first_imgRaphoe Family Resource Centre:AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMME:Tuesday; 3-4pm 3rd & 4th Classes Homework Support; 4-5pm 5th & 6th Classes Drop-in;Wednesday; 2-3pm Junior & Senior Infants Play time;3-4pm 1st & 2nd Classes Homework Support;Thursday; 2-3pm Junior & Senior Infants Play time; 3-4pm 1st & 2nd Classes Homework Support.Parents/guardians of 5th & 6th Class children please note that Tuesday from 4-5pm is now drop-in with activities such as pool, table-tennis etc. Thank you for your continuing support and cooperation.LITTLE SMILES WITH BIG DREAMSLittle Smiles with Big Dreams is a parent and toddler group that meets every Wednesday morning at 10:30am – 12 noon in the Family Resource Centre. Anyone who is in care of a child where it is an aunt / uncle/ child-minder or grandparent is welcome. The kiddies can get involved in Messy play, free play, story time and music time where the adult can enjoy a cuppa tea and meet other adults. Parent and Toddler are a great way to enhance your little one confidence and meet others their age. A light lunch is provided and a small cost of 50 cent per family.RAPHOE WALKING GROUP Wanting to become fit or fitter in 2015? Don’t’ like to walk alone? Joining Raphoe Walking group could be the answer! The Walking group meet every Thursday morning at 10.30am. All abilities are catered for. And an important element of the group is coming in afterwards to have a chat and a cuppa.WOMEN’S GROUPThe Women’s group meet on a fortnightly basis and it take place on Mondays from 8pm. Dates for February are as follows – Monday 9th February and Monday 23rd. The Women’s group have been together for many years. We chat, we help each other out, make crafts, have cooking demonstrations, plan activities for International Women’s Day and have many social outings throughout the year. If you would like to be a part of this group, don’t hesitate to come along.RAPHOE SOMETHING SPECIAL The Something Special Support group’s next meeting is taking place on Tuesday 10th February 2015. The group meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm. If you are apparent/guardian of a child with delayed communication or learning skills or Autism Spectrum Disorder, you will find support, advice and information by attending this support group. New members are always. Date for your diary – On the 10th March, an Autism therapist will be coming to talk to the group.If you would like more information about the support group please contact Melanie on 0749145796 / 0873641503.YOUTH DEVELOPMENT WORKER INTERNSHIP:Applications are now being invited for Youth Development Worker Internship with the Family Resource Centre. The Internship will be of 30 hours duration per week for a period of 9 months. The successful candidate will be responsible for the development of youth work and youth work practice to include enhancing the personal, social and educational development of children and young people; mentoring and supporting young people; recruiting, training and supporting volunteers. The Youth Development Worker will have good organisational skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, be able to work on own initiative or part of a team, be reliable and responsible, empathetic, non-judgemental, warm and friendly and be willing to work unsocial hours if required. An application form can be downloaded from and please note that only eligible jobseekers can apply for the Internship.DATE FOR YOUR DIARY:The Family Resource will be hosting a one-day workshop on Thursday 7th May on recognising and understanding self-harming. The workshop will run from 9.30am-4.30pm. To book a place please contact Laura on 074 9145796/087 3641503.RAPHOE FRIDAY SENIORS CLUB:The Club Meet every Friday in the Volt Hall from 10:30am until 1pm. For further information please contact the Secretary on 074-9145462 or the Tidy Town Office on 074-9145692.VALENTINES NIGHT COME DINE WITH ME FUNDRAISERRAPHOE TOWN FC SEEKING HOSTS TO HOLD A NIGHTS FUN FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND RAISE SOME MUCH NEEDED FUNDS FOR OUR NEW PITCH.If you’re already a fan of the show, you know the drill. But for those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, the idea is simple: Just invite a few of your family or friends over for a dinner, asking each friend for a donation, enjoy a nice meal with excellent company, and raising money for Raphoe Town FC. You DO NOT have to organise any entertainment we have already done all that for you.Following your dinner party we have organised a Valentines Disco in Friels of Raphoe free of charge to all hosts and guests of your dinner party.You want to be a host so what do you do next?1. Pick a group of friends who you think would be interested and fun company give them a call and invite them over for some food.2. Call us immediately to let us know you are interested and we will provide you with passes for the Valentine Disco for you and your guests.3. Remember to let them know that all it’s all for a great causeIf you would like to be a host on the night or you would like to seek more information, Please contact: Shane on 0872143230 or Theresa 0879354016LIFFORD YOUTHREACHAre you currently out of school or education, or thinking about leaving school?Would you like to get your education back on track and gain some valuable skills and qualifications?Lifford Youthreach may be the answer…..Lifford Youthreach is an education centre that engages with early schools leavers, or young people who may be at risk of not completing their Junior Cert, Leaving Cert or Leaving Cert Applied. Youthreach is a full time programme. We operate 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday and 9 – 1 on Fridays. Young people receive an allowance for attending the programme depending on their age.SLIMMING WORLDDo you want to achieve your weight loss dreams in 2015. Well now you can with our new Streamlined Extra Easy Plan, even easier than before. And power up your weight loss with our new weight loss boosting eating plan. If you would like to know more, come along to one of our warm and friendly groupsEvery Thursday night at 7pm in the Volt hall RaphoeOr contact Geraldine on 0863348048 I look forward to seeing you soonEMPOWERING PARENTSDESSA ‘Empowering Parents’ training programmeThis is a new 6 week programme for parents with children with disabilities under the age of 12. It’s local and it’s free of charge. It won’t solve all your problems, but it will offer you information and advice which will help you to see things differently and to find ways of getting what you and your child need. You’ll be with other parents who are in a similar situation, so there will be lots of opportunity for getting and giving real support.DESSA, The Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency is funded by the department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to develop and deliver social inclusion initiatives to people with disabilities and their familiesWhat does the training programme entail?“Empowering Parents” will:• Show you new ways of thinking about your children’s disability, which will help you to see new possibilities and ways of doing things• Tell you about your child’s rights, and how to achieve them.• Explain who can help you get what you need from public services and your local community.• Help build your confidence and keep your spirits up.“Empowering Parents” will be run one morning a week for 2.5 hours for 6 weeks. Each session involves lots of lively discussion and group activities, and there are hand-outs to take home so you can refer to them later.Venue: Cheshire Apartments, Long Lane, Letterkenny, Co. DonegalTime: 10am – 12:30pmDates: Monday 2nd FebruaryMonday 9th FebruaryMonday 16thWednesday 11th FebruaryMonday 23rd FebruaryMonday 30th FebruaryRefreshments will be providedFor more information and to reserve your place, please contact: Margret Larkin, DLDC on 074 91 27056 or [email protected], MARYS GAELIC 4 MOTHERS & OTHERSSt. Marys Gaelic 4 Mothers & OthersStarting back 4th March @ 8:15 pmif you are 18 years and over andwould like to get fit, learn a new skill, have fun andmeet new friends then this is the team for you!CLOTHING COLLECTION FOR REFUGEESOn Sunday 8th February you are asked to bring any spare clothes, belts, shoes and handbags to St. Eunan’s Chapel between 9am and 2pm. All funds raised in this country-wide collection will go to “Homes From Donegal” a charity building homes in the Central African Republic for some of the one million refugees displaced by war there. See for moreCOMMUNITY NOTICE: SLIMMING WORLD CLASSES EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT IN RAPHOE was last modified: January 30th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CommunitynewsNoticesRaphoeSlimminglast_img read more

Better Health Through Nature

first_imgHumans were meant to thrive in the environment.  We sequester ourselves from the natural world at our own peril.Allergies.  Asthma.  Auto-immune diseases.  These and other maladies may have roots in the modern habit of disinfecting everything and spending most of our days indoors.  Growing evidence suggests that contact with plants and animals in the great outdoors builds up our immune systems, and vigorous exercise can prevent and cure many health problems.  Finally, some natural substances, sometimes from the most unexpected places, are showing more benefit than synthetic drugs.Back to the farm:  Science Daily reported on a study from Aarhus University that correlated farm exposure to better health.  “The immune system benefits from life in the countryside,” the headline reads.  While it was known that children raised on the farm had fewer allergies and better resistance to disease, this new study shows that adults can benefit, too: “Adults who move to farming areas where they experience a wider range of environmental exposures than in cities may reduce the symptoms of their hypersensitivities and allergies considerably.”  This further confirms the “hygiene hypothesis” that too much antibacterial soap and cleanliness can actually turn the immune system against us; we all need to get dirty to a reasonable extent.  This gives the immune system practice on real targets instead of our own cells.I got rhythm:  Are you a night owl?  An early bird?  Having a hard time getting up in the morning, or falling asleep at night?  For most of human history before the 1930s, when electricity became widely available, people lived by the rising and setting of the sun.  Electric lights do weird things with our internal timing mechanisms.  A week of camping, Science Daily said, can re-synchronize your biological clock to sunrise and sunset.  Researchers found it brings the night owls and the early birds closer to the same schedule.  Our bodies were made to be tuned to the environment; for instance, our skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunshine; the fresh air filled with plant scents is a stress reliever; the green of a forest is soothing to the eyes.Natural diet:  Tomatoes have lycopene; red grapes have resveratrol; fruits have flavonoids; watermelon has citrulline; these are just samples of “nature’s marvelous medicines” found in plants.  Plants make tens of thousands of compounds, some of which are known to have beneficial effects on the heart, the immune system, and cancer prevention.   Studies on the benefits of a diet rich in natural foods, reducing processed food, are too numerous to list, but here are a few recent examples.  The niacin (vitamin B3) found in many fruits and vegetables is a “fountain of youth” according to a new study reported by Science Daily, which also found that antioxidants are not panaceas; our bodies apparently need some free radicals in moderation.  “Be nice to your bacteria,” Medical Xpress wrote, emphasizing our symbiotic dependence on gut flora for good health.  Another Medical Xpress article examined the benefits of the Mediterranean diet with its use of olives and olive oil.  Dietary flavonoids were discussed by Science Daily.  Who doesn’t enjoy watermelon?  National Geographic gave five reasons it’s good for you; Live Science topped that by listing 4 benefits of chocolate.  Reporting on a medicinal tea from a certain tree, Science Daily spoke of “Nature’s Library” of plant compounds waiting to be deciphered.  Even if you don’t want to become a vegetarian, you can benefit from these compounds by adding more plant food to your diet.  It’s best to eat it natural when you can; for instance, Medical Xpress found that juicing removes many of the nutrients, and doesn’t make you feel as full as eating the whole fruit or vegetable.An active life:  Big news this week is from a study published in BMJ, reported on LiveScience, that found exercise is just as effective as medication for treating heart disease, stroke and pre-diabetes.  Trial participants on pills fared no better than those who exercised, although the combination was even better.  Popping pills alone, though, doesn’t provide all the benefits of getting outdoors into the fresh air.  Sadly, most adults don’t get enough exercise, the BBC News reported.Natural pain killer:  You’ll never guess where to find a pain-killing medicine that is just as effective as morphine, but non-addictive.  Read Medical Xpress’s article about centipede venom.  That’s right; the nerve toxin from the Chinese red-headed centipede blocks a well-known pain channel without causing habituation.  “Forget about using opioids to relieve pain, this drug could mean you don’t have any pain to relieve,” a researcher said.  “It would be totally [sic] new class of drug.”  There’s also hope for a new class of natural mosquito repellants, now that the DEET receptor has been identified in insects.  Science Daily said that comparable compounds will probably be “found naturally in fruits, plants or animals” that can be developed into safer alternatives than the 60-year-old DEET chemical.Most of us are too busy, we know, to eat right and exercise, but think of it as an investment.  If a healthy diet and a little time each day for exercise paid big dividends, wouldn’t you want that kind of payoff?  The question should be how you can afford not to.  More energy, better quality of life, less stress, fewer chronic illnesses, insurance against life-threatening conditions – these are all available to anyone willing to build a few new habits.  Even talking a short walk every day or two can work wonders.  Give up the fried, processed, barbecued stuff; your taste buds will adjust within about a month to healthy food.  God has given us a huge spread of tasty plant foods to not only enjoy but improve our lives.  It’s not hard to learn how to prepare and enjoy them.  We’re not here to prescribe a vegan diet (there are healthy animal foods, too) – many people have special needs – but it make sense for creationists to “think Eden” a little, when God said everything He had made was very good and the first humans were vegetarian.  That was the original plan.  Sure, the curse has changed a lot, but the world is still filled with good options.  “Everything created by God is good,” Paul said, “and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5).  The operative phrase is “created by God.”  He didn’t create fatburger trees and leaves made of pizza.   As for exercise, think about Bible characters, who routinely walked long distances in hilly country.  It cannot be good for anyone to sit in an office chair all day, staring at a computer under fluorescent lights.  We were made with legs and arms and whole systems that are itching for activity.  Get outdoors and see a tree once in awhile.  Take walks out in nature.  Go camping and experience the natural day-night cycles of sun, moon and stars.  One might almost say that taking care of the body is a kind of worship, acknowledging and caring for the good design in our earthly tabernacle.  Learn to like what’s good for you; that’s a good motto in general for living life to the fullest on God’s green Earth. 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Why You Must Plan Your Sales Calls

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now An ounce of sweat is worth a pint of blood. –George S. PattonI was giving a sales call planning workshop to a group of salespeople. I asked them to take ten minutes to complete a sales call plan for a mock presentation. They had all of the information and tools they needed to complete the exercise. At the ten-minute mark, I called for them to stop working on their plan and present their work to the group.They groaned. The whined. They complained that I didn’t give them enough time to complete the call planning exercise. Now I had them. Feigning anger, I shouted: “Are you kidding me? You guys have never spent ten minutes planning a sales call in your lives. I gave you ten minutes more than you’ve ever taken.” We all busted out laughing because we all knew it was true, and I had made my point.Most salespeople don’t plan their sales calls. They believe that, because they’ve made some great number of sales calls in the past, they don’t need to plan their sales calls. But this is a terrible strategy for creating—or winning—an opportunity. The truth of the matter is that you are much better off planning a sales call, identifying the outcomes you need, aligning your call with your sales process, and preparing to create value for your client.A sales call is a live performance. It’s a good part improvisational, because your client can throw all kinds of things at you. But there isn’t any reason to not to plan how you want the call to go. There is no reason not to spend the ten minutes it takes to plan your parts.You plan your sales call because it makes you a professional. You share your agenda with your client and you give them proof of your professionalism.You plan your sales call because it makes it increases the chances that the call will go the way you intend it to go. If you have defined the outcomes you need, you improve the odds of achieving them.You plan your sales call because it allows you to follow your sales process, completing all of the tasks and gaining all of the commitments you need to increase the odds of actually winning an opportunity.You plan your sales call because it is what professionals do, because it increases the odds that you get the outcomes you need, and because it allows you to create the kind of value for your dream clients that makes it easy for them to agree to the commitments you are asking them to give you.QuestionsDo you plan your sales calls?How much time does it take to plan a sales call?What could you gain by spending ten minutes preparing for a sales call?What would the discipline of planning calls do for your ability to execute on your sales process? How would this discipline help you when you plan for really big calls?last_img read more

IPL 2019 Auction: Jaydev Unadkat at base price of Rs 1.5 crore, Brendon McCullim at Rs 2 crore

first_imgA total of 226 Indians and 120 international players have been shortlisted for the upcoming Indian Premier League auction, with nine players keeping their base price at INR 2 Crore.The likes of Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Lasith Malinga, Colin Ingram, Shaun Marsh, Corey Anderson, Sam Curran, Angelo Mathews and D’Arcy Short will have the base price of the INR 2 Crore.Jaydev Unadkat, who was the most expensive player at last year’s auction at INR 11.5 Crore and was released by Rajasthan Royals after a sub-par performance, has the highest base price of INR. 1.5 Crore among Indians. Unadkat shares the said base price with nine other foreign players – Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Rilee Rossouw, Luke Wright, Alex Carey and Liam Dawson.Yuvraj Singh, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel have kept their base price at INR 1 Crore, among 19 other players.The eight IPL franchises were asked to submit their final shortlist of players by 5 PM, December 10 for the remaining 70 spots, while the auction will take place on December 18 in Jaipur.The auction will conducted by Hugh Edmeades in the absence of popular auctioneer, Richard MadleyNumber of players from each country: India – 226, South Africa – 26, Australia – 23, West Indies – 18, England – 18, New Zealand – 13, Afghanistan – 8, Sri Lanka – 7, Bangladesh – 2, Zimbabwe – 2, USA – 1, Ireland – 1, Netherlands – 1.Also Read | Full list of retained players and purse remaining for each teamAlso Read | Indian Premier League 2019: Delhi Daredevils now Delhi CapitalsAlso Read | Malinga back in the pool, Finch and Maxwell opt out of auctionadvertisementlast_img read more

Riyan Parag on helicopter shot vs KKR: No MS Dhoni inspiration, didn’t even practice it

first_img17-year-old Riyan Parag has certainly made a strong impression in the limited opportunities that has come his way in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. The Rajasthan Royals wonderkid has shown tremendous composure in crunch situations and has already played a couple of match-winning knocks in the season.On Thursday, Riyan Parag was at it again as he top-scored for Rajasthan Royals with a 31-ball 47 to help the team gun down a 176-run target against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.In front of a 60,000-strong crowd, Riyan Parag held his nerves and wonderfully led Rajasthan’s chase after they lost their star batsmen, including captain Smith and Ben Stokes cheaply.RR got off to a flyer, thanks to Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson’s aggressive approach at the top. However, KKR spinners Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine struck in regular intervals to leave RR reeling at 98 for 5.Riyan Parag was handed an early reprieve by Sunil Narine but the youngster did well to make use of the extra opportunity and stitched a 25-run stand with Shreyas Gopal and then a 44-run stand with Jofra Archer.Riyan Parag hit two sixes and five boundaries and maintained a strike rate of over 150 in Rajasthan’s successful chase.Parag played a wide range of shots but his helicopter shot against KKR pacer Prithviraj in the 10th over has grabbed a lot of eyeballs. The teengar executed the shot that is commonly associated with MS Dhoni to perfection and fetched a boundary.However, Riyan Parag said there was no inspiration for the helicopter shot he played on Thursday from MS Dhoni and even revealed he never practiced the much-talked-about shot.advertisement”I just hi it. There’s no inspiration behind that. I have played it a few times in the state matches as well. I was waiting for a short ball but he bowled a length ball. I just went through it. There’s wasn’t any inspiration. I hadn’t prepared for it. I didn’t even practice for it,” Riyan Parag told Rajasthan pacer Varun Aaron during a candid chat for Parag was disappointed when he got out hit wicket in the 19th over of the chase. In the tense chase, Royals needed 9 runs from the last over but a calm Jofra Archer sealed the deal for the visitors with a four and then a six off the first two balls of the 20th over.Stressing that Archer and himself had spoken about being positive throughout their 44-run stand, Riyan Parag said: “As soon I played the shot, I hit the bail with my bat, I knew that I was out and I kept walking. But Archer and I were saying positive things to each other. I knew he would finish it and he did it in style.”Varun Aaron walked away with the Man of the Match award in his first match for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019. The India pacer bowled with a lot of steam and got the big wickets of Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill with inswingers to dent Kolkata Knight Riders early.Speaking about the knuckle ball that got Gill, Aaron said: “I have been bowling that for a while now. It came out really well today. It was an important match for us an I am glad it came out really well.”Also Read | 17-year-old Riyan Parag wins thriller for RR, KKR lose 6 in a rowAlso Read | Riyan Parag from Assam wins hearts with his runs, simplicity and GamusaAlso See:last_img read more

Throne Speech Outlines Progressive Plan for a Stronger Nova Scotia

first_imgGovernment outlined a progressive plan for a stronger Nova Scotia today, Oct. 13, during the opening of the Third Session of the 62nd General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature. Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant opened the session with the Speech from the Throne, which highlighted government progress, and outlined several new measures it will enact in the future. “Our goal is to advance our progressive plan so we can work together with Nova Scotians to make our province stronger,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We are investing to help those who need it the most, working with businesses to create opportunities for youth, expanding programs that help seniors, and investing in education.” Government increased its investment in child care by $6.6 million. This investment will be used for things such as increasing the parent subsidy. “Investing in child care is a decision driven by the values of this government and the values of Nova Scotians,” said Premier McNeil. “It levels the playing field, supports Nova Scotian families, and it gives our children a fair start.” The province increased supports for seniors so they can stay in their homes longer. An additional 450 seniors get access to the Seniors Citizens Assistance Program every year and government increased the amount it spends on home care by $59.1 million. “Because of investments by government, more seniors can make needed repairs so they can stay in their family homes longer,” said Premier McNeil. “Our increased spending on home care and work with our partners helped us slash home-care wait lists across the province.” The Youth Employment Strategy helped more than 2,000 young Nova Scotians last year and the Graduate to Opportunity program helps Nova Scotian small businesses hire recent graduates. “Government is helping create thousands of opportunities for young Nova Scotians every year,” said Premier McNeil. “We are funding programs to help them get their first job. We are increasing the amount we invest in co-op education. And we are investing in skills and job training while modernizing our province’s apprenticeship system.” Government plans to increase its education investment by $65 million. “We are investing in education because that’s how we ensure our children have a stronger future,” said Premier McNeil. “Our approach to education means more teachers, smaller classes, and a greater focus on math and literacy skills.” Premier McNeil said government is staying with its plan. “We came to office and enacted our plan for a stronger Nova Scotia,” said Premier McNeil. “It provides improved supports to those who need them the most. It invests in creating opportunities for youth. It supports our seniors. And it invests in education. “We are committed to that plan and every day we deliver on our commitments to Nova Scotians.” New items in the Speech from the Throne include: expanding the domestic violence court beyond the current pilot project in Sydney additional investments to further reduce wait lists for affordable housing expanding the Graduate to Opportunity program launching a down payment assistance program for first-time home buyers removing the General Education Diploma testing fee to help adult learners enabling departments to purchase from small- and medium-sized businesses that need early stage customers creating Research Nova Scotia to better align research, and leverage funds from federal and private partners increasing investments for specialists in classrooms such as speech language pathologists and school psychologists expand school breakfast programs with community partners to ensure no children go to school hungrylast_img read more

Guy Ouellette steps away from Quebec Liberals following arrest

first_imgQUEBEC – A longtime Liberal member of the Quebec legislature stepped away from the party on Thursday following his arrest by the province’s anti-corruption unit.Guy Ouellette, 65, was arrested in connection with an investigation by the unit, known as UPAC, into an important information leak to the media last April, a government source told The Canadian Press.In a statement, the Liberals said Ouellette would step aside temporarily pending the outcome of proceedings involving the province’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions.Ouellette, a former organized crime investigator turned politician, has represented the riding of Chomedey, north of Montreal, since 2007.The anti-corruption unit explained it executed six warrants in an investigation targeting breach of trust and obstruction of justice.The unit said officers made an arrest “to secure evidence and to prevent the offences from continuing or recurring.”UPAC said it wouldn’t identify anyone implicated because no charges have yet been filed.Radio-Canada reported that UPAC investigators tricked Ouellette into a meeting by sending him a text from the phone of a retired police officer.Sources told the network the investigators seized the officer’s phone as part of the probe into the information leaks and contacted Ouellette, using the pretext the officer was getting ready to reveal what he knew to a local newspaper.Premier Philippe Couillard cancelled events in northern Quebec on Thursday to be at the legislature for a special caucus meeting and to attend question period.Couillard said Ouellette was right to step aside, but said he didn’t have any further details for the gaggle of reporters outside the Liberal meeting room.The premier said he was in a hotel room in Chibougamau on Wednesday when a staffer informed him of news of the arrest, which was first reported by Montreal La Presse.While Couillard hadn’t spoken to Ouellette directly as of Thursday morning, Liberal caucus chair Filomena Rotiroti said she was shaken when Ouellette told her he was withdrawing from caucus.“Guy has always been a team player and while light is shed on the matter, he took a decision to step aside,” Rotiroti said, standing alongside Couillard.Couillard said the shock extends to all political parties but added that Ouellette’s departure won’t destabilize his government.“It surprises us, it saddens us, but it doesn’t deviate us from the plan,” Couillard said.Ouellette’s arrest is allegedly linked to a UPAC probe called Machurer, which looked into suspected illegal financing within the Liberal party under former leader Jean Charest.UPAC has been investigating leaks from within its own organization.A leak last April revealed UPAC had been investigating the comings and goings of ex-premier Charest and Liberal fundraiser Marc Bibeau up until 2016.A news organization published emails dating from 2011 between Bibeau, Jean-Louis Dufresne, the former chief of staff to Premier Philippe Couillard, and Hugo d’Amour, a spokesperson for Charest. The emails showed the men discussed a contract to repair a Montreal-area bridge.Ouellette came out publicly in April to denounce the major information leak, which proved embarrassing to the Liberals.He said at the time he was “disgusted by the situation, disgusted by all these leaks, disgusted by all these conflicts of interest.”Ouellette was head of the legislature committee that recently held hearings into the leaks.The reactions from Quebec politicians were mostly measured.“I don’t know if there was an arrest or just questioning,” said Parti Quebecois public security critic Pascal Berube.“I saw the images that show police officers entering Mr. Ouellette’s residence in Quebec City.“Until I know what he’s accused of, I don’t want to speculate any further. I don’t want to condemn a fellow member.”Quebec solidaire member Amir Khadir expressed support for Ouellette, who he described as a possible whistleblower.“Guy Ouellette must know this morning that he has my respect and my support,” Khadir said. “I have no reason to doubt his integrity, his honesty.”UPAC should be focusing less on “hunting sources” and more on bringing down those responsible for the alleged illegal Liberal fundraising, Khadir added.last_img read more