Ongoing History Daily: Modest backstage needs

Back in the imperial period of David Bowie’s career in the 1970s, he ingested a lot of drugs and alcohol at all times of the day and night. By the time he got to the late 90s, he’d long since cleaned up and wasn’t much into the excesses of the old days. For example, when he was preparing for an appearance at the BRIT Awards, all he wanted was a few slices of ham on a baguette.

Billy Idol loves a specific brand of chocolate chip cookies. Marilyn Manson’s big request was gummy bears—although he often asked for a bald toothless hooker just to see if the promoter could do it.

And Nine Inch Nails was known for asking for two boxes of cornstarch for the dressing rooms. Your guess is as good as mine, although it may have something to do with keeping leather pants from sticking and chafing.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Rock star pre-show rituals

If you’re an artist, you need to get into the zone, the right headspace, before you step onstage. This often leads to a number of interesting pre-show rituals. It could be something as simple as getting a B-12 injection, something that Prince did.

That’s completely opposite to the Foo Fighters who blast Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album while drinking many shots of Jaegermeister. Jack White has been known to knock back whiskey and Redbull while smashing things with a baseball bat. Weezer is a little more sedate. They like to toss around a Frisbee before a show because Rivers Cuomo says that not only helps with concentration but also warms up their hands.

Then there’s Thom Yorke. He needs silence for hours before a show so he can meditate and stand on his head for a while.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: That time when Shaq almost sued 311

Back in the early 2000s, Omaha’s 311 was on a real roll, selling lots of records, playing plenty of gigs, and making their share of big-budget music videos.

In 2001, they managed to get Shaquille O’Neal for a cameo in the video for their song You Wouldn’t Believe. At the time, O’Neal was playing for the LA Lakers and the team was in the middle of a playoff run. The team stipulated that O’Neal was not to play any basketball outside of official games and practices for fear that he might get hurt.

But 311 convinced him to play a little hoops in this video, completely in contravention of orders from the Lakers. There was an added complication.

For some reason, O’Neal showed up with two left shoes. Where was anyone going to get a pair of size 22 basketball shoes at short notice? Nowhere. Shaq still agreed to appear in the video—but if anyone filmed his feet, he promised that he’d sue.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Engagement, affordable housing concerns locals in Hamilton LRT study

A recent urban study suggests housing insecurity and lack of engagement are top of mind with residents living along the proposed route for Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) system.

University of Waterloo professor Brian Doucet says after some 100 interviews for the Hamilton Neighbourhood Change Research Project, rising rents, feeling ignored and worry over the changing of local’s travel patterns bubbled to the surface as concerns amid the development.

“So the city and Metrolinx need to do a better job informing people of what’s going to happen,” Doucet told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.

The planned route for Hamilton’s 14-kilometer LRT between McMaster University and Eastgate is set to run through several neighbourhoods, including some of the city’s poorest.

The report, released in March, revealed no new affordable units are to be added to the city’s supply as of the start of demolitions.

It’s a point that strikes fear in respondents who believe none of those teardowns will ever come back into the system.

“So if the question of what to build is left entirely to the market, what Hamilton is going to see is a lot of tall buildings, a lot of small condo units, most of which are bought by investors,” Doucet explained.

“So a lot of new housing along the LRT corridor, but not housing that is needed for those communities.”

Metrolinx touched on the issue during an extensive update Friday revealing to affordable housing advocates that contracts to build the line haven’t even been awarded yet, thus making it too early for any commitment to redirect surplus land to building homes.

“Affordable housing could be a very good file in which those available properties could be used for,” Metrolinx chief planning officer Karla Avis-Birch told a city hall committee.

“So towards the end of the project working in partnership with the province … the city and others for that potential.”

The research concurs with the assessment additionally suggesting the acquisition of more sites within the corridor to be used for low-income housing that developers are unwilling or unable to build.

It also suggests council use what governing powers they have to keep costs down for renters, like implementing tougher anti-renoviction bylaws.

“The city needs to be very proactive and Metrolinx hopefully would be proactive to use some of the land that it has acquired to build this project to keep it in public ownership,” Doucet said.

Other recommendations say Metrolinx and the city need to up their community engagement to better inform residents about changes to avoid “confusion, misunderstanding, and mistrust.”

It also proposes more research on the local’s “lived experiences” via regular and systematic consultations to eliminate feelings of exclusion from LRT planning.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Edmonton police officer, 2 former peace officers charged in 2020 overdose cell death

Alberta’s police watchdog says community peace officers failed to conduct routine wellness checks on a man who overdosed in his cell. As Dan Grummett reports, the officers were later caught lying to investigators.

An Edmonton Police Service officer and two former Community Peace Officers have been charged after an internal investigation into a man’s in-custody death in March 2020.

On March 16, 2020, a 38-year-old man was found dead inside a cell in EPS’ former detainee management unit.

An autopsy determined he died from fentanyl toxicity.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigated and released a report on Oct. 12, 2022.

In his investigation, ASIRT assistant executive director Matthew Block determined that the required checks were not done by the community peace officers (CPOs) on the detainee.

The report said peace officers are required to conduct walk-around physical checks every 15 minutes and arousal checks every hour.

The two peace officers told Edmonton Police Service detectives that they conducted certain checks in the time leading up to the detainee’s death, but video from the cell showed they hadn’t, ASIRT found.

The video showed the officers on duty that day did not conduct a single arousal check on the detainee between 8:30 a.m. and 1:42 p.m.

“The CPOs on duty that day did not follow EPS policy, and then… appear to have tried to hide this,” the ASIRT report said.

However, ASIRT doesn’t have the jurisdiction over community peace officers.

“Any further action regarding them is the responsibility of EPS.”

So, after the ASIRT investigation, EPS investigators did a follow-up investigation, “which was sent to the Calgary Crown Prosecution Service for an opinion,” EPS said in a news release Tuesday.

Three people, who were working as community peace officers in the detainee unit at the time of the incident, have been charged.

Mathieu Labrie, 32; Jeffrey Mullenix, 52; and Const. Yi Yang, 35, were jointly charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Const. Yang is currently on administrative leave with pay, EPS said Tuesday. The other two accused are not employed by the police service.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Not a tick the box operation': Addressing MMIWG calls for justice a work in progress

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller, said the federal government is listening to survivors and families and moving towards accountability when it comes to responding to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ (MMIWG) calls for justice.

“We’re making sure that we don’t lose track … making sure that we are focused on families, survivors and their experience through all this,” Miller told Global News. “The federal government is not good at having those intimate, direct ties with families and survivors … we are sort of very corporate in nature and often quite sterile in the way we interact. That needs to change.

This year’s annual progress report was the first to detail what work is being done that explicitly relates to the calls for justice.

Across departments, Miller said various initiatives are actively working towards addressing the calls but progress on the plan has been hard to measure.

When asked how many of the 231 calls for justice have been completed, Miller said, “It’s not a tick the box operation.”

“It isn’t limited to solely the federal government, that reminder is always poignant when you talk to families,” Miller added, “but we can certainly do things to make sure that the people that are vulnerable are no longer so.”

It’s been four years since the national inquiry and final report on MMIWG were released, and two years since Canada released its national action plan.

The final report concluded that what’s been happening to Indigenous women and girls in Canada is a “genocide” and families and advocates have cited a lack of action on the report’s findings ever since.

This year’s progress report highlights plans to advance accountability and accelerate the working process, citing the appointment of an ombudsperson, supporting 30 communities to develop safety plans, investing an additional $20 million in the pathways to safe Indigenous communities initiative and allocating over $3 million to develop 13 new healing and wellness programs to support Indigenous families and survivors.

“We have to hear the calls from families that moneys are going into different organizations and that never hits the ground. So I think we can walk and chew gum here but it is a cry that we do have to keep focused on,” said Miller.

“We’re not anywhere close to where we want to be, but it’s sad to say that these some of these changes are generational in nature.”

Miller said a lot of the issues that stall this work arise when change needs to happen federally, provincially and locally.

“Jurisdiction is a poisonous word in this space,” he said. “Often the barrier that we’ve had is sort of a corporate one in nature where … we don’t have good, intimate, direct links to ground grassroots organizations and we are not having those difficult conversations with with survivors.

He said that while the federal government’s commitment is ongoing, every funding announcement can’t be celebrated.

“This is really about accompanying people and making sure that no one is patting themselves on the back until people are safe in this country,” said Miller.

“To be generational and transformational in nature, (the MMIWG crisis) needs to be addressed in many segments, including by the general population that really doesn’t spend enough time thinking about these issues.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Quebec politicians vote in favour of increasing their own salaries by $30K

The members of Quebec’s national assembly have voted to increase their base salaries by $30,000.

The government bill was supported by the governing Coalition Avenir Québec and the Opposition Quebec Liberal Party.

The province’s two smaller opposition parties, the Parti Québécois and Québec solidaire, voted against the increase.

With the increase, the base salary of provincial legislators will rise from $101,561 to $131,766.

Those with additional duties, including ministers and opposition leaders, will receive larger increases.

Premier François Legault, for example, will see his salary rise from $208,200 to $270,120, while the salaries of ministers will rise to $230,591.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Man in custody after hours-long police standoff in north Lethbridge

WATCH: Police confirm one man is in custody after some tense hours in Lethbridge’s north side earlier Tuesday. Erik Bay tells us what led to the heavy police presence at a home on 13 Street and what it took to make the arrest.

Several blocks on a stretch of 13th Street N in the area of 19th Avenue were closed for several hours on Tuesday as police tried to coax a man with outstanding warrants out of a home.

According to Lethbridge Police, it all started just after 8 a.m.

“We had information that that individual was inside the residence and as a result of the individual not coming out, we had to follow through with our process of ensuring public safety, as well as executing those warrants,” Acting Sgt. Dave Easter said.

A tactical unit, K9 and a number of uniformed officers were on scene and the street was blocked off.

Police tried to contact the man several times using a megaphone, telling him he was under arrest and to come out of the home.

Shortly after noon a robot was deployed, with officers telling the man to use the phone it was carrying.

Gas was ultimately deployed, and shortly after the man left the home and was taken into custody, ending the standoff around 1:30 p.m.

Police say charges are pending and more information will be released when possible.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Service groups learn about Low German Mennonites at Lethbridge conference

WATCH: A conference held in Lethbridge, Alta. on Tuesday aimed at giving service providers the history and tools they need to interact with members of the Low German Community. Eloise Therien has more.

The Southern Alberta Kanadier Association (SAKA) hosted an all-day conference at Lethbridge College on Tuesday to help educate service providers on the Low German Mennonite community.

Topics included LGM history and beliefs, their concerns regarding Canadian laws and government systems, educational priorities, and practical tips to refer to when working with Low German Mennonites.

“I’ve often noticed how unfamiliar many  people are with the culture and the background of the LGM,” added organizer Margarita Sawatzky.

“It’s very important to us to be able to help other service providers who might not be of the LGM background to understand what the culture is like, what makes us tick, and what are the struggles that face us now”

Low German Mennonites were formed as an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century, originally migrating from Eastern Europe and Russia to Canada and other countries in North and South America. Many have migrated back and forth due to economic and social factors.

“Most of the people from the Low German Mennonite community will come to southern Alberta from Mexico,” explained Ontarian keynote speaker Amanda Sawatkzy.

“Some of the more recent migrations have also included some from Bolivia. In southwestern Ontario we’re seeing a lot of both.”

She spoke about her experiences growing up, and added there’s been some debate as to whether it’s a cultural or religious group, with members having a range of beliefs.

“When you look at somebody like me who is more non-traditional Low German Mennonite, you wouldn’t maybe necessarily be able to tell by my dress that this is where I come from. But I still speak the language, I grew up that way, I just made different choices as an adult.

“So you can’t just make inferences based on how somebody is dressed or looks that they are or aren’t Low German Mennonite.”

Kaitlynn Weaver, an outreach services supervisor with  Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) in Taber, Alta., said it was important for her to attend, having little knowledge of the community’s history.

“The history of Low German Mennonites and the migration throughout the years (is new) for me,” she said. “(As) someone who’s not from southern Alberta I’m really interested to learn about the history so I can provide better services for Low German families.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Free Calgary tour offers insight into the magical world of honey bees

A free tour is being offered in Calgary this summer with the purpose of educating people on the important role bees play in the ecosystem.

MOB Honey has five urban hives built in the East Village with each containing thousands of honey bees.

“They’ve created all this fresh wax,” said owner Amber Yano as she pulled out a shelf from the hive, with thousands of friendly bees climbing all over bits of honeycomb, peeks of fresh raw honey oozing from holes.

Most of the bees are female workers. The rest are male ‘drones’ who leave the hives to mate and, of course, a single queen. She is the only one who lays eggs.

Yano says the current population of 20,000 will multiply up to 70,000 as the summer continues. “But you won’t see them out because only 10 per cent of the hive goes out to forage.”

Those that do will travel up to 10 kilometres, enriched by the vast array of pollinators — including mustard, wild rose and sweet clover — along the nearby riverbank.

The tour aims to help inspire people to create bee-friendly spaces. In a time where bees around the world are threatened, Yano says every little bloom helps.

“Just encouraging more spaces for pollinators, creating habitat in your front yard or backyard,” said Yano. “Climate change, over pesticide usage in the landscape and loss of habitat. These are things everything has to contend with.”

The honey produced at the five urban hives are sold as MOB Honey’s East Village label.

To find out more information on dates and times of the free summer tours, visit Eventbrite.


© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories