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Edmonton

Niobe Thompson brings us a new documentary about humans and horses | Nature of Things

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3 minute read

Equus Doc: Story of the horse Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/equusdoc/

We’re surrounded by facebook posts, insta-stories & tweets, giving us, which seems like weekly, teasers of how the world is making innovations in human transportation. With tap ready headlines like “Canada falling behind in the race to build Elon Musk’s hyperloop.” Always driving us to look for the next best way to get to point B. But did we ever stop to wonder, and look back, before the world of trains and Teslas, how humans transformed the world of around us with horse power.

?What is it that makes humans and horses so perfect for each other. And how have we transformed the wild horse we tamed 6,000 years ago into over 400 specialized breeds today.

To answer these questions, Canadian celebrity anthropologist-turned-filmmaker Niobe Thompson, part of David Suzuki’s team at Nature of Things. Takes viewers on an epic journey across eleven countries on three continents and back in time to the mysterious beginnings of the horse-human relationship. Over three spectacular hours of cutting-edge science and gripping adventure, split up into a three part series launching Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 8PM (8:30 NT), with episodes 2 and 3 airing on subsequent Sundays. Thompson explores the evolution of horsepower, discovers how our ancestors tamed the horse and learns fascinating new insights into the body and mind of this unique animal.

Tickets for Advance Screening at the Winspear Centre on September 17th @ 6PM
https://www.winspearcentre.com/tickets/events/other/2018/equus-story-of-the-horse/

Thompson goes a global adventure of discovery, living and riding with horse nomads in Arabia, Siberia and Mongolia, travelling into the field with archeologists, geneticists, and horse psychologists, and above all, getting friendly with horses everywhere he goes.

In Episode 1, Origins, Thompson takes us 45 million years back in time to meet Dawn Horse, a creature that led to all horses today. Tiny, forest roaming, vulnerable to predators, and a fruit eater, Dawn Horse’s fossil remains are brought to life by evolutionary biologist Martin Fischer and Thompson’s team of 3D animators.

How do these huge animals practically fly?  Thompson visits some of the fastest, and most valuable, horses on Earth, and learns how elastic energy and a bizarre ability to breath-hold make these some of the fast land-runners in nature.

Why are horses so willing to please? Through some fascinating experiments, English horse psychologist Karen McComb discovers that horses use 17 different facial expressions to communicate. (That’s one more than dogs and three more than chimpanzees!)

Thompson spends a day in the Canadian Rockies with “extreme cowboy” Jimmy Anderson, a horse whisperer who has left the old idea of “breaking horses” behind. Anderson doesn’t break horses – he starts them. We get to learn his secrets, as he starts an “unbroke” colt.

Excerpts from https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/equus-the-story-of-the-horse

Alberta

Province forms Edmonton Public Safety Cabinet Committee in response to homeless encampment crisis

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Edmonton encampments: Deputy Premier Ellis

Deputy Premier Mike Ellis issued the below statement in response to Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi’s announcement of his intention to declare an emergency:

“In November, Premier Danielle Smith ordered that an emergency cabinet committee be created and convened in response to the issue of crime and gang-related activity within encampments across the City of Edmonton.

“Alberta’s government cares deeply about vulnerable Edmontonians and we will always ensure that anyone who wants shelter and supportive services will receive it. However, we will not stand by and watch as vulnerable Albertans and the general public continue to be extorted, taken advantage of and killed by gangsters and deadly drugs.

“The Edmonton Public Safety Cabinet Committee (EPSCC) is comprised of ministers from departments that oversee operations and/or administer programs that promote public safety and support the transition of Edmonton-based encampment residents into safe, secure and appropriate arrangements.

“The cabinet committee membership includes:

  • Danielle Smith, Premier (chair)
  • Mickey Amery, Minister of Justice
  • Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services
  • Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health
  • Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs
  • Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services
  • Searle Turton, Minister of Children and Family Services
  • Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction
  • Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“Also sworn into the committee are:

  • Cody Thomas, Grand Chief, Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations
  • Dale McPhee, Chief, Edmonton Police Service

“This committee has met continuously since its initial meeting on Nov. 29, 2023, to plan a joint response. Our government is working on an action plan alongside Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Police Service, the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and several departments from the City of Edmonton, including Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

“Our government will continue to respond to these issues following the expected court decision on Jan. 16, no matter the outcome. We will have a more detailed statement regarding this response once the court decision is made.”

Additional quotes

“It is dangerous for the mayor and others to continue to suggest that vulnerable Albertans do not have anywhere to turn. This is false and will lead to more folks choosing not to seek out shelter because they fear they’ll be turned away. I have said before and will continue to say: there is safe space in shelters around the city and nobody will be turned away. We have more than enough room for every homeless person in the city of Edmonton to have a warm, safe place to stay. It is completely inappropriate and dangerous for the mayor, or anyone, to suggest Edmonton is out of capacity in our social services sector or our emergency shelter systems. Anyone needing shelter space will be kept care of.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services

“I have been working and will continue to work diligently alongside the provincial government, in the spirit of reconciliation, for months on the serious action that is needed to get all people off the streets, including First Nations people. Encampments are not a safe place and letting people overdose and freeze in the cold is not reconciliation.”

Cody Thomas, Grand Chief, Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations 

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Alberta

City of Edmonton shuts down eighth homeless encampment after insuring space for occupants in warm shelters

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New release from the City of Edmonton

Closure of eighth high-risk encampment proceeds; court deliberations about future response activity continue
Additional requirements will continue to apply to the City’s response to eight high-risk homeless encampments while the Court considers questions of rights and public safety.
Court Hearing
Today, Justice Martin extended the conditions of the interim interim injunction to Tuesday, January 16. In addition to the City’s existing protocols, the Order requires the City to include the following considerations as part of its assessment and decision making process for eight high-risk encampment closures:
  • Before clearing the encampments, City and/or the Edmonton Police Service will make sure there is sufficient shelter space or other indoor space;
  • If there is not enough space, officers will close only if a danger to public health and safety;
  • City will consider the cold weather in decision making;
  • City will advise agencies at earliest convenience about closure;
  • Order does not impact ongoing wellness checks by City staff or fire services;
  • 48 hour notice will be given again to residents; and
  • Notice to include reason, date
Deliberations at today’s court hearing involved reviewing legal matters about representation and standing in the courts and whether particular evidence should be allowed.
Court deliberations continue on January 11 and January 16.
High-risk encampment closure at 95th Street and 101A Avenue
The scheduled closure and cleaning of a high-risk encampment in the vicinity of 95th Street and 101A Avenue resumed today. This is the last of eight sites subject to the conditions of the interim Order and the closure was in full compliance with the City’s obligations, including providing advance notice to social agencies.
An encampment may be assessed as high risk where there is a serious risk of injury or death due to fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, drug use, gang violence, physical violence including weapons, public health and/or sanitation risks, environmental degradation and/or criminal activity. It is also assessed based on its proximity to local amenities including schools and playgrounds, the number of people and structures in the encampment, if the location has previously been an encampment site and how long it has been in place.
This encampment meets several of these criteria and was the site of a serious sexual assault on December 16, 2023.
The extremely cold weather increases the already high risk of injury and death due to fire. In 2023, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services responded to 135 fires in encampments resulting in 22 injuries and three fatalities. In the last week two fires have led to injuries and one propane tank has exploded at encampment sites.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services reminds Edmontonians that open flames or heating elements situated too close to combustibles can start fires. With regard to propane tanks:
  • Propane cylinders should not be exposed to open flames.
  • Leaking cylinders can easily ignite and heated cylinders can explode.
Encampment Closure Facts – as of  4:00 p.m. Wednesday
Prior to today’s closure and cleanup, the City received confirmation from the Government of Alberta that there is sufficient shelter capacity for any individuals leaving the site who wish to access shelters. With the activation of the City’s extreme weather response this week, 50 shelter spaces at the Al Rashid Mosque were added. Additionally, 49 spaces opened at NiGiNan’s Pimatisiwin site (former Sands Hotel) and Enoch opened 10 additional spaces at the former Coliseum Inn site.
City crews will continue to clean the site as the day progresses. As a result, some of the information provided below is subject to change:
  • Encampment location – in the vicinity of 95th Street and 101A Avenue
  • Number of structures – 7
  • Number of occupants -5
  • Instances of medical aid provided -0
  • Arrests – 3 people were arrested and charges are pending by EPS
  • Tickets Issued – 0
  • Warrants executed – 0
  • Cleaning data
  • Truckloads/ kg waste removed – 21 truckloads (roughly 2,000 kg)
  • Needles – tbd
  • Shopping Carts – 7
  • Propane tanks – 31
  • The REACH 24/7 Crisis Diversion Teams were on site to provide transport and support as needed.
  • Today, as with other days, we considered the weather conditions in our decision. The increased risk of frostbite, hypothermia and injury from fire were important factors in the decision to proceed with action.
  • The extreme weather protocol activates enhanced supports for vulnerable Edmontonians including additional 50 shelter spaces at the Al Rashid Mosque.
  • Even with available shelter space, some Edmontonians experiencing homelessness may sometimes choose not to go to shelters.
Future Closures
Today’s closure is the last of the eight high-risk sites subject to the Order. The City continues to receive encampment complaints, and will continue to assess the risk of encampment sites as they are identified.
This is all the information the City is able to provide at this time.
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