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Calgary says fini to shark fin products, Saskatchewan couple honoured as outstanding young farmers, Edmonton’s first lady of philanthropy also honoured, and Winnipeg’s Sherbrook Pool closes.


 Calgary places ban on shark-fin products.

No shark for you! Calgary is set to go ahead with a bylaw that bans the possession, sale and consumption of all shark fin products. Council members John Mar and Brian Pincott were asked to conduct a community consultation back in October in regards to the proposed bylaw banning shark fins.

Coalition’s Richard Poon says, “The main purpose is we what to share more opinions from both sides … people who support, people who don’t support it.”

Calgary’s shark fin bylaw is set to take effect next July.



 Saskatchewan wine makers Vance Lester and Susan Echlin honoured

Living Sky Winery reaches for the sky. Vance Lester and Susan Echlin the couple behind the successful fruit winery since 2005 have been given the honour of one of Canada’s most outstanding young farmers of 2012. The other couple honoured were from Quebec for their sheep farm.

Lester by trade is a duck biologist and Echlin grew up on a ranch in Alberta. She came to Saskatchewan to study International Politics and while a career in it wasn’t immediately employable, after meeting Vance she decided she wanted to start a business she was passionate about. The couple considers the impact on the environment on all they do with running their winery and live by the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Lester and Echlin attended the Gala in PEI on Friday November 30 and it was the first time being held there during its 32-year history.  The two national winners were selected out of seven nominees for Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF). Next year the awards will be hosted by the Saskatchewan OYF committee in conjunction with the Canadian Western Agribition Livestock show. It will be held mid- November in Regina.



Brenda Poole given the honor of Edmonton’s first lady of philanthropy

83-year-old Brenda Poole beamed with pride after “Sacred Star Woman” her new Cree name was bestowed upon her for her years of kindness and generosity. Betty Lafferty a Cree elder presented the title at a recent sold out luncheon honouring Poole as Edmonton’s first lady of philanthropy.

“Because we don’t always see stars doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” said Lafferty at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. “They give us light unconditionally.”

Poole and her late husband John were both considered philanthropists and were jointly named to the Alberta Order of Excellence. Over the years they have supported the Edmonton Symphony; the Alberta Ballet; the Winspear Centre; the Citadel Theatre and the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta’s Arts Award Foundation. Brenda’s involvement with the Lois Hole Hospital for Women Campaign alone has been outstanding and what she is most recently recognized for.

In a letter read at the luncheon, Alberta Premiere Alison Redford said that Poole is “a genuine giant in heart and vision” whose philanthropy has made a difference in the lives of countless Albertans while Mayor Stephen Mandel proclaimed the day to be Barbara Poole Day.



Sherbrook Pool suddenly closes last week

Everybody out of the pool. On Thursday, swimmers were asked to leave the pool immediately. A sign went up later that day that read “closed until further notice.” The group Friends of Sherbrook Pool (FSP) is concerned it may have to do with structural problems.

It was released on Monday that the pool will be closed for a while “to allow for a detailed structural engineering assessment.” FSP raised $5 million dollars to fix the 80 year-old building in the 1990’s, they are now worried the city will use this current issue as an excuse to close the facility for good.

FSP spokesman John Hutton is upset that they were not contacted until the weekend about the close of the pool and says, “Even if the city were to say they think they have to close the pool, we would say we want a second opinion. Let’s take a look at that. We are not just a community group, we’re a partner with the city.”

Fall aquatics classes that were being offered at Sherbrook Pool has now been relocated to other venues.



Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

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