Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined Late Night With Seth Meyers on Monday where he addressed the many signs Republicans displayed at President Trump’s impeachment hearings.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined Late Night With Seth Meyers on Monday where he addressed the many signs Republicans displayed at President Trump’s impeachment hearings.
The City of Niagara Falls has developed a winter strategy that encourages its residents to enjoy the outdoors. In early December, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati, confirmed that the city was in the process of coming up with a winter strategy that will prepare city properties and encourage residents to take part in outdoor activities during the pandemic. The city has dedicated a section of its web page that includes an interactive map highlighting winter activities. Those activities include 14 maintained trails, seven unmaintained trails, seven natural outdoor skating rinks, three indoor/outdoor walking tracks, eight road hockey play surfaces, two tobogganing hills and two off-leash dog parks. Diodati said during the COVID-19 pandemic, having events outside is safer than inside. “We want to make it easier this winter to get out and do things,” he said. “If you can get fresh air, exercise, sunshine — it’s all going to be for a real good cause.” The city’s website indicates that all outdoor winter activities are weather permitting. Availability and access to amenities may change with any new COVID restrictions. For more information, residents are encouraged to go to the city’s website: niagarafalls.ca\winter — With files from Ray Spiteri Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: email@example.com Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review
Within the bylaw, changes under section 1, part 2 – Rules for Operation of Vehicles will give the Peace Officer clear authority to issue fines for non-compliance under this bylaw. More specifically, “a Peace Officer may direct a driver, registered owner, property owner or anyone in the care and control or causing an offence listed in the bylaw.” Failure to follow the Peace Officer’s direction will result in a fine of $350 for the first offence, $450 for the second offence and $550 for each additional offence after that. One of the more noticeable changes is the amendment to recreational vehicles' parking. It's been a sore spot for many residents over the years, as the previous bylaw left room for self-interpretation. As well, the complaints of RV’s sticking out over the sidewalk, impeding the view of passerby vehicles or the unsightly general appearance of the neighbourhood as RV’s were parked wherever they would fit on the homeowners’ property. The amendment in part 6, section 6.13, will allow homeowners to park RVs on their property year-round providing it meets the specified requirements. All recreational vehicles or utility trailers can only be parked on a designated driveway and contained entirely within the residents’ property line. The bylaw further defined the meaning of a driveway as “a hard-surfaced driveway that has an approved development permit from the Town of Fox Creek.” The vehicle must not be any closer than two metres from the inside edge of the public sidewalk or curb. In addition to keeping front lawns clear of vehicles, Part 6 also states that all vehicles on private property must be registered and parked on a designated driveway. Having these amendments in place will add to the neighbourhood’s curb appeal in its entirety and free up properties from unsightly clutter. The last amendment approved by council is the penalty of a $150 fine for improper parallel parking, meaning the left front wheel is to the curb rather than the right one. Typically this only occurs when a driver attempts to angle park from the opposite side of the roadway. Peace Officer Fergeson and Administration have acknowledged further work on the bylaw needs to take place; however, they need more time to have an in-depth review before bringing new proposals forward. Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press
AGRICULTURE. Une campagne de sensibilisation aux réalités du milieu agricole bat son plein en Montérégie. Cette initiative publique, lancée au printemps dernier sous la thématique Notre campagne, un milieu de vie à partager entre dans sa seconde phase. Elle doit aborder plusieurs thématiques, dont celles de la santé des sols, des odeurs, du partage de la route et des bruits générés par les activités agricoles. La MRC de la Haute-Yamaska participe à ce projet, de même que douze autres MRC partenaires de la Montérégie, la Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie et l’agglomération de Longueuil. «Plusieurs outils de communication ont été développés, portés par le réseau des municipalités afin de déboulonner les croyances, atténuer les contrariétés et aborder les enjeux liés au travail agricole. Cette campagne vise à favoriser le vivre ensemble et le dialogue entre les producteurs agricoles et les résidents de la zone agricole en Montérégie», précise Joëlle Jetté, porte-parole de la Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie. Avec l’étalement urbain, les secteurs résidentiels se rapprochent inéluctablement des campagnes. Et les irritants se multiplient. Les municipalités en sont conscientes et cherchent à les désamorcer. «La vie a changé. Les agriculteurs de la Montérégie souhaitent dialoguer avec leurs voisins. Résider dans un milieu agricole nécessite parfois de la patience, mais l’agriculture locale nous garantit un approvisionnement en quantité suffisante de produits frais et de qualité supérieure», explique Jérémie Letellier, président de l’UPA de la Montérégie. «L’agriculture est un secteur innovant, à la recherche de solutions en matière d’agroenvironnement et de lutte aux changements climatiques. Il était temps, surtout en Montérégie, de faire le point», ajoute Mme Jetté. «Les commentaires sont très positifs. Quand on parle des réalités et des contraintes des agriculteurs, les gens apprécient.» L’agriculture, ma voisine! Chaque MRC a en main son Plan de développement de la zone agricole (PDZA). L’enjeu de la cohabitation avait souvent été soulevé par le secteur municipal. «La Montérégie est le garde-manger du Québec. Quand on veut privilégier les circuits courts, l’agriculture de proximité, cela veut dire, l’agriculture, ma voisine. Il faut comprendre ce que ça implique que de vivre dans un territoire agricole», affirme Joëlle Jetté de l’UPA. La première phase de la campagne lancée au printemps. Le projet avait l’été dernier rejoint avec succès les enfants dans plusieurs camps de jour. L’initiative a permis de sensibiliser près de 700 enfants aux réalités du monde agricole. Au total, 36 activités ont eu lieu dans 27 municipalités de la Montérégie. Il est probable que l’expérience soit reconduite l’an prochain. La campagne se poursuit jusqu’au mois d’octobre 2021. Les questions entourant la gestion de l’eau et des pesticides seront abordées au cours des prochains mois. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
The flotation would be one of the largest in recent years for a Canadian company. Last year, Canadian waste management firm GFL Environmental Inc raised about $1.4 billion in its IPO, making it one of the largest ever stock market listings in Canada. Telus International said it planned to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "TIXT".
TORONTO — Ontario is pausing COVID-19 vaccinations of long-term care staff and essential caregivers so that it can focus on administering the shots to all nursing home residents amid a shortage of doses. The province is currently dealing with a delay in deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with no shots expected to arrive this week. The government says the shift in the focus of its vaccine plan means all long-term care home residents, high-risk retirement home residents and First Nations elder care residents will get the first dose of the vaccine by Feb. 5. That's sooner than a previous goal of Feb. 15, but the earlier plan had included the vaccination of long-term care staff and caregivers as well. The government says it expects 26,325 Pfizer-BioNTech doses next week, which are far fewer than the amount originally expected. A total of 286,110 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province so far.Ontario is reporting 1,958 new cases of COVID-19 today and 43 more deaths linked to the virus.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
Niagara Falls Transit has elected to revert to its pre-pandemic winter schedule. The city said in a press release in order to provide the best level of service to riders given provincial restrictions, it will return to regular winter city and WEGO service, minus 30-minute peak services, on day routes. Changes take effect Monday. On Jan. 18, in an attempt to comply with the state of emergency orders issued by the province, Niagara Falls Transit preemptively adjusted its hours of operation to reflect the average business closure of 8 p.m.; however, it acknowledged that it could have been stranding essential service workers. The city issued an apology on its website for any inconvenience it caused transit users. Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review
First of a two-part series Matilda Emma Padhi was born on Nov. 3, 1933 in what was then the independent country of Newfoundland. She was still a baby when Newfoundland gave up its independence and reverted to colonial status under Great Britain. Such events likely mattered little in her native fishing village of Belleoram, where her father, John Whatley, owned a store and the livelihood of most residents centred around the deep, blue waters of Fortune Bay. Belleoram harbour was sheltered by a natural breakwater, and Emma would have carried two striking images of her birthplace with her throughout her life: St. Lawrence Anglican Church, perched on a hill behind the town, and the imposing rock face of Iron Skull Mountain across the water. Emma’s mother, Irene, would later give birth to two sons. “She used to talk about how they were poor, and they didn’t have a lot of money, and they would eat a lot of wild meat,” says Sarah Railton, Emma’s granddaughter, who lives in British Columbia. “She valued community, the relationships she kept. I really feel that all is rooted in the maritime energy she carried, and that kind of open-door policy that friends are always welcome.” From such modest beginnings, Emma would go on to spread her compassion, faith and an irrepressible sense of humour from Halifax to Saskatoon and then halfway around the world to India. When she died in Calgary on Jan. 3, she left behind an adoring legion of family and friends who will never forget her larger-than-life personality. Emma moved to Halifax as soon as she graduated high school, when Newfoundland was on the cusp of voting to join Canada. There, she worked in the Moirs chocolate factory before deciding she wanted to become a nurse. She entered the Halifax infirmary School of Nursing in 1950, and lived in a dorm where she nurtured many lifelong friendships. According to friends and former classmates, she had no fear of the doctors or the nuns and didn’t hesitate to speak her mind. The nuns apparently liked her spunk, as she was the only one who had a key to the linen cupboard — a rare privilege. In 1954, she headed west to Saskatoon, where she worked in a sanatorium, and became head nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital. It was here she met her husband-to-be, Dr. Radhakrishna (Rad) Padhi. They were married in 1956. Rad became a cardiac surgeon, but his native country soon beckoned. He left by ship in 1960 to get things settled. Emma followed in November of 1961, with two toddlers in tow and another on the way. Emma flew from Halifax to London, and then to Egypt. In Cairo, the authorities took her passport and sent her to a hotel. She worried all night that she might never get her passport back. The next day was the last leg of her journey. Boarding the inaugural United Arab Airlines flight from Cairo to Mumbai — then Bombay — she soon realized she was the only adult female on the plane. The flight was late arriving, and Rad waited anxiously, wondering if he should even have booked her on the flight. There were no screens displaying arrivals and departures in those days. Hours later, Emma of Belleoram finally arrived in in India, where Jawaharial Nehru— the first prime minister of the fledgling democracy — was still in power. “My Nana’s stories of India abounded,” says Sarah. “She loved the culture, loved the people, loved the food. She would wear the kaftans.” Their first destination in India was Wanlesswadi, southeast of Mumbai. They worked at a medical centre which also served as a TB sanatorium and a leprosy hospital, with a capacity of 500 beds. Rad soon realized there was an acute need for heart surgery in the region. On April 13, 1962, Emma assisted her husband by running the bypass machine for the first successful open-heart surgery in Wanlesswadi. As news grew of their successes, the hospital got busier and attracted heart surgeons from the U.S. who brought along much needed equipment. In less than a year after arriving in India, Emma was not only assisting in surgery, but also running the lab and the hospital kitchen. “One of my fondest memories was of my mom working in a clinic she had set up in a building behind our house,” says Pam Railton, Sarah’s mother and Emma’s eldest, who lives in Saskatchewan. “Every morning, she and a nurse she hired would make porridge and mix powdered milk for the underprivileged children in the area. They would come with their tin cup and bowl and line up. It always amazed me how long the line was.” Emma told Pam the morning meal guaranteed they had at least one meal that day. “Once a week she would give them vitamins and, whenever possible, vaccinations.” Pam says she asked her mother recently how she supported the project. “Turns out she bought silk scarves and linens in India and sent them to a friend in Kingston (Ontario) who would sell them and send her the money, and she would buy whatever she needed to run the clinic. Mom said the line seemed long to me because it was — there were often up to 200 children waiting.“ Emma and Rad continued to work beside each other in India for six years, but soon decided that Canada was in their future once again. Tuesday: Back to the Dominion Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
During Biden’s election campaign, he made no qualms about nixing the proposed pipeline and vowed to keep Alberta’s “dirty” fossil fuels from entering the country if he gets elected. Right from day one, Biden’s been advocating for a cleaner environment without risks of spills and ground contamination caused by potential line breaks. On our side of the border, to push the pipeline through and boost the economy, the Alberta Government contributed a $1.5 billion equity investment to the construction of the KXL pipeline in 2020 and agreed to another $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021. TC Energy purchased the pipe. Construction began last spring, employing thousands of Albertans for the stretch that would have gone from the Hardisty terminal to the Saskatchewan border just past Oyen. After receiving U.S. President Biden’s announcement and having their permit revoked, TC Energy halted operations so they can review Biden's decision, assess its implications and re-evaluate. It's a massive setback for everyone involved as 200 kilometres of the pipeline is already laid on the U.S and Canadian sides of the border. The remainder of the pipe is being stockpiled in pipe yards along the pipeline route. TC Energy announced its disappointment in Biden’s decision to revoke the permit. In a news release, TC Energy states, “The action would directly lead to the layoff of thousands of union workers and negatively impact ground-breaking industry commitments to use new renewable energy as well as historic equity partnerships with Indigenous communities.” The Keystone XL pipeline is undoubtedly the most controversial project that’s divided our countries. For over a decade, the proposed pipeline has caused tension politically and amongst various activist groups and citizens in the United States. The project has ricocheted back and forth like a ping-pong ball trying to get off the ground since 2008. The energy company has spent ten years jumping through regulatory hoops, in and out of court due to land and environmental conflicts on the U.S side, only to have President Biden shut it down with the stroke of a pen. History shows in 2010, the National Energy Board originally approved the application for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The U.S State Department released a draft environmental impact statement saying the pipeline would have limited effects on the environment. In 2012, the proposed pipeline was met with much resistance from various groups. Tensions mounted as the energy company announced it wouldn’t require presidential permission to begin construction since it did not cross the U.S / Canada border. However, in 2015, former President Barrack Obama killed the proposal. Jumping forward to 2017, President Trump approved the pipeline after being elected into the White House and signed the presidential order to proceed with the Keystone XL Pipeline. A U.S federal judge stepped in and blocked the pipeline's construction one year later. Then again, in 2019, President Trump issued a new presidential permit to expedite the construction of the XL pipeline. Construction finally commenced in April 2020 despite backlash from Indigenous groups and environmentalists in the States. With another presidential election behind us came the announcement to shut the project down once again. Just like that, within a matter of hours after Biden’s inauguration, the project, which was to have employed thousands of people for the next several years and generate $30 billion in tax and royalty revenues for Albertans, is done. It’s going to be a political waiting game as the pressure is placed on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the pipeline’s future with President Biden and hope to come to an amicable decision to not divide our countries further than what they are now. Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press
Some Regina city councillors who originally supported a motion that would prevent fossil fuel companies from advertising or buying naming rights for city property have announced they're backing down. The motion — introduced by Ward 6 councillor Dan LeBlanc at an executive committee meeting last week — would have meant companies like Federated Co-operatives Limited could not have their logos displayed on city property. "Sponsorships are associative in nature and therefore alignment with predetermined city values is necessary," LeBlanc told the executive committee. "I think that's the very reason why we don't want sex, drugs, and rock and roll advertised on our buildings." LeBlanc is now withdrawing support from his own motion. The move came after several councillors who originally voted for the motion — including Ward 8 councillor Shanon Zachidniak, Ward 9 councillor Jason Mancinelli and Ward 10 councillor Landon Mohl — publicly announced they were withdrawing their support. Mayor Sandra Masters and councillors Lori Bresciani, Terina Shaw and John Findura voted against the motion originally. Councillors Bob Hawkins, Andrew Stevens and Cheryl Stadnichuk voted for the motion, along with LeBlanc, Zachidniak, Mancinelli and Mohl. "I acknowledge that the tone set by the amendment was counterproductive," Zachidniak said in a Facebook post late last week. "When this was introduced at the meeting, I should have realized that this was not the appropriate approach and I apologize." Numerous reasons for withdrawal: LeBlanc LeBlanc said Monday that he withdrew his support not only because of the issue fracturing unity on council, but also because he heard from many residents. "I heard from a lot of people who said 'I'm all about sustainability, but this is too much too soon,'" LeBlanc said. "I think I heard ... they are nervous about any one big step. I think what that means is many concrete steps going forward." Another reason LeBlanc cited was he and some of his fellow councillors who supported the motion receiving messages threatening physical harm. "Frankly my view is it ought to take a lot for councillors to be risking physical violence to their families to continue with sustainability motions," he said. "I'm not interested in folks getting hurt because of that." Motion created ripples in other levels of government The motion drew the ire of Premier Scott Moe, who called it "absurd" in a news release last week. He said his government would "seriously consider the future of sponsorships to the City of Regina from provincial energy companies like SaskEnergy and SaskPower," and threatened to claw back millions of dollars the city normally gets from people's power and energy bills. Asked for comment about the councillors' change of mind, a spokesperson for Moe said Monday that he would have no further comment until the motion is formally addressed by city council during its regular meeting on Wednesday. It's expected an amendment will be added to the motion to remove the ban on sponsorship from fossil fuel producers. LeBlanc, meanwhile, said he is hopeful this issue widens the discussion on sustainability. "It's been very good to see people's democratic voice come out when they're opposed to something," he said. "I hope we'll hear from them equally if we're doing things on sustainability that they're in favour of."
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade – Le premier week-end étant maintenant chose du passée à Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, l'Association des pourvoyeurs entame déjà les différents travaux et ajustements à effectuer pour la seconde semaine d'activités, mais pour le président Steve Massicotte, le premier test de cette édition plus-que-spéciale a été passé avec brio. Débutée depuis vendredi, la pêche aux petits poissons des Chenaux a particulièrement attiré son lot de familles qui étaient heureuses d'avoir – enfin – quelque chose à faire en toute sécurité. Parce que, faut-il le rappeler, les mesures sanitaires en vigueur actuellement permettent à une bulle familiale d'occuper une cabane de pêche, dans les heures permises par le couvre-feu. «Ça a été une super fin de semaine», se réjouissait Steve Massicotte, qui en début de soirée, sortait à peine de la surface glacée pour aller prendre une bouchée bien méritée. «Tout a bien été. La clientèle était au rendez-vous. Elle était joviale et respectueuse», une bonne nouvelle pour ceux chez qui persiste un doute quant à la mobilité des visiteurs qui n'ont pas hésité à venir des quatre coins de Québec, même cette année, pour profiter de l'activité, à la lumière des rencontres effectuées sur place par le Nouvelliste, vendredi, lors de la journée d'ouverture de la saison 2021. «Je suis très satisfait. J'ai le sourire et la satisfaction du travail accompli. Enfin!», s'est exclamé M. Massicotte, qui a pu savourer une première fin de semaine beaucoup plus tardive que le plan de match déployé originalement. Rappelons que la pêche au poulamon débute normalement le 26 décembre à Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, mais elle avait été repoussée au 15 janvier par mesure préventive après un déluge de 40 millimètres de pluie le jour de Noël et finalement, repoussée encore de quelques jours, pour un départ officiel le 22. Les bonnes nouvelles pourraient d'ailleurs s'enchaîner pour l'organisation, puisque, bien qu'elle se soit fait attendre considérablement, Dame Nature continuera à offrir sa collaboration au courant de la semaine à venir, alors que des températures oscillant entre zéro et moins onze figurent à l'horaire d'Environnement Canada. «Nous atteindrons 14 ou 15 pouces de glace, ce qui nous permettra d'offrir de la très belle pêche», assure le président de l'Association. Interdite pour ce premier week-end en raison d'une épaisseur de glace insuffisante, la circulation automobile devrait à nouveau être permise en début de semaine, conséquence favorable des froids prévus au programme.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
Structure and rhythm are important for Ayden Rana. The six-year-old is on the autism spectrum and requires a little extra help to complete his studies. When the winter break turned into an extended period away from the classroom, keeping most children and teachers at home, it presented a unique challenge for Ayden and his mother, Karen, who found herself playing the role of teacher, therapist, support worker and parent. “He was very receptive the first two days, I would say, to virtual learning because he got to see the teacher and the educational assistants,” Karen said. But the novelty quickly wore off. Studying became much harder. Learning became even more challenging than usual. Touch and sense are key to Ayden’s educational development, meaning the curiously flat, two-dimensional world of pixels on a screen, fell far short of meeting his needs. “The educational assistant realized his needs for tactile material — he’s not grasping the Chromebook — so she put together a binder with all the activities,” Karen explained. “All the math, English, all the subjects he would do at school, along with his puzzles, his timer [and] his favorite pens [are included].” The binder is carefully prepared by his educational assistant every week and left for Ayden to pick up, offering new material to make the best of a difficult situation. For some other students with special needs, learning at home — even with the extra work and resources — isn’t a possibility. As a result, despite the province-wide shutdown and stay-at-home-order, some are still physically in school. A few teachers are on hand, along with a small army of special education assistants. At the Peel District School Board, they are referred to as educational assistants (EAs) and a large number of the board’s 3,800 EAs are reporting for duty. At Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, where they are known as educational resource workers (ERWs) 40 school sites are open and staffed. A major issue for EAs working at PDSB is a lack of coordination and tracking by the board, Natacha Verdiel, president of OPSEU Local 2100, the union representing EAs at PDSB, explained to The Pointer. Unlike students and teachers who cohort together, EAs do not have to sign into classrooms and are not included in contact tracing efforts when an outbreak is declared. “An EA might cross cohorts 14 times on any given day,” she explained. “They might report to 12 different classrooms to provide support to high needs students. They’re now cross contaminating between students, that’s alarming, and no one knows they’ve been in that classroom.” As a result of their specific profiles, many children with special needs are unable to wear a mask. Some even find staff wearing them to be upsetting and can attempt to physically remove them. Depending on a child’s age, size and unique needs, such behaviour can be challenging. In some instances the desire to create normalcy can even lead to aggressive actions by some students. That’s why some personal protective measures to mitigate the risk of viral spread can’t be used. “Here’s what I don’t think the public understands: the students that are reporting to the physical building right now are students who cannot wear masks,” Verdiel said. “They are all unmasked, all of the students are unmasked. Most of them are extremely behavioral, they are our highest needs students in the system.” Verdiel described one situation where a particular student coughs, spits and sneezes as part of their behavioural profile. “The staff in there are covered in bodily fluids, all day long,” she said, lamenting the lack of effective personal protective equipment and how masks can act “as a target” for some students who attempt to remove them or strike the workers wearing them. For the parents of children with special needs, the role EAs, ERWs and the education system play can be nothing short of a miracle. Staff are able to look after children during the day, calm them and tend to their various behavioural and physical needs. “Some of our workers have phenomenal skills… some of them are outrageously amazing at what they can do,” Pam Bonferro, president of the Dufferin Peel Educational Resource Workers’ Association, told The Pointer. “They’re like pied pipers, they walk into a room and the students calm down.” Karen Rana agrees, describing Ayden’s EA as a rock. “He changed three classes [due to COVID-19 attendence variations], so you can imagine,” she said. “Three classes, three teachers, three sets of students, but with the same assistant. She has been the constant and it’s been very positive for Ayden.” The work of classroom assistants is often born of passion. As a vocation, many pursue the work out of a desire to help care for children and assist with their challenging development. “It’s not that they don't want to support the students that are there,” Verdiel added. “They want the Province to acknowledge that those who are reporting in person are unable to maintain any kind of physical distancing at all. Their job is very, very, very high risk in terms of exposure to bodily fluids.” Highlighting the fact the government is working hard during a crisis, but still missing key supports, Bonferro said ERWs and EAs are being inadvertently positioned in opposition to the very families they support. “What they have technically done is they have pitted the EAs against the parents,” she said. “They are taking the EAs voice away, if an EA speaks up, they’re going to be kind of vilified as the bad guy [in the] situation. So they are way beyond stressed and what’s really tearing them apart is: they have a conscience, they care about the kids they work with.” The Ministry of Education did not provide a response in time for publication. Despite working in the same space as teachers, classroom assistants have unique demands, detailed by the unions who represent them. Where teachers can safely distance from pupils, even in the same classroom, EAs and ERWs are unable to make the space. Their duties include helping students use the bathroom, feeding and, when needed, physically helping them to calm down. “The exposure level that a teacher has when they’re standing in front of a classroom teaching versus the exposure that an EA has when they’re being spat in the face or restraining a student [is significantly different],” Verdiel said. The unions have several specific asks of the Doug Ford government to improve the situation. They include pandemic pay, more robust PPE and rapid access to the vaccine. Under the Province’s current vaccination rollout, teachers and classroom assistants find themselves on the list at the same time. The second phase, which also includes older adults living in the community and several other key worker categories, could run as late as July, which risks some EAs and ERWs not being vaccinated until during the summer break. “The government has taken on the position that EAs are now essential workers; however, they are not being provided with the same level of pay or protection,” Verdiel said. “The NDP has long called for pandemic pay for all frontline workers, and believes educators should be included among the groups prioritized to get their vaccine,” NDP Education Critic Maritt Stiles told The Pointer. “Special education assistants, who are now working in classrooms with vulnerable people, should be vaccinated as soon as possible, when the vaccine becomes available.” PDSB provided a statement offering extensive instructions to EAs around wearing PPE. It did not address questions around contact tracing and EAs working in multiple classrooms. “Since returning from the winter break, all students and staff, including EAs, who have returned to in-person learning and working are required to follow the Active Daily Screening process,” a spokesperson told The Pointer. At DPCDSB, contact tracing does not appear to be an issue and ERWs are carefully monitored. “School principals maintain a record of any ERWs that are working in the school and should a positive COVID case be reported, any staff and students that worked with, or could be considered to be a close contact, would be identified for contact tracing,” Bruce Campbell, general manager of communications and community relations for the board, told The Pointer. As most schools remain closed and the majority of children learn at home, EAs and ERWs continue to show up for work feeling increasingly isolated and vulnerable. “Everybody is sympathetic, everybody understands,” Verdiel said. “Nobody is willing to do anything.” Email: email@example.com Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
NEW YORK — Isabel Wilkerson's “Caste,” an acclaimed biography of Malcolm X and fiction by Martin Amis and the late Randall Kenan are among this year's finalists for National Book Critics Circle prizes. The critics circle announced five nominees in each of six competitive categories Sunday, and seven finalists for an award for best first book. The Feminist Press, whose founder Florence Howe died last year, will receive a lifetime achievement award and has a nominee for criticism: Cristina Rivera Garza's, “Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country.” New Republic critic Jo Livingston received a citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Winners will be announced March 25. This year's nominees are the first under new leadership at the NBCC after many of its board members departed in 2020 amid a dispute over how to respond to the summer's Black Lives Matters protests. Among those stepping down was NBCC president Laurie Hertzel, senior books editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She was replaced by David Varno, Publishers Weekly's fiction reviews editor. In the NBCC's fiction award category, Amis was nominated for his autobiographical novel “Inside Story” and Kenan, who died in 2020, for the story collection “If I Had Two Wings.” The other finalists were Maggie O’Farrell's “Hamnet,” Souvankham Thammavongsa's “How to Pronounce Knife” and Bryan Washington's “Memorial.” Wilkerson's “Caste,” her widely read exploration of American racism; was a nonfiction finalist. The others were Walter Johnson's “The Broken Heart of America: St, Louis and the Violent History of the United States,” James Shapiro's “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” Sarah Smarsh's “She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs” and Tom Zoellner's “Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire.” Biography nominees included “The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X," co-written by Tamara Payne and her father, the late journalist Les Payne, and winner last fall of the National Book Award. The other finalists were Amy Stanley's “Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World,” Zachary D. Carter's “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes," Heather Clark's “Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath” and Maggie Doherty's “The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s.” In poetry, the nominees were Victoria Chang's “Obit,” Francine J. Harris' “Here Is The Sweet Hand,” Amaud Jamaul Johnson's “Imperial Liquor,” Chris Nealon's “The Shore” and Danez Smith's “Homie.” The autobiography finalists were Cathy Park Hong's “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning,” Shayla Lawson's “This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope,” Riva Lehrer's “Golem Girl,” Wayétu Moore's “The Dragons, The Giant, The Women” and Alia Volz's “Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco.” Beside's Garza's “Grieving,” criticism nominees were Vivian Gornick's “Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader,” Nicole Fleetwood's “Marking Time." Namwali Serpell's “Stranger Faces” and Wendy A. Woloson's “Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America.” Three of last year's most talked about first novels, Raven Leilani's “Lustre,” Megha Majumdar's “A Burning” and Douglas Stuart's “Shuggie Bain," are nominees for the John Leonard Prize for best first book, fiction or nonfiction. The other finalists are Kerri Arsenault's “Mill Town,” Karla Cornejo Villavicencio's “The Undocumented Americans,” Brandon Taylor's “Real Life” and “C Pam Zhang's ”How Much of These Hills Is Gold." The Leonard award is named for the late literary critic, who helped found the NBCC in 1974. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
La pandémie a des impacts sur la recherche, non seulement sur la façon de concilier le travail de terrain et les règles sanitaires, mais sur le rapport du chercheur avec l’objet étudié.
The township of Muskoka Lakes published its new plan for how it wants to organize and upgrade the community throughout the next four years, with plans to focus on protecting the environment, boosting the township’s economy, upgrading infrastructure and more. Mayor Phil Harding said he is “very excited” to move forward as a township with the finished plan, made public on Wednesday, Jan. 13. “It really is the focus of Muskoka Lakes for the next four years,” he said. The plan is divided into four pillars organizing the goals council decided on throughout 2020 with consultation from the public. Some of the goals are short-term, being set in motion this year, while others are for down the line, in 2022 and 2023. Here are the standout goals in the strategic plan: The township is looking at its official plan to consider development restrictions, and a mandatory septic inspection program, as part of its strategic plan to preserve and protect the environment. Harding said during public consultations, many expressed concern about overdevelopment taking place in Muskoka Lakes affecting water quality and shorelines: the clear-cutting of trees and run-off from hardscaping projects, for example. Council and staff started developing their Community Improvement Plan for Port Carling and Bala and plan to make it a key project in 2021. “We want to try and build a year-round economy,” Harding said. “We need to understand what limitations businesses are having: why is it just seasonal?" He noted COVID-19 has been a challenge for businesses in 2020 but added more people are up in Muskoka Lakes during the fall and winter. One of the short-term goals listed for 2021 for strengthening Muskoka Lakes’ economy is assessing the challenges with broadband and internet connectivity in the township and working to expand internet access for everyone. In November, council discussed an effort to request the Ontario Energy Board reduce or remove the “egregious” charges broadband providers pay in rural Ontario communities like theirs to attach fibre-optic broadband to hydro poles. Internet connectivity became a pronounced issue in several rural Ontario communities throughout the pandemic. The township is working on new master plans for its recreation, parks, trails and facilities: the plan indicates it wants to implement the recommendations it forms in the plans in 2023. He added council and staff are working on a master plan for their fire services. In a previous plan, they considered closing down some of their 10 stations in the township and upgrading the remaining stations, which could have ATVs or fire boats, an idea Harding might consider for this master plan. The final pillar indicates the township wants to forge better relationships with all levels of government. Harding said his relationships with other mayors in the district and the province, including MPP Norm Miller and Premier Doug Ford, have improved since council took office in October 2018. The strategic plan is also for the next term of council that will take over late 2022. He said building good relationships now will help them down the line. Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats say new rules to close a gender wage gap in federally regulated workplaces will take too long to make a difference. The government's pay equity regulations require the likes of banks and telecommunications companies to put plans in place to meet the new rules. The rules would give companies three years to craft and implement plans, and provide more time for those who face a larger hit to their bottom line. NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen, the critic for women and gender equality, says she is concerned that the wording of the regulations mean some women could be waiting up to a decade before pay equity becomes a reality in their workplace. Mathyssen calls the long timeline "unacceptable," and says she hopes prodding the Liberals in Parliament will push the government to close the gap more quickly. The Liberals passed pay equity legislation in 2018 and wrapped consultations on draft regulations this month. Labour Minister Filomena Tassi's office says the government is on track to publish the final regulations before the summer, at which time the government will unveil the exact date the rules will come into force. The government points to the pandemic as the reason for some uncertainty about the coming-into-force date, but adds the rules should take effect later this year. The government estimates achieving pay equity will cost federally regulated private sector employers $1.95 billion over 10 years. On average in Canada, women earn 12 per cent less than men, the third-largest gender pay gap among G7 countries and the seventh largest in the OECD. Mathyssen says if the Liberals had insisted in 2018 that the regulations should come into effect imminently, "women in federally regulated workplaces now would have pay equity." "You can have a bit of time, but these extended periods being so long, some women will have to wait up to eight (years)," she says. Mathyssen says she worries that the longer it takes for the gap to close, the more it may affect how much women receive in parental and retirement benefits. Both are based on earnings, so earning less than men now means they'll receive less in retirement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott answered questions on Monday about Roberta Place, a nursing home in Barrie, Ont. that’s seen 27 COVID-19 deaths and almost all residents infected with the virus as of Friday. Elliott said there is support for the care home in addition to the Red Cross, which was deployed to help respond to the situation.
Every Monday is going to be bring your dog to work day for Allison Helm. As a mental health programmer at Medicine Hat College, Helm will begin bringing her rescue pup Louie to MHC each Monday at 3 p.m. for students to spend time with. Louie is a seven-year-old Shepherd mix and is a registered therapy dog. Helm and Louie will meet students outside the college’s front doors. “We’re going to meet any students who want to meet Louie and spend some time with him,” said Helm. “I’ll have individual treat bags so everyone who comes can give him some treats. “We’re going to be following all Alberta Health guidelines and we’ll have extra masks and sanitizer with us.” After feeding and petting Louie, students can then opt to go for a short walk with the dog and his handler. “This is great for students who may feel isolated or alone,” said Helm. “It can be hard for students being at home, and being around a therapy dog can be really beneficial. “We encourage anyone interested to come out and spend time with Louie.” Helm says there are differences between therapy dogs and service dogs, which should be noted. Therapy dogs, like Louie, wear a vest and go places to give and receive love. People are allowed to pet Louie and feed him treats that are given out by the handler. Therapy dogs are not allowed to go wherever they please, and need permission to be at places like a college. Service dogs have more training than therapy dogs and are there to help humans who have complex needs. Service dogs are not to be pet and are allowed just about anywhere people are. They also wear vests. “Louie will be wearing his vest that labels him as a therapy dog, but we want people to know that he is friendly and a total suck,” said Helm. “He loves everyone.” Louie’s Monday appearances at the college will be weather-dependent, and will be cancelled if it is unpleasant outside. Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
HALIFAX — A billion-dollar deal that marks the single biggest investment in Canada's seafood industry by an Indigenous group was finalized on Monday, with one First Nation's chief calling it a "significant achievement for the Mi'kmaq."Vancouver-based Premium Brands Holdings Corp. and a coalition of First Nations in Atlantic Canada have each acquired half ownership of Clearwater through a new partnership, FNC Holdings Ltd., at a price of $8.25 a share.The $1-billion transaction, including debt, is expected to see the Mi'kmaq First Nations partnership hold Clearwater's Canadian fishing licences.Membertou First Nation Chief Terry Paul said the deal will transform Indigenous participation in the commercial fishing sector."This is a significant achievement for the Mi'kmaq," he said in a statement. "This collective investment by First Nations in Clearwater represents the single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada."The partnership, which includes Membertou, Miawpukek, Sipekne'katik, We'koqma'q, Potlotek, Pictou Landing and Paqtnkek communities, will provide more opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in the Atlantic region and bring prosperity to the communities, Paul added. The participation in the commercial seafood sector is not expected to impact ongoing efforts by Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada to establish a "moderate livelihood" or treaty rights-based fishery.Clearwater fishes a variety of seafood, including scallops, lobster, clams and crab in Canada, Argentina and the U.K, with sales in 48 countries around the world.The acquisition will allow the Halifax-based seafood company to continue to grow while preserving its culture and community presence, said Ian Smith, president and CEO of Clearwater."This partnership positions us to continue building on the legacy of our founders, Colin MacDonald and John Risley, while we embark on the next chapter of a remarkable Atlantic Canadian success story," he said in a statement. Premium Brands owns a broad range of specialty food manufacturing and food distribution businesses with operations across Canada, the U.S. and Italy.George Paleologou, president and CEO of Premium Brands, said the company's brand development capabilities and extensive customer relationships will strengthen Clearwater's business and position it to accelerate its growth.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021.Companies in this story: (TSX:CLR, TSX:PBH) The Canadian Press
It’s a stereotypical belief that couldn’t be further from the truth. Food is a basic need and something we all must have to survive. “No one is denied access, and there is no income threshold that must be met.” Stated Mara Plican-MacAskill, Housing & Employment Services Coordinator and a volunteer with the Fox Creek Food Bank. You may very well have a home, a job and a vehicle but still, require assistance occasionally. During these difficult times, many struggle from paycheck to paycheck. When the money does come, it’s gone before the days over. Rent and utilities must be paid, medications and other necessities, and quite often, there’s not enough money left over to buy food. In situations like this, accessing the food bank can be vital, as it can provide temporary relief for families and individuals until they can get back on their feet. In essence, it helps bridge the gap of financial strain, so you do not have to choose whether to eat or pay rent. To use the Fox Creek Food Bank, each occupant of the household must register with proper identification such as a driver’s license, birth certificate or other forms of government-issued identification. Providing proof of residency is another document required upon the first visit for registration. As of 2021, the Fox Creek Food Bank provides one food hamper each month containing one week’s worth of food, to a maximum of six hampers per year. The number of food hampers is limited per year as again, the food bank is not meant to be accessed regularly, but rather a short term fix to help families or individuals get through a rough patch. Each year, Food Banks Canada publishes their HungerCount annual statistics report. The report is a census survey of all food bank agencies within Canada. The data collected provides a snapshot of food bank users in each province and region. The 2020 data collection will begin on February 26, 2021, but it will take time to gather and compile public release results. The last published report for the HungerCount 2019 indicates 89,821 visits last year in Alberta, and only four percent of those were collecting unemployment insurance. Another startling fact is the additional 35,282 children who also use the food bank, which equates to 34.1 percent. The study shows about 20 percent of the adults have gainful employment, with the remainder either on disability, pension or social assistance. Other numbers placed in the study was the family unit and housing accommodations. Not only has there been a 45.1 percent overall increase in food bank usage by Albertans, but almost half of the users are single. The other poll shows 70.8 percent of those who access the food bank live in rental accommodations. There is no quick solution to ensure no one goes hungry, but the Fox Creek Food Bank, like the others, is doing all it can to ensure each user receives food. An exciting point many do not know is food banks can offer more than just food. Staff and volunteers can provide a wide array of assistance from helping find employment, access to adult training or a host of other resources. If you have further questions or may need help from the Fox Creek Food Bank, call the Community Resource Centre at 780-622-3758, email the Food Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their new Facebook page. Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press
Canada's unemployment rate in December was revised to 8.8% from 8.6% on Monday, while the net decline in jobs for the month was amended to 52,700 from 62,600, as Statistics Canada completed a historic review of its labor force data. The revision, undertaken to ensure the data was aligned with recent population and geographical boundary estimates, had "virtually no effect" on employment estimates for the pandemic period of March to December 2020, the agency said.