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FRN wraps up special events for new Ukrainian residents

FRN wraps up special events for new Ukrainian residents

Cochrane’s Family Resource Network (FRN) held the last of four special events to help new Ukrainian residents create connections in the community.

The network hosted two cafes and two walks during the month of August.

FRN’s Jessica Nairne says the events were held to help the new residents to connect with each other as well as learn more about Cochrane. While no other special events have been planned but FRN continues to encourage the new residents to continue to take advantage of the services they offer.

Those services could be particularly valuable for new services with children going back to school.

It is estimated over 70 Ukrainian families have now settled in the Cochrane area.

FRN has a long list of ways to assist and navigate residents, including

  • Essential Needs programs that provide access to Cochrane Food Bank, Cochrane Connect Card, and much more. 
  • Assist with government systems navigation, advocacy, supportive counselling, and referrals to other community services.
  • Early Childhood Development programs provide families an opportunity for social connections and play, while young children up to age 6, gain and master skills in all developmental domains. 
  • Ages and Stages screenings provide a snapshot of how your child is doing with communication, physical ability, social skills, and problem-solving skills. Screenings can identify your child’s strengths and any areas where your child may need support. You can fill out an ASQ online and a Family Support Worker will follow up with you.   ASQ Online
  • Parent Education sessions are offered throughout the year, on a variety of topics, for families with children from birth to age 18.  
  • A Home Visitation program that provides in-home support to families with young children (birth to 6).  Referrals are made through FRN and service is provided by Children’s Cottage. 
  • Youth supports and prevention programming is offered by BCG Cochrane & Area, for ages 7-18. Youth Outreach line: 403-618-3149. 

The services of FRN are strength-based, trauma-informed, inclusive, supportive, and respectful, with a focus on building capacity. Services are provided in partnership with the Town of Cochrane, FCSS, Children’s Cottage, and BGC for Cochrane & Area. 

To learn more about FRN, phone 403-851-2265.

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Oak Bay plans to keep residents cool when extreme heat hits – Saanich News

Oak Bay plans to keep residents cool when extreme heat hits – Saanich News

Planning for future extreme heat emergencies includes short-term planning and long-term preparation in Oak Bay. Fire Chief Frank Macdonald outlined the district’s approach to council during its July 11 meeting.

More than 700 people in B.C. died last year due to extreme heat events, according to the provincial health authority, with 21 of them on southern Vancouver Island.

In response to those events, Oak Bay Emergency Services staff has been preparing for extreme summer heat events, working to reduce risks to the health and safety of residents.

Over the one-week heat wave, temperatures rose to a peak of over 40 C in many parts of the province. But different regions were impacted disproportionately, Macdonald told council. Island Health and BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) in the Capital Region didn’t report the impact other areas saw. For example, Oak Bay Fire Department was not overwhelmed by medical calls to help BCEHS like their counterparts in Vancouver. There the fire department was, at one point, fully tied up in medical calls amid significant ambulance delays, leaving no resources available for fire response.

While the impacts were less severe, Macdonald noted weather scientists predict hotter summers and extreme heat events should be expected.

Heat events are classified as top-down events, meaning local emergency programs follow the lead of the province. Under the BC Heat Alert and Response System launched in June, a dedicated provincial heat committee will issue either warnings or emergency alerts, depending on different temperature thresholds. If a region is expected to see two or more consecutive days with daytime highs and nighttime lows above what is considered normal, a warning will be issued. If temperatures are expected to continue to increase day over day for three or more days, an extreme heat emergency will be declared and Alert Ready may be used. That emergency alert system should be familiar to residents as Amber Alerts and tsunami warnings on television, radio and cellphones.

Local protocols created by the Oak Bay Emergency Program include education, partnerships, communication, block watch, the Greater Victoria Public Library, Oak Bay Volunteers Services and other local governments. The partnerships focus on education, checking in on vulnerable residents during an event, and providing a place to cool for those who need.

In the event of an extreme heat event the air-conditioned common areas of Oak Bay Recreation Centre, Monterey centre and the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, serve as unmanned cooling centres. Neighbouring municipalities confirm their cooling centres will be open to Oak Bay residents living in the area.

OBEP plans to share information through a new preparedness guide, presentations at Monterey centre, displays during the monthly night market and both traditional and social media.

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Multiple residents attend food distribution event in Lethbridge

Multiple residents attend food distribution event in Lethbridge

Duhacek explained that all of the food that comes through the agency’s doors goes back to people in need, with non-human consumables going to animals.

She told Lethbridge News Now on-scene that most residents were able to walk away with approximately $200 worth of food.

Duhacek said, “the food that they’re going to walk away with ranges from perishables, non-perishables, proteins, potatoes, we have huge chunks of beef, we have everything from seniors to family sizes will be covered today (June 21).”

“The food that we get is done by Second Harvest. So, our biggest partnership is with Second Harvest. Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food distribution program.”

Second Harvest ensures that Alberta Food Rescue and Distribution gets the necessary food that goes back out into the community.

“We also work with other places as well but generally what happens is, they come right from distribution centres and warehousing, and that’s how we’re able to do this.”

Duhacek did note, however, that they are struggling for funding to keep up their community efforts, so the organization is looking for corporate sponsorships. Tuesday’s event was made possible thanks to various donors, according to Duhacek.

She added that the agency first worked Mainstreet Equity Corp. in Calgary, with a potato delivery to one of their housing sites in the city. This eventually led to a broader partnership between the two bodies.

Duhacek said Mainstreet’s mandate for Tuesday’s event was to ensure no food was leftover, so, for the last half-hour of the afternoon initiative, members from across the entire community were invited to join and pick up food.

“We have families that are living with no extra dollars, but the cost of living is intense,” Duhacek said.

“It has a major strain on our food banks, our food rescues and even the housing programs, so that is why we’re working with Mainstreet.”

Duhacek added it is not just Lethbridge they are serving, but the agency has distributed food to the Piikani Nation and other surrounding First Nations. Plans are in the works to assist other communities in Alberta and eventually, help in municipalities outside of the province.

Chris Hollinger, Mainstreet’s Regional Supervisor for Calgary, Lethbridge, Cochrane and Airdrie said the organization’s partnership with the food distribution agency is very important.

He said, “we’re not just about quality of housing, we’re about giving back to the people that are living in our housing.”

“We’re here to support the people that are living in our properties and like I said, it’s not just about housing, it’s about mental wellness, food vulnerability that we’ve experienced with the increased costs of food in the grocery stores and we’re just happy that we can help out in any way.”

Hollinger said Mainstreet hopes to hold more events like Tuesday’s, alongside Alberta Food Rescue and Distribution, in the future.

Jennifer Tilson, a Mainstreet resident who was on hand for the event, said the food distribution is hugely impactful, “especially with the prices nowadays.”

She said the food options available were quite varied and helpful.

“They even [had] like individual salads and they had bananas and stuff like that, and then the big tray of meat and cheese is kind of nice,” Tilson said.

She added that other housing properties should take inspiration from Mainstreet and Alberta Food Rescue and Distribution, and host events like Tuesday’s in Lethbridge.

More on Alberta Food Rescue and Distribution is available at the non-profit’s Facebook page.

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Yahoo launching Metaverse events for Hong Kong residents under restrictions

Yahoo launching Metaverse events for Hong Kong residents under restrictions

Yahoo has announced a series of Metaverse and NFT-related activities in Hong Kong, a day after Meta Platforms outlined its own metaverse plans for the region.

Yahoo, a US-based internet media company, revealed that it will host a series of virtual events and concerts for Hong Kong residents in the Decentraland metaverse.

According to Lorraine Cheung, the head of audience at Yahoo Hong Kong, the company sees the Metaverse as an attractive alternative for Hong Kong residents looking to engage in social activities while pandemic restrictions remain in force. On Thursday last week, a nation-wide mandate was introduced requiring that a negative Covid test be provided to enter all public venues such bars and restaurants.

“We hope to use the Metaverse to connect people regardless of time and physical location.”

Yahoo will also launch a non-fungible token (NFT) exhibition called The Abyss of Kwun Tong, which will see local artists virtually recreate the historic neighborhood of Kwun Tong which has been heavily impacted by redevelopment.

Creative Producer Leung Ching-hsuan said that the goal of the NFT exhibition was to “retain humanity using technology.”

On Tuesday, the social-media giant Meta put forward a strategy to work alongside local businesses and organizations such as cafes, schools and art galleries to create ‘“first-hand” Metaverse experiences for residents.

Major companies are increasingly embracing the Metaverse with international consulting firm McKinsey releasing a report this week predicting that Metaverse-related spending could be worth nearly $5 trillion by 2030.

Earlier this year, JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, made headlines by releasing a report that called Metaverse technology a “one trillion-dollar opportunity”, alongside opening their own virtual headquarters in the Decentraland metaverse.

Related: 71% of high net worth individuals have invested in digital assets: Survey

Decentraland’s MANA token has rallied today, gaining a little over 14% in the last 24 hours according to data from CoinMarketCap.