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Atlantic: Round of freezing rain leads into cold week ahead

Atlantic: Round of freezing rain leads into cold week aheadTravel is discouraged for parts of the Maritimes on Sunday amid icy conditions.


A historic Paradise restaurant is in new hands. Here's what's changing

A historic Paradise restaurant is in new hands. Here's what's changingThe nearly century-old Woodstock Colonial Restaurant in Paradise is reopening at the end of the month under a new owner — who's making a few changes.Brendon O'Rourke is renaming the restaurant, which opened in 1927, the Woodstock Public House and making some additions to the menu, although much of the dining room's esthetic will remain the same.He said he's excited about what lies ahead."It's kind of more than I had anticipated, or more than I thought I would genuinely ever have. But here we are, about to embark on quite the adventure, I think," he said."I never really had the ambitions of having, you know, that small hole in the wall on Water Street or anything like that. I always wanted to be a little further outside of town."Keeping things localO'Rourke said the restaurant will focus on tried and true Newfoundland recipes."If you look at what the food trends and who the popular restaurateurs are in town, they're not importing very much of their product at all. So that's going to be where I'm starting."Part of that starting point will involve bringing game back to the menu. He said customers can expect moose, seal and "everything from crab to mussels and squid."Some things will remain exactly the same, like Mary's tea room, a chamber in the restaurant that, according to O'Rourke, has carried that name since the 1960s. He said he played with the idea of repurposing the room until he heard about its history."The owners at the time, their aunt Mary had passed away a few years before they had taken this over and so they had named this room in her honour," he said."And funny enough, without a word of a lie, I have an aunt Mary who passed away a few years ago. And so when I heard the tale, I thought I couldn't change it."A very old placeO'Rourke said he's encountered some resistance from locals when they learned the restaurant has changed hands. Their worries, he said, usually go away when they learn the dining room is remaining unchanged and seal and moose are being added to the menu.From the concrete fridge to the trinkets adorning the walls, O'Rourke inherited a piece of history when he purchased the building. Although he's heard rumours the place is haunted, he said he has yet to experience anything paranormal.But it's all part of the restaurant's history."My father and I were joking throughout this whole process It's like, sure, you could buy a chain [franchise] for X amount of money. But you couldn't really buy the legacy that the Woodstock leaves behind."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


'It's been tough': Edmonton's job market limps into new year

'It's been tough': Edmonton's job market limps into new yearBrian Wolfe was so desperate for a job he took to the streets with a sign reading, "Ready to work."For six hours on Jan. 13, the out-of-work welder stood on the corner of a busy Edmonton intersection at -30 C, pleading for someone — anyone — to give him a job.Wolfe, 49, had been without steady work for nine months."I applied to hundreds of places and there was no response," said Wolfe, who had supported his family with a welding torch for 15 years. "My welding tickets ran out, and the way things fell there wasn't any money to renew the tickets. And there wasn't any steady work to get the money to renew the tickets." By nightfall, Wolfe had hundreds of job offers and is set to start a job doing scaffolding work. He said he knows he's one of the lucky ones. Bruised by a recession, Edmonton's job market is limping into the new year.  > That's probably been the toughest thing is seeing how little is out there. \- Daniel StamhuisEdmonton ended 2019 with a jobless rate of eight per cent, the highest in the country and the highest monthly rate recorded in the city for the year, an increase from a rate of 6.3 recorded in December 2018. Nearly 69,000 Edmontonians were unemployed in December. Daniel Stamhuis is one of them. When his employer sent out a notice last month that layoffs were imminent, Stamhuis assumed he was living on borrowed time. He has been applying for jobs for weeks but no one has offered him work."I've never been laid off before in my life," said Stamhuis, 32. "I'm beginning to see now that the statistics ring true. So it's been tough." Stamhuis had been a water meter reader for Epcor for four years. Most of that time, he worked full-time hours but was a temporary employee. He had been made permanent in April."At my age, I still have lots left in the tank," he said. "But I want something with stability, and I thought I had that. So I'm very apprehensive about applying for temporary positions."That's probably been the toughest thing, is seeing how little is out there."Bucking the trendLess reliant on the energy sector than other Alberta cities, the provincial capital has been surprisingly resilient during the ongoing downturn. But that seems to be changing.Growth in Edmonton's real gross domestic product (GDP) hovered around 0.5 per cent in 2019, the lowest it's been since 2015, soon after oil prices started to plunge.Full-time employment has been declining year over year since last September, weakening growth in average weekly wages.The figures show Edmonton is lagging behind other parts of Alberta, and elsewhere in Canada.Alberta lost roughly 1,000 positions in December as the provincial unemployment rate ticked down from 7.2 to 7 per cent. In contrast, the Canadian job market bounced back in December to post a gain of 35,200 jobs and reverse some losses posted in the previous month, which saw the biggest monthly loss since the 2008 financial crisis. > We were insulated at that time and now it's our turn to get hit. \- Raja Bajwa"We seem to be bucking the provincial trend and the national trend," said Raja Bajwa, president of the Economics Society of Northern Alberta and a professor of macroeconomics at NorQuest College."Hopefully it doesn't continue into 2020 and we see some bounce-back, but it might be going on for a little while."Edmonton's labour market has been showing signs of stress for some time, Bajwa said.Growth has been stagnant, oil prices remain volatile, but more than anything Edmonton has been hit by the provincial budget, Bajwa said. "It was a pretty quick hit in terms of the impact," Bajwa said. "There is going to be an adjustment. Hopefully we recover quickly."The city's workforce is dominated by government, public sector and non-profit employers who have been spooked by spending cuts introduced by Premier Jason Kenney's government, Bajwa said. "I think a lot of it has to do with the provincial budget that came out in October," he said. "It was a pretty quick hit in terms of the impact, whether municipal governments or some of the non-profits that rely on provincial funding. And as a result, a lot of the places that were looking to hire full time or had full-time positions coming to end, those didn't get extended. We've also seen a lot of major projects come to an end in town, so a lot of those construction jobs have moved on as well."Post-budget, Edmonton has slipped behind Calgary, which ended 2019 with an unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent, Bajwa said."Back in 2017, Calgary was three per cent higher than us with their unemployment and now it's sort of flipped," Bajwa said. "We were insulated at that time and now it's our turn to get hit." 'Pretty darn scary'Charlene Stowe said the level of competition in Edmonton's job market has become "insane." Stowe worked in auto body shops for 10 years but was laid off and can't find a job. She most recently applied to work as a labourer in Edmonton. She said the position had more than 3,800 online applicants. "It's hard," she said. "I've never been unemployed this long. Going on five months, it's starting to get pretty darn scary. "My savings are dwindling down to nothing. EI certainly doesn't give you a whole lot, and when you apply for jobs you're competing against not just hundreds but thousands." > You have more young people that are looking for work, and there are not more jobs for them.  \- Bertand LeveilleYoung people, especially young men, have been among the hardest hit by the employment slump, said Bertrand Leveille, an economist with Stats Canada.The unemployment rate for Albertans aged 15 to 24 for the year increased 3.9 percentage points, to 15 per cent. The rate in Edmonton now hovers around 17 per cent, up from 9.2 per cent in December of 2018."We're seeing an increase in employment for young females but it declined for young males, a significant decline, which ends up giving us a pretty flat employment level for young people," Leveille said. "You have more young people that are looking for work, and there are not more jobs for them."Modest growth, reason to hopeIt's not all bad news, according to the latest quarterly report from the city. While labour force growth outpaced the region's employment gains, Edmonton gained 3,100 positions in December, with most of the growth coming from the trades, finance, insurance, real estate and food services.For 2019 as a whole, employment growth in Edmonton increased by 1.1 per cent from the year before, and average weekly wages for 2019 were almost two per cent higher. The city expects employment in Edmonton to grow by a modest one per cent in 2020. "The unemployment rate is forecast to decline, though the rate is unlikely to move much lower than the seven to 7.5 per cent range," according to the latest quarterly outlook from the city.After being out of work for two years, house painter Aaron Deneiko, 39, is feeling more positive about this prospects.Deneiko sought some professional advice and now plans to return to warehouse work. He was a house painter for 15 years before the work dried up. "The economy dropped," he said. "Lots of places were downsizing staff."Four months ago I was feeling pretty down about finding a job. I'm actually pretty positive right now, and feel like I will be able to accomplish this goal soon."With files from Nola Keeler and Travis McEwan


Hibernation project could reintroduce endangered snakes to protected areas

Hibernation project could reintroduce endangered snakes to protected areasIf a new snake hibernation project is successful, endangered species of snakes could be reintroduced to areas where they have died out.Jonathan Choquette, a biologist with Wildlife Preservation Canada, said they are most concerned about the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake because it's the next reptile likely to disappear from southwestern Ontario. "We're conducting a critical preparatory step prior to a trial reintroduction with Massasaugas," said Choquette. "We're down to a handful of these animals left."According to Choquette, the rattlesnake's habitat is protected at Ojibway Park, but the snakes have left after construction projects over the last few years. Reintroducing them safely is difficult. "Translocation — the intentional movement of one animal from one place to the next — it's not successful with reptiles most of the time," said Choquette. "We're using a surrogate species Eastern garter snake to intentionally hibernate in what we think are good hibernation sites. If they survive, we'll use those sites in the future."Since 2015, Choquette's research has looked at groundwater and frost depth to find space underground for the rattlesnakes to live over winter. They've now designed artificial hibernation structures and installed them in release sites. "Essentially it's an artificial burrow that we've installed in the ground so we can allow these animals to access the water table and escape the freezing temperatures," said Choquette, adding that it's too early to tell how successful the project has been with the test garter snakes. Choquette has been monitoring the snakes they've put into these artificial hibernation chambers with borescope cameras. "Everybody is still alive essentially," said Choquette. The snakes they're using as test subjects were found elsewhere in the park. They will be released back at their capture sites in the spring. After hundreds of hours of searching every year since 2013, Choquette estimated the population of the Massasauga snake in southwestern Ontario to be less than 12. "Last year we found one snake, with all of our efforts," said Choquette. "It's really hard to find these animals."Choquette said the information gained through the artificial hibernation and translocation project could improve reintroduction techniques for snakes across North America.


Elder teams up with niece-in-law to complete a pair of mukluks after 60 years

Elder teams up with niece-in-law to complete a pair of mukluks after 60 yearsAgnes White made the first stitch on a pair of mukluks for her brother in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., in 1958.More than 60 years later, and with some help from her niece-in-law in Inuvik, N.W.T., they're finally done. "I took a big sigh," said White. For six decades White took the mukluks wherever she went, from Tuktoyaktuk to Herschel Island, various towns in Alaska to the midwestern U.S. — Kansas to be specific — then to Leduc, Alta., where she lives today. "I never let go of it," she said. White drew the design, something that her brother would like. He died before the mukluks were finished.> How special to have been given this sewing that is so old, and had so much history. \- Anna Pingo"Sixty years is a long time to finish a pair of mukluks," she said. White said she drew the flowers the way they look, coming up out of the tundra."I just thought of the wind blowing the flowers ... swaying them back and forth," she said. "[It's] showing my love in a certain way. I can't show it with a hug or anything, but I can show it in my sewing, that I loved him."Since the 1950s, White's eyesight has diminished. She still sews, but decided to get the mukluks finished for her brother's son, Fraser Pingo, who married Anna Pingo — the woman who would finally help finish them. Anna and her husband Fraser were visiting White when she passed on the sewing."[Fraser] was his oldest son, and I thought to myself he loved his oldest son. By finishing these mukluks I can do that much for him."Anna said that it was a chance to work on her embroidery skills. She said that when you inherit someone's sewing, you learn from them. She had them for several years, but was leery about starting because of White's perfect stitches."They just sat there. And I was thinking, gee I'm so scared to try. What if they turn out pitiful-looking?" said Anna.'They're complete'After a year and a half, she thought: "I'd better just try."Anna spent hours embroidering seven of the flowers. White put the finishing touches on the mukluks."How special to have been given this sewing that is so old, and had so much history," said Pingo."I'm finally there. They're complete."Anna said she feels blessed to have a relationship with White, to hear her stories and knowledge and share the Inuvialuktun language."When an Elder gives you something, they're giving you their gift," said Anna. "[White] gave me her gift of sewing.""She told me, 'You caught on. I gave you my gift and I want you to keep going and keep sewing and making stuff for your grandkids, because I needed someone to give that to while I'm still here.'"Anna recently finished up the embroidery for a vest to match the mukluks. White and Anna are working on the vest together.


Sunday 26th of January 2020 02:08:24

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