Both provinces are seeing concerning trends develop, which has forced health officials to implement more restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.'We are in a crucial phase' »
A Washington state entomologist said discovering a nest of Asian giant hornets in the backyard tree of a home in Blaine was at first exciting, and then concerning."The first thing we saw was their children's play set about 20 feet from the location," said Sven-Erik Spichiger. "It was a little terrifying."The nest of invasive insects is the first ever discovered in the U.S. and was found just south of the Peace Arch border crossing that separates South Surrey, B.C., and Blaine, Wash.Last year, a nest of Asian giant hornets was found and destroyed in a downtown Nanaimo park on Vancouver Island.As an invasive species with a voracious appetite for important pollinators like honey bees, "murder hornets" as they are sometimes called, are considered a major threat to apple, berry and other fruit crops in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers were led to the nest in Blaine after attaching tiny radio trackers to three specimens they captured live. Over the weekend crews wearing protective suits worked to seal the nest and insects in the tree using foam filler and shrink wrap, before vacuuming out as many individual specimens as possible. "When we first started vacuuming the hornets were not very upset with us and only a few were coming up,' said Spichiger. "Then we hit the side of the tree and that worked ... they came pouring out."All 85 Asian giant hornets taken from the tree alive will now be used in research, he added.Any individuals and larvae that remained in the tree were asphyxiated with carbon dioxide gas for 10 to 15 minutes, before expanding foam was sprayed into the nest crevice. The tree is now being removed for further examination."At this point we believe everything in the nest to be dead," he said. "No one was stung or even attacked by a hornet during this procedure, so from my perspective that is a huge success." According to Spichiger, the Washington state team has been working in close collaboration with Canadian counterparts who are also tracking the hornet. "[The Canadians] have traps up all along the border where we've been operating … and we are sharing capture and eradication data as it's happening," he said.The Asian giant hornet can grow up to five centimetres long and is native to Japan, the Korean peninsula and coastal China.Spichiger expect more nests will be found and eradicated, but because the hornets haven't been found outside of Whatcom County in Washington state, doesn't think the pest is out of control in the U.S. at this time."If we start finding [nests] all over the place, that's when I'll start thinking we have a problem we can't deal with," he said.
The RCMP officer who arrested Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 said he knew immediately that her extradition case was "high-profile."Const. Winston Yep testified in B.C. Supreme Court Monday about the hours leading up to the Huawei chief financial officer's arrest on Dec. 1, 2018.He said he was handed the file the day before and even though he didn't know who exactly Meng was — he knew she was important."I didn't know too much about it. All I know is that Huawei was the largest telecommunications company in the world," Yep said."She's the CFO of Huawei and a high-profile person."Ten witnesses expectedYep is the first of 10 witnesses expected to take the stand over two weeks of testimony from the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency officers who were involved in Meng's arrest for extradition to the U.S.The testimony will be broken into two weeks — one now, and one at the end of November. The witnesses will be questioned and cross-examined as both sides gather evidence for a hearing in February at which Meng's lawyers plan to argue that her rights were violated during her arrest.The 48-year-old sat in court listening through a translator as she watched the man who arrested her, setting off a legal odyssey that has lasted nearly two years.She is charged with fraud and conspiracy for allegedly lying to HSBC about Huawei's control of a subsidiary that was accused of breaching U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.Prosecutors claim that by relying on those alleged lies to continue financing Huawei, the bank put itself at risk of loss and prosecution for violating the same set of sanctions.Much of the questioning is expected to centre around the decision to have CBSA officers detain Meng for three hours before Yep arrested her.They questioned her during that time without a lawyer and seized her electronic devices, compelling her to give the passwords, which the Crown has admitted the CBSA then passed along to the RCMP by mistake.'It's a risky situation'Yep was working in the RCMP's foreign domestic liaison unit when he was asked to get a provisional arrest warrant for Meng. He said he didn't treat Meng's arrest any differently than any of the other arrests he has made as an RCMP officer. But Yep said the case is only the third extradition he has been involved in, and he was in the process of carrying out his second extradition arrest with a partner when his supervisor called him about Meng.It was a Friday. Yep said they were short staffed and his boss said they had an "urgent extradition request" and she couldn't find anyone to go down to the Department of Justice Office to swear an affidavit for the provisional arrest warrant.Yep said the U.S. had also asked for Meng's electronic devices to be seized and provided special bags for that purpose, which prevented them from being remotely accessed."It didn't cause me any concern," he said. "It was part of the execution of the arrest process."Yep said he and his partner went to the airport the same evening in order to ascertain that Meng was actually on the Cathay Pacific flight that was scheduled to arrive from Hong Kong the next day. But he said it hadn't taken off before they left for the evening.In the meantime, he said a supervisor sent a note suggesting they board the plane on landing and arrest Meng then. But Yep said he didn't "think that was a good idea.""We didn't know Ms. Meng," he said. "We didn't know who she was travelling with and what she was capable of. Plus, you have other passengers there. It's a risky situation."'This is your jurisdiction'Yep insisted that the RCMP and CBSA officers had no clear plan for how the arrest would play out when they met on the morning before Meng's flight landed. But he insisted that he always understood that the CBSA was the agency that had jurisdiction."I said, 'this is your jurisdiction, we want to work with you guys,'" Yep said. "What do you suggest we do here?"Yep said the CBSA officers claimed that Meng had outstanding immigration issues involving her ownership of two multimillion dollar homes on Vancouver's west side, so they settled on a plan that would see the CBSA detain her first.But he said, "it was always going to be me who was effecting the arrest. Because I had the warrant and this was an RCMP matter."Yep said the CBSA officers agreed to seize Meng's devices, but he said they were never asked to search the contents.And he insisted that no one asked the CBSA officers to question Meng about anything with regards to the allegations against her."I did not give CBSA any directions on what to ask Ms. Meng," Yep said. "We left it up to them to do their process and when they were done their process I was going to execute the warrant. We let them do their job."Yep described sitting in a room, waiting for the CBSA to deal with Meng before she was finally brought in for he and a fellow officer to arrest. He was in a suit, and his colleague was in full uniform.He said Meng was surprised, but cooperative."It went smooth," Yep said.He said he also made the decision to handcuff Meng with her hands in front of her body, and not behind as is usual."Why handcuff her at all?" asked Crown prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley."That's just the arrest process," Yep answered.Gibb-Carsley asked Yep about the wording of the warrant which commanded him to "immediately" arrest Meng. The defence has accused the CBSA and RCMP of ignoring the judge's directions by having customs officers interrogate her beforehand.Yep said he understood "immediately" to mean "just as soon as practical" taking into account public safety, officer safety and passenger protection."You don't just rush in to arrest somebody without knowing your environment," Yep said.Meng has denied the allegations against her.
You might think that Nissan, the first car-maker to achieve widespread success with a zero-emissions electric vehicle, cares deeply about the environment. But Clayton Brander isn't so sure. Three years ago, the Powell River, B.C., resident chose to buy a used 2013 Nissan Leaf, motivated by a keen interest in sustainability. "I love the car," he said. "Honestly, in three years and 40,000 kilometres, I've replaced a set of tires and windshield wiper fluid. Nothing breaks down. It's a fantastic little vehicle. I think electric vehicles are the way to go."But nowadays, instead of being able to drive the 120 km that 2013 Leafs could initially go on a full charge, Brander can't get much more than 80 km. He has even become hesitant about turning on the heat or window defroster, since using those features require battery power and will reduce his driving range even further. Brander always knew that batteries lose capacity over time, and he figured it wouldn't be a problem getting a new one. "The dealership where I bought the car said that in a few years, you can replace the battery for about $5,000," said Brander.But now, he can't find one. He's tried two nearby Nissan dealerships, three local repair shops and contacted Nissan Canada."Nissan hasn't been helpful. I've sent probably six emails to them," said Brander. "They keep telling me to go to the dealership. I called my local dealership and they sent emails to Nissan Canada. Six weeks later, neither of us has gotten a response."Both dealerships told him that a new battery — if he can find one — could cost him at least $15,000, which would be more than he paid for the vehicle in the first place.WATCH | Brander's struggle to replace his car's battery: His local dealership has encouraged him to solve the issue by simply purchasing a brand-new Nissan Leaf. The basic 2020 model costs $42,000 and can travel about 240 km on a full charge. That suggestion doesn't seem very sustainable to Brander. "It seems like these things are going to end up in the landfill," he said. "It makes more sense for them financially, I imagine, to sell new cars than to service the old cars."U.S. class-action lawsuit The Nissan Leaf has long been the world's best-selling electric vehicle, surpassed for the first time in 2020 by Tesla's Model S, according to Nissan and Tesla's own figures.Olivier Trescases, a professor at the University of Toronto's Electric Vehicle Research Centre, said Nissan deserves credit for being a pioneer."They were one of the first to release a compelling electric vehicle with a reasonable range and most importantly, a low price point," he said.But he added that one of the design "compromises" Nissan initially made in order to keep production costs down was to not install an advanced cooling system for its batteries. "They were using a chemistry that was particularly temperature-sensitive, and they did not use expensive liquid cooling."That means the battery's capacity is reduced more quickly. In 2012, Leaf owners in California and Arizona launched a class-action lawsuit claiming the car's driving range was lower than advertised.The company settled the suit and extended the battery capacity warranty to five years on models made from 2013 onward. Later, Nissan extended the warranty to eight years on models made after 2016. As well, a battery replacement program for first-generation Leafs was launched in the U.S. A new one cost $5,499 US, plus labour, but the program was discontinued in early 2018.Where's the loyalty? After an inquiry about Clayton Brander's situation from CBC's Go Public team, Nissan declined an interview but released a statement via email. It said Nissan Canada will conduct an inspection of Brander's vehicle and is "hopeful to find a resolution." Contacted by phone, the head of corporate communications for Nissan Canada wouldn't clarify if that means that they would find him a new battery, or at what price. The statement also pointed out the environmental impact of the Leaf, saying owners around the world have driven 4.8 billion kilometres and helped to prevent "more than 2.4 billion kilograms of CO2 emissions."Trescases believes Nissan should show more loyalty to its first customers. "Some of these early adopters helped them to get the car out on the market, get some acceptance and go from there."Nissan Canada says more than 3,300 Canadians have purchased Leafs built prior to 2015.Trescases said the challenge of replacing batteries in older electric cars shouldn't discourage buyers of newer models, explaining the latest EV batteries are incredibly efficient."Today, companies are talking about million-mile batteries," he said. "That's a big buzzword, but let's say they even get close to that — that means that the battery will actually outlive the car by a long stretch."Last year, Nissan began powering streetlights in Japan and a stadium in the Netherlands with batteries from cars no longer in use.Keeping car on the roadAt just seven years old, Brander's Leaf is newer than most cars on the road in Canada, where the average vehicle is 10 years old. (In B.C., the average is 11.)He remains determined to hang on to the vehicle, ideally with a new battery. He's happy that Nissan Canada finally got in touch with him after the inquiry from CBC News, but he's puzzled why the company says the vehicle needs to be tested. He said he already paid $130 for a battery test at a local dealership."The fact that I don't get enough driving range out of this one is all that's needed to determine that I need a new battery," he said.He'd like to see Nissan show some loyalty to its most faithful fans, by helping keep the cars on the road for as long as possible."They got all the kudos for introducing the electric vehicles to the masses, so that looks really good," he said. "But they're losing them now by not supporting these older models and just pushing new vehicle sales, instead of saying, 'Look, we can still keep these out of the landfill.'"
Public health officials introduced new measures today to curb transmission of COVID-19 at gatherings in people’s homes, which they say fuelled a record weekend of new cases in British Columbia. The province reported 817 new cases in the three days since Friday, with 317 cases reported on Saturday, setting a new record total for the third time in less than a week. Of these cases, 665 occurred in Fraser Health. Cases have almost doubled since Oct. 9 in the Delta, Surrey and Langley areas. Two schools have been closed as a result of COVID-19 cases. “It is concerning to us that we continue to see growth, particularly in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Health region,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “This is a bit of a sobering weekend for us.” A new public health order from Henry now limits gatherings in homes to the household members plus their “safe six” individuals — the six people they have included in gatherings. Henry said she is “stepping up” her messaging on masks in public indoor spaces but stopped short of mandating them as in some other Canadian jurisdictions. Whether going to the grocery store, liquor store or ICBC to renew a driver’s licence, “it is now the expectation that people will wear non-medical masks in public spaces,” she said. Two schools, including one where the province’s first outbreak took place in Kelowna and a school in the Fraser Health region, have now closed because mandated isolation “has meant that the schools can no longer safely operate.” “To me it indicates that the plan is working, that we’re detecting these and detecting them early,” said Henry. So far, there are two outbreaks in more than 2,000 schools in B.C. These outbreaks signal there is spread in the community, and Henry urged people to limit their contacts and gatherings to keep essential settings like schools and health care safe. She also advised that for larger families or those living in multi-generational homes, even six additional people may be too many. “When you come together with others, you bring the risk with you,” Henry said. “Orders as we know are a last resort, but it does indicate where we need to take this now.” Last week Henry said social gatherings were significant sources of transmission in the community and urged people to limit them to immediate family. Cultural and religious leaders have a role to play in this critical time, Henry stressed, particularly as flu season begins. Thanksgiving weekend brought the “next level” of transmission as a result of social gatherings, leading to the surge the province sees today, she said. “We need to take action in these areas.” It appears unlikely these orders will change before the holiday season, and Henry suggested people begin planning holiday gatherings within their households. “It’s going to be some months until we are through this part of the pandemic,” said Henry. Moira Wyton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
Thousands of children appear to have fallen off the Toronto District School Board's radar in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic — and the board's budget is taking a serious hit because of it, board staff say in a new report.A meeting of the TDSB's finance committee last week was told it will be short about $42 million in provincial government funding this school year. That's because boards are funded per pupil, and far fewer children have shown up for class this fall compared to last, the report states. TDSB chair Alexander Brown told CBC Toronto about 5,500 students who had been expected back this fall — either online or in class — are unaccounted for as of October. That number includes about 800 high school students and roughly 4,700 elementary school kids, Brown said.According to the TDSB's website, there are normally about 255,000 children enrolled, and its annual operating budget is $3.4 billion.Brown said board staff are working to find out what's become of the missing students."Hopefully, we'll know where all those kids are by mid-November to the end of November," he said. Of the missing elementary school-aged students, about 2,100 had been registered for junior or senior kindergarten classes this school year, which officially started in September. TDSB appealing to province to let it keep $42MThose youngsters do not legally need to be in school under Ontario law, he said, but any child six or older has to be enrolled in an approved learning environment, whether it's in-class or online. Parents are supposed to inform the board in writing if they plan to pull previously enrolled children out of the TDSB and homeschool them.What, if any, schooling the missing students are receiving "is a concern," he said."Obviously, we need to find out. There were a lot of kids in our system for the first couple of weeks of school that didn't have teachers, so it's been a hard year and we have to still work on it to get it right."Although board staff are in the midst of the painstaking task of tracking down the parents of all 5,500 no-shows, Brown said the TDSB probably won't know exactly how they're being schooled until December.In the meantime, he said the board has appealed to the province to allow it to keep the $42 million per-pupil funding allotment that's at risk because of the missing students.Brown said he believes some of those students are being home-schooled informally by their parents, while others have likely switched to the Toronto Catholic District School Board or private schools..Several parents contacted by CBC Toronto said they'd pulled their kids from the TDSB this school year because of health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak. Others said they felt the board was too disorganized in launching the 2020-2021 school year.Vince Gerrie pulled his two sons from their TDSB schools in Leaside and enrolled them in a private online school, which is costing about $1,200 a month.'Had to become teachers'"My wife and I both have very demanding careers and in March when the lockdown happened, it was a very difficult time for us. Not only were we dealing with how COVID was affecting our businesses, but we also had to become teachers," he said."And as the school year was approaching rapidly, you could anticipate that the COVID case counts were going to go up...If the kids did attend in person, is the school going to get shut down or are they going to get sick? We wanted to make a decision where we actually knew what was happening and we could control our circumstances."He said his sons, 10-year-old Jasper, and Sebastian, 13, have thrived in their new learning environment — so much so that he's considering leaving them in the online private school even after the pandemic is under control.Mom Ashley O'Rourke, of Scarborough, said safety was her motivator.Her son Max had been registered to start junior kindergarten this fall. But he recently underwent a liver transplant, and doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children advised her that the pandemic posed a serious health threat should he attend school.She instead planned to have him take part online, but quickly learned that was not a viable option."We did about two weeks and the teacher was excellent," she said. "But having a three-year-old sit in front of a computer for four-and-a-half hours a day, which is the recommended time, was just not possible for us. "He was getting distracted, and ... at minimum, I figured I could be more effective with him one-on-one for an hour than it would probably be in front of the computer."Brown said the board will present the province with an updated budget proposal in December, at which time he'll have a more exact enrolment number. Whatever that number is, though, Brown said he wants the province to assure the board that it won't cancel the $42 million that the board would be getting, if not for the missing students."We are going to push hard and advocate for that money," he said. "It's always a shell game in this province in a regular year. COVID just exacerbates this to the nth degree."
A trial already fraught with emotional outbursts, intense witness examination lasting hours and bitter workplace feuds played out on the stand resumed Monday for a former principal accused of assaulting multiple young students.Despite previous testimony, five staff members — all called to the witness box by the defendant's lawyers — said they did not observe Robin McGrath scream at or threaten anybody.Two of those witnesses, who were working in close proximity to McGrath at the time, emphasized he did little more to discipline his students than speak firmly to them.It's a vast dissimilarity to the man characterized as a tyrant who dragged one disabled child into a cold shower and grabbed another by the face.McGrath, a former principal of a Conception Bay South elementary school that can't be named due to a publication ban, is charged with four counts of assault, all allegedly against minors with disabilities. He also faces one count of uttering threats.Prior testimony described him carrying out bizarre forms of punishment, such as squeezing a child in a bear hug until he cried, stepping on a child's hand and threatening to cut a student's fingers off while brandishing a pair of scissors.Monday's testimony, in contrast, painted McGrath as a standard authority figure who was called on to take disciplinary action, and who developed friendly relationships with some students. > I'd even go so far as to say they had a good relationship. One staff member said students would drop by just to speak with him, sometimes to show him hockey cards.A staff member who worked a stone's throw from McGrath's office during the 2017-2018 school year said he would always talk to children with his door open. Sometimes he'd speak sternly and with a raised voice, she said — but it never crossed a line."I wouldn't say [he was] yelling. He was loud ... I felt he was stern when he needed to be stern and that he was good with the kids," she said.The children who McGrath allegedly assaulted showed no signs of fear around him, she said.One child in particular would sit in McGrath's office after misbehaving. On one occasion, the witness said, she poked her head in the door; nothing seemed amiss."[The child] would be sitting on the chair swinging his legs, talking away to Robin," she said, frequently nodding her head toward the former principal from the witness stand as she referred to him.Another member of the school staff described similar behaviour from the alleged victims. One of those students, who McGrath often needed to physically lift from his mother's car to coax him into class, said the child did not appear harmed or frightened by him."He'd be skipping down the hall and he'd wave and smile at Mr. McGrath," the teacher testified. "I'd even go so far as to say they had a good relationship."Divided staffMuch of Monday's questioning attempted to untangle the complex workplace relationships between school staff, sometimes veering into territory the relevance of which Judge David Orr questioned more than once.Lawyers pressed witnesses on personal opinions of their colleagues, with the prosecutor repeatedly asking a staff member, at one point, how she felt about the staff members who'd made the allegations.The staff member emphatically denied that she disapproved of any of her colleagues. But upon cross-examination she revealed she did, in fact, have a strong emotional reaction to staff members who criticized McGrath's alleged affair with a married staff member.She said she didn't think it was anyone's business what McGrath did in his romantic life, but insisted she was on "friendly terms with everybody in the school."It was one more instance added to an emerging picture of a work environment divided along enemy lines.The staff member said she also observed daily closed-door meetings between two other staff members, both major players in the allegations against McGrath.She said if she had any inkling McGrath had harmed children, she would have spoken up."As a mother and a grandmother I would not be able to stand by and let anybody do anything to hurt a child," she said.Testimony continues Tuesday.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
REGINA — A look at Scott Moe, leader of the Saskatchewan Party:Born: July 31, 1973, in Prince Albert, Sask.Early years: Raised as the oldest in a family of five on a grain farm near Shellbrook, Sask. His mother was a teacher and his father farmed and owned school buses. Moe played sports growing up, including competitive hockey.Education: Graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1997 with a bachelor of science in agriculture.Before politics: Sold farm equipment, was in the service station business and co-owned a pharmacy in Shellbrook with his wife.Political record: Was first elected as the Saskatchewan Party member for Rosthern-Shellbrook in 2011, then again in 2016. In 2018, moved into the premier's office after winning the leadership contest to replace retiring premier Brad Wall. Well-known for sparring with federal government over carbon pricing and provincial autonomy.Family: Married to his high school sweetheart, Krista. They have two adult children, Carter and Taryn.Quote: “You dig deep as to why and you also dig deep as to how can I use this -- in my case, a personal tragedy -- to make a difference as you move forward,” Moe in 2019 about killing a woman in a car crash in 1997.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020 The Canadian Press
Loblaw Companies Limited has been granted an injunction prohibiting striking Dominion employees from picketing at a Mount Pearl distribution centre but has also lost dozens more.Striking Dominion employees claimed victory Monday despite being hit with an injunction that prohibits them from picketing at the Loblaw distribution centre in Donovans Business Park.That's because Loblaw Companies Limited lost dozens more injunctions filed to prevent striking employees from picketing at about 50 other locations either owned by or connected to the company.Picketers shifted spaces overnight on Monday from the distribution centre to Weston Bakeries, owned by Loblaw and the Weston family. "You got to love it. It's given us an opportunity to say to the company, 'Look, come back. We want to get this done and over with,'" said Carolyn Wrice, president of Unifor Local 597, which represents 1,400 Dominion employees across 11 stores in Newfoundland and Labrador."We're going to stay here as long as we got to. We're ready to stay. I'm happy about the decision, very happy, and so are my members behind me."Wrice said members on the picket line outside Weston Bakeries are not preventing people from entering or leaving the property. 2nd injunctionWorkers have been on strike since August — after the company ended a $2-an-hour wage increase for essential workers, implemented during the pandemic — calling for more full-time jobs. The union says more than 80 per cent of Dominion workers are part time and 60 full-time jobs were converted into part-time positions last year.In August the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court granted the company an injunction that prohibited strikers from blocking entrances and exits to Dominion grocery stores.In Monday's court application, Loblaw sought to prohibit picketing at 30 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, three No Frills stores, three independent grocers, the company's wholesale club store, the distribution centre and other locations."You never know what the future holds in the next few days, where we'll pop up," said Wrice. "Of course, this was a surprise for the company, I'm sure, this morning."The company also asked the court to limit picket line numbers to four people, but the union says the judge denied that request.'We've been waiting too long'Chris MacDonald, assistant to Unifor national president Jerry Dias and lead negotiator for Dominion workers, told CBC News both sides have to get back to the bargaining table."The company is never going to resolve this issue in court. It's not going to be decided by the courts. Labour disputes are resolved at the bargaining table," he said. "They can take us to court all they want, but, frankly, that's not where this is getting resolved."MacDonald said Unifor called the conciliation officer on Monday to request both parties reconvene. He said the union's bargaining committee is coming to St. John's on Tuesday and is prepared to meet with Loblaw and work out a deal. But, MacDonald added, the company has not indicated to him that it is prepared to move on its offer. "We've been waiting too long. We've got to get back to the table. If it takes us putting forward an offer I'm going to talk to our committee tomorrow and see how that goes," he said. CBC News has asked Loblaw's Atlantic director of corporate affairs for comment.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
There has been chatter for weeks that Vale NL is in talks with Tesla about the Voisey’s Bay mine in northern Labrador. The mine, which is poised to go underground in the next couple of years, is a significant source of nickel, a mineral Tesla needs for electric car batteries. Lela Evans, MHA for Torngat Mountains, the riding where Voisey’s Bay is located, thinks it’s a great opportunity for the government to see if it can kill a few birds with one stone. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in July his company is looking to offer a significant contract if a supplier could produce nickel in an environmentally sensitive way. Evans said Vale has been doing work for years on reducing its environmental footprint and has done a good job of it at the Labrador site. As a remote site with no road access one thing the company can’t avoid, though, is diesel usage, which is expected to increase when the mine goes underground. Evans said in her opinion this ties in perfectly with a recent pre-feasibility study announced on the north coast of Labrador road. “I think it should take into consideration the huge opportunity for the province to tie Muskrat Falls energy into the Vale mine site. It would be a huge market for Muskrat Falls power, it would benefit Voisey’s and it would benefit the province.” Since Voisey’s Bay is only about 35 km south of Nain, she said, any proposed road would pass right by the site, not really increasing the cost. She’s hopeful identifying another need for the road may speed the process along and said a commitment to taking Vale off diesel might help their negotiations with Tesla. An informal estimate prepared on the road by scientist Robert Way a few years ago gave the cost, conservatively, as somewhere between $800-900 million. “If you look at the economic saving, the carbon taxes, the consumption of fuel for Voisey’s and for power plants in the communities, that would be nothing,” she said of the potential cost, adding it would also save on materials that currently have to be flown to the site. Evans said as far she’s concerned it would be a win all around for the province, the people on the coast, Vale, and the environment. “I wouldn’t want to see Vale penalized because they’ve on diesel,” she said. “If there was a way to get off it, they would. I think this is a good motivator and a good opportunity.” Vale did confirm it is in talks with Tesla but no other information has been made available. “As a world leader in the production and supply of responsibly-sourced nickel, Vale has engaged in talks with stakeholders at all points along the supply chain, including Tesla, to explore the possibility of partnerships,” said a statement from Kristie Cochrane, manager of corporate affairs and communications with Vale NL. Cochrane said the talks are consistent with Vale’s positioning in the market and the increasing demand for nickel as a critical component of battery manufacturing for electric vehicles. SaltWire reached out to Tesla but did not receive a reply by deadline. Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Creating digital content is going to be an important part of Hudson Bay’s new marketing campaign, especially with approved grant money from Tourism Saskatchewan helping with the creation of this new content. Jeanine Holowatuik, the town’s community development director, said diversifying their focus was a big part of the project. Instead of focusing on winter activities, which has been the focus of previous campaigns, Lost Girls Guide to Travelling the World blogger, Ashlyn George, was brought in on the project to provide the focus for fall activities, especially outdoor experiences. “We were pretty much focused on the nature-based aspect of it; the beauty of nature, as well as the other things that you can do in the community during this time, such as the walking trails and visiting local businesses,” Holowatuik said. Originally from Leslie, Sask., a village of 15 people between Foam Lake and Elfros, George has made a name for herself as a travel blogger travelling to over 60 countries in the past 10 years following her convocation from university. Being from the province, George enjoys bringing Saskatchewan and its many outdoor travel destinations into focus. While profiling Hudson Bay, George wanted to shine a light on the beauty of the larches in the area as well as the local businesses that she got to visit on her trip. “They're a really unique tree in that they actually lose their needles. They’re conifers but they lose their needles and before they do that, they turn a golden yellow. So they're just really cool trees.” George has been to Hudson Bay four or five times already, she said, but there has always been something new to do there. George was the Saskatchewanderer in 2015 and has been a full-time blogger since 2016. Hudson Bay council was updated on the marketing project and George’s involvement during the last council meeting on Oct. 13.Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
The one thing most likely to conjure nightmares of the 2016 election night for opponents of President Donald Trump is the Needle. A graphic on The New York Times' website, the Needle measured in real time the probability of victory for Trump or Hillary Clinton as votes were counted. Its steady movement triggered anxiety for Clinton supporters, who repeatedly refreshed the page, and elation for Trump fans.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin outlined his disappointment in the rising numbers of cases in the province as well as the behaviors he says have let the virus "off the hook."
It is one of the biggest nights of the year for kids, but this year’s Halloween may look a little different than most. With the ongoing pandemic raising some question marks about whether both kids and parents will be feel safe trick-or-treating, the family behind Boo’s Bar & Eatery in Lincoln is doing their part to ensure this year’s Halloween isn’t cancelled. Teaming up with the local Motorcycle County Riders Club, Boo’s will be hosting a Halloween-themed walk-thru tunnel on Oct. 31, between 5 and 8 p.m., where kids can come navigate the spooky tunnel. Terry Phillips, one of the owners of Boo’s, said it will be a fun and safe way for kids across the community to enjoy Halloween. “Along part of the property, we have the flea market, so we have tables that are 10 or 12 feet apart, and we are making a tunnel. We will have Halloween decorations, lights and music. The kids will start at one end, walk through to the end closest to the restaurant, and when they get to the end they will get a bag full of candy.” Phillips said it was his daughter, Burgandy, who first thought of hosting a Halloween event for kids, hoping to ease some of the stress many feel in these difficult times where traditional social events have been cancelled. “She is concerned with kids and their mental health during the pandemic and Halloween, not being able to be around their friends, so she thought this might be something good for kids in the area.” This is the first year Boo’s has hosted a Halloween event for kids, but Phillips said the timing was right this year to bring some joy to kids across the community in a safe and fun way. Hoping to get the word out about Boo’s Halloween tunnel walk thru, Philips said they first posted about it on his daughter Burgandy’s Facebook page. In just 48 hours, the post had over 8,000 views, and people were already reaching out looking for ways to get involved and donate. “The Motorcycle County Riding Club has donated a lot of candy, we have had customers that have donated candy. A lot of people commented asking to help, and to donate, the community has just been amazing.” Top stories delivered to your inbox. Sign Up Phillips said anyone looking to get involved, or participate in Boo’s Halloween walk thru can call the restaurant directly at 905-562-4328 or send a message to their Facebook page.Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News
An LED streetlight conversion project in Powassan is resulting in tremendous savings for the municipality after it traded all 242 streetlights for the more energy-efficient lights. RealTerm Energy helped with the switch and figures from the company show that from June 2019 to June 2020, the municipality achieved an energy saving rate of 66 per cent. In terms of dollars, Mayor Peter McIsaac says the municipality saved about $30,000. Prior to the conversion the older lights would have cost the community $46,145 to run, he says. However, that bill fell to $15,963 for the period in question thanks to the energy-efficient nature of the LEDs. RealTerm Energy says the outcome confirms its earlier calculations that an energy savings of 66 per cent would be achieved. The switchover didn't cost the community anything because it's paying the provider each year for a 10-year period from the savings it realizes with the reduced energy bills. After the 10 years are up, McIsaac says the savings will flow directly to the municipality. There's another savings the switchover created for the community, something that's not contained in the RealTerm Energy report to the municipality. McIsaac says it has to do with lighting equipment inventory. "A big problem with the old lights was we carried a lot of inventory to repair the street lights," he explains. "We had different styles and different models, and that was quite costly and it took up a lot of room at the public works department to carry all those supplies." But now the community no longer faces that problem. McIsaac says the conversion program was a win-win for the municipality from the outset. "We got to upgrade our entire outdoor lighting system basically at zero cost to the municipality," he said. Once the payback period ends, taxpayers will realize another benefit, McIsaac adds. "For a community our size with the tax base that we have, every $30,000 is a one per cent (tax) increase," he said. "It means that eventually we'll see a one per cent tax savings to the municipality. This is a program that goes unnoticed. But in the long run, it's going to have a positive impact on our bottom line as the program runs its course." On the company website, RealTerm Energy describes itself as a North American leader in the LED and Smart Lighting field with more than 300 successful projects spread across the United States and Canada. Its Canadian head office is housed in Montreal while Annapolis, Maryland serves as the company's headquarters south of the border. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
Les Inuits conçoivent que tous les êtres vivants ont un certain libre arbitre. Et si la rigide science cartésienne s’ouvrait un peu à cette vision du vivant ?
When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the province’s shores it forced people to live in a way they weren’t accustomed to. Daily interactions with others for work, community or otherwise, were shelved and replaced by an online equivalent as health authorities sought to control the spread of the coronavirus. Those same restrictions meant municipalities were forced to adjust and find new ways to ensure essential community services were still being offered to residents. In the early stages of the pandemic, the Town of Gander made some swift decisions to keep things running as smoothly as it could at the municipal level. They had to toe the line between public safety and ensuring the town was there for its citizens' needs. Now, seven months later, town officials are taking steps to ensure their readiness for the next time a situation hits that changes how things are done at the municipal level. From an IT system crash to a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Gander wants to make sure it can handle the strain. “Council is taking certain steps to organize itself,” said Gander Mayor Percy Farwell. In late September during a regular council meeting, the town approved what it calls an operations continuity plan. Some might ask what the difference between the continuity plan and Gander’s emergency plan would be. Most, if not all, municipalities have a detailed plan in place should a disaster happen, and multiple groups have to come together to address it. “The fundamental difference is one refers to municipal operations,” said Gander chief administrative officer Dermot Chafe. “The continuity plan refers to municipal operations, and the emergency plan is a broader response to something that happens inside the community.” That may be something like flooding, the loss of power or, as the east coast of the province saw earlier this year, an immense snowstorm. Gander is no different, and its emergency plan would focus on mitigating the disaster and co-ordinating the town’s response with emergency personnel. The continuity plan is about having its own house in order as the town ensures residents are getting the help they need. “The operations continuity plan would serve as a companion piece to the emergency plan,” said Farwell. The pandemic was the catalyst for the development of the plan. Gander hopes the plan, which has been in development since the start of the pandemic, will take what was learned during the lockdown and refine it. It gives officials an idea of what they’re responsible for in the event something happens, and how they can manoeuvre through the challenges that present themselves. “It’s formalizing a guideline for the Town of Gander when there is a challenge to services,” said Farwell. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Skirmishes broke out between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump as a “Jews For Trump” convoy of hundreds of cars draped with American flags and Trump 2020 banners rolled slowly through Manhattan and Brooklyn over the weekend. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, called Monday on the Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice-President Joe Biden, to denounce attacks on the president's Jewish supporters. “I really hope that Joe Biden, his campaign, will come out and condemn these anti-Semitic actions that were taken against Trump supporters and be respectful again," Kushner, who is Jewish, said on “Fox & Friends.”
On Wednesday, Shivani Dhamija was presented with the Immigrant Women Entrepreneurship Network Entrepreneur of the Year award during the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia’s Small Business Week event. Dhamija and her husband Abhishek Asthana immigrated to Canada from India in 2012. After arriving in Nova Scotia, Dhamija was on the hunt for a job in her field: communications.
The opioid crisis is hitting Northern Ontario communities harder because there is less access to most of the medical and social services that Southern Ontario residents take for granted. That was one of the key conclusions of a half-hour examination of the opioid crisis in Northern Ontario featured on the TVO Agenda program Oct. 22. TVO is a provincially funded public broadcast agency with The Agenda being the flagship news and current affairs program broadcast every weeknight. The participants included Marc Lionello, program manager for the Cochrane Temiskaming Canadian Mental Health Association Cochrane Timiskaming Branch, Anne Marie Thibault, clinical director for the Gwekwaadziwin Miikan Youth Mental Health & Addiction Program on Manitoulin Island, Joel Boivin, a registered nurse and outreach worker with the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth (SACY) and Marion Maar, professor and co-chair of Northern and rural health at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). Agenda host Steve Paiken told the panel that Ontario had more than 1,500 opioid-related deaths in 2019. Paiken said the trend so far in 2020 indicates things are getting worse. "Early reports from March to May show that opioids deaths are up 25 per cent compared to last year," he said, adding that opioid death rates have been on the rise in Ontario since 2011. Paiken also revealed a startling statistic comparing the north and the south. "Last year in 2019, death rates were more than doubled in Northern Ontario compared to southern Ontario," he said. Maar said one of the reasons for that could be the inability to connect patients with the continuum of care that is available in large urban centres. "A lot of time, you know, if you are in southern Ontario, the services might be a few blocks away or maybe just in the next town. A lot of times here (in Northern Ontario) they might be hundreds of kilometres away," she said. Maar added that people wanting to get into treatment may not have the support systems available for example if they wanted to check themselves in to get treatment. She said this is especially true for women with children who find they cannot get any care for their children while they get treatment. In Timmins, Lionello said the CMHA has seen the program getting worse in the past five years, not only more people becoming addicted, but also with the complexity of those addictions. "I can say strongly with a lot of confidence, especially in the last five years, the difficulty in terms of the cases we're looking at supporting has increased not only with the numbers, but the complexity of the cases, with the addition of not only opiates but with things like speed (amphetamine) and meth (methamphetamine). It is increasingly difficult to be able to support these individuals," said Lionello. Change has also been happening in Sudbury according to Boivin, who said things began to change around 2016 when it was noticed more people were using Fentanyl. Boivin said users also began mixing substances, such as amphetamines and carfentanil. "The other thing I've really noticed over the last four years, too, has been a definite increase in the amount of suffering people are going through.” Boivin said this referred to not only physical pain and suffering, but also emotional pain and psychological trauma. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse by cutting off access to such things as soup kitchens, food banks and even a place where people can gather to get out of the weather. Thibault said the opioid treatment program has seen an increase in wait times, partly because of pandemic quarantine rules. She said the program on Manitoulin Island accepts clients from across Ontario, but they had to set up quarantine and withdrawal-management camps to ensure that the people in treatment would not become infected. Thibault said this also meant protecting the people who run the treatment programs as well as the general public who live on the Island. She said the concern from addicts is that the pandemic forced many people to stay at home, trying to cope with their feelings, and in many cases this only reinforced the sense of need and urgency to take drugs. Thibault added that the pandemic has not taken a severe toll on Island residents and that there were only a handful of active cases since March. "We've still had to mitigate that and make sure that we're safe and I think the reason we don't have the cases is the safety precautions that all of the communities on Manitoulin have put into place," said Thibault. She added that there is a growing need for funding to accommodate the increase in addicts seeking treatment. She said one of the positive aspects of the Gwekwaadziwin Miikan program is that part of the treatment takes place outdoors in the wilderness and that makes it appealing because it is easier for the program to carry on despite the pandemic. Regardless, said Thibault, they're not able to provide treatment to as many addicts as they would like. "I think there needs to be more beds across Ontario for people to access treatment programs." She said the program which began in 2018 has had more than 280 applicants but they have only been able to accept 102 for treatment because of limits on funding and bed allocations. "The hardest part of our job is not in working with people with addictions," she said. "The hardest part is when we have 50 people on our waiting list right now and we have 10 beds to offer them come Jan. 15, and having to pick up the phone to tell somebody who is trying to save their life that unfortunately they're going to have to stay on the waiting list for another three months — (that) is absolutely devastating," said Thibault.Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Several teenagers sprayed graffiti on a piece of art outside one of Berlin's most famous museums and that the vandalism was unrelated to the damaging of more than 60 other art works on the city's Museum Island that were smeared with an oily liquid early this month, police said Saturday. A huge granite bowl in front of the Altes Museum, which is part of the German capital's museum complex and houses antiquities, was defaced Friday night by some teenagers and adults, Berlin police said.
A passenger in a car driven by Migos rapper Offset was arrested in Beverly Hills, California Saturday evening on charges of carrying a concealed, loaded firearm in public, police said. The Beverly Hills Police Department tweeted that 20-year-old Marcelo Almanzar is being held on a $35,000 bail.
Two unions representing Canadian defence employees are calling on the federal government to stop privatizing National Defence services. The Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Union of National Defence Employees say the government is spending far more than it would on those services had it done the work in-house. In a comprehensive report released Monday, the unions say there is a lack of evidence that private contractors save taxpayers money and substantial evidence indicating they are costing the department more.
Trail running is not just a sport for elite athletes, but an activity for anyone who wants to step out of the gym, off the pavement and discover new and amazing places. And in the Swiss alpine town of Verbier they've made it even easier to hit the trails.View on euronews