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Man who says he faced racism at worksite alleges he was purposely shot with nail gun

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A man is facing charges after a construction worker in Pictou County said harassment by a colleague escalated last month from racist name-calling to being purposely shot in the back with a nail gun.

Nhlanhla Dlamini, 21, said he was working at the site of a new home in Abercrombie when his co-worker pulled back the safety on the air-powered tool, aimed it at him and waited for him to turn and run before firing.

RCMP said Wednesday a 43-year-old man was arrested Sept. 27 for criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

A lawyer for Dlamini’s employer, P.Q. Properties Ltd., has vigorously maintained the shooting was an accident, dismissing the police investigation as « ridiculous. »

On the day of the incident, Dlamini, who is black, said his co-worker accused him of working too slowly before threatening him with the nail gun.

Dlamini says he was struck with a 3½-inch nail. The company says the shooting was an accident. (Steve Berry/CBC)

« He turned around and pulled the safety on the gun and points at me and says, ‘I’ll show you how to speed up,' » Dlamini said in an interview with CBC News.

« I just looked at him and I was just like, ‘What are you doing that for?’ And he just smiled.

« And when he smiled about it, I just turned around and started running. And that’s when he shot the air nail and it hit me in the back. »

His lung was punctured with a 3 ½-inch framing nail, he said.

Dlamini said he was screaming and yelling, trying to make sense of what happened, when the man came over to him as he lay on the ground, plucked the nail out and threw it away as a small crowd gathered to see what was going on.

The man told the three other people on the crew and their boss, Paul Quinn, that a smaller finishing nail had accidently ricocheted and nicked Dlamini, he said.

Dlamini says the nail gun was loaded with 3½-inch framing nails the day he was shot. This nail is the same size. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Dlamini said because he was in shock, struggling to breathe and talk at the same time, he couldn’t tell his side of the story. There were no witnesses to the incident.

« It was just me and him and that was the scariest part and he used that as an opportunity to tell them whatever he wanted, » he said. « I’m still in shock. I can’t believe it. »  

One of the workers put a Band-Aid on Dlamini’s wound. Dlamini said Quinn drove him home and did not offer any medical attention. 

When a friend drove him to the hospital over an hour later, Dlamini said his doctor told him it could have been far worse if he hadn’t gotten medical attention.

Dlamini said he required emergency surgery to repair a collapsed lung and spent four days in the hospital with a chest tube.

His mother, Stacey Dlamini, told CBC News she called Quinn and informed him her son was undergoing emergency surgery and asked why he hadn’t been taken to hospital. She then called the RCMP. 

Stacey Dlamini, in her home in Pictou, N.S., says she told P.Q. Properties Ltd. owner Paul Quinn the details of her son’s injuries in a phone call from the hospital on the day Nhlanhla was shot with a nail gun at a worksite. (Steve Berry/CBC)

When reached by phone by CBC News, Quinn referred questions to his lawyer, Craig Clarke. Quinn is a New Glasgow-based property developer and landlord. The workers were building him a new home when the incident occurred.

In a Sept. 23 interview, four days after the incident, Clarke disputed that Dlamini was seriously injured. He said the nail shooting wasn’t intentional and that the wound only required a Band-Aid. 

Quinn did not contact the RCMP after the incident because « there was no reason to, » said Clarke.

He said Quinn offered to drive Dlamini to the hospital or call an ambulance but he refused. Dlamini’s refusal was documented in an incident report Quinn prepared with statements from people at the worksite, said Clarke.

He declined to share the report with CBC News. Quinn is not required to give the report to the RCMP, he said.

« I would not concur with RCMP’s position at all that a serious injury happened. I would also strongly take the position that the RCMP, based on the information that I reviewed, have no reason whatsoever to be involved in any criminal investigation whatsoever. Zero, » said Clarke.

Quinn, owner of P.Q. Properties in New Glasgow, tells CBC to leave Centennial Drive in Abercrombie on Sept. 27. The road leads to the construction site of a new home where a workplace incident occurred on Sept 19. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Reached again Wednesday, Clarke said three people who were on site that day don’t support Dlamini’s allegations and there’s no basis for any charge.

Dlamini said he had been on the job for just three weeks when the nail gun shooting occurred. During those few weeks, he said the co-worker who fired the gun called him « Squigger » and occasionally referred to him as « whatever the F they call you at home. »

The co-worker also threw nails at him, hammered his booted foot and stapled his jacket to a staircase, Dlamini said.

Dlamini said he was the only person of colour on the worksite and the only person who was bullied by the man.

He said he first introduced himself as Nh — a shortened version of his South African name — but the name Squigger stuck. 

He said at first he did not understand what the nickname meant, until a friend told him.

« I’ve been letting them literally call me the N-word, just without the N being the first thing, » said Dlamini. « I was repelled by that. I was taken aback. And I just feel uncomfortable ever going back to a job site that would be like that. »

Dlamini says he won’t be returning to work for Quinn and fears for the safety of the other employees. Dlamini moved to Canada with his family from South Africa five years ago. (Steve Berry/CBC)

He also said the man who shot the nail told him everyone should own a black person.

« I don’t want to rush into pulling the racist card. But in this incident, knowing that Squigger was the N-word, low-key, » said Dlamini. « I can say that it was a racist act and a racist situation. »

At one point, Dlamini spoke to his co-worker directly, saying he was uncomfortable and concerned for his personal safety. The man responded that he would keep doing what he wanted, said Dlamini. 

Dlamini said he feared for his job and tried to keep his head down. He was worried the man would retaliate if he shared his concerns with Quinn, he said.

Clarke said he was unaware of any bullying or racism at P.Q. Properties. 

« I have no knowledge of that whatsoever. I couldn’t comment on that. But in the incident reports I reviewed, there’s nothing about that, » said Clarke. 

« If somebody’s making an allegation like that, they should be prepared to back it up. »

P.Q. Properties is building a new home on Centennial Drive in Abercrombie. (Steve Berry/CBC)

There have been no charges laid against Quinn or P.Q. Properties, Clarke said. 

The Department of Labour said they were notified of the incident by the RCMP but they are not involved while the criminal investigation is ongoing.

Employers in Nova Scotia are required to report serious injuries to the Department of Labour within 24 hours.

Clarke said he’s not aware if there was any communication between Quinn and the department.

Department spokesperson Chrissy Matheson could not comment on the incident but said there is no requirement that employers seek medical care for injured workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The department said it has not placed a stop-work order or any conditions on the worksite.

A construction worker in Truro, N.S., demonstrates how to pull back the safety and fire a nail gun similar to the one that Dlamini alleges was used at P.Q. Properties. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Read more articles at CBC Nova Scotia 

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Anglais

Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

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Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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Anglais

MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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