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JULY 2009

2009 WORLD POLICE & FIRE GAMES ANNOUNCES PARADE OF ATHLETES

Vancouver. – July 2009 The 2009 World Police & Fire Games announced today that the Opening Ceremonies and Parade of Athletes will be taking place on Friday, July 31, 2009. Starting at 6:30 pm, the Parade of Athletes will march along Pacific Boulevard from TELUS World of Science to General Motors Place and will be led by an Honour Guard with mounted officers, police and fire dogs, followed by a marching band and approximately 10,000 athletes representing 55 countries from around the world. Following the Parade of Athletes, the World Police and Fire Games Opening Ceremonies will take place from 8 pm at General Motors Place in Vancouver and is sold out. The Parade of Athletes is the community component of the opening celebrations. This spectacular array of everyday heroes will entertain spectators along the Pacific Boulevard parade path between TELUS World of Science and General Motors Place. At Creekside Park there will be mascots, stilt walkers, interactive 911 and museum displays as well as modern and vintage police and fire vehicles. Be sure to attend on Friday, July 31 from 5:00 pm to watch this colorful parade and to welcome the world’s finest firefighters, law enforcement, correctional services and customs officers to Vancouver. This event is easily accessible by SkyTrain and is located between Main Street Station and Stadium Station. The Opening Ceremonies is the official launch to the 2009 World Police & Fire Games and will feature breathtaking performances and a spectacular production. Honourary athletes will ignite the cauldron and spark the celebration of the Games ahead. To highlight the spirit of camaraderie that is inherent in the Games, these ceremonies will be fun and will feature great music. Music legend Randy Bachman will headline with special guests Jim Byrnes, Shaun Verreault from Wide Mouth Mason and local band Redgy Blackout, the winning contestant from the recent Vancouver Sound-Off Battle of the Police & Fire Rock Bands. Over 10,000 participants representing law enforcement, customs, corrections, and fire and emergency service personnel from around the world will gather in Vancouver to compete in over 66 distinct sporting events for the 2009 World Police & Fire Games. Join us for the Parade of Athletes from 5:00 pm on July 31 at Creekside Park by TELUS World of Science. The Games will draw to its official end at Swangard Stadium with the two-hour Closing Ceremony on August 9, 2009. Vancouver’s John Donnelly & Associates will be producing these events.


PRIME MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS STRENGTHENING OF CANADA-FRANCE RELATIONS

July 2, 2008 Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed Prime Minister François Fillon of France to Ottawa for a one-day working visit. The two prime ministers met to discuss issues of importance to Canada and France, including Afghanistan, the upcoming G8 Summit, October’s Francophonie Summit in Quebec City and the Canada-European Union Summit, to be held in Canada this fall. Prime Minister Fillon's visit coincides with the beginning of France's six-month term where it holds the EU Council Presidency. “I am pleased to have met with Prime Minister Fillon and to have furthered our bilateral relations through the discussion of key issues of interest to our two countries,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Canada and France are important partners on the world stage, and I am pleased we have had the chance to work closely together ahead of the Canada-European Union Summit and the Francophonie Summit.” The two prime ministers also discussed issues such as international efforts to combat climate change and the possible launch of negotiations on a closer economic partnership between Canada and the EU. At the conclusion of their meetings, the two leaders signed a declaration covering four memorandums of understanding (MOU), designed to strengthen relations between Canada and France. “Signing these arrangements highlights Canada’s rich relationship with France, and will generate concrete benefits for the people of both our countries,” said Prime Minister Harper. “These arrangements will help us to deepen our cooperation with France in cutting-edge areas of scientific research.” The MOU are between Health Canada and the French Food Safety Agency, MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems) and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science; the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada and the French Atomic Energy Commission; and between the NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program and OSEO, the French government’s support program for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The day following his arrival in Ottawa, Prime Minister Fillon will travel to Quebec City to participate in the July 3 opening ceremonies for the city’s 400th anniversary, which will be celebrated across Canada.


PRIME MINISTER CONGRATULATES TEAM CANADA ON SILVER MEDAL AT 2008 WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS

May 18, 2008 Québec

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today to congratulate Canada’s national hockey team on winning the silver medal at the 2008 World Hockey Championship: “Along with all Canadians, I am proud of the outstanding performance by our men’s hockey team at the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championship. This silver medal is very special because, for the first time ever, the championship was held on Canadian soil. The passion for the game shown by both Team Canada and the fans demonstrated once again that hockey truly is Canada’s game. The 2008 tournament was held in Canada for the first time, in recognition both of the birthplace of ice hockey and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Games were played in both Halifax and Québec City. The Canadian team also did Québec City proud, in this special year of its 400th anniversary. This most recent silver medal makes this Canada's 45th medal since the tournament began in 1920. It was an honour to attend this thrilling game with thousands of Canadians, my son Ben, and the sons of two brave members of the Canadian Forces who recently served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would also like to thank the IIHF, tournament organizers, and the volunteers who worked so hard in Halifax and Québec City. I would also like to thank Hockey Canada for all the work it does to develop generation after generation of the best players in the world.”


BC Building Trades unions urge federal Conservatives, Liberals to support New Democratic Party call for total ban on use and export of deadly asbestos from Canada, citing expected 1,500 BC workers' deaths over next 5 years

VANCOUVER, April 27 /CNW/ - BC's Building Trades unions are urging Members of Parliament from the federal Conservative, Liberal and Bloc Quebecois parties to support a New Democratic Party call for a total ban on the use or export of deadly asbestos mined in Canada. Mesothelioma and other asbestos exposure illnesses are expected to kill 1,500 BC workers over the next five years, according to medical experts, with the overwhelming majority from the construction industry, says Wayne Peppard, Executive Director of the BC and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council (BCYT). The new NDP policy calls on the federal government to adopt a comprehensive policy on asbestos including the phasing out of its use and export to other countries, as well as a transition strategy to assist asbestos miners in Quebec, Peppard said. "The current Conservative and past Liberal governments have failed to stop the use and export of deadly asbestos for years and workers here are already paying a heavy price for their inaction," Peppard said. "We are urging both parties to join the NDP in supporting the end to the use and export of asbestos and a fair transition program for the asbestos industry." Recently released research findings from the UBC School of Environmental Health indicate over 1,500 BC workers will die from asbestos-related diseases over the next five years, Peppard said. Construction workers in the piping and insulation fields are suffering the most fatalities, he said. Peppard said the federal NDP position backs the Canadian Cancer Society, the World Health Organization and the Institute National de Sante du Quebec, which have all confirmed the carcinogenic toxins in asbestos and called for comprehensive strategies to phase out the use and export of asbestos. The NDP policy calls for economic development investments in Quebec communities that have been negatively affected by the asbestos industry crisis, Peppard said. The plan also calls for testing and the safe removal of asbestos in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, he added. "Canada is among a very few countries left in the world that have not ratified the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the United Nations Rotterdam Convention," Peppard said. "We urge all of the federal parties to support a total ban on use and export of asbestos before the next meeting by the UN on the Rotterdam Convention in October."

For further information: Call Wayne Peppard, BCYT at cell (778) 388-0014 or (604) 291-9020 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at cell (778) 896-0964 or (604) 844-7827; Website: www.bcbuildingtrades.org


STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ON THE DEATH OF A CANADIAN SOLDIER IN AFGHANISTAN

December 30, 2007 Ottawa, Ontario Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the death of a Canadian soldier and the wounding of four others in Afghanistan: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of Gunner Jonathan Dion, who was killed today in Afghanistan. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends during this very difficult time. I also wish a speedy recovery to the four other soldiers injured in this incident. These brave Canadian soldiers were helping bring hope to a population that has seen much hardship. We will not forget the sacrifice made by Gunner Dion while working to make life better for others. Canada is in Afghanistan as part of a UN-sanctioned mission to help build a stable, democratic, and self-sufficient society. Reconstruction and development in Afghanistan cannot occur in an unstable environment. These Canadian soldiers were working to provide security and help create the conditions needed to improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan." Gunner Jonathan Dion was a member of the 5th Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada, based in Valcartier, Québec.


City and CUPE 1004 ratify collective agreement

City of Vancouver October 14, 2007

The City of Vancouver and CUPE 1004 have reached an agreement. Today, members of CUPE 1004 voted to adopt the recommendations put forward by mediator Brian Foley. Because Vancouver City Council and the Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Bureau already accepted the mediator's recommendations, with CUPE 1004's vote, the agreement has been ratified. The City of Vancouver welcomes back its staff represented by CUPE 1004 starting tomorrow. This means that garbage collection will resume Monday, October 15. The City will follow the regular collection schedule. Residents will be able to put out up to six extra bags of properly bagged garbage for the first two weeks of garbage pick-up. Residents are asked to hold back their recyclables and yard trimmings for the first two weeks of collection. The City's landfill and transfer station will also open tomorrow but long line-ups and delays are expected. Park Board services will resume as soon as possible. Details will be available on the Park Board's website at vancouverparks.ca. CUPE 1004 represents the City's outside workers ranging from garbage collection to gardeners.


Guatemala se prepara para el Foro Social América

TeleSUR _ 26/05/07 La defensa de los recursos naturales, los efectos del Tratado de Libre Comercio de Estados Unidos con Centroamérica y la amenaza de los agrocombustibles, serán algunos de los temas del próximo Foro Social América, dijeron este viernes sus organizadores. Juan Tiney, dirigente de la Coordinadora Nacional Indígena y Campesina, informó que la cita continental está prevista en Guatemala del 7 al 12 de octubre del próximo año, para que coincida con el día de la resistencia de los pueblos que se celebra el doce de octubre. Otra de las temáticas que se debatirán en las mesas de trabajo es el uso de alimentos para producir el biocombustibe etanol, lo cual amenaza la vida y la cultura de los pueblos, declaró Tiney. "Es una ofensa convertir el sagrado maíz en combustible cuando muchas familias se mueren de hambre por no tener una tortilla", dijo. Recordó el dirigente indígena y campesino que el precio del grano no ha bajado de los 140 quetzales el quintal (unos 18 dólares) cuando normalmente en épocas de cosecha llega a descender a 50 (siete dólares). Otro objetivo central del foro es analizar los estragos del Tratado de Libre Comercio de Estados Unidos con Centroamérica y la explotación irracional de los recursos naturales de la región por las transnacionales mineras, indicó Tiney.


Dialectos mayas queqchí, kakchiquel y pocoman serán traducidos al sistema braille

TeleSUR 08/04/07 En un esfuerzo que permitirá a niños ciegos aprender a leer en su idioma materno y la alfabetización de adultos con la misma dificultad, la Academia de Lenguas Mayas en asociación con otros organismos de Guatemala traducirán al sistema braille los dialectos mayas queqchí, kakchiquel y pocoman, los más utilizados en ese país. Los tres dialectos mayas más utilizados en Guatemala, el queqchí, el kakchiquel y el pocoman, serán traducidos al sistema braille, (método de lectura dactilológico). según informó el representante del Comité de Prociegos y Sordos de ese país, Sebastián Toledo. "La iniciativa permitirá a niños con dificultades visuales aprender a leer en su idioma materno y a adultos ciegos ser alfabetizados", añadió Toledo. El representante del Comité Prociegos y Sordos considera que el 70 por ciento de la población invidente de Guatemala la conforman indígenas. Técnicos de la Academia de Lenguas Mayas, en conjunto con la Asociación Nacional de Ciegos, el Consejo Nacional de Discapacidad y la Universidad de San Carlos, serán los encargados del proyecto. Por su parte, el presidente del Consejo Nacional de Educación Maya, Edgar Choguaj, considera que para el éxito de la iniciativa es necesaria la voluntad política del Estado guatemalteco. "La educación es un derecho que la Constitución garantiza para todos y el Estado está obligado a hacer que se cumpla", aseguró Choguaj. El llamado a la necesidad de terminar con la discriminación y la marginación establecido en el acuerdo sobre Identidad y Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, no ha sido escuchado del todo en Guatemala, país donde están en uso 24 idiomas y no obstante la educación bilingüe es muy limitada.

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