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  • admin 11:47 on 27/10/2018  

    TORONTO- Sketch is an arts-based community development initiative that engages homeless and marginalized Canadian youth from the ages of 16 to 29.

    Rudy Ruttimann, the executive director of Sketch believes the program brings out the youth’s true potential.

    “By getting to know these young people, you get to see the incredible potential and the beauty of what they have to offer, the possibilities start to come out of them,” Ruttimann said.

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    Spoken word artist Joel Zola, a participant at Sketch, credits the “non-judgmental’ atmosphere at Sketch for opening up opportunities for at-risk youth.

    “It’s provided youth with hope, you know, it’s provided youth with opportunities, it’s making a difference where it’s created a space that’s non-judgmental,” Zola said.

    Sketch has recently built a 7,500 square-foot creative hub at Artscape Youngplace in Liberty Village for the young artists. The program boasts various courses including writing, painting, silk screening, dance movement, cooking, gardening, pottery, textiles and environmental arts.

    Caela Butt is a participant in one of the initiatives programs called Stool School.

    “Stool school is a Sketch initiate to get young people involved in carpentry and woodworking,” Butt said. “We got to build our own woodworking project, we get to pick whatever we wanted and see it through from the design stage all the way to the finishing stage.”

    Ruttimann says that the program is not limited to Sketch itself,

    “Our vision is that the skills will continue to deepen so that when they do leave, that they are ready and as ready as you can be to live a full and participatory life,” Ruttimann said.

    Continue reading How a community initiative is giving at-risk youth opportunities – Toronto

  • admin 11:47 on 27/10/2018  

    CALGARY- Police have released video of the person they’re looking to speak with, in connection to a frightening sexual assault.

    On Sunday night, a woman in her 20s got off of a CTrain at Heritage Station, then got on a transit bus shortly before 11 p.m. A man also boarded, and it’s believed they were the only two passengers on the bus.

    Both of them got off at Elbow Drive and Canata Place S.W., near St. Catherine School, and the man followed the woman as she walked west.

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    • Police investigate Canyon Meadows sexual assault

    As she travelled along the pathway between Canata Close and Canterbury Drive, the man ran at her, threatened her with a weapon, and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.

    The victim eventually made it to safety, and called police. She was then taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.

    Investigators have since released photos and videos of a man they’re looking to speak with, who is described as being about 6’ tall and in his 20s. He has a slim build, and was wearing a grey jacket, green t-shirt, black running shoes, jeans and a dark-brimmed hat. He also has a distinctive gait, as evidenced in the video.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact police, and officers are asking anyone in the Canyon Meadows area who may have heard the attack around 11:10 p.m. to call them.

    Continue reading Police hope video, photos will lead to arrest after frightening sexual assault – Calgary
  • admin 11:47 on 27/10/2018  

    Exploitation of Ontario’s Far North offers the potential for huge economic benefits but could also result in conflict and large-scale environmental degradation unless a comprehensive, regionally based planning is used before development gets underway, a new scientific paper indicates.

    The working paper, to be released Thursday, warns that current piecemeal assessment tools are inadequate for the vast, unspoiled but mineral-rich region known as the Ring of Fire.

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    • Liberals promise $1 billion for Ring of Fire

    • Map: Where is the Ring of Fire, anyway?

    The issue has taken on new significance with the province’s newly re-elected Liberal government promising quick action on development in the region.

    “Ontario will have only one chance to get it right in the Far North,” the paper states.

    “We simply will not be able to circle back and undo poorly considered decisions about development, infrastructure or ecological and social tradeoffs once plans are approved and shovels are in the ground.”

    The paper by the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and Ecojustice Canada advocates a holistic approach to development planning.

    From the outset, the authors state, the process must involve government, First Nations, industry and local communities and come up with an overall, long-term vision for the region.

    Such an approach – dubbed regional strategic environmental assessment – would result in a “made in the North” process and plan to address development and conservation across the region, according to co-authors, Cheryl Chetkiewicz, a conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Anastasia Lintner, a lawyer and economist with Ecojustice.

    Read More: Where is Ontario’s Ring of Fire?

    The Far North, including the Ring of Fire, which First Nations refer to as Wawangajing, is considered globally unique. The 450,000-square-kilometre area is home to one of the world’s last intact ecosystems and an important storehouse of carbon. It is also rich in minerals such as chromite and nickel, worth by some estimates in the tens of billions of dollars.

    Aside from about 24,000 aboriginals in 34 remote communities, the area is home to at-risk species such as caribou, wolverine and lake sturgeon. It provides refuge to nesting songbirds and includes some of the world’s largest peatlands and wetlands.

    It’s also the world’s largest continuous area of unblemished boreal forest.

    “This is not a place that can be ‘offset’ or restored if it is damaged or destroyed by poorly planned development,” the paper states.

    Development – whether mining, forestry or hydroelectric – will require new roads, railways, power lines, construction sites and housing.

    However, current assessment models – largely based on the needs of southern Ontario – tend to focus on individual projects rather than on the cumulative effects of multiple developments over time, the authors write.

    “This is a critical flaw given the importance of maintaining the region-wide ecological and cultural integrity across the Far North,” they say.

    Ontario’s environmental commissioner along with the province’s Far North advisory panel and advisory council have all pressed for an integrated approach.

    Failure to engage in such a process could result in frustrating legal battles. It could also lead to negative long-term social impacts on First Nations from what is typically a boom and bust economy, Chetkiewicz said in an interview from Thunder Bay, Ont.

    “None of those kinds of questions will come out in an environmental assessment process and none of them are being addressed in the land use planning process,” Chetkiewicz said.

    The paper makes several recommendations, including taking the “big picture” into account before development starts.

    It also urges extensive monitoring to assess ecological impacts; ensuring development considers long-term sustainability; and consolidation of various assessment laws into a single integrated framework.

    ©2014The Canadian Press

    Continue reading Ring of Fire: Study warns against piecemeal planning – Toronto
  • admin 11:47 on 27/10/2018  

    TORONTO – The city will raise a rainbow flag on Friday, officially proclaiming June 20 to 29 Pride Week 2014.

    The week of LGBTQ celebration and advocacy coincides with the international WorldPride festival, taking place this year in Toronto. It’s the first time the annual event has been held in North America.

    Representing the city, councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam will raise the rainbow flag at the WorldPride opening ceremony in Nathan Phillips Square, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.

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    • Melissa Etheridge, Tegan and Sara among WorldPride performers

    • Rainbow crosswalks welcome visitors to Toronto’s WorldPride

    READ MORE: Rainbow crosswalks welcome visitors to Toronto’s WorldPride

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has voiced his opinion regarding pride celebrations and rainbow flags numerous times, will not be in attendance – he will return from rehab on June 30. Even if he wasn’t in a treatment facility, he likely wouldn’t have attended the Pride event.

    Earlier this year the mayor said he would not attend Pride parade. “I’m not going to go to Pride parade,” he said. “I’ve never gone to a Pride parade, so I’m not going to change the way I am.”

    And during the Sochi Olympics in Russia, Ford asked that a rainbow flag flying outside of city hall in support of gay rights be removed.

    The WorldPride opening ceremony will also feature musical performances by Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox.

    READ MORE: Melissa Etheridge, Tegan and Sara among WorldPride performers

    Artist and civil rights activist Gilbert Baker – the artist who designed the rainbow flag in 1978 – is also expected to attend.

    Continue reading City to raise rainbow flag to kick off Toronto Pride Week – Toronto

  • admin 11:47 on 27/10/2018  

    PARIS – Not every 6-year-old can tackle the distractions of bike riding along the Seine, which on weekends and sunny days in Paris can include thousands of other cyclists, roller bladers and oblivious tourists with cameras.

    It’s enough to give a parent palpitations.

    But the city of Paris, in a bid to train the next generation of cyclists, has added a range of kids’ bikes and gliders to its bike-sharing program, devices that could be theoretically used even by children as young as two.

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    • New to cycling? Tips for navigating Toronto’s crowded streets

    And to ease parents’ minds, they even offer helmets.

    My 6-year-old was among the first to take out the new P’tit Velib’ on Wednesday, riding happily along the banks of the Seine and obediently steering clear of the drop-off into the water. She pronounced the borrowed wheels exactly the same as the ones I use for my daily commute, but sized just for her.

    She carefully checked the colour and style against the bikes used by “les grands” – the grown-ups – and was satisfied that her ride had not been dumbed down or painted in pastels or primary colours. It costs at most 6 euros ($8) an hour or 12 euros a day ($16) in five of Paris’ best cycling locations (seven by mid-July), with training wheels or without.

    Kids can accompany their parents on the full-size bike share – there’s a stand a stone’s throw away at the Seine River location – but keeping your eyes on the road involves ignoring the Eiffel Tower, dozens of tour boats and gilded bridge statues.

    This is not riding for amateurs.

    For my daughter, the joy was in finally being able to ride with the grown-ups in parts of Paris previously unreachable on her own bike. She worried about very young riders – the program is pitched to children ages 2 to 8 – saying the distractions and the unfamiliar bikes could be too much for them. But she loved the quality of her shared bike and its responsive brakes.

    The program developed after city officials discovered that about half of Parisian children learn to cycle outside the city, which has limited space for bike lanes, few green spaces large enough to accommodate amateur riders, and no easy way to get a child’s bike from one point to another. I’ve even tried lifting one over a subway turnstile, only to find an even more unwelcome reception inside a crowded car.

    “We wanted this habit of riding a bicycle, the cycling experience, to be learned at the earliest possible age and that young Parisians pick up the habit at the earliest opportunity,” said Jean-Francois Martins, who is in charge of sport and tourism at city hall.

    The very youngest get glider bikes, which give children the sense of balance before they attempt pedals. There are three successively larger sizes with pedals for older children. The program starts with 300 bikes, which must be returned to the location where they were rented.

    The hope is eventually to make it resemble adult bike shares, where riders can pick up a bike in one place and drop it in another, said Joel Sick, whose association AICV runs the stand on the Seine.

    “The idea now is to create a space for the youngest riders,” Sick said.

    For at least one, they sure did.

    Locations (bikes are first-come, first-serve):

    Berges de Seine, between the Pont des Invalides and the Pont de l’AlmaBois de Boulogne – Porte la Muette and Rond-Point du Jardin d’AcclimatationCanal de l’Ourcq, quai de la MarneBois de Vincennes – Lac Daumesnil

    ©2014The Associated Press

    Continue reading Paris adding kids’ bikes, helmets to bike-sharing program
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