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Calgary

Why Many Military Veterans Aren’t Scared, Instead They Are Prepared

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If you were to see Bigfoot strolling down your back alley, but were too stunned by the spectacle to get it on camera with your phone, you’d likely convince yourself that it never actually happened.  If however, you did get it on camera, as did several of your neighbours, …you’d still likely dismiss the event as a hoax. Only if the Bigfoot tripped, broke it’s leg, was captured, and the captors were fully transparent with their findings, would most people be able to accept that they actually did see a Sasquatch.  When we have a new experience which contradicts our perception of reality, it’s human nature to dismiss this experience. When the information is simply too much to process, …we just don’t. Instead of processing the data, our mind tends to simply dismiss the information.

The mind will often dismiss uncomfortable information in one of four ways. Either it will:

  1. Trivialize
  2. Rationalize
  3. Replace with comfortable information
  4. Dismiss it entirely.  (block/forget)

No matter how strong you believe your mind is, or how open minded you feel you are, we all have limitations on what we can, and can not accept as true. The first step for increasing your capacity for uncomfortable information, is the self awareness that you do in fact have limits.  Once you acknowledge this fact, you will be more aware of where your limits are, and when your mind is holding you back from seeing a situation clearly and fully.

The COVID19 situation is changing rapidly.  Every day we have information which is either changing, expanding, or brand new.  The constant movement of the goalposts further agitates our minds because of the increasing lack of certainty.  The Government has always resisted full transparency, but now is the time for them to throw off the shackles of their visceral instinct to make EVERY issue political, and instead just do what’s right, and be 100% honest with us.  The more honest the Government is with us right now, the less uncertainty we will feel. The more certainty we have, the more we will be able to prepare ourselves both mentally, and physically for what’s coming.

False hope is just as bad, perhaps even worse than unnecessary fear.  Either position can lead the mind to react with panic. Panic is the worst case scenario and each of us as individuals must take personal responsibility to not panic, or worse, spread panic. If you’re asking yourself, “but how?”, I’ll now explain the title of this article.

When a Soldier arrives in a war zone for the first time, fear is a guarantee.  No matter how extreme the situation however, after a few weeks the Soldier usually gets acclimatized, and becomes comfortable in a situation that most people would find completely overwhelming. This “acclimatization” process creates a permanent change in the Soldier.  For the rest of that Soldiers life, they will be relatively un-flapped by future extreme circumstances.

Over the last 25 years I’ve experienced a ridiculous amount of emergency situations where I was “the guy” who responded, and took charge.  From fatal car accidents, to homicide, destiny has repeatedly put me in situations where I responded with action, instead of freezing with fear. I have this ability because of the training and experiences from an entire generation ago.  The mental ability to accept extreme situations just never leaves you.

Fast forward to today.  The entire globe is now wrestling with a new, and scary reality.  As a response, some people who are gripped by fear are panic buying toilet paper instead of food.

When emotion is high…rationale is low.

Military Veterans (especially if they have been deployed to a war zone) have been conditioned to respond to new situations by being able to improvise, adapt, and overcome.  This is the mantra which all of us must adapt now during this pandemic. We are in a fluid situation which is changing rapidly. If you respond to a fluid situation with a static mindset, then you’re going to struggle greatly.

Secondly, Military Veterans KNOW they are prepared, because they have followed an extensive “Kit List”.  The kit list is a checklist of items which have been issued. When you know you have all the required items, you know you are prepared and ready.  For the rest of us, creating this list will also give you a sense of calm, and confidence that you are ready to handle whatever is ahead. Just make sure that toilet paper isn’t the only item on your list, or you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

Your list can include a personal economic plan. If you’re out of work right now, what else could you be doing to earn an income?  Now is the time to consider new options. Have a look at your pantry, and ensure you have an ample supply of the basic staples. Shop smarter, and with a fresh perspective on what is important, and what is not.  Now is not the time for frivolities.

Lastly, remember to make time for fun family activities which have nothing to do with the current crisis.  Connect, laugh, and enjoy each other for at least 30 minutes a day. Play a funny board game, or play some cards.  Pull out the ball gloves, and play catch, or throw some horseshoes. Get off your screens, and stay connected with those you care about by safely interacting with them.  Remember your self care, and take the time to recharge.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary

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Alberta

De Havilland Canada to build airline manufacturing plant east of Calgary

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By Colette Derworiz in Calgary

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. announced plans Wednesday to build a new aircraft manufacturing plant east of Calgary that could eventually employ up to 1,500 people.

The company said the facility, dubbed De Havilland Field, is to be located in Wheatland County between the communities of Chestermere and Strathmore. De Havilland said it has acquired about 600 hectares of land in the area.

It said construction could begin as early as next year, with its first buildings operational by 2025 — though the project’s full buildout could take years.

“This is a huge day for our company and for our customers past, present and future who rely on us to keep our airplanes flying,” CEO Brian Chafe said at a news conference in Calgary.

“De Havilland Field will be a full aerospace campus, from aircraft manufacturing, assembly, delivery, research and development, educational facilities and distribution.”

The plant is to be the site of final assembly for the DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft, DHC Twin Otter and the Dash 8-400 aircraft.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called it a “banner day for Alberta’s economy, for diversification in this province, for manufacturing and most importantly for the aviation sector.”

He said aviation will be a major part of Alberta’s future.

“Today, that dream comes through in technicolor with De Havilland Field, a cutting edge, world-leading aerospace campus that over the years to come could employ up to 1,500 Albertans in high-paying jobs.”

Tanya Fir, the province’s minister of jobs, economy and innovation, added that it was a “huge win” for the province.

“We wanted to find ways to leverage Alberta’s strengths, like our available land close to logistical hubs and our young, skilled and motivated workforce, to find a path back to our position as Canada’s economic engine,” she said in a statement.

“De Havilland’s investment in Alberta, to help carry forward its aircraft into its second century of operations, proves that our plan is working.”

Amber Link, reeve of Wheatland County, said she couldn’t be more excited to have De Havilland make its permanent home in the rural area.

“Today is pivotal,” she said. “The decision to build De Havilland Field in Wheatland is revolutionary in the diversification of our economy. The employment opportunities being created are significant and will capitalize on the long-standing strong work ethic that built Wheatland County.

“That same work ethic that built Wheatland County and Alberta will now build legendary planes.”

Company co-owner Sherry Brydson said the full project will take a long time to complete and will depend on the growth trajectory of the business.

“De Havilland Field, like Rome — I have to warn you — won’t be built in a day,” she said. “We anticipate the full buildout will take somewhere between 10 and 15 years. We’re planning to take it slowly and seriously … and we’re going to make sure it works.”

Company co-owner Rob McDonald said De Havilland doesn’t need government handouts and aims to be self-sufficient.

“We need people to buy our planes. We don’t really need or want support from the government.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2022.

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Alberta

Fatality inquiry begins into death of Calgary teen who weighed 37 pounds

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CALGARY — An Alberta judge is looking for answers in the case of a 15-year-old boy who died in his Calgary home weighing less than 37 pounds.

Alexandru Radita died in May 2013 of bacterial sepsis brought on by complications due to untreated diabetes and starvation.

His parents, who had moved from B.C. to Alberta, were found guilty in 2017 of first-degree murder.

Witnesses at the trial testified that the Raditas refused to accept their son had diabetes, failed to treat his disease and kept him isolated at home.

Alberta provincial court Judge Sharon Van de Veen said Monday the fatality inquiry will seek to find out what could have been done to save the boy’s life and prevent other cases like this from happening again.

There were government officials involved throughout this child’s life, including child and family services in the province of British Columbia and doctors and pharmacists,” Van de Veen said.

“I will not be reviewing the facts relating to the horror of this child’s life. My purpose is going to be to review to what extent the state itself could have intervened in the life of this child to save his life.”

Van de Veen said the inquiry, which is scheduled to run all week, will see if protocols between the children’s services ministries in Alberta and B.C. would help in similar cases. She also questioned if a pharmacists association could provide assistance when insulin is accessed sporadically for patients.

The first day of the inquiry focused on whether Alex’s lack of attendance in his home-schooling could have alerted officials.

He was enrolled in a Catholic home-schooling program in September 2009 for Grade 5, but not a single piece of work from him was submitted. Teachers and a principal attempted to contact his parents through phone calls and letters throughout the school year but were not able to reach them.

Michel Despins, vice-principal of the School of Hope online school, said 25 attempts were made to reach the Raditas. Neither Alex nor his three siblings ever submitted school work.

Despins said there are now electronic records for each student, but any information about a student not registering is only available in Alberta.

Despins offered some possible solutions, including that a previous school board get an alert if a student is no longer registered anywhere.

He said there needs to be a protocol on what to do if that happens and parents can’t be reached.

“If in September we get an alert and we contact the parents and they register somewhere else, no problem. But if they do not, what’s the standard protocol to do with that?” he asked.

“Do you submit it to social services?”

Van de Veen said the inquiry will only hear from witnesses from Alberta, even though there were protection orders for Alex in place in B.C.

Emil Radita, Alex’s father, is watching the proceedings from prison in B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Pressfficials involved throughout this child’s life, including child and family services in the province of British Columbia and doctors and pharmacists,” Van de Veen said.

“I will not be reviewing the facts relating to the horror of this child’s life. My purpose is going to be to review to what extent the state itself could have intervened in the life of this child to save his life.”

Van de Veen said the inquiry, which is scheduled to run all week, will see if protocols between the children’s services ministries in Alberta and B.C. would help in similar cases. She also questioned if a pharmacists association could provide assistance when insulin is accessed sporadically for patients.

The first day of the inquiry focused on whether Alex’s lack of attendance in his home-schooling could have alerted officials.

He was enrolled in a Catholic home-schooling program in September 2009 for Grade 5, but not a single piece of work from him was submitted. Teachers and a principal attempted to contact his parents through phone calls and letters throughout the school year but were not able to reach them.

Michel Despins, vice-principal of the School of Hope online school, said 25 attempts were made to reach the Raditas. Neither Alex nor his three siblings ever submitted school work.

Despins said there are now electronic records for each student, but any information about a student not registering is only available in Alberta.

Despins offered some possible solutions, including that a previous school board get an alert if a student is no longer registered anywhere.

He said there needs to be a protocol on what to do if that happens and parents can’t be reached.

“If in September we get an alert and we contact the parents and they register somewhere else, no problem. But if they do not, what’s the standard protocol to do with that?” he asked.

“Do you submit it to social services?”

Van de Veen said the inquiry will only hear from witnesses from Alberta, even though there were protection orders for Alex in place in B.C.

Emil Radita, Alex’s father, is watching the proceedings from prison in B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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