Salvation Army serves up Christmas dinner to 1,400 people in DTES – BC


More than 1,400 people turned out to share in a meal and the holiday spirit at the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas dinner in Vancouver on Tuesday.

The event took place at the organization’s Harbour Light location on East Cordova in the Downtown Eastside.

Executive director Jim Coggles said an army of more than 140 volunteers had spent days prepping the meal.

‘A literal tonne of turkey’: UGM serves Christmas dinner by the thousands

“It’s a full-course Christmas dinner, so we’ve got 120 turkeys, so almost 750 pounds of turkey we’re prepared to serve,” he said.

Coggles said while the Salvation Army has worked in the Downtown Eastside, day in and out for 65 years, the annual Christmas dinner is always a highlight for both volunteers and clients.

“For many people here today, if not most of them, this will be the only hot meal that they’ll receive today. And while many of us are out with family and friends over the holidays, our friends here — this will be their holiday celebration,” he said.

“So it’s our aim to make it as enjoyable and as wonderful an experience as we can.”

Volunteer Bernie Loree said he had helped with the dinner for 20 years.

READ MORE: City of Vancouver extends warming centre operations amid cold snap

“I’ve been really blessed and I have everything I need in my life,” he said.

“A day at a time as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that there’s a lot of people who are less fortunate and need help, and I’ve learned there’s always something I can do to make a difference in someone else’s life.”

All told, the Salvation Army said it served up 500 kilograms of turkey, 76 litres of cranberry sauce, 123 kilograms of mixed vegetables, 80 gallons of gravy to cover a mountain of mashed potatoes and stuffing made from 133 loaves of bread.

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


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Saint John Salvation Army attempts to make up for Christmas kettle shortfall – New Brunswick


The Salvation Army in Saint John is hoping to make up a $45,000 shortfall in its annual Kettle Campaign on the final day of its fundraising effort.

“There’s definitely a need in this community,” said Maj. Orest Goyak of the Salvation Army in Saint John, who says failing to meet the fundraising goal creates the unfortunate possibility of cutbacks.

“Instead of running something four or five days a week, we might have to run it two or three days a week just because the funding’s not there,” Goyak said.

The local branch of the Salvation Army has the goal of raising $190,000 — the organization’s largest fundraising effort of the year.

Salvation Army of Hamilton still short of its Christmas Kettle campaign goal

Locally, it helps operate the Christmas Hamper Program for about 400 families, as well as the daily Hope Cafe and other programs which take place year round.

Community support is vital to the organization,  although they are looking for people to commit their time as well.

Louise Delahaye, who has been a Kettle Campaign volunteer for a decade, says it was her first-hand observation of family poverty that moved her to act.

“I was in there one time having a coffee and this couple came in and the wheel fell off their carriage, they were that poor,” said Delahaye.

“I just felt, when I saw that, I thought I really really should do something”.

READ MORE: New Brunswick home takes Christmas decorations to the next level

Keith McLean and his 16-month-old daughter Ruby were among those to drop some spare cash in the famous kettle.

“We like to donate over Christmas,” said McLean.”It makes you feel good to donate. You’re helping other people out”.

He also hopes his example will trickle down to his daughter, even though she may be too young to remember this particular occasion.

“Hopefully they’ll do the same when they get older,” said McLean.

If you didn’t have the opportunity to make a donation into one of the kettles before the campaign came to an end, there are still plenty of ways to give.

“They can stop by the office here, they can go online or they can send it in the mail,” said Goyak. “Either way, the need is all the way through the year.”

Vernon Salvation Army far from Christmas Kettle fundraising goal

The Maritime Kettle Campaign goal is $1.8 million with the hope of raising $21 million nationally.

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


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On Brexit, Theresa May’s undoing may be Europe’s salvation


And, most significantly, that it isn’t what they signed up for.

But even though there may be a direct route to a second referendum visible beyond the potholes, the road ahead is still treacherous.

On Nov. 14, Prime Minister May presented to her cabinet a draft Brexit agreement worked out between U.K. and EU negotiators. She claimed it lived up to the spirit of the 2016 referendum, but many in her party disagreed. On key points, it fell far short of what she promised that a Brexit — Britain outside of the EU — would deliver.

Several cabinet ministers resigned, and there were bitter attacks from within her Conservative family. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Euro-skeptic Tory MP, said the deal would make the U.K. a “slave state.” Boris Johnson, who earlier resigned as foreign secretary over May’s handling of the issue, warned of a “vassal-state.”

But Tory efforts to oust May as prime minister failed, at least for now.

The draft agreement is expected to be presented to leaders of the other 27 EU countries in an “emergency summit” scheduled for Sunday.

Much of Europe loathes the prospect of losing the United Kingdom from the European Union for fear that other countries, such as Italy, could follow suit. This has shaped their approach.

The strategy has been to turn the screws on U.K. negotiators, and to make it as unappealing as possible to the rest of Europe to abandon the EU.

To many people — not only in Britain’s opposition parties but also to many Conservatives — they may have succeeded. It is difficult to make the case that the United Kingdom would be better off with this draft agreement than with its current membership within the EU.

Worries about Brexit have rocked Britain’s economy. Immigration levels have dropped, making the fears of being “overrun” by refugees less urgent. And evidence keeps emerging that — similar to the U.S. and other European elections — there was tampering by Russian intelligence agencies conspiring with Britons to tilt the 2016 vote in the direction of the “Leave” campaign.

There is also the fact that young people in particular — who largely abstained during the 2016 referendum — have roared back in their opposition to Brexit.

The headline from last year’s British election, which narrowly elected May’s Tories as a minority government, was the overwhelming opposition of young people toward the Conservatives as a form of buyer’s remorse after ignoring the Brexit referendum.

Assuming the draft agreement is approved by other EU leaders, the challenge for the prime minister will be to get approval from the House of Commons sometime in December. That is regarded as unlikely.

May presides over a minority government, and she is certain to be opposed by several MPs in the Tory caucus. The opposition parties, led by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, have said they will vote against the agreement.

An irony here is that Corbyn himself — a fierce critic of the EU for all of his life — is still trying to straddle a confused middle ground without revealing what, in the end, Labour will do apart from voting against the agreement.

If the Brexit agreement is voted down by parliament, the prime minister will have to make a choice.

Will she insist that the government goes ahead with Brexit — without any deal with the EU? She claims that she will not do that, since most economists predict catastrophe for Britain in that scenario.

Will she resign as Tory leader and prime minister? Given her dogged stubbornness to see this agreement through, that seems unlikely.

Will she regard a parliamentary vote against the agreement as a vote of non-confidence in her government, and call for a new election? Also unlikely, since polls suggest the Tories would lose.

That leaves this tantalizing possibility:

That she would describe this agreement as the best for Britain, and call for another referendum that “puts it to the people” to choose between this vision of a post-Brexit Britain versus the status quo within the European Union.

If that happens, May would have every reason to worry because recent polling suggests that voters are becoming less enamoured with the notion of leaving the EU.

That was evident a few weeks ago when an estimated 700,000 from all over the U.K. marched peacefully on parliament to demand a second referendum. They called for a “people’s vote” in the biggest protest against government policy in the U.K. since the Iraq War in 2003.

A recent poll by Britain’s Channel 4 indicated that 54 per cent of U.K. voters would vote to “remain” in the EU. It was described as the largest independent poll in the U.K. since the 2016 referendum.

May’s draft agreement received a low level of support, even among those who voted to leave in 2016. There appears to be a growing number of people who, however reluctantly, are concluding that the terms of exiting the EU now appear less attractive than the status quo.

If this trend holds, it would be a potentially mortal threat to the Leave forces in any second referendum. For the European Union itself, it would be like dodging a bullet.

It is not hard to imagine that the rest of Europe would work overtime to suggest that, if the U.K. remained within the EU, it would receive concessions on some of the major issues that led to the 2016 vote.

This issue is coming to a head at a crucial time in Europe.

Within the U.K. itself, it is seen as a pivotal moment in the country’s history. By withdrawing from Europe, the future points Britain in the direction of a “Little England” that would likely result in less government, less regulation and more doctrinaire conservative policies.

But inside of the EU, the United Kingdom would be aligned with the broader, social democratic ideals of today’s Europe, however flawed.

As for Europe itself, the struggle is to contain the growing populist and nationalist forces that seem on the ascendancy. With a strong Britain within the EU, that battle seems winnable. Without Britain, it is less so.

In that sense, this latest battle over Brexit is a global concern that has meaning well beyond Britain’s borders.

BREXIT: A timeline

Nov. 14: Prime Minister Theresa May presented a draft Brexit deal to her cabinet. It fell short of what she had promised, triggering several cabinet resignations. But efforts by Euro-skeptic Tory MPs to oust her failed, at least initially.

Nov. 25: Leaders of 27 European nations are expected at a special Brexit summit to formally ratify the deal. It needs to be backed by a supermajority of leaders.

December: After five days of scheduled debate, the agreement would be put to the House of Commons for approval. Its passage is doubtful, since the Conservative Party lacks a majority and it will be opposed by the opposition Labour party. Many Tory MPs may oppose it as well.

If it is defeated, May could proceed with a “hard” Brexit — one with no deal with the European Union — but that is regarded as potentially catastrophic to the U.K. economy. Or May could resign, forcing a Conservative leadership contest or a general election, but the Tories would likely lose any election.

An alternative scenario is a second referendum on whether U.K. voters want the current agreement on offer or to remain in the European Union.

January-February, 2019: If some form of agreement is passed by the Commons, it would have to enact the necessary legislation.

March 29: The historic “Brexit Day” when Britain’s exit from the EU would be declared. If a second referendum is planned, the EU would be required to extend the March 29 deadline, but this would be a formality.

April and beyond: If Brexit is proceeding, a 21-month transition period would begin so that trade relations can be negotiated. Many aspects of U.K. membership in the EU would remain in place, including free movement across borders, but Britain would no longer have an EU vote.

Dec. 31, 2020: The transition period is scheduled to end. But it is expected this period would need to be extended, perhaps for several years.

Tony Burman, formerly head of CBC News and Al Jazeera English, is a freelance contributor for the Star. He is based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyBurman


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Salvation Army sets $160K goal for Christmas kettle campaign in Guelph – Guelph


The Salvation Army has set a goal of raising $160,000 for its annual Christmas kettle campaign in Guelph this year.

It’s the same target as last year’s campaign, but the organization fell short, raising about $135,000.

City of Guelph looking for feedback on pedestrian bridge

“We’re confident we’ll make it this year,” said Beverleigh Broughton, the community and family services co-ordinator with the Salvation Army in Guelph.

The money collected goes toward filling hampers with food for local families in need and Broughton said the goal is based on how many hampers they expect to send out.

“Last year we did 1,045 food hampers and this year we’re doing 1,120,” she said. “That increase is based on the trend we’ve seen through the year and what we feel the need will likely be for this Christmas.”

She added that the number of hampers has been well over 1,000 for several years now.

“We’re seeing more and more people work really hard who just can’t quite make ends meet, especially at Christmas.”

The kettles, which will collect donations until Dec. 24, will be scattered around the city at Stone Road Mall, Walmart on Woodlawn Road and all Zehrs locations.

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In December, kettles will be set up at all LCBO locations and Costco.

There are also drop-off sites for toys at Stone Road Mall, Walmart, Guelph Toyota, any of the fire stations in Guelph, and the Salvation Army building on Gordon Street.

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


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