#late-springstorminNewfoundland;#LarryDohey; #LindaLibby; #HomeMedicine: TheNewfoundlandExperience;
GANDER, N.L., May 25 (Canadian-Media): Residents in Newfoundland were dismayed by a late-spring storm that buried cars in snow and closed schools Thursday, media reports said.
“You would think you were in January,” said one employee of the Gander Public Library, which opened four hours late, after the town plowed the streets. “People have been golfing, and raking, everything here was very spring-like. So this has set us back.”
Linda Libby, Environment Canada meteorologist had said more than 35 centimetres of snow fell at Gander International Airport overnight and into Thursday.
Loretta Dwyer of Loretta’s Flower World in Gander said said the snowfall reminded her of more than 69 centimetres that fell there on May 18 and 19, 2013.
Larry Dohey, director of programming at The Rooms art gallery, cultural museum and archives in St. John’s, N.L., said his Irish ancestors from Newfoundland’s Cape Shore region suggested bottling May snowfalls and using the liquid on your face as a way to soften freckles.
Other traditions propose May snow as a cure for sore eyes, he said.
In John K. Crellin’s 1994 book “Home Medicine: The Newfoundland Experience,” he offers another explanation for the May snow folklore.
“One Newfoundland informant thought this practice was linked with May being the month of the Virgin Mary and the need to receive her blessing,” Crellin writes.
“Perhaps, too, there was a vague link with a common treatment for sore eyes in Ireland, namely, the water of certain holy wells.”
#KurtHahnPrize; #internationalaward, #hurricanereliefproject, #schoolforCaribbeanisland, #HeatherChisholm; #NewBrunswick; #HurricaneMaria; #ComeauMcKenzieArchitecture, #FundyEngineering; #FirstChoiceVentilation
Rothesay(N.B)/Ottawa, May 20 (Canadian-Media): A 15 year old girl from Rothesay, New Brunswick (N.B.) won Kurt Hahn Prize, an international award, for her innovative plan to provide school for Caribbean island, media reports said.
The prize is awarded annually to a student or group of students, in recognition of an exceptional act of service to others, within Round Square's network of about 180 schools in 50 countries.
Heather Chisholm, a Grade 10 student at Rothesay Netherwood School will be formally recognized at a ceremony in Montreal in September.
Hurricane. Image credit: Unsplash
Area 506 Festival in Saint John, N.B. which featured a shipping container village inspired Heather last summer to create a pre-school building from retired shipping containers for the Caribbean island of Dominica, devastated last year by Hurricane Maria.
She secured shipping containers with the help of a local businessman, local architects, engineers and tradespeople on design plans and developed a budget.
She recruited 24 classmates to help with everything from fundraising to gathering furnishings, equipment and school supplies.
Her former art teacher Tia Saley, who has been working with her on the Schools for Schools project, and nominated her for the Round Square Kurt Hahn Prize.
Teachers, classmates, local companies and community members have all donated their time, expertise and resources toward the project.
The plan was to convert and customize either two 40-foot containers or three 20-foot containers into a pre-school for up to 40 children in the Kalinago Territory, the home to the last of the indigenous people of the Caribbean.
"The shipping containers, originally built to withstand 100 mile an hour winds and 50-foot waves, are tough [and] durable making them an ideal shell for a classroom in tropical Dominica...will offer a safe and much needed learning space for children affected by the storm." Round Square said of Heather's plan.
Comeau McKenzie Architecture, Fundy Engineering and First Choice Ventilation are helping to finalize the design and materials.
Her initial plan was have the school up and running by this fall, but later decided to ship the containers by April 2019, so that teachers have plenty of time to set up and settle in by September 2019.
Reflecting on the past year, Heather said "the whole process has been pretty incredible…"It's easy to dream and it's easy to think about all the things that you could do… to see that it can actually take form is pretty inspiring."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#BCFloods, #2ndwaveofflooding, #JessicaMace, #RolyRussell, #KootenayBoundaryRegionalDistrict; #GrandForks
British Columbia/Ottawa, May 16 (Canadian-Media): With prospect of flooding expected to worsen over the next few days in the hard-hit southern Interior of British Columbia (B.C.), politicians and officials are asking for help from the army, media reports said.
"We are in conversation with our partners at Emergency Management BC to see what resources might be available for us," said Roly Russell, chair of the Kootenay Boundary Regional District. "We feel we could use those resources effectively on the ground."
Floodwater. Image credit: Unsplash
Emergency workers and volunteers had been reportedly exhausted after almost a week of fighting the floods, especially in Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Rock Creek and surrounding rural areas due to the melting of the heavy snowpack and a surge of water down from the mountains caused by high temperatures,
"People have been working really long hours and it's boiling here — 32 C. They're thirsty, they're tired and they're worn out," said Jessica Mace of the Kettle River Water Authority.
Residents had been updated with the latest flood information during two meetings yesterday.
The public is being asked by emergency personnel from the Kootenay Boundary Regional District to remain vigilant and to stay out of evacuated areas to allow emergency officials to focus their efforts.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#B.C.Floods, #B.C.swelteringheat, #globalwarming; #InteriorB.C.; #UniversityofB.C.; #MarkusSchnorbus; #climatechange; #BrettGilley #EarthOceanandAtmosphericSciences, #PacificClimateImpactsConsortiuminVictoria
Vancouver, B.C./Ottawa, May 15 (Canadian-Media): Many people in B.C. are reflecting if record-breaking heat they are experiencing and destructive floods are due to climate change, media reports said.
Temperatures, in several communities, over the weekend, had risen into the high 20s and low 30s, which had busted through daily records.
Massive floods had hit parts of the Interior B.C., for the second year in a row.
Last year's floods, immediately followed by wildfires and the consequent result in the loss of plant cover, had made some parts of the province even more susceptible to flooding.
Although these high temperatures had resulted in the rapid melting of mountain snow giving rise to floods that could hit levels seen only once in 100 years, scientists said it was too early to connect one-time events or with or even two or three-time events to global climate trends.
Brett Gilley, a professor in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of B.C., said,
"I think climate change is definitely something that we're starting to experience, but it's hard to say this is that," Gilley told CBC.
"When we're talking about climate, we're usually thinking of a 30-year average," Gilley said.
"So five years of weather, for example, isn't necessarily enough for us to say climate has changed, but it's possible."
Brett Gilley. Image credit: Facebook Page
It is still debatable, according to Markus Schnorbus, the lead for hydrologic impacts at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium in Victoria, how warming temperatures affect flooding.
"We have obviously concerns that hydrologic events can become more frequent in the future — both flooding and droughts — so it's something that we are very desperate and anxious to answer," said Schnorbus.
While rising temperatures can lead to sudden snow melt, causing flooding, higher temperatures in the winter could also mean less snow to melt, Schnorbus pointed out.
"There are all these different multiple trends with potentially conflicting processes," he said.
By using computer models, added Schnorbus, that take into account everything from projected snowfall, to melting speeds, to summer precipitation, scientists are trying to predict how drought and flood cycles are affected by climate change.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Vancouver (B.C.), Ottawa, May 10 (Canadian-Media): Flooding in British Columbia's (B.C.) southern Interior due to extremely heavy snowpacks, sudden downpours and unseasonably warm temperatures, nearly 2,700 people had received evacuation orders, media reports said.
Chris Marsh, emergency operations centre director and program manager for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, said there has been “significant flooding” in the eastern area of the region, washouts on smaller streams and tributaries in the region.
Marsh added that different parts of the district could see bodies of water swell between 30 and 100 centimetres.
The province also encouraged local governments and First Nations communities along the lower Fraser River to prepare for potential flooding as it experiences high flow rates.
Frances Maika of the regional district said the flood is “in the range” of a once in a 200 year occurrence.
The EmergencyInfoBC website, which provides information during provincial emergencies, lists evacuation orders or alerts in seven regional districts and for seven First Nations around the province.
Jessica Mace of the Kettle River Watershed Authority said volunteers arrived in downtown Grand Forks from across the area to help business owners and residents.
“It’s been truly amazing,” she said. “I was just downtown and there are tons of people down there helping all the businesses sand bag their places as best they can.”
“In the next 24 hours, we are going to see the peak in some areas but then people have to respond to what has happened. The recovery is going to be an active process,” she said.“Many businesses are starting to donate food,” said Mace. “People are very happy to see food show up.”
Meantime, the B.C. River Forecast Centre has upgraded to a flood warning for the Okanagan, Boundary, and Salmon rivers.
The agency said the warning includes Mission Creek and surrounding tributaries in the Okanagan, as well as West Kettle River, Kettle River, Granby River and surrounding tributaries in Boundary.The Central Okanagan’s emergency response centre said there had been localized flood and record creek flows in the area including Kelowna. Mission Creek reached a record flow rate overnight on Wednesday, the centre said, and dikes, sand bags and tiger dams were able to contain the flow.
Residents under evacuation order are being directed to reception centres in Grand Forks and Midway, but Maika said the surge of water should pass quickly.
Thousands of homes have been evacuated in B.C.’s southern Interior, and several highways have been closed, as rapidly melting snowpacks and heavy rain cause flooding throughout the province.In the next 24 hours, we are going to see the peak in some areas but then people have to respond to what has happened. The recovery is going to be an active process, she said.
#EnvironmentCanada; #southernNewBrunswick; #highwaterlevels
Fredericton/Ottawa, May 6 (Canadian-Media): Between 10 and 20 millimetres of rain in the forecast for southern New Brunswick (N.B.) Sunday which would worsen the already unprecedented flooding had prompted Environment Canada to issue a special weather statement, media reports said.
"Any precipitation amounts is quite sensitive for New Brunswick at this time," Claude Côté, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, told CBC News.
Flooding. Image credit: Wikipedia
#Water levels are still rising in the wake of the precipitation amounts that we received over the past couple of days, so any additional rainfall amounts would just exacerbate the flood situation right now," he said.
The flooding which began more than a week had forced at least 888 people from their homes, as of Sunday morning.
Roadways including the Trans-Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton, and Route 10 in Chipman had been closed.
Water levels are at historic highs in southern regions of New Brunswick and we expect water levels to remain above flood stage for several days," said Shawn Berry, spokesperson for the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (EMO).
The St. John River has now swelled nearly 1.5 metres above the flood stage.
N.B. Premier Brian Gallant said Saturday that he had not ruled out declaring a state of emergency or calling in the army to assist with flooding in the province, expected to continue for at least the next five days.
N.B, on Saturday had suffered additional damages caused by wind gust of up to 70 kilometres an hour, whipping up waves and causing floodwaters to gush over protective sandbags.
Efforts of evacuation had also become more complicated and power to thousands of homes of businesses were knocked out.
As of Sunday afternoon, more than 3,000 NB Power customers are still without electricity about 80 roads closed, more road
Officials are urging anyone in communities such as Grand Lake, Jemseg, Gagetown, Hampstead, Belleisle, Oak Point, Grand Bay-Westfield, Quispamsis and Saint John to be on high alert.
"People should continue to exercise caution living on the St. John River system," Berry said.
As of Sunday morning, 888 people from across the province registered as evacuees with the Red Cross.
#Marie-FranceLalonde, #SouthernOntarioWindStorm, #EmergencyManagementOntario
Ottawa, May 6 (Canadian-Media): Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services issued the following statement yesterday, media reports said.
"Our heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the two people who tragically lost their lives during yesterday night's wind storm.
I know many families and businesses across the province are dealing with the effects of the wind storm. I want to assure those affected that your local hydro utilities are working as quickly and safely as possible to return electricity to those without power.
On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to say thank you to those hydro workers who worked throughout the night and are continuing to work today, to reconnect the hundreds of thousands of people who experienced outages and those still without power. Our first responders and municipal services are also working diligently to make our roads safe and clear branches from power lines. I urge people not to attempt to move downed branches or trees on your own.
Wind storm. Image credit: Unsplash
Right now, provincial officials, including those from Emergency Management Ontario, are ready to respond to requests for assistance from affected municipalities. My colleague Bill Mauro, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs, has also reached out to make sure communities have the support they need.
We will use all of our resources to ensure that our hard working hydro crews get the help they need to ensure things get back to normal as quickly as possible."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#OntarioWindStorm, #Quebecwindstorm, #TorontoHydro, #EnvironmentCanada
Ottawa, May 5 (Canadian-Media): Hundreds of thousands in Ontario and Quebec still without power after storm brought down trees, scattered debris across central Canada, media reports said.
The storm started in southwestern Ontario in the afternoon, and swept into eastern Ontario late in the evening before heading into Quebec.
More than 75,000 households and businesses in Quebec, are also without power due to damage from 100 km/h winds.
About 68,000 customers were without power at the peak of the storm.
About 13,000 customers in Toronto are reportedly affected and more than 350 hydro poles in Ontario were reportedly broken in the storm.
Tori Gass, spokesperson for Toronto Hydro, said the utility considers itself to be in an "emergency state" because damage from the windstorm has been "severe." Etobicoke was the hardest hit area in Toronto, she said.
"The storm came in fast and furious yesterday," she said.
"There are poles that have been brought down and wires that have been brought down. There are some instances where there are risks and dangerous situations. This is a very serious and a significant event for our power system."
"Unfortunately, it's scattered quite widely throughout the city. There seems to be not one area that wasn't touched by the damaging storm that happened yesterday."
More damage to hydro infrastructure in Toronto was caused by this windstorm, said Gass than did the ice storm in mid-April, when 44,000 customers lost power during the peak of the storm.
"This storm, while it was short-lived, was more much damaging than even that ice and wind storm that we had."
Wind storm. Image credit: Unsplash
She could not say when power will be restored to people experiencing outages and said the wait could be lengthy in some cases.
Crews were reportedly responding to more than 400 reports of downed wires in Toronto on Saturday.
Out of public safety concerns, fallen wires are first being repaired.
Toronto Hydro is urging residents to stay at least 10 metres away from any downed wires and to use caution when walking or driving in the city and not to duck under yellow tape.
Nancy Clark, communications officer for Hydro One, said crews have already restored power to about 160,000 customers.
Toronto Mayor John Tory says the winds were nearly hurricane force and he thanked police, fire and hydro crews for their efforts.
"It was one of the worst windstorms in many, many years, in fact, maybe all the way back as far as Hurricane Hazel in terms of the strength of those winds," he said.
Many passengers at Toronto's Pearson International Airport were rescheduled because of a brief ground stop on Friday night that suspended flight operations. .
A "dynamic" low pressure system from the southern U.S., said Environment Canada, that brought high winds and thunderstorms to southern Ontario.
"It gave us one of the largest, widespread windstorms that we've had in many years across Southern Ontario," Arnold Ashton, meteorologist for Environment Canada, said Saturday. "It moved at very good clip."
Wind gusts of 126 km/hr were recorded in Hamilton, 122 km/hr at Waterloo, Ont., airport and 119 km/hr at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#StatisticsCanada, #Alberta, #Canada, #GrossDomesticProduct
Alberta, May 2 (Canadian-Media): The latest data released from Statistics Canada Wednesday, proclaimed 2017 to be a year of strong economic growth, with growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 4.9 percent, the highest in Canada, media reports said.
In spite of 18 months of economic recovery leading to high gains in the province's oil and gas sector, the province still remained divided between those who see it and those who do not.
Statistics Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to a recent polling by CBC Calgary's 'The Road Ahead' series, over one in three see Alberta's economy moving sideways, while another one in five see it getting worse.
A slight majority of Albertans do not believe that Alberta has recovered from its recession.
The gap between perception and reality, said the reports, is understandable following such a deep recession.
But the data reveals Alberta's an economy is still second to none in Canada.
This is evident from the economical data that employment was up by 3.5 percent from its bottom in the recession, earnings rose by 6.9 percent, wholesale trade increased by 16.3 percent, manufacturing rose by 25.5 percent), exports increased by 46.5 percent, retail sales improved by 0.7 percent and EI recipients went down 42.2 percent
Other positive factors are that there were nearly 40 percent more open job vacancies than an year ago and two-thirds have more jobs today than one year ago.
The unemployment rate reportedly went down to 6.3 percent, from a 2016 peak of nine per cent.
Even employment in the hard-hit oil and gas sector is up by nearly 7,000, and manufacturing up nearly 8,000.
Alberta workers reportedly earn, on average, more than $1,158 per week.
This is not only higher than any other province, by far, but is $52 more per week than when the recession ended in October 2016.
Almost every industry is seeing average wages grow, and three-quarters of the job gains mentioned earlier were in sectors with above-average weekly earnings, such as in resources, utilities, construction, and manufacturing.
The average offered wage of vacant positions in Alberta, according to the latest data, was $22.05 an hour at the end of 2017 , compared to $20.45 a year ago and $19.15 the year before that.
Alberta workers' total wages, salaries and benefits were $830 million more per month at the end of 2017 than at the bottom of the recession.
Compared to other provinces, Alberta reportedly remains on top even if though many do not yet feel it.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Ottawa, #TheliberalPartyofCanada, #Liberals, #Ontario, #Quebec, #Alberta, #BritishColumbia, #B.C., #CatherineMcKenna, #EdFast, #carbonpricing, #EnvironmentandClimateChangeCanada, #Conservativeoppositionleaders,
Ottawa, May 1 (Canadian-Media): The liberal Party of Canada (Liberals) had pointed out strong economic growth in the four largest provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia (B.C.), which had all adopted some form of carbon pricing, media reports said.
In its report, the Environment and Climate Change Canada provided the impact and cost of the federal carbon pricing legislation that is currently working its way through Parliament as part of the 2018 budget bill.
“Our analysis confirms that carbon pricing works, and that it is critical to any credible plan to fight climate change,” Ontario's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said in an interview on Monday. “It’s cost-effective, and, also it creates the incentive to choose cleaner solutions … which not only saves you money, but it also creates good jobs here in Canada.”
Catherine McKenna. Image credit: Facebook page
The analysis of Environment Canada also concluded if Ottawa imposes a carbon price on provinces and territories without their own carbon tax or have not met federal standards, it would cost the Canadian economy $2-billion or less than 0.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2022,
Finding supporting evidence in the analysis of the carbon-pricing plan Monday, the liberal government had concluded that the federal and provincial levies would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 megatonnes by 2022, the equivalent of shutting down more than 20 coal-fired power plants.
But the above analysis excluded the economic impact of carbon pricing in provinces that have implemented their own plans.
Conservative opposition leaders in both Ontario and Alberta had pledged to scrap the provincial carbon levy if they win power in elections to be held in June in Ontario and next spring in Alberta.
The levy “is going to cost the average Canadian family a lot of money, and there is no guarantee that this tax is going to achieve the purpose for which it is established – which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Ed Fast had told the reporters Monday.
The Parliamentary Budget Office last week estimated that a $50 a tonne levy in all provinces would cost the economy $10-billion in lost GDP by 2022, though that figure could be dramatically reduced if provinces and the federal government returned the carbon-levy revenue to households and businesses through other tax cuts.
Both federal and provincial governments are relying on a mix of carbon pricing, subsidies and regulations to meet their targets.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)