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.