The Bay of Fundy is the only Canadian finalist in the New 7Wonders of Nature campaign and the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are doing all they can to encourage Canadians to participate and vote. Premier Darrell Dexter and Premier David Alward are ramping up efforts to get people excited about the contest with a new marketing strategy, in partnership with Bay of Fundy Tourism. “David and I are excited to lend our support to this exciting project,” said Premier Dexter. “I look forward to educating Canadians, and the world, about why the Bay of Fundy is a top natural wonder, why they should vote, why they should visit the area and, most importantly, why the Bay of Fundy should win this campaign.” “I am happy to champion the Bay of Fundy in my home province of New Brunswick but also at the national and international level,” said Premier Alward. “The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world and the beauty of the region is incomparable. Our Bay of Fundy is indeed deserving of designation as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.” Marketing plans in the revamped campaign include a national ‘Vote My Fundy’ day, a high-profile social media campaign and introducing text voting. The premiers also announced that they will use every opportunity at next month’s Canada Winter Games in Halifax to motivate Canadians to vote for the Bay of Fundy. “I will be meeting many people from across the country during the Canada Games and I plan to ask them to support Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to ensure that the Bay of Fundy gets formally recognized as a natural wonder,” said Premier Dexter. The Bay of Fundy is Canada’s only finalist among 28 candidates in the international campaign. All Canadians can “ride the tide” and support the Bay of Fundy’s bid to be one of the official New7Wonders of Nature by going to votemyfundy.com and casting a vote. The official New7Wonders of Nature will be announced Nov. 11.
Nova Scotians and visitors are invited to celebrate Merlin the rainbow macaw’s 13th birthday at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Saturday, May 16. The festivities will start at 10 a.m., with merlin-inspired crafts and card-making. At 3 p.m., Merlin will have a special birthday activity followed by cake and present opening at 3:30 p.m. A large card will also be available for visitors to sign throughout the day. “This is an exciting time of year for the museum,” said Johanna Kristjansson, Merlin’s caretaker. “This year’s birthday is especially exciting because he’s going to be a teenager.” Visitors can also take part in a birthday scavenger hunt that will go until Monday, and enter a contest for special prizes to be drawn for Saturday at 4 p.m. “The museum is committed to Merlin’s well-being, safety and environment,” Kim Reinhardt, museum manager. “Regular care for Merlin includes exercise every day, lots of love and visits to the veterinarian twice a year.” Merlin was born in captivity and joined the museum in 2006. Rainbows macaws are a hybrid, caused by cross-breeding scarlet and golden blue macaw. For more information go to maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca .
Children abused by religious figures are less likely to report crimes because of the belief that community leaders have “automatic morality”, a government report has found.Child sex abuse survivors have told of their shame, guilt and embarrassment which prevented them from reporting their ordeals, amid calls for an end to the secrecy of religious institutions which they claim enabled abuse.An official report has now revealed that victims of sexual abuse in religious institutions were less likely to report the crimes at the time than those who had been abused in other institutions such as children’s homes, schools, secure care units and foster care.The Truth Project, which runs alongside the government’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), invites survivors to share their experiences and make reccomendations for change. Its findings were published today in the first survey of its kind comparing the experiences of abuse among religious institutions.The report collated responses from 183 people who were sexually abused as children in religious institutions or by clergy or church staff in other settings and found that they were far less likely to report abuse than those whose abuse was linked to other institutions. Researchers found that those abused in religious institutions were less likely to report the abuse at the time (69%) than survivors (54%) in other institutions. “One of the report’s key findings includes that those sexually abused in religious institutions were less likely to report the abuse at the time (69 per cent) than survivors (54 per cent) in other institutions. We would urge anyone who wants to report abuse and find support to come forward and we promise they will be heard.”IICSA continues to shine a light on the safeguarding practices of religious institutions, including the Church of England, and we are working constructively with the Inquiry as we approach our wider Church hearing on July 1. We commend those survivors who have had the courage to come forward to share their experiences to the Inquiry and in particular to the Truth Project, knowing how difficult this would have been. “We welcomed the findings and recommendations published by IICSA this month, on the Peter Ball and Chichester Diocese case studies. This states that the Church of England should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors but it failed to do this. It is absolutely right that the Church at all levels should learn lessons from the issues raised in both these reports and also strengthen our resolve to make the Church a safe place for all.” “Politically and professionally, it was suggested that victims and survivors needed to be at the centre of all concerns, actions and support relating to sexual abuse. Anyone who wants to get in touch with the Truth Project can visit www.truthproject.org.uk, call 0800 917 1000 or email [email protected] They also found that victims in almost half of cases (48%) knew of someone else being abused at the time. Participants told the Inquiry that it needs to address the secrecy that comes from the sanctity of religious institutions and the assumption that religious figures are automatically moral.Most participants reported sexual abuse by individuals from Anglican and Catholic Churches in England and Wales. However abuse within other Christian denominations and other religions – including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam and Judaism – was also reported and is included in the analysis.The report said survivors from “particularly closed religious communities” had described how inquiries by outside bodies had been hindered by community members and leaders.They insisted that secrecy in religious organisations and an assumption around the morality of perpetrators needs to change in order to prevent abuse happening in future.One survivor told how they had been “pretty much fobbed off with a cup of tea and biscuits” after disclosing their abuse, while another said they had been blanked – “no return call, no missed calls, no messages, no letters, nothing” – when they tried to follow up their report with the institution.The report concluded: “Culturally, participants stated that the secrecy that comes from the sanctity of religious institutions and the assumption of the automatic morality of those involved in them had to be addressed. “Religious institutions and their leaders needed to take responsibility for abuse that has happened, come together to effect required change and ensure child protection policies and procedures were fully implemented in the best interests of the child.”More than half of survivors – all of whom shared their experiences in person, in writing or on the phone between June 2016 and November 2018 – said they had engaged with the Truth Project because they wanted change to prevent abuse happening to someone else.Dr Sophia King, principal researcher, said: “This report examines their accounts in order to paint a clear picture of abuse in religious settings. It is clear that feelings of shame and embarrassment created a huge barrier to children disclosing abuse, as did the power and authority bestowed upon their abusers.”Earlier this month the IICSA announced its 14th strand of investigations, which will review the current child protection policies, practices and procedures in religious institutions in England and Wales.A preliminary hearing will take place in July and public hearings are expected to begin next year.Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, the Church’s lead safeguarding bishop, said: “The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has recently published a research report on child sexual abuse in religious institutions, including the Anglican Church. It is based on accounts shared by survivors at its Truth Project, and its conclusions and findings are disturbing and in many places shocking. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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