Toronto police raise the charges for a weekend shooting to first-degree murder, after a 12-year-old boy dies from his injuries in hospital.
Toronto police raise the charges for a weekend shooting to first-degree murder, after a 12-year-old boy dies from his injuries in hospital.
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
There are three additional COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak on the third floor of the rehab tower at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH), according to a Tuesday news release from the hospital. The new cases bring the total number of infections associated with the outbreak to 20.The cases have resulted in the temporary suspension of all non-direct patient service providers.The temporary suspension includes: * all Designated Care Partner Visitation Programs (DCPs) * contractors, students and hairdressing services * patients who require palliative care and are actively dying are allowed two visitors present at any given time * patients who require palliative care, but are not actively dying are allowed one visitor. This visitor must remain the same person.The hospital first declared an outbreak at its rehab unit on Sunday."It is important to note that the precautions we are implementing are not just as a result of our internal outbreak," the statement reads."It is equally important because daily numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex continue to show that we have a significant amount of community spread with a growing list of institutional/schools/workplaces, hospital and LTC/retirement home outbreaks."HDGH said it will continue to work closely with the local health unit and provide updates. It also said it "deeply regrets the worry, concern and pain that this has caused for our staff, our patients and their families and our community and commit to providing timely updates as soon as we can."No visitor policyWindsor Regional Hospital (WRH), HDGH and Erie Shores Healthcare are reinstituting a "no visitor policy" effective Wednesday, according to another Tuesday media release, as a result of the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in the region."This difficult decision is intended as a precaution to keep patients, families and our health care teams safe as transmission rates rise and risk a crisis point for hospitals," the statement reads, adding that the high volume of patients and the reduced bed capacity is challenging the entire local health care system.Limited exceptions to the policy are in place at each hospital.For WRH, essential visitors are allowed, which include: * One visit by one visitor to a patient who is actively dying * One support person for a woman in labour * One parent/guardian of an ill newborn, child or youth
The Calgary Police Service is still committed to reallocate money to support other crisis response services despite city council's decision to pull from its rainy-day funds instead of the police budget. Police Chief Mark Neufeld had supported giving up $8 million from the 2021 police budget, as long as the funds reallocated lead directly to a drop in call volumes for police officers.Instead, on Thursday council pulled that money from its fiscal stability fund to go toward the community safety framework, which is intended to address gaps in crisis services, outreach services and emergency response, as well as gaps in racially and culturally appropriate services. "Regardless of the source of the funding, the approval of the framework and the commitment of dollars to do that important work is a real win," Neufeld told the Calgary Police Commission during its Tuesday meeting. "But let me be equally clear — CPS proposed initially to reallocate funds to do this work, and we remain completely committed to doing the work."Neufeld didn't specifically say how much money would be committed to the framework, but said more details would be available at the January 2021 police commission meeting. Anti-racism work underwayDeputy chief Katie McLellan also gave an update on CPS' anti-racism work, which is being built out of the city's public hearings on the topic earlier this year. Police had identified six priorities the service is focusing on: * Building a framework with dedicated internal resources to create an anti-racism strategy. CPS dedicated two staff to full-time work leading its anti-racism action committee. * Allocating money to a new call response delivery model, with short term actions including increase support networks, court diversion options and improving crisis triage and working with other agencies. * Conducting an independent review of its school resource officer program, with the report expected by the third quarter of next year. * Evaluating the body-worn camera program, including a look at complaints and use of force incidents. * Developing practices to collect, categorize and report disaggregated race-based data — both relating to citizens and CPS employees. * Researching and implementing an equity, inclusion and diversity tool for CPS policies, practices and reporting — training on that tool is expected to start early next year. "We have lots of things going on … I am optimistic but recognize there's many balls in the air and we need to have that balance, and take time to be thorough and engage and listen to lessons learned," McLellan said. McLellan also presented an update on the service's Indigenous road map, which is focused on addressing calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls calls for justice. Some of the work that's been completed since last year includes the hiring of an Indigenous strategic engagement coordinator, developing and delivering training to create awareness of different ways to respond to administration of justice offences that see Indigenous people over-represented in the carceral system, and participation in the development of the Calgary Indigenous Court.Commissioner Heather Campbell said police have been able to put together a bit of a "dream team" for their anti-racism work, from Indigenous liaison experts to the committee's two leads, and asked what work still needs to be done. "We recognize the need to include members from the community so they bring that objective, different lens to us. In the interim, we really haven't built what we're looking for," McLellan said, adding that they'll be seeking additional subject matter experts and community engagement in the long-term. "We're building the bones and the framework of the plan but the strategy will be longer term."Commissioner Marilyn North Peigan pointed out that the Indigenous court is a "guilty" court, meaning that someone has to plead guilty to enter the system. She said she'd like to see more work happening with diversion and education — something McLellan said is one of the main goals the team is striving toward.
L’édition 2020 de la populaire émission Occupation double s’est déroulée majoritairement au Québec, étant donné la pandémie reliée à la COVID-19. La Côte-Nord a été visitée par certains candidats, dont Cintia et Marjorie qui ont confirmé leur relation lors d’une visite dans la Manicouagan. Elles ont eu la chance de visiter le barrage Daniel-Johnson, en plus de passer de magnifiques moments en nature, grâce Fred et Coralie de chez Attitude Nordique et des Innus de Pessamit. C’est au tour de la Minganie d’accueillir des participants, qui ont eu la chance de s’y rendre lors du voyage final. Il a été annoncé que celui-ci se déroulait dans Charlevoix, mais on sait maintenant que la Côte-Nord a également été visitée. Le couple a eu la chance de voir des monolithes, ainsi que de déguster des oursins de mer.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
« On dirait que ça me touche encore plus avec la COVID, on est tous en arrêt, mais ces causes-là ont toujours besoin d’argent. Les enfants ne cessent pas d’être malades pour autant. », partage-t-elle, réalisant que 2 Millions de moins sur une année est énorme. Vicky Lemieux, originaire de Sept-Îles, demeure maintenant à Montréal. L’entreprise où elle travaille participe depuis des années aux 24 heures de Tremblant, permettant de venir en aide à plusieurs causes, particulièrement la Fondation Charles-Bruneau, pour la recherche sur le cancer à l’Hôpital Ste-Justine de Montréal. Dû à la pandémie, les objectifs ont été revus à la baisse, ce qui la motive davantage à faire sa part. « L’an passé, j’ai amassé 2000$. Puisque les objectifs ont été diminués de moitié, j’ai décidé de multiplier les miens par deux », mentionne la Septilienne qui a déjà atteint son objectif, ayant amassé plus de 5000$. Pour cette année, il ne sera pas possible de faire l’événement sur les pentes du Mont Tremblant. Vicky a toujours été une sportive, ayant fait partie des Astérides de Sept-Îles pendant 15 ans, faisait également du ski. Elle s’est mise à la course afin de relever ce nouveau défi et se sent d’attaque. L’édition 2020 aura lieu ce samedi 5 décembre, pour un 24 heures consécutives. Le tout a été adapté en raison de la pandémie, et se fera virtuellement. Chaque équipe avait la possibilité de créer son propre défi sportif. « Pour notre part, moi et mon équipe de 8, allons courir en moyenne 40 km, dont une vingtaine de kilomètres ensemble près du Canal Lachine, et le reste chacun de notre côté. », précise-t-elle. Il est encore temps de donner pour la cause en cliquant sur ce lien : https://participant.24htremblant.com/fr/users/vicky-lemieux-0?fbclid=IwAR2GZtPpxNEsGDK7B43arwgUNEdj7TnQB42YL_SwlpC4L3EpmPsH-_KznVUKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down two Trump administration rules designed to drastically curtail the number of visas issued each year to skilled foreign workers.The changes applying to the H-1B visa program announced in October include imposing salary requirements on companies employing skilled overseas workers and limits on specialty occupations. Department of Homeland Security officials deemed it a priority because of coronavirus-related job losses and estimated as many as one-third of those who have applied for H-1B's in recent years would be denied under the new rules.U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in California said the government didn't follow transparency procedures and its contention that the changes were an emergency response to pandemic job losses didn’t hold water because the Trump administration has floated the idea for some time but only published the rules in October.“The COVID-19 pandemic is an event beyond defendants’ control, yet it was within defendants’ control to take action earlier than they did,” White wrote.The U.S. issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas each year in sectors including technology, engineering and medicine. Usually, they’re issued for three years and renewable. Most of the nearly 600,000 H-1B visa holders in the U.S. are from India and China.The H-1B rules announced weeks before the election were part of President Donald Trump's wider agenda to curb nearly all forms of immigration. In June, he issued an order temporarily suspending the H-1B program until the end of the year.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and universities including the California Institute of Technology sued in California, arguing there wasn’t adequate notice or time for the public to comment on the changes. They also said the rules, particularly related to requiring a prevailing wage for visa-holders, would have a drastic impact on new hires and “sever the employment relationship of hundreds of thousands of existing employees in the United States."The University of Utah cited an example where an H-1B employee seeking renewal was paid an $80,000 salary but would have to be paid $208,000 under the new rule.The judge agreed that the federal government didn’t make a case for implementing the rules under the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes agencies accountable to the public by requiring a detailed process for enacting regulations.“Defendants failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the APA’s notice and comment requirements,” White wrote.The rule on wages, proposed by the Department of Labor, took effect in October, while the Homeland Security rule on occupations and other issues was supposed to take effect Monday. It also would have placed limits on “offsite” firms that employ and contract out H-1B visa holders to other companies; their visas would have been limited to one year at a time."This is incredibly important decision to preserve the H-1B program,” said attorney Paul Hughes, who represented the plaintiffs. “This ruling enables those individuals to maintain their jobs and their families in the United States.”The Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the ruling “has many companies across various industries breathing a huge sigh of relief,” with the visa changes having "the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the operations of many businesses.”Messages left Tuesday for spokespeople with the Labor and Homeland Security departments weren’t immediately returned.The wage rule has prompted at least two other federal lawsuits in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.___Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiatareen.Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to shorten the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation. According to a senior administration official, the new guidelines, which are set to be released as soon as Tuesday evening, will allow people who have come in contact to someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days, or 7 days if they receive a negative test result. That’s down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement, said the policy change has been discussed for some time, as scientists have studied the incubation period for the virus. The policy would hasten the return to normal activities by those deemed to be “close contacts” of those infected with the virus, which has infected more than 13.5 million Americans and killed at least 270,000. While the CDC had said the incubation period for the virus was thought to extend to 14 days, most individuals became infectious and developed symptoms between 4 and 5 days after exposure. It’s not the first time that the CDC has adjusted its guidance for the novel coronavirus as it adjusted to new research. In July the agency shortened, from 14 days to 10, its advice on how long a person should stay in isolation after they first experience COVID symptoms — provided they’re no longer sick. The new guidance was presented Tuesday at a White House coronavirus task force meeting for final approval. — AP writer Mike Stobbe contributed. Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
Two crew members on a container ship anchored in Vancouver's English Bay were seriously injured after a lifeboat unexpectedly plunged into the water during a drill on Tuesday.According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the accident happened at about 1:15 p.m. Both crew members were on the lifeboat when it was released from the ship, and it was sinking when rescuers were called.Coast guard officers, the Vancouver Police Department's marine unit and the Vancouver Port Authority all responded to the mayday call.A vessel from the Kitsilano Coast Guard station was on scene within 10 minutes, according to a spokesperson, and paramedics treated the two injured people for "significant injuries."According to B.C. Emergency Health Services, the patients were taken to hospital in serious condition, but they are both stable.
Meggie Fontaine de Uashat a reçu cet honneur, de la part d’une personne de son entourage. Elle est l’heureuse maman de la petite Uapukuniss, âgée de 5 mois. Elle n’a toutefois pas eu la chance de bénéficier de cette magnifique avancée, car sa communauté ne fait pas partie du Regroupement Mamit Innuat. Elle a dû faire des démarches supplémentaires, mais le plus important était de pouvoir avoir la garde de sa petite fleur. Une personne proche de Meggie a appris, l’an dernier, qu’elle était enceinte. Ayant déjà ses enfants et ne souhaitant pas pour autant se faire avorter, elle a demandé à son amie si elle désirait adopter son enfant, selon des coutumes autochtones, existant depuis des millénaires, et reconnues depuis 2018 par le Code civil du Québec. Elle a même pu assister à l’accouchement, et a coupé le cordon ombilical. Le Regroupement Mamit Innuat (RMI) servira d’autorité compétente pour les communautés d’Ekuanitshit, d’Unamen Shipu et de Pakua Shipu. Les demandes doivent respecter la coutume de la communauté, l’intérêt de l’enfant et le consentement de toutes les personnes impliquées. Il pourra s’agir également d’une alternative intéressante pour la Direction de la protection de la jeunesse. « À titre d’autorité compétente, nous serons en mesure de récupérer une douzaine de dossiers en attente à la DPJ et de migrer vers une démarche qui permet de mieux répondre aux réalités actuelles des familles et surtout des enfants innus. Il s’agit d’un grand pas vers l’autodétermination des communautés et nous en sommes très fiers ! » partage Marie-Michèle Savard, Gestionnaire de projet au secteur Services sociaux du RMI.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
BILLINGS, Mont. — Climate change, voracious beetles and disease are imperiling the long-term survival of a high-elevation pine tree that’s a key source of food for some grizzly bears and found across the West, U.S. officials said Tuesday.A Fish and Wildlife Service proposal scheduled to be published Wednesday would protect the whitebark pine tree as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, according to documents posted by the Office of the Federal Register.The move marks a belated acknowledgement of the tree's severe declines in recent decades and sets the stage for restoration work. But government officials said they do not plan to designate which forest habitats are critical to the tree’s survival, stopping short of what some environmentalists argue is needed.Whitebark pines can live up to 1,000 years and are found at elevations up to 12,000 feet (3,600 metres) — conditions too harsh for most tress to survive.Environmentalists had petitioned the government in 1991 and again in 2008 to protect the trees, which occur across 126,000 square miles (326,164 square kilometres) of land in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and western Canada.A nonnative fungus has been killing whitebark pines for a century. More recently, the trees have proven vulnerable to bark beetles that have killed millions of acres of forest, and climate change that scientists say is responsible for more severe wildfire seasons.The trees have been all but wiped out in some areas, including the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park, where they are a source of food for threatened grizzly bears. More than half of whitebark pines in the U.S. are now dead, according to a 2018 study from the U.S. Forest Service.That has complicated government efforts to declare grizzlies in the Yellowstone area as a recovered species that no longer needs federal protection. Grizzlies raid caches of whitebark pine cones that are hidden by squirrels and devour the seeds within the cones to fatten up for winter.A 2009 court ruling that restored protections for Yellowstone bears cited in part the tree's decline, although government studies later concluded the grizzlies could find other things to eat.After getting sued for not taking steps to protect the pine trees, wildlife officials in 2011 acknowledged that whitebark pines needed protections but they took no immediate action, saying other species faced more immediate threats.An attorney with the Natural Resources Defence Council, which submitted the 2008 petition for protections, lamented that it took so long but said the proposal was still worth celebrating.“This is the federal government admitting that climate change is killing off a widely distributed tree, and we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many species threatened,” said Rebecca Riley, legal director for the environmental group’s nature program.The government’s proposal describes the threats to the pine tree imminent and said it was one of many plants expected to be impacted as climate change moves faster than they can adapt.“Whitebark pine survives at high elevations already, so there is little remaining habitat in many areas for the species to migrate to higher elevations in response to warmer temperatures,” Fish and Wildlife Service officials wrote.The officials added that overall, whitebark pine stands have seen severe reductions in regeneration because of wildfires, a fungal disease called white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetles and climate change.Amid those growing threats, federal officials are working in conjunction with researchers and private groups on plans to gather cones from trees that are resistant to blister rust, grow their seeds in greenhouses and then plant them back on the landscape, said Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Amy Nicholas. A draft of that nationwide restoration is expected by the end of next year.“We do have options to revive this species,” Nicholas said.The decision not to pursue protections for the tree's habitat is in line with another recent action by the Fish and Wildlife Service — the denial of critical habitat for t he endangered rusty patched bumblebee.The bee's population has plummeted 90 per cent over about two decades. As with whitebark pine, loss of the bee's habitat was considered less important than other threats.The two cases underscore a pattern of opposition to habitat protections by the administration of President Donald Trump, environmentalists said.The Fish and Wildlife Service under Trump also has proposed rules to restrict what lands can be declared worthy of protections and to give greater weight to the economic benefits of development.“It's clear that the intent is to limit protection of habitat for threatened and endangered species. Whitebark pine is another example of that,” said Noah Greenwald with the Center for Biological Diversity.Fish and Wildlife Service Wyoming Field Supervisor Tyler Abbott said it would not be prudent to designate areas for habitat protections since the major threats to the trees' survival can't be addressed through land management.“The driving factor (in the tree's decline) is that white pine blister rust, and that's working synergistically with mountain pine beetle, the altered fire regime, climate change," Abbott said. “These are biological factors that we really don't have any control over.”___On Twitter, follow Brown @MatthewBrownAPMatthew Brown, The Associated Press
Sen. Joseph McCarthy is censured; Scientists demonstrate the world's first artificially-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction; Enron files for Chapter 11 protection; Colombian drug lord is shot and killed. (Dec. 2)
Regina– The morning of the Speech from the Throne, Nov. 30, the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan didn’t have any members taking their seats. But they did have several of their failed candidates speaking on the front steps of the Legislature in a rally that focused on freedom. One person in the crowd carried a sign saying “Unmask the truth,” while another person’s sign said, “Freedom is essential.” Buffalo Party Leader Wade Sira spoke first, noting they didn’t know how many people would show up. (A few dozen did.) “We’re here because even though didn’t win any seats in this election, the first election we ran, we still feel very strongly about where we stood, and that’s rights and freedoms first, and only should be the right of the government. They should always make sure that your rights and freedoms are the number one thing that's preserved and protected.” He said Premier Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party government “needs to uphold the law of Canada, which means the preservation of your rights and freedoms should be held at the highest regard.” He said they should “take off the restrictions” with respect to COVID-19. Sira said CTV had reported last week that less than 200 deaths had occurred in Canada where people had died from COVID. “Everything else has relations with other diseases, illnesses. Therefore, we want to make sure that those who are vulnerable to sickness are protected. But everyone else has a right in a free democracy to live their lives, the way they want to live their lives within the law.” “We want to make sure that you the people have the right to decide who you're allowed to associate with, who's allowed in and on your home, and how many. This is a government living in your home, and telling you how to live your life.” He said the Public Health Act had been “weaponized,” and used in an infection of fear, and “control by fear.” “The misinformation that's being broadcast out there, it’s white lies. It's not full truth. They're only saying what is good for them,” he said. Sira said back in Biblical times, the people wanted to be free. “They always try to free them from slavery from the governments are overbearing, throughout history. Every war is about freedom. It’s not about the control of government. We have to end the control of government. “We have to hold the government to a higher standard. We have to make sure that they are protecting us, the free people. Let us live our lives. We know how to manage our health. They don't know how to manage our health. It's not their health. It’s ours.” Sira read out an open letter he had sent to the premier earlier in the day which called for, first and foremost, that COVID restrictions come off. Secondly, they want the province to “denounce the federal government, and Trudeau’s actions in September, about the ‘Great Reset.’” Sira said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was using “the current state of the pandemic to convert Canada into a full socialist country, by implementing the World Economic Forum global reset.” Sira said, “People have to keep standing up and tell the government enough is enough. We want to be free again.” He pointed out he might have to put on his neck warmer to enter the Legislature, adding, “I don’t wear a mask at all.” Phillip Zajac, who ran in Estevan, said, “A long time ago in 2019, if you had the flu, and you were sick, and it was Christmas, you wouldn't go to your senior parents’ home, because you didn’t want them to get sick. We know that. We don't need someone here to say, ‘Don't go to your parents if you're sick.’ “So what I want you guys to do, is it takes people to tell other people, tell people what's going on, because they don't know. Want to talk about fake media, fake news? It happens all the time.” Zajac said he had worn a mask in a hockey rink, carrying his gear down the stairs, and had a hard time breathing. “It's depriving you from oxygen. Putting mass on people who are not sick is not good for our health. It's not good for anybody. So you guys, we are all here. We're gonna keep spreading the word. We all need to do the same. Please do something. Tell somebody and keep talking to people.” Richard Nelson, who had run in Cut Knife-Turtleford, said, “We know who is susceptible to this disease. They're 70 years or older. Ladies and gentlemen, we know where to find people who are susceptible to this disease. They live in long-term care. If you're not 70, and you're not in long term care, please, enjoy your life. Go back to living it, and spend Christmas with your family!” he exclaimed. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Ottawa's finance and economic development committee approved a revitalization strategy for the ByWard Market on Tuesday — a plan that would see wider sidewalks, a new "destination building," and fewer cars in the downtown neighbourhood. City staff expect the plan to cost $129 million but there's no clear plan yet of who would pay for it. Tuesday's report said funding would come from a combination of sources, including: government, public-private partnership as well as borrowing against assets where it makes sense to do so.The ByWard Market public realm plan has been in development for two years and includes input from local businesses, the ByWard Market Business Improvement Area, public consultations, online surveys as well as comments from local residents, the city's report said.The neighbourhood is currently "struggling," the report said, and the public realm plan intends to physically transform the area "to ensure it remains a place befitting to define Ottawa's image."Among the changes, the plan would see York Street closed to traffic for special events, the expansion of sidewalks and other pedestrian spaces, an incremental reduction to car traffic, more greenery and trees, better lighting, additional meeting spaces and benches, as well as the construction of a "destination building" at 70 Clarence Street.The new facility would provide accessible washrooms, indoor bike parking and, potentially, underground parking, according to the plan. The current ByWard Market Building would however remain the "anchor" for the district. "A key goal of the public realm plan is to shift the perception of the market from a vehicular-oriented space to one where pedestrians come first," said the city's report.City council considers the plan at its next meeting on Dec. 9.
DELTA, B.C. — A man has critical injuries after the vehicle he was driving plunged about nine metres from a BC Ferries exit ramp to the pavement below. BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall says the incident occurred Tuesday at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal as vehicles were leaving the vessel Coastal Renaissance, which had arrived from the Duke Point terminal near Nanaimo. She says the vehicle accelerated sharply after it left the vessel and crashed through a concrete barrier on the upper exit ramp, landing on its roof on the road below. A statement from BC Emergency Health Services says several paramedic crews were dispatched to the scene and the patient was transported to hospital in critical condition. Marshall says the man, who was driving a crew-cab pickup truck, was the lone occupant of the vehicle and no one else was hurt. Marshall says the man was conscious and talking after the incident. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
Le Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVAC) Côte-Nord a lancé le recueil de créations Reconnaître le courage et renouveler l’engagement qui réunit les œuvres de personnes touchées par un acte criminel ainsi que celles de ressources qui leur viennent en aide. « Au fil des pages, les lecteurs retrouveront des créations de personnes touchées par un acte criminel qui nous donnent accès à leur souffrance, mais aussi à leurs victoires », lit-on dans le communiqué. Le recueil contient également des œuvres de personnes accompagnant les victimes d’actes criminels qui témoignent de leur admiration pour ces survivants. Le recueil a été lancé dans le cadre de la Semaine des victimes et survivants d’actes criminels qui avait lieu du 22 au 28 novembre. Pour obtenir un recueil ou en savoir plus sur les services offerts par le CAVAC, composez le 1 866-962-2822 ou rendez-vous au www.cavac.qc.ca.Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
OTTAWA — The head of Canada's transport regulator says the 11,000 complaints filed to the Canadian Transportation Agency since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic will not start to be processed until early next year.CTA chairman Scott Streiner says the agency is struggling to handle another 11,000 complaints it received between last December and March, immediately after a new passenger rights charter came into effect.The majority of complaints since March concern refunds, which most Canadian airlines have refused to give customers after cancelling hundreds of thousands of flights due to pandemic travel restrictions, opting instead for flight vouchers or credit.The 22,000 complaints racked up in less than a year contrast with the 800 submitted to the CTA in 2015 amid growing passenger frustration.Streiner says that if legislation did not constrain him he would act "quickly" to fix a gap in regulations, which he claims compel airlines only to address reimbursement in their passenger contracts but not to provide it in situations outside their control.Earlier this month, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced he planned to negotiate an aid package for struggling airlines that would be conditional on them agreeing to offer refunds for cancelled trips.The number of complaints may drop considerably if the support plan can be hammered out, Streiner told the House of Commons transport committee Tuesday.Bloc Québécois transport critic Xavier Barsalou-Duval said the complaints delay remains a major problem.“If I was a manager of a complaints department and I had two years of backlog ... wouldn’t I lose my job?" he asked Streiner.Streiner said more than half of the 11,000 complaints filed between last December and March have now been dealt with.Federal rules, provincial contract law and tribunal precedent at the CTA oblige airlines to reimburse passengers for services paid for but never rendered, say consumer rights advocates and opposition lawmakers.“We’re being told by the government that these Canadian citizens who purchased these airfares are not able to get a refund because the government is concerned that the airline corporations are going to go bankrupt. Now you’re putting citizens in a situation where they’re essentially involuntary or unwilling creditors to these huge corporations," NDP MP Taylor Bachrach said."The legislation constrained us. There was no way that we could establish that obligation in the regulations," Streiner replied.Committee members pushed him on how big a role Transport Canada had in the CTA's statement on vouchers from March, which said airlines did not need to provide refunds unless their passenger contract required it in particular circumstances.“There was certain communication in order to make sure that we were not creating any confusion," Streiner said.“We communicated with the office of the minister of transportation throughout this entire crisis."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.The Canadian Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A second inmate at an Alaska prison experiencing a coronavirus outbreak has died from complications related to COVID-19, as the total number of active cases at the state's largest prison has reached 480, the Alaska Department of Corrections said Tuesday. The 77-year-old with underlying health issues, who was serving sentences for sexual abuse and release violations, died Monday after being taken to a Palmer hospital on Nov. 22, the department said. It's the second death of an inmate related to COVID-19 that has been reported by the department. The first was last month. In each case, the department declined to release the names of the individuals, citing privacy concerns. Both were inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla, which has been experiencing a coronavirus outbreak. The department said it offered tests to about 1,300 inmates at the prison to try to find undetected cases. Results brought the facility's active case count to 480, with results in 120 cases pending and another roughly 190 inmates considered recovered, the department said. Sarah Gallagher, a department spokesperson, said it “can only offer and recommend testing" — not require it — but she said there were few refusals to be tested. The total inmate population at the prison stood at about 1,260 on Tuesday, she said. In housing units that have had positive tests, those who have tested negative are retested every three days until there are no additional positive results in the unit for 14 days, the department said. Dr. Robert Lawrence, the department's chief medical officer, said “testing sweeps” provide a picture of spread that has occurred and allow officials to "target isolation and quarantine strategies to particular areas in the facility in order to flatten the curve of the spread.” Inmate housing is determined by test results and clinical status, and staff members are required to wear masks in the prison and undergo screenings before their shifts, the department said. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The Associated Press
Fisheries appear to be taking a more prominent role in B.C. Premier John Horgan’s new cabinet. On Thursday, Horgan announced a new parliamentary secretary for fisheries position within the Agriculture Ministry. Fin Donnelly, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, will take up the portfolio that is focused on revitalizing salmon population, protecting habitat, creating a provincial-level “coastal strategy” and increasing domestic fish processing capacity. Fisheries are a major industry in the province, with the wild harvest worth roughly $476 million in 2018. But unlike its East Coast counterparts, B.C. doesn’t have a fisheries ministry. That has meant responsibility for the sector’s myriad issues has been scattered across multiple ministerial portfolios. Those include environmental issues, rehabilitating wild salmon populations, the creation of culturally relevant jobs in rural communities and First Nations, food security (most fish caught in B.C. is exported) and ensuring the economic benefits of B.C.’s fish remain in the province. Donnelly’s mandate will require him to co-ordinate with at least three ministries — agriculture; environment and climate change; and forests, lands, natural resources operations and rural development. But without the administrative resources of a ministry, Sutcliffe expects it will be hard for him to address the plethora of environmental, social and economic issues facing the sector. For some environmentalists, concerns about the previous government's approach to wild salmon restoration have been amplified by Donnelly's new mandate. “We’re concerned (about) the directive to support innovation in fish hatcheries, which on the surface of it sounds great, but there’s a large body of science that shows hatcheries pose a lot of risks to wild salmon,” said Aaron Hill, executive director of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, an environmental non-profit focused on rebuilding B.C.’s wild salmon. Unlike open-pen fish farms — a controversial type of aquaculture where Atlantic salmon are reared in floating nets — salmon hatcheries raise young Pacific salmon and release them into creeks and streams, allowing them to migrate into the Pacific to reach adulthood. Then, like wild salmon, they return to the streams of their birth to spawn. In Alaska, “ocean ranching,” or widespread hatchery use, is essential to sustaining the state’s massive commercial salmon industry. However, it has proved controversial, as hatchery-raised fish compete against wild fish for food and, through interbreeding, reduce wild fish populations' genetic diversity and resilience to environmental change. In contrast, open-pen fish farms threaten wild salmon through parasites, diseases, pesticide use and interbreeding with wild Pacific salmon. B.C. is the only jurisdiction on the West Coast where the salmon aquaculture industry can operate. A 2019 policy report prepared for the province by an appointed advisory committee to inform its salmon-related policies recommended that hatcheries be used only to “rebuild weak or extirpated stocks ... or for short-term interventions to help rebuild stocks for southern resident killer whales.” Protecting and restoring spawning habitats and developing a more equitable distribution of the fisheries' economic benefits are more important priorities, the report noted. However, the report has been criticized by Hill and other conservationists for having a pro-industry bias (many of the committee members are involved in the fisheries, according to Hill) and “failing to address the root causes of the salmon crisis.” Still, the province’s continued focus on salmon and Donnelly’s appointment were welcomed by Robert Chamberlin. The former chief of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation and former vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs played a key role in the removal of open-pen fish farms from the Broughton Archipelago through a collaborative, nation-to-nation process he hopes can be replicated in other areas of the province. “I think (Horgan) put in key players,” he said, noting that in addition to Donnelly, Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and Nathan Cullen will also be shaping future provincial fisheries policy, and all are familiar with the Broughton Island process. Cullen is the MLA for Stikine and provincial minister of state for lands and natural resource operations — another new role — tasked with a suite of responsibilities, including habitat protection and co-developing a coastal strategy with Donnelly. “(Their appointments) match the statements (Horgan) made about sending a strong signal to Ottawa that the B.C. government is taking a very strong focus on salmon.” But that focus on salmon, while important, still leaves out large parts of the province’s fisheries, Sutcliffe said. “Salmon is iconic, it is rooted in our identity and affects the lives of so many people — you don’t have to be a fisherman to care about salmon. (But) we also can’t ignore the fact that many other species are fished and relied upon for the same reasons. If we want a healthy B.C. food system, it’s not enough to just focus on salmon.” Many of the challenges facing fisheries and the communities that rely on them aren’t about salmon, but the dozens of other species harvested in the province such as prawns, crabs and halibut. Those include everything from issues of unequal wealth distribution to access to credit to participation in conservation decision-making. While many of these issues fall primarily under federal jurisdiction, she said that federal efforts at reform will be hampered without the support that a dedicated provincial ministry could provide. “To realize a new direction in fisheries that maintains the level of ecological resilience we need, in an uncertain climate ... that brings the benefits of the fishery back to harvesters and their communities, requires not just federal, but also provincial leadership,” she said. “One can hope that with (Donnelly's appointment) the province will step up and play their role in supporting needed changes in the socio-economics of fisheries.”Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Un centre d’hébergement pour étudiant-e-s autochtones verra le jour sur le terrain du Cégep de Sept-Îles grâce à l’octroi d’une aide financière gouvernementale à la Société immobilière du Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (SIRCAAQ). La ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur, Danielle McCann, et le ministre responsable des Affaires autochtones, Ian Lafrenière, ont fait l’annonce de ce partenariat avec la SIRCAAQ et du montant de 18,4 millions de dollars sur cinq ans alloué à ce projet le 27 novembre. Deux autres centres d’hébergement seront construits, dont un à Trois-Rivières et un autre dont l’emplacement sera déterminé plus tard. Le centre d’hébergement de Sept-Îles comprendra 32 unités d’habitation allant des studios pour une personne à des logements de six pièces et demie. Celui de Trois-Rivières offrira 40 unités. Les travaux débuteront au printemps 2021 pour une ouverture en août 2022, tandis que le troisième projet devrait accueillir ses premiers étudiants à l’automne 2025. En plus de logements abordables, des services « culturellement pertinents et intégrés » seront proposés aux locataires et à leurs proches pour encourager la réussite et la persévérance scolaire. « Ces conditions gagnantes permettront aux apprenants autochtones de réaliser leur plein potentiel », souhaite le président du Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec, Philippe Meilleur. La construction des centres vise avant tout à éliminer les obstacles « qui freinent trop souvent la poursuite des études pour les membres des Premières Nations », peut-on lire dans le communiqué de presse. « Ces milieux de vie communautaires diminueront les sentiments d’isolement et de solitude vécus par les étudiants qui fréquentent les grands établissements d’enseignement urbains », prévoit le ministre Lafrenière. Pour le ministre responsable de la région de la Côte-Nord, Jonatan Julien, la construction des trois centres représente « un pas de plus pour le développement socioéconomique de la région et le bien-être des communautés nordiques et autochtones à long terme ». La subvention provient de l’enveloppe de 200 millions de dollars destinée à répondre aux recommandations de la Commission d’enquête sur les relations entre les Autochtones et certains services publics (CERP) et de l’Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées (ENFFADA).Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, the influential Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended Tuesday. (Dec. 2)