Answering the needs of Ontario’s boom in craft distillers, Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has taken its grape and wine analytical services and continuing education courses, and adapted them for the liquor industry and consumers.With Ontario easing some of its more rigid rules around liquor production, craft distilleries have been proliferating across the province, catering to consumers who are drawn to niche specialty products.When Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission last year removed the minimum volume of 5,000 litres that distillers must produce each year in order to have a retail store, it opened a door for a new generation of entrepreneurs.But while the new distillers may be deft at developing small-batch spirits, they lack the kind of services and product support that the big players have in-house.CCOVI, which has been providing research support and other services to grape growers and wineries for 20 years, sees the move to distillers as a natural evolution.“Expanding our analytical services and educational offerings to the distilling industry further draws on the expertise already available in CCOVI,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “The spirits industry is growing, and we’re in a position to provide services that support this growth and the jobs it creates.”Services critical to distillers include ethanol and methanol monitoring in addition to other specialized analyses. Responding to these needs, the CCOVI Analytical Services laboratory now offers testing packages tailored to the spirits industry.Some distillers are already taking advantage of CCOVI’s analytical services. Craig Peters, who is Chief Vodka Officer at Oakville’s Maverick Distillery, said the high cost of equipment inhibits the ability of small distillers to do all required testing in-house.“CCOVI’s lab is a terrific resource,” said Peters. “The results we get are timely, reasonably priced and we’re very pleased with the results every time.”Beyond lab services, CCOVI is also expanding its continuing education offerings to include Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) spirits courses to address the growing needs of this sector. These new courses start in August and offer a hands-on introduction to the world of spirits for consumers and for industry professionals looking to expand their knowledge.CCOVI course instructor Elsa Mcdonald, who has a specialization in spirits, is the Director of Wine Education for Constellation Brands, an MW Candidate with the Institute of Masters of Wine and CAPS graduate. “She will be a valuable resource to add to our WSET team” says Barb Tatarnic, Manager of Continuing Education. “In terms of the program itself, we’re very proud to offer an internationally recognized certification with a focus on spirits to the industry”.The WSET Level 1 award in spirits is a one-day course running Monday, Aug. 15 (go to the website for registration deadline), while the WSET Level 2 award in spirits will run in a condensed two-day format on Sept. 12 and 26. WSET Level 2 award in spirits will also be run on-line.Registration deadline for the Level 1 course is Aug. 3. To register for the WSET courses, go to

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first_imgOTTAWA — As the frigid air of an Ottawa winter howled outside in January 2013, Jody Wilson-Raybould stood at the centre of a mass of national media, trying to be a peacemaker as First Nations chiefs from across the country battled over how to secure a meeting with the sitting government on their terms.Some wanted to reject a meeting with prime minister Stephen Harper, because they felt their talks should be directly with the crown, or its representative in Canada, Gov. Gen. David Johnston.Wilson-Raybould was the British Columbia regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, and she was going to build the bridge between the chiefs, and then between the chiefs and a government many felt was hostile to Indigenous issues.When the meeting with Harper finally happened, she would later say, she realized change was going to be easier if she was on the inside. So she ran for the Liberals in the 2015 election and won in a downtown Vancouver riding.Shortly afterward Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would name her Canada’s justice minister.Fast forward six years, and in the frigid air of another Ottawa January, Wilson-Raybould was grim as she faced the reality that three years after getting one of the highest portfolios in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, she was being demoted.With the enthusiasm of a child being asked to apologize for stealing a cookie, she delivered the agreed-upon line, that moving from Justice to Veterans Affairs was not a negative, that there was “no world” in which serving Canada’s veterans had a downside.But the reality is she wasn’t being moved because she was universally loved and doing a bang-up job.She was being moved because she had become a thorn in the side of the cabinet, someone insiders say was difficult to get along with, known to berate fellow cabinet ministers openly at the table, and who others felt they had trouble trusting.Less than a month later, Wilson-Raybould is at the centre of one of the biggest storms to hit the Trudeau government: allegations the prime minister or his aides pressured her to help Quebec corporate giant SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution, and demoted her at least partly because she wouldn’t co-operate.Trudeau has flatly denied the allegations.Several Liberals approached Friday said they were confident the story came from Wilson-Raybould herself.“She’s always sort of been in it for herself,” said one insider who didn’t want to be identified. “It’s never been about the government or the cabinet. Everything is very Jodycentric.”The fear of reprisal for speaking about anything to do with the situation was running so high Friday most Liberals approached flatly refused.Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, said to be one of Wilson-Raybould’s closest friends and allies in cabinet, was not available. One former senior staffer said it was too uncomfortable to talk about.Those who did spoke of a woman who went through staff at a breakneck pace (she has had four chiefs of staff in three-and-a-half years), and only showed up to meetings when she felt like it.“I think I saw her at Indigenous caucus just once,” said one Liberal.But there is another view of her from outside government that is far more flattering, a description of a woman who is exceptionally smart and exceptionally driven.Born into a political family, her father, Chief Bill Wilson, once told Pierre Trudeau, father of Justin, that his daughters were going to be prime ministers one day. Her relationship with her father is sometimes troubled, and one Indigenous source said it is “impossible to talk about Jody without talking about her dad.”Bill Wilson, who issued words of support for his daughter on social media this week, helped get Indigenous title to land and treaty rights enshrined in the Constitution.Wilson-Raybould does leave a significant legacy as justice minister. She shepherded two of the biggest changes to Canadian social policy in a generation: physician-assisted dying and legalized marijuana.“She’s very serious, she’s very credible,” said Sheila North, former grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, the northern Manitoba chiefs’ organization.She is bare-legs-in-minus-30-C-windchill tough — that’s how she publicly accepted her new job outside Rideau Hall — a former B.C. Crown prosecutor who is assertive and knows her own mind. Any criticism of Wilson-Raybould for sticking up for her convictions, said North, is rooted in sexism.“Someone who is very strong and assertive, when it’s a male, it’s not even considered anything that’s negative,” she said.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Presslast_img

first_imgThe Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and 23andMe announced a collaboration to build a large, diverse cohort of both patients and control volunteers who have consented to participate in research.This cohort will provide researchers, drug makers, regulators and payers critical insight into the lived experience, genetics and variability of Parkinson’s disease. The study, Fox Insight (, is open to anyone 18 or older worldwide with or without Parkinson’s disease and aims to recruit tens or even hundreds of thousands of patients to contribute data.“Fox Insight amplifies the patient voice in research and enables high-impact scientific collaboration toward patient-relevant outcomes,” says Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of MJFF. “Our expanded partnership with 23andMe holds potential to illuminate new pathways to treatment breakthroughs by coupling genetic insights with the power of patient-reported phenotypic data.”Direct-from-patient Data Driving Discovery
Increasingly, Parkinson’s patients seek to be active contributors to improved disease understanding and the search for new therapies. To that end, Fox Insight facilitates patient sharing of information about the lived experience of Parkinson’s.The study complements traditional clinical research with scale and accessibility, supplementing in-person studies with cohort size and rigorous patient perspective data gathered over time. Fox Insight’s flexible design enables integration of diverse data collection modalities — such as remote biological sample collections — and the online nature of the study allows a broader population of patients, who may face geographic, mobility or transportation challenges, to contribute data.Starting in 2018, data from Fox Insight will be de-identified and made accessible to qualified PD scientists in real time, for independent studies. The aim is to increase understanding of the variability and progression of PD, expand understanding of disease and influence research drug development and healthcare priorities. Access to the Fox Insight dataset can shorten research timelines, accelerate “go/no-go” decisions and advance new therapies faster.“What I find really fascinating when I talk to Parkinson’s patients is that we all have a different disease,” says Michael J. Fox, who launched the Foundation in 2000 with a vision of bringing Parkinson’s patients and scientists into a true two-way dialogue to speed patient-relevant research outcomes. “One of our Foundation’s most important goals has been finding a way to incorporate patient involvement and patient knowledge and wisdom and enthusiasm in research. Capturing the natural back-and-forth between patients really helps doctors and researchers.”The Fox Insight study is sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation and funded through Foundation investments of $6 million to date. Leadership philanthropic support for Fox Insight has been furnished by Connie and Steven Ballmer.Collaboration with 23andMe Integrates Genetic and Lived Experience DataThrough a collaboration between MJFF and personal genetics company 23andMe, Fox Insight participants diagnosed with Parkinson’s also may choose to contribute genetic data to research by completing a 23andMe genetic test at no cost. This will open new opportunities for researchers to correlate clinical features of PD with underlying, individual genetic biology for better drug design toward precision medicine.“Joining forces with The Michael J. Fox Foundation will help our research goals of understanding, treating and preventing this disease,” said Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe CEO and co-founder. “Making the data available to the wider research community will accelerate our understanding of Parkinson’s disease.”MJFF and 23andMe share a commitment to building large networks of patients and researchers to work together toward deeper understanding of Parkinson’s and new PD treatments. From 2009 to 2017, 23andMe’s PD Research Community (who may now choose to participate in Fox Insight) enrolled 12,000 patients who contributed genetic and phenotypic data for disease study. 23andMe continues to generate a deep well of knowledge surrounding the genetics behind PD and an infrastructure to mine data for genetic discovery.Fox Insight study participants who are new to 23andMe will receive the full 23andMe service, including the option to access genetic health risk reports containing information on genetic variants that are associated with risk for Parkinson’s and other conditions.Genetic discoveries over the past two decades have revolutionized Parkinson’s drug development by illuminating new pathological pathways that drug developers are targeting with therapies to slow or stop disease. Combining Fox Insight’s datasets of genetic and phenotypic data will lead to more complete knowledge of the disease through better understanding of the underlying disease process, potential therapeutic targets, and how symptoms and disease course may differ depending on whether a genetic mutation is present.Patient privacy is a top Fox Insight priority. All contributed data is de-identified and kept on a secure server to maximize protection of individual-level data. Individuals who access their Parkinson’s genetic health risk report are eligible for complimentary genetic counseling on PD-associated genes included in that report.Fox Insight’s genetic data collection is funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation with a grant of more than $4 million to 23andMe, which includes the costs of making the 23andMe service available to participants at no cost, as well as storing and maintaining the data.For more information on how The Michael J. Fox Foundation and 23andMe are collaborating to speed Parkinson’s genetic research, visit or

Barcelona – Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff has died at his home in Barcelona at the age of 68. A statement on Cruijff’s own website said: “On March 24 2016 Johan Cruyff (68) died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer.It’s with great sadness that we ask you to respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.” Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1971, 1973 and 1974.With MAP

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