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Saskatchewan Wildfire – Extreme Dry Conditions

Saskatchewan Wildfire - Extreme Dry Conditions

Fire commissioner of Saskatchewan warned about extremely dry conditions for province’s southern half. Firefighters controlled an extensive grass fire burning near Biggar. Southern central Saskatchewan Wildfire took place due to rising humidity.

Fire Commissioner Duane McKay said, “Humidity levels have decreased again. We are in a significant fire threat anywhere south of that border and perhaps a bit into that forested area.” The fire didn’t damage buildings. Additionally, it didn’t even cause any injury.

However, another fire at about 90Km west to Saskatoon damaged one home.

On Monday, the fire started from the rural area and covered around 1,500 hectares. Afterwards, firefighters have been tackling flames in order to save farm buildings.

The fire created a state of emergency. Even after downgrading its still threatening people. People are worried about properties and livestock.

Concerning about firefighter exhaustion, the provincial government is doing its best.

Also Read: US House Oversight Committee Rebuked Trump’s Obstruction.

McKay said, “We’ll be worrying about jumping roads and will be putting crews there to block it as much as possible. We’ll also be working the flanks of that fire.”

“We have rapid response teams that go and shore up the volunteers with either specialized equipment or manpower,” he added. “That’s a way to relieve some of the stress that we see on the volunteer system.”

Major threat concern is Argo Bush. It’s an area of wildlife preserve and is full of ski trails and chalet.

Saskatchewan Wildfire – Dry Year:

According to Environment & climate Change Canada, this March was the driest on record in Regina and Moose Jaw. Also, the month was eight driest in Saskatoon.

Windy conditions and extremely dry conditions caused serious fire across the province. On Wednesday, around 85 rural municipalities banned outdoor fires in 15 towns and villages.

Meteorologist Sara Hoffman said, “Moose Jaw had 0.2ml of precipitation and that’s compared to their 30-year normal of 17.5ml. This is incredibly different.”

She also said this is not the right to conclude whether this condition will improve significantly soon or not.

In addition, the National Weather Service is predicting rain and snow for this weekend.

Also, she said for this particular climate weather cycle, the climate couldn’t be blamed. But, dry conditions are moving forward.

Hoffman said, “We can’t link one particular dry year to climate change but we can say that this is the sort of impact that we expect climate change to bring. So we do expect that as our climate changes we will see more dry years we will see more extreme condition.”

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Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

OTTAWA — The federal government has announced an additional $305 million to help Indigenous Peoples combat COVID-19.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the money is meant to help Indigenous communities prepare for emergencies and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

He says communities can also use the money for a variety of other measures, including helping elders and vulnerable people, food insecurity, educational and other supports for children and mental health assistance.

The new money will flow through the Indigenous community support fund, bringing the total amount to $685 million this year.

Some funding will also go to First Nations living off-reserve as well as Inuit and Metis people living in urban centres, distributed based on need through an application process.

Miller says Ottawa is committed to ensuring Indigenous leaders have the tools and support they need to implement the various aspects of their pandemic plans.

“This funding will provide crucial support to key community initiatives that strive to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities,” he said.

“This approach aligns with our commitment to support Indigenous leadership’s approaches to community wellness while providing the flexibility to respond to emerging needs, for example in response to an outbreak of COVID-19.”

To date there have been 425 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, with 34 people hospitalized. Of these, 393 have recovered from the virus. There have also been 17 cases in the Nunavik region in northern Quebec. All have recovered.

The federal government has acknowledged that COVID-19 case counts among Indigenous Peoples do not reflect the true impact on Indigenous communities and individuals, as they only capture statistics from those living on reserves or in Inuit territories. The majority of Indigenous people in Canada live off reserve.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

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B.C. students to return to school Sept. 10 as part of gradual restart

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s Education Ministry says children will be returning to classrooms two days later than originally planned as part of a gradual restart to schooling.

Education Minister Rob Fleming told reporters Tuesday that students wouldn’t be expected back on the original date of Sept. 8 to help give administrators and teachers more time to prepare for education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The ministry now says in a release that staff will meet on Sept. 8, while students will be welcomed in classrooms by Sept. 10.

A government steering committee, established to help schools plan their restart, will issue operational guidelines next week on issues ranging from health and safety protocols to supporting the mental health of students.

The change in the start date comes after concerns were raised by the BC Teachers’ Federation and the BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association.

Federation president Teri Mooring has called for more details on the government’s school plan, saying the information is needed for educators and parents.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Aug. 12, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Carleton ends student placements with police over failures to address racism

OTTAWA — Carleton University’s criminology school says it will no longer place students to work with police forces and prisons as a show of solidarity with the movement to address systemic racism in Canada’s criminal justice institutions.

Carleton’s Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice said in a statement Tuesday that the move will affect about 22 student placement positions in the 2020-2021 school year.

Since its creation 21 years ago, the institute says thousands of students have gained experience in the field through placements with the RCMP, Correctional Services Canada, the Ottawa Police Service and the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.

Faculty say the decision to end these opportunities comes in response to calls for organizations to cut ties with law enforcement agencies facing mounting public scrutiny over racist practices.

They say these institutions have demonstrated their “imperviousness to reform,” pointing to the recent string of police killings of Black, Indigenous or otherwise racialized people and those suffering from mental health challenges.

The institute says it hopes to expand student placement opportunities at research initiatives and community-based organizations working on a range of issues related to policing, criminal justice and social welfare.

Carleton is one of many schools with criminology programs that are re-examining their relationships with law enforcement as the push to reform or defund police forces gains traction across Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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