Calgary student carrying stolen firearm, ammo 'likely seeking attention': police report

Details have emerged about the student who attended Calgary’s Bowness High School with a firearm last week.

In a report to the Calgary Police Commission, the Calgary Police Service said the student was carrying a stolen, loaded semi-automatic handgun in their backpack along with additional ammunition.

“Based on the information provided, district patrol (officers) with assistance of the school resource officer and school staff were able to intervene as classes changed and the student was taken into custody without incident,” the report read.

“Subsequent investigation revealed (the) student was likely seeking attention and not motivated by violent tendencies.”

Read more:

Police take youth into custody, recover firearm at Bowness High School

The student, who others identified as a 10th grader and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged with six offences, including carrying a concealed weapon, unauthorized possession of a weapon, careless use of a firearm and tampering with a serial number.

Police were called to the school just before 10 a.m. on May 18.

In a letter to parents, principal Jana Macdonald wrote “at no time were classes disrupted” and Calgary Board of Education safety processes were followed, ensuring staff and students were “safe at all times.”

At the time, police said the weapon was not discharged.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Russian forces seek to put stranglehold on Ukrainian twin cities

At a World Economic Forum (WEF) panel discussion in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that preventing an escalation in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict was important due to its impact on global security and the protection of NATO allies. Stoltenberg said, however, that a clear message for Moscow is that "an attack on one NATO ally, will trigger a full-response from the whole alliance.”

Russian forces sought to encircle Ukrainian troops in twin eastern cities straddling a river as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Moscow was seeking to destroy the industrial Donbas region where it has focused its attacks.

Russia is attempting to seize the separatist-claimed Donbas’ two provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and trap Ukrainian forces in a pocket on the main eastern front.

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Russia ‘running out of ideas’ in 3-month-old war. Can Ukraine win?

Russian forces took control of three towns in the Donetsk region including Svitlodarsk, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told a local affiliate of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“The situation in Donbas is extremely difficult. All the remaining strength of the Russian army is now concentrated on this region,” Zelenskyy said in a late-night address on Tuesday. “The occupiers want to destroy everything there.”

Russia’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment out-of-hours.

The easternmost part of the Ukrainian-held Donbas pocket, the city of Sievierodonetsk on the east bank of the Siverskiy Donets River and its twin Lysychansk on the west bank, have become the pivotal battlefield there. Russian forces were advancing from three directions to encircle them.

“The enemy has focused its efforts on carrying out an offensive in order to encircle Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk,” said Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk province, where the two cities are among the last territory still held by Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military said it had repelled nine Russian attacks on Tuesday in the Donbas where Moscow’s troops had killed at least 14 civilians, using aircraft, rocket launchers, artillery, tanks, mortars and missiles.

Reuters could not immediately verify the information.

In a sign of Ukrainian success elsewhere, authorities in its second-largest city Kharkiv re-opened the underground metro, where thousands of civilians had sheltered for months under relentless bombardment.

ukraine

A local resident stands next to a house destroyed in a Russian bombing in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. The town of Bakhmut has been coming under increasing artillery strikes, particularly over the last week, as Russian forces try to press forward to encircle the city of Sieverodonetsk to the northeast.

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The move came after Ukraine pushed Russian forces largely out of artillery range of the northern city, as they did from the capital Kyiv in March.

Three months into the invasion, Moscow still has only limited gains to show for its worst military losses in decades, while much of Ukraine has suffered devastation in the biggest attack on a European state since 1945.

More than 6.5 million people have fled abroad, uncounted thousands have been killed and cities have been reduced to rubble.

The war has also caused growing food shortages and soaring prices due to sanctions and disrupted supply chains. Both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of grain and other commodities.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen accused Russia of using food supplies as a weapon.

Read more:

Canada sending 20K rounds of artillery to Ukraine as Russia invasion hits 3-month mark

Billionaire financier George Soros, also speaking in Davos, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have marked the start of World War Three.

“The best and perhaps only way to preserve our civilization is to defeat Putin as soon as possible,” he said.

Underlining the global tensions unleashed by the war, Japan – a key U.S. ally in Asia – scrambled jets on Tuesday after Russian and Chinese warplanes neared its airspace during a visit to Tokyo by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, in a move that could push Moscow closer to the brink of default, the Biden administration announced it would not extend a waiver set to expire on Wednesday that enabled Russia to pay U.S. bondholders.

Moscow had been allowed to keep paying interest and principal and avert default on its government debt.

Comments by senior Russian officials on Tuesday also suggested plans for a drawn-out conflict ahead.

Nikolai Patrushev, head of Putin’s security council, said Moscow would fight as long as necessary to eradicate “Nazism” in Ukraine, a justification for the war that the West calls baseless.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia was deliberately advancing slowly to avoid civilian casualties.

Zelenskyy dismissed such statements as “absolutely unreal.”

In Kharkiv, hundreds of people were still living underground in trains and stations when the authorities asked them to make way on Tuesday.

“Everyone is crazily scared, because there is still shelling, the rocket attacks haven’t been stopped,” said Nataliia Lopanska, who had lived in a metro train for nearly the entire duration of the war.

Russian shelling continued in the city and wider area, regional governor Oleh Sinehubov said.

The Donbas fighting follows Russia’s biggest victory in months: the surrender last week of Ukraine’s garrison in the port of Mariupol after a siege in which Kyiv believes tens of thousands of civilians died.

Petro Andryushchenko, an aide to Mariupol’s Ukrainian mayor now operating outside the Russian-held city, said the dead were still being found in the rubble.

Read more:

Ukrainians sheltering in Kharkiv metro stations begin to leave as service resumes

Around 200 decomposing bodies were buried in debris in a basement of one high-rise building, he said. Locals had refused to collect them and Russian authorities had abandoned the site, leaving a stench across the district.

(Reporting by Oleksandr Kozhukhar in Lviv, Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets in Kyiv, Vitaliy Hnidiy in Kharkiv and Reuters journalists in Mariupol and Slovyansk; Writing by Costas Pitas; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

© 2022 Reuters

Highway 97 cycling fatality prompts calls to finish the Okanagan Rail Trail

WATCH: A fatal crash involving a cyclist on Highway 97 has amplified calls for a cycling route to be opened between Kelowna and Lake Country. Bike advocates and community members say governments should move as quickly as possible to open the Okanagan Rail Trail between the two communities to move bikes off Highway 97.

A fatal crash involving a cyclist on Highway 97 has amplified calls for a cycling route to be opened between Kelowna and Lake Country in B.C.’s Interior.

Bike advocates and community members say governments should move as quickly as possible to open the Okanagan Rail Trail between the two communities to move bikes off Highway 97.

Read more:

Way paved for completion of Okanagan Rail Trail

While police have released few details about the Tuesday morning collision that occurred near Highway 97 and Parkinson Drive, Landon Bradshaw, a director with the Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition, said riding along the highway corridor is not safe for cyclists.

“Cyclists should not be required to ride along the highway when people are going 90 km/h,” Bradshaw said.

Read more:

Stiffer fines for ‘dooring’ cyclists go into effect Monday

In the wake of Tuesday’s fatality, Bradshaw is among those emphasizing that the nearby Okanagan Rail Trail, which remains unfinished and closed north of the Kelowna airport, should be opened quickly to give cyclists a safer option to get from Kelowna to Lake Country than the highway.

“We’ve been sitting here with this route half-closed, with nowhere to go and it feels like we are being left,” said Bradshaw.

“There are many people that live in Winfield, live in Lake Country, live in Oyamathat are willing to ride, but I think most of them would go crazy trying to think about riding along the highway.”

The Okanagan Rail Trail from Coldstream to Kelowna remains unfinished and blocked off north of the Kelowna airport. A sign warns trespassers will be prosecuted.

The Okanagan Rail Trail from Coldstream to Kelowna remains unfinished and blocked off north of the Kelowna airport. A sign warns trespassers will be prosecuted.

Megan Turcato / Global News

Lake Country’s Chamber of Commerce is also among those pushing for the rail trail to be fully opened quickly.

“Today is a very tragic experience of why it needs to happen,” said the chamber’s business engagement adviser Tony Pallas.

Pallas said the business group has been advocating for the trail to be fully opened for years as it would be good for local businesses and commuter safety.

“I think we as a community have to really work together and try to come to our local governments on both sides of the trail…and show that today can never happen again. We all have to collaborate, come together, and come up with a positive solution to open this rail trail immediately.”

In February, the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country and Okanagan Indian Band announced they had reached a memorandum of understanding that was expected to lead to the rail trail’s completion “once the Government of Canada adds the lands to the reserve.”

Read more:

Okanagan Rail Trail e-bike rules drive up controversy

On Tuesday, the city’s general manager of infrastructure, Mac Logan, said the three local jurisdictions are working to open the rail trail, but first, they need federal government’s approval to access land in the Okanagan Indian Band area.

“I can sincerely tell the citizens that this is something that is a priority, it is something that we are working on literally on a daily basis,” Logan said.

“There is a tremendous amount of cooperation between the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, and most importantly the Okanagan Indian Band. But the federal government plays a role here and we are doing our best to try and get those agreements in place.”

Read more:

Fatal collision between cyclist and vehicle closes Highway 97 in Lake Country

Logan said he agrees cyclists need a travel corridor separate from the highway.

“Today’s tragic events are a sad reminder that we need to have separate facilities for people who are going to use cycling as commuting,” said Logan.

Logan could not say when construction might start on the still-closed section of the rail trail.

 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Moose Jaw, Sask. breaks ground on new outdoor pickleball courts

The city's new project comes in collaboration with Pickleball Moose Jaw for six new outdoor courts outside the Kinsmen Sportsplex. These will be Moose Jaw's first outdoor courts.

The City of Moose Jaw, Sask., announced on Tuesday that construction of new pickleball courts is underway.

The city’s new project comes in collaboration with Pickleball Moose Jaw, with the two sides signing a licence agreement for six new outdoor courts outside the Kinsmen Sportsplex. These will be Moose Jaw’s first outdoor courts.

“We’ve seen a large spike in interest in Moose Jaw, people playing in different locations. This is a chance for us as a club to pull people together to have a common place to play,” said Dave Richards, Pickleball Moose Jaw’s vice-chairperson.

Read more:

City of Regina funding new pickleball facility in Douglas Park

Pickleball is known as one of North America’s fastest-growing sports. It’s a cross between tennis, ping pong and badminton, played with a small paddle and a plastic ball. Moose Jaw currently boasts over 200 pickleball players, a number that continues to grow rapidly.

The new $285,000 facility is anticipated to be complete by July 31 and was approved by Moose Jaw city council as part of their 2022 budget. The agreement between the city and the club includes exclusive use times and rates for Pickleball Moose Jaw members, while ensuring that time is allotted for city programming and drop-in use by the general public.

The agreement also includes provisions in which Pickleball Moose Jaw will be contributing to future facility improvements and expansion.

“The community asked for it and I’m really excited that the city was able to respond and create this so quickly,” said Moose Jaw mayor Clive Tolley. “I understand that people were playing at a number of indoor facilities and they’ll just be excited and happy to get out of those indoor facilities and play out here in the summer.”

One of those pickleball enthusiasts eagerly waiting for the new courts is Bradley Rose. He started playing pickleball last summer after a friend invited him to play. He says a couple nights playing quickly turned into three days a week of pickleball.

“I think it’s going to be great. I think it’s an opportunity for people to get active, people to get outside and enjoy the weather,” Rose said.

“I think it’s also a great opportunity to bring events to Moose Jaw…so I hope to see that benefit and keep people active.”

Read more:

Pickleball mania comes to Regina

Pickleball has been quickly increasing in popularity in southern Saskatchewan lately. Just last month, Regina played host to over 260 players at the Saskatchewan Pickleball Provincial Championship, the largest player pool ever in the province’s pickleball history.

And it’s continuing to grow. In the last five years, Pickleball Regina says they grew from 30 members to over 900.

“Just about everybody you talk to that’s taken up this sport has been very passionate about it and they find that it’s addicting,” said Allan Carpentier, a Pickleball Regina board of directors member.

“Most people that come up to you say ‘where can I play, how do I get involved, what can I do here, what can I do there?’…People love to go out and have fun and it’s a great form of exercise.”

The Queen City Pickleball Hub in Regina has also seen 1,400 different people playing the sport since last October. The hub also offers introductory lessons for any new players.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Very optimistic': Busy start to tourism season in Penticton, B.C.

May Long weekend was the unofficial start of Penticton, B.C.’s, peak tourism season. Several tourism attractions reopened, and new businesses launched along Lakeshore Drive.

The S.S. Sicamous Museum and Heritage Park reopened on Friday for the first time since pre-pandemic.

“Feels fantastic and the response of the public was great,” said S.S. Sicamous Society vice-president Matt Verboeket.

The museum closed down during the pandemic because the ship could not meet COVID-19 safety protocols.

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Great start to tourism season in Okanagan, but high gas prices may result in less spending

“The artifacts that are in there, a lot of them have what is shellac on them and the sanitizers contain alcohol. Alcohol will melt the shellac so we couldn’t quite keep it clear and clean,” said Verboeket.

After a busy first weekend back, museum volunteers said they are optimistic going into summer.

“Very optimistic. I think it is going to be phenomenal and we have new staff as well and they are right into it now so it’s really, really good,” said Verboeket.

The Cherry On Top Shake Shop had its grand opening on Friday. The shop is located a short distance away from its previous location at the iconic Penticton Peach.

“We are super happy and a little relieved after last weekend. The May long weekend was really great, it was amazing to see all the guests in Penticton enjoying our wonderful weather,” said the Cherry On Top Shake Shop owner Diana Stirling.

“We turned this shop around in four weeks from when we lost our location at the Peach. So we have forwarded the peach menu over to Cherry On Top, rebranded, new location.”

Stirling echoed that the last two years have been difficult on the tourism industry but she’s hopeful following the Victoria Day long weekend.

“The tourism industry in Penticton was hoping for a really successful kickoff to Summer with the May long weekend and we saw it,” she said.

“It was busy, we’re super happy. We really hope that this is an indication of how our season will go this year, we are really hoping that this a recovery year.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Alberta Health Services EMS training day prepares up-and-coming paramedics

Health Matters May 24: Paramedic students teamed up with AHS EMS members for a special training day to prepare them for demands that are higher than ever. And a Stony Plain medical facility created a unique solution to help emergency patients with sensory issues. Sarah Komadina and Su-Ling Goh report.

It’s a difficult job, and lately it’s filled with even more pressures: the health system is taxed, with full emergency rooms and a hospital bed shortage.

The province is also in the middle of an opioid crisis. Primary care paramedic student Evan Vokins wants to be a part of it.

“Getting to see the environment we are in, and what we will be doing, definitely adds perspective,” Vokins said.

He is one of several students who took part in an EMS training day hosted by Alberta Health Services, as part of National Paramedic Services Week.

The event is targeted at up-and-coming paramedics to gain a better understanding of the life-saving skills used every day by EMS practitioners.

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“A lot of people think, ‘Oh you’re going to get in the back of the ambulance and you’re instantly going to be running to an emergency,’ but there is a whole lot more to it and the world of paramedicine is expanding,” Vokins said.

Public education officer Jillian Maier said this is the first hands-on event they have been able put on since the pandemic, and students being able to come in-person makes a big difference.

“They build that connection, they build that relationship, it makes them feel more comfortable, they can be better on the job and it just opens up a lot of doors for our students,” Maier said.

“Being a paramedic is a job unlike any other. When you come to work, you’re expecting to have a day where you have no idea what is going to happen — a lot of us enjoy that about our job.”

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EMS responded to 85 opioid-related calls in Edmonton over 4 days in July

The community paramedic team was also highlighted — iIt’s one of the newest branches, operating in Alberta for about 10 years.

These paramedics are dispatched through a virtual hospital, and can go to people’s homes to administer things like IV bags, catheters and stitches. Community paramedic Marla Bartel said the program is continuously growing.

Bartel said at first, their services focused primarily on long-term, assisted-living care.

“We would go in to treat a patient at home, and that was about the only demographic we dealt with,” Bartel said.

“We have expanded each year to help a wide variety of people.”

Bartel said this will free up an ambulance, a hospital bed and hours of the patients’ time.

“Our team just primarily wants to lighten the load — lighten the load of the emergency systems because it’s taxed and we are able to just take a little bit of pressure off.”

EMS staff and paramedics respond to more than 589,000 events each year, about 1,600 calls a day.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ontario NDP candidates receive federal praise during Singh stop in London

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in London, Ont., on Tuesday to campaign for Ontario New Democrats running for ridings in the city in the 2022 Ontario Election.

Singh arrived at the campaign office of Ontario NDP London North Centre candidate Terence Kernaghan in what marked the latest high-profile visit to the riding this month.

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Ontario election 2022: London North Centre the local race to watch, political scientist says

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca made a stop last week to support London North Centre candidate Kate Graham, while Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford visited the campaign office of Jerry Pribil the week prior to support his candidacy for the riding.

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner visited London on May 6, but instead made a stop inside the boundaries of London West.

Speaking to dozens of supporters, Singh reflected on his time in Queen’s Park, where he served as MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton from 2011 to 2017 and served as the Ontario NDP’s deputy leader during the last two years of his time in provincial office.

“We saw 15 years of Liberals who had the chance, if they wanted to, to make things better, but they created so many of the problems that we’re going through today,” Singh said, highlighting issues surrounding health care, long-term care and housing.

“And then, four years of Conservatives. Did our housing crisis get any better? Our health-care system? Long-term care? Not at all.”

Read more:

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When asked by media about why he made the visit, Singh brought up his personal history with London, having previously lived in the city while attending Western University.

“Anytime there’s a chance to help support local campaigns, I always put my hand up for London because I just got a connection, I appreciate the folks here and there’s some incredible candidates running and I want them to be able to continue to fight for the people here,” Singh said.

“We’ve got Terence, we’ve got Teresa (Armstrong), we’ve got Peggy Sattler. We’ve seen their work, we know what they do and they have served the people of London incredibly.”

Kernaghan, who is the incumbent in London North Centre, said Singh’s visit shows “how much power and momentum we have here in London.”

While political watchers are calling for a close race in the riding, Kernaghan disagrees.

“Every street I go on, I see tons of my signs and it is incredibly overwhelming to see the amount of love and support that we’re receiving on the doors and people know exactly who I am when I’m knocking on the doors and they thank me for my work in the community,” Kernaghan said.

“We’re just feeling so inspired and motivated.”

Along with Kernaghan, Graham and Pribil, who are running for the NDP, Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, respectively, several other candidates also hoping to represent Ontarians in London North Centre.

They are the Green Party’s Carol Dyck, the New Blue’s Tommy Caldwell, the Ontario Party’s Darrel Grant, the Consensus Party’s George Le Mac and the Freedom Party of Ontario’s Paul McKeever.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

3 Durham schools to remain closed for 2nd day after devastating Ontario storm

WATCH: Power outages continue to hamper Ontarians after Saturday’s storm left thousands without power. Ahmar Khan reports.

Three schools in Durham Region will remain closed Wednesday as the area continues to battle the fallout from Saturday’s fatal and destructive storm.

In an announcement Tuesday evening, the Durham District School Board (DDSB) confirmed three of its schools would remain closed, while five are set to reopen after power was restored to the buildings.

The board acknowledged it may be difficult to inform some parents still without power. “Please share this information as best you can with others,” the statement said.

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Deadly storm in Ontario, Quebec wreaks havoc on urban trees

For students at the three schools that remain closed, no online learning will be provided. The board said it could not guarantee a virtual classroom for all students as a result of power outages so it will not be offering online classes.

Uxbridge in Durham Region was one of the areas of Ontario most impacted by Saturday’s storm.

The township declared a state of emergency, with the cleanup and attempts to restore power continuing three days after the devastating weather ripped through.

The Northern Tornado project said it believes an EF2 tornado may have struck Uxbridge.

Read more:

Uxbridge declares state of emergency in wake of severe damage from Ontario storm

The death toll in Ontario climbed to at least 10 on Monday, with Peterborough police confirming that a 61-year-old Lakefield man died during the storm after being struck by a falling tree.

The schools that will reopen are:

  • Lincoln Avenue PS (Ajax)
  • Goodwood PS (Uxbridge)
  • Joseph Gould PS (Uxbridge)
  • Uxbridge SS (Uxbridge)
  • E.A. Fairman PS (Whitby)

The schools that are set to remain closed are:

  • Southwood Park PS (Ajax)
  • Valley View PS (Pickering)
  • Uxbridge PS (Uxbridge)

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

CFL delivers 'final' amended contract proposal to its players

Stampeder fans may have to wait a little longer before taking in a game. The CFL Players Association has voted down the CFL’s latest offer. Global’s Craig Momney has the reaction from training camp.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie and the CFL have put the CFL Players’ Association back on the clock.

Ambrosie said Tuesday the league tabled a final amended collective bargaining agreement to the players Monday night, a deal that will remain on the table until midnight ET on Thursday. He added the new contract addressed the biggest concerns the CFLPA membership had with the previous proposal: the implementation of a ratification bonus and changing the Canadian ratio.

Ambrosie said the amended offer contains a $1-million ratification bonus pool for players. It also reduces the proposed number of nationalized Canadians — Americans who’ve spent either four years in the CFL or at least three with the same team — from four to one while also cutting back on the number of Canadian starters from seven to six.

Read more:

Saskatchewan Roughriders resume training camp after CFLPA rejects new offer

And that’s not expected to sit well with CFL players. On Monday, they rejected a tentative seven-year agreement between the league and their union that called for Canadian starters to increase to eight, including one nationalized Canadian. In addition, three other nationalized Canadians could play up to 49 per cent of all snaps on either side of the ball.

“We know our roster challenges don’t surface when all of your players are healthy,” Ambrosie said. “But ours is a collision sport where players get hurt and once you get deeper into your roster, often those players aren’t quite ready.

“That’s why we protected all of the roster spots to make sure Canadians have the chance to be on rosters and train and develop themselves. This protects Canadian jobs, which all of our teams felt strongly about. It rewards American athletes for a contribution they make to our teams and communities.”

CFLPA executive director Brian Ramsay said the league’s offer was more like an ultimatum and not a partnership which the league has often maintained has been its goal in contract talks.

“Yes this is an ultimatum with a deadline,” Ramsay said. “It feels very much like the way the old CFL does business.

“I think a partnership creates solutions. Right now, our members are still on the field as we try to create solutions while the CFL issues ultimatums. Coming out publicly like this isn’t the right approach. They did try this May 14 and it didn’t work then and we’re confident through our player reps that our membership will see that now.”

Read more:

CFL players reject new collective bargaining agreement with league: reports

This marks the second time Ambrosie has gone public with a final contract offer to the CFLPA. On May 14, he posted a letter to fans on the league’s website detailing the league’s proposal to players hours before the former CBA was set to expire.

Ramsay divulged that the CFL’s ratification fund would come from the league’s revenue-sharing plan that’s been agreed to in this current proposal. And he said there’s little chance the amended ratio will fly with CFL players.

“Throughout bargaining we’ve told them repeatedly this would be a problematic issue for our membership,” Ramsay said. “Nonetheless, we’ve negotiated up from their initial eradication of the ratio from zero and we agreed to put that as part of complete package in front of our membership with our support and that of our player reps and it failed.

“They now want to put the same issues on the table in a different format, deadline us, deadline our members and expect a different result.”

As for the proposed bonus, Ramsay added: “The reality is, though, these funds will come out of the players’ portion of the revenue-sharing model. We appreciate the gesture to get this into our membership’s hands now, but it must be clear this would be offering the players their own future money as a settlement.”

As for if the CFL membership will formally vote on the new proposal, Ramsay said: “We’ve taken it to our player reps and we’ve asked them to brief their rooms on it, and as it stands now it would not have support. They cannot expect a different result based upon the same issue being on the table.”

The league and union reached a tentative agreement Wednesday, four days after players with seven of the league’s nine teams went on strike. It marked just the second work stoppage in league history and first since 1974.

But Ambrosie said the league has no more room to negotiate.

“I think this is the best offer the league is going to have and we’re going to stand on it,” he said. “But not with obstinance or negativity, we’re going to stand by it because we truly believe this is a transformational deal.

“The deal that went for ratification was one supported by the players’ executive and player reps that we felt was a win-win and a great opportunity to build a new future. We just made two adjustments that we think make it even better and we just feel it’s time now to stand by this deal and get back to playing football.”

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Ramsay kind of agreed with Ambrosie’s statement the deal was “transformational.”

“I think it has the potential to be a transformational deal,” he said. “But I think the tactics that we continue to see take away from the impact of the package.”

Ramsay disagreed with the notion that the CFL and union are at an impasse and said there remains time for the two sides to continue talking.

“No we’re not (at an impasse),” he said. “There should be talks and I’d imagine there will be talks between now and then because at the end of the day I believe both parties want to find a solution to this.

“I know our members want to play football. Timing has always been an issue and the pressures put on our members through the timing of this bargaining process are not reflective of the new partnership that we were told we were working toward.”

The CFL’s exhibition schedule is slated to open Friday night with the Toronto Argonauts visiting the Ottawa Redblacks and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers entertaining the Edmonton Elks. On Tuesday, Winnipeg president Wade Miller, expressed hope his team’s contest will go ahead.

“We are optimistic that Friday’s pre-season game will be played as scheduled,” Miller said in a tweet released by the Bombers. “Once we have further information, we will provide you with more details.”

The Calgary Stampeders were equally as hopeful their exhibition game Saturday night against the B.C. Lions would be played.

“We are optimistic that Saturday’s pre-season game will be played as scheduled,” Stampeders president/GM John Hufnagel said in a tweet released by the club. “Once we have further information, we will provide Stamps fans with further details.”

Read more:

CFL reschedules Winnipeg Blue Bombers pre-season opener

But it’s difficult to see any games being played if the players turn down the league’s latest offer. A longer second work stoppage would also put the June 9 regular-season start in jeopardy.

Ambrosie said if the deal is rejected and players go back on strike, they’ll be served notice to vacate their respective training-camp facilities.

“That’s not something we want to do,” Ambrosie said. “Essentially this would be a second strike … and by that point we’ll be starting to suffer revenue losses and many things change for us.

“That’s why I believe this is the best we’re going to do. It’s a win-win deal but it’s more than that, it’s a win-win partnership and that’s what I and my colleagues want to focus on.”

The past two seasons have been difficult for both the league and players. After no games were played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — reportedly costing the league between $60 and $80 million — teams participated in an abbreviated 14-game campaign last year.

“We’ve got two pre-season games Friday and two more Saturday,” Ambrosie said. “Look, at this stage we know there will be consequences and effects to the league if, heaven forbid, we start missing games.”

In Ambrosie’s mind, this offer is a big win for the league and players.

“I believe in my head and in my heart this arrangement that’s on the table today is the dawning of a new era of prosperity for this league,” he said. “I’m hoping and praying the players will choose to vote and ratify this arrangement because I believe this sets us all up for the kind of future we’ve all wanted going back generations.

“None of the struggles or tribulations that go with bargaining should get in the way of what you want. You want to ultimately build a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership with our players. Our respect for our players hasn’t waned or diminished one bit. We just want to get this done and fulfil the promise we’ve made to our fans and stakeholders in having a 2022 season and one that’s a cause for great celebration.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

'Uplifting their spirits': The music that memorialized the 215 missing children in Kamloops

WATCH: Members of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in British Columbia, as well as many others from across Canada, gathered in Kamloops to mark the first anniversary of when 215 unmarked graves were detected at a nearby former residential school. Neetu Garcha explains how the community honoured the children who never came home, and the calls to fight the systemic erasure of Indigenous culture to protect future generations.

Dustin Dion Stikwey Jules didn’t really plan on performing when he travelled to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc on Monday.

The Skeetchestn Indian Band member has been a singer all his life, but called it a “spur of the moment” decision to walk up to the microphone in the Powwow Arbour and sing in the Secwepemctsin language.

“Whenever we share a time like this, we take it upon ourselves to share our culture and our beliefs with the people because it’s something that’s been passed down from generation to generation,” he said.

Skeetchestn singer Dustin Dion Stikwey Jules speaks to Global News after sharing a Lahal song at the one-year memorial for Le Estcwicwéy̓ in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc on Mon. May 23, 2022.

Skeetchestn singer Dustin Dion Stikwey Jules speaks to Global News after sharing a Lahal song at the one-year memorial for Le Estcwicwéy̓ in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc on Mon. May 23, 2022.

Elizabeth McSheffrey/Global News

With braided sweetgrass and his son’s drum in his hands, he shared a Lahal song. It’s traditionally performed during tournaments, but Jules said it has helped his community in times of need, and could do the same for those attending the one-year memorial for Le Estcwicwéy̓.

“It’s about bringing people together, uplifting their spirits, giving them that good feeling, that choice of comfort,” he told Global News.

As he sang, he said he thought of his mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles who survived the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Read more:

Honouring Le Estcwicwéy̓: B.C. First Nation marks 1 year since discovery of 215 unmarked graves

From the Honour Song to the jingle dress dance, music and movement played a central role in the ceremony honouring the 215 missing children, whose remains are believed to be buried by the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The event included many speeches and prayers, but at the end of the day, Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir gave a special shoutout to the drummers, dancers and singers.

“I can’t say enough as to how meaningful it was that we had so many of our cultural singers and dancers today. That was our resilience,” she told the crowd, standing next to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Let’s be proud of who we are. We need our children to be proud of who we are.”

Careful thought went into choosing the songs performed at the Le Estcwicwéy̓ memorial, several singers told Global News. According to Iye’mitun Slahhwwaletze Sewedit, a visiting cultural support worker from Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island, it’s all based on the type of occasion.

He chose his grandmother’s Prayer Song, written by his granduncle about her calls to all the people in the Cowichan Valley to join her in prayer.

“I sang it at gatherings like this one here because we’re coming together to be as one … coming together as one heart, one mind, one spirit,” Sewedit said outside the Powwow Arbour.

“It took a lot for me not to break down and cry because I get emotional easy. It felt good to sing that, especially for everybody that’s here in residential school because I know what they’ve been through.”

People join hands in a round dance around the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Powwow Arbour during the one-year memorial for the 215 missing children believed to lie in unmarked burial sites near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, on Mon. May 23, 2022.

People join hands in a round dance around the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Powwow Arbour during the one-year memorial for the 215 missing children believed to lie in unmarked burial sites near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, on Mon. May 23, 2022.

Elizabeth McSheffrey/Global News

The 10-hour event included both spontaneous songs and dances, and planned performances in at least half a dozen Indigenous languages, such as Secwepemctsin, Cree, Hul’q’umin’um, and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh.

Read more:

Reclaiming, rebuilding: Kamloops school survivors share in memorial for missing children

The Redrum Motorcycle Club, which includes survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential schools, sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for Le Estcwicwéy̓, whose lives were cut short. The Paul Creek Singers and Dancers led the crowd in the Celebration and Friendship Song.

“The Celebration Dance is done in honour of life and in honour of those passing onto the spirit world,” explained Elder Charlotte Manuel, thanking her elders for passing on their knowledge.

The dancers moved together in a circle with open hands turned upward toward the sky. Manuel, a survivor of Kamloops Indian Residential School, danced joyfully from her seat.

The Paul Creek Tribal Dancers and Singers lead the crowd in the Celebration and Friendship Song and Dance during the one-year memorial for Le Estcwicwéy̓ in Kamloops, B.C. on May 23, 2022.

The Paul Creek Tribal Dancers and Singers lead the crowd in the Celebration and Friendship Song and Dance during the one-year memorial for Le Estcwicwéy̓ in Kamloops, B.C. on May 23, 2022.

Elizabeth McSheffrey/Global News

After she danced, Jackie Andrew of Lil’wat Nation said she feels “grounded and lifted.” A St’át’imc bear dancer and a twin, she told Global News she carried the “very sacred” animal spirit to the memorial in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

“This is what we call ancestral work. We’re here to be of good service to our ancestors, because we wouldn’t be here today if they didn’t survive and pass down their oral traditions,” she explained, wearing her grizzly regalia.

“This is the medicine that heals us, that helps us prosper as a people.”

Jackie said attended the memorial with her family and danced to support survivors, including her parents and grandparents, who attended Kamloops Indian Residential School and St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in Mission, B.C.

“It’s all about intention. If you have good intention your prayers will be answered,” she said.

St’át’imc bear dancer and intergenerational survivor Jackie Andrew takes part in a round dance in the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Powwow Arbour on May 23, 2022.

St’át’imc bear dancer and intergenerational survivor Jackie Andrew takes part in a round dance in the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Powwow Arbour on May 23, 2022.

Elizabeth McSheffrey/Global News

 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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