'I got accepted for 2024': B.C. nurse outraged with 4-year wait to upgrade credentials

The good news is licensed practical nurse Karishma Sekhon, 34, has been accepted to Vancouver Community College to become a registered nurse.

The bad news is she's been admitted to a two-year program that starts four years from now, in 2024. 

"I'll be like 40 by that time," said Sekhon, who has been a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Burnaby Hospital for six years.

"It's so far away for me." 

Licensed practical nurses (LPN) provide nursing care under the direction of medical practitioners, and under the supervision of registered nurses (RN). 

It takes two years of post-secondary training to become a LPN. A registered nurse, by contrast, holds a bachelor of science, nursing degree and is paid more than a LPN.

Sekhon, of Surrey, B.C., always wanted to be a RN. She applied to a bachelor of science program at the beginning of college, but didn't get in. A counsellor advised her to become a LPN first to see if she liked nursing, and suggested it would be easier to "bridge" into a RN program afterward

That didn't happen.

Accept 24 students per year

Limited access to B.C. nursing programs that allow licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses has left Sekhon so frustrated she's thought about leaving the field amid a province-wide shortage of nurses. 

Vancouver Community College told her LPNs are willing to wait for admission because they're already working, she said. 

The college's advanced entry bachelor of science nursing program is an option for those with previous licensed practical nursing training who want to become RNs. 

The college told CBC the program accepts 24 students a year and has a closed wait list up to September 2023

Christian Amundson/CBC

Since 2013, Sekhon has applied four times to three institutions to bridge or upgrade her qualifications. Each institution has a wait list or its admission criteria is based solely on an applicant's grade point average (GPA). 

Sekhon, who is married with two young boys and is expecting a third child in February, has been told if she really wants to get in she should retake classes to increase her GPA. 

There's no recognition given to her six years of experience working as an LPN, which she said is valuable.

"A book smart person doesn't make you a good nurse," said Sekhon. "I think how you excel in the work field is how you learn the job and how you learn everything and that's what makes you a good nurse." 

Sekhon's situation is not unique.

The BC Nurses' Union (BCNU) says aspiring nurses often choose to complete the shorter LPN program first, get a job and then work on their registered nursing credentials. 

Sekhon says in 2010, that's exactly what she was advised to do by an academic counsellor at Douglas College. 

When she couldn't get into the college's bachelor of science nursing program, she was told to become an LPN first and see if she liked nursing because it would be "easier to bridge into an RN program." 

Appeal to government

The nurses' union has expressed concerns to the provincial government about the lack of bridging opportunities for nurses that would allow licensed practical nurses to upgrade to registered nursing.

Union president Christine Sorensen says there have been meetings for 15 years where the union has provided feedback to various ministers of health and advanced education about developing a comprehensive program to help nurses upgrade their qualifications. 

"It's very difficult to move from LPN to RN," said Sorensen.

Submitted by Karishma Sekhon

"I would say that they have been frustrating, not productive, as far as I'm concerned," said Sorensen. She's worried there has been no investment by the province in nursing education.

The BCNU estimates the province will need more than 25,000 nurses by 2030.  

CBC tried to contact the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Health for comment on the lack of classroom spaces for LPNs to become RNs. 

The Ministry of Health deferred to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. A spokesperson for Advanced Education minister Melanie Mark said she was not available for an interview.

Switch careers or stay

Sekhon says she could switch careers and get a degree in a different field in the time she will spend waiting for her Vancouver Community College seat to open up in 2024. 

Starting over doesn't appeal to Sekhon, who said she has a passion for nursing. There has to be an easier way for working nurses to go back to school, she said.

 "I just wish I could finish what I've been wanting to do for the longest time." 

  • Oops! Weather Channel has a correction for 'Jeopardy'
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    The Canadian Press

    Oops! Weather Channel has a correction for 'Jeopardy'

    NEW YORK — The Weather Channel says the folks at “Jeopardy!” need to get their directions straight.Jim Cantore and Jen Carfagno of The Weather Channel said in a video on Friday that the popular show got a question about winter storms wrong in an episode televised on Thursday.The clue: “In a 2-week period in 2018, the East Coast was walloped by 3 of these storms named from the direction from which they came.”The correct response, as deemed by “Jeopardy!", was: ”What is a nor'easter?"Not so, Cantore explained. Nor'easters usually come barrelling up the coast from south to north, generally in the winter. They get the name because the storms are usually accompanied by howling northeast winds.“You know what, Alex, I'm surprised you didn't catch that," Cantore said about “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek.There was no immediate response to the correction from “Jeopardy!.”The Associated Press

  • Civil rights groups challenging Quebec's religious symbols ban file appeal to Canada's top court
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    CBC

    Civil rights groups challenging Quebec's religious symbols ban file appeal to Canada's top court

    Civil rights groups challenging Quebec's controversial ban on religious symbols have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Last month, Quebec's Court of Appeal rejected a request to suspend portions of the law, known as Bill 21, pending a ruling on its constitutionality.In a statement Friday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, along with plaintiff Ichrak Nourel Hak, said they have filed a request to seek leave to appeal to Canada's top court. The request was presented in a 27-page brief. Supreme Court judges will have to decide whether or not to accept the case.In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court said in December the law should be allowed to stand until the challenges are heard in Quebec Superior Court. All three justices, however, said there is evidence the law is causing harm to Quebecers who wear religious symbols. The law is being challenged in four separate lawsuits, three of which are expected to be heard together in October.It bans public school teachers, government lawyers and police officers, among other civil servants, from wearing religious symbols at work.The application to the Supreme Court raises two major issues: whether there has to be a "clear case of unconstitutionality" as the standard for a law to be suspended while it is further challenged in the courts, and whether the notwithstanding clause can prevent a law from being stayed. The Quebec government invoked the notwithstanding clause in a bid to restrict challenges to the law's constitutionality. 'Merit this court's attention'The applicants have argued the legislation is beyond Quebec's power to create since "regulating religion for a moral purpose falls under federal jurisdiction to adopt criminal laws."They say it is "impermissibly vague," excludes people from public careers and is sexist."Quebec residents have already suffered serious and irreparable harm because this legislation was not stayed pending the constitutional challenge," they write in the application. The first judge to rule on the request for a stay, Quebec Superior Court Judge Michel Yergeau, said the applicants hadn't sufficiently demonstrated the harm the law could cause. The request for the stay was made July 9, less than a month after the law passed. On appeal, the applicants presented stories of mostly Muslim women, who had either been harassed in the streets because of their religious garb or whose teaching job applications had been turned down by school boards citing Bill 21.The two of three Quebec Court of Appeal judges who rejected the stay request on appeal presented different reasons for their decision, but both found "it was not sufficiently clear that the legislation was blatantly unconstitutional," the applicants wrote.The applicants argue that standard is unreasonable, saying, "if that is the standard, no amount of harm suffered would be sufficient for applications to obtain a stay of any law."They say it is in the Supreme Court's interest to rule on the case to clarify the threshold of potential unconstitutionality for future stay requests and to determine how a government's invoking of the notwithstanding clause could affect requests for stays. "The questions that this case raises are ones of public importance and merit this court's attention," the document said.'There are people who are suffering'And while the challenges to the law's constitutionality make their way through the courts, it is causing more harm, the groups said."There are people who are suffering," said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, equality program director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. "It does require an urgent remedy."Mendolsohn Aviv said the groups are asking for the court to hear the case on an "expedited basis."Premier François Legault has argued the law protects Quebec's secular culture and will put an end to long-running debates about how to accommodate minority cultural practices.

  • Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan put on 'administrative leave'
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    The Canadian Press

    Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan put on 'administrative leave'

    NEW YORK — The Recording Academy has placed Deborah Dugan, its president and CEO of just six months, on administrative leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization.The move announced late Thursday comes 10 days before the 2020 Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles."In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the board has placed Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave, effective immediately,” the academy said in a statement to The Associated Press. “The board has also retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations.”Dugan, the former CEO of Bono’s (RED) organization, became the first woman appointed to lead the academy.Recording Academy Board Chair Harvey Mason Jr., the music producer who has worked with Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson and more, will serve as interim president and CEO of the academy.“The board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore the confidence of the Recording Academy’s membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators,” the statement continued. “The Recording Academy Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society.”Dugan succeeded Neil Portnow, who led the Grammys since 2002. Before joining (RED), the AIDS organization that launched in 2006, Dugan was president of Disney Publishing Worldwide and executive vice-president at EMI/Capitol Records. She started her career as an attorney on Wall Street.Dugan didn't immediately reply to an email seeking comment from The Associated Press.Before Dugan, music executive Christine Farnon held the top position at the academy for years, though she never had the title of president and CEO. She held multiple positions at the Grammys throughout her tenure, retiring in 1992 as executive vice-president. Michael Greene became the first official president and CEO of the academy in 1988, leading the organization until 2002 when Portnow took over.This year's Grammys is set to feature performances by Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Demi Lovato, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Tyler, the Creator, Run-DMC, Rosalía, H.E.R. and Lizzo, who is the top nominee with eight.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Calgary councillor raised by 2 moms to bring forward motion to ban conversion therapy

    A Calgary city councillor is bringing forward a motion calling for conversion therapy to be banned in the city.Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley, along with Councillors Druh Farrell, Gian-Carlo Carra, Jyoti Gondek, Peter Demong and Mayor Naheed Nenshi plan to bring forward the notice of motion to committee on Monday.Conversion therapy is a practice that aims through counselling or religious teachings to change an individual's sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, which means a person who identifies with the sex assigned to them at birth. It's discredited by most major expert bodies as psychologically damaging, opposed by the Canadian Psychological Association and World Health Organization which has stated conversion therapy poses a "severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons."Woolley said in an emailed release that the issue is one close to his heart, as he was raised by two moms. "Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s it was impossible for them to be open about who they were, and this is still the case for many of our citizens today," he said. "I want to raise my child in a city that is welcoming of all people regardless of who they love. Conversion therapy works to counter that ideal and we as a community must stand against this hurtful practice."Vancouver, Edmonton and St. Albert city councils have passed motions to ban the practice, and in Edmonton businesses face a $10,000 fine if found guilty of breaking that rule.In December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a mandate letter to Justice Minister David Lametti, asking that the Criminal Code be amended to ban the practice and take other steps to end conversion therapy in Canada.But despite a likely federal ban on the way, Farrell said the issue is too important to wait for other levels of government to take action."Having city council ban conversion therapy will send an important message to our LGBTQ2 community. Conversion therapy is abusive and it simply doesn't belong in Calgary," Farrell said in the release.The councillors also plan to ask the city to advocate for the practice to be banned across Alberta.The marshals of Calgary's 2019 pride parade were members of a dismantled working group that had been studying how to end conversion therapy in the province.The informal working group was set up by the former NDP government and cancelled by the governing UCP.Brandon Beavan, one of the members of that group and a conversion therapy survivor, spoke to CBC News at the time. "It was probably the most traumatic points of my life to have people tell me I am going to die early, I am never going to be loved that I'm never going to have anyone that cares about me — for years on end," he said, adding that it hurts to think children are still being forced to go through what he went through.On Friday, federal Health Minister Patty Hadju was in Calgary and said she did not receive an answer from the Alberta government when Ottawa asked the provinces to ban conversion therapy. In response, a spokesperson for Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer forwarded a letter dated Aug. 20, 2019, addressed to Hadju's predecessor. It says the power to amend the Criminal Code is solely within federal jurisdiction and that conversion therapy is banned "by all relevant professional licensing bodies in Alberta.""While the federal government has not presented us with any proposals for changes to the Criminal Code, we would welcome the opportunity to examine any proposals the federal government puts forward to criminalize conversion therapy," reads a portion of the letter, signed by Schweitzer.Beavan said in September the man who practised conversion therapy on him is still operating in Calgary.The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 4.

  • News
    CBC

    After weeks of backlash, Alberta doctors return to a calmer negotiating table

    Negotiations between the province and doctors have resumed and after weeks of backlash form doctors, it appears the tone has changed. The Alberta government has been trying to push through changes to the way doctors are paid, including increasing the minimum time requirements for visits and capping the number of patients a doctor can see in one day.Some of those changes were meant to be pushed through on Feb. 1 and no new date has been set. The Alberta Medical Association has been calling for the issues to be discussed as part of negotiations, and AMA president Dr. Christine Molnar says the health minister is willing to do that."He has delayed the implementation of the consultation items so that they can be discussed in negotiations and I think we both want to get to a reasonable and fair negotiated settlement," she said. "I believe that."600 letters sent to MLAsShe said doctors understand the government needs to find some short-term savings, but that healthcare also remains a priority for her members. A spokesperson for Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the negotiation process — which restarted yesterday after a break — is where these issues should be worked out.Calgary political scientist Lori Williams says the province appears to be recognizing the optics are better if the two sides reach a solution together."One that isn't going to have the negativity that may be associated with imposing government financial cuts on a system that they promised to preserve during the election," she said. The AMA says more than 600 doctors sent letters to MLAs with their concerns about the proposed changes.

  • Exclusive: China's Ant aims for $200 billion price tag in private share sales - sources
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    Reuters

    Exclusive: China's Ant aims for $200 billion price tag in private share sales - sources

    HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Ant Financial [ANTFIN.UL] shares are being offered privately at levels which value the Chinese financial giant at $200 billion, two people with knowledge of the discussions said, lifting it up the ranks of the most valuable unlisted companies. Alibaba affiliate Ant, which had an implied valuation of $150 billion during a 2018 fundraising, is preparing to step up plans for eventually going public in Hong Kong and mainland China, three other sources told Reuters. Speculation has grown that Ant, the world's largest so-called "unicorn" -- a newly-formed unlisted tech firm valued at $1 billion or more -- is working toward an IPO this year.

  • Saputo's past connections with mafia boss
    CBC

    Saputo's past connections with mafia boss

    Lino Saputo has always denied any connection to the Mafia. But never-before-seen documents obtained by Radio-Canada's Enquête program dispute that. They show Quebec's richest man maintained a hidden relationship with Mafia boss Joe Bonanno, until the late 1970's. Bonnano was one of the most notorious criminals in the history of the United States.

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    CBC

    Up to 15 cm of snow coming to Toronto this weekend

    After chilly temperatures today, Toronto looks set to get a dose of wintry weather this weekend. A system coming north from the U.S. is forecast to dump between 10 and 15 cm of snow on the city on Saturday, Environment Canada says.The weather agency has put all of southern Ontario under a special advisory, with some areas expected to see even more snow accumulation."After the bulk of the snow is done falling there will still likely be some bad travel conditions due to reduced visibility in blowing snow," said CBC meteorologist Colette Kennedy.When will the snow start?Kennedy says the GTA could see snowfall as early as 7 a.m.Gerald Chang, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the snow will "quickly intensify" in the afternoon, and with winds gusting up to 50 km/h there could be some tough travel conditions. "Certainly be careful out there if you're going somewhere," Chang says.The system has sucked up warm air and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, he explains. By about 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Saturday, temperatures are expected to rise slightly above freezing, meaning the snow could turn to rain for several hours.There's a chance of some flurries Sunday, as temperatures go back down below freezing.Today, Toronto will see a high of –8 C, but it will feel more like –23 in the morning and –11 in the afternoon with wind chill. Take solace, though, in the fact that the forecast for Toronto is not anything like what other parts of the country are experiencing.Extreme cold — as in –25 C kind of cold — has been gripping Alberta all week. Meanwhile, St. John's could see up to 70 cm of snow and 150 km/h wiinds when a blizzard hits later today.

  • Partnership brings new life to St. Anthony fish plant, but does it kill a neighbour?
    News
    CBC

    Partnership brings new life to St. Anthony fish plant, but does it kill a neighbour?

    A community leader in Black Duck Cove is worried a proposed fish plant deal in St. Anthony will mean the death of her community.Millie Dredge was horrified when the fish plant in Black Duck Cove burned down last May. As a member of the local service district committee, she was even more upset to learn the company that owned the plant, Quin-Sea Fisheries, is proposing to take over another one in St. Anthony.Dredge said the company owes her community and the 75 employees who spent 20 years of their lives working there."Now you imagine, a new company for St. Anthony, and [they] take the insurance money they got for the plant in Black Duck Cove and and invest it in St. Anthony, and the workers in Black Duck Cove get nothing."Quin-Sea Fisheries have yet to return calls from CBC News.The Black Duck Cove plant burned to the ground in a massive, fast-moving fire on May 15. It broke out around 7 p.m., while workers were still inside. Nobody was injured.The company offered to move the workers to its other plants, namely its plant in Old Perlican — more than 900 kilometres away.FFAW hopeful for jobsThe company is proposing a joint venture with Clearwater, one of the largest holders of shellfish licenses in the country.St. Anthony's plant, about an hour away from Black Duck Cove, is 75 per cent owned by Clearwater and 25 per cent owned by the non-profit group St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. A new proposal would see SABRI give up its entire stake in the plant. I will be accepting the board's recommendation. \- Fisheries Minister Gerry ByrneThe fisheries union says it's hopeful and optimistic the proposal will bring new jobs to the region with an increase in the amount of fish processed at the plant."This is certainly good news for the people of St. Anthony," wrote Fish, Food and Allied Workers president Keith Sullivan.Dredge said the workers feel slighted by the union's optimism."Did they forget the 75 workers that worked in the Black Duck Cove plant an hour's drive from St. Anthony?"Deal depends on review boardThe proposal is not a done deal — it's still dependent on a review from the province's licensing review board.Provincial Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne said the final decision is entirely up to them."There will be a very thorough review of this proposed sale and the board will report to me and I will be accepting the board's recommendation," he said.Gudie Hutchings, the region's member of Parliament for the region, said she's encouraged by the proposal but wants to see more information on the impact on Black Duck Cove."While this operation will prove to be a tremendous opportunity for the people of the St. Anthony area, I look forward to learning more about the implications this may have on the workers of the former Quin-Sea plant in Black Duck Cove," she wrote on Twitter.Dredge said she feels the town's only hope is the provincial government shutting down the proposal after the review process."They have an obligation to Black Duck Cove, too," she said.Failing that, she fears there will be dire circumstances for Black Duck Cove."Our community dies."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Eminem drops surprise album, advocates changes to gun laws
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    The Canadian Press

    Eminem drops surprise album, advocates changes to gun laws

    Rapper Eminem once again dropped a surprise album, releasing “Music to Be Murdered By” on Friday — along with a video that calls for changes to gun laws.The follow-up to 2018's “Kamikaze” — also released without warning — was announced on Twitter just after midnight.The Detroit rapper's new music video for “Darkness,” one of the album's 20 tracks, depicts a shooting at a concert. The lyrics and storyline of the video specifically allude to the 2017 mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It closes with audio and video footage of news broadcasts from other recent mass shooting around the U.S. and an appeal to register to vote.“When will this end? When enough people care," reads the text at the end of the video. "Register to vote at vote.gov. Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America.”A link to the music video on Eminem's website encourages viewers to contact or visit several gun violence prevention organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise.The cover art features blood spatter and a bearded Eminem clad in a suit and fedora and holding a shovel. An alternate cover features the same splatter, with a now hatless Eminem holding both a hatchet and a gun to his head in an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 album of the same name: “Inspired by the master, Uncle Alfred!” Eminem tweeted.“Music to Be Murdered By” is Eminem's 11th studio album, according to his website.Among many collaborators, the album features Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Anderson .Paak and Juice WRLD, the 21-year-old rapper who died in December.The Associated Press

  • Cobequid Pass reopens after blowing snow, slippery conditions shut it down
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    CBC

    Cobequid Pass reopens after blowing snow, slippery conditions shut it down

    Whiteout and slippery conditions forced the closure of the Cobequid Pass for about 14 hours on Friday.The major link between Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada was shut down at around 7:30 a.m. AT due to high winds and poor visibility, Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal announced on Twitter.The stretch remained closed until just before 9:30 p.m.A series of collisions on Highway 102 between exits 9 (Milford) and 11 (Stewiacke) forced RCMP to shut down that road, which reopened about an hour later.RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said there were at least three collisions and she warned of continued poor driving conditions."We're asking people to take some extra time, really consider whether they need to be out there today and definitely adjust their driving to the weather conditions," she said Friday morning.High winds in the afternoon knocked down a power line in Dartmouth, causing the utility pole to catch fire.Halifax Regional Police were on scene near Portland Street and Portland Hills Drive shortly before 2 p.m.Roughly 5,000 people in the area were without power for several hours and outbound traffic on Portland Street was down to one lane."Our crews quickly went to site and they secured it from a safety standpoint," said Matt Drover, director of regional operations with Nova Scotia Power.The winds also forced Halifax's MacKay Bridge to restrict crossings for heavy and high-sided vehicles for most of the morning, including transit buses. The bridge reopened to those vehicles shortly before 10 a.m.Cape Breton Regional Police asked people this morning to avoid any unnecessary travel."Roads are covered in snow and drifts, and visibility is very limited," they tweeted.MORE TOP STORIES

  • 'We have huge expectations from everyone': Past, present and future of Disney's Epcot
    Yahoo News Canada

    'We have huge expectations from everyone': Past, present and future of Disney's Epcot

    When Epcot opened at Florida’s Walt Disney World in 1982, it was the materialization of Walt Disney’s vision of an ever-changing experience with evolving technology. In 2020, this area of the park will go through a historically robust upgrade.“We know guests love Epcot and we’re leaning into the things that they know and love, our festivals, our great iconic attractions like Spaceship Earth, our nighttime spectacular the World Showcase,” Michael Hundgen, executive producer with Walt Disney Imagineering told Yahoo Canada. “But we’re now bringing attractions and experiences that also relate to some of the newest guests who are coming to the park...we’re trying to make this park more Disney, more timeless, more relevant and more family.”There’s no doubt that there is a lot of pressure on the Disney team to execute the upgrade with great precision and accuracy, particularly with the emotional attachment so many have to the brand, its parks and legendary films.“I think everybody feels pressure because, obviously we have huge expectations from everyone,” Marilyn Meyreles, producer for Disney Parks live entertainment told Yahoo Canada. “But I think our teams have worked together so closely for so many years and even with newcomers who have that passion for Disney, that it’s always going to show in all the work that we do.”Meyreles worked on Epcot’s newest nighttime spectacular, Epcot Forever.“Imagine yourself being around the lagoon and you hear this little girl say with one little spark, and you hear Walt’s voice and all of a sudden the music starts,” she said.In order to decide which elements of the past should be included in Epcot Forever, the creative team gets together to brainstorm the elements that will spark emotions for guests. With tears in her eyes, Meyreles explained that the show is a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot and Disney.“To me, the little girl represents the future...when I hear the little girl talk, they’re singing...I just feel like it’s really bringing it home that this is a new generation so we’re looking to the future,” Meyreles said.What experts are most excited aboutIf you’ve never been able to experience Epcot before, Meyreles says Spaceship Earth is a must.“It kind of brings everything together, it’s one world,” she said. “I love to visit the pavillions because there aren’t many opportunities that you can go and visit all these countries in one promenade around the world.”While you’re at the pavilions, there are a ton of food options for guests to enjoy, but Chelsea Florig, project manager for food and beverage at Epcot, and Al Youngman, culinary director at Epcot, have some favourites.“The salmon at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen is amazing,” Florig told Yahoo Canada. “Salmon with like a Crown maple whiskey glaze...it’s really good.”“The Arepas at Three Kings, I think that’s just so, it’s warm and cheesy, you get shrimp or cheese Arepas,” Youngman said. “The cookie stroll, that’s a really good one,... we have peppermint cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate pecan, we have a linzer cookie, a black and white cookie.”In terms of upcoming attractions, Hundgen says the upcoming enhancements to the France pavilion will be a must-see in summer 2020.“When I think about what I’m excited about next year it’s Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure,” Hundgen said. “The whole France pavilion, you’re going to have a new film, a new creperie with sweet and savory crepes, and you’ve got this really great new family attraction, nestled in sort of a beautiful part of the park that we haven’t been to before.”If you’re looking for a way to get to or from Disney, the Skyliner is the way to go. You don’t have to wait for a particular bus to arrive and you can take a beautiful, leisurely ride to and from Epcot. It’s part transportation, part park attraction. The Skyliner connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot, and four resorts on the property: Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

  • New motorsports race track set to open this summer near Carstairs
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    CBC

    New motorsports race track set to open this summer near Carstairs

    It's been almost a decade since southern Alberta had a motorsports race track, but that will change this summer if all goes according to plan. Race City Speedway, located next to a Calgary landfill, closed in 2011 and Rocky Mountain Motorsports has been trying to build a new one for six years. It now hopes to start paving the privately funded $25 million project near Carstairs in the spring.CEO Dominic Young says the project will run on memberships, and also be rented out."So 50 per cent of the track time will be dedicated exclusively to the membership, in terms of the other 50 per cent that'll be available for rental to different groups," he said. "So I mentioned performance driving schools, that's a very important part of what we want to do is to have facilities that allow people to become better drivers. In addition to that you'll have clubs like the BMW club or the Corvette club or the Mustang club."The track as laid out has been rated as formula two. Drivers in southern Alberta have been forced to travel in order to get their racing fix over the past nine years. "There is a track in Edmonton on the airport property, but it's a 600 kilometre drive, round trip obviously, and the next closest track is in the southern interior of B.C." said driving enthusiast Doug Hall. He's so excited about the track that he recently drove over the roughly constructed course in his SUV to check it out.

  • Dene Nation seeks formal apology for TB treatment in 'Indian hospitals'
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    CBC

    Dene Nation seeks formal apology for TB treatment in 'Indian hospitals'

    The Dene Nation is seeking a formal apology for the way its members were treated in medical institutions."A lot of our members, since 1945 to 1980, were sent down to the Charles Camsell hospital," said Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya. "A lot of our people that were sent down to the Charles Camsell Hospital suffered a lot of abuses."Yakeleya wants an apology similar to the one Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered to Inuit in Iqaluit last March.Yakeleya raised the issue with Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal in Yellowknife earlier this week. That followed a conversation with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Caroline Bennett last March, in which Yakeleya said she was receptive to the idea.  "This issue is long overdue," Yakeleya said. "The time is right now."Few untouchedThe Dene experience looms large in a major pending lawsuit.The former Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton is named among 28 other segregated "Indian hospitals" in a proposed $1.1 billion lawsuit against the federal government. That lawsuit is expected to receive its official class action certification next week. Edmonton lawyer Steve Cooper, who launched part of the lawsuit, said Camsell cases make up about 25 per cent of the hundreds of people the class aims to represent.  This issue is long overdue. The time is now.  \- Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya "The majority of N.W.T. residents, and even a family member of mine, would have been in regular attendance at the Camsell Hospital," he said. "When they were suffering from TB initially, but thereafter, any sort of situation where they needed better medical care than could be offered in the N.W.T." Cooper, whose dad was a teacher, grew up in the territories, and recalls his mother being sent to Edmonton for treatment, possibly more than once. He's now heard hundreds of stories and says the experience of patients at Charles Camsell were "horrendous, uniformly." He tells stories of children being put in body-casts as a form of discipline, of people being denied treatment for the illnesses they were sent out for, and of former patients who died and were never returned home, their families never informed of what happened to them. Cooper says the case is similar to the residential school lawsuits, and that he hopes it will similarly be the start of a healing process. A personal questFor Yakeleya, the issue is personal. He had family members who went to Charles Camsell and never returned. His father also went. Yakeleya can remember the day he returned home, took off his T-shirt, and showed him the scars on his back from the treatment he'd received. "I got scared actually. Two big scars on his back there, two big lines, about a foot and a half, two feet. It was surgical. It was for TB."Yakeleya says work is just beginning to address those who were buried in or near the hospital, and whose families were not informed.  "There are people still alive in our Dene communities who  know that their loved ones are buried somewhere in around Edmonton," he said. "In their mind, sitting in their small communities, they still think their loved ones are gonna come back." Yakeleya says he's learned that some may be buried on First Nations reserves near Edmonton, and says research is just beginning to locate and identify graves. "We have some major healing to do to help the people who lost their loved one," he said. "It's painful but it has to get done."

  • NDG's beloved Coop la Maison Verte is closing its doors for good
    News
    CBC

    NDG's beloved Coop la Maison Verte is closing its doors for good

    After more than two decades in the heart of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Coop la Maison Verte will close at the end of the month.With debt piling up and the cost of running the store heavily outweighing revenue, members who attended Thursday evening's meeting voted overwhelmingly in favour of closing the co-op, located just east of Melrose Avenue on Sherbrooke Street West.The vote was 41 for, seven against and five abstentions."This co-op means a lot to a lot of different people," said board member Sheena Swirlz. But nowadays there are a lot of competing franchises and businesses with deeper pockets and support, where the Coop la Maison Verte is run by a small team of co-ordinators and a board of directors. "We've been operating under an old model for a really long time and we haven't done the work that needs to be done to kind of look at, analytically, the situation and make the changes required to become a more viable store," she said.Several board members have quit in recent years, succumbing to the stress of managing a shop that was falling deeper and deeper into debt while struggling to stock its shelves with products customers want, Swirlz said.Without that stock available, customers were heading elsewhere, she said.22 years in the makingThe co-op was established in 1998 by a group of seven NDG residents who wanted to defy consumer culture while breathing new life into the neighbourhood — boosting local trade and providing a community hub. Over the years, it became just that. Members of the co-op paid $10 for a lifetime membership, getting 10 per cent off bulk foods, coffee and detergent. The shelves are stocked with an array of local wares, crafts and beers as well as ecological products aimed at reducing waste.Meanwhile, there was a coffee shop inside and a sitting area that doubled as a community space for regular meetings and events. Over the years, it has become a social hub and gathering place for neighbours, friends and groups.The co-op has garnered more than 10,000 members and developed strong partnerships with local non-profit organizations, artists and businesses in the region that are equally dedicated to environmental and food issues.In 2010, the co-op bought its building in an effort to keep the dream alive, but the building was riddled with problems and in need of expensive repairs. The board eventually sold it and began paying rent once again.Despite the dedication of its members, staff and volunteers, Coop la Maison Verte has been unable to sustain itself and has accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt.Now, remaining board members are struggling to sort out how to pay that debt off and who exactly is on the hook for the bill.Hoping for a solutionRalph Olynyk first visited the co-op about 12 years ago on a whim, tried the coffee "and I haven't left since."Beyond the coffee, he said he particularly enjoyed all the community events, activities and social interaction that goes on there as he was introduced to new ideas, initiatives and friends. He attended the vote, hoping they would be able to find a new way to make the place viable once again. But he didn't get his wish and, after years of keeping a stool warm at the coffee bar, he's going to have to look for another place to sip java and chat with passersby."There's no café around here that attracts me," he said. "In my neighbourhood, there's almost nothing."

  • Dial-a-claim calls to ICBC spike as wintry weather blankets Metro Vancouver
    News
    CBC

    Dial-a-claim calls to ICBC spike as wintry weather blankets Metro Vancouver

    The winter weather blowing across Metro Vancouver this week has left many drivers with damaged vehicles, according to ICBC, which is reporting a big spike in the number of dial-a-claim calls.The insurer received more than 18,000 calls from across the province in the past week — more than 12,500 of those from the Lower Mainland. Not all those calls will result in an insurance claim, but the high numbers paint a picture of trouble on the roads."Whenever there's a significant weather event, we're going to see an increase in claims," said Paul Goodman, ICBC road safety coordinator for Vancouver. "Most of those claims are rear-end type collisions."Monday saw the greatest number calls — in fact, with 5,075 from across the province, it was the busiest dial-a-claim day in more than two years, and more than 2,000 calls above average.In Metro Vancouver alone, there were 3,539 dial-a-claim calls on Monday — a 22 per cent increase from the previous week.Interestingly, by the time the heaviest snow day hit the region on Wednesday, the number of calls from Metro Vancouver saw a massive drop to 1,882.Cars left at home in worst weatherGoodman said the considerable drop on the messiest day on the roads is likely because people took the advice of officials to either stay home or find alternative ways to get around, leaving their cars at home.Drivers can also make claims online or in person at an authorized autobody shop. And claims aren't necessarily made the day of the collision.Vern Campbell with Busters Towing in Vancouver said his drivers noticed fewer calls for service this week than they were expecting. According to Campbell, the company had braced itself for the weather, gearing up with more crews, but the calls didn't materialize."The people out on the road believe the media coverage of the problem, and the recommendation to stay home ... worked," he said.Much of Busters' work involves enforcement during rush hour or at private lots, so fewer cars on the road meant fewer infractions. But Campbell said even private calls from motorists with damaged vehicles were down this week.He said many of the calls Busters did receive involved inadequate tires.Winter tires called that for a reasonIn many South Coast municipalities, drivers can legally keep summer tires on their vehicles all year.B.C. Attorney General David Eby was asked on Thursday whether the province would consider making winter tires mandatory across the province. Eby said he was frustrated to see drivers without winter tires sliding around and getting into collisions this week."It's certainly something I'll be asking ICBC about, following some of what I saw on the road over the last couple of days, and I'm sure many British Columbians would nod along with that idea," he said.According to Goodman, proper winter tires are one of the best ways to avoid the type of rear-end collisions ICBC has been seeing on the slippery streets.He said giving the vehicle in front of you more space, slowing down and making sure your view of the street isn't obstructed are all important factors to avoiding rear-end collisions.Do you have more to add to this story? Email rafferty.baker@cbc.caFollow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker

  • Driver charged for collision that killed teenage cyclist
    News
    CBC

    Driver charged for collision that killed teenage cyclist

    Police have charged a 79-year-old man with careless and dangerous driving causing death for a collision that killed a 13-year-old boy in July.Simon Khouri died after being struck by a vehicle as he biked along Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard in Orléans July 23.People who attended his funeral describe him as a joyful, talented boy with a memorable laugh who was on his way to meet friends at a pool at the time.A 79-year-old Ottawa man has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and careless driving causing death.He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 21, said Ottawa police in a news release.Khouri's death raised concerns about cyclist safety in the east Ottawa community and prompted a call from activists and family friends for improvements to streets in the area.Orléans Coun. Matt Luloff said in the days after the crash shrubs were being trimmed and road lines repainted at that intersection to make it more safe.

  • N.S. woman persuades Air Canada to send supplies to help injured Australian wildlife
    News
    CBC

    N.S. woman persuades Air Canada to send supplies to help injured Australian wildlife

    As the charred remains of bushland from Melbourne to Sydney flashed outside the train window, Brianna MacDonald became determined to help the injured wildlife she could barely see in the smoke.It's been less than two weeks since that journey. But the Nova Scotia woman has successfully lobbied Air Canada to send six cargo shipments to Australia that will include medical supplies and handcrafted goods made across Canada.While the story of the 10,000-strong Canadian Animal Rescue Craft Guild has made headlines this week, their efforts were hampered by shipping costs."A lot of people knew someone who was travelling to Australia and they were planning to put their donations in that person's luggage," MacDonald said."But that wasn't fast enough to meet the demand and it was also hard to get the incoming supplies to where they were most needed."That's where MacDonald's mother, Cathy, came in.Her garage in Bedford is filled with boxes of veterinary supplies, crocheted nests and sewn slings for injured and displaced bats. Her daughter, meanwhile, has met with wildlife groups and humanitarian agencies near where she now lives in Cronulla, Australia, to co-ordinate the distribution on the ground.Although MacDonald had initially just requested that Air Canada fly out a shipment from Halifax, the airline agreed to send out five other shipments, according to an Air Canada spokesperson.The first cargo plane will leave Halifax today. It will be filled with goods sent from all over the Maritimes and Newfoundland.Cargo planes will also leave from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver in the next few days.Lauren McCann helped collect knitted goods and donations in the Amherst area, putting down her thrummed mittens to crochet nests instead. Her colleagues at Oxford Frozen Foods donated funds so she could buy wool and material after seeing her work in the lunchroom.She knows that other people will continue to drop off other handcrafted goods after the plane flies out so she's planning to use the last of those donations to send a shipment to Australia later in the month. "If you've already started making that pouch and it's not done, don't worry about it," McCann said. "This is just the beginning of the burn season."MacDonald said the level of generosity from fellow Canadians like McCann has overwhelmed her. "Not everyone is capable of financially donating, which is 100 per cent fine, so they're finding what skills they can offer — and that is incredibly moving," she said. "A lot of them have never been here and they may never be here and they're just like, 'I will do whatever I can.'"MORE TOP STORIES

  • News
    CBC

    How Twitch viewers helped police narrow down location of possible child abuser in just hours

    "Oh my God, this is the craziest thing I've ever seen."That was a video game streamer's first thought on Dec. 16, when he spotted a video on social media — the disturbing video that would lead the Canadian to spend the next 24 hours tracking down evidence and providing it to police.It resulted in a Calgary woman being charged for allegedly assaulting a child.CBC News has agreed not to name the sleuthing streamer, so his employment won't be affected.The video was originally posted to Twitch, a live-streaming platform for gamers.It shows a woman playing the game Fortnite as she repeatedly slaps and then bites a screaming toddler, seemingly frustrated with the child for distracting her from the game.The video then cuts to a few hours later, showing her roughly handling an infant before throwing the child onto the bed that she's sitting on while playing the game.The streamer said he immediately sent the video to a contact at Twitch and then he searched on the user's social media for her location — it turned out to be Calgary — before calling the local police.But he still felt like he hadn't done enough. So he decided to scour the site, downloading evidence just in case it vanished. "I would say probably within 60 minutes of my bringing it to the attention of Twitch staff, they had suspended this person's account," he said.He wasn't the only one dismayed by what he'd seen. CBC News was contacted by concerned gaming fans, as far away as the United Kingdom, who said they had reported the video to Crime Stoppers or police. Police said that within two hours of first receiving tips about the video, officers were able to track the online gamer to a Calgary home, where officers found a woman, man and two children.  CBC News is not naming the woman or her account username to protect the identity of the children.The woman has been charged with one count of assault, and the children were taken away. Possibly more charges relating to other videos are on the way, police said.Staff Sgt. Peter Siegenthaler, with the Calgary Police Service's child abuse unit, said police rely on tips from the public in cases like this."It's hard, because sometimes [online] videos have been circulated for years, and it's hard to determine the origin and time these videos are produced."As the sleuthing streamer dug through the videos to download evidence, he discovered a different user who had also posted hours of concerning videos with a child.The videos showed the person loudly berating the child while using expletives, at one point coughing into the child's eye and threatening to withhold medication if the child didn't stop interrupting her game. CBC News has seen those videos.As with the first user's video, some of the time-stamps were as recent as mid-December.The streamer reported those videos to police as well. That user has since deleted all of the videos from her channel.Police in the U.S. city where that user lives initially said they were not investigating but have since said they have reached out to the streamer who saw the videos for more information.An ethical obligationThe streamer who reported the videos to police said that while the internet can be a nasty place and vigilantism doesn't always pan out, he's extremely proud of how quickly the Twitch community rallied to help the children in the videos."People, in general, are a lot more inherently good than we tend to give them credit for.… I wouldn't have been able to live with myself had I simply let this go," he said. Nicole Letourneau, chair of parent-infant mental health at Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, said everyone should take direction from how the online community quickly took action in response to the videos."I think members of the public are ethically obligated to protect children of parents who don't protect children.… It just needs to be reported," she said.  If you're someone who's finding that your kids are annoying you and you're playing a game, it might be a red flag that things aren't quite as they should be. \- Nicole Letourneau, parent-infant mental health expertShe said this situation holds lessons for parents, too.Letourneau studies how toxic stress can undermine the relationships between parents and children, and how different factors like mental illness or addiction can undermine a parent's ability to be attentive, responsive or nurturing to their child."A parent who is mentally well or doesn't have an addiction gets rewards from their children," Letourneau said. But in a situation where a parent isn't well, she said, that reward system isn't functioning properly, and the child becomes an interference — blocking the parent from enjoying gambling, substances, video games or browsing social media on their cellphone. "The early years for children are fleeting … everything seems to be tied in to positive early nurturing environments," Letourneau said. "If you're someone who's finding that your kids are annoying you and you're playing a game, it might be a red flag that things aren't quite as they should be."

  • Driver gets $155 ticket for licence plate covered with snow
    News
    CBC

    Driver gets $155 ticket for licence plate covered with snow

    An Edmonton man vows to fight the $155 ticket he got after he was pulled over on one of the coldest days of the year because his licence plate was covered with snow.Ayo Kayode, 30, said he was running errands Wednesday morning in his Cadillac XT5.  He said he dropped his wife at work, stopped at Costco to grab some groceries and was on his way home when his SUV was pulled over on Jasper Avenue and 112th Street by an unmarked Edmonton Police vehicle."I was doing maybe less than 40 km/h," said Kayode. "The next thing I just saw the lights, and I was like, 'What's going on?'"Kayode pulled over and waited for the officer to come to his window."He knocked on my door and then asked me, 'Do you know why I stopped you?' I was like, no!"The officer told him he was being given a ticket because his licence plate was covered with snow. Kayode said he was speechless. After he was handed the ticket, he got out took pictures of what the back of his vehicle looked, while the officer was still in his vehicle behind him.  He eventually posted about it on Instagram and said his friends couldn't believe what had happened. 'I'm going to fight it' "I was shocked. I was actually surprised that he gave me a ticket," Kayode said. "I didn't know I could be stopped for that in that condition. It was -46 yesterday, everywhere was cold, everyone had the same thing. It's just crazy"That may be the case, but the Traffic Safety Act is clear. Under all weather conditions, a clear plate is the driver's responsibility. "Most officers will give people some time after a snowfall to make sure they've had a chance to clear their vehicles," said Cheryl Voordenhout, a spokesperson with the Edmonton Police Service. "As drivers, we all have a responsibility to keep our lights, and our windows, and our plates clear of snow to help keep us all safe on the roads and to allow law enforcement to do their job."But Kayode said despite the frost and snow the two letters on his plate were still visible. "I would expect him to warn me, and say, 'Could you go clean your plate,' which I would do."  Instead, Kayode has a $155 ticket he said he has no intention of paying. "I'm going to fight it, I'm going to plead not guilty," he said. "It's ridiculous. Apart from that [the licence plate] was not even fully covered, even though he said it was covered, you could still see. It's just two letters, A, Y."Kayode said he's scheduled to see a justice of the peace on March 12.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Oops! Radio reporter calls wrong Robert Shapiro on air

    LONDON — Will the real Robert Shapiro please take the microphone?BBC radio presenter Evan Davis was left in an embarrassing situation Thursday while introducing a segment on a proposal to allow cameras to record sentencing remarks in U.K. courts.During a live telephone interview on "PM," an evening public affairs program, Davis thought producers had called Robert Shapiro, a Los Angeles-based attorney who represented ex-football star O.J. Simpson in one of the most famous televised trials in U.S. history.Instead, Davis found himself speaking to another American with the same name but made his mark by advising Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on economic policy.A round of giggles could be heard in the background as the man was wrongly introduced as the lawyer who in 1995 was part of the team that successfully defended Simpson during his murder trial.Davis said: "Robert Shapiro, I am fascinated in what you think about these rather tentative steps that have been taken here to show court on television and whether we are moving on the right track."An amused Shapiro replied: "First of all, it's an honour to be on with Lord (Jonathan) Sumption. Second, let me say that I am Robert Shapiro, an adviser to Democratic presidents, not the lawyer. You called the wrong Robert Shapiro." Sumption is a former senior judge.Davis said: "Oh my goodness, what a mistake we made. You are obviously in our Rolodex. I am surprised we didn't pick that up in the pre-conversation.""I am surprised too," Shapiro said.Despite the blunder, Shapiro knew something about the topic, and was able to provide his views on the new draft laws.The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Police issue warrant for suspect in Whitney Pier shooting

    Cape Breton Regional Police have issued an arrest warrant for a 27-year-old man wanted in connection with a shooting in Whitney Pier, N.S., that sent one man to hospital Tuesday evening.Ryan Michael Tubrett has been charged with attempted murder, using a firearm in the commission of an offence, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and two counts of breaching probation.Tubrett is described as five feet five inches tall and 150 pounds, with short, light brown hair and blue eyes.Police were called to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 after several people, including a man with a gunshot wound on his arm, arrived at the building. This prompted the hospital's emergency department to be placed on lockdown for nearly three hours as a precaution. The injured man was later transferred to Halifax and remains in hospital, according to a police news release. Investigators determined there was an altercation on Victoria Road in Whitney Pier between people who knew each other and were in two separate vehicles. Police later seized the victim's vehicle.  Police are advising anyone with information on Tubrett not to approach him and contact police at 902-563-5151 or Crime Stoppers.MORE TOP STORIES

  • UK will not automatically deport EU nationals after Brexit: Verhofstadt
    News
    Reuters

    UK will not automatically deport EU nationals after Brexit: Verhofstadt

    Britain will not automatically deport European Union citizens who have not applied for the right to remain in the country after Brexit, European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said on Friday. Verhofstadt, who met with British ministers including Brexit minister Stephen Barclay on Thursday, said he had been reassured there would be a grace period for those who have not applied for Britain's "settled status" scheme by the June 2021 deadline.

  • Canada, Iran foreign ministers meet to discuss Flight PS752 downing
    CBC

    Canada, Iran foreign ministers meet to discuss Flight PS752 downing

    Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is sitting down in Oman with his Iranian counterpart in a rare face-to-face meeting today. The Canadian government is pushing for an independent criminal investigation into the downing of Flight PS752.

  • Yukon gov't, First Nation agree on road project in southeast Yukon
    News
    CBC

    Yukon gov't, First Nation agree on road project in southeast Yukon

    The Yukon government and the Liard First Nation are touting a new agreement that's intended to improve access to a mineral-rich area of southeast Yukon.The planned upgrades to the Nahanni Range Road were first announced in 2017, as part of the Yukon Resource Gateway Project — a $360-million project funded by the federal and Yukon governments.The new agreement means the Liard First Nation is on board with the first phase of the Nahanni Range Road project, and will see direct benefits. The first phase will see $17-million worth of work done on the road, including the replacement of a couple of bridges."The road goes through the heart of Kaska territory. A lot of our citizens exercise their traditional resource harvesting rights there," said George Morgan, chief of the Liard First Nation."Just from an engagement perspective, from a process perspective, I think this was a bit of a benchmark for the Yukon government," he said, referring to the agreement.The deal means First Nation members will be trained and hired to do things like vegetation clearing, wildlife monitoring, and other work. A joint committee will also be established to look for ways to minimize the negative impacts of the project."We pushed hard to have a committee set up that will be funded," Morgan said.    "We'll look at the impacts beginning in phase one, and all the way through ... we need to make sure that the environmental and the and the socioeconomic impacts are considered."'World-class deposits'Ranj Pillai, Yukon's mines minister, says the project will benefit all Yukoners by improving access to "world-class" mineral deposits."From what's been explored, there's been some very significant deposits that have been found — from gold, to zinc, and so on," Pillai said.The existing road connects the Robert Campbell Highway, north of Watson Lake, to the Yukon/N.W.T. border. Two mining companies currently use the road for projects in the area — Golden Predator Mining, and Selwyn Chihong.Pillai says it's important that First Nations are consulted and included from the beginning of the upgrade work. "There is a lot of things that have to be figured out before you start building a very significant road. So that's the work that had to be done," he said."In this particular case, we feel we're building a foundation that gets us the proper pathway, where everybody is respected ... It's a big balancing act for all of us, for the leadership at [Liard First Nation], as well as our government."Work could begin in a few months."We are hoping that maybe we can get going on some work next summer, and put some people to work," said Morgan.