Tag Archives: COVID 19

More Than Just A Store: Cortes Natural Food Co-op

“One of our mandates is to create good employment for Islanders who are here full-time year round. And for our youth returning in the summer as well. It’s a great place for people who move to the island to start out and get to know the culture of the island by working with us.” — Mary Lavelle

The Cortes Natural Food Co-op is one of the top five or six employers on the island, an attraction for tourists and visitors, and the go-to grocery store for many year-round residents. Active members enjoy several benefits, but membership is not required to shop there — so the store serves many times more people every year than its approximately 360 active members.

Employing 20 people even in the off-season, and with over $2 million in sales each year, the Co-op is a significant island business. But it also makes a conscious effort to be a good neighbour. As General Manager Mary Lavelle put it during our interview, “Staff, board, management — we’re always considering the community. That is one of the factors that we always consider in our decision making: our community. And I think that’s part of what makes us so special.”

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Why a Top BC Heart Surgeon Quit for Politics

By Moira Wyton, The Tyee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi was more frustrated than usual. The pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon and former chief of cardiac surgery at BC  Children’s Hospital had just spent a shift in the midst of an  unrelenting respiratory illness season. In between caring for his most  urgent patients, he’d had to inform some parents their children’s  non-emergency surgeries were being postponed yet again.

Before driving home that  night of Nov. 14, Gandhi fired off a tweet to his few dozen followers at  the time, calling for mask-wearing as a “mandatory inconvenience”  during such a crisis. 

The tweet blew up,  gathering more than 11,500 likes to date. It also added to the ire from  Gandhi’s employer, the Provincial Health Services Authority, for his  comments to media outside the official channels. 

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Canada’s emergency wage subsidy served as ‘blank cheque’ for companies: Canadians for Tax Fairness

By Natasha Bulowski, Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Some of Canada’s biggest corporations received a pandemic subsidy intended to keep their employees on the payroll, but a new report finds that in many cases, these large companies actually reduced employment while padding the pockets of shareholders.

These findings, from a report by Canadians for Tax Fairness, should make Canadians angry and point to a double standard, the federal NDP’s finance critic Daniel Blaikie told Canada’s National Observer in an interview. It is “egregious” for the federal government to have the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) “hound” some individuals who applied for and received financial support through emergency programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to return the money, he added.

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Hollyhock: the road ahead for 2023

“ What Hollyhock is bringing to the world in 2023 is personal growth for social transformation. I’m really excited to see the world opening up, but with a recognition that things need to change. Cortes offers a really unique perspective on that because it’s an island. It’s a small community of people who know each other and there is the opportunity to live a more sustainable lifestyle here. When I think of Hollyhock at its best, it’s a leadership or a learning lab for what could be and I think that Cortes is a huge part of that,” said Peter Wrinch, the CEO of Hollyhock. 

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UBC Team: BC Sponge May Provide Covid Cure

UBC researchers have identified three biological compounds sourced in Canada that prevent COVID-19 infection in human cells. All three are derived from marine organisms, including a sea sponge native to Howe Sound.

The discovery paves the way for the development of new medicines for COVID-19 variants based on natural sources. BC’s ocean and forest ecosystems may contain a wealth of new antivirals waiting to be discovered.

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