MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges' assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign's error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign's request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday's ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
A pilot project at Vancouver Airport (YVR) is enlisting volunteer travelers to take COVID-19 rapid tests before departing on their domestic flights.The project is run jointly by UBC and Providence Health Care, and sponsored by YVR and WestJet, with the hope of figuring out if airport rapid testing is worthwhile.YVR president and CEO Tamara Vrooman says the tests could eventually be deployed more broadly to give people better peace of mind when flying. "With the second wave, we do know that many, many people are anxious about COVID if they have to travel. We think this is one other way to give them the confidence that they need," she said.Travelers who volunteer for the project will stop in at the pod set up outside WestJet's domestic terminal check-in area.There, they will have two samples taken: one from a nasopharyngeal (nose) swab and another through an oral rinse. Results will take 20 to 30 minutes.The study is open to British Columbia residents between the ages of 19 and 80 who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.Should a test come back positive, the participant becomes ineligible to fly and will have to undergo further Health Canada-approved testing to confirm the COVID-19 diagnosis, according to WestJet.The airline says those individuals will receive an information pamphlet with details on how to rebook or cancel their flight at no charge.According to Vrooman, the project will run for about three months and hopes to attract upwards of 1,200 participants.Since the pandemic started, air travel has tanked around the world as travel restrictions came into place and people became unsettled by the physical proximity to others when flying on a plane.Vrooman said YVR is currently operating with only 15 or 16 per cent of the number of passengers it had a year ago, most travelling on domestic flights.She said ensuring passenger safety will be key in helping the industry rebound in the future.Interested volunteers can sign up online or on-site at YVR.WestJet says volunteers should allow two hours to participate in the study, although participation should only take 75 minutes.Calgary and Toronto airports are also running COVID-19 rapid test pilot projects but on arriving passengers.
Baby Yoda CAKE! This little guy is a character in THE MANDALORIAN made with modeling chocolate and gelatin eyes (no fondant).
Police are investigating after a 63-year-old Hamilton woman’s purse was stolen while she was shopping, a type of theft where they say seniors are often targeted. Around 6 p.m. one evening in early November, Fatima Lyasidi was getting groceries at the FreshCo at Queenston and Nash. She was reaching toward the top of a shelf to grab something. When she turned back around, she saw someone next to her shopping cart, moving around and behaving “nervously.” She looked away for a second and the next thing she knew, her purse was gone from her cart, and the person she’d seen had disappeared. “I freaked out,” said the grandmother of nine. “I was so upset.” Inside her black Guess purse was her wallet, phone, ID cards, debit cart, keys and medication. She contacted the police. Hamilton police say they are investigating and seeking surveillance video. Const. Jerome Stewart said the service doesn’t record stats on this specific type of theft. “This is a ‘general type’ of theft and as such those offences are lumped together as simply ‘thefts’ along with shop theft, bicycle thefts, etc.,” he said in an email. In Halton region, about 100 purse thefts took place this year compared to approximately 140 last year, said Det. Const. Derek Gray, who is an older adult abuse and financial crime investigator for Halton police. Gray was involved in a recent bust of three people who are now facing about 300 charges related to “distraction thefts” targeting older women in Halton and the GTA. While people can steal purses any time a victim isn’t paying attention, a distraction theft involves more co-ordination. For example, one person might be inside a store watching customers enter their PIN at the cash register. Meanwhile, another might be in the parking lot waiting to approach the customer with a question or to offer help, while the first person sneaks over to the car and removes credit cards from the purse in the front seat. Gray said the thieves generally use the cards to buy prepaid visas and credit cards and take out cash advances from ATMs. “Seniors typically shop one day every three or four days, so they would go home (from shopping) ... then all of a sudden they would go to use their card and they would be missing,” Gray said. But he believes that while victims often contact their bank to report a theft, they don’t always call police. “The truth is that once you lose your driver’s licence or your identity documents, you don’t know who’s got your stuff,” he said. “The best practice is to report it to police.” He suggests people check their credit annually because if thieves access a person’s personal information, they can use it to make purchases under their name. He added that purses and wallets should only be packed with necessities and to avoid large amounts of cash. Tap a card for a transaction when possible instead of entering the PIN, and have a different PIN for each card. Gray also recommends wearing a cross-body bag to avoid purses from being left unattended. “Prevention and education is the best way to solve frauds,” Gray said. Thankfully, Lyasidi didn’t have much cash in her purse, but said the thief immediately went to the bank and withdrew $80 from her account. She said all she wants is her belongings to be returned. What bothers her most is that her purse had photos of her son who died two years prior. She hopes her story serves as a warning to others. “Since then I hardly sleep, I’m so disturbed,” she said.Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
A federal judge has reversed a decision turfing Thunderchild First Nation Coun. Michael Linklater. A Thunderchild appeal tribunal panel ousted Linklater for failing to live on the reserve — a move he said violated his Charter rights. In a Wednesday decision, Justice Sébastien Grammond revoked the tribunal panel's call because it didn't consider Charter concerns over Linklater's residency requirements. Applying the Charter to a First Nation's laws is "controversial," but the two also aren't in "complete isolation" from each other, Grammond said. Instead of making any "general pronouncements" on the issue, he aimed to send the matter back to the panel. He said it will have to consider the case again, if the residents who initially raised concerns want to pursue the matter. He also didn't grant Linklater's request to have the court order a vote on residency requirements, because the court doesn't "have a general power to call elections or referenda in (a) First Nation," his decision stated. Linklater said he is unaware of when another tribunal panel will be held, and called the decision "a win." He said the issues raised over his residency were valid, but the matter continues to be an ongoing question in other First Nations. Thunderchild's chief of operations, Winston Walkingbear, did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Grammond's decision noted the First Nation's government supported Linklater’s position. Linklater filed an application for judicial review in August after the tribunal panel pushed him off council for failing to meet residency requirements. In an interview at the time, he also suggested creating a council position to represent off-reserve members. Linklater, who lives in Saskatoon, argued a lack of housing on the First Nation prevents him from living there. In his decision, Grammond noted there's a 400-person wait list for a home on the First Nation. Jonathan Jimmy was one of two band members to raise concerns over the issue to the panel. In August, he said Linklater violated a rule requiring any councillors to move to the First Nation within 30 days of being elected. "If you want to be a leader of Thunderchild, you need to live in Thunderchild," Jimmy said at the time. In September, the First Nation almost held a vote replacing Linklater, but a federal judge halted the process a few days before it went ahead. Linklater was formerly a basketball player with the Saskatchewan Rattlers until he retired in 2019. He was elected to office in 2018 and said he looks forward continuing the role at the First Nation's next council meeting. "I've spoken to the rest of the leadership and there's no hard feelings."Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
OTTAWA — A lobby group for Canada's newspapers and magazines is asking MPs to enact new rules to help its members negotiate compensation from social-media giants that post content the traditional media produce. News Media Canada wants the government to let the industry negotiate collectively with the likes of Google and Facebook. There are similar rules in other countries, such as Australia and France, where Google announced last week it had signed compensation agreements with several daily newspapers and magazines, including Le Monde. News Media Canada's CEO, John Hinds, said Canadian rules similar to those would negate the need for any new taxes or spending programs. "It allows the industry and the digital monopolies to negotiate fair terms for compensation," Hinds told MPs on the House of Commons heritage committee Friday. "It doesn't raise taxes, it doesn't deal with government sort of intervening in the marketplace, but it allows a fair market interaction between the platforms and newspapers." The committee is studying the challenges the pandemic has created for media and culture groups. Several members of the committee lamented the reduction in local news coverage as their newspapers cut back on coverage and editions to keep the lights on. Hinds said some smaller newspapers closed permanently due to the pandemic, while larger publications saw newsroom layoffs. The federal wage subsidy, he said, has been helpful in avoiding worse. Advertising revenue plunged by 75 per cent at the start of the pandemic in many markets, he said, and the industry is still struggling with advertising declines in the range of 30 per cent. The federal government announced a $30-million communications budget at the start of the pandemic, but Hinds said there was limited placement of the resulting ads in Canadian news media. "The government can deliver on its mandate to communicate with Canadians by implementing a strategy of placing ads where Canadians are looking for trusted content and advertising," he said. Without federal help, he added, the future is grim for many of his member organizations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
St. Albert currently has 239 active cases of COVID-19, with another 25 cases being diagnosed overnight. Provincial data released Thursday shows another nine people recovered from the virus, bringing the total up to 430 recoveries. The city has seen 672 people diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began. In Sturgeon County, there are 93 active cases with 169 recovered. Morinville has 33 active cases with 84 recovered. In the past 24 hours, the province confirmed another 1,082 cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total of active cases up to 14,052. There are currently 383 people in the hospital, including 84 people in intensive care. Ten more people have passed away from the virus, bringing the amount of people who have died so far to 510. Yesterday, there were 15,900 tests done. Around 100,000 COVID-19 rapid testing kits will debut in the province in December. The COVID-19 testing capacity will allow for the identification and notification of positive cases in less than 20 minutes, which will speed up care and isolation, reducing the risk of further spread. The tests will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of showing symptoms, allowing health officials to quickly identify positive cases at testing sites, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing. To ensure the validity of the results, two swabs will be collected from each patient, and all negative tests from both systems will be subject to confirmation by the existing lab-based testing method. This is because a negative result is not as reliable as a PCR test and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials will use these pilots to determine how to streamline processes related to patient management, results notifications and digital record-keeping before the tests are deployed widely across the province. The province is looking at expanding the use of the tests where it can be of the greatest value to the public, such as at homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
Police officers from six detachments rapidly coordinated their resources to track and arrest five Westside gang members. The Maidstone RCMP, Saskatchewan RCMP Roving Traffic Unit (RTU), the Saskatchewan RCMP Protection and Response Team (PRT), Saskatchewan RCMP Highway Patrol, Turtleford RCMP, Onion Lake RCMP, and the Lloydminster RCMP all worked together to nab the alleged Westside gang members that took police on an approximate 150 kilometre, two-hour chase. Police arrested Tonia Cantel, 22, from North Battleford, Juanita Wahpistikwan, 21, from Big Island Cree Nation, Kyle Lajimodiere from Cold Lake, and two youths from Big Island Lake Cree Nation. The five were charged with theft of a vehicle, storing a prohibited firearm, four counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a firearm without a license, being a vehicle with an unauthorized firearm, possessing a prohibited firearm with accessible ammunition without registration, possession a firearm with an altered serial number, endangering the safety of the public, and flight from police. According to Maidstone RCMP, they received a call on Nov. 20 at about 3 p.m. about a grey Honda stolen at a business in Lashburn by three mean dressed in red. The men were seen fleeing east on Hwy 16 in the grey Honda car followed by a small red Ford car. Maidstone RCMP alerted the Saskatchewan RCMP RTU who was already on Hwy 16 southeast of Lashburn to be on the lookout for the stolen vehicle. The RCMP RTU located the eastbound stolen grey car without the second red car. The RCMP RTU followed the stolen grey car and used emergency lights to get the stolen grey car to stop but the driver continued east, turned around and then went west on Hwy 16 at a high rate of speed. After getting confirmation the stolen grey car was still in the Lashburn area, Maidstone RCMP mobilized its partners to be on the lookout for the stolen grey car, report its direction of travel and stay in constant communication. The Saskatchewan RCMP PRT was activated and the Saskatchewan RCMP Highway Patrol on Hwy 16, as well as the Lloydminster RCMP who were asked to help track the movements of the speeding stolen grey car. While the stolen grey car was being tracked, the Lashburn Fire Department advised Maidstone RCMP they received a report of a small red car on fire, east of Lashburn on Range Road 3250. The RCMP PRT first saw the stolen grey car travelling west on Hwy 16, west of the Marshall Weigh Station, and then east on Kempton Road towards Hwy 303. Maidstone RCMP, Lloydminster RCMP, the RCMP RTU, and the RCMP PRT - a total of eight police vehicles - decided to spread out and actively patrol an extended rural area around Lashburn. Maidstone RCMP located the grey car near Paradise Hill, about 60 kilometres north of Lashburn, travelling west on Hwy 3. They monitored the movements of the stolen grey car and observed the stolen grey car turn north on Road 797 in the direction of Frenchman Butte. Maidstone RCMP asked Onion Lake RCMP and Turtleford RCMP to be on the lookout for the stolen grey car. Shortly after, Maidstone RCMP radioed the new direction of the stolen grey car to Turtleford RCMP who were able to position themselves on Township Road 540 to deploy a tire deflation device before the stolen grey car arrived. The tire deflation device was deployed at the right time and, at about 4:40 p.m., the stolen grey car was forced to a stop, shortly after having turned onto Hwy 21. Maidstone RCMP and Turtleford RCMP officers arrested all five occupants of the stolen grey car, without incident. A search of the stolen grey car resulted in the seizure of one sawed-off modified rifle, ammunition, a machete, a BB pistol and several knives. Anyone with information regarding the ownership, occupants or whereabouts of the small red car, on Friday, Nov. 20 at around 3 p.m. in and around Lashburn, Sask., is asked to call Maidstone RCMP at 306-893-4800. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. The Saskatchewan Roving Traffic Unit (RTU) is a mobile traffic enforcement team comprised of Saskatchewan RCMP officers who work in flexible schedules and areas. They address public and traffic safety issues across the Province of Saskatchewan. The five remain in custody and appear in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Dec. 3. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
On Day 8 of his second-degree murder trial, Justin Breau took the stand and admitted to shooting Mark Shatford on Nov. 17, 2019. While the Crown has painted a picture of a "drug ripoff" gone bad, Breau told the court that he went to buy drugs from Shatford and his fiancée, Melissa Daley, when he was suddenly attacked by Shatford. Breau said he thought Shatford was going to kill him when he pulled the trigger. His testimony differed from that of four other people who were in the apartment at 321 Duke St. West at the time of the incident. Breau, 37, said he was at home with his mother and daughter on Nov. 16, 2019 and had fallen asleep in his room. He said he was awakened by a woman he had been seeing and the two of them drove to Rockwood Park before going to a "drug house" on Peter Street. He said the "establishment", which he compared to an after-hours bar, ran out of drugs. He said they waited around with several other people for the stock to be replenished, when he got a message from Daley's Facebook account through Messenger. It was a hand-wave emoji. Breau texted back asking if they had any "raw" — slang for pure cocaine. She responded by saying she only had "cut," which Breau described as a weaker form of cocaine, as a result of other substances added to it. The two texted back and forth and eventually settled on two grams of "cut" in exchange for 15 zopiclone pills and $70 cash. When she testified earlier this week, Daley said it wasn't her sending the messages from her account. She said it must have been Shatford. She said the two were both in bed watching a movie together at the time. One of the last messages sent from Daley's Facebook account was that the door was open. Breau said he had gone to 321 Duke St. West 30 or 40 times since the summer of 2018 — specifically to buy drugs. He said his preference was pure cocaine. Sometimes he paid cash, sometimes he traded zopiclone pills — often referred to as zops — and sometimes he didn't pay at all. Breau told the court that he had racked up a drug debt to Daley and Shatford of about $1,000, but had managed to get it down to $700 at the time of the shooting. Breau said he arrived at 4:20 a.m., made his way through the apartment, and knocked on the door of the master bedroom. Breau said he heard the chain lock being slid across and when the door opened, Shatford was standing there with Daley a few feet behind him. He said Shatford grabbed his $100 bill, reminded him of the money owed, and said Breau wasn't going to get anything that night. Breau testified that when he tried to grab the money back, Shatford hit him in the head with a long, shiny metal object. He said Shatford hit him two more times before he managed to get away. He said he fled the apartment, but that Shatford caught up to him on the stairs and hit him again in the back, causing him to fall down the stairs. Breau said he went as quickly as he could to the car he borrowed from his friend, who he identified as Angie Snodgrass. Breau said he dropped the keys as he got to the vehicle. He said he thought about opening the first door he came to and just jumping in and locking the doors, but he said he knew Shatford had a temper and worried that the would smash his way into the vehicle, drag him into the street "and beat me to death." So, instead, he reached in and grabbed a shotgun that he said he hadn't known was there until he opened the door. He said Shatford was in the midpoint of swinging the long metal object, described by other witnesses as a torque or socket wrench, when he pulled the trigger. Breau said the wrench "went ting, ting, ting on the ground" as it fell from Shatford's hand. He said Shatford took a few steps back and slowly fell to the ground. That's when he grabbed the car keys he had dropped, jumped in and drove away. He said one of the two men who went with him was in the vehicle, but he doesn't know what happened to the other man. Under cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Joanne Park asked Breau if he knew what a "drug rip off" is. Breau laughed and said he didn't really know. Park explained that it's when someone sets up a drug deal, but then, instead of going through with the deal when they meet up, the prospective buyer robs the dealer. Breau interrupted Park's explanation and said he "never heard of that." At the end of her questioning, Park suggested to Breau that it was a drug rip off and that Shatford "was just trying to get you out of the house." Breau didn't answer directly but said, "You're trying to put words in my mouth." Breau was the only witness called by defence lawyer Brian Munro before he closed his case on Friday afternoon. The jury will be back in court on Tuesday afternoon for final arguments from the Crown and defence. Mr. Justice Thomas Christie told the jurors to expect to receive final instructions from him Wednesday morning. Before they start deliberating, however, one of the 13 jurors will be selected at random and dismissed. The law only allows 12 jurors to deliberate.
Port Hardy has its first publicly confirmed case of COVID-19. Lawrence O’Connor shared in a Facebook post that he tested positive for the disease while in quarantine after a trip to the U.S. “There’s nothing pleasant about this painful illness; I feel like I’ve been eaten by wolves, and s**t off a cliff,” he wrote. The good news, if there is any, is that O’Connor has self-isolated since arriving at the Vancouver Airport Nov. 16, so there’s been no one for the B.C. Health Authority to do contact tracing with. “I was lucky enough that I didn’t stumble around in public, not knowing I was carrying it,” he told the Gazette over the phone. O’Connor travelled to Las Vegas to participate in a charity stock car race for Amnesty International. Planning ahead for the required 14-day traveller quarantine, he’d enlisted friends to drop off food and supplies at his door. After a few days of hanging around the house, he started to feel body aches. By Saturday (Nov. 21) it was full on sickness. He contacted B.C. Health and scheduled a drive-through COVID-19 test for Sunday. We’ll call within 48 hours if it’s positive, they told him. Two days passed. I’m in the clear, he thought until at hour 48-and-a-half, he got the call. O’Connor is determined to keep the virus contained to himself, and plans to stay home even though his quarantine is technically over this weekend. “Hopefully this particular strain will die inside of me. That’s the only way this thing will be defeated, is contact tracing and isolation.” He was surprised to learn from the B.C. Health officer who called with the positive test news that for someone at his level of viral load, he’s only contagious for two days before and 10 days after symptoms start to show. B.C. Health confirmed that this is generally the case, but recommendations are adjusted on a case-by-case basis. O’Connor sat beside one person on the plane from Las Vegas to Vancouver, but felt he had to insist that the CDC take his flight and seat numbers. They said they’d post it on their website, but he didn’t get the impression they were going to contact other passengers. B.C. Health does not have purview over flight contact tracing, but confirmed that 48-hours before symptom onset is the standard for regular contact tracing. As for the stock car race, it wasn’t his best, but he’s glad that the event raised a lot of money for Amnesty International. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: email@example.comZoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
It was mid-game on Nov. 14 when a player on the Canmore Eagles began feeling sick, says their coach and general manager, Andrew Milne.The Eagles were playing the Drumheller Dragons, a rival Alberta Junior Hockey League team, at the Drumheller Memorial Arena.Back on the bus with the team after the game, that player expressed "feeling a bit weak," said Milne. "We just played two games, our first two games in a while. So we thought maybe a little bit had to do with that."It was about an hour and a half after that the player's sickness intensified, the coach said."We saw that he got right off the bus and into his car, and it was isolation and isolating in his bedroom ever since," Milne said Friday on the Calgary Eyeopener.Milne said the team took the next day off, while monitoring teammates for symptoms. By Nov. 17, six members had some COVID-19 symptoms. They began isolating, but the remaining members met for a practice.On the morning of Nov. 19, they learned that the player who first felt sick in Drumheller had tested positive. That's when everyone on the team was told to immediately self-isolate.All but two players were billeted in the Canmore area, said Milne, so the majority of them isolated in their billet households. Two other members of the team isolated at home."We tested everybody, And that's when obviously the number started climbing. And, you know, it was evident that we had a massive outbreak in our club."Now, 16 players and staff on the team have tested positive, according to Milne, and he is one of the positive cases."I think part of the reason for the large numbers was the fact that we were just on a bus and there was very limited ability for us to move about in some recycled air," said Milne.That number doesn't include the families connected to the team that were affected, including Milne's family.Milne said the billet families have been "phenomenal" to work with, though this outbreak has caused some "disruption.""There was a lot of disruption to their families, but that's not what they signed up for."Milne said the team stuck to their bubble for social gatherings, practices and travel."It's amazing how fast the web can unwind and get going," he said. "You can see how fast it moves and how quickly it gets from one guy to the next."COVID cases on AJHL teamsThe Canmore Eagles reported their first COVID-19 case on Nov. 19 via their team website.Other teams within the AJHL have reported cases: * Calgary Canucks reported a positive case on Nov. 20. * Drumheller Dragons reported a positive case on Nov. 21. * Okotoks Oilers reported a positive case on Nov. 22.All announcements were made via team websites and citing privacy reasons said no more details would be provided.CBC News reached out to the coaches of the Drumheller Dragons and the Calgary Canucks but did not receive further comment.The AJHL season is currently suspended due to provincial restrictions. The AJHL board of governors intends to meet on Dec. 19 to determine next steps, according to a statement from AJHL commisioner Ryan Bartoshyk.With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
SANTÉ. Dans l’optique qu’une ventilation adéquate des milieux intérieurs constitue une mesure de gestion efficace des contaminants de l'air intérieur, incluant les aérosols qui peuvent contenir des virus, le ministre de l'Éducation, Jean-François Roberge, dévoile l'état de situation sur les mécanismes mis en place par les centres de services scolaires (CSS). La compilation des données collectées jusqu'à maintenant montre que les mécanismes de contrôle de la qualité de l'air sont en place dans la presque totalité des établissements. «Je veux rassurer la population : nos milieux scolaires sont sains et sécuritaires. Dans le contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19, il est encore plus primordial d'assurer une qualité de l'air adéquate dans toutes les écoles. Je suis rassuré de constater que les données compilées démontrent que les mécanismes de contrôle mis en place sont efficaces, alors que pour les précédents gouvernements, l'entretien de nos écoles n'était pas une priorité. Nos actions des derniers mois ont porté leurs fruits et nous continuons le travail, en collaboration avec l'ensemble du réseau scolaire», souligne Jean-François Roberge, ministre de l'Éducation. Ainsi, l'implantation d'une approche systématique de gestion de la qualité de l'air est complétée à 96,55 %. Il s'agit d'une série de mesures, comme l'entretien des systèmes, le remplacement des filtres et des grilles d'inspection exhaustives que les CSS doivent appliquer pour garantir la qualité de l'air dans les écoles. L'entretien ménager des systèmes de ventilation a été complété de manière conforme à 97,5 % tandis les normes ont été respectées à 99,5 % pour la ventilation électromécanique et naturelle. Le plan d'entretien électromécanique a été mis en place de façon satisfaisante dans 92,6 % des cas indique-t-on. Rappelons que le réseau des CSS et des CS compte un total de 4 000 bâtiments scolaires, soit approximativement 16,5 millions de mètres carrés et que de nouveaux tests seront effectués, à compter du 1er décembre, pour garantir que la qualité de l'air des classes est conforme aux normes actuellement en vigueur. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A former member of Labrador's Inuit government is questioning the methods used to quantify whether he is sufficiently Indigenous after he was removed from his government roles last week.Edward Blake Rudkowski said he was informed Nov. 20 that he was no longer a beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement after a review of his status determined he had just 17 per cent Inuit blood. According to the land claims agreement, beneficiaries must have at least 25 per cent "blood quantum," as it's called, to be registered as Labrador Inuit, Blake Rudkowski said.“This development is entirely related to a group of people throwing darts at a genealogy board,” he said in an interview Friday. “You can sit there with your membership for over three decades — over three decades — and then someone says, ‘Hey man, you’re not in anymore?’”Blood quantum is a controversial practice of determining the percentage of one's Indigenous ancestry. Blake Rudkowski calls it “junk science" and says his predicament is an example of how it's an inadequate and inaccurate measure of who belongs and who doesn't. He said he's been a beneficiary under the claims agreement for 34 years, and in all that time, nobody questioned his status as a Labrador Inuk. His family has a long, respected history in Goose Bay, in central Labrador, and his grandfather was one of two Inuit families in Sheshatshiu, an Innu community about 40 kilometres north of Goose Bay, he said."The footprints of my grandparents are all over Labrador, and my great-grandparents, and my great-great-grandparents,” he said.He now lives in Toronto. In a 2017 byelection, he won a seat as an ordinary member in the Nunatsiavut Assembly representing Labrador Inuit who live outside the land claim area in Nunatsiavut, and outside the Upper Lake Melville area in central Labrador where many beneficiaries live. He won the seat again in 2018 in the regular election. In 2017, he was also appointed Speaker of the assembly.On Friday, after he was told he was no longer a beneficiary, he says he got a call from Nunatsiavut president Johannes Lampe, who said he could no longer hold his seat in the Nunatsiavut Assembly nor his role as the assembly's Speaker — only Labrador Inuit can be members of the assembly. “I feel raw, I feel disappointed, I feel distraught, I feel upset," he said. "Obviously there’s a whole myriad of negative emotions that get associated with a life event like this."In a statement Monday announcing Blake Rudkowski's removal, the Nunatsiavut government said it “plays no role whatsoever in determining the membership of any individual,” and the beneficiary enrolment process is independent from the Nunatsiavut government.Nobody from the Nunatsiavut government was available Friday to speak about its decision to remove Blake Rudkowski from government, or about the blood quantum determination process.Blake Rudkowski said the documents he received indicating his status was under review showed the review was triggered by a political opponent.“I had to apply as anyone who never had any experience with Nunatsiavut would have to apply,” he said. “It’s as if that previous 34 years didn’t exist.” As required, he included extensive details of his family history in his application.“Their determination was that my blood quantum was 17.4, or it might be 17.3 . . . . So you would think with a number that precise would imply there was an empirical calculation . . . to arrive at that output. And for love nor money, I couldn’t tell you what the process was,” he said. Blake Rudkowski said he hasn’t been offered any means to appeal the decision. He wonders what kind of precedent the decision sets. “If it could happen to me, then who’s next?” he said.As for his own next steps, Blake Rudkowski said he hasn’t yet figured those out but he’s not defeated. “I feel a calling to public service, and my days in the political arena aren’t over,” he said. “I’m really upset that my path with Nunatsiavut came to a halt the way it did, especially when it came to questions of my heritage, which are not questionable in my mind.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press
An 18-year-old man joins the list of those charged in the stabbing death of the son of a former NHL player. Hamilton police say Albin Gashi of Stoney Creek, Ont., was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Brock Beck. Police laid the same charges on three men Thursday and say they are not seeking any more suspects in the case. The arrests come after the young man's family offered a $20,000 reward in the case. Police say Beck was found suffering from stab wounds following an attack on July 26 in which a 16-year-old was also injured. Two of the men were also charged with assault causing bodily harm in relation to the teen's injuries. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Three N.W.T. projects are getting a financial boost from the federal government, in a move aimed at fostering employment and economic growth in northern and Indigenous communities.Michael McLeod, Liberal MP for the Northwest Territories, announced the $1.3-million investment on Friday, on behalf of Mélanie Joly, the minister of economic development and official languages, who is responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).The money, which is being invested by CanNor, is meant to support "training, entrepreneurship, capacity building and infrastructure development" in the N.W.T., according to a news release from the agency. CanNor's mandate is to support economic development in the North.Of the $1.3 million in funding, $731,727 will go toward a three-year project at Makerspace YK, a non-profit organization and community hub in Yellowknife that fosters hands-on learning and skills-building."The funding will assist with the renovation of a commercial space into a collaborative space, which will support skills development, job creation and innovative new businesses in Yellowknife," the news release states. "The Makerspace will also provide access to industrial equipment and a tool lending library."The funding is expected to help create two full-time jobs, and support the local manufacturing sector.Cat McGurk, Makerspace YK president, said the organization is excited to work with territorial and federal partners to help drive economic diversification."Thanks to CanNor we'll be able to create a space where we can host workshops and work on projects, and foster a collaborative environment for the next generation of Yellowknife entrepreneurs," McGurk said in a statement.Funding for equipment in Fort LiardAnother $175,000 has been set aside to support economic development in the traditional territory of Acho Dene Koe First Nation. The money will go to Beaver Enterprises LP, a company in Fort Liard, N.W.T., that offers construction, excavation and maintenance services.The funding supports a one-year project, and will help the company purchase a grader for construction and maintenance work, according to the news release."This project is expected to result in 10 full-time jobs being maintained and additional employees being hired on a seasonal basis," the news release adds.CanNor is also putting $464,000 toward "business and financial planning for the future construction and operation of an integrated waste management facility" in Norman Wells, N.W.T.The new facility is expected to boost Indigenous employment and training, and support entrepreneurship.CanNor says jobs will be created in Norman Wells and other communities as a result of the project."Once the project is complete, the waste management facility is expected to have a significant economic impact for the Sahtu and beneficiaries of the Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement," the press release states.The federal government said Friday's investment is also aimed at helping northern businesses overcome the financial challenges posed by COVID-19."We have provided support so businesses can develop the skills they need, build the infrastructure to expand, and acquire the equipment they need to get to work," McLeod said in a statement. "This investment ... will help create good local jobs in Northern and Indigenous communities."
Il s’agit d’un retour dans sa ville natale pour la propriétaire de ce nouveau commerce, Mylène Jomphe. Elle avait quitté la région il y a quelques années pour aller faire son cours en pâtisserie. Elle a ensuite travaillé pour une usine de chocolat dans la région de Québec. Par contre, l’usine dans laquelle elle œuvrait a fermé. Elle a donc saisi cette occasion pour revenir dans sa région d’origine et ouvrir une chocolaterie. Pour l’instant, il est possible de retrouver 14 variétés de bouchées individuelles. Parmi celles-ci, il y a des produits inspirés de la région comme une bouchée aux bleuets ou à la chicoutai. Il y a aussi 9 saveurs de barres de chocolat. Jusqu’à maintenant la réponse de la clientèle est plus que positive selon Mme Jomphe : « Il y a beaucoup de gens qui viennent à la chocolaterie et on reçoit de bons commentaires de leur part. De plus, le temps des fêtes arrive vite et j’ai beaucoup de demandes pour mes chocolats. » Elle ajoute qu’elle commence aussi à avoir de la demande pour ses produits à l’extérieur et que certaines personnes lui ont même demandés de lancer une boutique en ligne. Pour ce qui est du nom, Niapisca, celui-ci s’inspire en partie d’un monolithe qui porte ce nom sur l’île Niapiskau qui est présente dans la Réserve de parc national de l’Archipel-de-Mingan. Mylène ajoute que son père qui est sculpteur a fait une représentation de ce monolithe surnommé Madame de Niapisca il y a quelques années. Le nom s’est donc imposé de lui-même pour la chocolaterie. Pour celle qui débute dans le monde des affaires, elle explique qu’il y a plusieurs défis. « Je commence à réaliser toutes les choses pour avoir son entreprise. Il y a la production, la paperasse, la comptabilité en plus des commandes et de l’emballage. » Malgré tout, la jeune entrepreneure se montre confiante pour la suite des choses.Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
At least 20 patients in Nova Scotia had their scheduled elective surgeries postponed this week after surgical team members were told to self-isolate because of possible exposure to COVID-19.Brendan Elliott, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia Health, said "a number of staff and physicians" were identified as close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases or were at potential exposure locations within Halifax and surrounding areas. "It is expected that additional surgeries will be impacted next week and patients will be contacted directly if their surgery is unable to proceed," Elliott said in an email. "We regret this situation and will work to notify and reschedule patients as quickly as possible."The surgeries that were postponed had been scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday. Urgent surgeries not impactedElliott said staff members were working to adjust operating room schedules and reassign teams to available OR slots "so that as many other surgeries as possible" could go ahead.Access to emergency and urgent surgeries was not affected, but officials were monitoring the situation and the impact on staffing "very closely," he added.Elliott said Thursday that fewer than five health-care workers across the province had tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. On Friday, Nova Scotia reported nine new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 119. Almost all of them were in the Central Zone, which includes the Halifax Regional Municipality.Testing for health-care workersThe province had identified more than 100 sites of potential exposure to COVID-19 as of Friday. A full list of active exposures can be found here.Nova Scotia Health said health-care workers who were at certain locations would not be permitted to report to work and would require testing. They would also be required to stay home from work for 14 days after the potential exposure, even if the test was negative. "These measures are necessary to protect our patients and other providers from the spread of COVID-19 within our facilities," said Elliott.MORE TOP STORIES
Harold Hague, a Navy veteran of the Second World War’s D-Day battle in northern France and a longtime-owner of Loggie’s Shoes in downtown Regina, died Thursday night of liver cancer. He was 99 years old. Born in Earl Grey north of Regina in 1921, Hague was a signalman among a flotilla of seven Canadian minesweeper ships tasked with finding and destroying underwater German mines at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Amid heavy shelling, the drowning deaths of his fellow soldiers and two destroyed minesweepers, he survived the decisive battle, managing to see his 23rd birthday a week later. “I was just happy to be alive,” he told the Leader-Post a few years back while participating in a film about D-Day. “We were looking forward to that 100th birthday,” his wife Jan said Friday morning. Her husband’s death came quickly. “He went into hospital about 10 days ago. He had fallen twice within a few hours, so I wanted him to go get tested to see if there was something causing this. “As a result of an ultrasound they found a large mass on his liver, which we didn't know about,” she said through tears. After the war ended, Hague returned to Regina and took a job at local staple Loggie’s, eventually becoming a partner and then an owner in 1978. In a short documentary about the store’s closure in 2014, he said, “the store was my life, my blood and my heart; it was everything. It was the reason for my life." Had it not been for Loggie’s, he likely wouldn’t have met Jan, who grew up in Ontario. “I met him in Toronto … he would come buy things for his shoe store, and that's how we met,” she said. “He wrote me to say ‘thank you’ for my service and it just went on from there." "It was just an instant connection with each other ... you couldn't help but like him." Jan moved to Regina to be with him in 1979. His fellow Canadian forces members said he was a gentleman. Retried Brig.-Gen. Cliff Walker commended Hague for his work on the board of governors with the Commissionaires south Saskatchewan division. “He spent 47 ½ years on the board trying to help his fellow veterans," Walker said. “(Harold) had a grounding and a sense of understanding of what he had gone through; he was able to avoid some of the nightmares and the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” Retired Army Col. Randy Brooks, an Afghanistan War veteran who served with the Royal Regina Rifles, said Hague was often mentoring younger forces members, even if they weren’t with the Navy. The danger of the minesweepers' work wasn’t lost on Brooks, who has deep knowledge of the D-Day invasion. “They were trained to just get on with the job … come hell or high water, and it was both,” he said. Hague’s military and business service earned him numerous awards throughout his life. Among them are the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Medal and the Regina Chamber of Commerce Paragon lifetime achievement award. Harold's son Kelly said there won't be a service for him, in light of COVID-19 restrictions. He asked that any donations be made in his dad's name to the Royal Canadian Legion. firstname.lastname@example.orgEvan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
THUNDER BAY — A Brampton, Ont., man facing charges in connection with an alleged home takeover case where Thunder Bay police arrested five people and seized various drugs from a Limbrick Street residence was granted bail on Friday. Nathaniel Joshua Matthews, 22, is charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking, possession of oxycodone for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and failure to comply with a judicial release. On Friday, Nov. 27, a Thunder Bay justice of the peace granted Matthews bail after approving his proposed surety. Both Matthews and his surety promised to pay a total of $6,000 for his release. Before Matthews can be released, $1,000 needs to be deposited to an Ontario courthouse. His release conditions will require Matthews to reside in Brampton, Ont., and remain in his residence at all times except for certain conditions including medical emergencies. He is also not to be in the city of Thunder Bay except for court purposes. He is not allowed to communicate with his co-accused: Anthony Kaplanis, Dana Nobis and Amanda Owen. A 17-year-old male youth from Brampton, Ont., was also arrested by police in connection to this case. The youth accused, whose name cannot be published per the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was on a court-ordered condition not to attend the city of Thunder Bay, according to a previous media release by police. Police were initially called to a Limbrick Street address on Nov. 15 following complaints of a possible home takeover. Officers located five unwanted individuals inside the residence and located suspected fentanyl and percocet pills, cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia. Owen and Nobis were granted release from custody earlier this week. Kaplanis is scheduled to appear in court next on Nov. 30 for bail planning. Matthews is scheduled to return to court in January.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source