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Calgary’s pandas sent back to China because of coronavirus

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make but the health and well-being of the animals we love and care for always comes first.”

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The Calgary Zoo is being forced to send their two giant pandas back to China because they can’t get enough bamboo to feed them.

“We believe the best and safest place for Er Shun and Da Mao to be during these challenging and unprecedented times is where bamboo is abundant and easy to access,” said Calgary Zoo President & CEO Dr. Clément Lanthier in a statement Tuesday.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make but the health and well-being of the animals we love and care for always comes first.”

The pandas’ diet is 99% made up of fresh bamboo and each adult giant panda consumes approximately 40 kg of bamboo daily.

Lanthier said in the last two months, the Zoo has seen changes in transportation destroy the bamboo supply lines they have depended on since the giant pandas’ arrival in Calgary.

“Direct flight cancellations between China and Calgary resulted in WestJet stepping up to move the bamboo from Toronto to Calgary, but fewer flights between China and Toronto as a result of the pandemic removed this option,” said the zoo’s statement.

“I am continually amazed by the resourcefulness and dedication of our team,” said Lanthier.

“Unfortunately, they are fighting against forces much greater than the Calgary Zoo. Even the Canadian government had to fly empty planes out of China.”

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China. After spending 5-years at the Toronto Zoo, the two adult giant pandas arrived at the Calgary Zoo in March 2018 with cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue.

“Knowing a second wave of COVID-19 is likely, and the bamboo supply chain challenges will continue to negatively impact the zoo’s ability to bring bamboo to the giant pandas, the Calgary Zoo feels it’s critical to move the beloved giant pandas back to China where there are abundant local sources of bamboo as soon as possible,” said the zoo.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

News

More than 600,000 animals dead in BC flooding

As the numbers stand now, 628,000 of the carcasses belong to poultry, 12,000 to hogs, and 420 to cows; moreover, 110 beehives have been destroyed.

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As the weather begins to dry in parts of British Columbia savaged by recent flooding, officials begin to get a more accurate picture of the true devastation the weather has had on livestock.

At least 640,000 animals are dead, officials said Thursday. The number is likely to climb as more farmers return to their properties.

As of publication there are 819 farms still under evacuation.

“The weather looks to be a bit more dry over the next couple of days which will be critical for the removal of carcasses,” said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham.

As the numbers stand now, 628,000 of the carcasses belong to poultry, 12,000 to hogs, and 420 to cows; moreover, 110 beehives have been destroyed.

“The work by farmers and volunteers and companies to clean out barns and remove those animals continues to be extremely heartbreaking,” said Popham.

Abbotsford, BC — a city particularly oppressed by floodwaters — is home to roughly half of the province’s dairy farms.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Notley supports CBC’s woke words for white people

The CBC released the list earlier this week and it has generally drawn scorn across the country.

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Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley has thrown her support behind a list of words the CBC says white people should avoid using.

The CBC released the list earlier this week and it has generally drawn scorn across the country.

As the Western Standard’s Linda Slobodian pointed out, the CBC’s list includes: “ghetto, to sell someone down the river, brainstorm, blackmail, savage, spooky, gypped, powwow, crippled, tribe, black sheep, blindsided, first-world problem, spirit animal, lame, grandfathered in, and tone deaf.”

Notley tweeted: “Such an important and interesting read.”

Notley tweet

CBC racialized journalists consulted black, indigenous, and people of colour to find out what offends them. 

“We ran some of the words by anti-racism and language experts, who said some of these phrases can be hurtful to various groups of people for their historical and cultural context,” said CBC.

“It might be time to rethink your use of these phrases and remove them from your daily lingo. CBC Ottawa compiled a small list of words, submitted by readers and some of our journalists who are black, indigenous and people of colour.”

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Sask Health Authority CEO resigns suddenly

The reasons for Scott Livingstone’s resignation are not known. His interim replacement is Andrew Will, who has been the SHA’s VP of Infrastructure, Information and Support.

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By LEE HARDING

Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, resigned “effective immediately” for undisclosed reasons.

Arlene Wilks, the SHA Board of Directors chair, made the announcement via a press release. 

“The (b)oard is grateful for Scott’s leadership during the creation of the SHA and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release reads.

“As CEO, Scott demonstrated a commitment to patient-and family-centred care and provided stability during a time of substantial change and significant pressures on the health system due to COVID.” 

The board chose Andrew Will to be the interim CEO. 

“Born and educated in Saskatchewan, Andrew Will has dedicated his career to providing executive leadership that builds strong organizational culture focused on supporting individuals and teams to achieve their best for the people we serve,” Wilks said in the release.

“Andrew has served in executive leadership positions for health regions in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, including Chief Executive Officer of four health regions, including as acting CEO of the former Saskatoon Health Region.”

CTV News obtained a document that also shows the SHA’s COO, Suann Laurent, was no longer listed in that position as of Nov. 17. The document listed Livingstone as filling that role also in an interim capacity.

Nothing indicates Livingstone resigned because of pending orders he disagreed with.

When University of Saskatchewan surgery professor Dr. Francis Christian issued reservations regarding COVID-19 shots for teenagers, Livingstone blasted him publicly in June.

“I think what he has done publicly is dangerous … I don’t condone it at all. Very disappointed,” Livingstone said.

“I would say from my perspective, what’s most disrespectful is his comments relative to pandemic vaccination and the response from this province … and how disrespectful that is to the thousands of people across this province, the health-care people on his team at the university and across this province who’ve worked so hard over 15 months to keep people in this province safe. I find his comments absurd.”

Christian was subsequently relieved of his role with the SHA and was not re-hired by the University of Saskatchewan for his teaching position.

Wilks said the board would maintain the “operational continuity and stability for our health system” during the transition.

“I am immensely appreciative of the hard work and sacrifice of our health care teams. Please know that we will continue to make every effort to support you through all the challenges that have come during the pandemic,” Wilks said.

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