Monthly Archives: October 2018

‘Students are still unsure about it’: SMU frosh take seminar on consent – Halifax

WATCH ABOVE: Two years ago, Saint Mary’s University has its reputation tarnished after the discovery of a frosh chant condoning rape and sexual assault, now the university and students are working together to make the campus a safer place. Global’s Julia Wong reports.

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HALIFAX – Two years after the discovery of a frosh chant condoning rape and sexual assault, Saint Mary’s University and its students are taking steps towards changing the culture that allowed the chant in the first place.

RELATED: ‘It was never meant to be offensive’: Frosh leader speaks out about SMU chant

A seminar called Safe at SMU where students discussed sexual consent was held Wednesday for more than 600 first-year students. This is the first time the sessions have been held. The university is making the interactive discussions mandatory.

RELATED: Man charged with sexual assault of woman at Acadia University

“[It’s] all about understanding what it is to have consent,” said Heidi Weigand, the director of the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health who oversaw the seminar.

“The idea that consent is having the ‘yes’ and so we want to make sure students are aware, coming into university, what are the different types of situations that come up, where can the complexities be and making sure they’re keeping themselves safe and keeping their peers safe.”

READ MORE: Saint Mary’s University changes frosh week, a year after ‘rape chant’

The seminars are led by students like Jean Legault, who ran the workshop on sexual consent.

“It’s something students are still unsure about. It’s something we want to make very clear and make sure students are safe in situations where that becomes an issue,” he said.

“What we’re trying to do is get students thinking about what constitutes consent and get them to label situations as being either safe or unsafe. In many cases, what happens is the grey area disappears.”

READ MORE: Former frosh leader says complaint about SMU frosh chant went unheard

Dr. Esther Enns is the chair of the President’s Council Action Team, which was enacted at SMU after the scandal. She said the seminars are a direct result of recommendations to make the campus a safer place.

RELATED: 2 students face disciplinary action over frosh chant, SMU student pres. quits

“We have undertaken a lot of initiatives and there’s a lot of enthusiasm across all sectors of the campus for the initiatives,” she said.

Students say conversations are critical

Matthew Laustsen, 18, was in high school when the frosh chant scandal came to light. He said discussions about consent are much needed.

EXTERNAL LINK: Safe at SMU videos

“It is an issue around places like this,” the first year student said. “It is something we need to address and having something like dialogue going on just keeps that relevant.”

Scott Kilmer, 17, from Edmundston, NB agrees that the discussions are pertinent.

“It’s a great idea that they’re making a big deal about sexual consent, especially since some people don’t care for it and [this] makes them care for it,” he said.

Robyn Chapman of Halifax said dialogue about the issue needs to persist.

“I think it’s a good idea that we should be learning about it,” she said.

“I feel it’s important for everybody to know and understand, especially with the things that have been happening in Halifax.”

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Miley Cyrus enters fray to fight B.C. wolf cull program

WATCH:  The campaign to stop BC’s wolf cull is getting some high-profile support from singer Miley Cyrus. Grace Ke reports. 

The campaign to stop B.C.’s wolf cull got some high profile support from controversial pop star Miley Cyrus.

Cyrus, who is known for garnering equal amounts of hype and backlash, took to Instagram yesterday urging her 28 million followers to sign a petition to stop the killing of wolves in B.C.

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In her Instagram post Cyrus said, “I ask so much of my fanz, friendz, [sic] & family… But I am shameless when it comes to making changes in a world that at times needs to reevaluate its morals when dealing with kindness and compassion towards animals, humanity, and the environment.”

The killing she’s referring to is the province’s controversial wolf control program, which is in place to save endangered mountain caribou, and is about to enter its second year.

Cyrus encouraged her fans to sign the anti-wolf cull petition found on the website of a B.C. conservation group called Pacific Wild. By Wednesday afternoon the petition had almost reached its goal of 200,000 signatures.

“Within about an hour of her Instagrams, the site went down,” said Pacific Wild’s Michaela Montaner.

“It was great, we have a wonderful volunteer and IT team that worked together to get it back up very quickly and since then the support has been pouring in.”

The province started the first year of a five-year wolf cull program on Jan. 15, 2015 and as of April said 84 wolves were shot from helicopters in the South Selkirk Mountains and South Peace Region. The area is home to seven mountain caribou herds, four of which are in danger of being eliminated.

According to the government, the South Selkirk herd numbered 46 caribou in 2009 and declined to 14 in March 2015, and in the South Peace wolves account for 37 per cent of all adult caribou mortalities.

Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild has been critical of the hunt in the past, saying the real problem is habitat destruction and the cull is a taxpayer-funded program to kill an iconic species.

Cyrus echoed McAllister’s comments and has been actively debating if wolves are the problem with her followers.

For Pacific Wild, they’re hoping Cyrus keeps supporting their petition.

“We’re hopeful that it’s more than a fleeting support but even so it’s been an incredible boost to the campaign and we’re grateful for it,” said Montaner.

~ with files from Grace Ke and Canadian Press

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Global News parents reflect on back-to-school time

We asked members of our Global News team what back-to-school meant to them and their family. It’s always exciting for the kids, but a little more emotional for the parents. Take a look at what they shared.

Antony Robart is one proud pappa

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So as my little baby follows in her big brother’s footsteps and begins ‘big girl school’ aka ‘junior kindergarten’, I am of course filled with immense pride. But, I ask myself if I’m a bad parent for intentionally not correcting her grammar when she says she eats her ‘begtables’ because it gives her ‘bitamins’. Frankly, I find it too damn cute. Maybe when she’s 18 years old and still refers them as that, I may think about it. For now, I just want to bottle up the ‘baby’ I remember and slow her down (and her brother) from growing up.

Antony Robart is an anchor with Global News at 11PM.

Global News Graphics Supervisor Johannes Hage realizes time goes by quickly

Here’s a snapshot of my kids taking on a brand new year at school. They braved the newness of not being in daycare this year and waited outside for the school bell to ring. Lo and behold they thought they would be alone with no friends to hang out with, but as soon as we rolled up they saw a bunch of friends. This photo was them being patient with me for one photo before they darted to catch up with ole’ friends. Oh, how time flies.

Johannes (Yopi) Hage is a Graphics Supervisor with Global News.

Johannes Hage’s kids on the first day of school.

Global BC’s Lynn Colliar has a preschooler now

It was the first day of preschool for my daughter Teagan, she’s just four! Since my shift changed back to weekends, yesterday morning was fairly laid back. She was excited to go to “school” and understands kindergarten is next year. I cannot believe my wee baby will be in kindergarten next year!

Lynn Colliar is an anchor with Global BC.

Lynn Colliar’s daughter.

Global News Marketing Director Rhonda Halarewich celebrates milestones

Our back-to-school journey this year began with a couple milestones and mixed emotions. I have two amazing girls, who have each magically grown before my eyes. I truly feel like I blinked once and my girls were meeting their kindergarten teachers for the first time, then I blinked again, and here we are, a teenager going in to her first year of high school and a beautiful young woman entering her first year of university (Bachelor of Communications).

As we got ready for back-to-school this year, we realized that a few things have changed from their first year of school and that some things never will. I did NOT have to shop off of a required school supply list this year – and believe me, that was great! I did NOT follow the school bus this morning and that is only because they are now both taking public transit. I did NOT pick out their back-to-school outfits this year, however, I DID discover that they there was a pair of boots and a scarf missing in my closet this morning! I DID take a “first day of school” photo of each of the girls, like I do every year, but I did NOT post it on social media (at least not yet…) and I DID give them each a hug, I DID say a prayer, and I DID shed a tear (no matter how big they are, it’s hard to let go).

Rhonda Halarewich is the Marketing Director with Global News for the Western markets.

Rhonda Halarewich’s daughters on the first day of school.

Angie Seth of Global News gets teary

So here we go, another year in school! My eldest starts her third year at the University of Toronto being brilliant as always in the classroom, fierce on the ice playing for the Women’s Varsity Blues Hockey team, and looking gorgeous as always although she doesn’t see it. Yes, I am biased but I am in awe of her and I always will be! My middle child is a big girl today starting grade 1. She got all dressed up in her pretty blue dress, hair in a French braid, ready to take on the world! Blue eyes sparkling, got a big hug and kiss from her little brother on her first day (my eyes tearing up).

The question is am I ready for all this? Simply no. I never will be. These are my babies and my sweet miracles. I am blessed to have them. I cherish every smile, hug, laugh, giggle, snuggle, tantrum, cry, sleeping child. I want them to explore, think, challenge themselves, have fun, laugh, love, do everything, to be best of friends, to always take care of each other. Yes, it’s only the first day of school, but it’s on days like these I reflect back, I will never be ready for them to grow up, but I will always be proud of them and in awe of who they are…my sweet miracles!

Angie Seth is a weekend anchor and reporter with Global News.

Angie Seth’s daughter on her first day of Grade 1.


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‘Death by a thousand cuts’: N.B. labour board hears UNB women’s hockey case

FREDERICTON – There was no agenda to discriminate against women when the University of New Brunswick decided to eliminate its varsity women’s hockey program, a lawyer for the school said Wednesday.

Sylvia Bryson has been fighting to have the women’s hockey team reinstated as a varsity squad since filing a complaint with the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board in 2009, a year after the team was stripped of its funding and downgraded to a competitive sports club.

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Bryson, who played for the team, alleges that the decision to relegate the women’s team constitutes discrimination on the basis of their sex.

But in his closing arguments to the board, university lawyer Clarence Bennett said shortening the list of varsity sports was based on how it spent its funds.

“UNB was not motivated in any way by the fact they are women,” he said.

He added that there is no responsibility for the university to mirror its sports and spend exactly the same on men’s and women’s teams.

Bryson said while the women’s hockey team never received the level of resources given to the men’s team, the university compared their outcomes, such as win-loss records, when the decision was made to cut funding from the women’s squad.

“It was death by a thousand cuts,” she said after the hearing.

Lawyer Matthew Letson of the Human Rights Commission said the women were treated differently than the men’s team because of a discrepancy of funding and the ability to access equipment, such as a skate sharpener.

During the hearing, lawyers for the university said the men’s team generated some of its own funding through ticket sales and very few people attended the women’s games.

“The popularity of the team was undercut by a lack of funding,” argued Letson in support of Bryson.

Bryson said she’s aware the university has to evaluate how it spends money on all programs.

“Everybody is justified in evaluating programs but it is absolutely essential that they be done fairly and justly,” said Bryson, who has one year of eligibility remaining and wants to try out for the team again.

Bennett said the university does not have an obligation to provide particular sports, adding that the school doesn’t have a rugby team for men.

“If a male student wanted to play rugby and complained to the (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) we’d be looking at this differently. A woman can invoke the Human Rights Act,” Bennett said.

“There was no agenda to discriminate against women.”

But Letson said arbitrator Robert Breen must view the case as a question of equal treatment of gender.

Breen did not set a date for his decision, but said it will take some time.

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Labour Market Assessment report poses challenges – Halifax

WATCH ABOVE: The pace of construction in Halifax is creating jobs, but filling those jobs could be a challenge. Global’s Ray Bradshaw reports.

HALIFAX – Downtown Halifax’s Nova Centre construction project is just one of many that dominate the city’s skyline these days. The pace of construction in the city is creating lots of jobs, but filling those jobs can be a challenge.

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It’s a good time to be in the construction business in Halifax, but maybe not outside the capital city, according to the new ‘Labour Market Assessment’ report.

Brad Smith, Executive Director of the Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades, said among the workers employed, “34 per cent of them reported being under employed, indicating they worked less than they wanted to in the last 24 months,” but he notes the industry is expecting growth.

More than 1,400 people participated in the survey, which indicates many employers will be leaving the construction business. “33 per cent of employers for example said they plan on retiring in the next 5 years,” said Duncan Williams, President of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. “47 per cent said they were planning to retire in the next ten years, which really means we have to become much more entrepreneurial in Nova Scotia to replace those workers.”

According to the report, 72 per cent of people who graduate from trades courses expect to be employed within two months, and 51 per cent of new graduates expect to move away from Nova Scotia.

Marjorie Davison, CEO of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, said government has to convince those young workers that Alberta doesn’t have to be their first or only choice. “We have to get the good message out to students that we have opportunities here and we have to give them good labour market information to show them where those opportunities are.”

There are many trade schools across Nova Scotia that offer opportunities to develop skills, including on-the-job training, and enrollment is up.

“The Trades Exhibition Hall is a great facility to come and learn about different opportunities in the construction industry,” said Trent Soholt, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council. “The Construction Association’s Building Futures for Youth is another great opportunity for individuals to learn about construction occupations and the opportunities that exist.”

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