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The Raptors (Ridgefield Raptors that is) are coming to Edmonton next summer

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At first word that the Raptors will be spending a few days in Edmonton next summer, sports fans might be excused for jumping up and down at the thought of a high-profile NBA event.

But the Raptors under discussion play another game — baseball — and they’re based not in Toronto but in Ridgefield, Wash., a small centre near the Washington-Oregon border which claims fewer than 10,000 residents in its Wikipedia profile. Edmonton — officially labeled the Riverhawks — is now a partner in the West Coast League, which develops college players and has seen several top prospects selected in recent Major League Baseball drafts.

Also joining this week are teams based in Kamloops and Nanaimo, bringing the British Columbia contingent to four teams. Victoria and Kelowna were already members of what now is a 15-team organization.

Teams currently occupy Yakima, Wenatchee, Walla Walla and Port Angeles in Washington, as well as Bend, Corvallis and other communities in Oregon.

The city of Edmonton confirmed months ago that the Edmonton Prospects of the Western Canadian Baseball League would not be returning to Re/Max Field. Several years of association with Pat Cassidy and the Prospects had led to difficult feelings on both sides.

The Prospects are developing a new facility in Stony Plain. It will be ready for competition in 2022. Cassidy has said his team will find another place to play in 2021. All comments on next year and beyond are based, of course, on the progress of local, provincial and national fights against COVID.

Randy Gregg, the former Edmonton Oilers defenceman who led the new group’s campaign to function in Re/Max Field, unveiled his new organization at a well-attended news conference and said several options concerning the WCBL were considered but “there were continuing roadblocks.”

During months of negotiation, Gregg and his supporters did not communicate with the public. Neither did city council. “When you sign a non-disclosure agreement, you have to abide by it. Your signature has to mean something,” he said.

Gregg insisted the Riverhawks organization has no ill feelings about the WCBL. “It might have worked well,” he said. A few casual remarks were made about the potential value to this entire region if both the WCBL and the WCL are profitable.

The Edmonton approach includes sharing in travel costs for existing West Coast League teams. Similar situations made it difficult for a pair of so-called “independent” teams to operate in the years after the Edmonton Trappers were sold and Edmonton had no significant baseball.

Gregg is convinced the new load of travel costs will not be insurmountable. The Riverhawks are a collection of 28 contributors. He also pointed out that at least a couple of Edmonton’s new partners are owned or controlled by owners with major-league connections.’

“We’ve got a big job ahead of us,” he said. “We know that a lot of baseball fans have never seen a game at Re/Max Field.”

As things were unfolding between the Prospects and city officials, there were regular suggestions that no lease would have been granted for the WCBL in 2021. “Can you imagine what it would feel like to have no baseball for maybe three or four years in this great sports city?”

Last week our nation ran into a spree of high-profile miracles

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‘Back to normal:’ Alberta to lift all remaining COVID-19 public health restrictions

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EDMONTON — Alberta will lift its remaining COVID-19 health restrictions on July 1, becoming the first province or territory in Canada to do so.

Premier Jason Kenney says 70.2 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and over have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

He says that means it’s safe to return to normal after the vaccines take full effect in two weeks.

Alberta has administered about 3.6 million vaccine doses and almost one-quarter of those eligible have had the required two shots.

Some doctors have said the province needs to get more second doses administered to be fully protected against the Delta variant.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says people who received their first dose in May are now eligible to book their second doses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Mission Update: A behind the scenes look at Alberta’s Army Reservists

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Submitted by: Canadian Forces Liaison Council

Join us for an informative webinar on June 23rd with guest speaker Colonel Mike Vernon, CD/Commander of 41 Canadian Brigade Group. 

Learn more and register for Mission Update Part 1: A behind the senes look at Alberta’s Army Reservists:

 

A behind the scenes look at who reservists are, what they do, and how the Alberta Reserve is preparing and training to support our communities and country when we need them most. 

Numerous Alberta businesses employ individuals who are members of the Reserve Force. When Alberta faces a disaster – the Covid-19 Pandemic, fires, floods – reservists are asked to respond to the call and assist in the survival and support of our communities. Responding to these calls often pulls reservists away from their regular employment.

Reservists are skilled and talented people who are part-time “citizen soldiers”, sailors and airmen/airwomen. In addition to their military responsibilities, they also work full time in the civilian workforce. They enhance corporate culture, small and large businesses, with the experience they have attained in the military. As a candidate for a position they have a well-earned skill set that goes above and beyond another candidate for the same role. If you already employ a Reservist, you know the benefits they bring to the workplace with both hard and soft skills.

The Canadian Armed Forces provide Reservists with world class training to develop key skills which form not only the foundations of an valuable Reservist but also a highly qualified employee. Employers benefit from their core skills and abilities such as leadership, teamwork, discipline, initiative, determination, problem solving, and the ability to work under pressure.

When you employ a Reservist, they bring their learnings from the military to your organization. In turn, they also contribute their workplace expertise when serving in the military. It’s a win-win for both the organization and the Canadian Armed Forces. Reservists who serve help to provide a safe environment for businesses to thrive and is one of the very reasons many people are proud of our serving members.

The Basics

Reservists are members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who train and serve with the CAF on a part-time basis. They typically serve on weekday evenings and weekends. From time to time Reservists attend military courses and training that lasts one or two weeks and occasionally longer durations. Reservists have the opportunity to volunteer to serve on domestic and international operations on a full-time basis augmenting the regular component of the CAF. Through floods, fires or ice storms, Reservists are there to help and to keep communities and businesses operating. Their training provides both domestic response and international support – when you employ a Reservist, you in turn, are serving your country.

 

What is the With Glowing Hearts Initiative?

The With Glowing Hearts – Reservist Support Initiative is an HR program to attract and retain talented employees. The Canadian Armed Forces has trained over 25,000 Reservists who bring exceptional qualifications to an organization or business. Consider the Reserves as a talent pool to source potential employees to support company goals and initiatives. The initiative provides guidance and tools to support both Employers and Reservists and the good work they do together. Employing a Reservist is good for business and it makes your work, and workplace, better – With Glowing Hearts, we stand together supporting our community and country.

How does the program work?

It’s simple – like any other HR initiative, the program becomes an offering to attract employees. For example, a company may already have a maternity leave policy in place, growth programs for leadership, or even policies for internships. The With Glowing Hearts – Reservist Support Initiative creates a “reserve-friendly” culture for an organization to attract, and keep, experienced and valued employees. The turnkey program assets can be used to create awareness through communication channels of choice.

What does the program include?

The program consists of the following elements:

  1. Reservists 101: What Reservists offer Employers
  2. “With Glowing Hearts” Reservist support customized certificate for Employers
  3. “With Glowing Hearts” Employer/Reservist Recognition stickers
  4. “With Glowing Hearts” Customized employer support icon (online use)
  5. HR & FAQS: Q&A for employing Reservists
  6. Military Leave Policy (MLP): Examples of MLP for small and large businesses

What’s next?

How can I find out more information for my business?

Employers Supporting Reservists – Canadian Forces Liaison Council

Visit the website: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/benefits-military/supporting-reservists-employers.html

#WithGlowingHearts thanks employers who support Reservists

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