing System across Western Canada made a collective donation of $135,000 to support the Assistance Program. Fort St. John Co-op General Manager Brad Lussier said that $2,500 of that amount came from his branch, while another $10,000 was donated by other Co-ops in the B.C. Peace Region. Federated Co-operatives Limited CEO Scott Banda said his company has matched those retail donations, for a total of $270,000. Banda said that FCL will continue to match donations up to a potential total of $500,000.“Like so many Canadians, we’re looking for any way we can to help the many people in the Broncos organization, and throughout the league, and indeed across Western Canada, who are grappling with the physical and emotional devastation caused by this accident,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda. “I hope that our contributions today are only the start and that they’ll encourage other businesses and organizations to donate to the SJHL Assistance Program as it supports players and their families in the coming months.”Advertisement The SJHL also announced it would sell #HumboldtStrong t-shirts at Co-ops with proceeds going to the Assistance Program. Details on when the t-shirts will be available in stores will be provided as soon as possible.last_img read more

‘I’ll never change’ — FA Cup winner Conte warns Chelsea‘I’ll never change’ — FA Cup winner Conte warns Chelsea

first_img0Shares0000Feeling the strain: Antonio Conte looks downcast despite the FA Cup final win over Man United at Wembley © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, May 20 – Antonio Conte has warned Chelsea he will never change his demanding ways as the FA Cup winning boss waits to discover if he will be sacked.Conte ended a troubled season on a high note thanks to Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United in Saturday’s final at Wembley. Eden Hazard’s first half penalty was followed by a backs to the wall display as Conte won the second trophy of his two-year reign in what may prove his final game in charge.Whether FA Cup glory will be enough to convince Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich not to sack Conte remains in doubt after the Blues finished fifth in the Premier League and missed out on Champions League qualification.The Italian has been embroiled in a turbulent campaign marred by his feud with the club’s hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans following last season’s Premier League title triumph.Conte is also said to have infuriated several Chelsea stars with his intense personality and regimented training sessions.But the former Juventus and Italy coach is adamant his managerial style has made him a “serial winner” who should be respected.In a clear warning that he will never stop pushing his players or demanding boardroom backing, Conte emerged from the jubilant Chelsea dressing room to send a defiant message to his club.Still soaked in champagne from the post-match celebrations, Conte said: “After two years the club knows me very well. If they want to continue to work with me, they know me.“I can’t change. My way is always the same; hard work and to build a strong mentality with my players.“I can’t change. I’m this and I think my past speaks very clear as a player and as a manager.“You can say what you want, but I’m a serial winner.“I showed this in England in a difficult moment for the club. I’ve showed this today, because we found the right way to win this trophy.“There are moments that you have a lot of questions for yourself. To win in this way this season gives me more satisfaction than my wins in the past.”– ‘We must be honest’ –Conte, who won three Serie A titles with Juventus, has one year left on his contract after signing an improved deal without an extension at the end of last season.But the 48-year-old has given the impression for much of the season that he would have no problem leaving Stamford Bridge because he knows he would still be in demand from top clubs.Asked if he expects to be in charge next season, Conte said he would respect whatever decision was taken.“I always say I’m committed to this club, to respect my contract,” he said.“As you know very well our job is not simple. I understand that the club can make a decision, a positive decision, a negative decision. I’m the first to understand.“I’m the coach of a great, important club. It’s right that the club demands of me a lot. For sure we’ll make the best decision.”In truth, Conte may have burned too many bridges to stay with Chelsea amid speculation that former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri are Abramovich’s top targets to succeed him.In another swipe at Chelsea’s refusal to sign his top targets last year, he added: “As you know very well I predicted the difficulty at the start of the season.“To miss a place in the Champions League is not good for a club like Chelsea.“We must be honest to tell this. But at the same time you have to know the real situation.“There is the possibility with this group of players we did the maximum.”If Conte does leave, it will be despite the support of Chelsea’s fans, who serenaded him as he joined in the celebrations on the Wembley turf.“After these two seasons I will always love this colour, these fans, this club. Even if my future must be in a different way,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Witness IDs rape case defendantWitness IDs rape case defendant

first_imgHAWTHORNE: Victim’s ex-boyfriend says he’s 90 percent sure suspect was the gunman in the 2000 home invasion. By Denise Nix STAFF WRITER D’Jana Matthews testified Monday that he didn’t struggle with three men who came into his Hawthorne home in the middle of the night. Deputy District Attorney Jodi Link, who tried Blackburn and Dobson five years ago, has told the jury that Myrick will be implicated by DNA. Four years after the June 18, 2000, crime, Myrick was convicted for mooning officers outside his housing project during a demonstration. As a result, he was ordered to turn over a DNA sample. When it was placed in a law enforcement database, it matched the sample taken from the female victim. If Myrick, 41, is convicted by the Torrance Superior Court jury of 11 men and one woman of residential burglary and two rape counts, he faces 25 years to life in prison. Matthews testified he was watching television in bed when he heard a knock on the door. He looked out the window and recognized Blackburn, whom he knew through a neighbor. Matthews said he and the neighbor had gambled at Hollywood Park Casino about a week before, and his neighbor won a few hundred dollars. The neighbor asked Matthews to hold the money for him and, when he brought it over, Blackburn was with him. A few days later, Matthews returned it. Blackburn told Matthews he needed to use the phone. Matthews let him inside and closed the door, and then two men he didn’t know opened it and walked inside, he testified. Identifying Myrick, he said: “He came straight at me and put the gun to my head.” Matthews mimicked a gun with his hand and put his index finger to his temple. They kept asking, “Where’s the money?” Matthews said. He said he didn’t know what they were talking about, but later figured out they were referring to his neighbor’s winnings. Matthews said he didn’t struggle as they pushed him to his bedroom, tied him with a phone cord and piled speakers and clothes on top of him. “Every so often, someone would pass by and hit me, kick me, while I was down,” Matthews said. Link showed a photograph of Matthews taken five days after the assault. It showed abrasions to his face and a bloody eye. He said he cooperated hoping they’d leave, and not hurt his girlfriend. Matthews didn’t know what happened to his girlfriend until she freed him after the assailants left. She was naked and crying, he said. After Blackburn and Dobson were convicted in 2001, Matthews said he thought the case was over. He and his girlfriend broke up and he moved out of state. He was surprised when Hawthorne Detective Joel Romero called and asked him to testify at a hearing last year. “I thought it was over,” he said. Matthews identified Myrick in a six-photo police lineup. Even though his assailant had short hair and Myrick now sports more than a dozen braids, Matthews said in court he was 90percent sure Myrick was the gunman. Myrick’s attorney, James Cooper, asked Matthews why he was only 90 percent sure. “I really can’t say why,” Matthews responded. The jury also heard from a police gang expert Monday who testified that crimes like this are done for the benefit of a criminal street gang and that Myrick is a known gang member. denise.nix@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! All Matthews could think about was his girlfriend sleeping in the bedroom of their apartment in the 13600 block of Yukon Avenue. “(She) was my main priority,” Matthews said, recalling the incident more than seven years ago. The men tied him up and beat him while ransacking the house, he said. His former girlfriend testified last week that they raped her. DNA evidence from the assault led investigators to the alleged rapist, Steven Lee Myrick – the only one of the trio who remained unidentified. The other two, Kenneth Dobson and Jerome Blackburn, who belong to the same Watts gang Myrick allegedly associates with, were convicted of the crimes – but not the rape because their DNA did not match. Dobson was later killed in a gang-related shooting. last_img read more

Finance vehicle boosts job creationFinance vehicle boosts job creation

first_imgEconomic Development minister Ebrahim Patel praised the IDC for job creation.(Image: Department of Economic Development) IDC chief executive officer Geoffrey Qhena presented the company’s results on 9 September.(Image: Industrial Development Corporation)MEDIA CONTACTS • Mandla MpangasePublic Relations Manager, Industrial Development Corporation+27 11 269 3282.Janice HealingIn the past five years, more than 133 000 jobs have been created or retained through the efforts of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the parastatal development finance institution.Speaking at the annual results announcement, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel praised the significant role of the IDC on job creation in South Africa – despite a tough global and local economic environment. Results for the 2102/2103 financial year were presented on 9 September.The corporation has what Patel described as a unique mandate “to industrialise South Africa and to grow decent and productive job opportunities”. It carries out this mandate by providing finance to expand industrial capacity.In the period under review, it disbursed a record R16-billion of funds and maintained its funding approvals at the R13-billion level, which facilitated the creation of 18 922 direct jobs and the saving of 3 950 existing jobs. “The institution grasps the importance of job creation and supports the shift of capital investment with attractive terms to labour-absorbing projects, which is consistent with the New Growth Path framework adopted by the Cabinet in 2010,” said Patel.Areas identified as strong growth and jobs drivers include infrastructure development; core productive sectors such as manufacturing, agro-processing and mineral beneficiation; high-level service sectors, including tourism; new sectors such as the green economy; and, activities that support regional integration and African industrialisation. The bulk of IDC support over the past year focused on improving conditions in capital intensive industries to build a base for jobs to be created in downstream industries.On a sectoral basis, the greatest proportion of jobs expected to be created and saved as a result of its financing activities in 2013 is in the metals, transport and machinery products sector at 5 638 jobs, followed by forestry and wood products (4 646), textiles (4 020), agro industries (3 952), green industries (2 031), chemical and allied industries (1 029), health care (910), tourism (838), media and motion pictures (745), strategic high impact projects (627), information and communication technologies (211), mining and minerals beneficiation (166) and venture capital (146).Between 2009 and 2013, the IDC’s overall funding supported the creation of 90 000 new direct formal sector jobs and more than 8 000 jobs in the informal economy, as well as saved a further 35 000 existing jobs, bringing the overall employment impact to more than 133 000 direct jobs. The vast majority of these jobs were facilitated in Gauteng at 47 042 jobs, followed by Western Cape (20 875), KwaZulu-Natal (20 608), North West (20 504), Mpumalanga (15 662), Northern Cape (13 671), Eastern Cape (10 415), Limpopo (9 224) and Free State (2 106).However, despite the continued high levels of funding by the IDC over the past financial year, job creation recorded a decline, from 34 700 jobs in the previous year to 18 900. Chief executive officer Geoffrey Qhena explained that this was largely because high levels of funding were destined for capital-intensive projects and the acquisition of stakes in existing businesses. But the envisaged trade-off, he added, entailed a significant enhancement of the employment creation potential in the longer term as a result of the strategic interventions being implemented at present.last_img read more

Evidence that nailed Ram Rahim: CBIEvidence that nailed Ram Rahim: CBI

first_imgCorroborative statements of two rape victims and their relatives, besides adverse lie-detection test results of three close associates of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and other circumstantial evidence, proved crucial in his conviction by the Special CBI court in Panchkula, 15 years after the case was registered.The charge-sheet filed in the case reveals that given the influence wielded by Ram Rahim, it was not an easy investigation for the CBI.Taking cognisance of an anonymous letter, alleging sexual exploitation of girls by the Dera Sucha Sauda chief, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had in May 2002 directed the District and Sessions Judge (Sirsa) to probe. However, the judge found that no one was willing to speak up. Not ruling out the possibility, the judge recommended a central agency investigation and therefore, on the High Court directive, the CBI registered the case on December 12, 2002.2 of 130 speak outIn 2005, the agency managed to get a list of residents at the dera, revealing that 53 “Sadhvis” lived in the girls’ hostel and 80 in the Dera Sacha Sauda’s Sirsa ashram, while 24 others had left by then. The agency contacted 130 girls, who declined to cooperate owing to “an atmosphere of fear and physical, mental and spiritual control of Baba Gurmeet Singh”.Of the 24 “Sadhvis” who had left the Dera between 1997 and 2002, 20 were traced. Most of them were married and did not want to come out with the truth, fearing adverse consequences.The CBI examined 18 girls who had left the ashram, some of who said the Dera chief, its management and his followers were “very dangerous people” and they feared for their lives if they spoke up.It was in May-July 2006 that the CBI managed to convince two victims to share complete information. They gave a detailed account of what was happening inside the Dera chief’s rooms and what transpired to them in August 1999. One of them recorded her statement under Section 164 of the Cr.PC in March 2007.As described by the victims, there was an old and a new Dera complex in the ashram, where Ram Rahim had a separate accommodation called the Gufa (cave)”.The Gufa in the old Dera had three gates, two of which opened towards the area where Satsang was held, whereas the third gate opened towards the girls’ hostel,” said the charge-sheet. The “Sadhvis” would guard the entry door to the cave between 8 p.m. to midnight and midnight to 4 a.m., taking turns.Ram Rahim would allegedly summon the “Sadhvis” into his cave and then force himself upon them. Narrating her woes, one victim said one night, Ram Rahim called her to his cave.“Baba told her to sit on the bed near to him. She hesitated and tried to sit on the floor, but Maharaj asked her to sit on the bed. Accordingly, she sat on the bed by the side of Maharaj, who asked about her life and experience in the Dera…thereafter, Gurmeet Singh started fondling her body,” alleged the charge-sheet. She was then raped.The victim’s father told the CBI that her sister had also been sexually exploited by Ram Rahim. A relative of another victim also recorded his statement.Investigations into the murder of local journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who had published the anonymous letter in his newspaper, and a former Dera follower also had a bearing on the probe into rape allegations, said the CBI.The former follower’s close relative was also a “Sadhvi” in the Dera, but she later left it. His father told the agency that after the anonymous complaint surfaced, his son had confirmed to him that the allegations were correct and that Ram Rahim and his close associates suspected that he was behind the letter. The former follower was later gunned down.The adverse lie-detection tests of accused Avtar Singh, Inder Sain and Krishan Lal, whose names came up during the probe, showed “deceptions” in their statements indicating that Ram Rahim was sexually exploiting the “Sadhvis” in the “Gufa”, alleged the charge-sheet.last_img read more

India Censored the Most Number of Films in the World in 2017India Censored the Most Number of Films in the World in 2017

first_imgIndia topped the list of 78 countries that censored the most number of films in 2017, according to a study titled ‘The State of Artistic Freedom’. The study, conducted by Freemuse, an independent international organisation for free artistic expression, noted that 20 percent of all the film censorship cases, from across the world, came from India.Read it at The Quint Related Itemslast_img

Ind vs Pak: India exults after beating Pak, to face Sri Lanka in finalInd vs Pak: India exults after beating Pak, to face Sri Lanka in final

first_imgMan-of-the-Match Sachin Tendulkar scored 85 as India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in the World Cup semi-final at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday. Score | Latest match photosThey now meet Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.The clash that was being billed as the “final ahead of the final” saw India batsmen score 260 even as Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz finished with a fiver.Chasing 261, Pakistan were all out 231 with Misbah-ul-Haq top scoring with 56 on board.Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal batted according to the merit of the ball, playing the loose ones to the boundary and leaving out the good balls.However, on occasions they seemed wary of Munaf Patel, who was bowling a good line keeping the batsmen on a tight leash.Hafeez even survived a run out chance in the sixth over. Luckily for him, the replays showed that he had brought his bat down at the right time.But, it wasn’t Munaf, but Zaheer Khan, who got the first breakthrough scalping opener Kamran Akmal on 19 with Yuvraj Singh taking his catch in the deep. Pakistan were 44/1 at the stage.Finally, the hard-working Munaf got the reward for his efforts in the 16th over. He was consistently bowling on the off and Mohammad Hafeez didn’t have a choice but play and when he did, an edge off his bat was pouched by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps. He fell for 43 and Pakistan went down to 70/2.Post Hafeez’s wicket Pakistan’s experienced campaigner Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq got on with a partnership. They had put 33 runs for the third wicket when Yuvraj Singh decided to break their stand. His straight ball cramped the batsman for room and in the next millisecond the ball had uprooted Shafiq’s middle stump. He fell for 30 and Pakistan fell to 103/3.advertisementYuvraj Singh, who has helped India win four of their league matches, once again struck and this time he did away for Younis Khan (13) to reduce Pakistan to 106/4.Then Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal attempted a revival. Umar even relieved the pressure off Pakistan striking boundaries and over the fence shots off Yuvraj Singh.The duo had put 36 runs for the fifth wicket when Harbhajan Singh got the man India wanted. And it was his doosra that zipped past Umar to strike on to his stumps on 29. Pakistan lost him on 142/5 in 33.1 overs.Later Munaf Patel earned his second wicket of the day by scalping Abdul Razzaq. And it was his slower ball that did the trick as Razzaq ended up losing his off stump on three. Pakistan went down to 150/6 in 36.2 overs.Then Harbhajan Singh struck back to send Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi home with his turner. He fell for 19 and Pakistan went down to 184/7.With seven wickets down, India bowlers didn’t have much trouble doing away with the tail-enders. The only man that came in their way was Misbah-ul-Haq (56), but on the penultimate ball of the match Zaheer scalped him to book berth in the final. India inningsPakistan paceman Wahab Riaz scalped five as India posted 260/9 against their arch-rivals. India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss with a specially minted coin. And right way Virender Sehwag got on with what he is famous for – blasting away boundaries. To be precise he hit five fours in the third over off Umar Gul.Later, Sehwag even played his famous ‘upar cut’. But Gul failed to do what left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz did, he bowled it straight and trapped Sehwag leg-before on 38, it was so plumb that even the review could not save him. India lost their first wicket on 48.Soon, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir got on with a partnership to thwart the Pakistan attack.It wasn’t the pacers, who were creating a problem for the batsmen but the spinners as Sachin survived a stumping chance and then a leg-before off offie Saeed Ajmal in the 11th over. And it was actually the review that saved him after the on-field umpire had raised his finger. On the next ball too Sachin survived another chance.Later in the innings Tendulkar survived another chance when Misbah-ul-Haq dropped him off Shahid Afridi in the 14th over. Then in the 20th over the Master Blaster survived another chance when Younis Khan dropped him and once again the bowler was Afridi.However, it wasn’t Sachin Tendulkar but Gautam Gambhir, who was forced to walk back in the 19th over. Mohammad Hafeez beat Gambhir by his bounce even as he tried to punch the ball away. The ball took the edge off his bat and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal did the rest behind the stumps.advertisementThen Wahab Riaz struck to scalp Virat Kohli and then clean bowled India’s saviour in four World Cup games, Yuvraj Singh on consecutive balls to reduce India to 141/4.However, the drama with Sachin Tendulkar’s innings was far from over as Umar Akmal dropped him on 82 off Mohammad Hafeez on the last ball off the 35th over.Finally on the last ball of the 37th over, Sachin Tendulkar departed after surviving stumping, leg-before and catching opportunities. And guess who claimed his catch. It was no other than captain Shahid Afridi in whose over he was dropped twice in the outfield. He fell on 85 off Saeed Ajmal’s ball. The score at the stage was 187/5.India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been out of form since the South Africa series, could not stay at the crease for long and fell to Riaz’s pace in the 42nd over. He could manage just 25.At death, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh attempted a revival effectively using the Powerplay (45 to 49 overs) to their cause. But offie Saeed Ajmal ruined their plans as his doosra scalped Harbhajan Singh in the 47th over with Kamran Akmal performing the final rites. India fell to 236/7. In the last over of the match Raiz claimed Zaheer Khan to increase his victims tally to five. Nevertheless, India managed to post a competitive 260/9 on board.last_img read more

MLS Review: TFC still without a winMLS Review: TFC still without a win

first_imgMLS MLS Review: Toronto still searching for first league win Sacha Pisani 12:20 18/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jeisson Vargas Montreal Impact Toronto FC MLS Eric Bolte MLS Toronto DC United Houston Dynamo Philadelphia Union Columbus Crew Chicago Fire Orlando City Vancouver Whitecaps Sporting KC New York City SJ Earthquakes Atlanta United New York RB Montreal Impact Real Salt Lake Minnesota United FC DC United v Houston Dynamo Philadelphia Union v Columbus Crew Minnesota United FC v Chicago Fire Montreal Impact v Toronto New York City v Orlando City Atlanta United v Vancouver Whitecaps Sporting KC v SJ Earthquakes Real Salt Lake v New York RB Videos The defending MLS champion lost for the second time in two league matches, while Atlanta returned to its dominant form against Vancouver Toronto’s title defence failed to ignite after the winless MLS champion crashed to consecutive defeats, while Atlanta United routed a 10-man Vancouver Whitecaps side.Saturday saw Sebastian Giovinco’s Toronto upstaged by Canadian rivals Montreal Impact 1-0 at Stade Olympique.Toronto has been flying high in the CONCACAF Champions League , where the club is set to meet Mexican giant America in the semifinals, but the MLS titleholder has struggled domestically. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Greg Vanney’s side is still searching for its first win of the MLS season after Jeisson Vargas’ deflected shot four minutes before halftime lifted the Impact to victory number one in 2018.TFC is rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, along with the Chicago Fire, which lost 2-1 at Minnesota United.Atlanta made the most of a numerical advantage as the Five Stripes eased past the Whitecaps 4-1 .Playing in front of 45,000 fans in Atlanta, the hosts crushed Vancouver thanks to Kendall Watson’s 13th-minute red card and Josef Martinez’s hat-trick.Watson was dismissed for a foul on Leandro Gonzalez Pirez following a video review and Martinez converted the subsequent penalty.It was one-way traffic from that point as Aaron Maund scored an own goal in the 58th minute before Martinez added a third on the hour-mark.Substitute Erik Hurtado managed to pull a goal back for the visitors but Martinez completed his hat trick with two minutes remaining after heading past Stefan Marinovic.Atlanta is third in the east and three points behind unbeaten New York City, which made it three wins from as many matches thanks to their 2-0 victory over Orlando City.After a scoreless first half, Ismael Tajouri scored his first MLS goal thanks to some shocking play in the back from Orlando.No David Villa? No problem for @NYCFC .Ismael Tajouri scores his first! #NYCvORL — Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 17, 2018 Maximiliano Moralez added a second for NYCFC as part of a brilliant team move, continuing a rough start to the 2018 season for Orlando.Luciano Acosta was the hero for D.C. United, with his 97th-minute equalizer salvaging a dramatic 2-2 draw at home against the Houston Dynamo. The match was notable for taking place at Maryland SoccerPlex, the smallest venue to ever host an MLS game. Sporting Kansas City overcame the San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 in a thriller that saw Chris Wondolowski net his 135th MLS goal, the Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew played out a goalless draw and Real Salt Lake edged the New York Red Bulls 1-0.last_img read more

Ontario schools prepare for legalization of recreational cannabisOntario schools prepare for legalization of recreational cannabis

first_imgTORONTO – As the arrival of legal cannabis looms, school boards across Ontario are grappling with how to discuss the drug with underage students barred from consuming it while ensuring rules and policies reflect the province’s new legal and social reality.Like alcohol, recreational cannabis will be off-limits to those under 19 and banned from school property when it becomes legal on Wednesday, and school boards say they are working to update their codes of conduct and disciplinary processes to reflect the details of provincial law.Many boards say they are also training staff to deal with questions and issues surrounding cannabis both in and out of the classroom as they await further direction from the government.“This is new territory for everyone,” said John Yan, spokesman for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. “As someone who grew up in the 60s, I didn’t think there would come a day when marijuana would be legalized in this country and it’s a reality that is going to take some adjustment for everyone.”The Catholic board noted that its staff would be guided on various potential circumstances that could involve cannabis.“Some of our students may be exposed to smoke, whether vape or anything related to cannabis, and not have consumed,” Yan said. “So we have to train our teachers and school administrators to be able to tell the difference as best they can.”Ontario’s Ministry of Education has published some resources for educators and parents highlighting the changes contained in the Cannabis Act, which is expected to pass this week. But it has yet to give specific instructions to school authorities on the issue.What’s more, consultations are currently underway on the health and physical education curriculum, which deals with substance use as well as sexual education. An interim curriculum put in place by the government this summer does not discuss the legalization of cannabis.“Once legalized, policies and resources on suspension, expulsion, and code of conduct will be updated and posted on the ministry’s website. School boards will be expected to update their policies accordingly,” ministry spokeswoman Heather Irwin said in an email.“Additional resources for principals/vice principals and educators are being developed for release this fall to help ensure they have the necessary information to support students and keep schools safe. The ministry is also currently consulting on the best way to efficiently support the training needs of staff in school boards and schools.”At Canada’s largest school board, educators began writing lesson plans over the summer to reflect details of cannabis legislation, said George Kourtis, the health and physical education co-ordination for the Toronto District School Board.Those plans will touch on topics such as driving under the influence of cannabis, he said, and strive for a non-judgmental tone. And while substance use and abuse is technically in the curriculum for December, teachers are being encouraged to discuss it this week since cannabis will be a “hot topic,” he said.“It’s going to be very similar to the conversation about alcohol that we’ve been used to having over the last few years but now for the first time we’ve been talking about an illegal substance for many, many years and now it’s becoming a legal substance,” he said.The board is also working with its guidance counsellors and mental health support staff so that they, too, are equipped to discuss cannabis with students.“I think the more people we get involved, the better we can not only address the issue, but address issues as they arise because of legalization,” Kourtis said.Abby Goldstein, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and Canada research chair in the psychology of emerging adulthood, said legalization opens the door to conversations about cannabis that may have been unlikely in the past.“There are sort of lessons to be learned as far as what wasn’t done with alcohol, and the opportunity to do this differently here is around having more of a harm reduction perspective,” she said.“So recognizing that teens and young adults are going to use cannabis and so how can we inform them in a way that makes the harms known to them so that they can make educated and healthy decisions about responsible cannabis use once they do reach the legal age.”Urmila Persaud, a Grade 11 student in Richmond Hill, Ont., north of Toronto, said her school hasn’t yet broached the issue of legalization or how it may affect school rules and policies.Persaud, who believes those under 19 shouldn’t use cannabis, said having those conversations in school could help prevent problems down the line.In the past, she said, students have been given literature on drugs in gym class, which is mandatory in Grade 9.“I think it would be a lot more effective if they actually talked to us because with the pamphlet someone could easily just throw it away,” she said.Students aren’t the only ones seeking information on the transition, said Stephen Sliwa, director of education for the Upper Canada District School Board, in the region surrounding Ottawa.The board has been hosting community information sessions in collaboration with public health officials, partly to address concerns from parents, he said.“I think parents are looking to us to partner with them about strategies and conversations that they can use at home, that are carry-overs and enhancements to what we’re doing at school,” he said. “They’re looking for insights on how is this playing out once Oct. 17 arrives.”last_img read more