Iceberg alley shouldn’t be littered by plastic bags, say Twillingate stores

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Waves of Change is a CBC series exploring the single-use plastic we’re discarding, and why we need to clean up our act. You can be part of the community discussion by joining our Facebook group.

Four major stores in the Twillingate area have ditched the plastic bag in response to a push from the local DFO detachment.

Starting this month, shoppers at grocery stores in the area will only be offered cloth or paper options, as the shops accepted a challenge from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to go plastic-free. The challenge officially started on Friday, although some stores made the switch earlier.

« Today is day one, so far, so good, » said Colin Stuckless, owner of the Stuckless Freshmart in Durrell on Friday.

« If we could do our little bit, and someone else does a little bit, maybe it adds up to a big amount. »

Judy Hillier shows off the reusable bag her detachment distributed to grocery stores in Twillingate. The DFO detachment created a tender for the bag, and bought 6,000 to hand out in the community. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Customers at the Freshmart are being offered free reusable cloth bags, which were provided to the store by the DFO, at the checkouts.

Judy Hillier, a clerk at the Twillingate DFO detachment who lead the plastic-bag project, said 6,000 bags were bought by the detachment and distributed to the community.

« I mean, it’s part of the DFO mandate to protect species in the ocean, so if we can prevent plastic bags from making its way there, why not? » 

Along with the Freshmart, the two Foodland stores and the Independent store in the area have signed up. And if customers are complaining, Stuckless hasn’t heard it.

« Actually, response has been great, » he said. « We have a Facebook page that we put on to let people know what was going on, and it was a really great response, people all seemed to be in favour of this, because we’re hearing it all over the world now about plastic issues. »

Think of the turtles

Hillier said the impact of the plastic bag is obvious in Twillingate — all you need to do is visit the beaches in the summer.

« Plastic bags, they don’t dissolve. They don’t break up and go away. They break up, they rip up, they become micro-plastics … all of it ends up in the food chain, it’s ingested by all different types of sea creatures, » she said.

« We’ve been involved in Beach Cleanups over the years, there’s plastics on the beach everywhere. There are plastic bags ending up in the environment, in the trees, it’s everywhere. »

David Burt said he likes the sturdier handles on the reusable bags. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

The project isn’t a ban on plastic bags in the community. Instead, it’s an opt-in challenge that DFO offered to grocery stores in the area last fall.

« This is the first time we’ve done anything like this, to this degree, so we chose to go local just to see how this would go, » Hillier said.

Don’t forget your bags

Shoppers at Durell’s Freshmart on Friday morning said they supported the project — even if not all of them remembered to bring the bags they have already picked up.

« Once we forgot, but from now on we won’t forget, » said David Burt.

He said his nephew, Shawn Bath — who dives in the waters near Twillingate to clean up junk from the ocean — has told him of all kinds of garbage he finds underwater. It’s part of the reason he supports the ban.

Josephine Cutler said she’s likely to reduce her bag consumption in total thanks to the new reusable bag. « I loves those bags, » she said. « Because with the plastic ones, you gathers them up in your house, and you got a mess. With those, they are stronger. » (Garrett Barry/CBC)

He also thinks his new cloth bags will be much less likely to find a landfill than the plastics that he used in the past.

« They’re blowing out of people’s pickups, they’re all over the road, » he said. « Something like [the new bags], you’ll be more careful not to blow it away. » 

Doreen Gates was one of the few customers on Friday who remembered to bring their own reusable bag. She said she supports the plastic bag elimination, and wants to send less garbage to landfills. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Hillier said she expects to see less plastic on the shores when next summer comes. In fact, it’s part of how she’s planning to evaluate the project.

« Success is when no more plastic bags are being given out by these grocery stores, people are bringing their own re-useable bags, » she said.

« Success will be when we see less plastic washing up on the beaches. »

Join the discussion on the CBC Waves of Change Facebook group, or send us an email: wavesofchange@cbc.ca.

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Canada shouldn’t use teenage Saudi refugee as a ‘political football’: ex-ambassador – National

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Canada did the right thing by granting asylum to Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun but should take steps to ensure that the case doesn’t cause irreversible damage to relations with Saudi Arabia, says Canada’s former ambassador to Riyadh.

Dennis Horak has first-hand knowledge of the two countries’ testy relationship, having been expelled from Saudi Arabia in August in the wake of Canada’s criticism of the kingdom’s detention of women’s rights activists.

That relationship faces renewed challenges following Canada’s decision to grant asylum to Al-Qunun, the daughter of a Saudi governor, who fled Saudi Arabia and accused her father and other male relatives of abuse.

The 18-year-old arrived in Toronto on Saturday after resisting her family’s attempts to have her returned to Saudi Arabia from Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a Twitter campaign to plead for asylum.

READ MORE: ‘A very brave new Canadian’  Saudi woman who fled family arrives in Toronto

“I think [granting her asylum] was the right thing to do but it’s going to have an impact in Saudi Arabia in terms of their views towards Canada. They’ll see this as yet another example of our ‘interference’ in their internal affairs,” Horak told Global News.

“If we make her a political football to use this case to bash the Saudis to make our point on Saudi human rights, I think that would exacerbate the situation even further. And it wouldn’t do her any good either.”

Horak said that while it’s inevitable that the Al-Qunun case will worsen tensions in the short term, Canada could mitigate the damage by maintaining an open line of communication with Saudi Arabia.

“I think at this point, it’s time to let her settle in and then work and talk with the Saudis and explain to them why we did what we did, and perhaps that can mitigate some of the damage that may occur,” said Horak.

WATCH: Saudi teen fleeing family granted asylum in Canada







The case has also sparked concerns about possible Saudi retaliation against the 20,000 Canadians who live in the Arab world’s richest country.

Last month, two Canadian men were arrested in China amid tensions between Ottawa and Beijing over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor remain in Chinese custody after being arrested on suspicion of spying and endangering national security.

READ MORE: Chinese ambassador pens op-ed on Canadian detainees, slams ‘Western egotism and white supremacy’

Horak said it’s unlikely that Saudi Arabia would resort to similar tactics, although he stated that Canadian expats in the kingdom might encounter other difficulties.

“In my view, a lot of the Canadians that are there are doing valuable work, so I don’t think I would see them being arrested for example as we’ve seen in China,” he said.

“They may encounter — and I think some have already since the summertime — difficulty with things like visa renewals or contract renewals… or if they’re looking for new jobs with other companies, Canadians may not be the preferred citizenship for prospective employers.

“But I wouldn’t be overly concerned about arrests and things.”

WATCH: Ottawa delegation in China as two Canadians remain detained







Horak said it’s vital that diplomatic relations don’t become strained to the point that Canada and Saudi Arabia shutter their embassies in each other’s territories.

“That would certainly not be in Canada’s interests and I don’t think that’ll happen,” he said, although he cautioned that “overreaction cannot be ruled out” on the part of the Saudis.

“It’s important that Canada be there, it’s important that Canada have an embassy there to offer protections, normal consular services and consular protections that are best delivered when there’s an embassy on the ground,” he said.

A man stands outside the Canadian embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Aug. 7, 2018.

Nasser Al-Harbi/AFP/Getty Images

Concerns of diplomatic tensions aside, Horak credited Al-Qunun’s case for shining a spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s guardianship laws which curtail women’s freedom.

“When I was there, Saudi women talked to me a lot about the guardianship laws. The West was talking all about driving and they said, ‘no that’s fine, I’m driving, that’s fine’ but the real issue for them is the guardianship laws,” he said.

It’s possible that Al-Qunun’s case will spur a renewed examination of guardianship laws, Horak said, although he warned it could also spark a conservative backlash, with families further tightening restrictions on daughters.

As far as Al-Qunun’s future goes, Horak said it’s important to let her take her time to settle into Canadian life rather than force her to become a mouthpiece against Saudi human rights abuses.

“I think she needs to have time to settle in and if she decides down the road that she wants to be an activist and be very vocal on this, that’s great,” he said.

“But that should be up to her and not something that we push her into.”

— With files from Grant MacDonald

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

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Maybe You Shouldn’t Roast Your Turkey This Thanksgiving

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Every Monday night, Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport gives us a peek inside his brain by taking over our newsletter. He shares recipes he’s been cooking, restaurants he’s been eating at, and more. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

Don’t roast your turkey this year

If I could offer one piece of Thanksgiving advice, it would be this: braise your turkey.

I know, I know—am I insane! Am I really telling you not to roast your bird, to not present a Norman Rockwell-worthy centerpiece for your holiday table?

Yes, that is exactly what I’m telling you.

A couple years ago, I riffed on Bon App’s braised turkey legs recipe and it was a revelation—rich, tender, fall-off-the-bone meat, cloaked in a silky, oniony, wine-y gravy. It was like turkey carnitas.

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And I was even able to cook the entire dish ahead of time, so I never had to worry about frantically checking the doneness of the bird, or comparing the temperature of the dark meat to the white, or fretting about opening the oven door too often.

The the most important step in the braising process is your first step: Call your butcher or ask the meat counter of your go-to grocery store if they can break down a turkey for you. You want the legs and thighs removed (I like them separated, so you’re left with four large pieces), and then have the breast meat taken off the bone.

porchetta-style-roast-turkey-breast

Christopher Testani

This will allow you to braise your dark meat in a Dutch oven early in the day. And if your butcher counter is a full-service type joint, they’ll roll and season and maybe even wrap your turkey breast in pancetta or bacon. Then you can roast it in the oven to pin-point doneness as a porchetta-style roast turkey, in far less time than it would take to cook a whole bird.

When my wife and I last hosted two years ago, the rolled breast was…good. Ideal for next-day leftover sandwiches.

But the braised dark meat stole the show. Just before sitting down, I hit the slow-cooked legs and thighs with the broiler to crisp up the skin. Then I pulled the meat off the bone, shredding it with a couple forks and set it on a large platter. I studded it with cipollini onions from the pot and bathed the whole thing with the fragrant braising liquid.

There were no leftovers. And what’s a better compliment than that?

Get the recipes:

Stock-Braised Turkey Legs
Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast

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‘I’ve seen things that humans shouldn’t see’: 99-year-old Calgary veteran shares WWII memories flying over Europe

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Jack Hilton is well aware he has beat the odds.

As a Typhoon fighter pilot, Hilton did more than 100 operations flights across Europe during the Second World War, including D-Day.

“In 28 days, I flew 28 times and 28 times you take off and land, you’re pushing your luck,” Hilton recalled on Sunday.

He said every time he took to the air, a quarter of men who went up, didn’t return.

“I went over to France with 28 pilots,” Hilton said of the mission overall. “Eight of us came home to Canada. I’ve seen things that humans shouldn’t see.”

As a Typhoon fighter pilot, Jack Hilton did more than 100 operations flights across Europe during the Second World War.

Global News

Hilton was a guest at the Hangar Flight Museum’s Remembrance Day ceremony, sharing his personal stories despite the painful details. During the war, he survived being shot down, only to be sent up the next day. He said it became normal to see roommates drop from the sky.

“It’s upsetting,” Hilton said. “You can’t let it stop you because you’ve got a job to do. You get a new guy and he flies along with you and he disappears in flames and smoke but you can’t do anything about it.”


READ MORE:
Calgarians remember sacrifices a century after WWI ended

To help deal with the horrors he witnessed, Hilton wrote a book about his experiences called “The Saga of a Canadian Typhoon Fighter Pilot.”

In it, he recalls being offered his last rites by a priest who witnessed his plane crash.

Jack Hilton wrote a book about his experiences called “The Saga of a Canadian Typhoon Fighter Pilot.”

Global News

Despite being surrounded by thankful admirers at the Remembrance Day ceremony, Hilton remains humble.

“It’s very touching and they treat me so well,” he said. “They say you’re a hero but I said, ‘No, I’m not a hero, I’m just a survivor.’ Other people are heroes who died.

“You are flying with a man beside you who is your roommate probably and all of a sudden, one man will explode and he would disappear. You go back and you pack up his gear and send it home.”

As a Typhoon fighter pilot, Jack Hilton did more than 100 operations flights across Europe during the Second World War.

Global News

He contemplated the different world young people are living in now compared to when he joined the air force.

“Twenty-year-olds now are living with mom and dad, and playing video games. We were flying the stupid airplanes,” Hilton said.


READ MORE:
Calgary grandson of Victoria Cross recipient remembers grandfather 100 years after WWI

Above all else, he hopes today’s youth will never have to experience what he and fellow veterans did.

“I’ve seen enough and don’t want to see anymore. War is horrible.”

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

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