The cousin of Antoinette Traboulsi, who was found dead on a beach in Cuba earlier this month, says Global Affairs Canada confirmed an arrest has been made in her death. Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital and had four children, often vacationed in Cuba, which her cousin, Sami Soussa, called her second home.Soussa says the only information he received from Global Affairs was that an arrest had been made and that a suspect is in custody. He says he was given no details about the person's identity. But he says he's received eight messages from people he doesn't know, all pointing to one person they believe is responsible for her death."We're getting hopeful with the situation but at the same time it's not a lot of info for us to cheer and claim victory. But it does give a little light in our days," Soussa said. "The family is pretty happy with this information, but at the same time we're trying to be reasonable until we get the full conviction of the suspect."
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
A provincial court judge in Wynyard has set Jan. 12 as the date for former music teacher Gerard Loehr to be sentenced for his three sexual assault convictions. Judge Lloyd Stang found Loehr guilty on Nov. 13 of sexual assaults committed while working as a music teacher with the now-defunct Shamrock School Division in the early to mid-1990s. The case returned briefly to court this week to set a sentencing date. The school division covered the Foam Lake area, between Wynyard and Yorkton. Six former students, all women now, accused him of sexual assault when they were teenagers, all 14 years old or younger. Loehr was in his late 20s and early 30s at the time. He previously pleaded not guilty and the charges went to trial in Wynyard over the summer. Loehr is facing multiple sex-related charges in Ontario related to his work as a music teacher in Ottawa. — with files from The Canadian PressEvan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
The government of the Northwest Territories is extending the public health emergency until Dec. 8, it announced in a press release Wednesday.Julie Green, the minister of health and social services, made the decision on the advice of N.W.T. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola, according to a press release issued Wednesday.It is the 18th time the government has extended the public health emergency, which gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders. It also allows the government to respond to needs for personal protective equipment, isolation space, enforcement and travel checkpoints during the COVID-19 pandemic."The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated considerably across Canada in recent weeks as the country's caseload surged to its highest point in the pandemic," the news release reads.According to the N.W.T. government's latest statistics, there have been 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all of which have recovered.As of Wednesday, the N.W.T. is currently the only province or territory in Canada without any active cases of COVID-19.Public health emergencies expire in two weeks unless they are extended by the minister of health of health and social services.
The Salvation Army and 93.1 The Border are joining forces again this year for an event that’s a little different than what they’ve done in the past. Following the decision to hold off on their annual “Burst a Bus” program, which generally sees toys collected for the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, the two organizations are going to try out a different way to ensure kids in the area get something new and exciting on Christmas morning. “Last year we had Burst A Bus, but due to the circumstances we’ve had to modify that a little bit,” said Salvation Army corps officer Arthur Heathcote. “The Border has been very inventive in coming up with 93.1 the Border Toy Drive this year. On November 28 they’ll be broadcasting all day asking children and families to come to the Salvation Army at 351 Scott Street and drop off new, unwrapped toys to us.” The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive ill run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, allowing people in town to stop by the Salvation Army and drop off their toys for the organization to distribute. While the season corresponds with the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, Heathcote stressed that the organization is encouraging people with food donations to drop them off sometime other than November 28. “Every family that applies for a hamper, we make sure that each child receives a toy for Christmas,” Heathcote explained. “On [Nov 28] it’s a toy drive: toys, toys, toys.” Heathcote said that throughout the day, the radio station will be holding a special broadcast with hosts David Hannah and Johnathan Price that will feature dignitaries from the Salvation Army, including Heathcote himself. However, the excitement of the day won’t just be limited to what;s on the radio. “On that day we have a very special guest coming to Fort Frances for the first time ever,” he said. “Sally Ann will be making an appearance all day at the Salvation Army. She’ll be waving at families and children from our front plate glass windows as well. She was so excited that the Border was on top of this that she cleared her schedule and is going to come down to Fort Frances and spend the day with us.” The COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes in almost every event that’s usually held in Fort Frances over the course of the year. If a function hasn’t been outright cancelled, like the Fort Frances Bass Tournament, then organizers have had to think outside and around the box to come up with a pandemic-friendly way to hold their events. The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive is functionally similar to the usual Burst a Bus in that it is collecting toys for those in need, and Heathcote said that both events are all about coming together for a good cause. “Every year this community comes through with toys,” Heathcote said. “It’s about letting people know that the community is here for them. It’s about support, and more than anything at this stage of the game, we need to know we’ve got each others back. That’s what the toys do. It’s one thing to be confronted with Christmas looming and wondering how you’re going to get toys for the kids, and just to know that the community cared enough that they came together and made sure that there were toys available for their children makes all the difference in the world.”Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
Residents of the city of Halifax say the closure of indoor dining is necessary to stop the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases in the region. Yeah Yeahs Pizza manager Josh Fagan says the restaurant has plans to boost takeout orders to ensure a steady revenue stream over the coming weeks.
It's a demonstrably difficult task to find a comic screen partner worthy of standing opposite Melissa McCarthy, so you have to appreciate “Superintelligence" for throwing in the towel. In it, McCarthy plays Carol Peters, a former Yahoo executive who's chosen, purely for her extreme averageness, by a newly liberated, megalomaniacal artificial intelligence that presents her with a three-day test to prove humanity isn't worth destroying. It's the kind of set-up that would have once presided over by the devil or some demigod, but now that role goes to Alexa. That means that for much of “Superintelligence," a new comedy streaming Thursday on HBO Max, McCarthy is walking around on her own, her only foil a disembodied voice (James Corden's) or an occasional talking screen. That's not as good as McCarthy with either of her best recent on-screen partners — Sandra Bullock ("The Heat"), Richard E. Grant ("Can You Forgive Me?") — but it's not bad. It means McCarthy has the movie if not completely to herself (Corden's cheery warmth still comes through, and Bobby Cannavale winningly plays her love interest) then nearly so. Even though the innocuous “Superintelligence” is on the bland side, it remains hard not to enjoy two hours with McCarthy. The more telling companion of McCarthy's in “Superintelligence” is her husband, the director Ben Falcone. This is their fourth film together with Falcone behind the camera, and it may be the best of the bunch. That, however, isn't saying much considering their run of “Life of the Party" (2018), “The Boss” (2016) and “Tammy” (2014). Those films have their moments, and they're always shot-through with affection for their leading lady. But they're easily the weaker, more forgettable side of McCarthy's filmography. “Superintelligence," written by Steve Mallory, is the most high-concept of their films together, and it's ultimately an excuse to bring apocalyptic stakes to a rom-com plot. Faced with the possible end of the world, Carol resolves to reconnect with an old flame (Cannavale). Their chemistry together is easy and relaxed, if not especially funny. The cast overall feels wasted, especially the supporting performances of Brian Tyree Henry (as a computer scientist), Jean Smart (the president) and Sam Richardson — the talented “Veep” performer who I sincerely hope soon gets his own movie. Like a lot of studio comedies of late, it feels like there's space here for jokes that mostly never quite got filled in. The real romance in “Superintelligence” might not be between any of the characters, but McCarthy and Falcone (who also makes his typical cameo). Their collaborations are uneven but warmhearted, and their movies together feel like an almost sweet sacrifice of quality for the sake of family. “Superintelligence,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some suggestive material, language and thematic elements. Running time: 105 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
Montreal's archdiocese did little to address complaints against a pedophile priest and seemed more interested in protecting his reputation than his victims, according to an independent review released Wednesday.Former Quebec Superior Court justice Pepita G. Capriolo's report highlighted numerous deficiencies in the church's response to complaints against Brian Boucher. The priest was sentenced in March 2019 to eight years in prison for abusing two boys.“Secrecy is everywhere in this file," Capriolo wrote in her report. "Secret archives, secret hiding places for sensitive documents and documents so secret they have been eliminated completely."Capriolo told a news conference Wednesday the church improperly handled complaints against Boucher from the 1980s to the end of 2015. "Yet Boucher's inexcusable behaviour had been the subject of a slew complaints from the very start of his career in the church."Her 276-page report described complaints against Boucher for behaviour that was bullying, authoritarian, homophobic, racist, misogynistic as well as verbally and physically aggressive. "What struck me most was the passing of the buck," Capriolo told reporters. "The need to protect the reputation of Boucher seemed to be paramount."No minors had come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Boucher until 2015. But that was no reason, she said, to exonerate church officials. She said in the report that church officials responsible for overseeing Bouchard's education, training and his work as a priest lacked accountability and didn't take complaints against him seriously.Two young men, 18 and 19 years old, had complained to the archdiocese in the late 1990s and early 2000s about situations involving Boucher that she said should have been more thoroughly investigated. Boucher was sent for psychological treatment in connection with one complaint, she said, adding that documents for the other disappeared altogether.Rumours had been circulating about Boucher's interest in young boys since the 1980s, she said, adding that concerns about the priest had been communicated to the Grand Seminary of Montreal and the archdiocese, but little was done.Boucher was sent for therapy instead of discipline, first in the 1990s and again in 2003, she said.His 2003 psychological assessment concluded Boucher had a desire to exercise emotional control and power over young people, but it suggested the “need has not been sexually based." Capriolo said nothing in the report backed up that conclusion. “This is important because (the report) was later used as further justification in dismissing Boucher’s potential as a sexual abuser," Capriolo noted. The 2003 assessment, along with Boucher's constant threats of legal action — including against fellow clergy — served to keep people quiet, she said. By 2003, the church had an advisory committee on sexual abuse of minors, but no one thought it was appropriate to refer Boucher to that group, Capriolo wrote in her report. “An overdue concern with Boucher’s reputation prevented any kind of investigation that might have given rise to better decisions regarding his ordination,” she wrote. Tracking down the documents related to Boucher also proved to be complicated, she said. Capriolo began her investigation a year ago, interviewing 60 witnesses and reviewing hundreds of documents.Her report noted that a culture of secrecy during this period meant important documents vanished and there was lack of a paper trail, sending Capriolo on her own fact-finding mission to outside sources or into the church's own secret archives.Archbishop Christian Lepine said the archdiocese will adopt each of the 31 recommendations put forth by Capriolo, who will help the church implement them by the fall of 2021."In the name of the Catholic Church of Montreal and speaking for myself, I wish to say how sorry we are that you have had to experience the effects of such terrible acts which should have never occurred," Lepine told a news conference.Capriolo's recommendations include better oversight, organizational changes, more transparency, strict protocols for dealing with abuse and sanctions for those who violate rules. She also recommended the installation of an external ombudsperson and the creation of an advisory committee to examine complaints.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
The City of Toronto will ramp up winter maintenance so residents can spend more time outdoors.Mayor John Tory says the city wants people to stay active despite COVID-19, even in sub-zero temperatures. He says residents can spend time in parks alone or with members of their household during the lockdown.He says there are also 23 toboggan hills, eight new snow loops at golf courses and numerous outdoor ice rinks.The rinks will have a capacity of 25 people to follow provincial pandemic rules. The city will also maintain an extra 60 kilometres of paved trails and pathways."Much as the pandemic makes things different, we're committed to giving people more things to do outside safely," Tory said on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
When Treyton Middleton found out who was suspected of shooting his stepfather in the street outside their home on Saint John's lower west side, he looked him up on Facebook. On Wednesday afternoon, the jury heard that Middleton, now 19, sent a message to the man that night, threatening to round up some friends and kill him. In fact, when Const. Connor Bodechon arrived at 321 Duke St. West to take photos about an hour after the shooting, Justin Breau's Facebook profile is on the computer screen photographed in Middleton's bedroom. Breau, 37, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old Mark Shatford. He is accused of shooting Shatford at about 4:25 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2019. Despite numerous surgeries at the Saint John Regional Hospital, Shatford died on Dec. 18. During testimony on Wednesday, Middleton said he awoke to banging and yelling in the early morning hours of Nov. 17, 2019. He peeked out of his bedroom and saw two masked men moving through the second-floor apartment where he lived with Shatford, his mother, three siblings, and his sister's boyfriend. Middleton said he followed the men down the stairs and managed to grab one of them at the front door. He said he threw the man to the ground outside and started punching him. As he continued to fight with the man, he saw his mother and Shatford pass by, heading to a vehicle parked on the street. Middleton said he continued to fight with the man until he heard a gunshot. As he turned, he said, he saw Shatford fall to the ground. He immediately went to Shatford's side. He testified that the man with the gun then pointed it at him and his mother and told them to shut up. Middleton said he tried to grab a large wrench that Shatford had dropped, but his mother wouldn't let him take it. As the vehicle pulled away, Middleton said, he threw the wrench at it but missed. What became of the wrench before police seized it in January remains unclear.Middleton and his mother, Melissa Daley, both testified they don't know how the wrench got back inside the apartment. But pictures taken by Bodechon, who arrived at the scene at 5:50 a.m., appear to show the item on top of the fridge. Bodechon took several pictures inside the home, including the one that show's the computer screen in Middleton's bedroom. "I did that on my own," Middleton said of the Facebook search. "I just wanted to see him."It was under cross-examination by defence lawyer Brian Munro that Middleton was asked about sending a Facebook message to Breau not long after the shooting. Middleton admitted sending a message that he was going to round up some people and kill Breau. He was also asked about his actions immediately after the shooting. Middleton said he went to a "buddy's" place but the person wasn't at home. He was repeatedly asked to name the "buddy" but he refused each time. "I'm not answering it," he insisted, before the jury was led out of the courtroom. After a short time — and some discussion in the absence of the jury and Middleton — the jury was brought back in and cross-examination resumed. Middleton was again asked to name the person and said it was his ex-girlfriend, Bella McCutcheon. He told the court that he called her "buddy" because they were not dating at the time. The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday morning.
VICTORIA — Doctors and nurses are being asked to support British Columbia's safe supply drug program and other substance use measures, as an average of five people a day die from illicit drug overdoses, the B.C. Coroners Service says.There were 162 overdose deaths in B.C. last month, more than double the 75 recorded in October last year.The number of deaths in each health authority is at or near the highest monthly total ever recorded, the coroners service said Wednesday in a news release. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the supply of street drugs and is disrupting access to harm-reduction services such as supervised injection sites."We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances," she said in the statement. The coroners service continues to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for drug users, Lapointe added.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry authorized registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to prescribe pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs in September.Before that, only doctors and nurse practitioners were able to prescribe drugs, including substitute medications for illicit-drug users.But advocates for drug users say there is still a lack of medical personnel prescribing safe, prescription alternatives to illicit drugs."They're not prescribing to the extent they should be," said Karen Ward, a drug rights advocate and a drug policy and poverty reduction consultant with the City of Vancouver."They need to be prescribing assertively and doing outreach," she said in an interview. Ward said drug users and advocates feel as if the relentless death toll is like an "ongoing tidal wave."She questioned why there is still a lack of prescribing guidelines related to Henry's September order."That was two months ago … why aren't they done? This should have been done that day," Ward said.Leslie McBain, the co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm, said she's devastated by the latest numbers from the coroners service."I don't know if it can get much worse than this for people," she said in an interview. There needs to be more people willing and able to prescribe prescription alternatives to illicit drugs, McBain said, and the provincial government needs to listen to drug users about the type of alternative drugs they want."The drugs being offered to people were not the drugs they were used to or would keep them in a balanced, stable place," she said.October is the fifth month this year that more than 160 people have died and the eighth consecutive month with more than 100 deaths.The latest toxicology testing suggests an increase in the number of cases with extreme concentrations of the opioid fentanyl between April and October compared with previous months, Lapointe said in her statement.Henry echoed Lapointe's concerns, saying the pandemic is having a devastating effect on the overdose crisis."Now more than ever, we must remove the stigma of drug use and remove the shame people feel, which keeps them from seeking help or telling friends and family," she said in a statement on Wednesday.There have been 1,386 deaths from suspected overdoses since January, nearly 400 more deaths than when a public health emergency was declared by the provincial government in April 2016.— By Nick Wells in Vancouver.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
It's a play that remains fresh in soccer coach Peter Pinizzotto's mind even though it happened nearly 25 years ago.Argentine great Diego Maradona — making a one-off appearance to play with brother Lalo in an exhibition game for Pinizzotto's Toronto Italia team — set the ball on the grass at Birchmount Stadium for a corner kick. He used that famous left foot to curl the ball into the net for the winning goal. "He scored from a corner kick and he was celebrating like he was a young kid still," Pinizzotto recalled Wednesday after news broke that Maradona had died at age 60."You could see how much he loved to win. He hated to lose."A person close to Maradona told The Associated Press that he died Wednesday of a heart attack. Maradona was released from a Buenos Aires hospital two weeks earlier following brain surgery.The legendary midfielder led his country to a World Cup title in 1986 and is considered one of the sport's all-time greats. A junior star in the mid-1970s in Argentina, he later played for Barcelona, Napoli and Sevilla before retiring in 1997 after a three-year run back home with Boca Juniors.Maradona was well past his playing prime when he came to the Ontario capital in September 1996 to visit his brother, who spent a few seasons with Toronto Italia in the defunct Canadian National Soccer League. Team owner Pasquale Fioccola suggested to Lalo that perhaps his brother might like to dress for the exhibition game against the CNSL all-stars. With Diego on board and the necessary hurdles cleared, No. 10 eventually trotted out on the modest pitch — some 6,000 spectators packed the stands — in Toronto Italia colours."It was unbelievable," Fioccola said from Toronto. "I still don't believe it now, that I had Maradona play for my team."For a player who had shone on the sport's biggest stages in front of massive audiences, this exhibition in a lower-level league was a tad different. Still, Maradona was passionate and energetic on game day, making sure that he warmed up properly and that team motivation was high, Pinizzotto said."For him, it was almost like another important game," he said.Maradona's second-half goal ended up being the difference in a 2-1 victory. "He was friendly. He didn't play a show-off," Fioccola said. "He was normal, friendly (with) everybody. He shook hands with everybody and he gave (an autograph) if anybody asked him for it."Maradona came off as a substitute with a few minutes left to play, mainly to avoid the crush of fans at game's end. ""I remember all our players were so excited," Pinizzotto said from Woodbridge, Ont. "They all wanted to be a part of being on the field with him. He was not what he was when he was a few years younger but you could see that he still had magic. "For him to score out of the corner, he still had the left foot that was like magic."Fioccola said Maradona, who grew up in a poor area near Buenos Aires, told him he didn't have proper shoes when he first learned how to play and that he'd kick a small rock instead of a ball."He became the best because he played with his heart," he said. "One thing I've got to say about Diego, when he had a uniform on he played for the uniform he wore. He didn't play just for money. He gave his heart when he played."On one memorable day in 1996, he played for the Toronto Italia uniform.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. With files from The Associated Press. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
Following a lengthy discussion and input from council, the decision to rename the pair of Colonization Roads in Fort Frances has been postponed, for now. A high-visibility item on Monday night’s town council agenda, mayor and council had the opportunity to discuss the movement to rename Colonization Road East and Colonization Road West, following a motion introduced by councillor Doug Judson last week. The impetus for the name change revolves around reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a letter to municipalities from the Ontario Human Rights Council (OHRC). Both call for language pertaining to practices that are considered derogatory or racist, such as the concept of colonization, to be removed from public spaces as an act of reconciliation to Indigenous populations in Canada. A similar motion was introduced and subsequently voted down in 2017. While mayor and council were not against the idea that the names could be changed, it was decided that the town would push the process back, something mayor June Caul recommended and said was partly in response to the exceptional year Fort Frances has seen. “At this time, I believe the diligent way for council to handle this issue at hand would be to table the discussion to a later date, which will give staff an opportunity to plan and full investigate the effects on all residents, businesses and the general public,” she said. “All matters that come to council are investigated by staff, discussed in an executive committee, and then a recommendation is given to council for a decision. This has been a very busy and difficult year as we deal with COVID-19 and a loss of revenue. Now we need to try to develop a balanced budget for 2021, all while trying to determine a tax rate that will not impact our residents any further as COVID-19 continues to affect our community and residents.” While the mayor expressed her concerns surrounding the amount of work that goes into deciding the budget that town staff is already tasked with, she acknowledged that the name change is something that everyone is town should be open to learning about, if not necessarily agreeing with the change itself. “The most important decisions and policies that council should make going forward is to ensure people of all race, colour, religion, gender identity and ancestry be respected,” Caul said. “I hope people would welcome any educational opportunities to learn about the history of unfair and degrading practices not only here in our own community but around world and how those practices bullied and marginalized people for generations and still have an effect on them today. Nothing we do will erase the history of disrespect and abuse inflicted on our Indigenous people, but going forward we should be willing to learn and be understanding and sympathetic. What happened in the past still affects their lives today and will continue to affect people for generations. Our decisions going forward must create a positive outcome for all the people so that our future history does not negatively impact any group.” Councillor Judson addressed council in order to clarify the origins of his motion, and what having a road named “colonization” means to people who are coming to and visiting Fort Frances. “Since 2015, Canadians have been on a swift journey to acknowledge what has been missing in how we understand the words that tell our story,” Judson said. “That year, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its landmark report, which exposed, with evidence, the devastating inter-generational impact that ‘colonization’ has had on Indigenous people.” “When I speak to people in the community, and particularly young people with young families, they tell me that Colonization Road is an obstacle to our progress,” he continued. “When I speak to Indigenous people, they tell me that by avoiding conversations about what colonization stands for it looks like Fort Frances is only interested in the upside of reconciliation, such as economic partnership and joint strategies, without internalizing the facts of our history... While many people who think of colonization envision homesteaders moving to the Rainy River District with grants of free land to start a new life, that depiction fails to account for the toll colonization has taken on those who were already here. The choice to frame historical accounts in this way has, itself, been part of the project of colonization.” Councillor Wendy Judson, who is the only member of council who was serving at the time of the previous name change motion, offered her take on the possible difficulties of continuing with the name change at this point in time, though she continues to be supportive of the initiative. “For those of you who are not aware, I was the one dissenting vote in the last term of council to keep the name unchanged,” she said. “My reasons at the time, which remain the same, are that if we want to be seen as a welcoming and inclusive community, we need to make this change... The one concern I do have about renaming the road is that there are many residents and businesses who will have to go to Service Ontario to have their documentation changed, and in the midst of winter and a pandemic, we could possibly see long lineups outside the Service Ontario building.” While Brunetta said there would be ways to deal with this in the event the name change began, such as bringing a Service Ontario representative to a location like the council chambers to keep people out of the cold and assist with process, she reiterated that she supported the name change, whenever it is finally decided. “Changing the name will not change our past, but can change the future,” she said. “We can change how our community is viewed by visitors and neighbours. This is one small step we can take towards reconciliation. It’s short term pain for long term gain. It’s the right thing to do in my mind. I do agree mayor Caul that this is an issue we all need to really put a lot of thought into. we all take our jobs as councillor very seriously, and I would agree to delaying it or deferring it as you say, so we can get more information going forward.” Councillors Andrew Hallikas, Mike Behan, Rick Wiedenhoeft and John McTaggart all voiced their support of the mayors suggestion of not shutting down the conversation, but instead moving it further down the line in order to give it as much time and consideration as possible. The topic will be sent to the Operations and Facilities Executive Committee and the Planning and Development Executive Committees for a decision on when to bring it back before council. In a statement released following the meeting, Judson called the decision to send the item to committee for consideration a “positive development” though he noted it “does not preclude me or any other council member from bringing a resolution forward to our next meeting, on December 14.” “Obviously, there are a number of opinions on this topic and many people have practical questions,” the statement read. “That’s why I decided to defer a vote on my proposed resolution in order to give councillors more time to confer with their constituents and conduct their own independent research... I am confident that the executive committees can develop a proper timeline and process related to the request to rename Colonization Road.” Judson will also be hosting an online panel titled “Colonization in Context” on his Facebook page beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The event will feature a handful of panelists who will discuss the local history of colonization and “enduring impacts of colonization in the Fort Frances area” according to the event page.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
A charity community fridge was removed in Parkdale this week, despite the high-profile Adamson Barbecue being allowed to continue operations in Etobicoke.
Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd. said Wednesday it is laying off about 200 of its 6,000 employees across Canada as part of a cost-cutting initiative due to low oil prices.The oilsands, refining and energy retailing company, which has been reluctant to cut staff during the current and previous industry downturns, also confirmed Wednesday it has reduced the number of contractors it employs by about 450 since the start of the year.Imperial is 69.6 per cent owned by U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil Corp., which said in October it would cut its global workforce by about 15 per cent, equating to about 14,000 jobs."There has been study work underway globally to assess the potential for further cost reductions from structural efficiencies and lower activity levels across our business,' said Imperial spokeswoman Lisa Schmidt in an email."This work includes an evaluation of workforce requirements around the world on a country-by-country basis, including in Canada. Imperial has been engaged on this work with ExxonMobil."She said the job reduction decisions were made in Imperial's best interest, not ordered by ExxonMobil, adding she was unable to say where the job cuts would be implemented.In a separate news release on Wednesday, Exxon said it expects up to 300 job reductions in Canada by the end of 2021 from Imperial as well as its wholly owned subsidiaries, ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. and ExxonMobil Business Centre Canada ULC.Imperial committed in March to cut spending by $1 billion, including a $500 million reduction in capital spending plus $500 million in lower operating expenses, due to lower energy demand caused by lockdowns to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus."When the pandemic hit, we immediately started developing plans to respond and minimize the business impact during the downturn," CEO Brad Corson said at the company's recent investor day, adding the company is well ahead of its cost-cutting targets."And of course, we're going to continue to look for further efficiencies going forward."In a posting on its website, Imperial said it recognizes that job losses are difficult, adding that company support of affected workers will include outplacement services.Earlier this week, Imperial confirmed it will relinquish its contract to provide business management services to Syncrude Canada Ltd. when Suncor Energy Inc. takes over as operator of its oilsands mine and upgrader in northern Alberta at the end of 2021.Under the contract, which has been in place for about 14 years, staff from Imperial were seconded to certain positions at Syncrude and provided people to assist in implementing strategies, while Syncrude remained the day-to-day operator.Suncor said it hopes to realize cost-saving synergies of about $300 million per year as operator.The Imperial job cuts are part of a trend by Calgary oil and gas companies who have been reporting reduced earnings on lower commodity prices.Cenovus Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. have announced they will cut as many as one in four jobs, potentially more than 2,000 workers, if their merger announced in October is closed as expected early next year.Suncor, meanwhile, has announced it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:CVE, TSX:HSE)Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
The County of Grande Prairie is investing an additional $298,000 to prepare for the new Five Mile Hall school, extending power and natural gas utilities to the site. County council approved the funding at its regular meeting last week. Council previously tabled a $6.5 million borrowing bylaw in August to add water and sewer services at the site. “We continue to see growth in the area, the schools are getting full, and we need more space for students,” said Nick Lapp, county planning director. “The county has invested in the land to allow future growth.” Alberta Infrastructure approved the construction of a new school in the area, to replace Harry Balfour School which offers kindergarten to Grade 8 classes in the city. Darren Young, Peace Wapiti School Division (PWSD) deputy superintendent, told the News this summer it’s hoped construction will begin in the spring of 2021. Last year, county council approved a $1.25 million borrowing bylaw to purchase 137 acres near Five Mile Hall, including the future school site. Lapp noted the county envisions three schools and residential and commercial development in the Five Mile Hall area, furthering a need for more power. Lapp said said power can be extended to the Five Mile Hall school site from the west, near Carriage Lane. The additional expense for power and gas can be added to the previously proposed $6.5 million borrowing bylaw for water and sewer, Lapp said. He said the bylaw hasn’t yet been approved. Lapp said the water and sewer work may be tendered by the end of November.Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
EDMONTON — Two emergency room doctors say Alberta's increased public health restrictions don't go far enough to deal with rising COVID-19 cases that are already straining hospitals in the province. The government brought in tighter restrictions Tuesday that include a ban on gatherings in people's homes and changes for schools, churches, restaurants and retailers. Dr. Shazma Mithani, who works at two Edmonton hospitals, said she saw first-hand why more restrictions were necessary a day earlier when she arrived for her shift at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. "I saw the most COVID patients ever," Mithani said Wednesday in an interview with The Canadian Press. "I didn't even see that many patients that shift because we were so bed-blocked." Some patients, she explained, were taking up emergency department beds because there weren't enough staffed beds available in the ward they needed. Mithani said she saw about 10 or 11 patients that night. "Three of them were confirmed COVID and three were presumed COVID ... and one of them I actually had to put a breathing tube in and send to the ICU," she said. "It's here. It's just the beginning." Alberta Health reported 1,265 new cases on Wednesday — the seventh consecutive day with numbers above the 1,100 mark. There were 355 patients in hospital, 71 of them in intensive care. Eight more people died, bringing that total to 500. Mithani, who's also a spokeswoman for the emergency medicine section of the Alberta Medical Association, said the rising numbers have been hitting Edmonton particularly hard. There were 175 COVID-19 patients in Edmonton hospitals, with 40 in intensive care. In Calgary, there were 121 infected patients in hospitals and 20 were in intensive care. Dr. Joe Vipond, who works at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary, said he hasn't worked an ER shift in about a week, but noted that he's had COVID-19 patients every day in the last month. "I've had two deaths in a month," said Vipond, who added he typically only sees a few deaths a year in the emergency department. Both Vipond and Mithani said they would have liked to see stronger restrictions. "We're now at the stage that nothing short of a strong lockdown is going to help," said Vipond. "These middle measures are not going to do it, unfortunately." Mithani said the restrictions simply turn earlier recommendations into rules. The only positive step, she said, was banning indoor gatherings, which she suggested should have happened long ago. Dr. Daniel Gregson, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Calgary, agreed it was good to see recommendations on gatherings turned into actual restrictions. "The other thing we've done is moved to mandatory masking from a suggestion to a requirement," he said. "That's a good thing as well." However, Gregson said some areas have been left open to interpretation. "They've said 10 (people) for weddings and 10 for funerals, which is good to have an absolute number because people focus on what they can do," he said. "But other settings such as faith-based activities, which can be fairly widely interpreted, are not limited to that 10. "That's a concern. A lot of our problems have been in group settings where people are not using appropriate precautions ... and that really translates into transmissions in households." Mithani added that the decisions don't appear to be based on data, since contact tracing has broken down and up to 80 per cent of cases have no information about where they were contracted. "I'm really disappointed with the half measures that were put in," she said. "I, 100 per cent, understand there needs to be a balance between the economy and managing this pandemic, but we are now at a point where our health-care system is about to break and that needs to be made the priority right now. "Our economy relies on the health of Albertans." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
Two men accused of human trafficking appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. There is now a court ordered ban on publication of the two men’s names. At their first appearance the court placed a publication ban on the identity of the woman who was allegedly being held captive by the two men. One man is a 23-year-old from Kindersley and the other is a 30-year-old from Saskatoon. The Kindersley man is charged with trafficking persons, material benefit from trafficking, two counts of uttering threats, theft under $5,000, breach of a release order, and breach of a conditional sentence order. He was denied bail. The Saskatoon man is charged with trafficking persons, uttering threats, and two counts of breach of a release order. He was granted bail during a show cause hearing in October. The Saskatoon Police Guns and Gang Unit arrested the two men in the 1500 block of Rayner Avenue on July 2. The Guns and Gang Unit became involved after the Saskatoon Police received a report June 29 that a 23-year-old woman was being held at a residence over a period of time. The Saskatoon VICE Human Trafficking Unit assisted police and warrants were issued for the two men. The Saskatoon man is scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial court Dec. 10 to enter a plea and elect how he wants to be tried. The Kindersley man is scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court Dec. 9 to enter a plea. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords News-OptimistLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
L’enseignement du fait laïque doit être à l’ordre du jour. Cela ne passe-t-i pas avant tout par une formation initiale et continue des enseignants beaucoup plus partagée ?