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Alberta

Rediscover Kombucha with Calgary Brewed Bar Star Buch

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What would you say if I told you there was an organic, fair trade, direct trade, ecosocial, rainforest certified, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, GMO free, vegan, non-alcoholic alternative that doesn’t taste like sawdust – brewed right here in Calgary? 

Introducing Bar Star Buch, the 2-person premium kombucha operation led by Boss Buch Suzanne Mills, the self-proclaimed former bar star on a mission to make sober – and healthy – sexy. Launched in February 2019, Bar Star Buch promotes gut health, mental health and wellness while providing a tasty, non-alcoholic alternative packed with additional nutrients and health benefits. According to Suzanne, “There are more neurons in the gut than in the spinal cord … your gut is likely filled with bad bugs, so you need the specialty ingredients, probiotics, enzymes and vitamins in our premium kombucha. Your gut is your second brain & where your immune system lives, which means that if your gut bacteria is out of balance, it directly affects not only how you feel physically, but also your mood, focus and stress levels.” 

Be it a personal preference, a designated-driver situation, recovery, or any other untold possibility, there are plenty of reasons someone may choose not to drink on a night out. However, the availability of non-alcoholic alternatives often falls short of appealing, especially in a city with a booming craft beer industry. “As a non-drinker, you have limited options,” says Suzanne, “pop, decaf coffee, or kids menu. We wanted to make an inclusive, health-conscious, low sugar alternative that normalizes not drinking in a social setting.” 

Bar Star Buch offers a variety of flavors, each with their own premium organic ingredients designed to promote overall health and wellness. “It’s not just a standard, “hippie” kombucha brand,” says Suzanne, “if you’re gonna drink kombucha anyway, you may as well get a bit of a bonus. So every single flavor has some kind of additional health benefit.”

For example, the original Basic Buch, featuring organic black tea, green tea, lime juice, ginger and spearmint focuses on gently calming overall gut upset. The Buch Slap is an organic pineapple, lemongrass and cayenne pepper combination aimed at detoxification and metabolism function. The Namaste Buches features organic wild blueberry juice, elderberries, schisandra berries and rhodiola root to boost immune function and promote relaxation. All of which taste great – it’s the adult equivalent of hiding vegetables in your child’s mac & cheese so they get the nutrients they need without even knowing it. 

In addition to the Bar Star Buch line-up of delicious, health-conscious flavors, they also feature specialty seasonal brews in support of local charities that focus on improving mental health and wellness in all of it’s forms. 100% of the profits from each specialty brew are donated to designated charities across Calgary. Previous charitable campaigns include the Fall 2019 Crazy Buch brew in support of the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre, and the Spring 2020 Komboujee Brew, which raised almost $1,500 for Cerebral Palsy Kids & Families. “We intentionally support small, local organizations,” says Suzanne, “We’re very, very mindful of that. Especially in this economy, it’s the little ones that are really struggling and can benefit the most from our contributions.” 

Bar Star Buch is currently raising money for Tiny Footprints Pregnancy and Infant Loss, and will be announcing their Spring 2021 charitable partner in March. 

Right now, you can find Bar Star Buch in single serving bottles at Trolley 5 on 17th Ave and on-tap at Common Bond Bar on Stephen Ave, as well as a number of organic markets throughout the city. It is also available to Work Nicer members at several co-working spaces throughout Calgary and Edmonton.

For more information on Bar Star Buch, visit https://ilovethisbar.ca.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Reducing funding for RCMP on the table for Saskatchewan amid firearm buyback debate

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REGINA — Saskatchewan says it would consider reducing its funding for the RCMP if the force was to help the federal government with its proposed firearms buyback program.

Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says all options are on the table, signalling the province will not help Ottawa collect guns it has banned.

“We as a province fund the RCMP to a tune of 70 per cent, so it could even get more interesting,” Tell said Thursday.

The Saskatchewan Party government said it is pushing back to protect law-abiding firearms owners from what it views as federal intrusion on its provincial autonomy.

Under Ottawa’s proposed firearms buyback program, it would be mandatory for people to have their assault-style firearms rendered inoperable or have them discarded. That could also include centrefire semi-automatic rifles or shotguns designed to accept a detachable magazine that can hold more than five cartridges.

In response, Saskatchewan has introduced its own firearms act to forbid municipalities and police services from receiving federal money to help confiscate firearms.

The proposed law says a municipality, police service or board would have to get written approval from the province’s public safety minister before agreeing to support the federal buyback program.

It also states that Saskatchewan’s chief firearms officer would enforce which federal agent can or cannot confiscate firearms in the province.

“These legal firearm owners are not the ones committing the crimes,” Tell said.

The legislation was tabled Thursday, months after Tell wrote a letter to Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, the head of Saskatchewan’s RCMP. It stated that the province would not support the Mounties using provincially funded resources to help confiscate firearms.

Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick have sent similar letters to their RCMP forces. They have joined Saskatchewan in asking Ottawa to not use up “scarce RCMP and municipal resources” for its buyback program.

In October, Blackmore said Mounties are service providers, not decision-makers, and any decisions over the buyback program are between the federal and provincial governments.

“As the service provider, we would be the individuals that get our information from them,” Blackmore told The Canadian Press.

That includes if additional resources would be needed by RCMP once the buyback program rolls out.

“It would depend on the level of expectation, and what that looks like, and what the involvement is if there are additional resources,” Blackmore said.

The specific role of the RCMP and the details surrounding the buyback program have not been determined.

On Friday, the Saskatchewan RCMP said it will continue to prioritize front-line services and the safety of communities is its highest priority.

The Saskatchewan Firearms Act also calls for helping firearm owners get fair market value for guns collected through the buyback program and would require all seized firearms to go through forensic and ballistic testing.

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, which advocates for hunters and the protection of the province’s hunting heritage, praised the proposed act, saying it would mitigate the “draconian” federal legislation.

There are approximately 115,000 licensed firearms owners in Saskatchewan, 75,000 of whom may be penalized under the federal government’s policy. That’s about 10 per cent of Saskatchewan’s adult population, the province said.

Saskatchewan’s NDP Opposition has stood united with the government to denounce the program.

“It does not strike the right balance for Saskatchewan,” justice critic Nicole Sarauer said last week in the legislature.

“These amendments are overbroad and capture rifles that have legitimate uses for both hunters and producers in Saskatchewan.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2022.

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Premier Smith goes on the attack against NDP opposition to the Alberta Sovereignty Act

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It appears Premier Danielle Smith has had enough of playing defence. In the days since introducing the Alberta Sovereignty Act in the Alberta Legislature this week, Smith has found herself explaining and re-explaining how the Act will survive scrutiny and serve the province well in ongoing battles over issues of contention with Ottawa.  Peppered by the media and by the Official Opposition NDP inside and outside the legislature, Smith and her team decided to turn the tables.
The media and the official opposition claim the Sovereignty Act allows laws to be crafted by cabinet members “behind closed doors” after the legislature has declared a federal overreach into provincial jurisdiction.
However that appears to be a confusing opposition tactic since the Sovereignty Act does not require the passing of new laws.  Rather, the Province will simply provide reasons for declining to enforce federal laws which (i) intrudes into provincial legislation jurisdiction, (ii) violates the rights and freedoms of Albertans under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or (iii) causes or is anticipated to cause harm to Albertans.
Thursday, Premier Smith took the opportunity during Ministerial Statements to lash out at the opposition leader Rachel Notley for siding with Ottawa instead of Alberta in the struggle to defend provincial rights.

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