Toronto police say a 12-year-old boy was among four injured in a shooting in North York Saturday afternoon. Police said the boy was walking with his mother in the area when he was hit by a stray bullet. Morganne Campbell reports.
Toronto police say a 12-year-old boy was among four injured in a shooting in North York Saturday afternoon. Police said the boy was walking with his mother in the area when he was hit by a stray bullet. Morganne Campbell reports.
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
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is “profoundly disappointed” that 20 recordings of private meetings of the provincial emergency response team were leaked to the public. The recordings, made public by a CBC story published Thursday morning, paint a picture of Premier Jason Kenney and the provincial government overruling the expert advice of Hinshaw and civil servants and pushing an early relaunch strategy focused on the economy. “I have always felt my ideas are respectfully considered. I have always had respectful discussions with public servants and elected officials,” Hinshaw said to reporters on Thursday. “I do not dictate every detail of each policy decision and I should not. I was not elected by Albertans. The final decisions are up to elected officials who were chosen by Albertans. This is how democracy works." Alberta's top doctors said while the 20 meetings were leaked, they were taken out of the broader context of the meetings, and don’t show the meetings before and after the ones recorded as part of ongoing discussions to keep Albertans safe. The meetings were supposed to be private and a safe space, Hinshaw said, and leaking them is a violation of trust and the oath that public servants take. “The safety and trust are now broken,” Hinshaw said. Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro sang Hinshaw’s praises Thursday afternoon, calling her one of the finest chief medical officers of health in the country. Shandro said the CBC story violated Hinshaw’s confidence and embarrassed her. “I called Dr. Hinshaw this morning to say she has nothing to apologize for and she has my complete confidence,” Shandro said. 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 died from the virus, bringing the total amount of people who have died 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 traditional testing and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials said they 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
MONTREAL — Air Canada pilots have ratified changes to their contract that will help the carrier grow its cargo business, as airlines scramble to minimize the pandemic’s toll on their bottom lines.The Montreal-based airline said in a statement Friday that it would convert several of its retired Boeing 767 aircraft to carry freight and that it had appointed a new executive, Jason Berry, to oversee its cargo division."Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo have pivoted quickly to new and unique commercial opportunities in response to evolving market conditions over the past 11 months,” said Lucie Guillemette, Air Canada’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, in a statement.The airline has looked to cargo as a potential opportunity in an otherwise bleak year. In May, Air Canada announced it was adding flights to Bogota, Lima, Amsterdam, Dublin and Madrid to its cargo service, which includes up to 100 international all-cargo flights per week, according to the airline.With fewer flights, and less cargo being transported in the luggage compartments of passenger aircraft, the price of shipping cargo by air has increased. Other airlines such as American Airlines and United Airlines, have begun operating cargo-only flights this year, hoping to use the opportunity to stem their losses. But Air Canada’s decision to convert several planes to carry freight will require a bigger investment in its cargo business than before, when it was transporting goods on empty passenger jets or planes with the seats taken out, said John Gradek, a lecturer at McGill University and the head of its Global Aviation Leadership Program. That raises questions about whether the slump in passenger demand will last long enough for the bet to pay off, he added.Converting passenger jets to freighters involves cutting into the plane’s fuselage to create doors that can be used to load cargo and installing rollers on the floor of the plane, an effort that can cost tens of millions of dollars per plane, according to Gradek.“The airplane has to get literally rebuilt to operate as a freighter,” Gradek said. “It’s not like you’re just pulling seats out and away you go.”Air Canada's announcement today comes as the country's air sector awaits a decision from Ottawa on financial support for the industry. The Canadian government pledged in September to provide support for hard-hit businesses in the travel and tourism industries, but it has yet to announce a detailed plan.Air Canada says the contract changes will help it operate more competitively in the cargo business.Michael McKay, chair of the Air Canada Pilots Association’s master elected council, said the organization’s members voted on the revised agreement earlier this month. The Boeing aircraft, which have been grounded and were exiting Air Canada’s fleet, will form a new fleet once they are converted to freighter configuration, McKay said.Berry, whose appointment as vice president for cargo begins Jan. 1, will join Air Canada from Alaska Airlines' wholly owned subsidiary McGee Air Services, where he was president. He led Alaska Airlines' cargo business from 2012 until June 2019.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)Jon Victor, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — The Calgary Zoo says two giant pandas are on their way home to China today. The zoo said in May that it would be sending the pair back early because the COVID-19 pandemic was making it difficult to source bamboo.The plant makes up 99 per cent of the animals' diet and the zoo has said it was an expensive and all-consuming effort to cobble together supplies from across North America.The zoo says on Twitter it was a difficult decision to send the pandas home three years earlier than planned. It says it took months of hard work to secure international permits to get the pandas home. The zoo posted photos of reams of paperwork needed for the journey, the crates that were to carry the pandas and the Lufthansa Cargo plane that was to take them to China. The two adults, Er Shun and Da Mao, were on loan from China to Canadian zoos as part of a 10-year deal signed in 2012. They were to stay in Calgary until 2023.Two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, were born in Toronto in 2015. They were sent to China as planned in January. The price tag to have the pandas in Calgary was around $30 million, including $14.4 million for the Panda Passage exhibit itself. Expanded parking lots, washrooms and restaurants were also required to accommodate an expected influx of visitors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — With many small businesses struggling to hold on during the coronavirus pandemic, Issa Rae believes now is the time to support independent stores more than ever.The creator and star of HBO series “Insecure” strongly encourages people to shop locally as part of Small Business Saturday, a couple days after Thanksgiving. She said the initiative created by American Express, for which she is a a compensated endorser, can help give an extra push during the holidays to small businesses who have gone into survival mode.Rae said using “word of mouth” and tagging a business on social media tremendously helps.“Survival is on the line,” the Emmy-nominated actor said in a recent interview. “You’re seeing the pandemic shut down so many businesses and businesses are struggling. I think now is the best time to shoutout some of the places that literally need you to keep their doors open.”While growing up, Rae learned the importance of shopping at small businesses from her grandparents and mother while living in Inglewood, California. As a child, she initially wanted to shop the popular brands, but ultimately saw the value of spending her own dollars in her neighbourhood as she grew older.“For some reason in my mind, it was ingrained that these businesses weren’t good enough because they didn’t have the means to advertise on television," she said. “I felt like we were getting the low brand version of what I really wanted. But as I grew up, I realized — while embracing my neighbourhood — how harmful that perspective was.”On Saturday, Rae will be purchasing products from a few Black-owned businesses including Queen Boutique in Los Angeles. The actor also became a partner and co-owner of a coffee shop called Hilltop Coffee and Kitchen in Inglewood last year.So far, during the pandemic, Rae has watched several businesses close down, which she says “breaks my heart."“These are the people within our community,” she said. “These are the people who are thinking of us first. That is valuable as a consumer to know that you’re in a business owner’s mind.”Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall notice for Farm Boy brand Deluxe Chocolate Brownie Mix because it contains milk that's not listed as an ingredient.People with a milk allergy should not consume the product, the agency says.The mix is sold in 500 gram packages with the Universal Product Code: 8 08912 00760 1.On the Farm Boy website, the Ottawa-based chain with more than 30 locations in Ontario says it will refund any purchases of the product.The product has also been removed from store shelves, Farm Boy says.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Farm Boy alerted the agency to error and no one has reported allergic reactions to the brownie mix.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Acting Anchorage Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson has announced that the city was no longer planning to purchase the former Alaska Club building to become a new homeless shelter for those displaced because of the pandemic.Quinn-Davidson said in a statement Wednesday that the city discovered additional costs for roof replacement, plumbing repairs and foundation damages to the permanently closed gym that would significantly raise the price of purchasing the building.“The administration promised to the Assembly and the public to conduct a thorough due diligence process, and only move forward if the deal penciled out for Anchorage taxpayers,” Quinn-Davidson said.She said the city will continue to look for other properties to build the additional shelter outside of downtown Anchorage.The property was part of a plan launched earlier this year by former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to buy four buildings for homeless and treatment services, in part using federal coronavirus relief funding.The original plan included buying the former Alaska Club, the Best Western Golden Lion Inn, Bean’s Cafe and Americas Best Value Inn & Suites. Some residents opposed the plan, arguing it would increase crime and lower property values in the area.Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.The Associated Press
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
The numbers of positive COVID-19 cases across the country are grim as the second wave of the pandemic has the country firmly in its grip. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer released new modelling on Friday that suggests Canada could see 60,000 daily new COVID-19 cases by the end of the year if people increase their contacts with others, but that number could be limited to 20,000 a day if Canadians keep the same number of personal contacts they have now. The modelling shows that instead of flattening the curve, national daily case counts are “increasing significantly,” and rapid growth is occurring in several provinces because each new case in Canada is spreading the infection to more than one other person. On average 5000 new cases are being identified daily and still people across the country are refusing to acknowledge that this is a serious threat. In early October, Prime Minister Trudeau warned Canadians that Thanksgiving gatherings were out the window, but we still had a chance for Christmas. Two weeks after Thanksgiving case numbers started to rise, and then Hallowe’en happened, and a week later the number of cases here in Saskatchewan really started to escalate. But we are not alone. On Sunday November 22, Alberta led the entire country with 1,584 new cases, despite having a fraction of the population of Ontario and Quebec. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer likened the spread to “a snowball rolling down a hill, growing bigger and faster, and it will continue unless we implement strong measures to stop [it].” A Canadian health policy and health services research consultant, recently relocated to Melbourne, Steven Lewis shared his thoughts on Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 situation with CBC and he pulled no punches. “When 95 per cent adherence isn't good enough, you cannot rely on moral suasion or appeals to civility” and “the Saskatchewan government's "half-assed" approach will simply prolong the pandemic's devastating effects on people's health and the economy.” He continued, “It is increasingly clear that you can't slow-walk the pandemic with a fine-tuned balancing act that keeps the economy humming while keeping daily case rates at a predictable and low level. So, you have to come down hard and fast and universally to flatten the curve quickly. Bottom line: Saskatchewan has been tested by the second wave and largely failed.” On Wednesday November 25 before the Premier announced the latest measures the province recorded 164 new cases of COVID-19 pushing the total number of active cases over 3000. One-hundred and eleven are in hospital and nineteen are being cared for in intensive care units. Coming into effect at 12:01 am Friday November 27, seating at restaurants will be limited to four people per table with two to three metres separating tables dependent upon whether or not barriers are in place between tables. Capacity at performance and gaming venues will be restricted to 30. Any type of social indoor gathering in public areas are limited to 30. All team/group sports, activities, games, competitions, recitals, practices, etc. are suspended, including amateur and recreational leagues for all age groups. Athletes and dancers 18 years of age and under may continue practicing, conditioning and skills training in groups of eight or fewer, abiding by the required mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants at all times. Fitness activities and group fitness classes in groups of eight or fewer continues to be permitted, for all ages. Mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants must be maintained. All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, including wedding, funeral and baptismal services. All students, employees and visitors in schools and daycares except while consuming food or beverage must now wear masks. Children 0-2 years remain exempt. Children ages 3-12 should wear a mask if possible. As well all employees and visitors in all common areas in businesses and workplaces and all residents, employees and visitors in all common areas in provincial and municipal facilities. Masking is required in indoor public areas even if barriers are in place. Retail businesses must enhance the expectation of mask use and mitigation measures through signage and staff training. Large retail locations are required to limit customers to 50% as determined by half the specified fire-code capacity or four square metres of space per person whichever is less. Premier Moe adamantly denied the necessity to enact a complete shutdown. During the press conference he said because we have a better understanding of the virus than in the spring and “we” know what to do. He went on to state that it would be unfair to shut down businesses and put people out of work. The aim of the government is to find the right balance and minimize the impact on people’s livelihoods. Interestingly enough this is the same theory that has been expressed by Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney even as new cases in that province have exceeded those of Ontario and Quebec. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Canada must shift its attention to investing for economic growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn over the next few years, says former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge.In an online presentation at the virtual Bennett Jones Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum on Friday, the former central bank chief said Canadian governments and businesses will have the advantage of low interest rates as they continue to need to borrow money in 2021 and 2022."Federal and provincial governments will have borrowed enormous amounts, $400 billion to date this year for the feds, $100 billion for the provinces, 20 per cent of Canadian GDP. And they will have to keep on borrowing through 2021 and 2022 in lesser amounts in order to ensure that a recovery is sustained," he said."It is essential the government ... supports investment in this period and not just private and public consumption as has been the case to date."The business forum is normally held in Lake Louise, Alta., in conjunction with World Cup alpine ski races, but both the races and the in-person conference were called off this year because of the pandemic.Dodge said he's expecting about 3.9 per cent economic growth in Canada in 2021, assuming vaccines are widely available after the second quarter, and 1.9 per cent in 2022. The pace of growth should return to 2019 levels by the spring of 2022, he said, but national output will still be three per cent lower than it would have been without COVID-19.Dodge said a key challenge for Canada going forward is to continue to develop its technology expertise to compete with the growing influence of China."COVID has accelerated the transformation to a truly digital world and to Asia as it's epicentre," he said."Canada can thrive in this world as long as Canadian businesses, workers and governments work together and focus on investing in the future, not in preserving the past."In a separate presentation, Anthony Viel, CEO of Deloitte Canada, said the country can bounce back better from the pandemic if it renews its focus on building a well-trained workforce reinforced by immigration, improving industry productivity and making better societal systems."In our latest report ... we make the case that Canada can't return to the pre-COVID path: divided, haves and have-nots, an aging population, poor productivity growth, low levels of investment leading to stagnating standards of living, stalled progress on national priorities and slowing growth in an increasingly competitive global economy," he said.He said the pandemic has put a "spotlight" on Canada's chance to change how it functions to build a brighter future for Canadians.Deloitte recommends that governments, businesses, and communities cooperate in new ways to pay for the rebuild using collaboration as they've done during the pandemic, adding Canada should study other country's models to find out how best to finance needed large projects.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
Le bilan lavallois est désormais de 602 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela signifie que le territoire connait une hausse de 62 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Le total de décès demeure à 725 depuis le début de la pandémie. 80 tests positifs ont été effectués dans les 24 dernières heures. Ainsi, depuis le mois de mars, 11 163 citoyens lavallois ont été affectés par le virus. Parmi les personnes touchées par la COVID-19, 28 sont présentement hospitalisées, dont 5 aux soins intensifs. 19 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Chomedey est le quartier le plus touché pour une deuxième journée de suite avec 22 nouveaux cas confirmés. Il devance désormais Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides (+19) à titre de secteur le plus affecté par la pandémie en chiffres absolus sur les deux dernières semaines. Ce dernier demeure toutefois l'endroit avec le taux d'infection le plus élevé sur cette même période, soit 264 cas par 100 000 habitants. À l'inverse, Vimont/Auteuil connait la plus faible augmentation de l'île Jésus avec 5 nouvelles personnes touchées. Il est aussi le secteur le moins affecté des 14 derniers jours, que ce soit en chiffres absolus ou en taux d'infection. De leur côté, Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul et Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose ont ajouté 12 et 7 cas à leur total respectif. Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac compte quant à lui 11 nouvelles personnes touchées. *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 63 cas jusqu’ici.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Rowley Ramy knows the support offered by Seasons Centre for Grieving Children in Barrie is making a difference in the lives of those who use its resources. “I know it works when I see someone having a fuller life trying to give back,” the centre's managing director said. “It comes full circle.” Since opening 25 years ago, the centre, which provides peer support to children between the ages of five and 24 who are grieving the death of immediate family members, has helped a lot of people. For Ramy, it’s been a deeply personal journey. On Jan. 18, 1995, his daughters Samantha and Jessica were killed in a car accident. Ramy described an outpouring of support and a realization. While there was support for grieving adults, the same could not be said for children. And so, Seasons Centre for Grieving Children was created, and dedicated to his daughters. “Unfortunately, what happens with loss is none of us think about it until it happens, and then we look for the resources,” Ramy said, adding he still feels there could be more resources available. “There should a Seasons Centre in every regional health centre in the country.” As part of the 25th anniversary, the centre unveiled a new stained-glass sign, designed by Norma Vowels, who spent 15 years working as an office manager at the centre. “I’ve seen firsthand the difference they make in children’s lives,” she said, explaining how she would meet children and their families when they would first come to the centre. Speakers at the event talked about the isolating effects of grief, and the difficulty children can have navigating those powerful emotions. “We gave them the tools so that they don’t act out,” she said. “It makes a huge difference in their careers at school and their lives out in the real world.” Seasons Centre for Grieving Children is located at 38 McDonald St. For more information, or to support the centre, visit grievingchildren.com.Shane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government made sure to sign deals with a variety of potential COVID-19 vaccine producers to ensure Canadians would get one that works. He says that if everything goes according to plan, most Canadians will receive their immunization by next September.
DETROIT — The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints that suspensions can fail on nearly 115,000 Tesla electric vehicles.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 43 complaints that linkages near the ball joints can fail, allowing contact between the tire and wheel liner.The probe, announced Friday on the agency's website, covers 2015 through 2017 Model S sedans and 2016 through 2017 Model X SUVs.The agency says 32 owners complained of failures at low speeds, but 11 said the links failed on roads while travelling above 10 mph including four at highway speeds. It says the number of complaints is increasing as the vehicles age, with 32 in the last two years. Three of the highway complaints came in the last three months.In addition, NHTSA says it has eight complaints that may involve suspension failures that haven’t been confirmed by photos or service records.The agency said it has no reports of crashes or injuries.The agency says it will investigate how often the problem happens and the safety consequences. The probe could lead to a recall.A message was left early Friday seeking comment from Tesla.NHTSA says that in 2017, Tesla issued a service bulletin describing the failure and saying that drivers could still control the vehicles “but the tire may contact the wheel arch liner.” The bulletin says vehicles with the problems were built from Jan. 19, 2016 to May 25, 2016.But NHTSA said the complaints include 41 vehicles built before or after the range cited in the bulletin. Twenty-nine were built after the range ended.The Associated Press
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has inked a $100-million cushion into its mid-year financial forecast for any pandemic-related revenue shortfalls as the province deals with a spike in infections. The Ministry of Finance says that buffer is on top of $160 million left in a $200-million contingency fund to cover expenses tied to COVID-19. About $40 million was spent helping school divisions prepare for the resumption of in-class learning in the fall. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said Friday the total $260-million buffer will give the government spending room to pay for unexpected costs in the remaining months of the 2020-21 fiscal year."We're going to be there for our health system, for whatever it takes, and there is no way to say what the magic number will be," she told a news conference. She said no decision has been made as to whether more will be spent to support businesses struggling because of restrictions brought in to try to stem the spread of COVID-19."Those conversations are taking place as we speak. Right now the restrictions are on for three weeks. There will be an impact. How much of an impact ... nothing has been designed or decided."The Finance Ministry attributes a rise in revenue at its mid-year forecast to be in part from $443 million more from Ottawa to help the province deal with the pandemic. How much federal cash has been spent varies from program to program, said Harpauer. "We will be spending it and it will be allocated accordingly as the year unfolds."Opposition NDP economy and jobs critic Aleana Young said the government should make available $18 million in unspent money that was for small business emergency grants during the spring shutdown of non-essential services. "I'm curious, as a small-business owner, why that money was left on the table when we have heard and I do know how stressful this has been for small businesses across the province," she said. "But when you're sitting on $260 million in a pandemic, my question would be do they know something we don't know? Why are you keeping this money in reserve instead of spending it now, when it could actually do some good?"Young added that the holiday season isn't going to be business as usual for restaurateurs and retailers.The province is projecting revenue of $14.2 billion and expenses of $16.2 billion, leaving a deficit of $2 billion. The financial hole is slightly lower than what was forecast in August, before the October provincial election, and is down about $380 million from the spring budget. The update includes $133 million in Saskatchewan Party election promises. Premier Scott Moe campaigned on eliminating the deficit by 2024-25 without raising taxes or major spending cuts.The ministry is also projecting non-renewable resource revenues to be better than imagined in the spring. The West Texas Intermediate oil price is forecast to be US$38 per barrel, up from $30. The government highlighted how Saskatchewan's economy has done well throughout the pandemic compared with other provinces and emphasized that last month's provincial unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada. "Our recovery has been relatively strong," said Harpauer.However, she said she is concerned about what impact the spread of the virus will have on consumer confidence, as well as trade with other jurisdictions also battling the pandemic.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
Après une semaine marquée par une baisse des nouveaux cas quotidiens, la Gaspésie et les Iles rapporte 10 nouveaux cas de COVID-19, vendredi. Autre signe d’un enjolivement de la situation ; la santé publique met officiellement fin à deux éclosions majeures et la région est sur le pas des 100 cas actifs, alors que 210 personnes étaient infectées il y a une semaine. Le CISSS de la Gaspésie déclare officiellement terminées les éclosions au CHSLD de New Carlisle et à la résidence pour ainés Lady Maria, deux éclosions majeures qui s’étaient déclarées au début de l’automne. 60 personnes avaient contracté la maladie dans ces deux établissements, dont quatre sont décédées. Parmi les nouvelles infections, six se retrouvent dans la MRC de Bonaventure. Les MRC du Rocher-Percé et de la Côte-de-Gaspé rapportent deux nouveaux cas chacune. Un seul nouveau cas est recensé dans un lieu d’éclosion connu, soit un résident du CHSLD Mgr-Ross de Gaspé ayant été testé positif à la maladie au cours des dernières heures. Alors qu’elle comptait 210 cas actifs il y a sept jours exactement, la région de la Gaspésie-Île-de-la-Madeleine en rapporte moins de la moitié, vendredi, avec 103 infections actives. Quatre personnes sont hospitalisées dans la région en lien avec la maladie à coronavirus. Les leçons de la première vague Si la Gaspésie a été durement frappée par la COVID-19 lors de la deuxième vague, rapportant d’importantes éclosions dans la Baie-des-Chaleurs et dans la Côte-de-Gaspé, les centres hospitaliers ont pu profiter des leçons tirées lors de la première vague pour mieux, selon deux médecins de l’hôpital de Chandler. «On était prêt pour la deuxième vague. Il y avait moins d’appréhension et de stress chez le personnel puisqu’on en a tellement parlé. Personne n’a été surpris», note la docteure Caroline Dumont. Lors de la première vague, la péninsule gaspésienne ayant été plutôt épargnée, les centres hospitaliers ont pu apprendre de ce qui s’est vécu ailleurs. «Ce qui a été très utile, c’est que la première vague ne nous a pas atteints ou presque, mais on a quand même eu peur comme ailleurs. Ça nous a permis d’adresser les craintes de chacun», ajoute-t-elle. Dr Dumont croit aussi que la disponibilité des tests de dépistage sur place a contribué à diminuer l’anxiété du personnel. Même si la région a recensé plus d’éclosions au cours de la seconde vague, la structure était solide et testée, rapporte le docteur Mike Langlois, urgentologue à l’hôpital de Chandler. «Il y a avait beaucoup de craintes lors de la première vague comme on n’avait pas encore rodé le système. Quand ça a commencé à débouler à l’automne, on savait que la structure était forte et fiable», soutient-il.Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
The case of a Fredericton woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man found dead in Wilmot Park was adjourned Friday until the new year. In the meantime, twenty-one-year-old Angela April Walsh is to undergo an independent psychological assessment to determine if she can be found criminally responsible for her actions. Walsh, also known as Ali Morningstar, is charged in the death of 31-year-old Clark Ernest Green, whose body was found in the Fredericton park the morning of April 15.She was arrested May 25, along with Zachary David Murphy, who is also charged with first-degree murder.Walsh made a short court appearance via teleconference call from the New Brunswick Women's Correctional Centre in Miramichi, where she is being held. A psychological report on Walsh has already been done by the Restigouche Hospital Centre, but her lawyer wants a separate independent report. "We want this person to have the benefit of her full mental health history," TJ Burke told provincial court.Crown prosecutor Rodney Jordan took no issue with the extension.Walsh's case was already delayed once so the independent assessment could be done, but the psychiatrist assigned to Walsh, Dr. Julian Gojer, was working on the high-profile quadruple murder trial of Matthew Raymond. Walsh's case will be back in court on Jan. 29, 2021. She is also charged with theft from Walmart, breaching an undertaking, and fraud under $5,000. Proceedings of those charges have also been delayed until January.
OTTAWA — The federal government is sending $542 million to Indigenous groups to help them set up welfare services for children and families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. The Canadian government has been promising to transfer control over child and family services to Indigenous governing bodies so they don't need to rely on outsiders to protect children in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. In 2019, Parliament passed a law to reform the system, requiring that children on reserves have access to services equal to those who live off reserves. The legislation also recognize that Indigenous Peoples' constitutional right to self-government includes the right to run their own welfare agencies. "We are keeping our promise to give them the support they need to keep children within their families and their communities, so they can grow up surrounded by the strength of their culture to achieve their full potential," Trudeau said. Child-protection agencies have often removed Indigenous children not just from their parents but out of their communities entirely when workers decide the kids aren't safe — often because a lack of funding left them with few other options. That's broken up families and hurt children's connections to their heritage. Federal census figures say Indigenous children make up more than half the kids in foster care across the country, despite being fewer than eight per cent of the children in Canada. "Behind these devastating numbers, there are real children, real and terrible stories," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Friday in a separate news conference. The new money is for everything from research and expert advice to consultations on how those Indigenous governments will establish and run their own child and family services, as well as to support their negotiations with provincial and federal authorities. Miller said this is an "essential step to correct the errors of the past" and will help unleash the potential of Indigenous young people who have been held back for generations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Vaccines are now a bright spot of hope on the COVID-19 pandemic horizon. But much about them, and their rollout in Canada, remains up in the air. Here’s what we know so far:What are the leading candidates?Manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all filed applications to have their vaccine candidates approved in Canada. Under a “rolling submission" process, producers hand over data — from animal tests, for example — as it comes rather than as a complete package.That information includes how the vaccine candidates perform in different demographic groups and data about possible harms and risks.Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, says final data packages for some vaccines are expected as soon as the next few days, and that the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech could get the green light next month.Why don’t we know when they’ll be distributed?The Liberal government says the first vaccine shipments should start to roll off tarmacs and port terminals early next year, bound initially for priority groups, including seniors in long-term care homes and front-line workers. But much about the deployment process has yet to be announced.Canada has struck purchasing deals with five pharmaceutical manufacturers, and agreements in principle with two more, paving the way for at least 194 million vaccine doses if all their products are eventually approved. But remaining question marks include which vaccines will pass muster and when and how details of provincial allocations from Ottawa will be nailed down.Meanwhile, the country's limited manufacturing capacity has curtailed domestic vaccine production options and resulted in greater dependence on vaccines made in foreign countries, which tend to prioritize their own citizens.What are the logistical hurdles?Distributing a vaccine poses massive logistical challenges. The unprecedented process involves providing up to two doses of a vaccine — which the leading candidates require instead of just one — to nearly 38 million Canadians spread across a vast country within several months. Ottawa is taking the lead on procurement and overall distribution, but on-the-ground delivery will be handled by the provinces, creating a complex deployment chain.Some vaccines are easier to move around than others. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be transported and stored at -70 C to remain effective, which would slow its rollout, though Ottawa has already purchased some cold storage for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Moderna vaccine candidate also requires freezing but not at the same temperature as the Pfizer candidate.AstraZeneca's vaccine is even less finicky about storage temperature but the company said Thursday that promising results from its clinical trials need further validation.Meanwhile the government is trying to contract transport companies for vaccine shipments. On Friday, Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who commanded NATO troops in Iraq, to head up the Canadian military's role in co-ordinating logistics and lead the vaccine's eventual rollout across the country.Experts believe more than half of Canadians will be inoculated by September “if all goes well,” Trudeau said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Sen. Murray Sinclair is retiring from the Senate to work on mentoring young lawyers in Indigenous law and to write his memoirs. "Since working on the [Truth and Reconciliation Commission], we have seen a shift in how our country understands and speaks of residential schools and Indigenous issues in Canada," Sinclair said in a media statement."I leave the Senate feeling happy with how things are progressing and knowing that reconciliation will take a long time. I will continue to work on this for the rest of my life."Sinclair, who will officially leave the Red Chamber on Jan. 31, 2021, was the first Indigenous judge to serve on the bench in Manitoba and only the second Indigenous judge appointed in Canada.He worked in the justice system in that province for more than 25 years, serving as the co-chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016, he has worked to protect Indigenous languages and child welfare and establish a national day for truth and reconciliation."My tenure as senator has been a remarkable opportunity to serve the people of Manitoba, which I have striven to do with pride and humility for the last five years," Sinclair wrote in a letter to Gov. Gen. Julie Payette last week.Sinclair was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba and has won the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, along with the Manitoba Bar Association's Equality Award and its Distinguished Service Award.Listen: Sen. Murray Sinclair announces new book:Speaking to CBC Radio earlier this month, Sinclair said he was inspired by his granddaughter to write his memoirs."The year before my granddaughter was born, I had suffered a minor stroke," he said. "It took about a year to get back to normal. When she was born, I was visiting with her and with her parents and I remember thinking that I may not be around when she grows up. My granddaughter may have questions that only I can answer. She doesn't know my family — my grandmother, my grandfather, my father — or where we came from. I decided I was going to start writing things down for her."