Jailed Inuk Grandmother takes it to Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador on

first_imgTrina RoacheAPTN National NewsBeatrice Hunter, the Inuk land protector put in jail for protesting peacefully, had some tough questions for the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador but said she was “disappointed and disgusted” with his answers.Hunter confronted him at an event in Goose Bay on Tuesday evening and used Facebook Live to grill Premier Dwight Ball about Muskrat Falls, a controversial hydroelectric project outside of town.A big shock for Hunter was that Ball had not read an open letter from Senators Murray Sinclair and Kim Pate.“When the Senate sends you a letter, wouldn’t you respond ASAP? Especially when it’s the Senate?” said Hunter, in an interview from her home in Labrador. “And it shows that even just by him not reading the letter is a lack of respect for our lives and a lack of respect for the Senate.”On Monday, two senators wrote a joint letter to the premier about the “unjust incarceration” of Hunter for “engaging in a peaceful protest.”Sinclair and Pate said the “actions of the government in this regard have been shameful.”But on Tuesday evening, Ball told Hunter, “I’ve been travelling today and I haven’t really seen the letter yet. I’ve seen some media reports on it, we’ve had some conversations with it, so we need to clearly figure out exactly what the senators were asking for.”The senators asked the province to conduct a “review of its laws to ensure they do not derogate from existing Indigenous rights.”Hunter asked Ball if he would help get the charges against Labrador land protectors dropped.She’s one of 37 people facing criminal charges, including mischief over $5,000 and disobeying a court order, stemming from protests last fall.“I think none of us, yourself, would want a premier or any elected official that’s willing to interfere with a court process,” answered Ball. “I find the whole process very frustrating. I followed your story. It is a very frustrating thing for me to be into. Let’s keep in mind this is not a project I supported.”But Hunter was not appeased and replied, “You say you were very frustrated. How do you think I feel about it being in prison for 11 days?”On May 30, Hunter was sent to a men’s prison in St. John’s, 1,600 km to the south, after she told a judge she could not promise to stop protesting at Muskrat Falls.One concern of the ongoing opposition to the project is that unstable geography at an area of the dam called the North Spur could cause a breach in the dam and massive flooding for communities along the Lower Churchill River.Another, and the main focus of the ongoing protests last fall is methylmercury.A 2015 study by Harvard University indicated that leaving the trees and topsoil in the reservoir when it was flooded would create methylmercury that could contaminate traditional food sources downstream.After a marathon meeting last October, the premier reached a deal with Indigenous leaders.It promised an Independent Expert Advisory Committee to review environment impacts. Ball told Hunter that it’s now set up, and the government is just waiting for Indigenous leaders to find someone to chair the committee.And while the land protectors demand to have the reservoir cleared was not met, Nalcor Energy, the provincial crown corporation developing Muskrat Falls, promised it would release the flood waters from the spillway this spring.But in a recent update on its website, Nalcor reported, “Current water elevation upstream of the spillway remains around 21.5m above sea level. The plan is to keep the water at this level until mid-July. The water must remain at this level to install the necessary equipment that will ensure the safety of river users near the spillway and facility. Once this work is completed, the water level in the reservoir will be lowered.”Hunter has lost trust in government, including the Indigenous leaders in Labrador.“Todd Russell and Yvonne Jones had tried to visit me in prison,” said Hunter. “But I had denied them because I felt that I wouldn’t probably be in prison if they had done their job.”Russell is the leader of the NunatuKavut Community Council. And Jones is the Liberal MP for Labrador.Jones is the Liberal MP for Labrador and the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carolyn Bennett.“We’re fighting for Labrador lives to ensure that no one gets poisoned or drowned,” she said but isn’t looking to politicians for answers, including Dwight Ball.“There was nothing in his answers that said okay, Beatrice, we’re going to help Labrador,” said Hunter. “It seemed he avoided giving real answers to my questions.”And that included her repeated question, asking if Ball would resign as NL Minister for Aboriginal [email protected]last_img read more

From pain to paint

first_imgNot all can transform their lives in to something that is worth the time and effort of hundreds others. And when it comes to a life of difficulty and pain – the effort is a million times more.The Bindu Art School does something not many others have dared to do till date. They use art to transform the lives of people affected by leprosy. By painting and selling pictures, students attain financial independence without the discrimination of receiving alms and support similar people with their income. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Drawing from intense experiences, students produce impressive paintings, tinged with a rare type of beauty. Founded by the Austrian Multimedia Artist Werner Dornik and the Indian Social Activist, Padma Venkataraman, the schools opened in 2005 at Bharatapuram, Tamil Nadu.Werner Dornik has been working since 1980 with photography, text, music and painting in Europe and Asia. Besides 40 one man exhibitions he published amongst other things the photo-text-volume ‘If you go you just go’, given an honorary prize and then awarded the State Prize ‘The most beautiful books of Austria’. His book- and exhibition projects are mostly directed against the ‘consumer society’, encourage spiritual freedom, and support social projects. The proceeds go mainly to the Leprosy Stations Khandwa and Indore in India. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAs curator of the artist-exchange-project ‘The Search Within’,  together with 20 artists from Austria and India, he illuminates the political and spiritual backgrounds of modern painting in both countries over three years. With the multimedia project  ‘The Journey from: Technic to: Techno’ in Austria, Germany, Portugal, Italy and India, he pointed at the dangers of technical development.Padma Venkataraman, has been active in social welfare programmes at National and International levels. In Vienna she was, among other things, permanent representative of the All India Women’s Conference to the U.N., member of several NGO Committees accredited to UN, such as Committee on Narcotics, Committee on Disabled, etc., Vice President of NGO Committee on Women, President of the United Nations Women’s Guild. In India, she has been most active in grassroots work in leprosy rehabilitation for 15 years. Was Honorary Director of a FAO/All-India Women’s Conference Project for leprosy patients in the 4000 strong Shahdhara Colony in Delhi; and worked with Hope World Wide to construct houses for 800 families there. For over 5 years was Honorary Director of a major Tamil Nadu wide DANIDA-funded leprosy rehabilitation project under the auspices of the Women’s Indian Association, Chennai.The art school is holding an exhibition in the city with paintings made by leprosy patients. Do your bit for the cause, head over and give it a look.DETAILWhere: Azad Bhavan Art Gallery, Azad BhavanWhen: On till 27 Marchlast_img read more

Ottawas Chateau Laurier hotel to undergo major expansion

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, September 15, 2016 Posted by Sharecenter_img OTTAWA — Major changes are in the works for the iconic Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in the national capital.The plan is to add as many as 200 long-term stay suites in the hotel just steps from Parliament Hill, in addition to an exterior courtyard and approximately 427 underground parking spaces.Shovels are expected to be in the ground in the fall of 2017, with the new suites expected to be ready in 2020.There was no immediate word on cost of the project.Public consultations will take place at a later date, but there has already been a flurry of negative reaction to online depictions of the planned expansion. Tags: Ottawa Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier hotel to undergo major expansionlast_img read more

Sunwings Springventory sale All vacations must go

first_imgSunwing’s ‘Spring-ventory’ sale: “All vacations must go” TORONTO — Sunwing is doing some spring cleaning with a half-price clearance sale on select vacations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.The ‘Spring-ventory’ sale runs until April 27 for departures between now and June. “All vacations must go”, says the company, so clients keen on getting a head start on summer should book now while deals last.Top-rated resorts included in the sale include the family-friendly Riu Dunamar in Playa Mujeres, Mexico. A stunning beachfront property that offers varied accommodation options including rooms that fit five, this new resort features all-day entertainment, land and watersport activities like kayaking and snorkelling, and unlimited access to the on-site Splash Water Park. Plus, guests enjoy exclusive RIU-topia inclusions such as unlimited à la carte dining, spa discounts and more.Also included in the sale is the top-rated adults only resort, Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Featuring the only adults-only waterpark in the Caribbean, this all-inclusive property boasts eight pools, a Jacuzzi, wellness centre and nine restaurants.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThere’s also the Grand Memories Varadero in Cuba, situated right on the beach. Amenities include two pools, kids club with supervised activities, snorkelling, beach volleyball, windsurfing and evening entertainment.For more go to sunwing.ca. Tags: Sunwing Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more