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First toilet paper – now bullets

Retailers across the country said they have seen a run on ammunition, 90 per cent of which is produced in the U.S.

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The coronavirus has off a run on ammunition sales in Canada, with gun enthusiasts worried about supplies becoming short.

“It’s been like the toilet paper run,” a target shooter called Jeff said in an interview with the Western Standard.

“If you want lots at the last minute, your’re screwed. I’ve bought a little here and there when they have been on sale, so I’m okay.”

Retailers across the country said they have seen a run on ammunition, 90 per cent of which is produced in the U.S.

“There’s no doubt that there’s been a stretch of busy days with lots of customers coming through. Right now, the big push is for ammunition,” Backcountry store owner Steve Hewitt, in Fort St. John, told the Alaska Highway News.

“Some people are coming in because they’ve heard rumours that there will be ammunition shortages but that isn’t the case. Other reasons people are coming in are they want to be stocked in case we have to close, they want to spend the down time target shooting, or they’re worried that prices may go up.”

Ross Faulkner, owner of The Gun Dealer in McAdam, N.B., said he has seen a surge.

“When things get tough, it’s certainly a feeling of security, especially when you’re dealing with uncertain times like we’re dealing with now,” he told CBC

Strong firearms sales are also a concerns because the feds have promised to bring in new gun laws.

“This happens when people are worried about where things are headed, but honestly we haven’t seen anything quite like this,” Hewitt said to the CBC.

Wes Winkel, who runs a gun shop in Ontario, has never seen a spike in sales like what he’s experienced in the last week: a 200 per cent increase.

He said business came from hunters and target shooters worried the supply of ammunition.

“Unprecedented. That’s the only way I could describe it,” Winkel, who runs Ellwood Epps Sports Goods in Orillia, Ont., told the CBC. 

Photos from the U.S. have shown people lined up around the block at gun stores.

“This is self-preservation. This is panic. This is ‘I won’t be able to protect my family from the hordes and the walking dead,'” said Ed Turner of Ed’s Public Safety in Stockbridge, Ga., adding sales are up five-fold.

An image of a lineup outside Retting Guns in Culver City, Calif., has been making the rounds on social media. On their Facebook page on March 13, the store’s owners said ammunition supplies were running low for some types.

On Tuesday, CBC said the owners moved to limit capacity inside the store to 25 at a time, asking customers to sign up to gain access. By the next day, they had moved to appointment only to deal with the influx of buyers. 

Because only licensed gun owners can make those purchases in Canada, there is no reason to be worried, said the CEO of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights.

“It’s not criminals that are swamping the gun stores, it’s law-abiding citizens that would go through the trouble to get and hold a licence,” Rod Giltaca told the CBC.

Federal Safety Minister Bill Blair said the Liberal government would act quickly in bringing in a ban on the so-called “assault-style” weapons.

There was also a talk of a buy-back programs that could cost billions of dollars for the government to buy the guns off Canadians who had purchased them while legal.

The federal government says they are looking to ban “assault rifles” and “military-style” guns across the country quickly – despite the fact they haven’t defined what constitutes one yet, or have been already banned since the 1970s.

Blair has said the “military-style” rifle ban will come in the “near term,” and added gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.

Blair has said a handgun ban will take longer to bring in because municipalities will have to be consulted.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has likely but new gun control regulations on the back burner.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: @Nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Alberta brewery shocks Maori people by naming beer after their pubic hair

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

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An Alberta brewery has unwittingly offended the Maori people of New Zealand by naming one of its beers after their pubic hair.

The Hell’s Basement brewery in Medicine Hat used the Maori word “huruhuru” to name its “New Zealand hopped pale ale”.

Unfortunately, in the Maori language “huruhuru” means pubic hair.

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

“Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation,” he wrote.

Nikora said he contacted the brewery to inform them of their blunder.

“Don’t call beer pubic hair unless you make it with pubic hair,” he said.

Brewery co-founder Mike Patriquin said in statement to the New Zealand news site RNZ he thought “huruhuru” meant “feather” and he didn’t realise it was a reference to pubic hair.

“We did not realise the potential to offend through our artistic interpretation, and given the response we will attempt to do better in the future,” he said.

“To those who feel disrespected we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Gov.-Gen. Pyette spending hundreds of thousands of dollars so she doesn’t have to see people

But Pyette’s spokeswoman says Canadians don’t have to right to ask about her living arrangements.

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There’s more evidence out of Ottawa of Gov.-Gen. Julie Pyette acting like a drama queen – including spending $141,000 to plan for a private staircase that was never built.

But Pyette’s spokeswoman says Canadians don’t have to right to ask about her living arrangements.

It was part of hundreds of thousands of dollars Pyette demanded in privacy upgrades before she would move into Rideau Hall – but she still hasn’t moved into her official residence almost three years into her five-year mandate. 

More than $117,500 was also spent on a gate and series of doors to keep people away from Payette’s office, according to the National Capital Commission (NCC), which manages the official vice-regal residence.

While a large chunk of the grounds of Rideau Hall are open to the public, Payette “wanted to come and go without anyone seeing her,” one source with knowledge of the project told the CBC.

Multiple sources told CBC, Payette doesn’t like maintenance workers in her line of sight and even RCMP protection officers aren’t allowed to stand directly outside her office door and must hide in a room down the hallway.

Early in Payette’s mandate, CBC reported she wanted a door for her cats to be able to exit the living quarters on the second floor and go outside. The idea then changed into a private exit for Payette.

CBC said a team of government staff and outside companies spent months working on the project and going through a rigorous approval process to make the addition to the heritage building, according to sources. But the staircase was never built. 

But Payette’s press secretary, Ashlee Smith, suggested it’s not in the public’s interest for the media to ask about Payette’s living arrangements.

“To date, outstanding issues regarding universal accessibility and privacy in the space provided in Rideau Hall for the Governor General have not yet been addressed,” said Smith in a statement to CBC. 

“In this day and age, the interest in this seems contrary to respecting the life and privacy of a person.”

During the pandemic, Payette has spent time working at her own cottage in Quebec which means RCMP have to travel to the area near Mirabel and stay in hotels, the CBC reported.

Just last month there were claims the Queen’s representative in Canada had seen a mass exodus of staff while reducing others to tears after dressing-downs.

“Four members of Payette’s communications team have departed during the pandemic period alone. A fifth person is leaving this week and another two have taken leaves of absence. It’s just the latest wave of staff to quietly transfer out of the small office in response to mistreatment during Payette’s mandate”, multiple sources told the CBC.

“This has gone from being one of the most collegial and enjoyable work environments for many of the staff to being a house of horrors – it’s bullying and harassment at its worst,” one source told CBC.

CBC said they had spoken to dozens of sources to come up with the portrait of a tyrant Pyette.

The sources told CBC Payette has yelled at, belittled and publicly humiliated employees. They accused her of throwing tantrums in the office and, on one occasion, tossing an employee’s work aside and calling it “sh&%.”

CBC reported on one day along multiple people were seen leaving Pyette’s office in tears.

Multiple sources told CBC Payette routinely complained of being tired, underfed and overworked.

But Rideau Hall said Payette and “the management of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General ‘strongly believe’ in the importance of a healthy workplace.”

“We deeply regret this reporting, which is in stark contrast to the reality of working at the OSGG, and obscures the important work done by our dedicated staff in honouring, representing, and showcasing Canadians,” said Ashlee Smith, press secretary to the Governor General, in a statement to CBC.

Payette, a former astronaut, was appointed Governor General on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October 2017. Her term runs until 2022.

At the beginning of her mandate, CBC reported, Payette put staff on the spot by quizzing them about outer space — asking them to name all the planets in the solar system, for example, or to state the distance between the sun and the moon.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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WATCH: Alberta to explore nuclear option

Kenney said Alberta will enter into talks with Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick to support the development of versatile and scalable small modular reactors.

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Alberta is joining three other province to try and launch small scale nuclear power plants, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Kenney said Friday Alberta will enter into a memorandum of understanding with Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick to support the development of versatile and scalable small modular reactors (SMRs).

In a release, the government said SMRs are smaller than traditional nuclear reactors and scalable to suit local needs, with lower upfront capital costs and enhanced safety features. This new and versatile technology could supply non-emitting, low-cost energy for on-grid and off-grid communities in Alberta, including remote and rural areas of the province, as well as industries with a significant need for steam, such as Alberta’s oil sands.

“Our government is exploring all opportunities that could help diversify our economy and create jobs for Albertans,” said Kenney.

Government of Alberta video

“We are building on our track record of responsible and innovative energy production by exploring the potential for small modular reactors, which have the potential to generate reliable and affordable energy, while also strengthening our traditional resource sectors and reducing emissions.

“We are excited to collaborate with our provincial partners to stay ahead of the game in the development of this promising technology.”

The government said SMRs would be small enough to be built in a factory and shipped by truck, rail or ship.

A typical SMR would generate between two and 300 megawatts of electricity, which could provide power for a village or small city. In comparison, a conventional nuclear reactor can generate 600 to 1,000 megawatts, which can provide power for a large city.

SMRs could operate independently or be linked to multiple units, depending on the required amount of power.

“Alberta’s rich uranium deposits, respected innovation and research sector, and technically skilled and educated workforce could make us an attractive destination to develop and deploy SMRs,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage in a statement.

“By signing on to this agreement, our government is taking another step to attract investment and job creators to our province by ensuring we have the appropriate regulatory framework in place should private industry decide to pursue this emerging technology.”

In December 2019, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to support the development and deployment of SMRs.

Canada is the second largest uranium producer in the world, with about 15 per cent of total world production.

The Athabasca Basin, which straddles the northern Alberta-Saskatchewan border, contains some of the greatest uranium resources in the world.

….MORE TO COME

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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