Gunman claimed staff supported cleric who allegedly led failed coup in 2016
Gunman claimed staff supported cleric who allegedly led failed coup in 2016
LONDON — Cambridge University launched an appeal Tuesday to find two valuable notebooks written by Charles Darwin after they were reported as stolen from the university’s library. The notebooks, estimated to be worth millions of pounds, include the 19th-century scientist’s famous “Tree of Life” sketch. They haven’t been seen since 2000, and for years staff at the library believed that the manuscripts had probably been misplaced in the vast archives. But after doing a thorough search, library staff now conclude it’s likely that the notebooks were stolen. Police are now investigating and Interpol has also been notified. “My predecessors genuinely believed that what had happened was that these had been mis-shelved or misfiled,” said Jessica Gardner, university librarian and director of library services. “Now we have completely reviewed as a new team what happened and come to a conclusion that that’s not a sufficient position or set of actions to take.” Staff recently searched through 189 boxes making up the Darwin Archive, but failed to locate the notebooks. Cambridge University Library has more than 130 miles of shelving and has around 10 million books, maps, manuscripts and other objects. The Associated Press
Two not-for-profit organizations in Labrador West got a big boost recently from the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). IOC donated $36,000 to Indoor Play Labrador and the Labrador West Association for Community Living to help them keep helping others. Cindy Humphries, director of the Labrador West Association for Community Living, said the donation couldn’t have come at a better time. The group, which supports people with intellectual challenges, had to cancel the annual Ken Gage Memorial Bowling Tournament this year due to the pandemic. The tournament normally raises $12,000 to $15,000 range for the group and is the only big fundraiser they do. They received $15,000 from IOC, which Humphries said will be used for things like tablets, wheelchairs, ceiling lifts and other equipment for families. “It was a huge help,” she said. “They approached us and asked what we needed, and after some paperwork we had to fill out and whatever they had to do on their end, it came through." Humphries said they can have up to 100 teams in the tourney some years and it can last for weeks. That simply wasn’t viable with the pandemic health protocols in place, Humphries said, and if things don’t change, they may not have one next year. “It’s just too much to try and control or monitor that many people,” she said. “You never know, come the new year things could be a lot different but if things are the same, I can’t see it going ahead.” The other not-for-profit that received funding was Indoor Play Labrador, the organization that manages the Kids Club in town, the only indoor playground in the region. The building was only opened in March and had to shut its doors 16 days later and suspend membership fees due to COVID-19 restrictions. Jenny Sullivan, president of Indoor Play Labrador, said the $21,000 from IOC came at a great time. “We were only open for 16 days and had to close, but still had rent and bills coming in, and those bills didn’t stop even though we weren’t bringing in any money as we expected. There was a period of uncertainty, so having that money come in to help with a lot of those expenses now that we’re back up and running has been amazing.” Sullivan said they had only been able to open initially because of community donations — having raised over $200,000 — and she is always impressed by the support in the community. IOC president and chief executive officer Clayton Walker said in a statement that not-for-profit organizations are an important part of Labrador City’s social fabric, particularly in a time of crisis. “Without the unique contributions of Indoor Play Labrador and the Labrador West Association for Community Living, our community would not be as safe, inclusive and fun,” he said. “We are happy to help them promote the health, safety and wellness of our families.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Public health officials in Nova Scotia are asking anyone who was in a bar or restaurant in Halifax or surrounding metro area past 10 p.m. in the last two weeks — including staff — to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of if they are showing symptoms of the virus. That provincial government and its chief medical officer of health announced the measure on Tuesday as it broadens an asymptomatic testing strategy.Newfoundland and Labrador's health department followed suit, asking anyone who has returned to Newfoundland and Labrador from Nova Scotia in the last two weeks, and who visited bars in Halifax and the surrounding metro communities to call 811 to arrange COVID-19 testing, even if they aren't experiencing symptoms.The Department of Health said even in the event of a negative test result public health, it is encouraging these people to continue monitoring themselves for symptoms for a full 14 days from the time of their arrival in the province.Recently in Newfoundland and Labrador a man returned to the St. John's region from Nova Scotia and tested positive for COVID-19. Two more cases in the Eastern Health region came as a result, and are connected to that man. On Monday, Premier Andrew Furey announced a two-week suspension for the Atlantic Bubble as cases rise in the region. Prince Edward Island is doing the same.2 new cases on TuesdayNewfoundland and Labrador is reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, both in the Eastern Health region.With a new recovery in the Western Health region, the province's active caseload is now 24.Both new cases are connected to previous cases, the Department of Health said in a news release. The first is a woman between 60 and 69 years old, a resident of the province and a close contact of a previous travel-related case reported on Nov. 17.The second new case is a woman over 70 years old, and is connected to the recent cluster in Grand Bank, according to the news release. The release said the woman, a resident of the province, is not a tenant of the Blue Crest Cottages retirement facility in the community.Both people are self-isolating and contact tracing by public health officials is completed, said the release, with neither of Tuesday's cases connected to each other.The Department of Health is also advising rotational workers about a COVID-19 outbreak at the LNG Canada project site in Kitimat, B.C. The department said it was notified about the outbreak by the Public Health Agency of Canada as people from this province work there. "Rotational workers with the project who have returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in the last 14 days must self-isolate and physically distance away from household members, and call 811 to arrange COVID-19 testing," reads the media release. These workers must now complete the full 14-day self-isolation period, regardless of test result.Tuesday saw no new cases connected to the Western Health region, where a cluster has emerged including the first positive case within a school, involving a student at Elwood Elementary in Deer Lake.On Monday, education officials announced the school would be closed for two days. On Tuesday a spokesperson for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District told CBC News in an emailed statement school administration has been advised that "staff can make preparations for classes to resume at Elwood Elementary tomorrow.""All of the current public health information indicates school operations can continue," the statement reads.In total, 59,741 people have been tested across the province as of Tuesday's update provided by the Department of Health in a media release. That's an increase of 471 since Monday's update. There have been 295 recoveries and four deaths related to COVID-19 in the province since March. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Police have laid charges against a man after more than $145,000 worth of cocaine was seized at a rural residence in Rocky View County.ALERT Calgary's organized crime and gang team carried out a search warrant on Nov. 18 with help from Calgary police and Airdrie RCMP officers.Police seized the following from the residence: * 1,459 grams of cocaine. * 292 grams of an unknown pink powder. * 134 grams of an unknown white powder. * 6 grams of psilocybin. * 0.3 grams of methamphetamine. * Various rounds of ammunition. * $120 cash.Jeff Bussey, 40, was arrested at a traffic stop in Crossfield, Alta., and charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and possession of ammunition contrary to a prohibition order.The unknown powders are being sent to a Health Canada laboratory for identification and analysis."Drug trafficking offences are magnified in rural communities and, more often than not, produce a number of ancillary offences related to addiction, such as property crimes and theft," said ALERT Calgary Staff Sgt. Jeff Ringelberg in a release.
Young people from around the world, frustrated at yet another delay at the primary forum for global climate action, are creating their own legal document and asking world leaders to adopt it. “Our goal is for the world leaders to see what we’re doing, to see that we do not want them to delay climate action any longer, like they did with COP26. It’s just not acceptable anymore,” said Malaika Collette, a Grade 12 student near Peterborough, Ont., and one of the 18 student staffers putting on the Mock COP26. The 26th version of the UN climate change conference (COP, for Conference of the Parties, to the UNCCC) was due to take place in Glasgow this month, with 2020 also designated a “year of climate action” by the world body. But COVID-19 dashed those plans, and by May, the UN had decided that COP26 now won’t take place until November next year. Frustrated by the cancellation, Collette said the idea to put on their own version sprung from the U.K. educational charity Students Organizing for Sustainability’s Teach the Future program and grew from there. The two-week summit, which kicked off earlier this week, brings together more than 350 delegates from 150 countries, with a focus on amplifying the voices of the global south. “Climate change doesn’t get postponed, therefore, finding solutions shouldn’t be, either,” said Ottawa’s Sophie Price, a climate striking activist who also this year founded the Divest Canada Coalition. “Millions have died from COVID-19, but even more will die from climate change,” she said. Three delegates will attend on behalf of Canada and other countries in Europe and North America, while up to five are taking part from countries that are typically underrepresented in global fora. With a greater weighting of delegates from the global south, “they will have a more prominent voice, because we know their voices are often not prioritized,” Collette said. Some 800 young people applied to take part, with particularly strong interest from India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines, organizers said. Those taking part have been huddled in groups for a week or so now, Collette said, to work on high-level statements on behalf of their country’s youth, and will split into six time-zone groups this week. Those groups will debate policy initiatives and engage with a slate of mostly young speakers on climate education and justice, resilient livelihoods, health and well-being and the NDCs — Nationally Determined Contributions, a.k.a. each country’s climate commitment. “I am pretty sure that some of those countries will be including a just recovery, a green recovery, in these statements, because that’s certainly important right now,” she said. Everything is being livestreamed and also made available for later viewing on YouTube, except caucuses, where delegates meet and vote. The end result, a final statement outlining young people’s demands of world leaders, will be handed to the U.K.’s top sherpa for the 2021 talks at a closing ceremony on Dec. 1.Alastair Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Did you know that November 28th is National French Toast Day? While this is entirely new information to me, I have to say that I absolutely approve. In fact, I find myself wondering how in the heck have I made it for 45 years on this earth without a day entirely dedicated to French toast? Well, maybe that’s pushing things a little bit… One of the things that I love about French toast is that it is easy to make and extremely versatile. You can change it up with the simple addition of a pinch of nutmeg or brighten it up with the zest of your favorite flavor of citrus. It can be sweet or even downright savory. Using different types of bread can completely redefine your recipe. One of my favorite renditions of French toast was served at a hotel in Victoria, made with a light and delicate banana bread. National French Toast Day is, unsurprisingly, celebrated by making French toast. I mean, who saw that one coming? Well, that works out great because this year, November 28th is on a Saturday. French toast for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee on a quiet Saturday morning sounds pretty darn good to me! Apparently, another way to celebrate is to share your favorite recipes for French toast, so I am going to share my recipe for Stuffed French Toast. Oddly enough, I came up with my Stuffed French Toast recipe because of an IHOP commercial. They were advertising… well, Stuffed French Toast, but the catch was that this was before IHOP had made their way into Canada. So, there I was with this American TV commercial taunting me with descriptions of French toast Nirvana, but with no way to sample it for myself short of taking quite the road trip. I love breakfast as much as the next guy, but I’m not about to hop the border to go searching for the next new flavor. What to do? Luckily, I happen to know my way around the kitchen. After contemplating what this commercial had described, I played around with my favorite French toast recipe until I had come up with something that tasted the way that I imagined that this mythical Stuffed French Toast would, or should, taste. As an aside, my wife and I were able to sample IHOP’s Stuffed French Toast several years later, after they had opened their Calgary location. Theirs was good… but let’s just say that we’ll be more than happy to stick with my recipe. Stuffed French Toast 1 Loaf of Bread (Sandwich Bread, Raisin Bread, French Bread, etc.) French Toast Batter: 2 Cups milk 2 Eggs 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar 1 tsp Cinnamon ½ tsp Nutmeg 1 tsp Vanilla Filling: 8 oz Cream Cheese (250 g pkg) 1 Cup Icing Sugar ½ tsp Salt Directions: Beat together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until smooth to make your French toast batter. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, and salt until smooth to make the filling. Spray a frying pan with a light coat of nonstick cooking spray, and then heat the frying pan on medium. Take two pieces of bread and make a sandwich with a layer of the filling in the middle. Dip the sandwich into the French toast batter mixture and then fry it in the heated frying pan until it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat these steps until you have used up all the bread, French toast batter, and filling. Serve hot with maple syrup.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s government is considering an electoral law amendment that would make it harder for opposition parties to pursue their unity strategy against the powerful ruling party in future elections.After a 2012 overhaul by the ruling Fidesz party and its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary’s two-ballot election system has allowed parties to field individual candidates in the country’s 106 single-member voting districts and to present voters with a national party list.Currently, election law requires that parties must run candidates in a minimum of 27 voting districts in at least nine counties and the capital Budapest in order to present a national list. The new proposal, approved 8-4 on Tuesday by parliamentary committee, would significantly increase this minimum requirement.The government argues the changes are necessary to prevent fake parties from abusing state funding they receive for election campaigns.If approved by the ruling party’s parliamentary supermajority, the amendment would force opposition parties to join in running a single national list against Fidesz. This could widen ideological fault lines within the tenuous coalition and make it more difficult to unseat Orban’s government.For months, the opposition has negotiated the details of a unity strategy against Orban in forthcoming 2022 elections, vowing to co-ordinate candidates in individual districts in an effort to prevent splitting opposition votes, and to adopt a common political platform and single candidate for prime minister.This strategy brought substantial gains to the opposition in municipal elections last year, where opposition candidates took the majority of Hungary’s cities including Budapest.The Associated Press
PARIS — Restorers at Paris’ fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral have completed key preliminary work by successfully removing all the perilous roof scaffolding, officials said Tuesday. The removal of the 200 tons of scaffolding was considered dangerous, with some experts fearing that it could cause more of the Gothic monument to fall down. It was thought that the scaffolding might have melded to the cathedral in the blaze, and be keeping it in place. When the Notre Dame fire broke out on April 15 last year destroying the spire, the cathedral was already under restoration. The scaffolding previously installed resisted collapse, “but was deformed by the heat of the fire” Notre Dame restoration officials said in a communique. The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah's red-rock desert lies a mystery: A gleaming metal monolith in one of the most remote parts of the state. The smooth, tall structure was found during a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, officials said Monday. A crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Division of Wildlife Resources spotted the gleaming object from the air Nov. 18 and landed to check it out during a break from their work. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together. But they discovered no clues about who might have driven it into the ground among the undulating red rocks or why. “This thing is not from another world,” said Lt. Nick Street of the Utah Highway Patrol, part of the Department of Public Safety. Still, it's clear that it took some planning and work to construct the 10- to 12-foot (3- to 4-meter) monolith and embed it in the rock. The exact location is so remote that officials are not revealing it publicly, worried that people might get lost or stranded trying to find it and need to be rescued. The monolith evokes the one that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey." Because it’s on federal public land, it’s illegal to place art objects without authorization. Bureau of Land Management officials are investigating how long it's been there, who might have created it and whether to remove it. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press
The first thing Muryani Kasdani gave away online was a box of muffins left over from a work event.The 35-year-old designer was surprised by the level of interest in her second-hand baked goods but loved the experience of giving something away for nothing.“The woman who came and got them lived right around the corner,” she says. “She was about my age and we ended up chatting a little bit. It was really cool to know I could meet my neighbours that way.”Kasdani is one the thousands of Canadians who’ve joined giving communities on social media in recent years. The groups, which mostly exist on Facebook, range from neighbourhood chapters of the Buy Nothing Project — a decentralized global movement with a manifesto, rules and a code of conduct — to less organized, city and regional “free stuff” pages.For members, reasons for participating vary. Official Buy Nothing groups are explicitly focused on creating a sense of community, while some participants in other groups are looking to save a little money or declutter their homes. For Kasdani, it’s a matter of reducing her environmental footprint by reusing unwanted items.“It is a younger crowd,” she says. “I think younger people are more aware of their environmental impact in the world, and my group is closely affiliated with other sustainability initiatives like Zero Waste Toronto.”Kasdani was a member of a Buy Nothing group in Vancouver for several years and enjoyed the sense of community so much that when she moved to the Roncesvalles Village neighbourhood in Toronto's West End last year, she decided to start a local chapter. Twelve months later, Buy Nothing Roncesvalles/Parkdale has several hundred members and is home to posts offering everything from free cat food to partially used laundry detergent, unloved fur hats to surplus office furniture.But to focus on the nature of the items being given away would be to miss the point, according to Gulay Taltekin-Guzel, a PhD candidate at York University’s Schulich School of Business. “The item is not important, the symbolic meaning that it carries is important,” says Taltekin-Guzel, who studies consumption habits and online communities. “You give up something to make another person happy, to create a bond and connection.“It's all about community. Since ancient times there have been rituals associated with gift giving. In modern times, these Facebook groups serve the same purpose.”The Toronto academic believes that role is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people suffer financial hardship and find themselves disconnected from friends and loved ones.“Especially during this pandemic, I think the importance of the local community is becoming even more prominent,” she says. “Many social spaces and events are closed, so people are only seeing other people in their neighbourhood. An online space can give you that sense of connection even with people in the neighbourhood you've never met.”She also suggests that Canadians’ increasing reliance on e-commerce has left them craving fact-to-face interactions they might once have got from visiting local stores.“People are buying more and more things online, we're increasingly reliant on Amazon. But there's a social aspect to commerce, and people also want to feel connected. So instead of shopping, you can turn to the Facebook group.”All that makes sense to Kasdani, who will be sad to relinquish her role as an administrator in the group she started when she moves house next month.“The gifts come second,” she says. “The first thing is creating a neighbourhood feeling. The free stuff is just a means to an end.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.Alex McClintock, The Canadian Press
The year was 1974. North Americans were huddled around their television sets on a warm summer night bidding farewell to a disgraced Richard Nixon while crooks of another kind were on the move in downtown Sudbury. Two rival schools, Sheridan Tech and Sudbury High, had just been amalgamated to become what is now known as Sudbury Secondary School. Perchance, two original A.Y. Jackson paintings called Spring on the Onaping River (1955) and A Windy Day, Lake Superior (1959) were united in the school’s main office. In the dead of night, the paintings mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again – and more than four decades later, a local playwright is bringing the story to light. The Case of the Missing A.Y. Jackson, written and directed by Judi Straughan, is a radio play staged for broadcast that explores a true local crime that occurred on Aug. 9, 1974. The crime is considered an open case to this day and is still under investigation by the Greater Sudbury Police. Viewers will be able to stream a performance of the play online from Dec. 4 to 7, where they will get the chance to immerse themselves in Sudbury’s history and become amateur detectives as they try to piece together what happened. For more, go to firstname.lastname@example.org. “With the hundredth anniversary of the first exhibit of the Group of Seven, this is the year to get inquiring minds across the nation to come and search for the missing Jacksons,” said playwright and director Judi Straughan. “Because this play is streaming online, anybody anywhere will have the chance to watch it. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, after 47 years, someone came forward? Someone out there must know something. Maybe they are ready to talk after all these years.” Straughan’s retelling of the events that occurred in 1974 is not fictional. Both of the stolen paintings had been purchased from A.Y. Jackson, a member of the famous Group of Seven, in the 1950s. Spring on the Onaping River (1955) belonged to Sheridan Technical School. In fact, it had been created after Sheridan art teacher Jack Smith invited Jackson to paint with his students, resulting in several Jackson sketches of Onaping Falls. A Windy Day, Lake Superior (1959) was purchased by the students at Sudbury High School to commemorate a beloved teacher who had been murdered during a school lunch hour. The reason the paintings were united was because the schools had been amalgamated. They were in the main office to be cleaned and it was intended that they would be hung at Sudbury Secondary School together. Before that could happen – and before the school even opened its doors – the paintings were stolen. Police have not yet been able to uncover who did it. In The Case of the Missing A.Y. Jackson, Straughan brought together 15 Sudbury actors to play real Sudburians from 1974 and dramatize the events leading up to and following the theft. “It’s a mystery that sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a True Detective magazine. Surprisingly, there’s even a murder on the periphery of the story,” she said. “The two-act play presents the facts in Act 1 and the whodunit theories in Act 2. It even provides a fictional solution to the crime. As a bonus, former Sudbury High and Tech students will get to hear their school songs performed once more.” Full of what Straughan calls “Sudbury chuckles” and real-life intrigue, The Case of the Missing A.Y. Jackson will entertain, raise money for a local radio station, and maybe inspire someone to come forward with a piece of information that could help solve the case. Crime Stoppers, a not-for-profit charitable organization that helps law enforcement agencies solve crime, has actually come on board to encourage viewers to come forward with tips. The play was supposed to be performed on stage in the spring, but was delayed due to COVID-19. On Nov. 8, the Sudbury Theatre Centre allowed ticketholders into the theatre to watch the play while it was filmed in advance of the virtual show. “Len Yauk, who was the principal of the school at the time and who is actually a character in the play, drove to Sudbury from Parry Sound to see the performance on Nov. 8,” said Straughan. “He told me that he had received a phone call about three years ago from the RCMP asking questions about the case. He said that every once in a while, something comes up, and he’s glad that people are still paying attention.” Tickets for the online performance are now on sale on CKLU radio’s website at www.cklu.ca. All proceeds will go towards CKLU 96.7, a local not-for-profit radio station that operates on campus of the McEwan School of Architecture. If you have information about the theft of these paintings or any other crime, you can provide an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 705-222-8477 (TIPS) or 1-800-222-8477 or by going online at www.sudburycrimestoppers.com. Tips that result in the successful resolution of a criminal offence may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000. All tips are completely anonymous, and you will not be asked to testify in court. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Volker Gerdts, a leading vaccine researcher at the University of Saskatchewan, says Canada should focus on manufacturing vaccines domestically to better prepare for future events.
Lanark Highlands fire Chief Gene Richardson’s first mandate when he was hired in April 2019 was to pursue a master fire plan. The 288-page fire plan has been met with a fiery response, mostly from White Lake residents, who are concerned about the “fire hall closing, increased taxes and reduced services.” "They sent a letter around, which has a lot of falsehoods in it, just to rile people up and get them nervous,” Reeve Peter McLaren said, talking about flyers distributed by the Lanark Highlands Committee for Concerned Citizens. "Read the plan; it’s not set in stone, and as we hit each step in that direction, we will decide what we’re going to do,” he added. Chief administrative officer Ryan Morton echoed the reeve’s comments when he said, “what’s important for people to understand is that council passed the bylaw to adopt a plan. The plan does not give outright authority to the fire chief to execute all of those items. It’s a guide.” Morton also addressed the tax increase: “The 10 per cent quote — that’s to keep five stations open. The numbers that are presented are life cycle costing; it has a different impact, a generality,” Morton said. “Council is going to need more information. Just like when you buy a new fire truck — the type of fire truck you need, the specifications — you can spend a million dollars, or a half a million. It’s no different than building a new fire hall, all those things need a ‘deeper dive’,” Morton said. THREE OPTIONS Council is looking at three options. The first is to continue to operate all five stations. The plan states that this will be the most expensive option, as there will be significant building repairs and maintenance. Reeve McLaren said that “we’re trying to put some numbers together for the three scenarios. If we stay with five halls, you’re talking a significant tax increase to maintain the trucks.” The second option is to eliminate White Lake fire hall and amalgamate with Tatlock. “The (White Lake) hall is non-compliant because there’s not enough volunteers. There’s rules and regulations we have to go by. The truck that’s there is also non-compliant, and the hall isn’t big enough,” the reeve said. Dan White, who was a volunteer firefighter at White Lake for 15 years, has this to say to the fire chief: “I challenge him, where are the social media posts you are referring to? There was no campaign to recruit firefighters. What they didn’t tell us was that there are no positions to volunteer to." “How can that be interpreted as anything but obstructionist in our fight to keep our fire hall open? Now we only have four (firefighters) — why do you think they left? They saw the writing on the wall, that this is a done deal,” White said. Part of the challenge with the White Lake fire hall is its location. “In the event of a fire call, even if you have 10 firefighters, a firefighter has to drive from their house, down a dead end, six-kilometre road, turn around with the truck. That’s 12 kilometres total. There is no other access to it,” Richardson said. The reeve insists that White Lake residents are covered even if the fire hall were to close. “We have an agreement with both McNab/Braeside and Mississippi Mills in Pakenham. They’re quite covered because of that. It’s not as bad as they’re letting on.” White thinks that the proposed closure of the hall was predetermined. “Councillors and fire staff at township have not done due diligence in studying what the master plan suggested. They are putting White Lake residents’ lives at risk,” White said. He said that White Lake is a part of Lanark Highlands Township that has a high population growth, “and yet they’re decreasing service in the area. It makes no sense,” White said. “People are viewing it as losing a service. It’s not that we are insensitive to that notion; we support the community, we totally understand. When it comes down to dollars and cents, and number of calls, availability of firefighters, that’s where we have to engage the experts to come in and help us figure out the right thing to do,” Morton explained. The third option is to amalgamate three fire halls and build a new central location, to be determined at a later date. We travelled with the fire chief to see first-hand the deficiencies pointed out in the fire master plan. McDonalds Corners fire hall is too small for one of the newer fire trucks. A plywood floor covers the cistern (big tank of water on the floor of the firehall). “Put yourself in the boots of a firefighter. When they back the truck up, they have to park the truck perfectly. If they go another two or three inches back, the truck will sink into the cistern,” Morton said. “A lot of the reasoning and the justification, it is in the report. We didn’t buy a truck that can’t fit in the fire hall, we bought a truck that meets today’s standards. And today’s standards, those trucks don’t fit a 65-year-old firehall,” Morton added. The fire hall is also located at the bottom of a blind hill. “It is a safety hazard,” Richardson said. In Tatlock, the hall is not suitable for today’s fire hall standards, with no shower rooms, maintenance, training room or a washroom for both men and women. Middleville fire hall, built in 1965, is undersized, in need of washrooms for both men and women, has no training room, washing machine, cleaning room for washing fire gear, and also has a wooden floor over the cistern. “These halls were great in 1985; it is not great now,” Richardson said. STORY BEHIND THE STORY: The Township of Lanark Highlands adopted a new fire plan, and we wanted to find out the reasons behind some of the recommendations cited in the plan. Next, we will talk to some White Lake residents about their concerns with the proposed fire hall closure.Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
CALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal has refused to throw out one of the convictions against a man who was found guilty of killing a father and his two-year-old daughter as well as a senior.Derek Saretzky's lawyer, Balfour Der, had argued that his client's first-degree murder conviction in the death of Hanne Meketech, 69, in September 2015 should be overturned because Saretzky's rights were breached when police improperly took his confession.Saretzky was also convicted of first-degree murder in the slayings of Terry Blanchette, who was 27, and his daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.Saretzky, 27, was in custody when he confessed Meketech's killing to an RCMP officer who visited him at a correctional centre.Der said Saretzky should never have been convicted in the woman's death since the confession came without a lawyer present and six months after Saretzky admitted to killing Blanchette and the toddler.The Crown argued that at the time of the police interview Saretzky would have been well aware of his right to counsel.The three-justice Appeal Court panel unanimously dismissed the appeal."The appellant was not under arrest and the trial judge found he had not been detained," wrote Justice Peter Martin on behalf of the court."Those findings were well supported by the evidence and are entitled to deference. I agree with his conclusion that on considering all of the circumstances of this case, the appellant's confession would not have been excluded."Meketech's body was found in her home in Coleman, Alta., on Sept. 9, 2015. She had been struck in the head and stabbed in the neck. During the trial, the jury was shown videotaped confessions in which Saretzky told police it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to kill Meketech, who was a friend of his grandparents, because he didn't think anyone cared about her. Five days later, Blanchette's body was discovered in his home in Blairmore, Alta. His daughter was missing, which sparked an Amber Alert and an extensive search in the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta.Court heard Saretzky was "an aspiring serial killer" at the time of the attacks. He had few close friends and possessed numerous books on serial killers and serial killings.Saretzky was sentenced in 2017 to three consecutive life sentences, which means he is ineligible for parole until he has served 75 years in prison.The Court of Appeal still has to schedule and hear an appeal of the sentence.This report by The Canadian Press was first published November 24, 2020.— Follow @BillGraveland on TwitterBill Graveland, The Canadian Press
SILVER SPRING, Md. — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again.It's the most prized name in the basket of brands that entrepreneur investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez have scooped up since the coronavirus pandemic bowled over the U.S. retail sector and sent a number of chains into bankruptcy protection.Mehr and Lopez plan to make RadioShack a competitive again, this time online, rather than on street corners or in malls. However, unlike RadioShack's glory years, it's Amazon's world now.The big question is: How much value does the RadioShack brand have when the prized target audience of millennials or Gen Z have likely never owned a radio, let alone stepped inside a store?“It’s a very thin line between being iconic and being dead,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys Inc., a marketing and research consultancy. “Being iconic a lot of the time just means people have a memory of it. I’m not sure that just remembering something is leverageable enough to be able to convert something into success.”Success is something that's been in RadioShack's rear-view mirror for quite some time. The company, which would celebrate its 100th birthday in 2021, appeared to be on top of the tech world in the pre-personal computer days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the place kids and hobbyist would go to buy radios, walkie-talkies and all the parts to fix them, or even build them themselves.Somewhere along the way, “The Shack” got lost. Unable to capitalize on the PC boom that began in the mid-eighties, it also found itself largely on the outside of the portable device revolution of the aughts and drifting toward irrelevancy. It booked its last profit in 2011. After store redesigns and other changes failed to draw customers, the Fort-Worth, Texas company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015 and then again two years later.Mehr and Lopez have no designs on rebuilding the brick-and-mortar RadioShack empire. But they say there is a path back to profitability, and it all starts with the name.“We bought the raw material to build a big business," Mehr said. "Brand means trust. And the brand is very, very strong. I have quantifiable data that the brand is very strong.”Mehr said REV's formula for measuring public opinion of a brand differs significantly from the way other experts value such things, including their own polling and analysis of how the company might work in a specific “ecosystem."The plan, in short, is to build a vast online marketplace on top of the RadioShack brand. Trust in that name will get consumers to the site, where the quality and variety of merchandise will dictate whether or not shoppers click the “Buy” button, they say.Since it was founded in 2019 REV has been in the hunt for other names that could once be described as “household.” It's snapped up Pier1, Dressbarn and Modell's, also turning them into online-first businesses.Other bankrupt retailers have found a second life online. The overhead is low and there are people who remain loyal to the brand, even after the store lights go out. But they are typically much reduced affairs. American Apparel, which went bankrupt and closed all its stores a few years ago, now sells hoodies and sweatpants online. Toys R Us, which closed its doors two years ago, opened a couple of small stores and it has a website. However, the Toys R Us site redirects those who want toys to Amazon.com.REV says that its much leaner RadioShack will sell from its own website and an Amazon storefront. RadioShack was the place to go for batteries, phone chargers and headphones. Those are products that Amazon sells under its own brand name in vast quantities.And therein lies REV's Sisyphean challenge. Megachains like Walmart and Target have been able to slow Amazon's encroachment, but Amazon is the ultimate disrupter. It has upended industries from tech and grocery, to global shipping.If Amazon is the biggest threat to some of America's largest corporations, what are the prospects for a relic from the 1980s?“Amazon is the Death Star,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of the marketing strategy firm Metaforce. “They have everything and it’s easy and fast. There’s no need to go to your corner RadioShack to find something, or even to RadioShack online.”Yet Mehr doesn't look at Amazon as a competitor. Rather, he said, it's another channel where RadioShack can sell its products.“It’s like a big mall with a lot of traffic,” Mehr said. “So I think of Amazon as a partner, and I’ve done that in other brands, too. So this is yet another distribution channel for us.”REV bought RadioShack from General Wireless Operations Inc. for an undisclosed amount this year. The former owners have retained a minority stake, betting on the social media marketing expertise of Mehr and Lopez.The new owners say they hope to have RadioShack.com open for business by the end of the month. About 400 RadioShack locations remain open, but operate independently from the REV-owned parent company.Matt Ott, The Associated Press
When COVID-19 first appeared, people and governments across the globe reacted with alarm. Action was swift.In Alberta, businesses shuttered as the government imposed restrictions. People mostly stayed inside. Premier Jason Kenney said it was a generational challenge his government would rise to meet. But restrictions were loosened as the weather warmed. The most dire predictions didn't come to pass, and barbecues or drinks with friends seemed less risky. People held parties and their neighbours thought: why not me? Disinformation spread and, with it, doubt about the dangers of the virus and the actions of the government. But warnings were everywhere: Second wave. The fight isn't over. Be prepared.Many listened, but too many did not. Alberta's government said the economy couldn't take another hit and it was up to individuals to stem the tide. It delayed and equivocated. When the weather cooled, the virus was soon spreading more than ever. Now the talk was exponential growth and warnings of overwhelmed hospitals.As Kenney prepares to make an announcement on COVID this afternoon, he has so far stuck with personal responsibility as the key to fighting the outbreak.He and his government have pointed fingers at individuals for not obeying official recommendations, but now people are pointing back, laying blame at the feet of the government. Laying blame, however, is no easy thing.Personal responsibility and the role of the government aren't easily disentangled. Why individuals and the government have behaved as they have goes to the heart of who Albertans are — or at least who they perceive themselves to be. It begins with the ways that people, in general, deal with crises. The psychology of a pandemicThere's a common view of the world that assumes people panic when confronted with danger — causing more harm than the threat itself — but that's not often the case. Social psychologists have shown the greater risk is underestimating danger and not reacting in time. We also tend to believe the worst will happen to others, not us. Add misinformation to the mix and none of this should come as a surprise. "I've done an awful lot of reading about the Great Mortality, black plague, and about the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta. "And I would just say that every single thing that has happened could have been predicted by reading a history book."People in the past, like today, reacted to an invisible, existential threat by embracing conspiracy theories or unlikely cures while ignoring medical advice. Many denied the problem. Add social media, and the spread of misinformation is even more damaging and difficult to control. It creates deep divisions when cohesion is key to beating back the virus. Collective action problemThere are times when 51 per cent is enough. If enough people do the right thing, everyone will be swept along by their good deeds. A virus — especially an airborne one — doesn't work that way. We are in a classic collective action problem where almost universal buy-in is required. We all have to keep distance, wear masks, wash our hands, limit social interactions or just stay home. If we don't all do it, the virus spreads. Saxinger thinks the province has reached the ceiling on what independent co-operation can do.Compounding the problem is the perception of risk. Research shows that individuals are more likely to make moral decisions when ambiguity about risks is reduced.Prof. Leslie Francis, who works in the faculties of law, medicine and philosophy at the University of Utah, says the vast majority of people understand not to put other people at risk by, say, speeding down a residential road at 100 km/h. But people might not see COVID-19 the same way."What we see going on right now is that many people deny that COVID exists, or they think it's not going to make people very sick, or they think that it won't make them very sick, maybe they'll even be asymptomatic," she said."But they don't realize that, for example, in my own state right now, the estimate is that one in 73 people right now is actively contagious."Alberta's political cultureWe judge our behaviour and the behaviours of others based on what we observe, but also on how we perceive our own political culture and what it will allow. In Alberta, a lot of it might be built on myth.Political science Prof. Jared Wesley of the University of Alberta asks participants about the province in his ongoing study of politics and culture. He gets them to sketch out their typical Albertan and then asks what that Albertan would do in certain situations. The Albertan — here nicknamed "Joe" — is always male, often a farmer, a libertarian conservative. Wesley's point is to narrow in on what people believe the political culture to be — what is acceptable and what is possible.In the pandemic, Joe reacts in a specific way."They will tell you, like you see in the media everywhere, they'll tell you all Albertans will never stand for mask mandates because it's an infringement on their freedoms," said Wesley.That sort of statement comes from people across the political spectrum, not just those who agree with their typical Albertan. That shapes the way we think about the world and can shape our own behaviour. We make moral decisions based on how we think others might perceive us. If people think broader society doesn't want to have its freedoms restricted — even in minor ways like donning a mask — they are less likely to be strict about virus-beating behaviours and less likely to feel judged for their laxity. This despite a majority not agreeing with their "typical" Albertan. "Do a survey like we just did three or four weeks ago: Albertans are massively in favour of heavier restrictions," said Wesley. "You ask them on an individual basis, would you like to see a provincewide mask mandate, doesn't matter if they're rural areas. Absolutely, it's the right thing to do. They going to push for it? No, because they don't think that the rest of the province would accept it."At some point that tide could turn. There are more voices calling for government to impose more severe restrictions, including a complete lockdown, in order to fight surging case counts.The ethics of action are clear, even if the ultimate answers are not. The ethicsFrancis says there's a clear difference between someone who puts themselves in harm's way versus someone who creates "a real risk of harm to other people." Individuals are expected to go about in the world obeying the rules so that a free society can operate in a mostly free way. Social norms keep most of us from hurting one another, but there is never a full participation rate. Murders, assaults and more happen on a regular basis. So there are laws. Even the most stringent libertarians agree there is a role for the state to some protections. Francis argues that we should view restrictions around COVID-19 in the same light."I think a lot of people are treating this as some kind of unusual interference with liberty," Francis said about pandemic responses. "And my point is, it's actually much more like when people are thinking through some of the most standard kinds of interferences with liberty."Yet despite the ethical obligations to protect citizens, the decision to impose restrictions across a society is no small thing.Some see the delay in implementing more restrictions as cruel — akin to saying the economy is as important as human life.Certainly the belief that Alberta's political culture would not allow a lockdown plays a role in politicians' decisions. But governments also have to consider how their decisions might affect broader society. Lives and livelihoods can be lost due to a cratered economy. Not every individual can simply choose to stay home. Many calling for a sharp lockdown have salaries, home offices or the security to stay isolated. And race, class and gender mix to create a set of ethical and moral traps many can't escape."There has to also be an economic solution for those whose lives are going to be torn apart by this," Melissa Caouette, a political strategist with the Canadian Strategy Group, said on the CBC's West of Centre podcast. As cases and hospitalizations rise, there comes a point when political calculation isn't relevant, and protecting the health of Albertans and its health-care system becomes a priority.Every decision can have a profound impact on Albertans. The hesitance of the government to shut things down as the pandemic spreads out of control, however, should come as no surprise. The Alberta government"This government is refreshingly transparent and completely doctrinaire when it comes to all elements of public policy," Wesley says of the United Conservative Party's approach. "So if you want to know where this government was heading, you need to look no further than the 2018 UCP statement of principles."Wesley calls it Neoliberalism 101 — a political philosophy that makes no room for collective action problems. "From a political science standpoint, that's almost like the ideal of what we expect of responsible party actors, is that they have a set of principles, we know what they stand for, they're being transparent about it," he said. "And we know when they're confronted with things that are out of the ordinary, are not part of their policy platform, we know how they're going to react."In short, they'll react like Joe Alberta would want them to.That policy consistency is tied directly to the founding leader of the UCP, Kenney. A principled conservative to some, an ideologue to others, he tends to stake his position and stick to it. It doesn't help that he was elected on a commitment to get the economy back on track and the budget balanced — a near impossibility given COVID spending and the languishing price of oil. The focus is, and has been, on trying to preserve and repair a battered economy. Kenney wants to avoid more business closures and loss of jobs. He does not want to spend more money.There's also a documented combativeness to Kenney and his government that hasn't abated during the pandemic, including battles with doctors, nurses and public servants. The ensuing division inhibits any chance that collective action could be effective against the pandemic. It seems the government won't abandon its ideological mores until, as Wesley calls them, a substantial "accumulation of anomalies" attacks the tenets of that foundation.It seems plenty of individuals feel the same. With more cases, more deaths, fewer ICU beds and more calls for action as the government resists, the situation is ripe for blaming the government no matter the culprit in our collective failures. Laying blameEvery catastrophe eventually leads to the need for answers: Who is responsible? Who or what could have prevented this? Things are getting out of control in Alberta, with contact tracers overwhelmed and community spread in full bloom. Recent restrictions on fitness classes and earlier last calls have had no impact to date as 1,000-plus new cases a day becomes the norm. For a while, it appeared things were under control. As cases rose, most people were not vocally critical.Then doctors started writing letters with hundreds of their colleagues' signatures calling for circuit-breaker lockdowns. The chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency called for the same. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi wished for more, but told citizens not to wait for the province to do what was needed. Social media was flooded with calls for restrictions.Cases soared, as did hospitalizations. There are more deaths and likely many more to come.The government continued to resist, but looks prepared to act — in some way — on Tuesday afternoon.Critics have said the government has failed to provide clarity across the province on what is expected and even failed to model the baselines of good behaviour. Research has shown that people tend to lay more blame when an intentional harm has occurred, but that those in power can be judged harshly even if causality is ambiguous or indirect. Polls have shown that Albertans are dissatisfied with the performance of their government, including a recent poll by ThinkHQ that suggested the majority of Albertans don't think recent government restrictions went far enough. But it can't all be put at the feet of the government. No one told Albertans to celebrate birthdays with friends and family. There was no public health recommendation to drink until closing time on Saturday night.Frustration, however, is mounting. So too is evidence that something more drastic needs to take place."I say that it's never too late to do something that's useful," said Saxinger, the infectious disease specialist from the U of A. "But earlier action is very clearly, and in a very data-driven way, the best way to handle something that has exponential growth — acting before it becomes a problem, because you act after it becomes a problem and you're already on your way to a much, much bigger problem."What is happeningOn Nov. 20, Alberta announced 1,155 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. That number has grown every day since, giving Alberta the highest number of active cases of all the provinces. Hinshaw has said ICU beds set aside for the pandemic are nearing capacity, but that more resources could be freed up. Those resources would come at a cost to those seeking treatment for other reasons. Decisions will soon have to be made within hospitals about who has the best chance of survival and therefore gets a bed and treatment. Some of the dire predictions that were elaborately presented in Alberta's first wave are coming into focus.On Monday, Hinshaw admitted defeat in terms of the government's already limited contact tracing and, in an attempt to catch up, was giving up on contacting thousands of those linked to high-priority settings such as hospitals, schools and continuing care homes. She also said she'd be making recommendations to a cabinet huddle after her announcement. The government response is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon. Francis, speaking from Utah without any knowledge of Alberta's situation, said the way to minimize the impact on businesses while protecting the health of the public is to act swiftly and comprehensively if restrictions are imposed. "One wishes that business closures were very short-lived," she said. "Unfortunately, we've made some mistakes, we've done it halfway, and so we've let community spread really get out of control.... You don't treat a rapidly growing tumour by cutting out 20 per cent of it. And unfortunately, a sort of tepid approach to infection control has done exactly that."So, with the surgery delayed, that incision will only have to go deeper.
Restrictions to border crossings at the southern border between Labrador and Quebec are returning, after a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 was detected in Blanc-Sablon over the weekend.No non-essential travel at the border between Blanc-Sablon and L'Anse au Clair will be allowed, the premier's office confirmed Monday.Checkpoints that were put in place in the early days of the pandemic, but removed on June 25, will be reinstated as of Thursday with 24-hour coverage.Residents of the Labrador Straits area will be able to cross the border to go to the ferry terminal and airport in Blanc-Sablon without needing to present an exemption from the Newfoundland and Labrador government.The province will also strengthen border controls to "effectively eliminate the free flow of traffic between residents of L'Anse-au-Clair and Blanc-Sablon," the premier's office said in a statement, but added those details haven't yet been decided.Cartwight–L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster said she thinks the decision will offer some assurance to people in her district."If somebody lives in Blanc-Sablon … and they go out, let's say, to Montreal or Quebec City — one of the hot spots — they come back because it's the same province, they are not required to self-isolate," said Dempster."So out of an abundance of caution, public health officials worked closely with Dr. Fitzgerald and the premier's office and this was implemented, and I'm quite pleased about it. I believe I think Minister [John] Haggie used to say in the earliest days of this … we'll never know if we were too cautious, but we'll certainly see the impacts if we weren't."Meanwhile, in Labrador West, people can expect the restrictions to remain unchanged between Fermont, Que., and the Lab West region.The 24-hour enforcement presence at the border will remain in place, with two fishery and forestry officers in place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and overnight presence of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.Rules that allow residents of Fermont to cross the border, but not stay overnight, without having to isolate will remain in place.Labrador West MHA Jordan Brown said there was "a lot of havoc and chaos" in his district following Monday's COVID-19 briefing, when he said Premier Andrew Furey misspoke about the need for self-isolation between Fermont and Labrador West.But things were clarified later in the day, when it was confirmed things would remain as they are."We're going back between Fermont and Lab West as normal, apparently, so that won't make any changes there," Brown said.Ferry rulesResidents of Quebec travelling by ferry across the Strait of Bell Isle to Newfoundland can only do so if they have an exemption letter allowing for travel.Labrador residents who travel to Newfoundland on that ferry are not required to isolate, since they are travelling within their province. However, when they cross the border into Quebec on their way to the ferry terminal, they must remain in their vehicles until they board the ferry.The same rule is in place for people travelling across the Strait of Belle Isle from Newfoundland: Travellers are required to stay in their vehicles from departure, until they cross the border into Labrador.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
WINDSOR, Ont. — The mayor of Windsor, Ont., has apologized for breaking COVID-19 rules when dining out with seven other people last week. Mayor Drew Dilkens made a statement to Windsor city council on Monday, saying he made an "unfortunate error" that should not have occurred. Windsor was in the yellow tier of Ontario's COVID-19 restrictions system last week. That tier permits only six people to dine together while inside a restaurant. “As mayor, there is responsibility for me to lead by example and showcase to all in our region that we need to follow all restrictions and guidelines to the letter," Dilkens said. Dilkens noted to city council that although he was not fined or issued a bylaw ticket, he will donate $750 – the typical fine for such an infraction – to the Windsor Goodfellows. The Windsor Goodfellows provides local families with assistance and support, including through a food bank, school breakfast programs, and a children’s footwear program. Dilkens also said that Gordon Orr, the chief executive officer of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, will be making an equivalent donation to an organization that works with children and youth facing mental health concerns. Windsor-Essex Region moved to the heightened orange zone of Ontario's COVID-19 restriction system on Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020. The Canadian Press
There is still a chance the Powassan Voodoos could see some NOJHL playoff action this season, confirms NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca. As was reported last week, the Voodoos were left off the regular season schedule because of COVID-19 restrictions at the Powassan Sportsplex. At the time, Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac indicated the arena restrictions could be re-visited in January. But, he admitted, given that Ontario is seeing a rise in COVID cases, it is difficult to say what January may bring. “In the event the arena restrictions are removed, absolutely there is a pathway for the Powassan Voodoos to be part of the season,” Mazzuca stated via email. The restrictions would need to come down within a reasonable time, according to the commissioner, but “there are various definitions for a reasonable time. “We will evaluate and be as flexible as possible” to accommodate the Voodoos. Mazzuca said it also could be possible for the Voodoos to make the playoffs even after playing fewer fames than the eight teams which started the regular season. This could be done, he explained, by ranking the teams based on “winning percentage or some other formula. “What everyone needs to keep in mind is this is not a traditional hockey season and flexibility is critical going forward.” Mazzuca said the rules currently in place at the Powassan Sportsplex “are more stringent than at other facilities,” but the league is working with all public health units and municipalities to “ensure all protocols are followed.” Meanwhile, he said, the players themselves continue to belong to the Voodoos unless they are released by the club. The Nugget contacted Voodoos general manager Chris Dawson for comment but did not receive a response. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
An Ottawa city councillor has apologized for "inadvertently" texting while driving Tuesday, a lapse in judgment that was livestreamed via YouTube during a virtual meeting of the city's audit committee.Osgoode councillor and deputy mayor George Darouze initially joined the 9:30 a.m. meeting from what looked like his kitchen, and even asked a detailed question about the accounting procedures surrounding the city's public-private partnership at Lansdowne Park, one of the audits tabled Tuesday.Around 11:30 a.m., the livestream showed Darouze getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. He put on his seatbelt, as well as headphones, presumably to keep listening to the meeting. His device appears to be sitting in the passenger seat, the camera facing him.He began to drive — the passing scenery clearly visible through the driver side window — and pulled out a cell phone. He then began to text with his thumbs, taking his eyes off the road several times. At one point, Darouze fumbled around with his right hand to find his glasses, then put them on.Eventually, Darouze looked toward the second wireless device in the passenger seat and turned off the camera. The councillor didn't respond to a request for comment, but posted the following brief apology on Facebook:"This morning, I inadvertently texted while I was driving. I apologize for this and commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again."Later Tuesday afternoon, Darouze replaced that post with another statement, this time admitting his behaviour was a "stupid thing to do." "I should not have done this. I commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again," reads the public post.Ottawa police aware of videoA number of people on social media are calling for police to charge the councillor for distracted driving, and for Mayor Jim Watson to weigh in. A statement from the mayor's office said he "trusts that this will not happen again."Ottawa police said in an emailed statement that they're aware of a video of "a driver with a handheld device," without naming Darouze. Police said the driver appears to be violating the Highway Traffic Act, and said they will investigate if they receive a public complaint.