THE WEEK — May 2: Katz tackles masculine politics

Jackson Katz tackles politics of manhood, construction on Johnson Street Bridge begins this week and outreach team cool heels...

See Old Blue while you still can, as the most visceral construction of Johnson Street Bridge will start this week.

Katz tackles masculine politics

Jackson Katz might be a name you recognize if you were a fan of the former all-star football player, or if you were taking note a couple decades ago when Katz became the first man at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to earn a minor in women’s studies.

Now, however, more people know Katz for his internationally recognized work in gender violence prevention education in schools, sports culture and the military — as well as for his pioneering work in critical media literacy. And the figurehead will be coming to Victoria this weekend for two days of tackling the politics of manhood in mind of the upcoming Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

Gagan Leekha, resource development officer at the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre, says while organizers used to view the event as a two-hour affair, there was a lot of pressure to get many messages out in that time. “There is power in men talking to men about these issues, and the role that we all play,” says Leekha. “Men face a lot of pressure to be macho all the time, and it’s got to be hard to be a guy. There are so many things that just get normalized through our media, that some we don’t even recognize.”

While the event is geared for men, Leekha says all ages and genders are welcome to attend the lecture — and as an educator, author, filmmaker and social theorist, Katz is used to a varied audience. He is co-founder of the multiracial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program and, since 1990, he has lectured at more than 1,400 colleges and schools, professional conferences and military installations in countries around the world. He’s also authored works like “Politics is a Contact Sport: Media, Sports Metaphors and Presidential Masculinity,” and “10 Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence.”

See “Men, Masculinity and the Media: A Public Talk with Jackson Katz” Thurs., May 2, 7pm-9pm at First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral). The event is open to all ages and all genders with a sliding scale from $0-$20.

The “Men’s Leadership Breakfast” is specifically for self-identified men, especially in civic leadership positions, aboriginal bands, multicultural communities, youth sports organizations, schools and religious groups. Join Fri., May 3, 7:30-9am at Harbour Towers (345 Quebec). Tickets $40 individual, or $220 for a table of six (breakfast included).

Looks like a blue spring

While the blue birds are singing, Old Blue is nesting into its last days as construction on the new Johnson Street Bridge begins this week.

The bridge will remain open to pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles and marine traffic until the new creation unveils itself in late 2015, but Victorians and Esquimaltians can expect to have eyefuls of crews and construction for the next two years.

This week, crews will begin to clear and grade land and, this June, two temporary trestles will be built on the north side of the bridge to support cranes and equipment set to build the bridge. The city says other bonuses will include traffic delays, detours and noise that will be unavoidable at times.

Learn about the whole spectrum by attending a drop-in info session: Thurs., May 2, 8-10am at Swans Hotel (506 Pandora, Collard Room), or Sun., May 5, 10am-2pm at Delta Ocean Pointe Resort (45 Songhees, Harbour Room).

Outreach team to cool heels— By Colin Cayer

Nurses expecting to pound the pavement and reach out to those facing barriers to harm reductions services will have to wait for their new positions. More importantly, so will their clients.

The existing Access Health Centre on Johnson Street and Public Health and Withdrawal Management complex at Cook and Pembroke streets will continue to offer needle exchanges and other harm reduction supplies. However, the $500,000 outreach team will face a three-month delay. The Strategic Oversight Committee, responsible for implementing the new service model, will now have to wait for contract negotiations to be accepted at the end of May rather than March/April. The anticipated July rollout of services will also face delays as implementation is now expected in October this year.

According to Suzanne Germain, communication officer for Vancouver Island Health Authority, the shift has been more complicated than expected. “It [the Request for Proposals] was more involved than anyone thought it was going to be,” says Germain, adding that summer vacations are also part of the delay. “We are committed to doing this right.”

All of this also comes as VIHA’s CEO, Howard Waldner, is retiring. Dr. Brendan Carr will step into the role through the May 14 general election, when CEO recruitment will begin. This delay has some questioning if the suspension is related to the election, as well. According to Germain, the answer is simple: “No. No relation to the election. This is very routine business as usual.” M

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