Everything parents need to know about Calgary summer camps

Global News teamed up with Calgary’s Child Magazine to explore summer camp options in and around Calgary, and answer some frequently-asked questions from parents.

How do I determine which camp my child will enjoy?

Calgary’s Child Magazine Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ellen Percival suggests looking into camps that align with your child’s interests.

Camps for active children

ChangSha Night Net

If you have an active child, you can check out programs offered at the Calgary Gymnastics Centre, where the philosophy is “gymnastics for all” and no prior gymnastics experience is necessary.

In addition, there are many sport-specific camps available in Calgary, as well as general day camps that offer some physical education time combined with crafts and field trips.

“We are so blessed in Calgary to have so many choices,” Percival said. “There’s swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, surfing, fencing, martial arts, climbing, bouldering, football, basketball, volleyball, track and field.”

WATCH: Leslie Horton explores which Calgary summer camps parents can check out if they have active kids.

Camps for animal lovers

If your child is an animal lover, Percival suggests looking into the programs offered at Butterfield Acres, the Calgary Zoo and the Calgary Humane Society.

“If you want the farm experience there’s several farms around Calgary,” Percival said. “They do some mucking out of the stalls and looking after the animals.”

“There are some wonderful options in Calgary.”

WATCH: Leslie Horton explores which Calgary summer camps parents can check out if their kids are animal lovers.

How do you know if your kids are ready for sleepaway camp?

If your kids have had successful sleepovers with family or friends and are okay spending a few days away from mom and dad, Percival suggests you may consider a residential camp.

“For extra insurance, we always say take along a buddy. Lots of camps will let you do that,” Percival said.

There are many sleepaway camp options in the Calgary area, including Camp Chief Hector, which is run by the YMCA.

Heritage Park also runs weekly residential camps where kids get to leave the modern world behind and immerse themselves in a simpler time.

WATCH: Leslie Horton gets some tips on how to tell if your child is ready to try an overnight camp.

Complete Calgary camp listing

CLICK HERE to view the 2016 Summer Camp and Program Guide from Calgary’s Child Magazine.

– With files from Leslie Horton

‘We can’t be the United Nations’: Frozen dessert shop owner defends English-only ordering policy

A Milwaukee custard shop owner is defending his English-only ordering policy.

WITI-TV reports the policy at Leon’s Frozen Custard became public on Tuesday after a Spanish-speaking customer was told by a Spanish-speaking employee that she was only allowed to take his order in English.

READ MORE: NB language commissioner reviews complaints of English-only service

Shop owner Ron Schneider says that the policy has been in place for more than a decade. He tells WISN-TV that he doesn’t want to encourage non-English orders because it’s going to be “a problem down the road,” adding that “we can’t be the United Nations.” He says no customer has ever been turned away.

“I specifically tell (my employees) that I really don’t want you to speak anything other than English at the window,” said Schneider. “A good number of people who might come up and talk Spanish also speak English.”

Joey Sanchez, who was in line behind the Spanish-speaking customer who was to she had to speak English, said he doesn’t understand why the dessert shop wouldn’t serve Spanish-speaking customers if they have employees who speak Spanish.

“If they cannot speak Spanish, that’s completely another game,” said Sanchez. “But if they have the people who can clearly speak Spanish and communicate better with the customer, why not?”

Sanchez also tried to order in Spanish but received a similar response from a store employee.

WATCH: Dessert shop criticized over discriminatory English-only ordering policy

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • New Brunswick language commissioner reviews complaints of English-only service

  • Alberta’s English-only laws are constitutional: Supreme Court of Canada

  • Anglo activists decry Westmount’s French-only parking and traffic signs

    Although some customers have begun boycotting the store, the controversial ordering policy hasn’t deterred everybody with a sweet-tooth.

    “They’re living here, working here for Lord knows how long and they haven’t even bothered to learn the language?” Louise Bozek said.

    READ MORE: Alberta’s English-only laws are constitutional: Supreme Court of Canada

    “This is America. That’s the bottom line,” added Dave Katzner. “You want to come here and live? You learn the language.”

    “We speak English. Can’t we just do business that way?” asked Schneider.

    WITI reports the Wisconsin chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens says the policy violates federal labour law. The group is calling for a government investigation, while Schneider now reportedly says he will meet with the group.

    LULAC of Wisconsin’s State Director Dr. Arturo Martinez released a statement:

    “In the last 24 hours, LULAC of Wisconsin has received numerous requests to investigate the issue of workplace policy as it pertains to language at Leon’s Frozen Custard located at 3131 S. 27th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    While many of us consider this as a community institution, it was surprising when we learned of their language policy, which is in clear violation of federal labor law.

    Upon reviewing the statements made by management in a video interview detailing Leon’s policy, we are requesting an investigation of this policy by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law is clear on this issue and offers few exceptions.

    In the meantime, we encourage management to review their current employment policies with counsel to bring them into compliance. We are confident that in doing so, it will lead to a stronger business and a stronger community.”

    With files from The Associated Press.

Massive frozen food recall affects over 400 products from many stores

DES MOINES, Iowa – Amid a massive frozen foods recall involving millions of packages of fruits and vegetables that were shipped to all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico, authorities who want to stem the listeria-linked illnesses and deaths worry it’ll be difficult to get consumers to dig through their freezers and check for products they may have bought as far back as 2014.

ChangSha Night Net

It’s one of the largest food recalls in recent memory, with well over 400 products from CRF Frozen Foods in Pasco, Washington, sold under more than 40 different brand names at major retailers like Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s and Safeway. So far, eight people have been sickened by listeria that’s genetically similar to that found in CRF vegetables, and two have died, though listeria was not the primary cause of death.

“Unquestionably, this is a lot of product. … It reflects the severity of listeria as an illness, the long duration of illnesses and the outbreak and the long shelf life of the products,” said Matthew Wise, who leads the outbreak response team at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Want to know if an item has been recalled? Use the Global News lookup tool below

“Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. Please consult the full list of recalled food items at the bottom of the article”

The initial recall started April 22, covering 11 frozen vegetable products. On May 2, CRF expanded it to include all of its frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed at its Washington plant since May 1, 2014. Thanks to recently developed whole-genome sequencing of food-contaminating bacteria, the Food and Drug Administration and CDC found that the listeria bacteria found in the blood of a person sickened in 2013 is genetically similar to the listeria tied to the recall.

READ MORE: Dole Foods under criminal investigation for deadly listeria outbreak

“The idea is that it’s possible that it could be linked to this plant as far back as that because of the match. As a result the company, working with the FDA, decided to do the recall that far back,” CRF spokesman Gene Grabowski said.

The CRF plant closed two weeks ago and Grabowski said the company is still trying to pinpoint the source of the contamination.

Wise said his concern is that consumers check the online recall lists discard the products from of their freezers. “Listeriosis always makes us worry because it’s such a serious infection,” he said. The CDC says listeria is most harmful to adults over 65 with weakened immune systems and pregnant women.

Products were both packaged for sale as individual products and repackaged by places like Piggly Wiggly, Kroger and ConAgra foods as ingredients in a host of other store-brand and private-label products for stores like Trader Joe’s and Costco.

READ MORE: Costco issues food recall on chicken and fried-rice product

Also, retailers including Target and regional distributors such as Midwest grocery chain Hy-Vee Foods have recently recalled products made by Tokyo-based Ajinomoto Windsor due to the company recalling 70 of its Asian variety products that contain CRF vegetables – about 47 million pounds worth – some of which were also sold in Canada and Mexico.

The FDA and CDC have developed a system to track the genetic makeup of salmonella, listeria and E.coli. Once a food-related illness outbreak is identified, scientists can match the DNA from contaminated food with the bacteria making people sick and potentially trace it to the originating food processing plant.

In this outbreak, of those eight who were sick, six were in California. The two people who died were from Maryland and Washington.

Authorities say it’s unclear why there are not more illnesses from listeria. Wise said that the levels of listeria contamination might not be high or may be uneven in the packaged vegetables. Also, the vegetables in the recall are typically cooked before they’re eaten, which would kill the bacteria.

The CDC continues to monitor state illness reports for any sign of additional cases, Wise said.

Listeria causes an estimated 1,600 cases illnesses each year in the U.S., but just half are reported. About 18 per cent of listeriosis patients die.

FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher said it’s important to follow label directions for cooking frozen foods and to check freezers thoroughly for the products listed on the FDA website.

FULL LIST: Over 400 products affected by the frozen food recall

Brand

Container
Size

UPC

Bybee’s

Bybee’s Big House Blend

30lb

AZ#85

Bybee Foods Organic California Broccoli Florets

4lb

4635800050

Bybee’s Best 1″ Cut Green Beans

20lb

4635800012

Bybee Foods Cut Green Beans

50lb

205050004485CR

Bybee Foods Organic Petite Whole Green Beans

5lb

5711000146

Bybee’s Best Whole Green Beans

15lb

4635800018

Bybee’s Best Cut Corn

20lb

4635800010

Bybee’s Best Cut Corn

55lb

45720025

Bybee Foods Cut Corn

50lb

132

Bybee Foods Organic Supersweet White Corn

5lb

5711000148

Bybee’s Best White Cut Corn

20lb

4635800034

Bybee Foods Northwest Growers Select
Supersweet Cut Corn

5lb

4635800043

Bybee’s Best Green Peas

20lb

4635800011

Bybee Foods Green Peas

50lb

155000007785CR

Bybee Foods Organic Sweet Baby Peas

5lb

5711000145

Bybee’s Best Peas & Carrots

20lb

4635800013

Bybee’s Best Mixed Vegetables

20lb

4635800014

Bybee Foods Organic Mixed Vegetables

5lb

4635800051

Bybee Foods Organic Mixed Vegetables with
Shelled Edamame

5lb

4635800001

Bybee Foods Organic Chopped Kale

56oz

4635800054

Bybee’s

Bybee Foods Organic Steamers Roasted Red
Potato & Vegetable Medley

12oz

4635800041

Bybee Foods Northwest Growers Select Chopped
Spinach

56oz

4635800035

Bybee Foods Organic Steamers Sweet Potatoes

12oz

4635800052

Bybee Foods Organic Chopped Onions

45lb

R02303

Columbia River Organics

Columbia River Organics Organic Blueberries

10oz

5711000125

Columbia River Organics Organic Bounty Blend

10oz

4635800024

Columbia River Organics Organic Broccoli &
Cheddar Cheese

10oz

5711000140

Columbia River Organics Organic Broccoli Florets

10oz

5711000117

Columbia River Organics Organic Butternut
Squash

10oz

5711000141

Columbia River Organics Organic California
Harvest

10oz

5711000122

Columbia River Organics Organic Cranberries

10oz

4635800026

Columbia River Organics Organic Cut Green Beans

10oz

5711000103

Columbia River Organics Organic Diced Onions

10oz

5711000116

Columbia River Organics Organic Edamame

10oz

5711000120

Columbia River Organics Organic French Cut
Green Beans

10oz

5711000105

Columbia River Organics Organic Garden Stir Fry

10oz

5711000124

Columbia River Organics Organic Gardener’s Blend

10oz

5711000114

Columbia River Organics Organic Peaches

10oz

5711000129

Columbia River Organics Organic Peas & Carrots

10oz

5711000112

Columbia River Organics Organic Peas & pearl
Onions

10oz

5711000113

Columbia River Organics Organic Petite Peas

10oz

5711000109

Columbia River Organics Organic Petite Whole
Green Beans

10oz

5711000102

Columbia River Organics Organic Potato Medley

10oz

4635800025

Columbia River Organics Organic Raspberries

10oz

5711000130

Columbia River Organics Organic Shelled
Edamame

10oz

5711000119

Columbia River Organics Organic Spinach

10oz

5711000121

Columbia River Organics Organic Strawberries

10oz

5711000131

Columbia River Organics Organic Super Sweet
White Corn

10oz

5711000107

Columbia River Organics Organic Sweet Cherries

10oz

5711000127

Columbia River Organics

Columbia River Organics Organic Sweet Potatoes

10oz

4635800023

Columbia River Organics Organic Sweet Yellow
Corn

10oz

5711000106

Northwest Growers Select

Northwest Growers Select Broccoli Cuts

20lb

4635800046

Northwest Growers Select Cob Corn

96ct

4635800049

Northwest Growers Select Cut Corn

20lb

5711000163

Northwest Growers Select Cut Corn

30lb

5711000165

Northwest Growers Select Cut Corn

55lb

45730579

Northwest Growers Select French
Cut Green Beans

20lb

25100

Northwest Growers Select Cut Green Beans

20lb

57110000184

Northwest Growers Select 1/2″ Cut Green Beans

30lb

08110

Northwest Growers Select Cut Green Beans

30lb

5711000186

Northwest Growers Select Cut Green Beans

50lb

4635800020

Northwest Growers Select Organic Cut Green
Beans

30lb

5711000187

Northwest Growers Select Organic Cut Green
Beans

50lb

4635800042

Northwest Growers Select Cut Italian Beans

20lb

4635800031

Northwest Growers Select Diced Carrots

20lb

20100

Northwest Growers Select Organic Diced Carrots

50lb

4635800019

Northwest Grower’s Select Diced Onions

45lb

19190

Northwest Growers Select Fine Whole Green
Beans

4lb

10150

Northwest Growers Select Green Peas

20lb

5711000152

Northwest Growers Select Green Peas

55lb

45721084

Northwest Growers Select Organic Peas

30lb

5711000155

Northwest Growers Select Mixed Vegetables

20lb

4635800044

Northwest Growers Select Pearl Onions

20lb

22100

Northwest Growers Select Peas & Carrots

20lb

14100

Northwest Growers Select Petite Whole Green
Beans

15lb

5711000194

Northwest Growers Select Shoestring Carrots

20lb

4635800027

Northwest Growers Select White Supersweet Cut
Corn

30lb

5711000182

Northwest Growers Select 5.5″ Supersweet Cob
Corn

48 count

528628

Organic by Nature

Organic by Nature Organic Baby Peas

16oz

4635800069

Organic by Nature Organic Butternut Squash

16oz

4635800075

Organic by Nature Organic California Broccoli
Florets

16oz

4635800060

Organic by Nature Organic Chopped Kale

40lb

R02208

Organic by Nature Organic Diced Carrots

50lb

20191

Organic by Nature Organic Diced Leeks

40lb

R01810

Organic by Nature Organic Diced Onions

45lb

AK#200064

Organic by Nature Organic Diced Onions

45lb

202819

Organic by Nature Organic Edamame

8oz

4635800073

Organic by Nature Organic Green Peas

50lb

R01790

Organic by Nature Organic Multi-Colored
Cauliflower Florets

16oz

4635800076

Organic by Nature Organic Petite Whole Green
Beans

16oz

4635800071

Organic by Nature Organic Petite Whole Green
Beans

5lb

4635800059

Organic by Nature Organic Root Medley

16oz

4635800074

Organic by Nature Organic Sweet Baby Peas

5lb

4635800063

Organic by Nature Organic Super Sweet White
Corn

16oz

4635800070

Organic by Nature Organic Super Sweet Whole
Kernel Corn

50lb

R03881

Organic by Nature Organic Vegetable Medley

5lb

4635800066

Organic by Nature Organic Vegetable medley With
Shelled Edamame

5lb

4635800065

Organic by Nature Org White Corn

4lb

4635800070

Organic by Nature Organic White Corn

5lb

4635800064

Organic by Nature Organic Whole Kernel Sweet
Corn

4lb

4635800058

Canadian-Costco Wholesale

Organic by Nature

Organic by Nature Organic Butternut Squash

2kg

4635800067

Organic by Nature Organic Sweet Peas

2.5kg

4635800061

Organic by Nature Organic Vegetable Medley

2.5kg

4635800062

Best Before: Apr 26 16 thru Apr 26 18 S3904 

Best By will include the following dates 04.26.16 thru 04.26.18

JFDA Kernel Corns

1kg

991438945338

Use By: 20160924
10190040113116:20
Product of USA B

JFDA Mix Vegetables

1kg

991438945321

Use By: 20160924
351900007731 16:20
Product of USA A

McCain

McCain Green Peas

1kg

991438945116

Use By: 20160924
151900004489 16:20
Product of USA A

McCain Cut Corn

500g

99143894523

Use By: 20160924
103400401189 16:20
Product of USA B

McCain Kernel Corn

1kg

991438945130

Use By: 20160924
101900401189 16:20
Product of USA A

McCain Mixed Vegetables

500g

99143894522

Use By: 20160924
353400001189 16:20
Product of USA B

McCain Mixed Vegetables

1kg

991438945123

Use By: 20160924
351900007789 16:20
Product of USA A

McCain Super Sweet Kernel Corn

1kg

991438945017

Use By: 20160924
101900201189 16:20
Product of USA B

McCain (NZ)

McCain Peas (NZ)

500g

310174006014

10012017 04:56
153700001152 A

McCain Peas (NZ)

1kg

310174006021

10012017 04:56
151900001152 A

McCain YGC

McCain YGC Green Peas

1kg

991438945376

Use By: 20160924
151900004432 16:20
Product of USA A

McCain YGC Mixed Vegetables

1kg

991438945383

Use By: 20160924
351900007732 16:20
Product of USA A

McCain YGC Super Sweet Kernel Corn

1kg

991438945369

Use By: 20160924
10190020113216:20
Product of USA A

Mity Fresh

Mity Fresh Sweet Corn

1kg

7437331054

P: 01/2015
E: 06/2014
107000404428 01:20   A

Mountain Mist

Mountain Mist Cut Corn

1kg

4635800056

Use By: 20150512
101900404438 16:20
Product of USA D

Mountain Mist Green Peas

1kg

4635800057

Use By: 20150512
151900007738 16:20
Product of USA D

Mountain Mist Super Sweet Corn

1kg

4635800056

Use By: 20150512
101900204438 16:20
Product of USA D

Mountain Mist Mixed Vegetables

1kg

4635800055

Use By: 20150512
351900007738 16:20
Product of USA D

Overhill Farms

Overhill Farms 1-1/2″ Cut Green Beans

30lb

0931140

203017001168  08:29

Veggie Maria

Veggie Maria Onion Cut

500g

543567006321

2016/01 20:55 B
103700201142  

Veggie Maria Super Sweet Corn

500g

543567006314

2016/01 20:55 B
283720001142  

Life Foods

Life Foods Green Peas

1kg

903392007694

Use By: 20160924
151900007716 16:20
Product of USA A

Life Foods Kernel Corn

1kg

903392007670

Use By: 20160924
101900404416 16:20
Product of USA A

Life Foods Kernel Super Sweet  Corn

1kg

903392001579

Use By: 20160924
101900201116 16:20
Product of USA A

Life Foods Mixed Vegetables

1kg

903392007687

Use By: 20160924
351900007716 16:20
Product of USA A

Private Labels with CRF Identified through an unique number on bag

Instructions to consumer> look for the code with one of the letters at the end A, B, C,D

Best By will include the following dates 04.26.16 thru 04.26.18

All Codes are found on the Back of the Bag in the following location down the back seam, lower right hand corner

Brand

Container
Size

UPC

What to look for

Code Examples

Emerald Farms

Emerald Farms Cut Corn

40oz

3765403671

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

Emerald Farms Green Peas

40oz

3765403672

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA D

Emerald Farms Peas and Carrots

40oz

3765403673

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA C

Emerald Farms Mixed Vegetable

40oz

3765403670

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA E

Endico

Endico Cut Corn

40oz

0145916420

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

Endico Green Peas

40oz

0145916720

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA B

Endico

Endico Mixed Vegetables

40oz

0145916610

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA C

Endico Peas and Carrots

40oz

0145916730

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA D

Great Value

Great Value Cut Green Beans

12oz

7874205333

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By:
042318
A 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Mixed Vegetables

12oz

7874205334

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
B 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Peas & Carrots

12oz

7874205335

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
C 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Sweet Peas

12oz

7874205336

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
A 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Sweet Peas

26oz

7874210912

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
B 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Mixed Vegetables

26oz

7874210907

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
C 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Whole Kernel Golden Corn

12oz

7874205338

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
A 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Whole Kernel Golden Corn

26oz

7874210910

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
B 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value

Great Value Steamable Cut Green Beans

12oz

7874208363

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
C 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Steamable Mixed Vegetables

12oz

7874208026

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
A 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Steamable Sweet Corn

12oz

7874208024

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
B 23:02 Product of USA

Great Value Steamable Sweet Peas

12oz

7874208369

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
C 23:02 Product of USA

James Farm

James Farm Cut Corn

32oz

6069501044

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

James Farm Cut Green Beans

32oz

6069501004

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA B

James Farm Garden Peas

32oz

6069501000

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA C

James Farm Mixed Vegetables

32oz

6069501542

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA D

James Farm Peas & Carrots

40oz

6069501001

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA E

James Farm Whole Green Beans

32oz

6069501003

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

Kirkland Signature

Kirkland Signature Organic Stir-Fry

4lb

9661910114

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best  By: 040918
15:15 B
USA/Holland/Ecuador
Certified Organic By WSDA

Price First

Price First Corn

16oz

7874211030

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
A 23:02 Product of USA

Price First Sweet Green Peas

16oz

7874211027

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Best If Used By: 042318
E 23:02 Product of USA

Quirch

Quirch Baby Lima Beans

14oz

6507260150

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

Quirch Baby Lima Beans

32oz

6507260149

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA B

Quirch Corn

14oz

6507260136

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA C

Quirch Corn

32oz

6507260135

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA D

Quirch Mixed Vegetables

14oz

6507260130

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA E

Quirch Mixed Vegetables

32oz

6507260129

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

Quirch Peas & Carrots

16oz

6507260152

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA A

Quirch Peas & Carrots

32oz

6507260151

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA B

Quirch Sweet Peas

14oz

6507260140

Look for one of these letters (A,B,C,D, E)

Sell By: 012515
15:15
Product of USA C

Quirch Sweet Peas

32oz

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Season’s Choice Garden Fresh Sweet Peas

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4149816429

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12oz

4149820284

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4149816428

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4149829655

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Simply Nature Organic Sweet Corn

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4149829656

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True Goodness Organic Broccoli Florets

10oz

1373343097

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True Goodness Organic Chopped Spinach

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1373343101

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True Goodness Organic Cut Green Beans

10oz

1373343095

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True Goodness Organic Mixed Vegetables

10oz

1373343096

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True Goodness Organic Peas

10oz

1373343100

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True Goodness Organic Peas & Shoestring Carrots

10oz

1373343104

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True Goodness Organic Petite Green Peas

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1373343099

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1373343098

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Wild Oats Organic Broccoli Florets

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4873700377

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4873700711

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4873700380

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4873700713

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4873700710

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4873700709

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Wild Oats Organic Mixed Vegetables

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4873700715

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Wild Oats Organic Sweet Corn

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4873700714

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4873700712

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Woolworths Homebrand Frozen Peas

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OPP urge motorists to obey road rules over Victoria Day long weekend

Ontario Provincial Police are reminding motorist to obey the rules of the road over the Victoria Day long weekend.

Officers will be out in full force on provincial highways, waterways and trails looking for high risk behaviours such as impaired, distracted and aggressive driving.

Other areas where police will be focusing on include seat belts, proper helmets for off-terrain vehicles and life jackets for those on the water.

Special attention will be paid to motorcyclists and off-road vehicles riders.

ChangSha Night Net

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    “Our focus for the Victoria Day long weekend, which overlaps with Canada Road Safety Week, is talking about vulnerable road users. So those motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians. People that don’t have the luxury of a safety cage around them in a vehicle,” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

    “If you’re a driver, you need to be absolutely vigilant and make sure that any lane change or any turn you make can be done safely. If you’re a motorcyclist of one of those people on a smaller vehicle, you need to pay attention and understand that even if you’re in the right, and you’re involved in a collision, you’re probably going to be the one that’s going to get hurt the most.”

    READ MORE: Motorcyclist dies after crash in Oakville

    A total of 27 motorcyclists and four passengers lost their lives in 2015 and authorities hope to reduce those numbers this year.

    Meanwhile, authorities are encouraging off-road vehicles riders to wear proper head-gear to avoid injury and possible death.

    OPP statistics over a 10-year period reveal 74 of the 167 deceased riders were found not wearing helmet at the time of the crash.

Ontario toddler critically injured after being run over by lawn mower

A tragic accident that saw an Ontario man run over his three-year-old son with a lawn mower is all the more shocking because of how easily it can happen, police said Friday.

The boy is in critical condition after the incident, which happened on Thursday night in the southern Ontario town of Pelham.

Const. Leslie Sardella of the Niagara Regional Police said investigators believe the incident was completely accidental and no charges are pending.

“It could have happened to anyone,” Sardella said in a telephone interview.

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“Anyone who’s a parent knows that there are times that your child is around and you’re not aware of their presence. It’s a very, very unfortunate situation for this family.”

Sardella said the boy was injured around 9 p.m. when his father was cutting the lawn of the family home.

The 32-year-old man apparently believed his son was safely inside the house, but unbeknownst to him the child had slipped outside and had begun following his dad around the property.

When he put the riding mower in reverse, Sardella said he accidentally hit the child.

A neighbour who works as a paramedic in a nearby city rushed to the scene to help stabilize the child until emergency responders could get there. The toddler was eventually rushed to hospital with injuries that Sardella described as critical.

Police did not provide details on the nature of his injuries, and the boy’s name is not being released out of respect for the family’s request for privacy.

When lawn mowing accidents take place, some data suggests that children are by far the most likely victims.

The most recent figures compiled by the Canada Safety Council, which draws on statistics from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program, showed 1,161 people were injured by lawn mowers between 1990 and 2006. Of those, nearly 50 per cent were children under the age of 15. The program collects data from the emergency rooms of the 10 pediatric hospitals throughout Canada and four general hospitals.

Raynald Marchand, general manager of programs for the council, said the latest accident reinforces the importance of not taking kids’ actions for granted.

“Little ones, and I’ve had them, they really need constant supervision,” he said. “You can’t assume that somebody’s looking after them. You have to make sure.”

Sardella said the police’s traffic reconstruction unit is continuing to look into the case and will issue an update when more information is available.

More heavy rain forecasted as Sri Lanka grapples with flooding disaster

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Hundreds of boats plied deep floodwaters that have inundated thousands of homes in the Sri Lankan capital, delivering aid and rescuing the elderly and sick from rooftops as forecasters warned of more heavy rain.

The weeklong rains have caused chaos across Sri Lanka, unleashing deadly landslides and driving tens of thousands from their homes.

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Related

  • 200 families feared dead by mudslides in Sri Lanka

  • 8 killed, 8 still missing after floods, landslides in Sri Lanka

    Since Monday, at least 58 people have died from lightning strikes, drowning, falling trees and landslides triggered by cyclonic rains that started Sunday. That includes at least 30 victims of torrential mudslides that swallowed three hillside villages in the central district of Kegalle, where hundreds were still missing.

    Soldiers resumed searching for the missing Friday, but held little hope of finding survivors. The search effort was halted intermittently as continuing rain threatened to trigger more landslides.

    “It’s a very difficult task, but troops will carry out their work in the hope of finding more” in the remote, disaster site about 72 kilometres (45 miles) north of Colombo, said military spokesman Brig. Jayanath Jayaweera.

    The island was unlikely to get a reprieve on Friday, as the country’s meteorological department warned that rains and stormy seas were expected to continue through the day, especially in the southwest.

    In the capital, electricity has been shut down in flooded areas to prevent electrocutions, and schools were closed across the country. Tens of thousands have been evacuated from homes across the island to some 594 shelters.

    “Everything is gone,” said Mohomed Sabri, whose home in the Kolonnawa suburb of Colombo was completely submerged. “This … is unbelievable.”

    The Indian navy said it was sending two ships with aid to Colombo. On Thursday, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had said there was an urgent need for water purification tablets, water pumps and drinking water.

India records its hottest day ever amid heat wave

NEW DELHI – A city in western India has suffered through the country’s highest recorded temperature – a scorching 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

The record was set Thursday in the city of Phalodi, in the western state of Rajasthan. India’s meteorological department said the previous high was 50.6 C (123 F), reached in 1956 in the city of Alwar, also in Rajasthan.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Parts of India ban daytime cooking as hundreds die of heat

  • Rain brings little relief to southern India as heat wave death toll nears 2,200

    Authorities have issued a severe heat wave alert for the next two days in the western states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of the central state of Madhya Pradesh. That means the areas can expect temperatures of 47 C (116.6 F) or more.

    The main summer months – April, May and June – are always excruciatingly hot across most parts of India before monsoon rains bring cooler temperatures.

    The monsoon normally hits southern India in the first week of June and covers the rest of the nation within a month. It is especially eagerly awaited this year because several parts of the country are reeling under a drought brought on by two years of weak rains.

    READ MORE: Parts of India ban daytime cooking as hundreds die of heat

    Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization, told reporters in Geneva on Friday during a briefing on record global temperatures that meteorologists expect this year’s Indian monsoon will bring more rain than normal, which would be good news for the drought-stricken regions.

    “Obviously the monsoon hasn’t yet started. The intervening weeks will be quite serious. But I understand the Indian government is actually taking quite serious measures to address this,” she said.

    In Rajasthan and Gujarat, authorities issued advisories urging people to remain indoors during the hottest parts of the day and stay hydrated.

    Hospitals were asked to set aside beds to treat patients suffering from heatstroke.

    Many people believe that certain foods help prevent heatstroke, and stalls selling a salty-sweet drink made of raw mangoes and ones selling sliced watermelon and cucumbers have been doing a brisk business.

    The prolonged heat wave this year has already killed hundreds and destroyed crops in more than 13 states, impacting hundreds of millions of Indians.

    READ MORE: Heat wave in India kills at least 160

    Hundreds of farmers are reported to have killed themselves across the country and tens of thousands of small farmers have been forced to abandon their farmland and live in squalor in urban slums in order to eke out a living.

    Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat, and officials say groundwater reservoirs are severely depleted.

    In some areas, the situation is so bad the government has sent in water by train for emergency relief.

EgyptAir Flight MS804: body part, seats and suitcases found in water, say officials

CAIRO — Egyptian air and naval forces have spotted a body part, passengers’ personal belongings and other debris from EgyptAir flight 804 that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 66 passengers and crew who were en route from Paris to Cairo, the Egyptian army and Greek defense minister said Friday.

With no bodies to bury, relatives and friends of some of the 66 people on board held special prayers in mosques for the lost.

The passengers included two Canadians.

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The mystery remained over why the Airbus A320 – which had been cruising normally in clear skies on a nighttime flight from Paris to Cairo early Thursday – suddenly lurched left and then right and plummeted into the sea, never issuing a distress signal.

Egyptian authorities said they believe it may have been an act of terrorism, as have Russian officials and some aviation experts, but so far no hard evidence has emerged.

No militant group has claimed to have brought down the aircraft. That is a contrast to the downing of a Russian jet in October over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that killed 224 people. In that case, the Islamic State group’s branch in Sinai issued a claim of responsibility within hours.

Body part, seats and suitcases from EgyptAir flight found in water, say officials

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Body part, seats and suitcases from EgyptAir flight found in water, say officials

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Aerial graphic shows size, scale of maritime search for missing EgyptAir flight



Three European security officials said the passenger manifest for EgyptAir Flight 804 contained no names on terrorism watch lists. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The manifest was leaked online and has not been verified by EgyptAir.

Still, the tragedy has fueled suspicions of terrorism, especially in light of the bombing of the Russian plane and the recent extremist attacks in Paris and Brussels. Some aviation experts have said the circumstances suggest a bomb blast.

Experts said answers will come only with examination of the wreckage and the plane’s black box recorders. But retrieving them may take time. The water is 8,000 to 10,000 feet deep in the area where the jetliner is thought to have gone down, roughly halfway between Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria and the Greek island of Crete.

READ MORE: 2 Canadian citizens on board downed EgyptAir Flight MS804: Foreign Affairs

Friday brought the first confirmation of debris from the crash. The Egyptian army said it found debris around 180 miles (290 kilometres) north of Alexandria, and that it was searching for more. EgyptAir said luggage and seats were found, as well as body parts.

France, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Britain have joined the search, which encompasses a wide area south of Crete. Investigators from Egypt, France and Britain as well from Airbus will examine everything found in the search, Egyptian officials said.

In Egypt – home to 30 of those on the flight – Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi informed relatives there were no survivors, the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper said.

In several mosques around the Egyptian capital, families and friends of the victims held what is known as “Salat al-Ghaib,” Arabic for “prayers for the absent.” Those are held for the dead when there is no body.

At the al-Thawra Mosque in Cairo’s Heliopolis district, mourners wept as they prayed for a family of four who were killed – Salah Abu Laban, his wife, Sahar Qouidar, their son Ghassan Abu Laban and daughter-in-law Reem al-Sebaei.

“I ask God for forgiveness. This is very hard for the family,” a relative, Abdel-Rahman al-Nasry, told The Associated Press.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s office issued a statement expressing its condolences to relatives and its “deep regret and sadness for the victims.”

“God give great mercy and host them in his heaven,” it added.

The statement marked the first official recognition by Egypt’s government that the missing plane had crashed.

READ MORE: Timeline of EgyptAir Flight MS804 crash

The crash has struck a demoralizing blow to Egypt. The economy has been gutted by years of turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, and the Russian plane crash caused a new plunge in tourism, one of the country’s main money makers.

Egyptian security officials said they were running background checks on the passengers to see if any had links to extremists.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault asserted Friday on France-2 television that there is “absolutely no indication” of what caused the crash.

Amid fears that a security lapse may have led to the tragedy, France’s junior minister for transport, Alain Vidalies, defended security at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, saying staff badges are revoked if there is the slightest doubt.

The pilot, Mohammed Shoukair, was experienced by Egyptian standards, with 6,275 flying hours, and co-pilot Ahmed Assem had clocked 2,101 hours, officials said.

A terror analyst who is in contact with members of the Islamic State group and other jihadist groups said there have been “no credible or even semi-credible” claims of responsibility for the flight’s crash.

Shiraz Maher at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation in London said the Islamic State released a 20-minute video Thursday about its plans to conquer India.

“If they had been involved in the crash,” he said, “it would be very odd for them to have sent that video rather than boasting of the crash.”

—;

Dodds reported from London.

Haida Gwaii caught in the midst of world plastic pollution

British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands, with their long, rugged coastlines, temperate rainforest and unique wildlife, attract people from around the world to an area often referred to as ‘the Galapagos of the North.’

But what most travellers don’t expect to see on their visit to Haida Gwaii is the amount of plastic waste that washes up on the islands’ supposedly immaculate shores.

ChangSha Night Net

Because of their geographical location in the Pacific Ocean, far from the B.C. mainland, the islands of Haida Gwaii have always been hit by a steady influx of marine debris.

But in recent years, the amount of plastic items drifting ashore has been growing, raising concern for local residents.

The beaches of Haida Gwaii that are accessible to the general public get the benefit of beachcombers cleaning up some of the debris. But some of the more remote locations, only accessible by boat or air, nearly never get cleaned up, leaving debris to pile up.

Taking a stroll down the remote, sandy East Beach, on the northeastern tip of Haida Gwaii, you can go for miles without seeing another human being.

But the signs of civilization can be seen everywhere.

Poking out of the sand and jammed between beach logs are plastic bottles, containers, marine buoys, fishing baskets and gear, pieces of Styrofoam, used tires, and even toothbrushes and rubber shoes.

PHOTO GALLERY: Marine debris on the East Beach in Naikoon Provincial Park, the north-eastern tip of Haida Gwaii. 

A Japanese Green Tea plastic bottle buried in the sand on the beach

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

Plastic bottles strewn between logs

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

A plastic hair comb poking out from behind the log

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

Trent Moraes with Highlander Marine Services Ltd. looks at a massive piece of plastic debris.

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

A pink shoe seen jammed between the logs

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

A used tire jammed under a log

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

From afar, this beach may look relatively clean. However, it’s what’s hiding between the logs that’s raising a concern.

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

Remnants of plastic bubble wrap jammed between logs.

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

But it’s what you don’t immediately see that shows the true extent of the problem.

Tiny pieces of broken-up plastic, sometimes only a few millimetres in diameter, are so numerous they often mix in with the sand — making it virtually impossible for even some of the more experienced beachcombers to see and pick up.

“Sometimes you cruise by in a boat and it looks like the beach is clean, but then you look under the logs and there are tiny pieces of plastic everywhere,” says Trent Moraes, a local resident whose company, Highlander Marine Services Ltd., helps clean up the debris.

Mulched pieces of plastic rest on a log on the East Beach in Haida Gwaii.

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

Why are the people of Haida Gwaii sounding the alarm about plastic pollution?

Plastic is used in many aspects of our daily lives because of how cheap and durable it is.

A report released in January suggests plastic production has surged over the past 50 years, from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to 311 million tonnes in 2014.

The number is expected to double again over the next 20 years.

But, the report also suggests that if our plastic consumption habits stay the way they are, oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish by year 2050.

READ MORE: Plastic in ocean could outweigh fish by 2050

More than 260,000 tonnes of plastic are currently floating in the ocean, including some 5.25 trillion individual pieces, and at least eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean every year.

Why is there a concern about small pieces of plastic accumulating on Haida Gwaii’s beaches?

The tiny pieces of plastic that Moraes and other island residents have been noticing in recent years are the result of plastic debris getting weathered and pulverized by the force of the ocean.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says plastic will degrade into small pieces until you can’t see it anymore, but it never really fully goes away.

Instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, a process that’s exacerbated by UV radiation, saltwater and the force of the surf.

From afar, this beach may look relatively clean. However, it’s what’s hiding between the logs that’s raising a concern.

Yuliya Talmazan, Global News

That means every single piece of plastic ever created still exists today.

In fact, Greenpeace suggests a single one-litre plastic bottle could break down into enough small fragments to put one on every mile of beach in the entire world.

NOAA says plastic debris can accumulate pollutants such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) up to 100,000 to 1,000,000 times the levels found in seawater. While it’s still unclear whether these pollutants can seep from plastic debris into the organisms that happen to eat the debris, there is a serious concern that these contaminants may transfer through the food chain and all the way up to human consumption.

Researchers have found small pieces of plastic found in the stomachs of many marine organisms, from plankton to whales. When fish and other marine life ingest small pieces of plastic, it could cause irritation or do damage to their digestive system, leading to malnutrition or starvation.

UNESCO estimates plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.

In Haida Gwaii, the problem is further exacerbated by powerful storms pushing deteriorated plastic along with other debris all the way up into the tree line, where it becomes part of the forest ecosystem, buried in the greenery and covered by moss – a disturbing sight for locals and tourists alike.

PHOTO GALLERY: Marine debris collected in Englefield Bay on the west coast of Haida Gwaii

Styrofoam and plastic debris seen in the tree line in Englefield Bay, Haida Gwaii

Highlander Marine

Plastic pollution penetrating deep into Haida Gwaii’s coastal eco-systems is raising the alarm of Haida Gwaii residents.

Highlander Marine

Plastic bottles, mixed in with Styrofoam and other debris in a forest ravine in the tree line in Englefield Bay, Haida Gwaii.

Highlander Marine

At least a dozen bags of debris removed from the Kaisun beach in Englefield Bay, Haida Gwaii on May 15, 2016.

Highlander Marine

Marine debris removed from the Kaisun Beach in Englefield Bay, Haida Gwaii, getting airlifted out of the area. It’s the first attempt by the Haida Gwaii tsunami debris committee to remove marine garbage by air.

Highlander Marine

The trick is to remove plastic debris from local beaches before it gets churned by the sea and pushed into the tree line, where it starts disintegrating to the point where removal is virtually impossible.

The Haida Gwaii Tsunami Debris Committee

After the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, it was expected that Haida Gwaii would be hit with an increased volume of marine debris.

So, in 2013, after the Japanese government offered Canada $1 million to help support the tsunami clean-up effort, community members joined forces to take things into their own hands and formed the Haida Gwaii Tsunami Debris Committee.

The committee received a chunk of the Japanese funding — about $139,000. That allowed the group to hire contractors from around Haida Gwaii to clean up nearly 40 kilometers of local beaches and remove some 630 cubic meters of debris.

Some of the debris is undoubtedly from Japan, but a substantial amount is what they just call “world garbage.”

“Most of the plastic is not from a source that we can control,” said marine ecologist Lynn Lee, a member of the Haida Gwaii Tsunami Debris Committee. “It comes from the Great Pacific garbage patch, industrial waste, fishing vessels.

“These things happen outside of the boundaries of Haida Gwaii, but they are affecting the region.”

READ MORE: Why our oceans are choking on our garbage and how we can stop it

Contractors have to use specialized trucks and boats to remove the debris from the remote beaches around Haida Gwaii — and they’re usually filled up to capacity.

“We can fill a boat within hours sometimes,” said Moraes.

At least a dozen bags of debris removed from the Kaisun beach in Englefield Bay, Haida Gwaii on May 15, 2016.

Highlander Marine

The committee is also experimenting with using a helicopter to lift the debris out of very remote areas, but that would require substantially more money. The committee got an additional $115,000 from Japanese debris clean-up money this year. But this is the final round of funding, which officially runs out in March 2017.

The committee is also looking into the possibility of chartering a barge to remove a larger amount of the debris all at one time. While it may not be economically feasible at this point, the debris collected on a barge could be shipped to a recycling facility.

Currently, a great deal of the collected marine garbage ends up at a local landfill. A few items get recycled by local fishermen and a small portion goes into a smaller local recycling operation, but the majority of the debris, including deteriorated plastics, are left to rot in the ground.

Moraes and others are looking into bringing in technology that could potentially convert marine garbage into biofuel.

Impact on tourism

James Cowpar, the operator of local tour company called Haida Styles, said guides often take guests to areas heavily impacted by plastic pollution.

The reaction is nearly always the same — people are stunned by what they see and want to help.

“You can imagine going to an ancient village site in Gwaii Haanas and the first thing you are going to see is garbage,” said Cowpar. “We have actually taken guests out to participate [in the clean-ups] and we found it very rewarding. While on tour, we try to grab as much [garbage] as we can.”

He said educating visitors and talking about the bigger picture is part of their company’s mandate.

Part of their effort to help mitigate the situation involves not carrying plastic water bottles for their clients on their tour boats and using water containers with reusable cups instead.

So far, he said, the reaction from their guests has been nothing but positive.

“Global pollution is a huge problem,” said Cowpar. “People believe that national parks and protected areas are free of pollution and that’s simply not the case. It tends to be an indirect dumping ground.”

What can be done?

With the Japanese funding drying up, Moraes said he wants to see more support from all levels of Canadian government.

He said there should also be a feasibility study done on how to handle the amount of the debris coming in the future.

“There is so much work to be done. We have been going strong for the last few years, but we are still not even close to getting it all collected,” said Moraes. “We really need to figure something out for the long-term: find some dedicated money for this. The province and the federal government really should step up and address this huge issue.”

The B.C. Ministry of Environment told Global News there are no immediate plans to fund the non-tsunami debris clean-up. The ministry said further resources will be allocated as necessary if a major increase in tsunami debris is experienced.

But Lucy Stefanyk, the Haida Gwaii supervisor with BC Parks and a member of the committee, said marine debris, including plastics, will always be something that they will continue to grapple with.

“The notion of ‘pristine’ and ‘untouched’ across the entire coastline, I don’t think that exists anymore,” she said. “The civilization has impacted the most remote corners of our beaches. We can’t prevent what’s coming on our shores. But the hope is that, as global communities are more mindful about what’s happening in the ocean, there will be more funding and attention paid to the ocean’s health overall. The trickle of global garbage will always be slowly coming in for our shores, but I think we can have an impact on how much we see in the future.”

Lee said raising awareness about marine garbage in Haida Gwaii is also an opportunity to show the world how its actions somewhere far away are having an impact on a place like the islands.

“There is no easy solution aside from minimizing plastic production and use,” Lee said.

How much plastic garbage do Canadians produce?

Canada produces about two per cent of the total world volume of plastic products. Canadian and worldwide demand for plastic products are expected to continue growing faster than the economy as a whole.

Currently, Canadians take home an estimated 55 million plastic bags per week, for a total of 2.86 billion bags per year.

Canadians also consume more than two billion litres of bottled water a year, and globally, we consume about 190 billion litres a year.

“Reduce what you are consuming, reduce the overusing,” said Lee, adding plastic pollution is just a symptom of a larger problem.

“The less we feel like we have to use in order to live our lives, the better the world will be,” she said. “As the number of people on the planet is increasing, we have no choice but to think more carefully on a global scale about the choices that we make as individuals. If we choose not to buy those things that are covered in plastic and those disposable items, then we are all better off.”

Alberta wildfire evacuees get special graduation ceremony

After fleeing the wildfire that continues to plague northern Alberta, a group of high school students from the evacuated community of Anzac were given a graduation ceremony in Edmonton Thursday evening.

The community, located about 45 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, was evacuated the evening of May 4. Prior to that, an evacuation centre had been set up at the local recreation centre to house those who had been displaced by the wildfire widely dubbed ‘the beast.’

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    Community members rallied, helping to provide food and shelter for Fort McMurray residents before they were forced to flee themselves.

    This year, nine students were poised to graduate from Bill Woodward School. The wildfire abruptly halted the school year, leaving them without a venue and without a way to honour the accomplishments of the students.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray school inspections start as crews check air quality, structural integrity 

    The graduation ceremony was spearheaded by teachers Ashley Ethier and Anna Petley-Jones, along with valedictorian Emily Czibere.

    “They [the students] just seemed down and what can we do to raise the morale? And we felt down, everybody felt down,” Petley-Jones explained.

    “It started as a dinner and then we called Ruth’s Chris [Steak House] and they were amazing and very accommodating.”

    The downtown Edmonton eatery served as the venue for a small ceremony and dinner for the students and their families.

    “It’s for the teachers, it’s for the staff. It’s for the parents, it’s for the siblings. It’s really for our whole community,” Ethier said.

    Education Minister David Eggen addressed the graduates and their families before helping to hand out diplomas.

    “As it happens, it’s the first set of diplomas I’ve handed out as education minister,” he told Global News.

    “And I think it’s very appropriate that it’s during this time when Albertans were tested with these fires and we proved just how resilient and what a strong sense of community we really have.”

    Eggen said the province has not yet had a chance to evaluate the physical structures of the Anzac schools, though there are daily discussions to set out plans going forward.

    “We’re meeting everyday, not just with affected school boards, but with the 61 school boards that absorbed about a third of the students that are now going to school in other parts of Alberta too,” he explained.

    VIDEO: Premier Notley says students won’t return to Fort McMurray schools until September 

    While the last couple of weeks have been tainted by uncertainty, the students and staff took a moment to inject humour into the occasion.

    Speaking at the podium, Czibere addressed her classmates: “A couple of weeks ago, if you asked me if we’d be having our grad ceremony at a restaurant in Edmonton because we’re all refugees, I’d probably question your sanity.”

    With her parents watching attentively from the front row, she and her fellow graduates took their next steps. Czibere will attend post-secondary schooling in Calgary, with hopes of becoming a teacher and helping others.

    “When everyone got evacuated from Fort McMurray, there was no one that I didn’t see at the rec centre helping out any way they could and my classmates – we’re all family – and family works together and that’s definitely what our community and our school is.”