Pricey pot, a possible Speaker and a well-timed rainbow: It's your weekend briefing
It's the 'Pot at the end of the rainbow' edition
Here's what we're talking about this week:
Photo of the week
"The pot at the end of the rainbow." Photo by: Eva Boone.
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Canada made history this week becoming the second country in the world, behind Uruguay, to legalize recreational marijuana.
On Wednesday, droves of New Brunswickers lined up outside the province's 20 Cannabis NB retail locations to be among the first customers to step inside.
Their patience was tested with near hour-long waits, but the prevailing mood on Day 1 was one of enthusiasm.
Legal weed is off and rolling, but major questions still linger. Here are the top cannabis-related stories from this week:
- New Brunswick hopes cannabis can help drive rural economic recovery
- Priced too high? Shoppers balk at marijuana price tag
- Cannabis NB website breaks federal advertising laws, Health Canada says
- What the first day of legal weed looked like in New Brunswick
- More chilled-out pace on Day 2 of legal cannabis sales
- A look inside Cannabis NB stores
- Where New Brunswickers buy cannabis could change if PCs take over
- 34 years before legalization, New Brunswick's premier was tried for pot possession
So, who's going to run New Brunswick?
Liberal Premier Brian Gallant's time in the province's top post seems to be running out. The legislative assembly is scheduled to convene on Oct. 23, and the Liberals appear short of the votes needed to pass a throne speech.
But before a word from a throne speech is read, the Speaker stalemate needs to be sorted or the province could be facing a new minority government or even a new election.
With none of the three other political parties willing to let any of their members become Speaker of the legislature, the Liberals were cornered into deciding they would nominate someone by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline.
It's come to this after almost a month of talks between parties about potential governing partnerships, including an unlikely Liberal-Tory coalition. Both parties quashed the idea.
- 'It's just devastating': Century-old Miramichi train station severely damaged by fire
- In Miramichi, the Chatham train station building, most recently known as the Rail House restaurant, went up in flames late Monday evening. The building on Johnson Street was built in 1912 and hasn't been a working train station in years. At one time, it housed the nightclub, the Whooper, which later became Choo Choo's. "It's a tremendous loss to the community, it holds significant memories for so many people," said Shaun O'Reilly, president of the Miramichi History Museum.
- Mi'kmaq couple opens their own loan business at Elsipogtog First Nation
- Quentin Sock and Buffy Peters have opened a short-term, or payday, loan business in the Elsipogtog First Nation. The couple, who has served customers from across the Maritimes, has high hopes for future expansion but is aware of the risks associated with the payday loan industry. "We're not in the business of putting people into debt. We're trying to help people financially, not cripple them," said Sock.
- Edmundston asks citizens to stop feeding deer
- The City of Edmundston is the latest New Brunswick municipality to take action against nuisance deer by urging the public against feeding wild animals. The deer population in the area is growing and has become reliant on food provided by humans, according to a provincial biologist.
- Here we go again: North side of Fredericton get its own roundabout
- Another roundabout will be installed in Fredericton — this time on the north side, connecting Two Nations Crossing to the Ring Road in both directions. Roundabouts have become a source of frustration for some drivers, but city traffic engineer Jon Lewis says "it's going to be tremendous for traffic flow on the north side."
- Moncton Coliseum gets $240K safety upgrades to reduce ammonia leak hazard
- The death of three Fernie Memorial Arena employees as a result of an ammonia leak prompted Moncton city council to spend $240,000 on renovations to make the Moncton Coliseum safer. The province required the city to carry out the work or else shut down the ice plant that keeps the ice surface cool.
Worth a read
- Ragtime musician carves out side business making wooden pipes
- Proposed Irving plea deal would put money into Irving-controlled salmon group
- 2 paramedics suspended pending disciplinary hearing
- Dennis Oland pleads not guilty, again, in father's death
- Alleged abuse case raises red flags about lack of Indigenous foster homes
Behind the scenes
Courtesy of the CBC's Vanessa Blanch...
Earlier this month I travelled to Eel Ground First Nation, or Natoaganeg, to check out their new community food centre which is transforming the way people eat by giving them a place to gather, and by bringing back traditional foods such as moose, eel and salmon.
It's a partnership with a national organization, Canada Food Centres Canada, which is run by Nick Saul. He's a bit of a rock star in the world of food and social justice, and he was there to celebrate with the community.
With high levels of poverty and food insecurity, The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre is offering drop-in meals, food bank services, workshops in food preparation and preservation, and a place to volunteer. It's the first centre of its kind in New Brunswick, and the first in an Indigenous community.
I was welcomed by everyone at Eel Ground, including Chief George Ginnish, who told me bringing back traditional foods is one more way for his people to find their identities and heal themselves after generations of trauma. I was surprised to learn that this tiny community has a culture of fast food, not traditional food. Many people told me they grew up eating burgers, hot dogs and Mr. Noodles.
I was most impressed by the elder who started this change in Eel Ground. You will meet Freda Simon, who for the past 12 years has been feeding children in her community. What started as Cheez Whiz on toast is now a hot breakfast and hot lunch program that is free to every student and includes wild meat and fish and, believe it or not, a very popular salad bar. When you combine good meals for children, and access to good food for adults, Chief Ginnish says you get a community that is stronger and on its way to a healthier future.
Watch out for Vanessa's story on Sunday morning.
Feel good story of the week
Newly elected Green MLA Kevin Arseneau doesn't like to wear ties. He owns two of them and only needs one hand to count the number of times he's worn them. But the rules of the legislative assembly require men to wear ties if they're in the chamber during official business. So, what's an organic farmer from Rogersville to do?
Green MLA Kevin Arseneau, sporting one of the ties he received from <a href="https://twitter.com/ZacharyOfficiel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZacharyOfficiel</a>. <a href="https://t.co/KmeV7docRY">pic.twitter.com/KmeV7docRY</a>—@poitrasCBC
A gift from a fan sparked an idea, and now Arseneau is asking his constituents to help him out with his formal attire in the most meaningful way.
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