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Admiral Art McDonald won't immediately return to his job leading the military, Sajjan says – CBC.ca

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Admiral Art McDonald has said he plans to return to his position as chief of the defence staff after a five-month investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct ended with no criminal charges against him — but Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said today the government has no immediate plans to put him back on the job.

McDonald stepped aside in January after only a month in the top job. CBC News has reported McDonald faced allegations linked to a female crew member and an incident aboard the warship HMCS Montreal a decade ago, during a northern exercise known as Operation Nanook.

“Now that he has been exonerated, it is appropriate for Admiral Art McDonald to return to his duties as [chief of defence staff],” his counsel Michael Edelson and Rory Fowler wrote in a media statement released today. 

“Given that it was his decision to step aside, it is now his decision — indeed, obligation — to return to his duties.”

Today’s statement marked the first time McDonald has commented publicly on his case. His statement comes five days after the military said it had concluded an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against McDonald and that charges would not be laid. 

Sajjan told reporters today that his “expectation” is that “Admiral McDonald will remain on leave while we review this situation.”

“The position of chief of defence staff must always uphold the highest standard within the Canadian armed forces,” he added.

WATCH: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan addresses Admiral Art McDonald’s future with the military

Sajjan: “Admiral McDonald will remain on leave”​

2 hours ago

Defence minister counters Admiral Art McDonald’s claim today that he should return to head the military 0:58

Sajjan said that Canada and its military are “very well served” by acting chief of the defence staff Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre.

Government deciding on next steps

In a statement issued Friday night, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal — who advises the chief of the defence staff on policing matters — said that the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service interviewed “a large number of potential witnesses” and the evidence “did not support the laying of any charges.”

When asked if McDonald would be replaced as chief of the defence staff, the Privy Council Office said it only learned the news on Friday and would be making a “determination” on next steps. The position of chief of the defence staff is a governor-in-council appointment — meaning the prime minister can dismiss the chief at any time.

McDonald’s lawyers said it was his decision to step aside. They said he stayed quiet in public and did “everything in his power to support and enable a fair process” while the allegation was investigated.

McDonald’s legal team said he was selected for the job of chief of the defence staff following “the most rigorous process ever concluded,” including psychometric screening and polygraph testing for inappropriate behaviour.

Retired Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance has been charged with one count of obstruction of justice following an investigation into claims of inappropriate behaviour with subordinates. Vance denies the allegations. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Critics say McDonald no longer fit to lead the military

Despite the decision of investigators to not pursue any charges, some military veterans say McDonald has proven himself unfit to lead the military as it grapples with a wider sexual misconduct crisis.

“It really didn’t seem to me to respect the the current climate in the armed forces,” said Leah West of McDonald’s response to the findings.

West served as an armoured officer for a decade and is now an assistant professor of international affairs at Carleton University. She says she was raped by a senior officer in 2008 and that the military tried to brush aside the assault.

“It was very defiant, very defensive, and to me did not reflect someone who understands what it’s going to take to be a leader of the Canadian forces.”

Lt.-Col. Eleanor Taylor — who resigned in March as reports of sexual misconduct began piling up — expressed her support for Lt. Heather MacDonald, who Global News has identified as the person at the centre of the McDonald investigation.

She tweeted that Canada needs a chief of the defence staff with “moral authority.”

Military still not referring sexual assault investigations to police

McDonald replaced retired Gen. Jonathan Vance, who was also under investigation over allegations of inappropriate behaviour with subordinates and now faces a charge of obstruction of justice. Vance denies the allegations.

Vance is due in provincial court on Sept. 17. 

The Liberal government has been accused by opposition parties of not doing enough to tackle the misconduct crisis.

CBC News reported yesterday the military has yet to hand over a single sexual assault investigation to civilian police. The move goes against a key recommendation of retired Supreme Court justice Morris Fish’s report in June, which urged the military to surrender control of sexual misconduct cases to civilian authorities until it reforms the way it deals with victims’ rights. The Liberal government said it accepts the report’s recommendations in principle and will act quickly.

But the Canadian Armed Forces recently rejected retired military member Stéphanie Viau’s request to ask the RCMP to investigate her rape allegation against Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson. The former head of the military’s HR is on leave with pay and said he denies the allegation.

The military has yet to say if it will consider taking administrative action against McDonald in lieu of criminal charges.

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Art Fx #38: "Hill Street Cushion" by Jen Manuell – Huntsville Doppler

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Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.

“Hill Street Cushion” by Jen Manuell of Fish Eye Sisters is an 18” x 18” cushion with a pieced and quilted textile front, featuring hand-dyed wool and freeform stitching, with velvet on the backside and a Canadian-made feather-down insert.

“This is one of the cushions from my most recent collection, featuring over 80 different fabrics,” says Jen. ” The colours were inspired by a recent trip to Peggy’s Cove — especially the amazing lichen on the docks.”

Hill Street Cushion” is available online at fisheyesisters.ca for $230.

About the artist

Every cut, every pin, every stitch…every step of every Fish Eye Sisters product is designed and handmade by just me, Jen Manuell.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved playing with colour and figuring out new ways of doing things.

Combining my love of textiles and dyeing wool, my truly one-of-a-kind woollen home goods are a modern twist on tradition. Woven wool flannel is my favourite material and it features in all of my recent work. I over-dye a lot of it myself so that I can inject plenty of pattern and colour and texture into every piece. These subtle variations add so much interest.

Each piece is a unique composition. There really aren’t any duplicates or copies — they’re all original, timeless, functional pieces for your home. Everything is made with care and attention to detail in my home studio just north of Huntsville.

Find Jen and Fish Eye Sisters online at fisheyesisters.ca or on Instagram @fisheyesisters. Contact her at jen@fisheyesisters.ca.

See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.

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Penticton art exhbit explores feminism and activism – Globalnews.ca

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With every brushstroke, Karla Avendaño is honouring women and the Egyptian goddess said to look over women, Hathor.

“Women matter. It’s funny that in this century we still have to be telling people that women are an important part of society but we do. We have to remind them,” said Avendaño.

“My exhibition is about empowering women and telling the world that we are here and we are an important part of society.”

In her first solo exhibition, Hathor: Goddess of Many Things, Avendaño introduces herself through bright colours and creative scenes, while also advocating for equal rights for women around the world.

Read more:
Penticton Arts Council showcases 100 clay cats in art exhibit

“I am working on [a painting] right now and it’s called Finding My Voice,” said Avendaño.

“It’s a special piece because it’s an Afghan lady so it’s very special for me because of all the conflict that is happening in Afghanistan right now and I feel for these girls not knowing what the future is going to be.”

The artist is one of eight in residence at the Leir House Cultural Centre where she has developed her skills for the last year leading up to the exhibition.

Read more:
Penticton, B.C. photography book records pandemic, floods and fires

“She brings such a fresh and unique energy and vibe to the Leir House as well so that’s really, really cool and just watching the trajectory of her art over the past year has been so wonderful to watch,” said Bethany Handfield, Penticton and District Community Arts Council administrator.

Hathor: Goddess of Many Things can be discovered Thursday to Sunday until Nov. 6 at the Leir House Cultural Centre.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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200,000-year-old handprints may be the world's oldest artwork, scientists say – CBC.ca

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A group of fossilized handprints and footprints found in Tibet, dating back roughly 200,000 years, could be the earliest examples of human art. And they were made by children.

Every parent knows that children love to get their hands and feet into mud. Such seems to be the case long ago at what used to be a hot spring at Quesang, high on the Tibetan Plateau at an altitude of 4,269 metres (14,000 feet) above sea level.

A report in the journal Science Bulletin suggests these impressions were intentionally placed, not just the result of wandering in the area. The foot and hand prints fit exactly within a space, arranged close together like a mosaic. Their size indicates they were made by two children, one the size of a 7-year-old, and the other the size of a 12-year-old. 

Researchers discovered what is possibly the world’s oldest artwork, rendered here in a 3D scan, on a rocky promontory at Quesang on the Tibetan Plateau in 2018. (D.D. Zhang et al. / Science Bulletin)

During that time, travertine, which is a type of limestone formed by hot mineral springs, formed a pasty mud which was perfect for making handprints. Later, when the hot spring dried up, the mud hardened into stone, preserving the prints over time. 

The rocks have been dated to between 169,000 and 226,000 years ago. It is not known exactly who the people were that lived on the Tibetan Plateau at that time, but one possibility is the Denisovans, a branch of our early ancestors who lived in Asia and resembled modern humans. Tibetans living today still carry Denisovan genes.

Two ethnic Tibetan children play chess at a Tibetan village at the feet of Kalong Mountain in Tongren County. (Jason Lee / Reuters)

Whether the imprints can be considered art or just kids playing in the mud is up for interpretation, although the authors of the paper told Live Science it may be art in the same way that parents hang scribbles from children on their refrigerators and call it art. The authors describe the medium the prints are in as intentionally altered, which they suggest could have been a kind of performance to show like, “Hey, look at me, I’ve made my handprints over these footprints.”

Or perhaps these impressions represent the human desire to leave marks behind on the landscape that say, “I was here.” It’s a tradition that continues today with graffiti on walls in back alleys and famous actors and actresses who leave impressions of their hands and feet in cement along Hollywood Boulevard.

A makeshift memorial appeared for late comedian, actor and legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis around his hand and feet prints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles when he died in 2017. (Kyle Grillot / Reuters)

Little did these prehistoric kids know their handiwork would be preserved for hundreds of thousands of years.

If the carefully made prints are considered art, it pushes the history of rock art back more than 100,000 years. The oldest stencil-type handprints, where a hand is placed on a wall and coloured powder is blown around it to make an outline, have been found along with other cave paintings in Sulawesi, Indonesia and El Castillo, Spain dating back between 40,000 to 45,000 years ago. This is known as parietal art because it is not meant to be moved, unlike paintings or statues that can be displayed anywhere and traded. And the oldest statues also only go back to about the same time period.

A cave painting dating back to nearly 44,000 years was seen in a limestone cave in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Picture taken December 4, 2019. (Indonesia’s National Research Centre for Archaeology/Griffith University/Handout via Reuters)

The children of ancient Tibet could be considered among the world’s first artists, or maybe they were just playing in the mud like all kids do. But the question of whether the impressions are art or not is almost moot because handprints and footprints from the deep past provide valuable scientific information.

An international team of researchers describe ancient hand and footprints made deliberately which they argue represent art. (Gabriel Ugueto)

Archeology usually deals with fragments from past cultures, such as pieces of pottery, building foundations, monuments and bones. It is up to the scientists to infer, to fill in the gaps and try to determine what the people were actually like. But handprints are the direct signature of a person.

Tourists on Hollywood Boulevard squat down to place their hands in the prints of their favourite actors to get a sense of what it might be like to shake their hand, sort of a virtual handshake. Imagine a handshake that reaches across millennia into an actual moment in time, to a couple of kids who were just messing in the mud.

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