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Posts Tagged "find"

19Oct

Petition with more than 15,000 global names asks for help find Canuck the Crow

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People from as far away as Israel and Australia have signed a petition asking the City of Vancouver to probe the disappearance of Canuck the Crow as if it’s a missing-person case.

“That he was snatched, that’s kind of the most popular theory,” said Jane Mason, who organized the change.org petition from her home in the tiny village (pop. 150) of Bishop Hill, Ill. “There’s no body. There would be evidence, something to tell us if he was dead.”

Canuck was last seen by his human buddy Shawn Bergman around 3 p.m. on Aug. 30. A $10,000 reward, raised mostly by Canuck’s 130,000 Facebook followers, has been offered. He had a numbered band declaring that he was federally protected.

Mason has her own theory about how Canuck vanished.

“The little daredevil might have gotten into a vehicle at the PNE and when the people came back, off they went who knows how many hundreds of miles before they discovered they had a hitchhiker and stopped to let him out,” she said. “Crows are not homing pigeons.”

Her petition is directed at Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“The mayor stated on Sept. 14 his office would help in any way they could,” the petition reads in part. It “insists” any and all CCTV footage from the period in which Canuck disappeared from his Cassiar and Hastings streets neighbourhood be “thoroughly reviewed” for evidence relating to his disappearance.

“It is past time Canuck’s disappearance be fully investigated by authorities,” Mason said. “I believe, and it’s why I want CCTV footage reviewed, there is some evidence.”

Bergman had nothing to do with the petition, other than reposting it on his Canuck and Facebook page, Mason said.

A comment by Reena El-Murr of Roseville, Calif., one of thousands that accompany the petition, is fairly representative of how people feel.

“Do the right thing by Canuck and those who care about his welfare,” she wrote. “This is a local and global community call to action. This is Canuck, your art muse, your honorary employee and your unofficial ambassador!”

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3Aug

Delta boy with health challenges unable to find round-the-clock care

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When she thinks about the toll a lack of nursing resources is having on her family, Stephanie Hill Davie is overcome with emotion.

Her son, Owen, requires round-the-clock care. He is diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome and Kabuki syndrome, two rare genetic conditions that prevent him eating or sitting up on his own.

“Owen has no muscle tone, so he needs constant supervision because he can easily roll off of devices,” Hill Davie said. “I’ve done simple things like go to the washroom and have come back and he’s choked, vomitted and blue, and he needs resuscitation immediately.”

She said Owen has qualified for 168 hours a week of nursing services but starting last fall, those hours have been dwindling.  Since April, those hours have dropped for 56 a week.

She’s now at her wits’ end.

She has been in touch with the nursing support services’ coordinator and the nursing agency. She has also reached out to the province’s patient quality care review board, an ombudsperson, local MLA, the B.C. health minister, the province’s premier and even the prime minister, even though she knows health care doesn’t fall under the federal government.

“It’s all over the news that there’s a nursing shortage within British Columbia,” Hill Davie said. “Why isn’t the health minister looking at the programs that he already has in place to help families? And why he hasn’t recognized that there’s a crisis for a lot of families?”

According to the BC Nurses’ Union, upwards of 25,000 nurses are needed to staff the province’s health care system over the next 10 years. The number includes new nurse positions and replacement of retiring nurses.

In an emailed statement, the Ministry of Health told CTV News, “Our government is committed to providing children and youth with complex needs the healthcare services they need to live in their home and community.”

“While we cannot speak to individual patient cases, the ministry and Provincial Health Services Authority are aware of this patient and a nursing support services program coordinator is working with the family and his health care team to support him,” the ministry said.

Hill Davie said if the family does not receive the nursing support they need, she and her husband will have to take on the role as Owen’s care taker.

“It’s forcing my husband and I into caregiver burnout,” she said. “All three of my kids deserve a mom. They don’t deserve one person providing care to one child.”

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Jazz Sanghera

2Jun

Prince George struggles to find public washroom solution | CBC News

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City council in Prince George is trying to find ways to increase accessibility to public washrooms in the downtown area.

There are few options available for people, and many businesses have chosen not to grant public access to their facilities because of fear of overdoses and safety concerns. 

City staff presented a report to council this week, which highlighted there are no perfect solutions and that other cities are also struggling with this issue. 

“This is a really tough topic, and I think if I were able to pull some themes it would be…that providing access to public washrooms for everybody that needs to access them, and ensuring that they are clean and safe, is challenging,” said Chris Bone, city manager of social planning.

“My research has shown that no community has figured out how to do this effectively and that some of the communities that were seen to be ahead of the curve are now faced with having to rethink initial solutions because we’re working in a very different world now.”

After a heated debate, council agreed to try one of city staff’s recommendations to provide additional funding to social service providers, such as Saint Vincent de Paul, which already grant public washroom access.

Many of these providers have restricted access to their washrooms in the past because they don’t have the resources to monitor them. The funding is intended to offset the cost of having an assigned washroom monitor during peak hours.

Other cities

One of the other options staff proposed, was giving businesses $500 to open their bathrooms. However, this was tried in Yellowknife, and most businesses weren’t willing to do it for that amount.

Another option considered was bringing in self-contained stalls — called a Portland Loo — which are difficult to vandalize.

The town of Smithers introduced them two years ago. However, staff received mixed reviews from other cities that had them because of concerns that opioid users would overdose inside.

Cost of opening washroom doors

The Prince George Public Library is one of the few places that offers public washrooms, but it’s come at a cost.

In the past, library staff have had to call paramedics because of overdoses, and the security budget has now increased from $55,000 in 2015, to more than $150,000 this year. 

Amy Dhanjal, communications coordinator for the library, said in a recent count, staff found that between 20 to 40 people were using the washroom per hour. 

“We looked at percentages and we saw that about 14 per cent of those people are just coming in to use the washroom and then they’re leaving the library,” she told Daybreak North’s Nicole Oud.

Everyone needs washrooms, says Dhanjal

However, despite challenges the library has faced from opening its washrooms to the public, Dhanjal believes it’s important for the city to be accessible. 

“I know often when people think about public washrooms and people are advocating for public washrooms, the conversation sometimes focuses on people who are experiencing homelessness,” she said.

“But, there are so many other people that need to use the washroom; people that have Crohn’s, people who are menstruating, people that are elderly sometimes need a bathroom right away.”

When you gotta go, you gotta go. But in downtown Prince George, it can be hard to find somewhere to do so. Nicole Oud reports. 8:31

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6Feb

WorkBC improvements help people get training, find good jobs

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Changes to WorkBC will offer better services for people who need support to re-enter the workforce, access training opportunities and find good jobs.

“Many people trying to find work face barriers to opportunity. They need a hand overcoming those barriers to take the next step to meet their goals,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “That’s why we are refocusing WorkBC on delivering results for people. Improving accessibility and moving to more personalized supports will make it easier for more people to find good, stable jobs so they can provide for themselves and their families.”

WorkBC provides employment services to people at centres throughout the province and online through WorkBC.ca. People can find local and provincial job listings, workshops, skills assessments and targeted programs that include training, work experience and wage subsidies.

Service improvements under the new model include:

  • increasing the number of WorkBC centres to 103 locations, up from 84;
  • moving to an outcome-based funding model that makes people’s success in the job market a priority for service providers;
  • extending eligibility for specialized WorkBC services to anyone who has paid into employment insurance (EI) for five of the last 10 years and removing EI eligibility barriers;
  • helping people find a better job if their hours are unstable, or if the work is not in line with their skills;
  • providing an additional $9 million in direct supports like skills training and helping people access tools so they can pursue a career in the trades; and
  • improving services in rural communities by consolidating administrative catchment areas and freeing up funding for direct supports for people and more WorkBC centres. 

WorkBC centres are operated by not-for-profit, for-profit and public organizations that specialize in employment services. More than 150 organizations deliver WorkBC services in B.C., supporting more than 50,000 people each year.

Improving access to training and employment services is a part of government’s work to reduce poverty and increase opportunities for people in B.C., and is a shared priority with the B.C. Green caucus and part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement. The Province’s first poverty reduction strategy will be introduced in early 2019.

In addition to the changes, two WorkBC programs will now be offered provincially, providing consistent, reliable services for people no matter where they live:

  • The Neil Squire Society will deliver assistive technology services through a resource centre, in partnership with WorkBC centres and online. The program offers adaptive technology to people with disabilities to open up employment opportunities and help them thrive in the workplace.
  • Douglas College will deliver apprentice services provincially. Services include processing financial support applications and help for apprentices to collect employment insurance benefits while in school.

Quotes:

Queenie Choo, CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S —

“S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is honoured to be selected as one of the service providers to deliver WorkBC employment services. We look forward to collaborating with the ministry, the business sector and community stakeholders to deliver inclusive and client-centred services that support British Columbians to achieve sustainable employment.”

Tom Burnell, CEO, Open Door Group —

“Open Door Group is excited to continue our work in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction in helping British Columbians prepare for, find and keep employment. Building on the foundations of the past seven years, WorkBC will continue supporting diverse job seekers and local labour market needs through flexible and accessible services.”

Val Meaney, executive director, North Island Employment Foundations Society —

“The focus on job sustainability under the new contracts will make a big difference for the people accessing our services, as well as for employers in our community who will benefit from a more stable workforce. The new model also allows us to be more flexible in how we respond to community needs as they change over time.”

Jocelyn Carver, executive director, Kootenay Community Development Centre —

“Kootenay Community Development Society is pleased to be the WorkBC contractor serving the Boundary, West and Central Kootenay region, and we’re excited to deliver WorkBC services with our partners — all of whom have been successfully delivering the program since 2012. Our clients will benefit from this continuity of service, our organizations will benefit from the expanded community of practice and our whole region will benefit from the continued provision of this critical program.”

Quick Facts:

  • A request for proposals for WorkBC employment services contracts was issued in July 2018 and closed in September 2018.
  • The new model is the result of an evaluation of WorkBC services that included consultation with clients and WorkBC contractors as well as an independent review.
  • The proportion of WorkBC contracts and funding delivered by the not-for-profit sector will increase by 8% beginning April 1, 2019.
  • Each year, the Province invests $249 million for employment services offered through WorkBC centres. In total, more than $287 million will be invested through WorkBC programs in 2019-20, which encompass WorkBC centres, assistive technology, apprentice services and the Community and Employer Partnerships program. Funding is through the federal government’s Labour Market Development Agreement, along with $29 million from the Province.

Learn More:

For information about supports available through the WorkBC employment services program, visit: www.workbc.ca

To read a factsheet about how government is improving services at WorkBC, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/improving-services-at-workbc

To read the backgrounder, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_SDPR_26d.pdf


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15Dec

Can’t find your favourite e-book at the library? This might be why

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Public libraries across Canada say major publishers are increasingly charging unfair prices and limiting access to e-books and e-audio books, despite a growing demand from patrons. 

The Canadian Urban Library Council says “the big five” publishers like Hachette, Penguin Random House and MacMillan have long restricted library access to electronic materials, but in the past two years the problem has grown worse.

“Libraries are really struggling to maintain a level of service when it comes to that digital content because of these really restrictive licensing models, whether it be for price or for accessibility,” said Sharon Day, chair of the council’s e-content working group.

“Libraries are about freedom to access and information, and we need to maintain relevance going into the future if we’re going to continue to be a valuable service for the public.”

The council plans to renew its call for fair access to e-books and e-audio books next month. It also wants patrons to understand why they may not be able to access certain materials at their local branch.  

CBC News requested comment from most of the major publishers. They did not respond. 

Rising demand and costs for e-content

Librarians say circulation for physical materials has slightly declined over the past few years, but demand for e-books and e-audio books especially has risen exponentially.

The formats aren’t just popular, librarians say — they also reach different types of patrons. 

But libraries pay up to six times the cover price for some e-books, Day says, and major publishers often limit the number of times the books can be checked out.

In this Sept. 24, 2013 file photo, the 8.9-inch Amazon Kindle HDX tablet computer is held up in Seattle. Amazon owns Audible, which recently launched its dedicated Canadian service, with $12 million earmarked to create audiobooks in Canada. (The Associated Press)

The reasoning is that printed books are eventually repurchased when they’re lost or worn out, and e-book licensing should reflect a similar model. 

Day agrees with that, but says some e-book licences are often limited to as few as 26 check-outs, which is far less than the lifespan of most printed materials.

Exclusive content

But sometimes libraries can’t access e-content from some publishers at all.

In 2017, popular audio book platform Audible launched in Canada and announced it would invest $12 million in Canadian content. But Day says Audible won’t grant libraries access to its platform.

Some of its content, like Justin Trudeau’s 2014 memoir Common Ground, isn’t available in e-audio format anywhere else. 

Librarians also say that last year Tor, a science fiction and fantasy subsidiary of publisher MacMillan, told them it won’t grant libraries access to the electronic versions of new titles until four months after the release date, as a way to boost sales. 

But libraries say research shows that’s faulty reasoning.

Partners, not adversaries

2016 Pew study suggested that library users are more likely to buy books. 

And early research from the Panorama Project, which examines the impact of libraries on book sales, similarly suggests that library availability of new books increases sales and promotions.

“We are partners with publishers, we’re not adversaries. We want just as much as they do for their content to be made available to be purchased to be consumed,” Day said. 

Librarians like Kay Cahill, director of collections and technology at the Vancouver Public Library, say libraries’ access to e-content supports publishers and patrons alike because libraries develop literacy, encourage reading and ensure a thriving literary landscape.

“Publishing in Canada and elsewhere in the world is undergoing a lot of change,” Cahill said.

 “What I would say is just that limiting access and imposing these these high prices for e-content is not the answer.” 


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29Jun

Government of Canada announces funding agreement to give British Columbians the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

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By investing directly in Canada’s greatest asset — its resilient, hardworking people — the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth Canada creates is the kind of growth that works for everyone.

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $2.5 billion over six years to invest in their workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $250 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 84,000 more British Columbians will benefit over the six-year period.

Speaking at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, Sajjan said these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in British Columbia, including assessments, skills training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before — including people from groups typically under-represented in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous peoples.

As innovation and technology continue to change how people live and work, British Columbians, and all Canadians, are met with new challenges and new opportunities. This government investment in jobs and skills training will help British Columbians prepare for the good, well-paying jobs that will be created by British Columbia’s growing economy. Everybody deserves the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy — and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years, British Columbia will receive approximately $844 million — more than $211 million through the WDA, and close to $633 million through the LMDA.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and British Columbia will be able to measure how these programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and can be continually improved.

The WDA will help British Columbia deliver training and services, such as:

  • Bridges for Women in Victoria, with a goal of helping women impacted by violence or abuse break the cycle of abuse and trauma through education and employment training.
  • Blade Runners, a program that helps at-risk youth obtain and sustain full-time employment with life skills and job readiness training, job placement and monitoring, and ongoing support.
  • Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training that assists Indigenous peoples explore and develop trades specific skills in urban areas and in home communities.

Funding under the LMDA will allow British Columbia to help more people and more employers meet their needs through:

  • 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province that offer training and employment supports to people who are unemployed or underemployed. Supports include job-search resources, employment planning, skills training and work experience placements.
  • Customized assistive supports and employment training, offered through WorkBC centres, that help people with disabilities re-enter the workforce.
  • The Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program that helps people get back into the workforce, through projects that offer skills training and work experience.
  • The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), in which single parents on income or disability assistance can get the supports they need to re-enter the workforce.

Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the provincial agreements announced today, the middle class can be strengthened, and help more of the people working so hard to join it.

Quotes:

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour —

“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with British Columbia, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger, and our workers and their families thrive.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, federal Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South —

“To drive the kind of economic growth that is inclusive, we need to invest in people. Our government committed to do just that, and we are delivering with $250 million more in funding to help 84,000 more people get the skills they need to succeed in today’s changing economy.”

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction —

“The new Labour Market Development Agreement expands eligibility to people who are underemployed — someone in a job with unpredictable hours, little long-term security, or that doesn’t match their skills. By increasing employment opportunities and earnings potential, we can help lift more people out of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.”

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training —

“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for, with a specific focus on under-represented and vulnerable groups. The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming. We want everyone to be able to participate in and prosper from B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy.”

Quick Facts:

  • Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the federal government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017-18 to 2022-23:
    • $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
    • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
  • In total, from 2017-18 to 2022-23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
  • Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
  • The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada and British Columbia will work together to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. Canada and British Columbia will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.

Learn More:

Workforce Development Agreements: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/workforce-development-agreements.html

Labour Market Development Agreement: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/lmda.html


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