Weather Network meteorologist Jesse Uppal has the details.
Weather Network meteorologist Jesse Uppal has the details.
An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
THUNDER BAY — A number of inmates from the Thunder Bay jail have been temporarily transferred to a Toronto detention centre in an effort to manage the current number of active COVID-19 cases at the facility. On Friday, Jan. 22, a spokesperson with the ministry of the solicitor general confirmed the Thunder bay jail currently has 12 active inmate COVID-19 cases and six COVID-19 positive cases among staff. The inmates were transferred to the Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) temporarily to bring the facility within operating capacity and reduce the risk of infection, spokesperson Andrew Morrison said in an emailed statement. “The inmates selected for transfer are low risk for COVID-19 and will be isolated for 14 days upon arrival at the TSDC,” Morrison said, adding the ministry cannot provide details about inmate transfers for security reasons. All inmates are being transferred to a separate area at the TSDC and won’t be placed with current inmates to reduce any potential spread of the virus, Morrison said. “Appropriate protocols are being followed to ensure the protection of all staff and inmates,” Morrison said. The Toronto facility is the ministry’s newest jail with a modern health care unit with medical isolation units to effectively manage and support inmates with COVID-19, the ministry says. The Thunder Bay Correctional Centre currently has 42 active inmate cases and two active cases among staff of COVID-19. According to the ministry, any inmate who tests positive for the virus is placed under droplet precautions and is isolated from the rest of the inmate population while they receive medical care. The ministry continues to work with local public health authorities to complete contact tracing. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
RICHMOND, B.C. — RCMP say a man who allegedly cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and walked away in Richmond, B.C., has been located. A statement from police says Woon Chan was found Friday. Police issued a warning about 18 hours earlier saying they were contacted by corrections officials who reported Chan was wearing a monitoring bracelet but it had gone offline. RCMP responded to an area of north Richmond near Minoru Park and found the bracelet but no sign of the 57-year-old man. At the time, they described Chan as a risk to the public but did not say why. The police statement doesn't say where he was found or what led to his discovery. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
MADRID — Public outrage is growing in Spain as cases of politicians and well-connected opportunists jumping the queue in the national coronavirus vaccination campaign come to light, even as delivery delays have forced some regions to stop new inoculations. Spain’s Defence Ministry has been the latest governmental department to launch an internal inquiry to find out if the military top brass dodged coronavirus vaccine protocols by receiving a jab before their turn. El Confidencial Digital, an online news site, first reported that Chief of Staff Gen. Miguel Ángel Villarroya and several other high-ranking officers in Spain’s Armed Forces had recently received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Spain, top government and other officials have not been granted preferential access to the vaccine — unlike other European countries where they were among the first to get the jab, to encourage members of the public to follow suit. Nursing home residents and staff, as well as first-line health workers, are currently receiving jabs as priority groups in the national vaccination plan. The rollout is suffering delays due to a shortage of deliveries by Pfizer-BioNTech, currently the main supplier of vaccines. Having administered over 86% of the 1.1 million vaccine doses received, several regions have halted new vaccinations until fresh supplies arrive. The Health Ministry announced this week that the next group will be those above 80 years old. Defence Minister Margarita Robles said Friday that the Armed Forces had their own vaccination plan but that she nevertheless had requested a report from Gen. Villarroya, who is 63, to clarify the issue. The questions follow several cases of queue-jumping by politicians or people with connections that have come to light in recent weeks, drawing widespread criticism and leading to high-profile dismissals. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's Socialist Party on Friday issued a statement urging any elected official who has skipped the line to resign immediately. Top members of the Popular Party, the conservative leader of the opposition, have made similar remarks. But whereas the regional health chief of the south-eastern Murcia region, a PP member, appeared on television, tearful, after he lost his job when media revealed that he had received the first vaccine jab, party colleague Javier Guerrero, who has the equivalent position in Ceuta, a Spanish outpost in northern Africa, refused to resign saying that fieldwork often exposed him to contagion. Guerrero, who is a physician himself and has diabetes, said at a press conference Thursday that he accepted getting the jab because his staff insisted. “I didn't want to get vaccinated, but my technical staff told me that unless I did it they wouldn't do it themselves,” he said. “I really didn't want to. I don't even get the flu vaccine. I don't like vaccines.” Pressure from the public has so far led to resignations or dismissals of several local mayors and councillors, as well as some hospital directors. At the San Carlos Clinic Hospital in Madrid, retired health workers and family members were asked to show up for a vaccine so as not to waste soon-to-expire doses. Experts have highlighted the need to ramp up vaccination to counter the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 2.5 million and killed over 55,400 people in Spain. The health ministry reported 42,885 new infections and 400 additional confirmed deaths on Friday, as several regions launch new restrictions aimed at curbing the contagion. One in five hospital beds and over 37% of ICU beds are now devoted to treating coronavirus patients. In six of the country’s 19 regions, half or more of ICU beds are already filled with patients that need ventilation or other acute treatment. Authorities say that while the number of new cases continues to soar, the daily percentage increases are diminishing, indicating the surge could be levelling out. Some experts have argued that a strict stay-at-home order is needed urgently. ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Associated Press, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's oldest residents will be able to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccinations starting in March after the most vulnerable groups have been immunized under a provincial plan announced today. People who register for the age-based plan will get a reminder to book appointments when eligible, but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says timelines for vaccination will depend on available doses. Residents in long-term care homes and health-care workers who look after them are among those who are currently being vaccinated, followed in February by more residents of Indigenous communities as well as those who are over the age of 80. Those aged 75 to 79 will be vaccinated starting in April as part of the pre-registration strategy that will also include people with underlying health conditions before those in younger age groups are immunized. Everyone who is vaccinated will get a record of their immunization and a reminder of their second dose by text, email or phone call. The aim is to administer vaccines to 4.3 million eligible residents by September using larger facilities including school gyms, arenas and mobile clinics, as well as home visits for those who are unable to attend a clinic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
TOPEKA, Kan. — Republicans on Friday pushed a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution through the state House, a bitter reminder of election setbacks for abortion rights Democrats on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide. The vote was 86-38 on a measure that would overturn a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision that declared access to abortion a “fundamental” right under the state's Bill of Rights. Abortion opponents had two votes more than the two-thirds majority necessary for passage, sending the proposal to the Senate, where a debate could occur as early as next week. The measure would add language to the state constitution declaring that it grants no right to abortion and that the Legislature can regulate abortion in line with U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The measure is not a state abortion ban, but it could allow one if a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion rights. “I think’s about as ugly as you can get,” said Rep. Annie Kuether, a Topeka Democrat who supports abortion rights. Republicans said the timing of the debate was a coincidence, but abortion rights Democrats, particularly women, saw it as a pointed message that GOP legislators and anti-abortion groups intend to keep moving toward a state ban. A similar proposal failed last year in the House when four GOP members objected, and elections last year left the Republican supermajority more conservative. “It’s remarkable and it shows you that Kansas, that we are a pro-life state,” said Rep. Tori Arnberger, a Republican from the central Kansas town of Great Bend, who led the anti-abortion side during the debate. Anti-abortion lawmakers said that if the Kansas court decision stands, two decades' worth of restrictions on abortion enacted with bipartisan support could fall in state court challenges. The 2019 ruling put on indefinite hold a law banning a common second trimester procedure — designated as “dismemberment abortion” in its language. Special health and safety standards for abortion providers, described by them as unnecessary and burdensome, have been on hold since 2011 because of a lawsuit. Abortion opponents also worry that also in jeopardy are a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion, a requirement that most minors seeking abortions notify their parents and rules for what providers must tell their patients. “The people, over the last three decades, have supported very strongly reasonable regulations on the abortion industry, and they want those protected,” said Jeanne Gawdun, a lobbyist for Kansans for Life, the state's most influential anti-abortion group. But several Republican said in explaining their yes votes that they would continue to push for a ban on abortion if the amendment is added to the constitution. Freshman Republican Rep Patrick Penn, of Wichita, said his late mother, a survivor of abusive relationships, had been urged by family to abort him “in accordance with every excuse promoted by the pro-death forces.” If the Senate also approves the measure by a two-thirds majority, it would go on the ballot in the August 2022 primary, when approval by a simple majority of voters would add it to the state constitution. “It will almost certainly lead to an abortion ban," said freshman Democratic Rep. Lindsay Vaugh, a Kansas City-area abortion rights supporter, noting moves for near bans in other states, including Alabama, Tennessee and West Virginia. The timing of the statewide vote was a key issue last year, when anti-abortion groups pushed to have the measure on the ballot in the August 2020 primary. Four Republicans voted then against that measure, joining many Democrats in arguing that the larger and broader group of voters in the November general election should decide. In Kansas since 2010, an average of 3.5 times as many Republicans as Democrats have cast ballots in primaries, and the primary electorate tends to be more partisan. Three of those Republican dissenters retired, and another lost his GOP primary race. The GOP had a net gain of two seats in the November election, making its majority 86-38, with one independent House member. In Friday's vote, only Republicans backed this year's proposal, and only Democrats and the independent House member voted no. The failure of last year's proposal led to an intensified focus by both anti-abortion and abortion rights groups on legislative races. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, sent hundreds of thousands of text messages, made tens of thousands of phone calls and knocked on thousands of doors. The national anti-abortion group Students for Life also became involved in Kansas races for the first time. “It was, ‘This is the time to protect life,’” said Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life's president. “We need to stand up and hold elected officials accountable, regardless of what party they're in.” But Kuether argued that Kansas legislators keep repeating the same decades-old “debates over controlling women" even after the U.S. elected its first female vice-president, Kamala Harris. She said there's no debate over any proposal “to deny a right to men.” “Equality?" she said. "Not in Kansas.” ___ Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna John Hanna, The Associated Press
Riverview High School teachers and staff have been told to arrange their own COVID-19 tests this weekend, after a positive case was confirmed at the school on Wednesday. The Department of Education has instructed those who have not been identified as a close contact and are asymptomatic to register online for a test, a memo obtained by CBC News shows. "Public Health may/will tell them that they are to self-isolate. Please reassure the staff that they do NOT have to self-isolate at this time being that this is part of sentinel testing and [they] are not considered a close contact of the case," the memo states. The estimated 75 teachers have been working out of the closed school for two days, providing distance learning for students. They were told they were "expected" to teach from the school, another internal memo shows, even though they've been set up to teach from home for months. The Department of Education spent $5 million on school IT infrastructure to support blended or virtual learning for the 2020-21 school year, a spokesperson confirmed to CBC News on Friday. As well, $800,000 was used to purchase 1,035 new laptops for teachers as part of an annual laptop refresh program. A closed school is supposed to become a testing site for school staff, Education Minister Dominic Cardy had said Sunday. It's unclear why no testing is being done at Riverview High. Asked Friday afternoon why there was a delay in testing teachers who had been ordered to report to a building where there was a positive case, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said "those would be things that would be worked out" at the regional level. "With respect to being in an environment where there may or may not have been a case, obviously the person who tested positive, whether it was a student or staff, is now self-isolating at home, and if people are following Public Health guidance and remaining six feet apart, and wearing their mask, and disinfecting, and following all the protocols, then going to that environment to await testing and do the work that [the Department of Education] is expecting of them — again, that is part of the operational plan at this moment in time and the operationalization of that would be done at the regional level with our regional team." No rationale for teaching from closed school, says union The teachers union says it came as a surprise to them that teachers were expected to provide online learning from a school in the red zone that's closed because of a positive coronavirus case. "We certainly haven't heard a rationale as to why it should be," said Rick Cuming, co-president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Federation and president of the New Brunswick Teachers Association. The directive came from the Department of Education, as well as the Department of Finance and Treasury Board, which makes decisions about public-sector unions, he said. "Our position is that teachers can indeed work from home in these situations. But the department and Treasury Board don't agree with that position." Cuming argues there's no reason teachers should have to report to a building that's being deep-cleaned, stand in line to use the washroom and "worry about using a common area to heat their lunch." "It's just going to heighten the exposure," he said. "[I'm] not saying it's dangerous, but it may increase any risk that's there." It's also going to add to their stress, said Cuming, who estimates he personally received at least 150 emails in two days from teachers across New Brunswick who are concerned about the recent changes. The federation and association intend to continue to try to persuade the government to reverse the changes, he said. 'Always been the expectation,' says government spokesperson But Department of Education spokesperson Tara Chislett said "there has always been the expectation that teachers will report to schools to work, even if students are learning from home," as part of planning for red alert levels. She did not respond to a late afternoon request to provide any documentation. In the event of a confirmed case in a school — at any alert level — teachers may be asked to work from home to allow Public Health to complete contact tracing, said Chislett. "These situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, based on comprehensive risk assessments carried out by Public Health," she said in an emailed statement. The Department of Education works closely with school districts, schools and Public Health in the rollout of outbreak management plans when a case is confirmed in a school, said Chislett. School and district staff will follow any advice that may be provided by regional Public Health authorities, she said. Treasury Board spokesperson Jennifer Vienneau said she was unable to respond to a request for comment because of pre-budget consultations. On Sunday, when the Education minister announced changes to keep K-12 schools open, even at the red alert level, he said if a positive case was confirmed at a school, the school would be closed for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing and that the school would become a testing site for school staff. But he made no mention of the requirement for teachers to teach from the closed schools. The department's Changes in Directives for Early Learning and Childcare Facilities and Schools, dated Jan. 20 and posted online, makes no mention of the requirement either. The chief medical officer of health has repeatedly urged people to stay home as much as possible to help get the second wave of the pandemic under control. 30 new cases, Edmundston lockdown Saturday Russell announced 30 new cases on Friday, pushing the provincial total of active cases to 331. There are five people in hospital, three of whom are in intensive care. The Edmundston region, Zone 4, will go into a full lockdown Saturday at midnight, said Russell, due to rising cases and spread in "several" workplaces and two special care homes, the Manoir Belle Vue and Le Pavillon Le Royer. The Moncton region, Zone 1, Saint John region, Zone 2, and Fredericton region, Zone 3, remain at the red level, while the Campbellton region, Zone 5, Bathurst region, Zone 6, and Miramichi region, Zone 7, remain at the orange level. But Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said the situation is constantly being reassessed. "We will be meeting with Public Health in the days ahead, and if the numbers are trending in the right direction, we may be able to move at least Zone 2, the Saint John region, and Zone 3, the Fredericton region, back to orange."
OTTAWA — A group of large businesses in Banff National Park is proposing a rapid COVID-19 testing project meant to help reopen the economy safely. Yannis Karlos, the head of the group, said rapid testing can guarantee the safety of the community while allowing the return to a semblance of normality in a place heavily dependent on tourism. "We're just looking for options to take a different approach to ensure that our community remains safe," said Karlos, who owns a distillery and restaurant in Banff, Alta. "Back in March, our community basically fully shut down and we had an extremely high level of unemployment," he said. Karlos said the group of businesses that represent 5,300 employees would cover the costs of deploying COVID-19 rapid tests if the Alberta government will supply them. "The way we envision it is becoming a public-private partnership, so we're looking for some assistance from the municipality as well as from the province," he said. Town of Banff spokesman Jason Darrah said the municipality will support the project. "We want to support however possible, such as offering facilities for doing it," he said. Sandy White, the co-founder of a coalition of academics, medical professionals and business leaders called Rapid Test and Trace Canada, which is working with the businesses in Banff, said millions of rapid tests already bought and distributed by the federal government are sitting in warehouses across Canada because provincial governments are either unable or unwilling to deploy them. "The overall mismanagement of this file in particular, to say nothing of vaccines and everything else, has been depressingly indicative of Canada's response to this thing," he said. White, who himself owns two inns in Banff, said other countries have responded to the pandemic more efficiently than Canada using rapid tests and other measures to reopened their economies safely. "We are drowning in this situation and we've had a year to get all these wonderful things in place and we could be Taiwan or South Korea or Australia or New Zealand but we're not," he said. "That's very frustrating." White said the 90-day rapid-testing project proposed for Banff would aim to test as many of the town's roughly 8,800 residents as possible within the first two days. After that, the program would test between five and 10 per cent of residents every day. "We are quite confident that with a strategy like that, we can eradicate COVID within the community," he said. Banff had close to 200 active cases of COVID-19 at the end of November, when the economy had reopened and tourists were in town. "The goal really is to be able to safely reopen the economy and encourage tourists to come back to town," he said, noting local jobs depend on tourism. He said the program could also be used as a "test case" to prove that a rapid-testing strategy can work to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. White said his organization is speaking with several groups across the country, including universities and Indigenous communities, to prepare rapid-testing project proposals. "It would be us advising and assisting in setting up pilots and executing on them with the government really just provided testing services in the form of the tests and maybe some basic guidance," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — If his new movie, “ Our Friend, ” makes audiences cry, Jason Segel can sympathize. He recalls being on an airplane and watching a movie that made him break down so uncontrollably that it got the attention of a woman seated next to him. “I was weeping, full-on weeping, crying so hard, and this woman couldn’t resist trying to find out what I was crying at. And she, like, peeked over and it was ‘Dreamgirls.’ This grown man, bawling his eyes out to ‘Dreamgirls,'" the actor said, laughing, in a recent interview. “Our Friend," premiering Friday in theatres and video on demand platforms, certainly covers emotional territory. Segel plays Dane, the best friend of married couple Matt and Nicole (played by Casey Affleck and Dakota Johnson). When Nicole is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Dane moves in with the family to help them during the time she has left. It’s based on the true story of an experience written about by journalist Matthew Teague in 2015 for Esquire. He wanted to write about what going through a death is really like. “I felt so unprepared to meet death, even caring for somebody who was dying and that I felt even almost betrayed by the culture. In a way, I feel like we don’t discuss this very openly or very honestly," said Teague. Production on the film wrapped before the pandemic but Affleck understands it will strike a chord with viewers about grief and loss. “I think a lot of movies are probably going to be seen through the lens of the experience that we’ve all shared over the last year, whether or not they were intended to be about those things,” said Affleck. Johnson hopes the movie will remind others to “feel a bit more grateful and a bit more compassionate with themselves and others.” From experiencing his own loss, Teague offers advice on what to say to those who know someone who is going through it. “It’s hard to know what to say. And I think sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there and just offer yourself in some way and to not expect some emotional reaction. Even now, years have passed. I’ll still be in a restaurant and someone will come up and say, you know, ‘I’m so sorry for your loss.’ And I feel like there’s an expectation that I reciprocate emotionally in some way. And so something I learned is just let people grieve on their own terms.” ___ Follow Alicia Rancilio online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar —- This story corrects the spelling of Jason Segel's last name. Alicia Rancilio, The Associated Press
Alix village council heard some residents speak out against changes to a proposed fire protection policy. The policy was then passed at the Jan. 6 regular meeting of council, held via Zoom to meet pandemic requirements. Councillors read a report from Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White on public feedback to the proposed village fire department policy, primarily fees to be charged for certain fire department services. For example, the policy notes if the department responds to a fire call, the fee charges for a fire engine for over the first hour of work will be billed out at $500 for that first hour, while answering false alarms will be billed at no charge for the first one, $100 for the second one, $200 for the third one and $300 for any additional false alarms. The complete list of fire department fees is available on the Village of Alix website. The bylaw states, “NOTE: Fees will not be charged for call outs that are strictly Medical First Response.” She noted the village received two responses from the public from November notices placed on the village website, on the backs of village utility bills and hard copies which were available at the village office. The first response was in written form from Gary Thompson and Jodi Henry and stated, “Concerns regarding the new proposed user fees for emergency service. Will anything be deducted or refunded on the taxes I already pay for this service? “I realize the insurance companies will most likely absorb this cost if needed, however, this gives the insurance company legitimate reasons to raise rates considerably. “I feel this seems like ‘double dipping’ on the part of the county. Why am I paying for this service twice should I ever need it? “I’ve been paying for fire protection coverage for the last 16 years and never used it – Does this mean I get a rebate?” White noted the second response, which came in late and was given to councillors at the meeting, was from Sharon Fazer, who stated the fees are a slap in the face to taxpayers who already paid for everything at the fire hall and Fazer further stated if the fire department can’t afford to operate they should close their doors. White stated her recommendation was to approve the policy. There was no discussion and councillors unanimously approved the fire department policy. Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden by phone Friday — the first opportunity for the two leaders to chart a fresh course for the Canada-U.S. relationship after four tumultuous years with Donald Trump. The 30-minute phone call — Biden's first with a foreign leader as president — was warm, friendly and collegial, according to a senior government official who spoke confidentially to CBC News because they were not authorized to speak in public about the matter. "Many of the priorities are aligned. He's got a good rapport with us and wants to work with us, as we do with him," the official said. The relationship between the two countries is widely expected to improve with Biden in the Oval Office as he and the Democratic Party share a number of political values with Trudeau and the Liberals. According to a readout of the call from the Prime Minister's Office, the two leaders found common ground on such issues as the COVID-19 response, economic recovery, climate change, continental security, working with Indigenous peoples and international relations. The two leaders agreed to meet again next month, the readout said, although it didn't specify whether that meant in-person or virtually. Trudeau expressed his disappointment with Biden's early move to effectively cancel the Keystone XL pipeline by revoking its permit. The official said Biden acknowledged the hardship the decision would create in Canada — but defended his decision by saying he was making good on a campaign promise and restoring a decision made by the former Obama administration. The idea of retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. — something Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been calling for — didn't come up during the conversation, said the official. In a sign that Biden intends to restore close relations between the three North American economies, Biden spoke to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday in his second call with a foreign leader. Those relationships were strained under Trump, who forced a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and imposed tariffs on both Canada and Mexico at various points. Trudeau and Biden also discussed another potential area of conflict between the two countries: Biden's commitment to including 'Buy American' provisions that privilege U.S. companies in future infrastructure spending plans. The official said Biden acknowledged the deep supply chain connections between the Canadian and the U.S. economies and assured Trudeau that Canadian officials would be consulted as the policy is developed — but not that Canada would necessarily be happy with the outcome. "Reflecting on the extraordinary and deeply interconnected economic relationship between the two countries, and with a view to promoting and protecting it, the Prime Minister and President agreed to consult closely to avoid measures that may constrain bilateral trade, supply chains, and economic growth,' the PMO readout said. WATCH | Can Trudeau convince Biden to reverse course on Keystone XL? Pipeline decisions sets dangerous precedent, premiers say The phone call came a day after Trudeau held a call with provincial and territorial premiers, several of whom pressured the PM to push back against what they called a dangerous precedent on the Keystone decision. Kenney, Ontario's Doug Ford, Saskatchewan's Scott Moe and Quebec's François Legault all pressed the prime minister to take action to save Keystone. The details of that meeting were first reported by Global News and confirmed by CBC News. In a letter sent to Trudeau today, Kenney called for economic retaliation against the U.S. or compensation for TC Energy and the province for the loss of billions of dollars. "By retroactively revoking the presidential permit for this project without taking the time to discuss it with their longest standing ally, the United States is setting a deeply disturbing precedent for any future projects and collaboration between our two nations," the letter reads. "The fact that it was a campaign promise makes it no less offensive. Our country has never surrendered our vital economic interests because a foreign government campaigned against them." Moe said cancelling the project would endanger North American energy security, kill jobs on both sides of the border and scare investors away from energy projects. "It is an important piece of infrastructure and cancelling it retroactively ... does have implications on the investment environment as we move forward," Moe told CBC's Power and Politics. WATCH |'Sanctions are always on the table': Premier Scott Moe Canadian proponents of the project have argued that Canada has strong environmental regulations governing the extraction of crude oil, and that the project is much more environmentally-friendly today than it was five years ago when Obama blocked it. On Monday, after news emerged of Biden's plans to scuttle the pipeline, Keystone XL owner TC Energy announced it would ensure the project achieved net zero emissions upon its launch in 2023. The company added it would be fully powered by renewable energy sources no later than 2030. In an interview airing on CBC Radio's The House on Saturday, Canada's Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman said she did everything she could to make the case for the pipeline to Biden's team. "I personally worked hard over the last several months with Alberta, with the industry, with colleagues and in Ottawa to make the case for the Keystone XL project with the incoming Biden team, the transition team and their advisers," Hillman told host Chris Hall. "My view is that the decision of the Biden team is a final decision." WATCH |Trade war with the U.S. not in the interest of Alberta and Saskatchewan, says parliamentary secretary Trudeau could try to extract concessions from Biden on other Canadian priorities in compensation for the domestic political punishment he'll endure if the pipeline isn't built, said former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley. "If I were in his shoes, I would say, 'Joe, I really need your help to get those two Canadians out of China,'" Manley told CBC's Power & Politics. He was referring to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Canadians imprisoned by China in December 2019 following Canada's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on U.S. extradition charges. Manley said another potential concession could come in the form of an exemption for Canada from any 'Buy America' legislation passed by Congress.
COVID-19 case counts are declining in Windsor-Essex, but there's still a long way to go, according to the local health unit. Dr. Wajid Ahmed of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit presented the latest epidemiological statistics in a briefing on Friday morning. "As much as I'd like to be happy about [declining cases] ... you know how quickly things can change. We did very well in September-October and then it quickly changed," said Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health. Windsor-Essex saw decreases in the weekly case rate, the presence of the virus in wastewater and test positivity, according to the newest weekly data. For the week ending on Jan. 16, the positivity rate for COVID-19 tests was 8.7 per cent. That's a significant drop from the previous week's percentage of 11.7. But Windsor-Essex remains one of the regions most deeply impacted by the virus in Ontario. The most recent weekly case rate of just below 300 people per 100,000 residents is about twice the provincial average. And the overall case rate is the second worst in the province, behind only Peel region in the Greater Toronto Area. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 is continuing to grow locally. The health unit announced the deaths of eight more residents on Friday, bringing the total number of lives lost to virus to 288. The health unit also announced 99 newly diagnosed cases of the virus. There are currently 1,990 cases of COVID-19 currently active throughout the region, a key figure that has fallen sharply in recent days. Just a week ago, there were more than 2,700 active cases. 1 new hospital outbreak Of the 99 new COVID-19 cases announced Friday, 11 are connected to outbreaks, 11 are close contacts of confirmed cases, one was community acquired while the rest remain under investigation. There are 50 active outbreaks spread across all sectors. A new outbreak was declared on a unit of Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, the second area of the hospital to become an affected by outbreak in the last week. According to the hospital, the outbreak is on 2S in the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility and two patients have tested positive. It has been linked to the other outbreak on 3N, which was declared on Jan. 18. Four other outbreaks are active at Windsor Regional Hospital's two campuses. Two community settings, both locations of Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario, remain in outbreak. Outbreaks were active at 23 workplaces: Eight in Leamington's agricultural sector. Five in Kingsville's agricultural sector. Three in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector. One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. One in Kingsville's health care and social assistance sector. One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. One in a retail setting in Windsor One in a retail setting in Essex. One in a retail setting in Lakeshore One in a transportation and warehousing setting in Windsor There are 19 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with two resident cases and one staff case. Regency Park in Windsor with seven resident cases and five staff cases. Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case. Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with six resident cases and two staff cases. Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases. Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 37 resident cases and six staff cases. Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases. Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 36 resident cases and six staff cases. Leamington Mennonite Home with one resident case and seven staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 65 resident and 17 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 13 resident cases and eight staff cases. Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 46 resident cases and 26 staff cases. Sun Parlor Home in Leamington with two resident cases and 12 staff cases. Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 62 staff cases. The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 29 resident cases and 16 staff cases. Extendicare Tecumseh, with 90 resident cases and 57 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 99 resident and 61 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 163 resident cases and 133 staff cases. Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 60 resident cases and 30 staff cases. COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia Sarnia-Lambton is reporting two new deaths on Frioday, along with six new cases of the virus. Thirty-five people in the region have died from COVID-19 and there have been 1,736 cases overall. Chatham-Kent saw 15 new cases, bringing its total to 1,061.
The Town of St. George has voted to approve an amendment to allow residential uses on the second floors of its downtown stretch. A public hearing and third and final reading of the bylaw were held on Jan. 11 at a regular council meeting, where the amendment to the bylaw was passed, according to town CAO Jason Gaudet. "We have a very great need for housing and rental space in St. George so allowing some of the properties to allow rental apartments in the area would be a big help to a lot of people in St. George and the area," said Pat Wilcox, Realtor for Fundy Bay Real Estate. Wilcox, who's been a Realtor in St. George for 30 years, said Charlotte County is in a "crunch" and there are not many properties on the market. She said there's a need for affordable housing for the working-class person. Xander Gopen, planner with the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission, discussed the amendment at the public hearing on Jan. 11. St. George's C1 downtown commercial area didn't allow for residential uses under four units and on the second floor unless they are grandfathered in. Therefore, a building or development permit can't be issued for the residential use, he said. The main reason for this amendment is connected to a resident's request for an exterior staircase to second floor residential use in zone C1. The previous zoning bylaw's restrictions on new second-floor residential use couldn't allow the new development. C1 covers mostly Main Street in St. George. Gopen noted in his presentation to council that some policies in the municipal plan state that the town should be increasing residential opportunities. In addition, he said the town's the municipal plans stated mixed used developments in the downtown area should be encouraged as long as the first floor is dedicated to commercial, office, institutions or retail space. "You want to have mixed uses, you want to have residential uses in that downtown commercial zone, you just don't want them on the ground floor," he said in summary. Town CAO, Jason Gaudet, said there are several residential units in the second floors of the downtown commercial zone which have existed since before the first zoning bylaws in the '80s and been grandfathered in ever since. He said this amendment makes those units conform to the zoning bylaws. "This pairs with the reality that is there ... [The amendment] doesn't say that Main Street is going away." He said he's not sure if it will help the need for housing in St. George. According to the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission’s 2020 Municipal Housing Study, in which St. George contributed 41 entries, 43 per cent of respondents experienced higher than average difficulty finding the right home and 67 per cent found there was an extremely low availability of rental housing. Nineteen per cent of respondents consider their shelter costs in the town unaffordable. That study collected data from landlords and renters in Grand Manan, McAdam, Campobello, Blacks Harbour, Saint Andrews, St. Stephen, St. George and Harvey. The study surveyed 352 residents made up of 85 renters and 267 homeowners. A total of 80 landlords were also spoken to for the study. The service commission held the study by forming a working group with representatives from Vibrant Communities Charlotte County and community developers working within Horizon Health. Gopen said the request for the staircase brought up some more issues that the commission will "definitely" be looking at. "We'll be thinking more about this. [For example] how to structure the downtown with mixed uses [and if] are there other types of uses? But those are bigger questions and should be looked at more fully." The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Montreal's COVID-19 indicators are improving but the many health orders imposed on the metropolis are likely to remain for weeks to come, the city's public health director said Friday. Health officials reported about 622 new daily infections between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21, down from a daily average of about 765 the week prior. But hospitals in the city remain close to capacity, Dr. Mylene Drouin told reporters, adding that public health officials are far from ready to lift most of the restrictions. "Some of the confinement measures are probably going to stay," Drouin said. "I think what we're going to ask ourselves is what we can reintroduce that is less at-risk and help people find a normal life." Drouin said there has been a sustained decrease this month in the number of new cases per 100,000 people, from 46 in December to 37 in January. Quebec reported 1,631 new COVID-19 cases Friday and 88 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, as hospitalizations dropped for a third consecutive day. The Health Department said the number of patients with COVID-19 in hospital fell by 27, to 1,476, with 212 in intensive care, a drop of four. Hospitalizations have decreased by 74 over the last three reporting periods. Quebec has imposed many health orders in recent weeks, asking people to telework, shutting non-essential businesses and imposing a nightly curfew between 8 pm.m and 5 a.m. Of the 88 deaths reported Friday, 18 occurred in the past 24 hours. Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of deaths reported every day in the province remains too high and he called on people to respect public health orders. Quebec has reported a total of 250,491 infections and 9,361 deaths linked to the virus; 223,367 people are considered recovered. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expresses gratitude for U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to rejoin global efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
Recent turmoil in Kahnawake required the Task Force to clarify safety measures that were put in place. Starting on December 31, Directive # 55 mandated that all non-essentials stores be closed until the end of January. This measure included tobacco stores while allowing convenience stores to continue selling cigarettes strictly to Kahnawa’kehró:non. “The Task Force decided to close retail stores, which includes cigarette/tobacco stores, as they often cater mainly to non-local clients and are therefore at risk of increasing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the community,” said Frankie McComber, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake lead liaison for the Task Force, in a press release. The executive director of Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre (KMHC) Lisa Westaway said that the decision was met with a strong response. She explained that there was a big outcry in the community, as people felt like the tobacco industry was being targeted. On January 15, the Task Force announced that stores that met certain requirements, such as selling a significant amount of food, essential toiletries and cleaning products, could be reclassified to remain open. As a result, some tobacco stores have requested to be categorized as convenience stores. “There are many businesses that have rebuilt themselves differently in order to survive during the pandemic,” said Westaway. “I think it’s part of innovation and growth, we all have to adapt.” One of the stores was the tobacco shop on Highway 132 that had received more than $15,000 in fines for going against the measures. Under the new classification, it was allowed to remain open - a decision that was also met with disagreement. “This has nothing to do with politics, these decisions are about safety,” said Westaway, in response to the backlash they received for allowing stores to be reclassified as convenience stores. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) issued a statement in which it explained that decisions are made on a daily basis “to the best of everyone’s abilities and based on the best information available.” The Task Force also implemented new measures regarding outdoor rinks. Starting on January 14, it is now required that only one household at a time be found at any rinks across the territory. The decision was taken after the presence of a positive COVID-19 case was reported on January 10 at the town rink, along with several other community members. “The Local Public Health Team is unable to identify all potential contacts and therefore is asking any person who was at the town rink during those times to self-isolate until the end of the day on Sunday, January 24,” read an MCK statement. All Kahnawa’kehró:non need to reserve their one-hour spot with the Sports and Recreation Unit, who will be monitoring the rinks. Kahnawake extended its state of emergency for an additional 30 days, but the recent safety measures remain effective until January 31. email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
The federal government is mulling a mandatory quarantine in hotels for returning travellers as the country's top doctor warns that easing COVID-19 restrictions too quickly could cause case numbers to shoot up again. The federal government is also looking at other options that would make it harder for people to return from foreign trips, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. He said it's time to "kill the second wave of the virus." Monday will mark a year since the first recorded appearance of the novel coronavirus in Canada. Trudeau said it is understandable that Canadians are tired and fed up, but they must remain cautious. “We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months,” he said. “We must get through to the spring and mass vaccinations in the best shape possible.” Trudeau said the next few weeks will be challenging for vaccine supply as Pfizer-BioNTech slows deliveries to Canada and other countries while the company retools its plant in Belgium. The prime minister said Pfizer-BioNTech has committed to ensuring Canada will receive four million vaccine doses by the end of March. Provinces have reported a total of 738,864 vaccine doses used so far. That's about 80 per cent of the available supply. COVID-19 cases began to spike across the country in December and January, which put a strain on hospitals. Quebec and Ontario were particularly hard hit and officials responded with restrictions. Quebec instituted a curfew, while Ontario brought in an order for people to stay at home except for essential purposes such as work, food shopping or health care. Daily case numbers have slightly decreased in Ontario in the last week. There were 2,662 new cases Friday and 87 more deaths. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 2,703, down from a high of 3,555 on Jan. 11. There were 1,512 people in hospital on Friday, a decrease of 21 from the previous day. COVID-19 continued to pressure some local hospitals, so Ottawa said it would send two federal mobile health units to the Greater Toronto Area, adding an additional 200 hospital beds. Quebec has been under its provincewide curfew for nearly two weeks. Health officials reported 1,631 new cases and 88 deaths Friday. Hospitalizations decreased by 27 people to 1,426. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said that bringing down the second wave of COVID-19 has been a "trickier path" than the first wave last spring. Daily case counts are higher than they were then and have put increased pressures on the health-care system. "If we ease up too soon or too quickly, resurgence will be swift," she said. She also expressed concern that 31 cases of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant, and three of the South African variant have been found in Canada. It's believed that both are more contagious. The cases were identified through screening smaller batches of tests. Tam said more needs to be done to understand the level at which new variants are circulating in communities. Nova Scotia reported four new COVID-19 infections on Friday, two of which were variant cases. Health officials said both cases were related to international travel. There were 731,450 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada and 18,622 deaths as of Thursday. Over the past seven days, there were a total of 42,555 new cases. The seven-day rolling average was 6,079. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Friday he wanted it known that he had no plans to commit suicide in prison, as he issued a message of support to his followers on the eve of protests the authorities say are illegal. Navalny was detained on Sunday after flying home for the first time since being poisoned with what the West says was a military-grade nerve agent that Navalny says was applied to his underpants by state security agents. The 44-year-old lawyer, in a Moscow prison pending the outcome of four legal matters he describes as trumped up, accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering his attempted murder.
Curling Canada has decided to use the national ranking system as its selection criteria for the final wild-card berths at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier. The announcement clears a path to the Calgary bubble for Manitoba's Mackenzie Zacharias and Ontario's Glenn Howard. Beth Peterson, also from Manitoba, saw her chances greatly improve but the decision closed the door on Alberta's Kelsey Rocque and Saskatchewan's Robyn Silvernagle. “We needed to take our time and do our due diligence on this selection process,” Curling Canada chief executive officer Katherine Henderson said Friday in a release. “In the end, it was decided that we created the Canadian Team Ranking System for exactly these purposes. "It is a proven system with a history that we use for all of our other selection processes, and ultimately, from a consistency standpoint, it makes the most sense for this situation.” The Scotties is set for Feb. 19-28 at the Markin MacPhail Centre and the Brier will run March 5-14. The Canada Olympic Park venue will hold six events in all in a spectator-free setting due to the pandemic. Curling Canada scrapped its usual play-in game for both national team championships. Instead three wild-card entries were added to each field, creating 18-team draws. The federation previously announced that the final 2019-20 Canadian rankings would be used for the first two wild-card spots. Criteria for the third wild-card spot was listed as "to be determined," giving some hope to slightly lower-ranked teams or rinks who made off-season roster adjustments. Formal wild-card team entry announcements are expected next month once all provincial and territorial playdowns are complete. Howard, a four-time Brier champion, gets the third wild-card spot thanks to his No. 9 ranking. The first two wild-card spots were already clear with Mike McEwen of Manitoba at No. 5 and Kevin Koe of Alberta at No. 6. The complete women's wild-card picture won't be determined until the end of the month. Second-ranked Tracy Fleury of Manitoba is a lock for the first spot. Prince Edward Island's Suzanne Birt is next at No. 9, but she's a heavy favourite to represent her province again. Birt is one of two entries in the Jan. 29-31 P.E.I. championship. Either way, Zacharias — who won a world junior title last year — will get the second or third wild-card spot based on her No. 11 ranking. Peterson, meanwhile, is a whisker behind her on the list and only needs a Birt victory to book her ticket for Calgary. Chelsea Carey is ranked fifth in Canada but is a free agent. Rocque, at No. 6, and Silvernagle, at No. 10, weren't eligible since they only have two returning members, one short of the required minimum. A Curling Canada spokesman confirmed Friday that the 3-of-4 rule also applies to the third wild-card picks. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press