‘The Winter Olympics of scouting’: Scouts brave elements at annual Klondike Hike


It’s the scout’s motto to be prepared, but on Saturday, there was even more at stake as 80 Scouts, Venturers and Girl Guides competed at the annual Klondike Hike near Lumsden.

“It’s kind of like the Winter Olympics of scouting,” Scout leader Kent Latimer explained. “There’s a real sense of pride for any team that’s able to  come to victory.”

Camping tips from Scouts Canada

Small teams from around the province tested their winter survival skills at eight checkpoints along a five-kilometre course. They were timed and judged by experts at each station.

“I could be hiking or camping and you never know what could happen,” said Scout Emily Silzer. “It’s important to learn these skills and know these skills just in case it does.”

The categories include ice rescue, fire lighting, portaging a canoe, gorge crossing, first aid and building a travois, a historical transportation device used by Plains First Nations.

The competition has run for so long, most of the leaders completed it as kids.

Girl Guides of Canada gets a new look

While the number of participants began to dwindle in the early 2000s, organizers say the numbers are starting to bounce back.

“Back in the heyday, we had a huge number of teams, probably about 100,” recalled Scout leader Alan Dedman. “Now we’re better than last year, much better than a number of other years.”

Over the past five decades, scouts have gone up against some pretty nasty elements, whether mud or snow. On this particular day, the biggest obstacle was the 30km/hr wind that dragged the temperature down to a bitter – 25 C.

Moose Jaw Fire Department rescue deer that fell through ice

“With the lashing we just did, we kind of have to go barehanded, so having frozen hands does slow you down a lot,” said Scout Ryan Griffin. “Same with fire lighting.”

WATCH: Scouts Canada encouraging people to support adventures for kids on Giving Tuesday (2017)

At the end of the day, each group will be awarded different kinds of survival gear, though the journey there isn’t without its misadventures.

“Getting stuck in a creek is something,” Scout Balen Hanneson joked after his group’s sled became trapped in a ravine. With some help, the team was able to free their supplies and make their way to warmer pastures.

But in the end, the stories gained and lessons learned are all they need.

“You’ve just got to work together,” Hanneson added. “It doesn’t matter how you do it — just do it your way.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Hike, cut or stand pat? Bank of Canada decides on interest rates today


The Bank of Canada isn’t expected to change its benchmark interest rate when it reveals its latest decision Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean the bank’s policy-makers think nothing has changed in the country’s economy.

The bank’s rate, known as the target for the overnight rate, is the interest rate it charges retail banks for short-term loans, and it filters down into the rate that Canadian borrowers and savers get on savings accounts, lines of credit and variable rate mortgages.

The central bank will announce its latest rate decision at 10 a.m. ET. CBC News will have live coverage of the decision and a press conference that follows shortly after that.

In October, when the bank last raised its rate to its current level of 1.75 per cent, the central bank justified its decision by noting the various ways in which the economy was humming along. Inflation was on the high end of the range that the bank likes to see in setting monetary policy, and the job market was chugging along.

The price of a barrel of crude had fallen from its highs, but West Texas Intermediate was still trading north of $65 a barrel, and business investment was rounding into form, too. Add it all up, and the economy was on track to grow by about 2.1 per cent this year — enough to justify a modest tinkering of the bank’s rate to more normal levels.

But that was then, and this is now.

Canada’s economy has since shown enough signs of weakness that there’s speculation a cut may be coming sooner or later, and at a bare minimum economists who cover the central bank are downgrading their expectations of just how many hikes may be on the way.

On Tuesday, new numbers from Statistics Canada showed that Canada’s trade deficit doubled to $2.1 billion in November, largely because oil prices plummeted, eating into the export side of the ledger.

And according to Scotiabank economist Derek Holt, « the window on trade conditions will get cloudier yet, » as the U.S. government shutdown potentially affects December trade data and Alberta’s production cuts take down energy exports in January.

If there’s reason for optimism, Holt says, it’s that the slowdown comes on the heels of a « torrid » pace for Canadian exports earlier in the year, so some declines were to be expected. « One issue I’d like to hear the [Bank of Canada] address tomorrow is the extent to which they feel the recent data is due to … pulled forward export demand, » he said. 

Economist Avery Shenfeld with CIBC says the bank is in a tough spot, threading the needle between incorporating lowered expectations, and staying well clear of suggesting a cut might be required.

« We see the tone of the statement being along the lines of ‘we’ll get back to you later,’ rather than ‘we’re all done here, people’ in terms of further interest rate tightening, » Shenfeld said, adding that he expects the bank to stay on the sidelines until April at the earliest.

That’s a similar timeline to the one Robert Dent at Japanese investment bank Nomura Securities Inc. predicts, with a slight hike to two per cent in April followed by another cautious one at the end of the year.

Dent notes that despite some dark clouds on the horizon, Canada’s economy is doing well on a number of other fronts, notably the job market, where the jobless rate dropped to the lowest level on record in November at 5.6 per cent, and even managed to stay there through December, too.

Those data points will be factors the bank will consider, and a reason for the Bank of Canada to stay on the track it has already set for itself.

« The December statement suggests policy-makers remain confident that further rate hikes will be needed, » he said, but « the effect of rising interest rates on overly indebted households, persistently lower crude oil prices and slowing global growth all pose downside risks to the Bank of Canada outlook that may start to be acknowledged more forcefully at the January meeting. »

Bank of Montreal economist Benjamin Reitzes says with the picture looking cloudy, the bank is clearly going to err on the side of caution, but the question is, how much?

« Outside of a couple of decent domestic data points, » he said, « the policy backdrop has deteriorated, driven largely by global economic and financial conditions. Accordingly, expect more caution from Governor Poloz and the Bank to stay on the sidelines for at least the next couple of months. »

While all but one of the 18 economists tracked by Bloomberg think doing nothing is the likeliest outcome, traders in investments known as overnight index swaps think there’s about a one in six chance of a rate cut on Wednesday.


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Woman needs rescuing during snowy Boxing Day hike – Okanagan


Emergency crews were needed for a West Kelowna woman who fell during a snowy Boxing Day hike in the city’s Glenrosa area.

The woman was rescued, then transported to hospital by ambulance.

Chopper rescue of man off White Rock pier during storm

“We had a couple of hikers, a husband and a wife, who were down in the canyon,” said Bob Peters of West Kelowna Fire Rescue. “The wife took a bit of a spill and twisted her ankle. They called 911.”

The woman was approximately a kilometre and a half along the trail, and, according to emergency crews, wasn’t able to walk out.

“She was on a trail, so it wasn’t difficult [for emergency crews] to get to her,” said Peters. “We took her out on a stretcher, so it went really smooth.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Mulled Wine Can Take a Hike


Every Friday morning, Bon Appétit senior staff writer Alex Beggs shares weekly highlights from the BA offices, from awesome new recipes to office drama to restaurant recs, with some weird (food!) stuff she saw on the internet thrown in. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

Unnecessary food feud of the week

mulled wine

Photo by Marissa A. Ross

“They used cheap wine because they were cheap boys.” That was how Emma Wartzman recounted—in film noir narration—the terrible mulled wine she had on an early date at her boyfriend’s apartment. Is mulled wine ever good, we wondered? “Smells better than it tastes,” declared Adam. “Truly disgusting” said Carla Lalli Music, “unless you’re trying to sell your house and the realtor is showing it, in which case, make a big pot.” Social media manager Emily Schultz suggested boiling the mulling spices in water, perfuming your home, and drinking “the regular wine like regular wine.” Whoa! “The problem is” Julia Kramer typed with deep thought and analysis, “everyone here grew up in the Mid-Atlantic which is basically Florida so you do not understand what it is like to live in an actually cold climate (e.g., Chicago) where hot beverages e.g., glogg are essential to winter survival.” Aliza piled on: “Chicago taught me that mulled wine is okay but hot toddies are FANTASTIC.” Elyse Inamine and Amanda Shapiro are pro-mulled wine, but it must be said, they’re very amenable, patient, and kind people. Hilary Cadigan and Jesse Sparks prefer the Hot Penicillin. What about you?

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Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Is it ever okay…

Before you attend any cocktail parties, dinner parties, first birthday parties for dogs, or science fiction book clubs this weekend, make sure to brush up on your manners. Are you going to bring a six-pack of beer and then stash the last two bottles in your backpack to take home later? Notice the wine you brought wasn’t opened and therefore assume it’s still in your possession? OH NO YOU’RE NOT. And yet, according to multiple sources, this happens dangerously often. For more unsolicited etiquette advice (with bonus recipes), read our latest column here. And send me your questions and conundrums and general gossip! staff.bonappetit@gmail.com

tinned fish gift guide lede

Photo by Alex Lau

Stockings full of fish

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all of the presents. So what! I need new socks! When it comes to food-themed gifts, though, things get tricky. How do you know what kitchen gadgets people already have or even want? That’s why this year’s most important gift guide, according to me, is this tinned fish stocking stuffer guide. Too niche, you say? Too bad! Well, you can use this highly personalized cookbook gift guide instead, actually. As long as no one in my immediate family tries to send me another olive oil infuser, we’ll be good.

bone in pork loin 1 copy

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kate Buckens

Make this

Party pork!!! With a name like that, how could you go wrong? (By under-cooking it—watch out.) I had to ask the Whole Foods butcher to cut this piece of pork with the chine bone in (??? news to me) but within 10 minutes, I had my roast, five giant leeks, two bunches of kale, and three heads of garlic in the biggest tote bag I own. The pork turned out juicy and fantastic—the fennel and cinnamon rub was so unexpected and great. A Molly Baz moment of genius. My whole place smelled like Christmas. Make it!

Get the recipe: Party-Ready Pork Roast

Elsewhere, a weighted blanket

When a weighted blanket arrived at the Healthyish desk of Aliza Abarbanel, we all got on the floor and took turns feeling the weight of the world on our bladders. I felt claustrophobic and trapped under the bean-bag-sounding thing, but Rachel Karten loved it. “I want to layer two of these!” she said. Read more about weighted blankets here.

lol bryan

Dreaming of a white elephant

The Bon Appétit art department hosted a white elephant party this week and everyone paused frantic work on the February issue to attend and drink boxed wine hung from stockings, courtesy of crafty art director Christa Guerra. Designer Bryan Fountain wore a giant foil snowflake made by art assistant Annalee Soskin on his head. Editor in chief Adam Rapoport sent his assistant, Ryan Walker, with wine he was gifted at work, so in karmic return he got the mouse traps brought by Basically editor Amiel Stanek. Restaurant editor Elyse Inamine went home with a wheel of stinky cheese. Staff photographer Alex Lau brought a coveted Nicolas Cage t-shirt discovered on Amazon, which visuals editor Emma Fishman won to everyone’s jealousy, and promptly turned into a crop top. What a festive Tuesday!

What is Brad up to?

I have no idea.

IMG 3864

Unnecessary food meme of the week

IMG 3863


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Alberta man finishes record 10-year hike in Tuktoyaktuk


Dana Meise has been walking for a long time.

« I’ve walked for 10 years and I hiked the Trans Canada trail, » he told CBC at a stop along the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway.

In the grand scheme of things, the 138-kilometre highway is a walk in the park compared to the rest of his decade-long, 21,000-kilometre journey.

The Great Trail, previously referred to as the Trans-Canada Trail. (The Great Trail.ca)

Completing this hike makes Meise the first person to touch all three coasts on the Trans Canada Trail.

He was inspired to start this journey after his father lost his ability to walk.

« He really liked to explore, so it was just this clicking moment where I was like, ‘Dad, I’ll walk enough for the both of us,' » Meise said.

Between a nasty fall earlier this month that briefly put him in hospital, family emergencies, and his tent getting shredded by ravens, Meise said it’s been a challenge to finish this final stretch.

« I should have been done weeks ago and then I wouldn’t have to go through all this cold, » he said.

Dana Meise pushes a buggy loaded with his gear up a stretch of the Trans Canada trail as he hikes towards Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. (Dana Miese)

At night, he said it’s dropped as low as -40 degrees with the wind, and he got a nip of frostbite earlier this week.

Nevertheless, on Thursday evening he made it to Tuktoyaktuk, completing his lifelong dream; and it’s in part thanks to the community.

« Luckily the people of Tuk have really rallied for me, » he said. « Without them I don’t think I could have actually completed [this]. And I was so close, so I’m extremely grateful. »

Technically, Meise had already reached his final destination several times before Thursday night.

People stopped on the side of the road to drive him to Tuktoyaktuk to spend the night, then they would drop him where he left off the next morning.

The final leg of Meise’s journey has been tough. He’s suffered frostbite, took a nasty fall and his tent was shredded by ravens. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

« As much as I’m super excited to finish … I’m also excited to get home, » he said.

Meise, originally from Sherwood Park, Alta, started his adventure in Cape Spear, Nfld. in 2008.

The trip has not been all in one go.

For half the year Meise would go back to work as a forestry technician in Prince George, B.C.; he was also out of commission for three years after a workplace accident in 2015.

But he didn’t give up.

« [I think about] how I’d feel if I quit, » he said.

« I think there’s a lesson we learn about just following through with what you said you’re going to do. »

He hopes to turn his adventure into a book and a documentary.


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Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh on Starting a Certified Organic Business and the Hike That Clears Her Head | Healthyish


In Entrepreneurs Run the World, we get advice and insight from game-changing entrepreneurs with big ideas. This week we talked to Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh, founder of Healthyish Foods, an organic baking kit company that clearly shares our perspective on how to eat right.

There’s no such thing as too much dessert—at least on paper. In practice, however, my stomach would disagree. As someone who loves to bake and is admittedly terrible at self-control, I’m all too familiar with the pangs of brownie batter-induced stomach aches. It’s a sensation Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh hopes to eliminate with her organic baking kit company Healthyish Foods.

While most baking kits rely on artificial food dyes and preservatives, Healthyish Foods creates all the classic flavors using whole-food ingredients like beet powder, turmeric, and essential oils. Plus the single-serving baking cups you bake these treats in are unbleached and biodegradable. Thomas-Drawbaugh’s goal is to offer an accessible, thoughtful baking kit that makes you feel as good as it tastes, and reduces food waste in the process.

We talked with Thomas-Drawbaugh about the challenges of creating a certified-organic business, the notepad that keeps her on track, and the pre-hike breakfast that fuels her.

What’s your approach to baking?

I love dessert but it’s really hard to make a cake or tray of brownies for just one or two people. You always have a huge copious amounts of leftovers that you overindulge in and feel terrible about or food waste, which is a huge issue. I thought, ‘there’s got to be a better way of doing this!’ I started by thinking about what would be an ideal product to have in my own household: single servings, high quality ingredients, organic. I wanted to create a company that gets people to think differently about desserts in general.

What was the journey like starting an all-organic business? I’m sure there’s a lot of paperwork to contend with.

I feel like every day is surprising and there’s always something you’re not anticipating. There are a lot of regulations and policy that go into running an organic business! You have to establish a number of programs that meet strict criteria from a traceability, quality, and auditing perspective, plus things like pest management. You have to have a lot of process in place, and, like anything, it just takes time to identify what’s going to work best for your business. It has been a journey, and I have a whole new respect for the organics process!

What has been your biggest, most unexpected challenge since starting the business?

Definitely educating people on what you’re doing and why it’s important. I think it’s hard to grab people’s attention in a world where we’re constantly inundated with media. It’s hard to stand out from the crowd, which is one of the things that was so important to me.

Do you have any habits that keep you grounded and on track?

I’m huge on accountability and one of the things I do to hold myself accountable and make sure I’m on track is document everything. I take lots of notes and keep a list of my needs so I’m on top of everything—if I tell someone I’m going to do it, I write a note to myself and make sure I do it. I use my Erin Condren notepad, I feel like in such a digital world it’s nice to have a physical touch. Their products are so fun—they have inspirational quotes which I appreciate.

Can you share any memorable advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?

For me, one of the biggest keys has been finding mentors because I didn’t have a background in this space. I’m not an expert in every aspect of this business, and every day I’m figuring things out. I’m actually part of a female founders food forum in Boulder, and having that support makes all the difference in the world—even having someone to chat with about things that aren’t just food related. I feel like that’s what « healthyish » is all about, not forcing yourself to be perfect all the time, just doing the best that you can and knowing that’s okay.

If you could pick one person’s brain about Healthyish Foods over lunch, who would that be?

I would have to say Jaclyn Johnson. She is the founder of Create and Cultivate and I really enjoy her new podcast WorkParty. I’d love to hear her perspective on building brand recognition when you’re still in startup mode, and to discuss strategies for capturing and maintaining loyal customers.

What are the three things you always have stashed in your fridge or pantry?

I love veggies, and I incorporate them into every meal of my day. Whether they’re grilled, sauteed or roasted, I always try to keep it colorful. And this might be cliche, but I always have my Healthyish baking kits handy, and probably coffee. It’s my kryptonite. I take it with a little bit of sugar and a little bit of milk, piping hot, and just a regular cup of Folgers, nothing fancy. That’s my go-to every morning.

What constitutes a perfect day off for you?

I’ve always been an early riser, so I like to get up, go outside, walk my dog a little bit, and make a really big breakfast. I’m a carb lover so I load up on pancakes or French toast and go on a really long hike. I live in Vail, and I love how scenic it is. I love to do a hike called Berry Picker, which is probably one of the most challenging hikes, but you feel the most accomplished when you do it. It starts at the base of Lions Head and you literally climb up Vail mountain. There’s a little restaurant at the top and you can get lunch, some wine, and ride the gondola down for free.

How do you get a moment of clarity on a super stressful day?

When you’re really stressed out it’s nice to go outside, get some fresh air and hit the reset button. I’m a huge advocate of taking five—there are times when I feel like I’m down the rabbit hole and being pulled in 100 directions and it’s so helpful to take five minutes for breathing exercises, a glass of water, or a walk. When you step away for a few moments, you can think things through with a more logical and rational approach.


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Canada’s jobless rate declines slightly with hike in part-time work


The job market bounced back last month with a gain of 63,000 positions, edging the unemployment rate lower to 5.9 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

September’s increase in employment was largely driven by gains in part-time work, with part-time jobs up by around 80,000.

September’s gains were also almost entirely in Ontario and British Columbia, largely in construction, with little change in the other provinces.

On a year-over-year basis, Canada has gained 222,000 jobs since September 2017.

Last month’s job gains indicate volatility continues in the jobs market after August saw a decline of more than 51,000 positions, when the unemployment rate was set at 6.0 per cent.

And the labour force survey found all the job gains were made by workers in the core 25 to 54 age range with virtually no change in youth employment.

Statistics Canada says September’s increase in employment was largely driven by gains in part-time work. (Canadian Press)


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