Jewish hair­dresser who was fired over Sab­bath spat wins le­gal case


CALGARY — Al­li­son Lock­hart is one strong woman.

Ac­tu­ally when it comes to Canada, she is the strong woman.

The 35-year-old Calgary res­i­dent has won the Canada’s Strong­est Woman com­pe­ti­tion three times in a row and is one of the com­peti­tors at this week’s Strong­man com­pe­ti­tion at the Calgary Stam­pede.

At five feet seven inches and with mus­cu­lar shoul­ders and arms, her pow­er­lift­ing back­ground is ob­vi­ous.

“I’m a lit­tle bit big­ger so peo­ple usu­ally ask what I do and what sport I play,” Lock­hart told The Cana­dian Press. “They look a lit­tle bit con­fused and then I tell them and usu­ally have to ex­plain what it is.”

She was in­vited to try the strong­woman com­pe­ti­tion in 2014 — the first year it was in­tro­duced in Canada.

“I came out and tried it and ab­so­lutely loved it and it just sort of steam­rolled from there,” said Lock­hart.

“I want to know how strong I am. I want to know how strong I can get. As far as sports goes, this is just right up my al­ley. This is just what floats my boat.”

Strong­man orig­i­nated in the U.S. in 1977 with the first “World’s Strong­est Man” com­pe­ti­tion, and the sport has con­tin­ued to grow since then.

Over the three-day com­pe­ti­tion, com­peti­tors are ex­pected to lift, carry, push, and pull var­i­ous oddly shaped, large, heavy items — in­clud­ing the truck of the Stam­pede pres­i­dent — in a race against one an­other to de­ter­mine who has the great­est mix of over­all strength and ath­leti­cism.

The events in­clude the fa­mous at­las stone lift and the bale yoke carry.

“My weak­est link is prob­a­bly the yoke. It’s where you have it across your back and it kind of hangs down along your side and there’s a weight on it and you have to walk,” said Lock­hart.

“My strong­est event? The at­las stones. Those are the ce­ment stones you pick up and lift on to a podium. The ones in this com­pe­ti­tion start at about 100 pounds and go up to 260.”

Al­though the strong­woman com­pe­ti­tion is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, Lock­hart­saiditismuch­lesser­known than the men’s com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s not quite as mar­ketable be­cause not a lot of women want to lift re­ally heavy weights,” she said. “We don’t get that much press so a lot of peo­ple don’t know that it ex­ists.”

Lock­hart will be joined by fel­low Cal­gar­ian James Loach who is cur­rently West­ern Canada’s strong­est man. Loach, 29, be­gan his strong­man train­ing when he was 24 but it’s some­thing he was al­ways in­ter­ested in.

“I’ve been watch­ing strong­men on TV and kind of fol­low­ing it since I was four or five years old,” he said.

It’s also a big hit with the sci­ence and math ju­nior high school stu­dents he teaches in Calgary.

“Some of the boys are pretty starstruck when I tell them what I lift and show them videos. The kids, whether they ac­tu­ally en­joy it or be­cause it’s a break from sci­ence or math, seem to like it,” he said.

Loach said he hopes to in­spire his young charges to get in­volved and of­ten holds up Lock­hart as a role model to his fe­male stu­dents.

“For a lot of kids who strug­gle with self con­fi­dence or body is­sues, it’s so ac­ces­si­ble. You don’t need to rely on any­body but your­self and a gym mem­ber­ship and a good pair of shoes. I kind of hope to set an ex­am­ple.”

WIN­NIPEG — For­mer United States pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter was taken to hos­pi­tal Thurs­day af­ter he be­came de­hy­drated while vol­un­teer­ing with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity, the in­ter­na­tional home­build­ing char­ity he has sup­ported for decades.

Carter, 92, was in Win­nipeg help­ing to build a set of stairs, along­side vol­un­teers in­clud­ing Man­i­toba Fam­i­lies Min­is­ter Scott Field­ing, when he be­gan to feel weak af­ter two hours in the sun.

“He had just said that he needed to take a break and so he sat down — there was a chair that was close to him,” Field­ing said.

“He sat down there and his se­cret se­cu­rity were there as well. They hy­drated him, giv­ing him some wa­ter and some Ga­torade.”

Carter re­quired as­sis­tance to walk to a nearby trailer and was taken soon after­ward by am­bu­lance across town to St. Boni­face Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

“We were out in the hot sun, and you’re do­ing a lot of work. No mat­ter what age you are, you’re go­ing to get de­hy­drated,” Field­ing said.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity In­ter­na­tional said Carter re­ceived med­i­cal at­ten­tion as a pre­cau­tion, but was fine.

“He has been taken off-site for ob­ser­va­tion. He en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to stay hy­drated and to keep build­ing,” Jonathan Reck­ford said.

Carter was in Ed­mon­ton ear­lier this week help­ing Habi­tat For Hu­man­ity, which builds af­ford­able hous­ing for low-in­come earn­ers.

Carter served as U.S. pres­i­dent from 1977 to 1981. He was di­ag­nosed with me­lanoma in 2015 and was treated with an im­munother­apy drug. He said months later med­i­cal scans no longer showed any can­cer.

His wife, Ros­alynn, was with him at the project Thurs­day and by his side at the hos­pi­tal. The St. Boni­face Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Re­search Foun­da­tion gave its an­nual In­ter­na­tional Award to the then first lady in 1979. The award, which pays trib­ute to med­i­cal and hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts, has in other years been given to peo­ple such as Mother Theresa and bas­ket­ball star Steve Nash.

In an in­ter­view with The Cana­dian Press ear­lier this week, Jimmy Carter said that Cana­dian gov­ern­ments should con­sider em­u­lat­ing the non-profit group he has pro­moted for years as a way to al­le­vi­ate an af­ford­able hous­ing crunch in this coun­try.

He pointed out that other coun­tries such as Peru have adopted sim­i­lar mod­els to help build more af­ford­able hous­ing units and re­duce reliance on the so­cial safety net.

He ac­knowl­edged the hous­ing challenge re­mains a dif­fi­cult one to tackle for pol­icy-mak­ers and vol­un­teers.

“What the local, state and fed­eral gov­ern­ment do, and what vol­un­teers like we do ... makes a big dent in the need, but it’s still not enough,” he said. Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity is build­ing 150 homes across Canada this year to mark the coun­try’s sesqui­cen­ten­nial.

MON­TREAL — A Jewish hair­dresser in Mon­treal who was not al­lowed to work on Satur­days and was even­tu­ally fired has won a dis­crim­i­na­tion case against his for­mer em­ployer. A Que­bec judge has or­dered Iris Gressy, who is also Jewish, to pay Richard Zil­berg $12,500. Zil­berg, who is 54, was hired at the Spa Orazen salon in Oc­to­ber 2011 and worked six days a week, in­clud­ing Satur­day. Court doc­u­ments state Gressy told Zil­berg in July 2012 he would no longer work on Satur­days, in ac­cor­dance with her new pol­icy of not al­low­ing her Jewish em­ploy­ees to work that day. She also re­quested he not tell clients why he was no longer work­ing Satur­days. Gressy fired Zil­berg the fol­low­ing month af­ter she learned he had told a client of the salon that his em­ployer had pro­hib­ited him from com­ing in on Satur­days be­cause of his faith. Judge Yvan No­let of the Que­bec Hu­man Rights Tri­bunal ruled that Gressy’s de­ci­sion to for­bid Zil­berg from work­ing the Sab­bath vi­o­lated his right to equality in em­ploy­ment due to his re­li­gion. Post­media Wire Ser­vices


Al­li­son Lock­hart, Canada’s strong­est woman, who will be com­pet­ing this week­end at the Calgary Stam­pede, car­ries a beer keg while train­ing in Calgary, Alta., Wed­nes­day.

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