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Budget 2018 plays long game when it comes to boosting number of women in sports



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OTTAWA — The Liberal government wants to see gender equality in Canadian sports — from the local arena to the Olympics — by 2035, a vision articulated in a federal budget aimed at increasing opportunities for women and girls.

The long-term target comes with $30 million over three years to get the ball rolling towards that goal, including for data and research to figure out why fewer women and girls take part in sports or other physical activity than do men and boys.

“Once we better understand why women and girls choose not to participate in sport, or move into the senior ranks of coaching or management of sport, we can then work to remove those barriers,” Jocelyn Sweet, a spokeswoman for the Department of Finance, wrote in an email Wednesday.

The budget said the money would also support innovative practices to tackle the problem, as well as efforts by national sports organizations to promote a higher rate of participation of women and girls, both on the ice and behind the bench.

Statistics Canada estimated in 2010 that about one-third of Canadian men regularly participated in sport, compared with just one-sixth of Canadian women.

In a report released last fall, the House of Commons heritage committee recommended setting specific targets for getting more women and girls involved in sport.

Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, called the funding a historic step that she suggested could finally provide the momentum necessary to change the numbers in a meaningful way.

“The gap is just so stubborn,” said Sandmeyer-Graves, who warned against the conventional belief that it’s just the way things are.

“I don’t think that we should be satisfied with the fact that girls and women participate and need less than men and are reaping the benefits of sport less than boys and men.”

The details remain to be seen, but sports organizations are hoping it means help for their ongoing efforts to achieve a greater balance.

Gord Grace, CEO of Ontario University Athletics, said he would welcome any support for recruiting and retaining more female athletes at a crucial age.

“We know that a lot of females drop out of sports once they get out of high school or above the age of 17,” Grace said.

There are about 10,000 student athletes that compete in the system, and less than half are female, he added — a statistic that is partly skewed by the fact that one of the biggest sports is football, which has no teams for women.

Sandra Murray-MacDonell, CEO of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association, said her organization offers teams for men and women in all its sports, but is still fighting systemic barriers to getting female athletes into top coaching positions.

The association has a female apprenticeship coaching program that is designed to get graduating college athletes into the coaching profession, she said — but while about 66 per cent do become coaches, they remain in assistant coaching positions or become head coaches at lower-level clubs, she added.

Part of the problem, said Murray-MacDonell, is that the hiring practices at colleges ask for head coach experience, setting up a catch-22 that forces those women to build up their resumes elsewhere.

“We’ll have to look at some of those barriers,” she said.

Those barriers to girls can crop up right at the community level, added Sandmeyer-Graves.

“In a lot of instances, it’s really hard for girls’ teams to get spaces to play, because the boys’ teams are really grandfathered in,” she said, meaning girls have to pay higher prices to get space and time at private recreational facilities.

“That can almost be like a tax on being a girl in the system.”

— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press

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Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects



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OTTAWA — Cities, provinces and territories building new roads, bridges, water and transit systems funded with federal dollars will have to let Indigenous Peoples, veterans and recent immigrants have a hand in those projects under new rules being unveiled today.

The idea of so-called community benefits will be a mandatory requirement for many infrastructure projects the federal government will help pay for through its $33-billion spending envelope.

Provinces and territories will have some leeway to decide what projects are to be subject to the rules. Those projects that are will have to explain publicly how far they have come in meeting the government’s goals.

Under the new guidelines, provinces, territories and cities would have to hire apprentices, Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women, or procure goods and services from small- and medium-sized businesses or social enterprises.

Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi will be in Toronto to unveil the new rules alongside the MP that first brought the idea to him two years ago — Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

Community benefit agreements have been used for years in the United States and were applied to the construction of the athletes’ village for the Vancouver Olympics. The agreements require projects to hire locally or create jobs for groups facing high unemployment rates, such as young people and Aboriginals.

The deals are usually negotiated among private companies doing work, the public body funding the project and community groups like unions, faith-based groups or social services.

The Liberals inserted broad wording about community benefit requirements into infrastructure funding deals that provinces and territories signed over the past year.

Once construction starts on projects funded through those agreements, the Liberals want to see how many hours the targeted populations work, or the value of the contracts provided to targeted businesses, to see how well proponents are doing at meeting their goals.

There will also be requirements to explain the challenges and successes provinces, territories and cities have in meeting the community benefit goals.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

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‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing



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VANCOUVER — A Vancouver man who sold bottles of “Hot Dog Water” for nearly $40 each says he was trying to see how marketing of health claims backed by supposed science amounts to quick sales.

Douglas Bevans said he boiled about 100 organic beef hot dogs and put each one in a bottle of the water he sold at an annual car-free event.

Each bottle of the “keto-compatible,” unfiltered water sold for $37.99, but two bottles cost only $75 because of a special deal last Sunday at his booth, where he wore a hot dog onesie and promoted himself as CEO of Hot Dog Water.

Bevans promised the water would lead to increased brain function, weight loss and a youthful appearance, even erasing crow’s feet when applied to the face in the form of a lip balm, which he also happened to sell.

“We noticed that some people were rubbing lip balm on their crow’s feet and they were swearing their crow’s feet were disappearing before their eyes,” he said.

One man who rubbed the lip balm on his “dome” sent him photos suggesting it promoted hair growth, Bevans said.

While many people laughed, he said others were impressed by the health benefits they’d experience with his unique products, including body spray and “Hot Dog Water breath freshener.”

Bevans said he sold 60 litres worth of the products.

He told people the water creates quicker sodium uptake for good health, uttering sheer quackery: “Because Hot Dog Water and perspiration resemble each other so when you drink Hot Dog Water it bypasses the lymphatic system, whereas other waters have to go through your filtering system, so really, Hot Dog Water has three times as much uptake as coconut water.”

Bevans, who is really a tour operator and a performance artist, said he came up with the idea as he questioned the ridiculous marketing and health claims behind some products and thought to himself: “I bet I could sell hot dog water.”

“We’re helping people, empowering them to use informed decisions in their purchasing choices,” he said about his marketing stunt. “That is the message behind this.”

His aim is to get consumers to bypass slick marketing and think about what they’re buying, especially in the age of social media clicks and ‘likes’ involving celebrities pitches.

Bevans said he thought of his project as an art performance to create awareness about critical thinking.

“Art, I think, has a way of doing this better than if this was a public service announcement. There’s an image attached to it, that it’s ridiculous.”

— Follow @CamilleBains 1 on Twitter.


Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

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Community Events

june, 2018

wed30may - 26sepmay 303:30 pmsep 26ATB Financial Downtown Market(may 30) 3:30 pm - (september 26) 6:30 pm

sun10jun - 24jun 1010:00 amjun 242018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - 4:00 pm (24)

sun17jun - 1juljun 1710:00 amjul 1- 4:00 pm2018 Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival10:00 am - (july 1) 4:00 pm

tue19jun - 15juljun 198:00 pmjul 15Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 15) 10:30 pm

thu21jun - 3juljun 216:30 pmjul 3THE WORKS ART & DESIGN FESTIVAL6:30 pm - (july 3) 12:00 am

fri22jun - 1juljun 227:30 pmjul 1- 9:15 pmEdmonton International Jazz Festival7:30 pm - (july 1) 9:15 pm

fri22jun - 23jun 229:00 pmjun 23A Weekend With St. James Gate I Bo's Bar & Stage9:00 pm - 1:00 am (23)

sat23junAll DayRed Deer Highland Games(All Day: saturday)

sat23jun4:00 pm- 8:00 pmOlds Beer Festival4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

sun24jun11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

mon25jun - 3sepAll DayRip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer(All Day)

tue26jun5:00 pm- 6:30 pmUnited Way Central Alberta Annual General Meeting5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

tue26jun - 22juljun 268:00 pmjul 22Freewill Shakespeare Festival8:00 pm - (july 22) 10:30 pm

wed27jun - 1juljun 279:00 amjul 1- 8:00 pmWestern Canadian Breeders Championships9:00 am - (july 1) 8:00 pm

wed27jun2:00 pm- 3:30 pmMayor’s Garden Party2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

sat30jun9:00 am- 12:00 pmRed Deer Roundup 5k/10k/15k Run9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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