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Canada commemorates King Charles III’s coronation with ceremony in the nation’s capital

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As the Commonwealth celebrates the history-making coronation of King Charles III, Canada marked the occasion with a ceremony that had a concerted focus on hope for the future, centred around key shared priorities of the Crown and Canada: the environment, service to others, and Indigenous reconciliation.

While not a national holiday in Canada, as the ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey winded down, commemoration events in the nation’s capital got underway, with an hour-long celebration in that included a series of musical and artistic performances as well as special unveilings.

Beginning at 10 a.m. EDT at the Sir John A. Macdonald building on Wellington St. in Ottawa, the event began with powerful remarks from Albert Dumont, Ottawa’s poet laureate and an Algonquin spiritual advisor, who also took part in the Canadian commemoration to Queen Elizabeth II eight months ago.

In his remarks, Dumont spoke directly about the impact of the Crown on Indigenous people, while voicing some hope for the future.

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“From the eastern sky, a new dawn enters Indigenous sacred land. The memories of the oldest pines rise to greet its shimmering light. The trees sway joyfully in remembrance of a happy time long ago, before the power of the British sword destroyed the tranquility of gentle Turtle Island,” he said. “A new day, showing itself on the horizon, bringing forth the heart of an honorable human being, who steps forward.”

As he concluded, a drum beat swelled as Algonquin group Eagle River Singers performed an honour song.

Although King Charles acceded to the throne upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, 2022, the post-U.K. proceedings are a chance for Canadians to mark the occasion.

This is the first coronation to take place in 70 years, since Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremony in 1953. As a constitutional monarchy, Canada has proclaimed King Charles the head of state.

In her address to the Canadian crowd, aerospace engineer and champion of volunteerism Farah Alibay spoke about the value of community, generosity, small acts of kindness and empathy, while noting now meaningful it was to speak as a woman, the daughter of Indian immigrants, and as a queer person.

“The world is evolving, becoming more inclusive, and we are continuing to learn from the more difficult parts of our history. It is therefore with optimism and humility, that I have come to share this moment with you,” said Alibay, who spoke about her experiences both growing up in Montreal, and then moving to England.

“The future is built by all of us, working together, supporting each other and sharing. This concept of service and community isn’t unique to my family. It is one that is shared across Canada and the Commonwealth,” she said.

SYMBOLISM STITCHED IN TO CANADA’S CORONATION EVENT

Saturday’s celebrations were attended by prominent Canadians, past Order of Canada recipients, and supporters of causes considered important to the King.

Dignitaries from the Table of Precedence for Canada, including members of the King’s Privy Council for Canada were also present, including Privy Council President and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair, Seniors Minister Kamal Khera, and Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen.

Speakers of the House of Commons and Senate, former governors general Michaëlle Jean and David Johnston, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre, Commissioner of the Northwest Territories Margaret Thom, and a few dozen other current and former federal politicians were there, too.

As were the high commissioners of commonwealth nations including the United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, Australia, Bahamas, Nigeria, and Rwanda.

Assistant deputy minister of sport at Canadian Heritage Emmanuelle Sajous, and director of machinery of government at the Privy Council Office Donald Booth emceed the event.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc later delivered an address on behalf of the Government of Canada.

“Canada has a long and rich relationship with the Crown. From our beginnings as a French colony, to today. The monarchy has been an integral part of our institutions and our identity,” said LeBlanc. “The coronation of a sovereign is a high watermark in that relationship.

“Millions of Canadians are witnessing the coronation of Canada’s sovereign for the first time, in a country that is radically different from the one that witnessed the last coronation, ” LeBlanc said.

“But as Canada evolves, so do its institutions, and so does the monarchy. Today we will witness an event steeped in the traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. But tradition is not an impediment to modernity. By looking to the past, we can better understand our present and witness how we have progressed as a nation. It enables us to look to the future with optimism.”

The celebration also included the singing of O Canada by the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, and an “optimistic and triumphant” instrumental interlude by Prince Edward Island music group Inn Echo.

Slam poet Sabrina Benaim performed a piece called “To A Dreamer In A Modern World” and singer–songwriter Florence K performed a musical interlude. Both of these artists have a history of advocating for openness about mental health through their work.

A performance of the royal anthem by the Central Band of the Canadian Forces Serenade of Strings highlighted “the King’s life-long connection to the Canadian Armed Forces.”

Ottawa’s celebrations concluded with a 21-gun salute by the 30 Field Artillery Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery, on Parliament Hill.

Books of congratulations were available for attendees to sign at the ceremony, and guests were invited to attend an intimate reception afterwards. Muralist Dominic Laporte produced a work of art live throughout the event.

The event in the parliamentary precinct took place alongside free activities for families at Rideau Hall.

Over the weekend, the Peace Tower as well as other federal buildings in Canada’s capital region will be lit emerald green in honour of the occasion.

KEY UNVEILINGS, NEW COIN AND BILL DESIGNS COMING

During the ceremony, a series of notable unveilings occurred.

Canada Post unveiled the new definitive stamp with an image of King Charles III to mark the coronation, continuing the 170 years of tradition of issuing stamps featuring Canadian monarchs. The new stamp features a portrait of the then-Prince of Wales, taken by photographer Alan Shawcross.

The Canadian Heraldic Authority revealed updated emblems to represent the change of reign approved by King Charles III: a new royal crown and royal flag.

The new Canadian royal crown features stylized maple leaves, and a wavy blue line meant to represent this country’s waterways. The design also is meant to offer a nod to Indigenous teachings.

The new flag of the sovereign is a rectangular representation of Canada’s shield of the coat of arms and also features maple leaves, as well as the royal emblems of the U.K. and France.

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a new collector commemorative pure gold and silver coin set that features the royal cypher, King Charles III’s personal monogram. These coins retail for between $34.95 and $4,199.95 and are only available while supplies last given the limited mintage.

The federal government also used the occasion to announce—keeping up with the tradition of the reigning monarch appearing on Canadian coins since the Royal Canadian Mint began production in 1908—that the Mint will design and place an effigy of His Majesty King Charles III on Canadian circulation coins.

The Bank of Canada will also be replacing Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait on the $20 bank note with King Charles III “during the next design process.”

‘LONG MAY HE REIGN’: CANADA’S CONTRIBUTIONS IN LONDON AND BEYOND

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and a delegation including Indigenous and youth leaders took part in King Charles’ coronation in London. Canada’s delegation also included Canada’s flag bearer astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

In a statement congratulating His Majesty, Simon noted that while so much has changed in the 70 years since the last coronation, including the Crown, “it continues to be an anchor for our robust and stable democracy and our diverse country.”

“As we mark this wonderful occasion, I invite all Canadians to look back on the country we were, celebrate the country we have become, and engage in conversations about the country we want to be. On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate Their Majesties on this auspicious occasion. I look forward to continuing to support our Sovereign in his important work,” Simon said. “Long may he reign.”

Following the coronation ceremony in London, Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau had plans to attend a reception held by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom, James Cleverly. Also on Trudeau’s itinerary before heading home are meetings with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak.

“Today, we ring in the reign of His Majesty King Charles III and reaffirm Canada’s enduring commitment to the Commonwealth. As we celebrate this momentous occasion, let us be reminded of our shared values of inclusivity, diversity, and respect for human rights as we work together to build a better future for all members of the Commonwealth,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Trudeau said Saturday in recognition of King Charles III’s “longstanding commitment to environmental protection and conservation” Canada will donate $100,000 to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Five RCMP Musical Ride members participated in the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, and a contingent of 45 Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Special Operations Command, and the Royal Military College members took part in the coronation military parade.

In addition to Saturday’s events, Canadian Heritage through the Canada History Fund is providing $275,000 to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to help develop learning materials commemorating King Charles III’s coronation and highlighting priority areas for Canada: the environment and Indigenous reconciliation.

Trudeau had previously announced Canada will award 30,000 coronation medals in the coming months to Canadians who have made “significant contributions to the country, a province, territory, region or community, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada.”

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Jennifer Ferreira

 

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Manufacturers Blues: Staffing Not a Problem, But their Inadequate.

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We have been experiencing staffing problems for some time. Finding skilled workers within the manufacturing sector has been challenging but these past 2 years most difficult, not because there are no workers being interviewed, but because there are many showing up for their interviews and testing. The interviews go well, with their enthusiasm showing. We appreciate that a lot. But when they do their actual testing it’s another story.

Initial Interview usually goes without a hitch.
Testing shows us their capabilities and possible potential should we be willing to train them further.

We test these individuals as welders, sheet metal workers, press brake operators, plastics, and millwork specialists.

The problem we face is threefold. 1st off they have no real experience like they just graduated from welding school. We ask them to weld their name onto a plate, which is easily done if you have the experience. Many burn through the heavy plates or handle the equipment not very well. The secondary problem is their extensive demands from private washrooms, when they are willing to work(not our scheduled period), excessive wages far beyond the average wage. Over time employment is haphazard at best, nonexistent as they refuse. They even want schooling in the trade, while letting it be known that the wage they receive will always limit their loyalty to the firm. A buck or two elsewhere and bye, bye. The third problem is that most want to unionize, and have been told to demand the most up front even though they have not proven themselves worthy of advanced pay. For most private firms unionizing will kill the firm, with excessive costs dragging down any form of profitability. We have 15-25 laborers at a time with the option of doubling that when business gets busy usually in spring-summer-fall.

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Strange things that happen are the employees showing up with a six-pack of beer, taking 1-2 hour lunches, and often going to management asking for wage advances even when they have not been with us but for a few weeks. The provincial and federal government agencies who have these individuals trained seem to be the people indoctrinating the workers with unrealistic expectations and demand formulas.

There are many choice employee’s out there, but their wage/salary demands remain extremely high for an industry that is just surviving in North America. The pandemic and people leaving their jobs to become self-employed or simply home bodies until they find that perfect job with a perfect wage have driven up our costs drastically, and all the while we are trying to compete with foreign exporters.

Our Provincial and Federal Governments seem unwilling to assist us in finding excellent experienced employees, instead having people trained in the basics, and relying upon private industry to train these people, who will in a short matter of time leave us and go to someone else who will pay them more. The expense, time, and effort of our firm run at a loss when we train someone, but this gamble pays off occasionally. Our governments are staffed by unionized personnel, who will push unionization onto anyone they come in contact with. Not neutral, or objective, but actual union recruiters and propagandists.

Our firm has looked at moving to friendlier regions down south, but the nationalist within us persists in our Canadian Financial Adventure in Ontario.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca

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The FDA says people are confusing poppers with energy shots, and dying. Experts want proof

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It’s not unusual for the packaging of one product to resemble that of another, potentially leading to mix-ups. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned people who drink energy shots to make sure they’re not accidentally chugging a bottle of poppers — or they might end up sick or dead.

“Don’t be fooled. These poppers, often purchased online or in novelty stores, are unapproved products and should not be inhaled or ingested, regardless of how they are packaged, labelled or displayed,” the FDA notes in its online warning shared in recent social media posts.

But those who work in LGBTQ sexual health say the FDA’s warning that people are confusing poppers with energy shots, with sometimes dire consequences, may actually be doing more of a disservice.

Such messaging “borders on inflammatory” and may contribute to the “the stigmatization of the product [and] the stigmatization of the person who’s using poppers,” said Rod Knight, an associate professor at the at Université de Montréal’s School of Public Health, who has also conducted research on poppers.

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Poppers are a chemical substance that belongs to a class of drugs known as alkyl nitrates. When they’re inhaled as vapour, from a small liquid-filled bottle wrapped in a colourful plastic label, the user can almost instantly get the short-lasting, light-headed sensation of a head rush, Knight explained.

He explained they also relax the sphincter muscle of the anus, making receptive anal sex more comfortable for some people. Poppers have been popular among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men for decades.

 

 

Knight acknowledges that there are sometimes side effects, which may include nausea, headaches, reduced blood pressure — alkyl nitrates are vasodilators, meaning they open blood vessels — and even vision issues. But he suggested such side effects “can be remedied through change of usage patterns.”

According to the FDA’s website, they are usually purchased in sex shops or online — often labelled as other products such as leather cleaner or deodorizers — even though the agency recommends against using them. Alkyl nitrates as poppers are unauthorized in Canada and Health Canada has cracked down on the sale of them since 2013, though they’re not necessarily illegal to purchase, possess or consume.

Does the FDA claim pass the sniff test?

Energy shots are flavoured beverages containing some amount of caffeine, and vitamins or other natural substances that purportedly boost your energy, like ginseng or ginkgo biloba. They’re sold in small bottles with colourful plastic labels. They’re commonly found at convenience stores, supermarkets or bought online.

If by some chance you had both products side-by-side and didn’t realize your mistake by the time you peeled off the plastic and cracked open the bottle, the distinct smell of poppers should be a red flag, explained Adam Awad, the communications manager for the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance in Toronto.

“If you’re about to drink a 5-Hour Energy drink [a popular energy shot brand] and it smells like nail polish remover, you know, maybe you should ask yourself some questions before touching it to your lips,” he said.

Awad said he isn’t aware of any cases of people dying from a poppers-related mishap like the FDA described — a claim the agency previously made in 2021 — but he said he “would be very keen to see any evidence that they’ve got or reports on the actual number of cases.”

A box containing small bottle wrapped in colourful plastic sits on a counter with a man, seen, out of focus, in the background.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not revealed the number of deaths related to the mistaken consumption of poppers. But in 2013, the agency claimed to be investigating 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations, over four years, related to related to popular 5-Hour Energy shots. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

CBC News reached out to the FDA for data on injuries or death related to the accidental oral ingestion of poppers and an explanation for the social media warning, but did not receive a response.

In 2012, however, the agency stated that it was investigating 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations related to the consumption of 5-Hour Energy drinks.

But if serious or fatal mix-ups with poppers and energy shots are happening, it would certainly be a dangerous situation, said Knight. He said he’s curious to know in what context such a serious mistake might have happened and whether there were other contributing factors to these incidents.

There is also a flip side to poppers, Knight said, that health agencies like the FDA and Health Canada do not mention in their cautionary messaging.

“This drug is being used by gay and queer men for very therapeutic reasons,” Knight said. “[Poppers] can prevent muscle spasm and injury during receptive anal intercourse.”

The Early Edition7:57We discuss what ‘poppers’ are, and the ban of them in Canada

The sale of poppers was banned almost ten years ago by Health Canada. Recently there has been push to overturn the ban. We learn more about what poppers is and the history of the ban.

Should Canada ease its restrictions on poppers?

Health Canada states alkyl nitrites can only be used when prescribed by a doctor, but there are currently no approved products sold as poppers. In a statement to CBC News, the agency said “there have been no submissions filed by any company [or] manufacturers for authorization of a popper product.”

Knight said it would be difficult and unlikely for many producers to go through the clinical trials and regulatory processes needed to get approval for prescription use and, even if that did happen, it would only create other barriers to accessing the drug.

“This drug is not really well known among a lot of clinicians, except for those who specialize in sexual health,” he said.

He said the current restriction has done little to prevent people from acquiring poppers one way or another, whether it’s ordering them online, buying them over the border in the U.S. or procuring them by some other means.

A smiling man stands in front of a glass pane, with a building in a background, wearing glasses and an orange sweater over a collared shirt.
Rodney Knight, an associate professor at Université de Montréal’s School of Public Health, says he is skeptical about claims people are confusing poppers with popular energy shot drinks and falling ill or dying. (Submitted by Rod Knight)

He noted a survey from the Community-Based Research Centre that showed only a slight drop in the percentage of people using poppers, after the ban on sales, and had little effect on regular use.

“If this was a drug that was being used among, for example, straight guys at a rate of 30 per cent of straight guys across Canada, there would be a very different approach to how the drug would be treated,” he said.

He believes the restriction has done more harm than good, pushing poppers into a form of “illicit market,” making it unclear what ingredients they may contain because manufacturers aren’t “incentivized” to label their products with accurate health information.

There is also the possibility poppers may be packaged in a way that resembles other products in order to “disguise them” because of the restriction, added Awad, potentially setting up that very mixup scenario.

Poppers, a common name for the drug alkyl nitrite, have been essentially banned in Canada since 2013. Despite that, they’ve thrived in the grey market and are an open secret within in LGBTQ communities. Earlier this month, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole made headlines when he hinted that his government would be open to legalizing poppers. Writer and LGBTQ history podcaster Adam Zmith explains the drug’s history and why in many cases, even people who use poppers don’t know much about them.

 

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Why are mosquitoes so bad in 2023?

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Mosquitoes.

They’re thirsty bloodsuckers that annoy those who cross into nature, feasting on their salty life source while leaving behind red, itchy bumps.

And this year across Canada, it seems the pesky insects are worse than ever.

Those who’ve wondered about an increase in mosquitoes may be right, according to Laura Ferguson, assistant professor of biology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.

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“It’s definitely been a trend to some extent that people are noticing anecdotally,” she told CTVNews.ca in an interview on Friday. “New Brunswick, in particular, over the last couple of years, has noticed big bursts in mosquito populations, especially in this mid- to late spring.”

Why mosquitoes may be worse than normal in some areas has more than one answer.

WHY MOSQUITOES ARE SO BAD THIS YEAR

Ferguson works with a team to study mosquitoes, understand the different species and track their abundance across North America.

“It’s for a few different reasons why we’re seeing more mosquitoes than we may have at least in the past couple of decades or so,” she said.

The first contributing reason is that there are more species of mosquitoes than in years past.

Different species travel with human goods across the world. They then breed in their new homes, creating populations of specific types of mosquitoes where they’d never existed before.

“Here in Nova Scotia for instance, we didn’t have a (species) a couple of decades ago — it came over from Japan in tire, we think — and it’s just exploded across the province and you can find it anywhere now,” Ferguson said.

Additionally, Ferguson said, warmer winters caused by climate change allow mosquitoes that would die off in the winter to survive and continue reproducing.

Along with being able to survive the milder weather, some types of mosquitoes are able to reproducer faster in warm temperatures because of the type of insect they are. Ferguson says mosquitoes are ectotherms, meaning their regulation of body temperature depends on external sources like the sun.

Precipitation also plays a factor in how well mosquitoes can survive, because they lay eggs in stagnant water.

Ferguson said if it’s a particularly dry spring there may be fewer mosquitoes around, depending on the species. Others lay eggs in the fall, so there would only be a large drop in mosquitoes if the previous year was dry.

Another theory that needs more research, Ferguson said, is the waning effects of the chemical Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which was used in the past to control insects in crops, but was phased out in the 1970s due to its harm on other species.

Despite this, the chemical can still be found in water and is circulating in ecosystems.

“Those kinds of holdover effects from these really persistent insecticides may have also suppressed mosquito populations for a few decades,” she said. “And now we’re experiencing a bit of this rebound of these populations as these insecticides and their effects start to wear away in the environment.”

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT MOSQUITOES?

Unfortunately, all these factors lead to an increase in mosquitoes, a problem without fast solutions.

“I think for the most part, what we need to do is just figure out the ways to protect ourselves from contact with mosquitoes because they are a part of the ecosystem,” Ferguson said.

“On a regular basis it’s going to be things like hanging out in a screened porch instead of right outside, making sure that you dump standing water anywhere in your yard.”

Using repellents like DEET and some natural oils can help when out in the woods, Ferguson said.

“Wear light colours, long sleeves, those kinds of things to reduce the area of your body that’s exposed to potential bites,” Ferguson said. “That kind of thing is sort of our best bet of that trying to sort of prevent our contact with them as much as possible.”

 

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