15. 11. 2018
5-day moratorium on arrival of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in B.C. set to begin Tuesday: ISS

5-day moratorium on arrival of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in B.C. set to begin Tuesday: ISS

A five-day moratorium on the arrival of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in British Columbia is set to begin Tuesday, as the province struggles to accommodate refugee families that have been steadily arriving since late last year.

Chris Friesen, the director of settlement services for Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISS), says the moratorium will allow settlement workers time to catch up on housing needs.

The federal government has committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees, 15,000 of them government-sponsored, before the end of February.

In an important milestone, the 10,000th Syrian refugee arrived in Canada last week.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees find their new home in B.C. as crisis worsens

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So far, 700 government-sponsored refugees have arrived in B.C., but only seven families have found permanent housing. Last weekend, the Vancouver Park Board hoped to soon learn whether some caretaker cottages in the city could be used to house Syrian refugees. There are 71 such buildings in parks across Vancouver, and it’s believed three may have the basic requirements for migrants.

Friesen says they have a list of 1,100 “housing leads” to access for suitability.

But the lack of affordable housing in the Metro Vancouver area along with the challenge of finding suitable housing for families with kids are contributing to the backlog.

Vancouver is not alone as the City of Ottawa has also asked the federal government to slow down the arrival of Syrian refugees.

“We are working with (these communities) to try to ease the strain they are currently experiencing, which includes pausing arrivals for a few days as we continue toward the goal of resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees across Canada by the end of February,” read a statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The department stated that it is “redirecting refugees to other centres during this time.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says it is also working with settlement providers to monitor the movement of refugees into and out of temporary accommodation to determine when capacity opens to welcome additional refugees and to re-destine some refugees to other locations when necessary.

15. 11. 2018
NewLeaf airline postpones service, refunds credit cards pending review

NewLeaf airline postpones service, refunds credit cards pending review

WINNIPEG — Canada’s new low-cost airline is hitting a snag right out of the gate.

Winnipeg-based NewLeaf Travel Company announced Monday afternoon it has postponed sales of airline tickets pending a Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) review of licensing regulations for indirect air service providers.

READ MORE: New discount airline NewLeaf responds to licence concerns

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The company also said it will refund all credit card transactions for reservations that were scheduled to begin on Feb. 12, 2016.

“During this uncertain time, we didn’t want to put anyone with existing bookings at risk, and we wanted to give customers time to make other travel arrangements,” said NewLeaf chief executive officer Jim Young.

Young said the company is postponing service mainly because of ambiguity surrounding licensing.

“The CTA says we do not need a license and is giving us an exemption while there is a conduct review,” Young said. “But we don’t know what that review is going to look like when it comes out, and whether we need a licence or can continue as we are.”

NewLeaf announced Jan. 6 it would start flying from Halifax, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Regina, Winnipeg and Abbotsford with prices ranging from $89 to $149.

NewLeaf Travel has partnered with Flair airlines, which will provide the aircraft and the licence.

But shortly after the announcement, there were immediate concerns brought forward regarding its licencing.

Young said the thousands of customers who booked flights with the airline will be given a refund within 72 hours. He did not give the total amount of the refund.

READ MORE: Avoid new ‘ultra low-cost’ airline, passenger advocate warns

Gabor Lukacs, a former assistant professor at the University of Manitoba and an airline passenger rights advocate, said without its own licence, NewLeaf doesn’t have a clear policy on how passengers are protected or compensated if their flight is delayed or cancelled or baggage is lost or damaged.

“This fully vindicates what my consistent position has been for the past two weeks, and it is a victory for consumer rights,” said Lukacs via email to Global News Monday.

RELATED: WestJet won’t be beat on airfares by new discount carrier: exec

“The reason why we launched on Jan. 6 is because it was confirmed that we were in full compliance of CTA licensing regulations,” Young said. “The CTA gave us an exemption from holding a licence directly while it reviews its legislation.”

RELATED: Discount airline NewLeaf Travel announces ‘ultra low’ prices

Under a charter arrangement with Kelowna-based Flair Airlines Ltd., Flair held the CTA operating licence, while NewLeaf offered seat sales.

The CTA is reviewing whether persons who do not operate any aircraft, but market and sell air services to the public, should be required to hold agency licences. The consultations are expected to end on Jan. 22.

The company said it is aiming to resume taking reservations in the spring.

15. 11. 2018
Sobey’s says low loonie, El-Nino will keep grocery prices high

Sobey’s says low loonie, El-Nino will keep grocery prices high

MONTREAL – Canadians can expect high prices for produce to last at least several more weeks as a result of the weak loonie and weather issues in crop-growing areas, one of the country’s largest grocery chains said Monday.

In addition to the adverse impact of the lower Canadian dollar, flooding caused by El-Nino have contributed to supply shortages and price increases on produce from California and Mexico, said Claude Tessier, president of Sobeys Quebec.

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“From what we hear the situation is going to be for the next three weeks and then we’ll see how things evolve (along) the west coast,” Tessier told reporters after Sobey’s CEO Marc Poulin spoke to the Canadian Club.

The company, which also operates banners such as IGA, Safeway and FreshCo, is struggling to deal with the worst situation in 30 years by trying to import fresh food from other growing areas such as Florida, Morocco and Spain, Tessier said.

Cauliflower and grapes have been harder to access, with just 20 per cent of the normal delivery of some goods being shipped to stores, he said.

READ MORE: Restaurants grapple with cauliflower crisis as price soars

Restaurants that feature cauliflower have had to adjust by raising prices or using alternatives like squash since the cost for a case of the cruciferous vegetable has more than doubled to as much as $60.

Sobey’s is also turning more to local suppliers for items like potatoes, carrots and onions.

Since the challenges only accelerated after the holiday season, it’s not yet clear if consumers are substituting by buying cheaper alternatives.

WATCH: Shrinking loonie causes high-flying food prices

“We’re not seeing a blowback in terms of purchasing,” Tessier said.

“For sure the consumer in general is more cautious about the prices and it’s been like that for a couple of years.”

Meanwhile, the price of other food is also rising, according to the University of Guelph’s Food Institute.

It has said meat rose five per cent last year and is expected to increase up to 4.5 per cent in 2016; fish and seafood could rise by up to three per cent, and dairy, eggs and grains could see a two per cent increase.

READ MORE: Canadians face jacked up food, gas prices as Americans rake in savings

Fruit and vegetable prices could increase up to 4.5 per cent for some items this year, after having risen between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent last year.

The institute estimates the average Canadian household spent an additional $325 on food in 2015 and is expected see an additional increase of about $345 this year because of the low dollar.

However, prices are even higher in northern and remote communities, making it even harder for poorer Canadians to healthy diets.

15. 11. 2018
Indspire Awards recognizing accomplishments of Indigenous people coming to Vancouver

Indspire Awards recognizing accomplishments of Indigenous people coming to Vancouver

Award-winning author Joseph Boyden and Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price are set to receive Indspire Awards at the prestigious annual gala event being held in Vancouver next month.

“The 2016 Indspire Awards recipients personify the successes Indigenous people have achieved and the significant impact we have made in all areas of life in Canada,” said Roberta L. Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire and executive producer of the Indspire Awards.

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Four Indigenous Canadians from B.C. are being recognized with Indspire Awards, including Price who is from the Ulkatcho First Nation in Anahim, B.C.

Price has garnered praise and support from Indigenous people around the country for being a positive and engaging role model for First Nations youth.

A video released by the Air Canada Foundation and Breakfast Club of Canada last year highlights a young Ulkatcho First Nations boy traveling to Montreal to spend the day with the Hart Trophy winner.

When he accepted the Vezina Trophy last June in Las Vegas, Price used the opportunity to encourage First Nations youth to become leaders.

WATCH: Carey Price encourages First Nations youth in Vezina Trophy acceptance speech

Also among the Indspire Award recipients from British Columbia is Chief Robert Joseph from Gwawaaenuk First Nation who will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mark Stevenson and Leonard George.

The Indspire Awards are touted to be highest honour bestowed on Indigenous people and have been recognizing the success of Indigenous Canadians for 23 years.

Past Indspire Award recipients include NHL star Gino Odjick, former National Chief of Assembly of First Nations Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, accomplished actor Adam Beach, and world reknowned woodland artist Norval Morrisseau.

The gala event takes place on Feb. 12 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver and will be broadcast by Global Television and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) at a later date.

The complete list of 2016 Indspire Award recipients can be seen here.

15. 11. 2018
Utah police officer was paying off cancer bills when he was killed

Utah police officer was paying off cancer bills when he was killed

SALT LAKE CITY — The veteran Utah police officer who was shot to death over the weekend was working overtime to pay for his cancer treatments when he encountered a fugitive who went missing from a drug rehab center for parolees, officials said.

Unified police officer Douglas Scott Barney, 44, had been on the force 18 years when he encountered Cory Lee Henderson, 31, Sunday morning in a residential area near a church in the suburb of Holladay, about 8 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.

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Authorities say the incident began with a car crash involving Henderson and a woman in a BMW, when the two walked away from the wreck. Barney found Henderson nearby and the officer was shot in the head. Barney died hours later at a hospital.

Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed | FindTheData

Other officers responded and exchanged gunfire with Henderson, who died at the scene.

Officer Jon Richey, 51, was shot once by a bullet that went through both legs. His condition was upgraded Monday to fair after he had emergency surgery, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Police said they were still searching for the woman who was with Henderson at the time of the crash.

The fatal police shooting is among the first on-duty officer deaths in the country for 2016 and the first ever for the Unified Police Department since it formed in 2010 to serve communities in the Salt Lake City area.

Barney, a married father of three teenagers, had volunteered to work overtime Sunday to help pay for his medical treatments after surviving bladder cancer, the Deseret News reported.

“His family has dealt with the possibility that they could lose their dad for 12 years, and he was in remission again and doing well,” said unified police Lt. Lex Bell. “He was back to his old self, his color was good, and he was laughing and slapping you on the back again. And then they lose him to a bullet.”

Bell, who was Barney’s partner in the 2000s after both graduated from the police academy, told the Deseret News that Barney was a “boisterous, funny, caring, big old teddy bear of a man.” He became a police officer after working at the Salt Lake County Jail because Barney wanted to help people and loved children.

Barney was serving as a school resource officer at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville when his cancer returned. Students in 2010 organized a dodgeball tournament to raise money for his treatment, which they called “Battle for Barney.”

“I’ve always known these kids were great kids,” Barney said in a KSL-TV story about the fundraiser. “They’re watching over me.”

Meanwhile, court records show Henderson was a troubled man with a history of drug abuse.

Henderson had multiple firearms and drug-related charges and had been sentenced to both federal and state prisons. Most recently, he had served 14 months after being convicted of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, and he was paroled in April 2015. His sentenced was shortened for the completion of a drug treatment program.

“Everything followed according to the guidelines, but it certainly is tragic that he decided to do this,” Greg Johnson, spokesman for the Utah Board of Pardons, said to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Henderson violated the conditions of his parole and a warrant was issued for his arrest in June. He was arrested and went back to prison in October. Last month, he was ordered to a state-run parolee drug treatment center while court proceedings on new federal firearms allegations were pending. Within days, Henderson disappeared from the rehab facility, which allows parolees to make visits to school, work or to see family. A warrant had been out for his arrest since Dec. 21.

15. 11. 2018
Taco Bell executive charged with hitting Uber driver sues driver for $5M

Taco Bell executive charged with hitting Uber driver sues driver for $5M

COSTA MESA, Calif. – A Southern California man captured on video attacking an Uber driver has sued the driver for $5 million, claiming the video was recorded without his consent, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Former Taco Bell executive Benjamin Golden, 32, of Newport Beach was arrested in November and charged with misdemeanour assault and battery for allegedly hitting driver Edward Caban, 23, on Oct. 30 in Costa Mesa in Orange County.

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READ MORE: Taco Bell executive offers tearful apology to Uber driver he assaulted

In November, the driver sued the 32-year-old Golden for more than $25,000 in damages.

The Orange County Register reported Saturday that Golden filed a cross-complaint last month saying Caban illegally recorded him and posted the video to YouTube.

The now-viral video captured by a dashboard-mounted camera shows Golden repeatedly striking Caban on the trip.

READ MORE: Cab passenger who verbally attacked Calgary driver fired

According to the newspaper, Golden says he was intoxicated and began to “fear for his safety and well-being” when the driver pulled over to “kick” him out of the car in an unfamiliar location. In the altercation, Golden was blinded by the driver’s pepper spray, the lawsuit says.

WATCH: Benjamin Golden, 32, a marketing manager for Taco Bell is the man behind the shocking beating of an Uber driver caught on camera.

As a result of media coverage, Golden says he suffered humiliation and the loss of his job. The lawsuit claims invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.

In an interview in November, Caban’s attorney Rivers Morrell said the Uber driver was traumatized by the attack.

READ MORE: Two charged, one sought after Uber driver beaten unconscious in Ottawa

“It’s been a living nightmare for this young kid who has never had any altercations,” Morrell told the Register. “He’s fearful, he can’t sleep, he just can’t get this out of his head.”

Golden has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

15. 11. 2018
Deputy chief faces possible disciplinary action after blasting police budget

Deputy chief faces possible disciplinary action after blasting police budget

TORONTO – The union representing frontline Toronto police officers has asked the police chief, police board and an independent watchdog to investigate Deputy Chief Peter Sloly for his comments criticizing the force and its billion-dollar budget, Global News has learned.

Sloly hosted a 70-minute online Q&A session Friday, where he delivered candid criticisms of the Toronto Police Service’s “unfocused” policing model, spending and what he called its slow embrace of technology and social media.

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The police services board recently green-lit a 2.76 per cent budget increase for 2016, which pushes the overall budget north of $1 billion for the first time, with nearly 90 per cent of that going to salaries and benefits.

READ MORE: Toronto Police Service Board approves $27 million budget increase

The vote came just days after a $200,000 report from consulting firm KPMG, which suggested multiple ways for police to cut costs and improve efficiency.

Sloly echoed the report in his online chat Friday, arguing police in the city could provide necessary services with fewer officers but a more modernized approach.

“We run around all over the city in the most unfocused way, reacting to what you call us for, as opposed to trying to understand what’s going on and. . . putting our most important resources in the best place.”

George Cowley, counsel for the Toronto Police Association, said Monday the union has asked the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, Chief Mark Saunders and the chair of the police services board requesting they investigate Sloly over his comments.

“Like all police officers in Ontario, a Deputy Chief should be held accountable for his/her actions,” Cowley said in an email.

The OCPC is an independent watchdog agency with a wide oversight mandate, including investigations into conduct of police officers and brass.

With files from Caryn Lieberman.

15. 11. 2018
Man killed in Alberta oilsands plant explosion identified

Man killed in Alberta oilsands plant explosion identified

Friends, family and his union have identified the man killed at an oilsands facility Friday as 52-year-old Drew Foster.

Loved ones described Foster as a wonderful and kind man. A spokesperson for the Millwrights, Machinery Erectors and Maintenance Union called his death a tragedy.

Friday afternoon, an explosion rocked the Nexen Long Lake facility, killing Foster and seriously injuring another worker.

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  • ‘Dark day’ for Nexen after fatal explosion at oilsands site near Fort McMurray

    Nexen investigation

    Fatal explosion at Nexen Long Lake facility near Fort McMurray

    Pam Sharpe, media spokesperson for Occupational Health and Safety, confirmed the man who died was 52 years old and the injured worker is 30 years old.

    As of Sunday, the injured man was still in hospital.

    Sharpe said OHS is not releasing any more information about the victims, including where they are from. However, family members of the injured man say he is from Cape Breton and had been
    working out west for several years.

    Family members in Nova Scotia have identified him as Dave Williams, a native of Scotchtown and a journeyman millwright at the Nexen Long Lake Project.

    His cousin Kelly MacEachern, a Scotchtown resident, says Williams’ parents and three brothers are at his side in an Edmonton hospital where he is in an induced coma with third-degree burns.

    Investigators are still on scene at the facility south of Fort McMurray and Sharpe said they will remain there for as long as they are needed.

    The explosion happened inside a building in the compressed gas area at the Nexen Long Lake facility at around 3:20 p.m. as workers were changing out valves on a compressor.

    “A hydrocracker on site may have caused the explosion. That’s early indications, of course,” Acting Staff Sgt. Jeremie Landry said Friday night.

    RCMP were called to the site, which is about 80 km south of Fort McMurrary, just before 5 p.m.

    The Alberta Energy Regulator was on site Monday, working to shut down the plant, but the cold weather presented a challenge. AER is working to ensure all regulatory and safety requirements are met and OHS has control of the site.

    Drew Foster, seen here in photos shared on his Facebook page.

    Credit: Facebook/Drew Foster

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Foster’s family.

    “Drew was always caring and was an amazing father and husband – Always smiling and laughing,” wrote Chantelle Roy, who created the page.

    “The couple always helped people when they could. She lost her best friend and love of her life of 25 years.”

    *EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published Jan. 17 and was updated Jan. 18 with the victim’s name.

    With files from and Cape Breton Post

15. 11. 2018
Documentary filmmaker focused on NHL ’94 video game scores in Sask.

Documentary filmmaker focused on NHL ’94 video game scores in Sask.

SASKATOON – The iconic video game NHL ’94 continues to be enjoyed by fans more than two decades later and is the subject of a documentary film currently being made. A tournament was held in Saskatoon this past weekend to help figure out why.

The ice hockey game by EA Sports has attracted the attention of one fan who’s making it his mission to find out what continues to make it so popular.

READ MORE: Video game bar powers up in Saskatoon

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  • Women are almost half of the ‘gamer’ population in Canada

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  • Home sweet home for Saskatchewan products at NHL pre-season game

    “It’s all about this legend, this lore of this video game. You know 30-something year old guys, you mention NHL ’94 and they get weak in the knees so I’m out trying to figure out why that is,” documentary filmmaker Mikey McBryan said.

    Retro video game fans and players gathered at The Canadian Brewhouse sports bar and restaurant on Jan. 16 for the competition showcasing the game.

    McBryan, from Yellowknife, N.W.T, said the Saskatoon area is a perfect venue due to a concentration of highly-skilled NHL ’94 players.

    “Saskatoon, for some weird anomaly reason, has some of the best players in the world just within a five-mile radius of this place,” McBryan said.

    “I’ve travelled to New York City, Toronto, Arizona, Vancouver and I can’t find as many good players as I can right here in the Prairies. You know this is where NHL players are made, this is where NHL ’94 players are made as well.”

    READ MORE: Budweiser pays tribute to Saskatchewan hockey players

    Tournament organizer Darrell Sampson said McBryan sent out a note online to fellow gamers a year ago and he told him he’d put on a tournament. There were about 12 competitors in 2015 and this year had 32.

    “The game itself … I mean we just love playing it and it just became sort of an icon for sports video games, it’s been voted the best hockey game, video game of all time, so we’re high school kids back then we just played it a ton and we still play it today, so we’re just big kids at heart I guess,” Sampson said.

    “There were two previous versions of the game, ’92 and ’93, this one here sort of added all the features that the other ones didn’t have, it’s the first one to come out with one-timers, it was the first one to come out with manual goalies and was actually the first game where the NHL and NHLPA agreed that they can put their logos and the players in the game.”

    The “King of ’94 WEST” tournament was split between Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo versions of the game with 16 players in each bracket. The winners took home $200 and a trophy.

    Sampson says NHL ’94 is still special to him and fellow enthusiasts today.

    “We don’t play for the graphics, it’s not about that at all. Actually the playing value is actually a lot of fun, it’s very simple, the controls are very simple and maybe I’m just a simple guy and maybe that’s why I like it,” Sampson said with a smile.

    “The younger generation, if they came in and they saw these screens, they’d probably laugh because they’d be like ‘who are all these pixelated guys that you’re playing.’ They’re used to NHL 16 … where the graphics are a lot better.”

    Mikey McBryan, who is on the reality television series Ice Pilots NWT, talks about why he’s making a documentary focused on the NHL ’94 video game.

    Luke Banville / Global News

    McBryan mentioned that one gamer even flew in from Sacramento, Calif. to play in the tournament in Saskatchewan for some “mystifying” reason. With the documentary, he intends to figure out the allure the game still has and report back to the rest of Canadians.

    “It’s quite a big story. It goes all the way from California to New York City to the Northwest Territories, this is a North American story and I’ve been tracking it for about a year now. I got about two more weeks of filming and this [tournament] is part of the ending to see who’s one of the best players in the world,” McBryan said.

    The upcoming documentary will be named “Pixelated Heroes.” Editing will take place over the next six months and people can expect to watch the mystery unfurl in the spring of 2017.

15. 11. 2018
Filmmaker’s 24,000-km journey across Canada passes through Riverview

Filmmaker’s 24,000-km journey across Canada passes through Riverview

Independent filmmaker Dianne Whelan set off from Riverview on Monday to continue a journey that no one else has ever completed.

“I am trying to do the longest trail the world, which is the Trans Canada Trail,” she said. “It’s a 24,000-kilometre journey that connects the Atlantic, the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean.”

Whelan will operate her own cameras to record the trek as she spends two years hiking, snowshoeing and even canoeing the trail for a film she calls “500 DAYS IN THE WILD”.

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RELATED: Prince George man hikes 16,000-km Trans Canada Trail from coast to coast

Her cousin Ricky LeBlanc saw her off at the entrance to the Dobson Trail.

“She is the first one to do this. It’s like a new take on the trail to show our country,” he said.

Whelan, 50, is no stranger to adventure. She has already produced films at Mount Everest and in Canada’s Arctic Region.

She started her journey from Newfoundland about 140 days ago.

“I was looking for my next expedition after finishing the Everest film, and this has been in my imagination since the early ’90s when the government came up with the idea to build the longest trail in the world,” she said.

“I am at an age that I kind of believe that everything we need to know we have forgotten,. I don’t know if the things we need for sustainability on this Earth are going to be found in a lab and I don’t like the backup plan of moving to Mars, personally.”

With the hope of bringing nature and adventure to her fellow Canadians through film, she is making the journey alone, carrying everything she needs in a 60-pound pack.

“The most sacred place that I have ever been is when I am in nature,” she said. “Ever since I was a kid, when I am out here I feel a sense of being part of the whole.”

Whelan is wearing a GPS tracker clipped to her hip and is prepared to go days, or even weeks, without speaking to anyone.

“I talk to the animals, I talk to the birds and if I am really honest, I obviously talk to myself,” she said.

Whelan said her first brush with death came when paddling on the Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton. In strong winds and half a mile from the shore, she tried to paddle to land.

“I realized I am not going to make it,” she said. She was forced out into open water, convinced her boat would tip.

“By some good fortune or prayers, I managed to make it to the other side.”

She said she is grateful to be alive, but also humbled by the experience.

“It’s a good, gentle reminder that at the end of the day…there are a lot of forces around us that are a lot more powerful than we are.”