Yulia Navalnaya was taking part in a protest to demand the release of her husband when she was taken into a police vehicle.
Yulia Navalnaya was taking part in a protest to demand the release of her husband when she was taken into a police vehicle.
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
The combined testimony of the mental health clinicians who saw Lionel Desmond reveals the fluctuating nature of mental illness — how the veteran who killed his family and himself changed over the years from a patient reportedly willing to take medication and engage in processing the trauma he witnessed in Afghanistan. Dr. Isabelle Gagnon, a psychologist at Ste. Anne's Hospital in Quebec, first saw Desmond at an in-patient program for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in May 2016. She described him as a patient with borderline personality traits, including paranoia and a poor ability to trust others, who made only minor progress in his therapy. She agreed with Desmond's previous clinicians, however, in saying that she saw no warning signs of the violence to come. Gagnon testified that even after learning that Desmond had killed his wife, Shanna, his daughter, Aaliyah, his mother, Brenda, and then himself at a home in Guysborough County, N.S., on Jan. 3, 2017, it didn't change the way she does safety assessments. Instead, she testified Wednesday that Desmond seemed focused on the stress in his everyday life: having to sell his home, finding a job after leaving the military and becoming a "good husband and father." The CBC's Laura Fraser liveblogged the inquiry: She noted that while he kept repeating these goals, he would sometimes struggle to explain what they would look like in practical terms. He was rarely willing to discuss the traumatic events that had affected him, she said, nor was he willing to consider how they might be affecting his reaction to every day stress. "He would say that he had to focus on the future, not on the past," Gagnon said. Framed photos of Desmond's wife, Shanna, and daughter, Aaliyah, are displayed in the home of Shanna's parents. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC) Resistance to medication Testimony on Tuesday from Dr. Robert Ouellette, a psychiatrist at Ste. Anne's Hospital, also revealed Desmond's resistance to taking or changing medication. Ouellette testified that he felt the veteran's progress might stagnate without the right doses. Gagnon and Ouellette's testimony sounded very different than that of Dr. Vinod Joshi and Dr. Wendy Rogers, both of whom worked with Desmond from 2011 to 2015 at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. It was there that Desmond first sought treatment for symptoms that Joshi would diagnose as complex PTSD and major depression, roughly four years after he returned from Afghanistan in 2007. Both Joshi and Rogers testified that their patient was someone who complied with the goals of treatment; he successfully completely prolonged exposure therapy with Rogers, retelling the trauma he'd witnessed until he could manage the distress it provoked, she testified. Desmond is seen in this family photo with his mother, Brenda, and daughter, Aaliyah. (Submitted by Cassandra Desmond) Desmond struggled to trust It's unclear what changed in terms of compliance with medication or Desmond's willingness to retell that trauma, though Gagnon noted it can also take time to develop a therapeutic relationship. She said that Desmond struggled to trust people, often believing that if others were laughing, it was directed at him. Desmond chose to leave Ste. Anne's in-patient program early, on Aug. 15, 2016. He reportedly left because he wanted to spend time with his 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, before she began school in Nova Scotia. Desmond was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2007. (Facebook/The Canadian Press) In his release report, the clinicians at Ste. Anne's noted Desmond had made only "minor progress" during his time there, and that he needed ongoing therapy within the community. They also recommended that he undergo neurological testing to see if he had a brain injury from the head injuries he'd reportedly sustained during his military service. Instead, he went months without seeing a therapist. It wasn't until he was in crisis and went to the emergency room in Antigonish, N.S., that he would meet with a psychiatrist in late October 2016. In late November, his Veterans Affairs case manager connected him with a community therapist, according to evidence already presented at the inquiry. The inquiry is charged with making recommendations to prevent future deaths. It is also charged with examining whether Desmond had access to the necessary mental health care, and whether his family had access to domestic violence intervention.
European telecoms firms are cashing in on the money-making power of masts, as tower companies line up to pay multi-billion dollar price tags for antennas buzzing with ever more data ahead of the advent of 5G. Upgrading networks, including towers, for 5G - which promises an age of self-driving cars and brain surgery performed at a distance - will soak up some $890 billion between 2020 and 2025, the GSMA industry body says. European operators are increasingly willing to exploit assets to help finance those build-outs.
P.E.I. will on Thursday move out of the red-level lockdown that was imposed in response to a COVID-19 outbreak that led to mass testing. The owner of a Charlottetown restaurant says he intends to pay a $5,000 fine for an infraction of the Public Health Act. Dr. Heather Morrison says she is glad to have another weapon in her COVID-19 arsenal now that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been approved for use in people under 65. Here is what parents, students need to know as P.E.I. public schools open up again. The chief of the Miscouche fire department says he welcomes news that firefighters will be among those next in line for COVID-19 vaccinations on P.E.I. Following the lead of British Columbia, P.E.I. is delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine for those who have already gotten one shot, in order to give more people their first vaccine shot earlier. Morrison announced a new schedule for vaccinations on the Island. A Green MLA wants to know if government is considering legislation for guaranteed paid sick leave as part of its COVID-19 response. A hardware store in Summerside has reopened for business, after a deep cleaning over the weekend. P.E.I. has 22 active cases, its most ever, out of 137 diagnosed since the pandemic first hit the Island nearly a year ago. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations. Also in the news Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
Caleb shows the easy way to cook rice in an instant pot with perfect results. Enjoy!
Late last week reports began circulating on social media alleging a group of hunters from Quebec had travelled to southern Labrador to hunt caribou, believed to be the threatened Joir River herd, a small group of the Mealy Mountain herd that is the most southeasterly caribou of their range. SaltWire Network contacted the Department of Fisheries, Forestry, and Agriculture, which confirmed the department is aware of a group of people who travelled to Labrador from Quebec. “Resource enforcement officers located these individuals when they initially arrived and advised the group that any harvesting of caribou in the Labrador region is illegal,” the department said in a statement. “There are now in excess of 30 snowmobiles in the area. Officers have made patrols to the area and have observed illegally harvested caribou.” The statement said evidence has been collected and enforcement action will be taken as the investigation continues. Hunting caribou is illegal in Labrador, and over the years a handful of hunters from Quebec have been charged and convicted with illegal hunting of the herds. Most recently, three Pakua Shipi Innu men were convicted in January of violating the Wildlife Act and obstruction related to illegal caribou hunting in 2015. The Pakua Shipi Innu hunt in the area annually and have said in the past they dispute the official numbers of the herd and the impact of hunting. Hollis Yetman with the Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association posted about the hunt on Friday, saying the hunters had left Quebec a few days before and spent a night at a hotel near the Quebec-Labrador border before heading into the country. SaltWire spoke with Yetman, who said the hunt happens this time every year like clockwork, and he understands the challenges wildlife officers face when trying to enforce the hunting ban. The remoteness of the area where they hunt, different provincial jurisdictions, the time it takes to mobilize enough officers to respond, and the challenge of confronting a large group of armed men are just some factors, he said. Yetman said consultations need to happen within the communities, and within the Indigenous governments, the provinces and the federal government, “with everybody at the table and find out what the real issues are.” “You have to get at the table and hash out what the real issues and solutions are and deal with it at the table. You can’t deal with it in the country. It’s already too late then.” Yetman said with the caribou numbers as low as they are, the time for enforcement has passed and it’s up to the different governments to find a solution. Everyone he’s spoken to with the federal, provincial and Indigenous governments has been upset about the hunt that happens in the area every year, but it keeps happening, he said. “It makes me believe that everybody, except the Innu in this situation, is powerless,” Yetman said. “They must be, because they can’t stop it. I would say the federal and provincial government is weak. When the hunting happens it’s already too late. I challenge them all to get up and deal with it, behind the scenes, do something and start talks to keep these caribou alive.” The Nunatukavut Community Council (NCC), which represents the Southern Inuit of Labrador, released a statement on Sunday about the illegal hunting, saying they are concerned and disappointed to hear of the hunt. NCC President Todd Russell said they are closely monitoring the situation and are working with provincial authorities to share information. He said in their view, there are no legitimate grounds for taking these animals at this time and NunatuKavut Inuit “have always had a fundamentally important relationship with caribou and our approach has been one of respect." “We have a responsibility as Inuit, as do other Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, to do all we can to protect the caribou and their habitat," Russell said. "This is necessary so that future generations can know about caribou, and to always have it be part of our culture.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
A group representing Toronto's Korean community is poised to take over the country's only long-term care facility dedicated to serving Korean seniors, averting the transfer of the home to a for-profit owner that seemed likely only weeks ago. If approved, the deal will see Toronto's Rose of Sharon LTC purchased by the Arirang Age-Friendly Community Centre, a non-profit organization representing the Korean community. "We will ensure that the Korean seniors can live in a community of support with exemplary care and peace of mind," said. Dr. Donald Kim, a physician and Arirang board member. The Rose of Sharon has been in receivership for a decade due to financial struggles that arose almost immediately after the facility was opened in 2010. Rykka Care Centres, a for-profit organization with no obvious ties to the Korean community, struck a deal to buy the home in December 2019. The agreement sparked outrage and a campaign to block the sale and keep the home under the stewardship of the Korean community. Families connected to the Rose of Sharon have since expressed new concerns about the proposed transfer of the home to Rykka, which has seen deadly outbreaks related to COVID-19. The Rose of Sharon has not recorded a single case of COVID-19 among its residents or staff during the pandemic. The transfer of the home to Arirang will still require approval from the provincial government. Ontario's Ministry of Long-Term Care said a review is still underway and that no decision has been made on the future of the home. Home 'should be cherished,' resident's son says While the Rose of Sharon has been mired in financial struggles for nearly its entire existence, people with elderly relatives at the home say it has still managed to provide high-quality care and culturally specific programming unavailable at other facilities. Staff at the Rose of Sharon speak Korean, and the home celebrates Korean holidays. It also serves Korean food to its residents, who are mainly first- or second-generation Korean-Canadians. Ross Ha visits with his 88-year-old mother at the Rose of Sharon Korean Long-Term Care Home, in Toronto, on March 2, 2021.(Evan Mitsui/CBC) "Such a nursing home should be cherished," said Ross Ha, whose 88-year-old mother has been a Rose of Sharon resident since April 2019. "It should be promoted instead of being sold out to a private corporation." Ha's mother has dementia and is losing her ability to speak English, he explained, making it critical that her caretakers can effectively communicate with her in her native language. "They were very caring people, they were very professional," said Ha in an interview. "I can see that their attitude towards my mom, basically they were treating her as if they were treating their neighbours and relatives." Non-profit LTCs more successful at preventing outbreaks Fifty-seven per cent of Ontario's 626 long-term care facilities are operated by for-profit organizations, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the largest share of any province excluding Quebec, where data is not available. While deadly outbreaks have occurred in both for-profit and non-profit LTC facilities during the pandemic, advocates for the elderly say the non-profit homes provide higher quality care, on average. Non-profit homes typically enjoy more robust funding, pay staff higher wages and have cultures that encourage volunteering more than for-profit counterparts, said Lisa Levin, CEO of the group AdvantAge Ontario, which advocated on behalf of Arirang during public hearings about the transfer of the home. "We think that all of these factors contribute to better quality care," she said. Members of Toronto’s Korean-Canadian protested against the proposed sale of the home to Rykka Care Centres during the summer of 2020.(Angelina King/CBC) Levin added that non-profit organizations with ties to specific cultural groups can provide even better care when they are able to provide programming that respects the traditions, language and foods from specific cultural, ethnic or religious backgrounds. "I think there's a lot more that the government could do to encourage community groups to develop and run not-for-profit long-term care homes," she said.
As the B.C. government enters Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, thousands of Indigenous people in rural and remote communities are celebrating getting their first and second dose of the vaccine. But it's not without mishaps including what leaders call a lack communication, racism and outstanding questions about vaccinating urban community members. More than 19,200 First Nations people have received their first dose of either Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and 5,258 have received their second dose. In total, 24,515 Indigenous people in 113 communities have received vaccine. "We have been anticipating this day for an extremely long time, but we will never be able to get back what we lost" said Chief Grace George of the Katzie First Nation whose sister died of COVID-19. The provincial government made vaccines a priority on First Nations reserves since they are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to limited housing and health care facilities and lack of trust in the health system. Katzie leaders held a ceremony for the nurses and the vaccine in their community on Friday. Nurses from the Fraser Health Authority stand in front of the Katzie health center as community leaders sing and drum to welcome them and the vaccine to the Katzie First Nation near Pitt Meadows, B.C. (Angela Sterritt/CBC) "It's a happy day for me, it is the beginning of the end of the pandemic," said Katzie Coun. Rick Bailey who was among the first to be vaccinated in his Fraser Valley community. Bailey, 61, who almost lost his brother to COVID-19, said he was initially hesitant about being vaccinated after hearing about allergic reactions in the U.K. After doing some research, he realised it is safe and effective. And he is not alone, 81 per cent of the Katzie community has been vaccinated. Bailey was excited to return in 42 days to get his second shot, but those doses are now put on pause, which has caused some confusion. Battling misinformation and miscommunication Some Indigenous leaders were not briefed on the reason for the delay of the second dose until after the public was informed, leading to rumours that they were no longer being prioritized. In fact, the province announced Monday it is extending the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to four months. It means every eligible person in B.C. will receive the first dose of vaccine by mid-to late July. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows "miraculous" protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. For George, on top of addressing communication gaps, she's had to deal with misinformation and racism from non-Indigenous people who don't understand why First Nations have been prioritized. "We sadly have many examples of how COVID-19 has impacted First Nations communities," she said. This winter, COVID-19 cases among First Nations in the northern region were double that of the rest of population and triple in the Vancouver Island region. She said Indigenous communities on-reserve face overcrowding with limited housing and many live in multigenerational homes, increasing the risk of transmitting the virus. Some Indigenous people are also fearful of hospitals given the racism they've experienced, making the risks more severe. Urban Indigenous left out Indigenous leaders say their relatives and community members living off-reserve face the same imperils, but are not being prioritized. Katzie health director Allison Carcamo vaccinates Chief Grace George with her first dose. George said she felt relieved but sad that those who died didn't have access to this life-saving vaccine.(Submitted by Chief Grace George) "It doesn't matter where they live, our Indigenous populations are at an increased risk," said Nisga'a Valley Health Authority CEO, Brandi Trudell-Davis. "I would like to know that there is some considerations [for those urban populations]," she said. About 78 per cent of all Indigenous people in B.C. — including all First Nations members, Metis and Inuit — don't live on reserves. Shannon McDonald, acting chief medical officer at the First Nations Health Authority, says she has been advocating for urban Indigenous people from day one. "The virus has impacted populations, for example, in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver quite heavily and people have gotten sicker and there have been several deaths there," she added. The Ministry of Health said it will vaccinate Indigenous people aged 65 and over living off-reserve in its current Phase 2 Indigenous peoples aged 45-65 will be able to be vaccinated in Phase 3 from April through June. CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot, as well as opportunities to participate in two community conversations on March 3, focused on outreach to Indigenous and multicultural communities. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com
Police in Moose Jaw have arrested two people and are searching for a third in connection with an attempted murder. Last Friday, police were told about an assault on Stadacona Street West, but could not find a victim or any suspects. Some time later, police located a man with serious head injuries who was taken to hospital. The man has since been released and sent home. Police returned to the scene on Stadacona Street with a search warrant and found some evidence. Now, two people have been charged with attempted murder in the crime, as well as robbery and possession of crystal meth. The accused made their first court appearance in Moose Jaw provincial court Tuesday morning. Police are searching for a third suspect, also wanted for attempted murder and robbery.
FORT FRANCES — A 25-year-old Emo, Ont., resident has been charged following an investigation into a possible impaired driver last month. Rainy River District OPP located a driver believed to be impaired on Highway 613 in the Warsaw Road area on Feb. 26 shortly after 5 p.m., according to a news release issued on Monday, March 1. The driver was arrested for impaired operation of a conveyance by a drug. During the investigation, officers also located and seized 20 grams of suspected fentanyl. Jesse Loveday, 25, was also charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking. His driver’s licence was also suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. Loveday is scheduled to appear in court on March 22. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Britain's Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth who is in hospital for tests for a heart condition and treatment for an infection, is "slightly improving", Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall said on Wednesday. Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been in hospital for over two weeks since he was admitted having felt unwell, and on Monday moved hospitals to one specialising in cardiac treatment, for tests and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. On a tour of a vaccination centre in south London, Camilla, the wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, told a volunteer the Duke was "slightly improving" and that "we keep our fingers crossed".
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine and District Dancing with the Stars fundraiser has been rescheduled to Aug. 19 and this year, will be held as a virtual event. The event welcomes local dance teams, composed of a local celebrity and a seasoned dancer, to compete against each other on the dance floor and raise money for BBBS. It was originally scheduled for April of 2021. The 2020 event was cancelled because of COVID restrictions. “Although we were hoping to be able to bring our community together for another exciting evening of in-person entertainment this year, we have made the decision for the health and safety of our volunteers, supporters and dancers to move to a virtual event,” said Yolanda Ritsema, executive director of BBBSKD. The first Dancing with the Stars event debuted in 2019, and was a huge success. Bill Pike and Jennifer White topped the podium, and the event raised $12,600. BBBSKD, along with many other not-for-profit groups, have felt the fundraising pinch since the beginning of the pandemic, when many events were cancelled because of stay-at-home and gathering restrictions. The groups have had to pivot and develop new means to raise much-needed funds. “The funds from Dancing with the Stars go to support our programs and services,” said Ritsema. “We serve 50 young people in Kincardine and area. Our mission is to enable life-changing mentoring relationships that ignite the power and potential of young people. We serve young people who face adversity and are in need of an additional supportive developmental relationship.” “With monies raised from our main fundraising programs, like Dancing with the Stars, we are able ignite the power and potential of young people by intentionally recruiting volunteers based on the needs of our community's young people; by matching young people with a professionally screened volunteer mentor; by monitoring and supporting that match with a professional caseworker; by training and supporting the mentor, the mentee and the family; and by building a Developmental Relationship between the mentor and the mentee that Expresses Care, Challenges Growth, Provides Support, Shares Power and Expands Possibilities.” Ritsema says that having a big brother or sister has a long term effect on their littles. Mentored youth are two times more likely to give back to their community and 81 per cent of mentored youth report having stronger financial literacy. Forty three per cent are less likely to conduct problems at school and 98 per cent believe they make better life choices. For every $1 invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters, $23 is returned to society. Ritsema says the volunteer team responsible for organizing the event has been hard at work creating a virtual experience everyone will enjoy. Besides the dance competition, the event will feature an online auction and an “early bird” raffle for Mother’s Day, featuring a pair of Canadian diamond earrings, donated by Gemini Jewellers in Kincardine. The dancing pairs, Alana Rozon and Murray Needham, Braden Prasad and Patty Coulter, Gord Dunbar and Sally Ballard, Sarah and Keith Foster and John Binnendyk and Karen Maliseni, will each perform two routines, which will be judged by Michael Rencheck, Jessica Brown and Taylor Pollard. John Low will serve as the master of ceremonies. “We have five wonderful dance couples who have been working so hard for several months to bring you an incredible night of performances,” said Linda Johnson, Dancing with the Stars team captain. “This event will still sparkle and thrill our audience as they watch from the comfort of their homes.” Updates and tickets for the event will go on sale in the coming months. More information can be found by visiting www.kincardine.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca and checking the social media page. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
An 84-unit apartment building for seniors, including 26 affordable housing units, is scheduled to open in 2022 in Whitehorse's Takhini neighbourhood, the Yukon government announced Tuesday. Normandy Manor, which has been in the works in some form or another for more than a decade, is being built at 468 Range Rd. Construction began in August 2020. The plan is to build 10 bachelor, 70 one-bedroom, and four two-bedroom apartments. Of the 26 affordable housing units, 10 have been leased out to the Yukon Housing Corporation for 20 years for $3.5 million. Borud Enterprises, Ketza Construction, and Northern Vision Development (NVD) have partnered under the group KBC Developments to develop the property. Prices for affordable housing units are going to be set at 80 per cent of the median rent for the same kind of unit in the city, according to Michael Hale, NVD's president. He referenced the Yukon Bureau of Statistics' Yukon Rent Survey. If the numbers reported in the October 2020 survey don't change, bachelor, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments should cost $720, $800, and $1,006, respectively. Hale said they are building a home for people who may struggle to live on their own but are not ready to live in continuing care, government supported housing. "We intend to build a community where Yukon seniors can have a social life, independence and continue to engage in the broader Whitehorse and Yukon communities," he said. Affordable housing units will be made available for the entirety of the building's 50-year mortgage, Hale added. There will be an additional charge for services, including 24-hour staffing, housekeeping, meals, and recreational activities. Pricing for that is still to be determined. Hale said the aim is for a late-summer opening date, and the company is accepting names for its wait list. Determining what age makes someone a senior in this context is still being worked on, as is whether non-seniors will be allowed to live there, he said. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will provide about $34.5 million for the project. Hale said that's in the form of a mortgage, all of which will have to be paid off except for $5 million. The City of Whitehorse is offering a tax rebate of up to $500,000 over 10 years for the project, he added. The Yukon government is providing a $1 million split evenly between the Housing Initiatives Fund, and the Municipal Matching Rental Construction Grant.
There has been a lot of talk coming from governments lately, including ours, about making Big Tech companies — Facebook, Google and their ilk — pay news organizations for the stories that appear on their platforms. Last month, Facebook shocked Australian users after following through on its threat to ban news from its platform down under if the Australian government continued to pursue legislation that would force Big Tech to pay. Facebook relented, but the message is clear: the tech giant doesn't think it owes news companies anything. In terms of where eyeballs reading stories on news sites come from, that would be a fair point. When I was managing editor of Northern News Services, the amount of traffic that came directly from Facebook was easily 90 per cent, and surely it still is. But it's not the quantity of news on Facebook, nor the number of eyeballs the platform pushes toward news websites, that's at issue. Rather, it's the wholesale destruction of the news industry's ability to generate advertising revenue. And more philosophically, it's how we maintain a robust fourth estate while independent and privately-owned press are on the ropes and only the publicly-funded CBC is big enough to keep us informed and hold governments to account in the hinterlands outside major urban centres. 'When I was managing editor of Northern News Services, the amount of traffic that came directly from Facebook was easily 90 per cent, and surely it still is,' writes Mike Bryant. (Stephen Lam/Reuters) When I joined Northern News Services (NNSL) as a cub reporter in 1999, I entered a newsroom stuffed to the rafters with journalists. No one got rich on an NNSL salary, but the more advertisements sold, the more pages were needed to be filled by other stuff as well, and since poetry and jam recipes were not likely to hold readers to the page, it had to be news. And thus, for many years, there was the expectation that a reporter would be sent to village council meetings in Fort Simpson, N.W.T., or to capture the winner and her big catch at the fishing derby in Baker Lake, Nunavut, or to get the kids' faces from soccer camp in Inuvik, N.W.T. This model of maximum coverage is largely dead now. How do print and other traditional news media compete when the ad that used to cost $600 in the newspaper can be "boosted" on Facebook for $25? Big Tech has wrecked the ability of news agencies to generate revenue from advertisements, especially from the private sector, which knows a good deal when it sees one. Gone, too, are the classifieds and job ads. Goal must be to restore community journalism The reality came home for me in 2015 while standing at the layout board with NNSL's then-managing editor (now publisher) Bruce Valpy trying to figure out how to stuff the guts back into the Yellowknifer and News/North papers after jettisoning the arts and business pages. The following year witnessed the death of the print edition of Northern Journal, a newspaper based in Fort Smith, N.W.T. The year after that, northerners said goodbye to the NNSL-owned Deh Cho Drum. I'm not suggesting that we somehow turn back the clock and save traditional media from its own obsolescence. But there is still a need for traditional journalists, especially in the North, where reliable reporting options are limited. If Canada is to follow in Australia's footsteps, and it appears Trudeau's Liberal government is keen to do so, the objective must be to hire more journalists. My fear is that whatever deal is worked out will involve only a handful of the largest media companies in Canada. Ottawa must avoid the temptation to drop out of the conversation should Big Tech and major Canadian publishers make nice and carve out their own deals, like their counterparts in Australia have been doing. The federal government must ensure the goal is hiring more journalists and restoring journalism in communities where journalism has been lost — and to make Big Tech pay for that. Good thing there is already a precedent fund with that very aim in mind. The Local Journalism Initiative was launched by the federal government in 2019 with a budget of $50 million over five years — enough to hire between 150 to 200 journalists, by my calculation. I accessed this fund two years ago so NNSL could hire a reporter to cover Nunavut's Kitikmeot region. The only problem, of course, is that the Local Journalism Initiative is funded by taxpayers. Canadian taxpayers are pumping cash transfusions into news companies that are simultaneously being bled dry by Silicon Valley. Big Tech is not going to go broke if it has to start paying for news. Taking over responsibility for Canada's journalism initiative fund would be an excellent place to start. Let's make sure the idea get's a boost.
Denis Giles, the editor of a small Indian newspaper, received a phone call as he sat typing in his one-room office in Port Blair overlooking the languid waters of the Andaman Sea. The caller, Mohammed Siddiqui, was frantic and largely incoherent. Giles said he was about to hang up until he heard, in broken Hindi: "Please help me... Many people may die."
A wild rally in shares of Rocket Companies that saw the stock rise 70% in an apparent short squeeze has attracted fresh bets that the stock price will decline. Shares of Rocket, the parent of mortgage lender Quicken Loans, were down 31.7% to $28.43 in afternoon trading on Wednesday. The heavily-shorted stock had surged more than 70% on Tuesday in a move that analysts said was likely sparked by bearish investors unwinding bets against the stock as its share price surged.
Fingers crossed, residents and visitors to the area will be able to attend the Ripley Food, Art and Craft Show on Aug. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Community Centre. The annual show is a showcase for local vendors, bringing them all together under one roof to connect with shoppers. Like so many other events scheduled last summer, the show had to be cancelled because of pandemic restrictions that prohibited large gatherings under one roof. “This past year has been tough on small businesses, local artisans and our residents,” said Maggie Young, who handles community services programming and administration for the Township of Huron Kinloss. “The Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Community Services Department are committed to providing a space and hosting an event to help showcase local artisans and food producers, as well as re-introducing events for the community to attend. Therefore, every effort is being made to host the 2021 Ripley Food Art Craft Festival, keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of both the vendors and visitors.” Young said all protocols advised by public health will be followed, and may include masks if required, the number of people allowed in the building at one time and sanitizer will be available. If necessary, booths can be spaced two-metres apart and directional flow arrows will be placed on the floor. Young says community services will “go above and beyond” what restrictions are in place. Organizers also have a plan B ready, should it be decided that the event cannot be held on the arena floor. It can be moved outside, under tents, if necessary, and as a last option, held online with a marketplace and vendor focus. Registration is now open for vendors, which has in past years welcomed 40-50 small businesses. Information is available by calling 519-395-2909 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the event on Facebook @RipleyArtisansFestival for status updates. All money raised from the event is directed back to the Town of Ripley and Huron Kinloss. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
Cindy and Ray Brownlee are terrified for their daughter. Becky, who is 39, has Down syndrome, type 1 diabetes and asthma. Having Down syndrome means her immune system is compromised. She had to stop working as a Walmart greeter, a job she has held for more than 15 years and where she is much beloved by staff and customers alike. Unlike others with Down syndrome, she does not live in a congregate or group living setting — she lives with her parents — and is therefore not prioritized for the vaccine. This is despite the fact that people with Down syndrome have five times the hospitalization rate as compared to the general population due to COVID-19 and 10 times the mortality rate. "The province’s vaccination eligibility criteria is ever evolving as we work our way through this pandemic. At this time, Becky is not eligible as per vaccination eligibility," a provincial spokesperson stated by email. "Currently, Focused Immunization Teams are visiting congregate living facilities — several of which are home to individuals with either physical or intellectual challenges. Eligibility for general population was announced recently: 95 and over and adjusted on a regular basis pending appointment availability. First Nations eligibility began at 75-plus and is adjusted on a regular basis." According to the province’s vaccine queue calculator, there are 501,597 Manitobans ahead of Becky. Back when the pandemic reached Manitoba, Becky developed double pneumonia. Her parents were very concerned it might be COVID-19. That’s when her doctor told her to stop working as a greeter. He also said she couldn’t go anywhere. She can take walks, she can be in the car with her parents, and she can go to the doctor’s office. In an effort to secure Becky a vaccine, the Brownlees have written to Premier Brian Pallister, Health Minister Heather Stefanson and Brandon West MLA Reg Helwer. "All we got back was this standard form letter," said Cindy. Cindy is familiar with one other adult in Brandon with Down syndrome and very significant health issues who is living in their own home. "We’re familiar with lots of other people who have Down syndrome, but they’re living in congregate or group homes," she said. The Brandon Sun attempted to call the Manitoba Down Syndrome Society for relevant statistics, but the office is closed and the message said calls would only be returned on Thursday. Ray supports other vulnerable groups prioritized for early vaccination, such as First Nations and residents at personal care homes and congregate living and group settings. However, he believes it is wrong to exclude Becky and other vulnerable individuals. "Everything that comes into our house is wiped down with a disinfectant — groceries, anything. We had the plumber here not too long ago and the whole house was disinfected wherever he was. A lot of care and caution," said Ray. "It just seems to me that we’re doing our share, but we’re not getting consideration on the other end." Meanwhile, Brandon University professor Bruce Strang, whose teenage son Sean has Down syndrome, told the Sun on Tuesday that he’s filing a human rights complaint regarding the province not including people like his son in its vaccination plans. He also said research has shown that individuals with Down syndrome are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 or die because of the virus than people without it, so Strang believes the province should place them and others with disabilities at a higher priority to receive their vaccinations. Strang previously filed a human rights complaint against the province and the Brandon School Division for not appropriately considering the needs of students with disabilities and health conditions when making their COVID-19 back-to-school plans. "The provincial government and the chief medical officer of health have, in my view, completely ignored disability issues in the vaccine rollout," he said. "The government is once again failing to live up to its duties under the Human Rights Code, and it’s discriminating against people with disabilities in the vaccine rollout." According to Strang, he has tried to reach officials at Manitoba Health to speak about the issue, but was told that no one would speak with him over the phone. Two weeks ago, he sent an email to the office of Health Minister Heather Stefanson, to which he said he has only received an automated reply. The email sent to Stefanson’s office said that if he does not hear a reply, he will make a complaint to the provincial Human Rights Commission. A copy of this email was provided to the Sun. The professor pointed to an online town hall that chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin participated in on Feb. 8, during which another Manitoba parent expressed concern about her daughter with Down syndrome and what could happen if she contracted COVID-19 as she gets sick easily. The Brownlees also participated in the town hall. The parent asked why people like her daughter are not being given vaccination priority. "When we look at the modelling, the best way to quickly protect the most vulnerable Manitobans is the age-based approach," said Roussin. "If we took a risk-based approach, we actually protect less Manitobans quickly who are at risk. (These) are the decisions we’re forced to make when we have extreme vaccine scarcity, but there’s no doubt that there’s going to be people who are at higher risk that don’t get vaccinated." Strang didn’t appreciate Roussin’s response. "The answer was essentially nothing," said Strang. "That they knew that people with Down syndrome who have greatly increased risk of medical issues and death due to COVID-19, but they were going to concentrate on rolling out the vaccine by age only to the general population. That to me is an astonishingly lazy answer." Additionally, the Brownlees said they are afraid that Becky will be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine, which operates in a different fashion than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and is said to be less efficient. Strang and the Brownlees aren’t the only ones concerned about children and adults with Down syndrome. Canada as a whole is ignoring the issue, while other countries and some states in the U.S. have prioritized those with Down syndrome to be vaccinated. Cindy cannot understand why Roussin’s science is not the same as the science around the world. Parents in Quebec have launched a Canada-wide petition at bit.ly/3kCQT7r Ready for My Shot is another grassroots advocacy group and can be found at readyformyshot.ca Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A blast smashed five windows at a coronavirus testing centre in a small Dutch town early Wednesday, police said. Nobody was hurt in the explosion, which was condemned by the government and health officials. “For more than a year, we've been leaning heavily on the people on the front line. And then this. Crazy,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge tweeted. The head of the country’s umbrella organization for local health services that carry out coronavirus testing called the blast a “cowardly act.” “Our people have to be able to do this crucial work safely,” Andre Rouvoet tweeted. Police in the province of North Holland tweeted that “an explosive went off” near the testing centre in Bovenkarspel just before 7 a.m. Police cordoned off the area, which is 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Amsterdam, and were investigating the cause of the blast. Police spokesman Menno Hartenberg said it was unclear whether the testing centre was deliberately targeted or when the facility would be able to reopen. He said it was clear that the explosive didn't "get there by accident. But we have no idea at the moment who exactly left it there and what the intention was.” Police said a metal cylinder that had exploded was found outside the building. The northern regions of North Holland province have been identified as a virus hotspot in recent weeks, with infection numbers higher than the national average. In January, rioters torched a coronavirus test facility in the fishing village of Urk on the first night of a 9 p.m.-to-4:30 a.m. nationwide curfew imposed as part of the government’s latest coronavirus lockdown. Attacks health workers and facilities around the world have increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report by the Geneva-based Insecurity Insight and the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center identified more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year. Some Dutch lockdown restrictions were relaxed Wednesday with hairdressers, masseurs and other “contact professions” allowed to reopen if they adhere to strict social distancing and hygiene measures. Nonessential shops also were allowed to reopen in the Netherlands for the first time since mid-December, though only to very limited numbers of customers who make an appointment in advance. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ The Associated Press
On March 1, Grey Bruce became one of nine public health regions moved to a new level of the provincial framework to re-open. Previously housed in the yellow level since the lockdown was lifted, the region was moved to the green- prevent zone. The province, in a release on Feb. 26, said this decision was made in “consultation with the local medical officers of health and are based on the trends in public health indicators and local context and conditions.” "While we continue to see the number of cases and other public health indicators lowering in many regions across the province, the recent modelling shows us that we must be nimble and put in place additional measures to protect Ontarians and stop the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "With COVID-19 variants continuing to spread in our communities, it is critically important that everyone continues strictly adhering to all public health and workplace safety measures to help contain the virus and maintain the progress we have made to date." According to Grey Bruce Public Health, “the green – prevent status includes standard measures that focus on education and awareness of public health and workplace safety measures; restrictions reflect a broader allowance of activities; and highest risk settings remain closed.” In the green-prevent zone, gathering and close contact restrictions remain the same as in the yellow-protect zone, with private events and gatherings allowing 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Organized public events are allowing 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Religious, wedding and funeral services are allowed to operate at 30 per cent capacity and may have 100 people outside. All businesses must adhere to screening all employees and limiting capacity of guests in order to maintain a two-metre distance. Everyone (with some exceptions), including staff and guests, must wear a mask or face covering. Workers are required to use PPE protecting their eyes, nose and mouth when coming within two-metres of anyone not wearing a face covering, mask or separated by plexiglass. Continued disinfecting of often-touched surfaces is required. Staff must manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two-metres apart and wearing face coverings or masks. Businesses must create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request (for example, to inspectors or law enforcement officers). Restaurants, bars and food and drink businesses must seat guests at tables at least two-metres apart. Guests (with some exceptions) are required to wear masks or face covering except when eating or drinking. Staff must keep guests two-metres apart when lining up and ensure everyone is wearing a mask. One person per party will be required to leave contact information. Buffets are still not allowed to open. More information and restrictions are available at www.ontario.ca. Even with eased restrictions, the province is urging residents to continue staying at home and limit trips outside their household and to other regions unless the trips are essential. Residents should continue to wear a face covering, keep a two-metre distance from people outside of their household and not gather with individuals outside their home. These precautions will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard the health system capacity. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent