MAMUJU, Indonesia — Aid was reaching the thousands of people left homeless and struggling after an earthquake that killed at least 84 people on an Indonesian island where rescuers intensified their work Monday to find those buried in the rubble. More rescuers and volunteers were deployed in the hardest-hit city of Mamuju and the neighbouring district of Majene on Sulawesi island, where the magnitude 6.2 quake struck early Friday, said Raditya Jati, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s spokesperson. He said nearly 20,000 survivors were moved to shelters and more than 900 people were injured, with nearly 300 of them still receiving treatment for serious injuries. A total of 73 people died in Mamuju and 11 in Majene, said Didi Hamzar, the disaster agency's director of preparedness. He said rescuers also managed to pull 18 people alive from the rubble of a collapsed houses and buildings. Mahatir, a relief co-ordinator for volunteer rescuers, said his team was trying to reach many people in six isolated villages in Majene district after the quake damaged roads and bridges. Aid and other logistic supplies can be distributed only by foot over the severe terrain, said Mahatir who goes by one name. In a virtual news conference, Hamzar said that three helicopters were taking aid supplies Monday to four cut-off villages in Majene. In other hard hit areas. water, which has been in short supply, as well as food and medical supplies were being distributed from trucks. The military said it sent five planes carrying rescue personnel, food, medicine, blankets, field tents and water tankers. Volunteers and rescue personnel erected more temporary shelters for those left homeless in Mamuju and Majene. Most were barely protected by makeshift shelters that were lashed by heavy monsoon downpours. Only a few were lucky to be protected by tarpaulin-covered tents. They said they were running low on food, blankets and other aid, as emergency supplies were rushed to the hard-hit region. Police and soldiers were deployed to guard vehicles carrying relief goods and grocery stores from looting that occurred in some areas, said Muhammad Helmi, who heads the West Sulawesi police’s operation unit. Jati said at least 1,150 houses in Majene were damaged and the agency was still collecting data on damaged houses and buildings in Mamuju. Mamuju, the provincial capital of nearly 300,000 people, was strewn with debris from collapsed buildings. The governor’s office building was almost flattened and a shopping mall was reduced to a crumpled hulk. The disaster agency said the evacuees are in dire need of basic necessities — blankets, mats, tents, baby food and medical services. The disaster agency’s chief, Doni Monardo, said authorities were trying to separate high- and lower-risk groups and provided tens of thousands of anti-coronavirus masks for those needing shelters. He said authorities would also set up health posts at the camps to test people for the virus. People being housed in temporary shelters were seen standing close together, many of them without masks, saying that they difficult to observe health protocols in this emergency situation. West Sulawesi province has recorded more than 2,500 cases of the coronavirus, including 58 deaths. Indonesia has confirmed nearly 908,000 cases and almost 26,000 fatalities. Many on Sulawesi island are still haunted by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that devastated Palu city in 2018, setting of a tsunami and a phenomenon called liquefaction in which soil collapses into itself. More than 4,000 people were killed, including many who were buried when whole neighbourhoods were swallowed in the falling ground. Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, is lined with seismic faults and is frequently hit by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. A magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra in 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. ____ Karmini reported from Jakarta, Indonesia. Niniek Karmini And Yusuf Wahil, The Associated Press
Calgary, Regina, Houston – One of the first acts of Donald Trump as president of the United States was to invite TransCanada, now TC Energy, to resubmit its Keystone XL pipeline application, and to then approve it. Now, it is looking like one of the first acts of President-elect Joe Biden, after his inauguration, may be to kill it, and revoke the Presidential Permit for the pipeline to cross the international border. Numerous media stories the evening of Jan. 17, including CBC, Reuters and CTV, reported that Biden may cancel the Presidential Permit as early as his first day in office. Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. The 830,0000 barrel per day pipeline is supposed to run from Hardisty, Alberta, past Shaunavon, to Steele City, Nebraska, eventually connecting to oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma. The southern portion of the pipeline, which runs from Cushing to the U.S. Gulf Coast, was completed under the Obama administration. Up to 15 per cent of the pipeline’s capacity had been designated for North Dakota oil production. Current maps don’t show the lateral pipeline to North Dakota, but the specs for a recently completed Canadian pumping station list it at 700,000 barrels per day capacity, which would leave room for that American oil to be added downstream. Ironically, the most contentious portion of the pipeline – the international crossing which required a Presidential Permit, was one of the first things completed when construction got underway in 2020. That 2.2 kilometre long-section of pipeline crossed the border in May, 2020, in the RM of Val Marie, southeast of Shaunavon. Usually the border crossing is the ceremonial last weld, not the first, on such pipelines. The reason the pipeline was not completed within the four years of the Trump administration was due to multiple court delays, several from one particular judge in Montana. In one of those rulings in November, 2018, U.S. Federal Court Judge Brian Morris said the greenhouse gas emissions of the Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline, which ran on a different route and was owned and operated by a completely different company, should have been considered in the Keystone XL evaluation. But he did not mention anything about the recently completed and operational Dakota Access Pipeline, which handles North Dakota oil. As a result, the Keystone XL pipeline, which had been cancelled by the Barrack Obama/Joe Biden administration in 2015, is not anywhere near completion. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney bet heavily on the project – figuratively and literally, with Alberta investing $1.5 billion into it to get construction going in 2020. The announcement at the time noted, “This investment includes $1.5 billion in equity investment in 2020, followed by a $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021.” Construction work has already taken place within Alberta, including 145 kilometres of pipe already put in the ground, and the recent completion of the Bindloss Pump Station. Construction was supposed to get going through southwest Saskatchewan this year to the American border. Kenney posted on Facebook the evening of Jan. 17, “I am deeply concerned by reports that the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden may repeal the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL border crossing next week. “Doing so would kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-US relationship, and undermine US national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future. “In 2019, the United States imported 9.14 million barrels per day of petroleum, 3.7 million of which came from Canada. The rest comes from countries, like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, none of whom share the commitment of Canada and the United States to environmental stewardship, combatting climate change, or North American energy security. “As President-elect Biden’s green jobs plan acknowledges, Americans will consume millions of barrels of oil per day for years to come. It is in perfect keeping with his plan that the United States energy needs should be met by a country that takes the challenges of climate change seriously. “The Keystone XL pipeline also represents tens of thousands of good paying jobs that the American economy needs right now. That is why major American labour unions who supported President-elect Biden’s campaign strongly back the project, as do First Nations who have signed partnership agreements, and all state governments along the pipeline route. “As the Government of Canada has said, building Keystone XL is ‘top of the agenda’ with the incoming Biden administration. Prime Minister Trudeau raised the issue with President-elect Biden on their November 9, 2020 telephone meeting, agreeing “to engage on key issues, including … energy cooperation such as Keystone XL. “We renew our call on the incoming administration to show respect for Canada as the United States’ most important trading partner and strategic ally by keeping that commitment to engage, and to allow Canada to make the case for strengthening cooperation on energy, the environment, and the economy through this project. “Should the incoming US Administration abrogate the Keystone XL permit, Alberta will work with TC Energy to use all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project.” Premier Scott Moe posted on Facebook the evening of Jan. 17, “It’s very disappointing to hear reports that President-elect Biden is planning to shut down the Keystone Pipeline expansion on his first day in office. “Construction of this project should be a top priority for Canadian-U.S. economic relations. It is critical to North American energy security, will have a tremendous employment impact north and south of the border and has garnered significant indigenous support. Environmentally, Keystone will reach net-zero emissions when it first turns on, and will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. “While I am urging the prime minister to leverage his relationship with Mr. Biden, Saskatchewan will continue exercising our contacts in Washington D.C. to advocate for the continuation of this project that clearly benefits both of our nations.” TC Energy responds with green announcement In an 11th hour move, TC Energy put out a press release from Houston on a Sunday evening, stating on Jan. 17, “Keystone XL commits to become the first pipeline to be fully powered by renewable energy.” “The company will achieve net zero emissions across the project operations when it is placed into service in 2023 and has committed the operations will be fully powered by renewable energy sources no later than 2030. This announcement comes after an extensive period of study and analysis, and as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, thoughtfully finding innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while providing communities with reliable energy needed today. “Since it was initially proposed more than 10 years ago, the Keystone XL project has evolved with the needs of North America, our communities and the environment,” said Richard Prior, president of Keystone XL. “We are confident that Keystone XL is not only the safest and most reliable method to transport oil to markets, but the initiatives announced today also ensures it will have the lowest environmental impact of an oil pipeline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Canada and the United States are among the most environmentally responsible countries in the world with some of the strictest standards for fossil fuel production.” The release added, “As part of its continued commitment to working with union labor in the U.S. and Canada, Keystone XL has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) to work together on the construction of TC Energy owned or sourced renewable energy projects.” Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Public Health reported 26 new cases of COVID-19, affecting five zones, on Monday and 304 active cases across the province. The department did not hold a public update, but the new cases break down as follows: Moncton region, Zone 1, seven cases: three people 30-39 three people 40-49 an individual 60-69 Saint John region, Zone 2, nine cases: three people 19 or under two people 20-29 two people 30-39 two people 60-69 Fredericton region, Zone 3, seven cases: two people 19 or under two people 30-39 two people 40-49 an individual 60-69 Edmundston region, Zone 4, two cases: an individual 20-29; and an individual 60-69. Bathurst region, Zone 6, one case: an individual 50-59. All of these people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. One person is in hospital, and 174,195 tests have been conducted, including 1,487 since Sunday's report. As of Monday, Public Health has received 11,175 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and administered 7,732 doses, with 3,443 held for the second of two required doses. A total of 1,862 New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated so far. In a news release Monday afternoon, Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, warned that although New Brunswick cannot shut COVID-19 out completely, "we must do everything we can to prevent it from spreading within our province." "We have kept the avalanche of cases out of New Brunswick so far. We must act now to keep this virus from doing even more damage than we are already seeing, especially with transmission now in workplaces." 20 cases linked to Nadeau poultry plant The Nadeau Ferme Avicole slaughterhouse in Saint-François-de-Madawaska has closed its plant until at least Friday because of a COVID-19 outbreak, director Yves Landry said Monday. New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health Jennifer Russell confirmed that at least 20 cases are linked to the abattoir outbreak, according to Radio-Canada. Landry said he is aware of 16 confirmed cases at the plant, and the other four cases are connected to those individuals. Most workers at Nadeau Ferme Avicole come from the Edmundston and Clair region in New Brunswick, with about 25 workers coming from Quebec and two from Maine, Landry said. The plant is minutes from the New Brunswick-Maine border. A first mass screening at the plant was carried out on Friday and another clinic is scheduled for Tuesday, Landry said. The closure will make it possible to carry out a thorough cleaning of the installations and to complete the search for close contacts. Landry said poultry destined for the slaughterhouse in Saint-François-de-Madawaska will be redistributed in other slaughterhouses, including that of Sunnymel in Clair, but also in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. In December, the two New Brunswick slaughterhouses processed chicken following the closure of a plant in Nova Scotia battling a COVID-19 outbreak. Quebec league postpones regular season games The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced the postponement of regular season games on Monday, a decision it says it made after meetings with government and public health officials of the three provinces of the Maritimes Division. "The league will continue its constructive dialogue with the three provinces to resume playing as soon as possible," it said in a news release Monday, adding that an updated schedule would be published by the end of the week. Postponed games for New Brunswick teams are as follows: Halifax at Moncton, Jan. 22, 7 p.m. Acadie-Bathurst at Saint John, Jan. 22, 7 p.m. Acadie-Bathurst at Halifax, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. Moncton at Saint John, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. Tracking active cases by zones The following chart shows the active case rates and total case rates for each of the province's seven zones, based on population numbers provided by the Department of Health and on current case counts. Region Population Active cases Active case rate* Cases to date Rate of cases to date* Moncton 222,694 69 31 239 107.3 Saint John 176,280 62 35.2 200 113.5 Fredericton 183,421 59 32.2 215 117.2 Edmundston 48,254 76 157.5 115 238.3 Campbellton 25,199 30 119.1 176 698.4 Bathurst 78,858 8 10.1 22 27.9 Miramichi 42,121 0 0 6 14.2 *per 100,000 population At-home learning day for Moncton schools on Tuesday Tuesday will be an at-home learning day for students at Edith Cavell, T.E.S.S (Therapeutic Education Support Site) and Caledonia Regional High School students, the Anglophone East School District announced in a tweet Monday evening. Earlier Tuesday, the Anglophone South School District reported a case of COVID-19 at a school in Quispamsis. In an email to parents, superintendent Zoe Watson said a case has been confirmed at Quispamsis Middle School. Watson said the district is working with Public Health to contact students who may have come in contact with the infected individual. She said if parents weren't contacted directly, it is safe to send their children to school. On Thursday, a case was reported at Kennebecasis Valley High School, which is also in Quispamsis. Four other schools in the province confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend. This includes two more schools in the Anglophone South School District, Belleisle Elementary School in Springfield and Millidgeville North School in Saint John. Two schools in the Anglophone East School District have also announced confirmed cases: Riverview East School and Caledonia Regional High School in Hillsborough. When will Air Canada service return? It's complicated A former executive says it may be a while before Air Canada service resumes at the Fredericton airport. Last week, the airline announced service to Fredericton would be temporarily suspended starting this week Duncan Dee, former chief operating officer of Air Canada, said Monday that with travel restrictions put in place by the federal government, vaccine delays and several health zones in the province either returning to red or on the cusp of it, flying into New Brunswick isn't an easy sell. "The situation is certainly far from ideal for a return to air service into Fredericton," Dee said on Information Morning Fredericton. Even if the pandemic were to end tomorrow, Dee said, service wouldn't be able to start up again immediately. "Aircraft that have been sitting around and not flying, not being operated for some time, have to undergo maintenance and safety checks before they can return to service and that takes time," he said. As well, he said, pilots who are not flying a minimum number of takeoffs and landings a month have to undergo training to get back to service, and airport staff may have had their security clearances expire while they were off work. "Those have to be renewed," Dee said. Currently, the only airport in the province seeing any Air Canada flights is the Moncton airport. Dee said the airline will probably evaluate a return to Saint John and Fredericton based on how well flights in Moncton do. "If they look at the situation and see that they're able to serve the New Brunswick market through just the one airport in Moncton, then they're going to have to seriously consider whether or not it's worth the expense of opening up service in Saint John and Fredericton again," said Dee. COVID-19 numbers increase over weekend Public Health reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, including a single-day record of 36 cases on Sunday. Thirty-one cases were recorded in Zone 4, the Edmundston region, with 11 of them linked to an outbreak at Nadeau Poultry in Saint-François de Madawaska. The increase forced the province to move Zone 4 back to the red phase, with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell warning that more regions could be moved back as well if the record trend doesn't reverse. "We're at the maximum of what we can deal with in the short term," she said at a media briefing on Sunday. As of Sunday, there were 292 active cases in the province with one person in hospital. Saint Johner in China says it's mostly back to normal A Saint Johner living in China says life has basically returned to normal in the world's most populous country and the first to report cases of COVID-19 more than a year ago. "Aside from everybody still wearing masks, which is mostly voluntary at this point," said Samantha Kim Dean, who lives in Chongqing, about 1,100 kilometres northwest of Hong Kong. COVID-19 was first detected in China in late 2019. This eventually led to a national lockdown that lasted months. Things have changed a lot since then, "Everything's open," Dean said. "All the kids are back to school, they've been back for a while. Movie theatres are open. Restaurants are in full swing. So we're pretty much back to normal where I am." That's not to say the virus is gone in China. There have been several smaller outbreaks of COVID-19 recently in the northeast of the country and China's National Health Commission said Friday that 1,001 people were being treated for COVID-19. Part of China's success with tackling the coronavirus may be related to its totalitarian form of government, which can quickly and forcefully react to the disease. "They're pretty quick with cracking down on it," said Dean. "The contact tracing is extremely fast and everybody gets free testing done. So, yeah, they're pretty fast at containing any small breakouts that happen." Dean said the Communist country has higher rates of compliance with government orders but also has a more collective mindset. "Overall, it was this, sort of, you know, 'we're in this together. If we all do what we're supposed to do now, then we'll be free soon,' which is kind of what happens," said Dean. She said if she could give one piece of advice to New Brunswickers it would be to wear masks. "I know it's a huge nuisance and some people don't think it works," Dean said. "And there's a bunch of debates within, you know, different communities online and things like that. But it seems to work. And if we find out in 10 years that it didn't work, then, you know, that's not a huge inconvenience to wear it." New public exposure warnings issued Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flights: Dec. 31 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 11:23 a.m. Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Moncton region: Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
NASHVILLE — As their state faced one of its toughest months of the pandemic, Tennesseans watched Gov. Bill Lee’s rare primetime address to see whether new public restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus might be coming. It was late December, and the state’s hospitals were bursting at the seams with virus patients. Spiraling caseloads placed Tennessee among the worst states in the nation per capita, medical experts were warning that the health care system could not survive another coronavirus spike, and Lee had been affected personally -- his wife had the virus and the governor himself was in quarantine. If ever there was a juncture to change course, the speech seemed like the time and place. But as he stood before the camera, the businessman-turned-politician declined to implement recommendations from the experts, instead announcing a soft limit on public gatherings while stressing once again that stopping the spread of COVID-19 was a matter of personal responsibility. Lee’s decision to stick to his approach has dismayed critics who say the state's situation would not be so dire if he had placed more faith in the government’s role in keeping people safe -- criticism he pushes back against as he keeps businesses open. The first term governor’s response has largely been in step with Republican governors in other states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma, which along with Tennessee have ranked among the worst in the country as case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations increase while the governors rebuff calls for new restrictions. As of Friday, Johns Hopkins University researchers reported 1,236 new confirmed cases per 100,000 people in Tennessee over the past two weeks, which ranks eighth in the country. One in every 187 people in Tennessee tested positive in the past week. “We don’t have to be here. We don’t have to continue this trend. We can do something about it,” Dr. Diana Sepehri-Harvey, a Franklin primary care physician told reporters in a video conference Tuesday. Lee, whose office declined a request for an interview for this article, has rejected claims he hasn’t done enough, countering that he aggressively pushed for more expansive COVID-19 testing throughout the state during the early stages of the pandemic and arguing that sweeping mask requirements have become too political to become effective. He says decisions about masks are best left to local jurisdictions, some of which have imposed them in Tennessee, particularly in more populated areas. According to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, about 69% of Tennesseans — but fewer than 30 of 95 counties — are under a face mask requirement. Those researchers found that counties that don’t require wearing masks in public are averaging COVID-19 death rates double or more compared with those that instituted mandates. Dr. Donna Perlin, a Nashville-based pediatric emergency medicine physician, sees mask-wearing and other precautions as basic government safety measures. “Just as we have requirements to stop at red lights, or for children to wear seatbelts, or bans on smoking at schools, so too must we require masks, because the refusal to wear masks is endangering our children and their families,” she wrote in a recent editorial. Despite the criticism, Lee hasn’t wavered from his vow never to close down restaurants, bars and retail stores after Tennessee became one of the first states in the country to lift businesses restrictions last year. He also has long advocated for schools to continue in-person learning and has sent school districts protective equipment for teachers and staffers. The governor is quick to point out the state’s swift COVID-19 vaccine rollout, praising Tennessee for being among the country’s leaders in distributing the immunizations. “In addition to creating a strong infrastructure for distribution, we’re currently one of the top states in the nation for total doses administered, vaccinating more than 150,000 Tennesseans in just two weeks,” Lee said in a statement earlier this month, omitting that the state’s initial goal to vaccinate 200,000 residents got delayed because of shipping issues. The CDC reports that 3.7% of Tennessee’s population has been vaccinated, with more than 251,000 shots administered to date — making it among the top 10 states for administration rates. But community leaders and Democratic lawmakers have tried in vain to appeal to the governor in their campaign for a mask mandate and other public health regulations. “What we are doing now is NOT working!” Democratic state Sen. Raumesh Akbari tweeted. “We need a mask mandate, increased testing and contact tracing, and need to consider some business closures. Our hospitals are at the brink! We must act to save lives!” Some have even appealed to Lee's Christian faith, which he regularly touted on the campaign trail and references while governing. “Wearing a mask is loving your neighbour, and taking care of yourself as a Temple of the Holy Spirit,” the Rev. Jo Ann Barker recently wrote to Lee, speaking for the nonpartisan Southern Christian Coalition. “A statewide mask mandate is caring for the community God gives you to care for. If that isn’t important to you, Governor Lee, then what is?” ___ Associated Press writers Jonathan Mattise and Travis Loller contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak. Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press
Budgeting is a pain. But what’s more painful is a bill you can’t easily pay, debt that costs a fortune or not having enough money to retire. Fortunately, you can have a useful, working budget without watching every penny. Automation, technology and a few simple guidelines can keep you on track. The following approach works best if you have reasonably steady income that comfortably exceeds your basic expenses. If your income isn’t steady or doesn’t cover much more than the basics, you may need to track your spending more closely. Also, no budget in the world can fix a true income shortfall, where there’s not enough coming in to cover your basic bills. If that’s the case, you need more income, fewer expenses or outside help. One place to start your search for aid is 211.org, which provides links to charitable and government resources in many communities. Otherwise, though, you can craft a spending plan with the following steps. START WITH YOUR MUST-HAVES Must-have costs include housing, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, minimum debt payments and child care that allows you to work. Using the 50/30/20 budget, these costs ideally would consume no more than 50% of your after-tax income. That leaves 30% for wants (entertainment, clothes, vacations, eating out and so on) and 20% for savings and extra debt payments. A budgeting app or your last few credit card and bank statements can help you determine your must-have costs. The more these expenses exceed that 50% mark, the harder you may find it to make ends meet. For now, you can compensate by reducing what you spend on wants. Eventually, you can look for ways to reduce some of those basic expenses, boost your income or both. “After tax,” by the way, means your income minus the taxes you pay. If other expenses are deducted from your paycheque, such as health insurance premiums or 401(k) contributions, add those amounts to your take-home pay to determine your after-tax income. If you don’t have a steady job or are self-employed, forecasting your after-tax income can be tougher. You can use a previous year’s tax return or make an educated guess about the minimum income you expect to make this year. A withholding calculator can help you determine what you’re likely to have left after taxes. AUTOMATE WHAT YOU CAN Automatic transfers can put many financial tasks on autopilot, reducing the effort needed to achieve goals. If you don’t automate anything else, automate your retirement savings to ensure you’re saving consistently. Also consider saving money in separate accounts — often called “savings buckets” — to cover big, non-monthly expenses such as insurance premiums, vacations and car repairs. Online banks typically allow you to set up multiple savings accounts without requiring minimum balances or charging fees. You can name these accounts for different goals, and automate transfers into those accounts so the money is ready when you need it. My family typically has eight to 12 of these savings accounts at our online bank. I figure out how much I want to have saved by a certain date, divide by the number of months until that date and send the resulting amount, via automated monthly transfers, from our checking account. MANAGING WHAT’S LEFT Return to your after-tax monthly income figure. Subtract your must-have expenses, your contributions to retirement and savings accounts, and any extra debt payments you plan to make consistently. What’s left is your spending money for the month. (Nothing left? Try winnowing some of those must-haves or set less ambitious savings or debt pay-down goals.) In the olden days, you might have put cash in an envelope and used it for your spending money. Once the envelope was empty, you were supposed to stop spending. Some people still do that, but in today’s digital, contactless world, you might prefer other approaches. The easiest would be to put all your spending on a single credit card that’s dedicated to this purpose and paid in full every month. (And since you’re paying in full, consider using a cash back or other rewards card to get some extra benefit from your spending.) Check your balance every few days or set up alerts to let you know when you’re approaching your spending limit for the month. To protect your credit score, you can make payments periodically throughout the month so your balance stays low compared to your credit limit. Alternatively, you could use more than one card, a debit card or a spending app that’s tied to your checking account, such as Venmo, PayPal or Zelle. A budget app or spreadsheet can help keep you on track. You also could consider setting up a separate checking account just for this spending. Again, many online banks offer checking accounts without minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Your budget won’t be perfect and you’ll have to make adjustments as you go. But at least you, and your money, will be headed in the right direction. ____________________________________ This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @lizweston. RELATED LINK: NerdWallet: Budgeting 101: How to Budget Money http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-budgeting Liz Weston Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
La Grande Alliance est une collaboration de la nation crie et du gouvernement québécois. Un de ses projets est de construire une voie ferrée reliant Matagami à Whapmagoostui (via Radisson), où se trouveraient aussi des infrastructures maritimes. « La réalisation principale de la Grande Alliance n’est pas de construire un chemin de fer »,nuance le président directeur général de la Société Plan Nord, Patrick Beauchesne. « L’ambition est de construire un axe de transport de niveau stratégique avec une sortie en milieu maritime. » Des fonctions à définir Cette voie ferrée servirait pour le transport des minéraux critiques,mais aussi pour les passagers,les matières ligneuses, l’approvisionnement des collectivités, etc. Ses fonctions seront déterminées par une étude de faisabilité qui est présentement en cours, qui touche les aspects socioéconomiques, environnementaux et autres du projet. Cette étude sera suivie d’études d’impacts environnementaux et de consultations. Si le projet se concrétise tel qu’anticipé, les travaux d’infrastructures à Whapmagoostui commenceraient en 2035, estime un porte-parole du gouvernement de la nation crie, qui souligne au passage qu’il est très prématuré de tenter de définir quoi que ce soit sur ce projet. Whapmagoostui et Kuujjuarapik Whapmagoostui et sa jumelle inuite,Kuujjuarapik,partagent territoires et services, même si la Convention de la Baie-James et du Nord québécois définit ce que ce sont leur aire respective, alors que lieu s’appelait Poste-de-la-Baleine Le maire de Kuujjuarapik, Anthony Ittoshat, se désole d’apprendre l’existence du projet de voie ferrée par La Sentinelle et les médias sociaux. « Nous n’avons jamais été approchés ou informés […], alors que nous devrions être les premières personnes informées parce que nous traçons la ligne entre les territoires cri et inuit. […] C’est bizarre. […] Ils devraient montrer un peu de respect. » Aucuns pourparlers M.Ittoshat est néanmoins convaincu que les promoteurs du projet vont prendre conscience de leur oubli et consulter la population inuite. « Ils vont se dire « Attends un peu, il y a des Inuits là! Nous avons oublié ça, nous devons parler aux Inuits avant que nous fassions notre chemin de fer. Est-ce que les Inuits veulent un chemin de fer Qu’est-ce qu’ils pensent? Qu’est-ce qui arrivera à leurs terrainsde chasse? » L’Administration régionale Kativik, qui s’occupe notamment des infrastructures municipales et maritimes et de la marina de Kuujjuarapik, n’a pas été non plus approchée par les partenaires de la Grande Alliance. « Personne ne s’y oppose ou n’approuve. Il n’y a pas de pourparlers », dit un porte-parole de l’Administration, ajoutant qu’un tel projet aurait des « effets fondamentaux pour la communauté ». Porte ouverte Un porte-parole de la nation crie affirme que son grand chef, Abel Bosum, a directement ouvert la porte aux Inuits, aux Innus et aux Naskapis lorsque la Grande Alliance a été annoncée, en février 2020. Le pdg de la Société du Plan Nord confirme,qu’à l’initiative du gouvernement cri, plusieurs représentants inuits ont été informés du projet de la Grande Alliance, dont la Société Makivik. Cette dernière, responsable du développement économique du Nunavik, n’était pas disponible au moment d’aller sous presse. Pour M. Beauchesne, il est beaucoup trop tôt dans le processus pour faire la distinction entre les parties crie et inuite du territoire. « Les obligations de la Convention [de la Baie-James et du Nord québécois] vont s’appliquer, affirme-t-il. C’est à travers le cadre existant d’évaluation de projets de cette nature que ces distinctions vont se faire. Mais nous sommes très loin de l’étape de réalisation de l’étude environnementale. » Signée en 1975, la Convention prévoyait qu’une route relierait Matagami à Poste–de-la-Baleine.Denis Lord, Initiative de journalisme local, La Sentinelle
BRUSSELS — The European Union’s executive arm on Monday defended a decision to send a team of senior officials to Lisbon for a meeting with Portuguese government ministers, after two ministers tested positive for COVID-19 and a number of top officials went into isolation. Eight members of the European Commission paid a one-day visit to Lisbon Friday — as Portugal started a month-long lockdown — for meetings early in the country's six-month term as EU president nation, which began on Jan. 1. Portugal’s finance and labour ministers later tested positive for the virus, while three other ministers have gone into isolation after coming into contact with people who tested positive. Two EU commission vice-presidents and a commissioner are in quarantine. Asked why it was so important for the visit to go ahead, commission spokesman Eric Mamer said the decision to meet face to face rather than via videoconference — like most EU meetings over the past year — was “not taken lightly.” “It is the launch of an extremely important presidency. There are many, many files which need to be carried forward by the Portuguese presidency, and it was felt important to be able to hold in-person discussions on these different political files,” Mamer said. Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa said Wednesday that the pandemic is “at its most dangerous point” in the country and that the new lockdown would last at least a month. Staying at home is mandatory, including for work, and fines for not complying with rules such as to wear masks oiutdoors have doubled. Schools remain open, along with companies providing essential services. Mamer said the commission officials in quarantine would respect Belgium’s coronavirus rules and take a test on the seventh day after their return from Lisbon. In August, the EU’s chief trade negotiator, Commissioner Phil Hogan, had to resign after he admitted flaunting some measures during a summer stay in his native Ireland. ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel's education minister says he is banning groups that call Israel an “apartheid state” from lecturing at schools — a move that targets one of the country's leading human rights groups after it began describing both Israel and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single apartheid system. The explosive term, long seen as taboo and mostly used by the country's harshest critics, is vehemently rejected by Israel's leaders and many ordinary Israelis. Education Minister Yoav Galant tweeted late on Sunday that he had instructed the ministry’s director general to “prevent the entry of organizations calling Israel ‘an apartheid state’ or demeaning Israeli soldiers from lecturing at schools.” “The Education Ministry under my leadership raised the banner of advancing Jewish, democratic and Zionist values and it is acting accordingly,” he said. It was not immediately clear whether he had the authority to ban speakers from schools. In a report released last week, the rights group B’Tselem said that while Palestinians live under different forms of Israeli control in the occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza, annexed east Jerusalem and within Israel itself, they have fewer rights than Jews in the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. B'Tselem said it would not be deterred by the minister's announcement and that despite it, the group gave a lecture on the subject via videocall to a school in the northern city of Haifa on Monday. “B’Tselem is determined to keep with its mission of documenting reality, analyzing it, and making our findings publicly known to the Israeli public, and worldwide,” it said in a statement. Adalah, an Arab legal rights group, said it had appealed to the country's attorney general to cancel Galant's directive, saying it was made without the proper authority and that it was intended to “silence legitimate voices.” Israel passed a law in 2018 preventing lectures or activities in schools by groups that support legal action being taken against Israeli soldiers abroad. The law was apparently drafted in response to the work of Breaking the Silence, a whistleblower group for former Israeli soldiers who oppose policies in the occupied West Bank. It was not clear if Galant's decree was rooted in the 2018 law. Israel has long presented itself as a thriving democracy. Its own Arab citizens, who make up about 20% of its population of 9.3 million, have citizenship rights, but they often suffer from discrimination in housing and other spheres. Arab citizens of Israel have representatives in parliament, serve in government bureaucracy and work in various fields alongside Jewish Israelis. Israel seized east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 war — lands that are home to nearly 5 million Palestinians and which the Palestinians want for a future state. B’Tselem and other rights groups argue that the boundaries separating Israel and the West Bank vanished long ago — at least for Israeli settlers, who can freely travel back and forth, while their Palestinian neighbours require permits to enter Israel. Israel withdrew troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but imposed a blockade after the Palestinian militant Hamas group seized power there two years later. It considers the West Bank “disputed” territory whose fate should be determined in peace talks with the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, the autonomy government for its Palestinian residents. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move not recognized internationally and considers the entire city its unified capital. Most Palestinians in east Jerusalem are Israeli “residents,” but not citizens with voting rights. Israel adamantly rejects the term apartheid, saying the restrictions it imposes in Gaza and the West Bank are temporary measures needed for security. Most Palestinians in the West Bank live in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, but those areas are surrounded by Israeli checkpoints and Israeli soldiers can enter at any time. Israel has full control over 60% of the West Bank. B’Tselem argues that by dividing up the territories and using different means of control, Israel masks an underlying reality that roughly 7 million Jews and 7 million Palestinians live under a single system with vastly unequal rights. Tia Goldenberg, The Associated Press
For the last four years, the Dr. Hugh Twomey Health Care Centre in Botwood has been without 24-hour emergency services. Just prior to the 2019 provincial election, then-premier Dwight Ball pledged to bring those services back to the hospital in the fall of 2020 once a protective care unit was finished. According to Exploits MHA Pleaman Forsey, the time has come for the Liberal government to come through on its promises. “We are left with a commitment from the Liberal minister of health to review the service after the long-term care facility was finished in Botwood,” Forsey said in a prepared statement this week. “That’s not good enough.” The provincial government stripped the hospital of the service in 2016 in a move by Central Health to reduce its operating budget. An analysis completed by the Department of Health in 2018 indicated patient data supported the decision. Forsey recently sent an email to Central Health about the issue and was told the new health unit is expected to be in use by the end of this month. “This creates added stress to the residents of the Exploits district,” Forsey said of not having 24-hour emergency services. The provincial government's department of health and community services said in a statement the work on the protective unit was nearing completion and the matter of returning to 24-hour service will be looked at when it is done. "Following the completion of construction, the demand and the staffing will be examined to see whether or not there is a need to change the way emergency services are provided to the people in Botwood," wrote a spokesperson for the department. On several occasions since Ball pledged the return of 24-hour emergency services, the Botwood council has written to Gander MHA John Haggie, the minister of health and community services, regarding the status of emergency services at the hospital. Botwood Mayor Scott Sceviour said responses the town has received have not indicated if or when any announcement will be made about the return of regular emergency services. At the time, the town was caught off guard by the decision to alter the emergency services at the hospital. It was expected to help save money, but the mayor says little money has been saved by the decision. “There was no justification for it,” he said. “It was a surprise to all of us.” Now that the area MHA has brought the issue to the forefront again, Sceviour said the town will write to Premier Andrew Furey about the commitments of his predecessor and bring him up to speed on the situation. Botwood is scheduled to have a council meeting this week, where the issue will be on the agenda. “We are going to hold this government to the promise,” said Sceviour. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
SUDBURY, Ont. — A class has been sent home from a Sudbury, Ont., elementary school following a confirmed case of COVID-19. Parents of a senior kindergarten/Grade 1 class at St. David's Catholic elementary school were told their children should stay home. Director of Education Joanne Benard says in a letter issued to parents on Sunday that the person with the confirmed case of the novel coronavirus is self-isolating. She says public health officials will notify the parents of anyone considered a close contact. Benard also says all students in the class should self-isolate until Jan. 29 and get tested for the virus as soon as possible. She says "it's understandable that this situation may make caregivers anxious" and says parents of children in other classes should notify the school if they choose to keep their youngsters at home. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021. The Canadian Press
Starting next week, Austria will introduce a similar rule nationwide.View on euronews
Si Maya Imbeault ne peut aider qu’une seule personne, en publiant ses photos et des messages prônant l’importance de la diversité corporelle sur Instagram, elle en sera ravie. En s’affichant, la jeune femme de 19 ans de Dolbeau-Mistassini, qui vit maintenant à Jonquière, souhaite simplement que d’autres se sentent mieux dans leur corps. Selon l’étudiante en éducation à l’enfance, il n’est pas facile pour personne de se sentir bien dans son corps. Celle qui utilise l’application Instagram depuis cinq ans tient à aider, à sa façon, les jeunes filles de son âge. Son objectif : normaliser les différents types de corps et montrer aux gens qu’ils sont beaux tels qu’ils sont. Elle propose donc un autre modèle de beauté, alors que la majorité des photos montrent de jeunes femmes très minces. « Je trouve ça important que les gens voient qu’il n’y a pas qu’un type de personne qui représente la beauté dans la vie », rapporte-t-elle, dans un entretien par visioconférence avec Le Progrès. Un peu plus d’un millier d’internautes sont abonnés à la page de Maya Imbeault, @maymayimbo, et la jeune femme reçoit souvent le compliment qu’elle est courageuse de s’affirmer de la sorte. Elle ne fait toutefois que publier des photos, comme toutes les autres femmes, plus minces, qui ne reçoivent pas ce genre de commentaires. Néanmoins, elle se considère chanceuse de recevoir des commentaires positifs, dans une très forte proportion. « Je reçois beaucoup de commentaires différents. Il y en a qui sont impressionnés, d’autres qui trouvent ça inspirant et certains me trouvent dégueulasse. Il y en a encore trop qui font des remarques corporelles négatives. Mais la plupart des gens qui me suivent, ils le font parce qu’ils le veulent, et ce n’est donc pas pour me bitcher », témoigne-t-elle. Confiance en soi Quand on regarde le profil de la jeune femme, elle semble respirer la confiance en soi. Selon elle, c’est la danse, surtout les compétitions, qui lui a permis de développer cette force. Elle a pratiqué le sport pendant plus de 10 ans. Malgré des costumes parfois révélateurs, la danseuse ne portait pas attention aux corps des autres. Elle se concentrait plutôt sur sa performance. « J’ai toujours été plus ronde que tout le monde. Ç’a toujours été une normalité chez moi. J’avais un grand talent dans mon corps à moi et je ne me posais pas de questions par rapport à ça. Je ne me demandais pas si mon corps était correct ou pas. Moi, je l’ai toujours trouvé correct », continue Maya Imbeault. Son entourage l’a aussi beaucoup aidée à garder cette confiance en elle. Bien accompagnée, elle n’a jamais souffert d’intimidation sérieuse, si bien qu’au secondaire, les rares commentaires sur son physique ne l’atteignaient pas vraiment. Pour ceux qui aimeraient se sentir plus en confiance, Maya Imbeault avoue qu’il n’y a pas de recette magique, que la confiance en soi se gagne avec les années. Elle recommande de se détacher des commentaires et des comparaisons avec les autres. « Il faut aussi que tu te trouves un modèle dans la vie, qui est semblable à toi. Si cette personne est belle avec son corps, qui ressemble au tien, c’est que tu es beau, toi aussi », conseille la jeune femme. Elle ajoute qu’il y aura toujours des personnes pour dire des commentaires sur les autres, et qu’il ne faut pas s’y arrêter. Un style unique Les abonnés de Maya Imbeault sont habitués de la voir dans des looks urbains, extravagants et colorés. Cette dernière souhaitait d’ailleurs devenir designer de mode, avant de changer d’idée, pour se diriger vers l’éducation à l’enfance. Toutefois, la mode a toujours été une grande passion pour la fashionista et continue de l’être. Son style original a d’ailleurs été remarqué par plusieurs entreprises du domaine. Forever 21 Plus et Fashion Nova Curve, des entreprises mondiales de la mode pour jeunes filles, qui sont suivies par des milliers d’abonnées, ont republié des photos de la Dolmissoise, sur leur stories ou sur leur fil d’actualité, ce qui la rend très fière. Pour la suite, la jeune femme, qui réside aujourd’hui à Jonquière, tient à poursuivre sa mission, sans trop regarder le nombre de ses abonnés ou ses mentions « J’aime ». « Quand je publie un message, je ne le fais pas pour obtenir 40 000 abonnés ou 10 000 “J’aime”. S’il y a sept personnes qui se sentent mieux et qui l’apprécient, c’est pour ces sept-là que je le publie », souligne-t-elle. \+ OCCUPATION DOUBLE PEUT EN FAIRE PLUS L’émission Occupation Double a fait couler beaucoup d’encre, cet automne, au sujet de la diversité corporelle. Pour la première fois, une candidate plus ronde avait été choisie pour faire partie de l’émission, la Saguenéenne Julie Munger. Maya Imbeault, qui a ce sujet à coeur, ne considère pas que l’on doit des éloges à l’émission. « Je ne crois pas que de choisir une femme ronde, avec dix autres mannequins, c’est de la diversité corporelle. Il n’y avait aussi que des garçons pareils », laisse-t-elle tomber. Elle a toutefois grandement aimé voir la Saguenéenne à l’écran et l’a trouvée très belle. Elle est heureuse que Julie Munger n’ait pas eu peur de s’affirmer et qu’elle ait profité de son expérience au maximum, à ses yeux de téléspectatrice. Elle reconnaît que cette présence a apporté un point de diversité corporelle, mais estime que l’émission devra en faire plus pour bien intégrer cet enjeu.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
DÜSSELDORF, Germany — Underwhelming at Real Madrid, Luka Jovic has a second chance to prove himself at the German club where he made his name. The Serbian striker came off the bench in his first game back on loan in the Bundesliga on Sunday and scored two goals, lifting Eintracht Frankfurt to a 3-1 victory over Schalke. It was an explosive half-hour cameo as Jovic sent a rising shot into the roof of the net off, then added another in stoppage time after beating a defender with his footwork. That was as many goals as he scored in 19 months with Madrid. “Couldn’t have imagined a better comeback,” Jovic wrote on Instagram. “I hope this is only the beginning and that the best is yet to come.” Frankfurt teammate Djibril Sow recounted a pre-game conversation where Jovic said he would score once if given 15 minutes of game time, twice if he had a half hour. “He kept his word,” Sow said in comments reported by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. “And it isn't something you can take for granted to deliver like that in your first game. A lot of class.” If he can keep it up, that kind of scoring form could bring Jovic back to relevance in Madrid after spending 2020 in the spotlight more for his injuries and conduct amid the coronavirus pandemic than for his increasingly rare appearances. Jovic's record of two goals in 32 games for Madrid is far below the form — 27 goals in 48 games for Frankfurt in 2018-19 — which earned him a transfer to Spain for a reported 60 million euros ($72 million). That reflects Jovic's limited game time in Madrid, with only 11 starts, and his own less-than-stellar performances. Jovic looked visibly frustrated in his last start for Madrid in one of the most ignominious games in the club's recent history, the 3-2 home loss in October against a Shakhtar Donetsk team so badly depleted by coronavirus cases that it had to draw on youth players. The pandemic threw Jovic's career into turmoil. In March, he travelled home to Serbia when the Spanish league was suspended and was pictured at a party. Jovic faced a possible six-month prison sentence for breaking quarantine but the case was resolved when he agreed to pay 30,000 euros ($36,000). When the Spanish league resumed, Jovic was sidelined with a foot injury he picked up while training at home. He missed yet more games after testing positive for the coronavirus in November. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane gave few opportunities to Jovic but in October said the striker was an important part of his squad. Zidane said he was the one who asked Madrid to sign Jovic and dismissed reports of a rift between them. If Jovic can keep scoring for Frankfurt, it could also be what the club needs to fulfil its potential. Frankfurt has excelled in knockout competitions in recent years with a German Cup title and a run to the Europa League semifinals, but hasn't been able to get above mid-table in the Bundesliga. After Sunday's win, the team is three points off the Champions League places. “For Luka, it's extremely important that he comes back here, where he had his best time and where he feels good," Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter said. “Scoring two goals like that shows his class.” ___ AP Sports Writer Tales Azzoni in Madrid and Associated Press writer Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed to this report. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports James Ellingworth, The Associated Press
Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga on Monday raised the prospect of sanctioning social media firms over what she called "systematic abuses" of free speech. In a growing wave of criticism, some government officials are complaining about what they have described as efforts by social media companies, including Facebook, to limit conservative views on their platforms. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has turned Hungary's public media into an obedient mouthpiece and allies control large parts of the private media, allowing his agenda to be aired prominently.
Le tiers des déplacements des Lavallois (34 %) dans une journée les amène ailleurs qu’à Laval, ce qui en fait les résidents les plus mobiles du Grand Montréal. Voilà ce qui ressort de la dernière enquête Origine-Destination, l’une des plus importantes études de transport au Québec. Les Longueillois arrivent deuxième à ce chapitre alors que 29 % de leurs déplacements quotidiens les conduisent au-delà des limites de la 5e plus grande ville du Québec, suivis des résidents des couronnes sud (27 %) et nord (20 %). Sans surprise, les Montréalais ferment la marche, eux dont 89 % des déplacements se limitent à leur île. Menée à l’automne 2018, cette enquête quinquennale ventile les motifs des déplacements des résidents sortants sur une période donnée de 24 heures. C’est ainsi qu’on apprend que 6 Lavallois sur 10 (59,4 %) sortent de l’île Jésus pour aller travailler. Pour un peu moins de 2 personnes sur 10 (15,4 %), ce sont les études qui en sont la cause. Enfin, 10,5 % de ce groupe dit sortir de Laval aux fins de loisirs et 4,1 % pour magasiner. L’île de Montréal exerce de loin le plus grand pouvoir d’attraction auprès de ces Lavallois qui s’y rendent dans une proportion de 66 %. La Couronne nord que constituent les régions des Laurentides et Lanaudière accueille 30 % de cette clientèle alors que moins de 4 % privilégie la Couronne sud. Cette vaste étude effectuée auprès de quelque 6000 ménages lavallois établit également la part modale des déplacements motorisés des résidents sortants de Laval, et ce, sur une période de 24 heures. Près de 3 personnes sur quatre (72,5 %) disent se déplacer exclusivement en automobile ou au guidon d’une moto contre 18,3 % des gens interrogés qui utilisent seulement les transports en commun, à savoir l’autobus, le métro, le train et/ou le taxi collectif. Le bimode est la réalité de 7,7 % des répondants, eux qui prennent l’automobile ou la moto pour accéder au transport en commun. Quant aux autres modes collectifs que représentent les transports adapté et scolaire, le taxi et l’autobus longue distance, ils comptent pour 1 % de la part modale des déplacements motorisés des Lavallois. En comparaison à 2013, le recours exclusif à l’automobile est en baisse d’un point de pourcentage à Laval. À l’inverse, l’usage exclusif du transport en commun a crû de 1,5 point en 2018 pendant que le bimode perdait la moitié d’un point de pourcentage. Cela dit, en pareille matière, les Lavallois ont encore beaucoup à faire s’ils veulent un jour rejoindre les Longueillois, qui utilisent nettement plus fréquemment les transports collectifs. Selon l’enquête Origine-Destination 2018, les résidents de cette municipalité de quelque 250 000 âmes, également desservie par le métro, recourent exclusivement aux modes de transport en commun dans 29,1 % de leurs déplacements motorisés. C’est tout près de 11 points de pourcentage de plus qu’à Laval. En d’autres termes, cette façon de se déplacer est 60 % plus élevée à Longueuil qu’à Laval. «La part modale est directement liée à la densité d’activités (domicile, emplois, études, commerces) des lieux d’origine et destination», explique le porte-parole de l’Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), Simon Charbonneau, tout en soulignant que cette densité d’activités est «légèrement supérieure à Longueuil». En matière d’emplois, par exemple, Longueuil compte 900 emplois au kilomètre carré contre 800 à Laval. «Le nombre de déplacements de Longueuil vers le centre-ville (secteur à très haute densité d’activités) est également plus élevé, ce qui favorise aussi une part modale plus élevée actuellement», analyse-t-il. Source d’information fiable et complète sur les déplacements des personnes à pied, à vélo, en bus, en métro, en train ou en auto dans la région métropolitaine de Montréal, l’enquête Origine-Destination a permis d’établir à quelque 800 000 le nombre de déplacements par les résidents de Laval pour un jour moyen de semaine. En matière de modes de transport actif, cette mesure prise à l’automne 2018 ne tient compte que des déplacements vers une destination précise, mentionne Daniel Bergeron, directeur exécutif Planification des transports et mobilité à l’Autorité régionale du transport métropolitain (ARTM). Incidemment, cette enquête contribue activement à une meilleure planification des réseaux de transport collectif et routier et à l’amélioration des plans de développement urbain du Grand Montréal (voir autre texte). À lire également: On veut hausser l’offre de service de 60 % en 10 ans Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
A woman involved in a fatal collision on Circle Drive last week says barriers separating lanes on the busy stretch of road might have saved the life of a 24-year-old woman. Nicole Gamble was on her way back to the Beardy's and Okemasis's Cree Nation with her husband Hilary when their vehicle was struck head on by a car that had travelled the wrong way into their lane. The woman driving that car died at the scene. Gamble's dealing with bumps and bruises all over and a shattered wrist, and says both she and her husband, who was driving, are feeling sore following the collision — one she says might have not ended in tragedy if something had been separating traffic. "Maybe if there was a barrier, that may have helped to save her life," Gamble said in a phone interview Sunday. What exactly happened on Circle Drive North on Friday that resulted in the collision, which took place between College and Attridge Drive, is still under investigation by the Saskatoon Police Service's collision analyst unit. But Gamble said while the crash appeared to happen in "slow motion," it took place in an instant. "I just looked up and I see the vehicle flying across the other side of the road," she said, as she was texting her children to let them know they were on the way home. "It jumped through the meridian … the little ditch thing, and it just came straight for us. I just remember closing my eyes. It happened so fast, I can still hear the metal crunching. I can't sleep at night thinking of it." She and her family have been smudging and praying for the young woman who lost her life, noting it was a life ended far too soon. "She was too young to go," Gamble said, the pain clear in her voice. "She was just a baby herself." Both her and her husband extend their condolences to the family who is mourning and want to thank those who helped them out of the wreck, which closed traffic for several hours as police responded. Ward 3 Councillor David Kirton campaigned on traffic safety during the recent municipal election. Kirton, who worked as a reporter before he was a city councillor, recalls covering serious collisions on this same stretch of road in the past. Now he hopes to raise the issue of barriers in the area with city administration to see if something can be done to make the stretch of road safer. Kirton says the fact the road has seen more than one serious collision should be enough for the city to take action, without having to do a number of studies to find out the area is dangerous. "We have our own statistical information that this happens, and obviously, it's happened a number of times too many when we have, not just one, but more than one loss of life over the last number of years," he said. "I would love to be able to talk to administration and see if there might be a way that we can get past our mind sometimes, on studies and statistics, and think about, well I guess, the reality that is out there — and that reality took a tragic turn on Friday," he said. When CBC reached out to the City of Saskatoon for a response to the concerns, a city representative pointed to a post on the city's official Twitter account where it indicated it's aware of the incident, noting that sections of Circle Drive "have been identified to receive safety barriers from the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program."
Should councillors be talking to the media independently? That was the second time in a week the matter had come up before a North Simcoe council, after it had been discussed at the Penetanguishene council Wednesday night. This time, it was Tay Township's deputy mayor that was asking if it was best for the mayor or chief administrative officer to respond to media requests when representing the municipality. Once again, the media request was a yearend survey sent out to all council members by MidlandToday's Community Editor Andrew Philips. "He didn't email it to council; he emailed it to all of us," said Coun. Jeff Bumstead. "I could see all the recipients. The way I took it is that they were looking for a specific response from all of council. I didn't see any harm in the questions. I didn't see anything specific that was going against the township. It was just the general feel of how I felt as a councillor." He then talked about a MidlandToday reporter reaching out to him for a story he had brought to council's attention (poppy masks being made by a local resident). "She had reached out and I asked the mayor about it," said Bumstead. "She was just looking for an opinion from me on a specific topic. The advice I got was that media is asking a question there's no problem is answering it." "If we want to clamp down and direct media to the mayor and CAO, I don't have a problem with it," he added. "If it's not okay for individual councillors to answer behalf of the township, then we can have it in the code of conduct." Fellow Coun. Paul Raymond also talked about what the integrity commissioner had outlined in the code of conduct policy. "We do have a right to an opinion as long as we make it clear it is our opinion and not the township and council as a whole," he said. "That is when the CAO or mayor come in. It's very important we take great measures to make sure that distinction is made. "As far as the other social media, I'm sure there will be other questions there," added Raymond. "We are allowed to be approached for our opinion but our opinion only." Coun. Mary Warnock said she had sought clarification on the survey, asking if it was to be based on personal opinions or a council view. "I did want to clarify that before I answered it," she said. "If it's a message coming from council or township as a whole, it should come from the CAO or mayor. You want your message to have some control and precision." CAO Lindsay Barron agreed that the councillors had raised some good points about distinguishing between an independent opinion and a township stance. "A clear distinction is if he/she is responding as an individual member of council or on behalf of the township," she said. "In the second case, it should be coming from the mayor or myself." Deputy Mayor Gerard LaChapelle said maybe the next time a reporter reaches out to an individual councillor, he/she can seek direction from the CAO. "I would suggest we should contact the CAO to find out if we can speak to it individually," he said. That didn't sit well with Raymond. "I don't go to the CAO for permission on anything, with all due respect to the CAO," he said. "We are allowed to be individuals. If we're going to go on an endeavour like this, we give a heads-up to the CAO and mayor. If they feel it's not beneficial to the community on the whole, they can let us know. We all want betterment for the township and we all have different ideas of how that can be accomplished." The conversation then turned toward answering questions posed by residents. "A lot of times we get emails from customers/residents, what do we think as council is best direction?" said LaChapelle. Coun. Sandy Talbot shared her process around that. "What I always do is if I get an email, I will forward it to a staff member," she said. "It's worked for me for all these years and that's best practice when it comes to residential inquiries." Raymond said each situation is unique. "There's a lot of different types of communications from residents, sometimes it's a question, sometimes they're in a situation where they're at odds with staff," he said. "They approach us as councillors to try and intervene to get the two parties talking. I think that, also, is our role. At the end of the day, we're the bridge between residents and staff and the services they provide." Barron said she hoped residents would reach out to staff before taking matters to their councillor. "Often times, I get involved when the councillor gets involved," she said. "I'd like to see my position as facilitator before council intervenes. If the resident wants to talk to you after, by all means. As far as being copied on the response, I'd really like to see where we get to a point where a councillor forwards it to staff and lets staff handle it." Raymond said when residents reach out to him, it's after they've reached a dead-end with staff. "When the two parties get talking to each other, I will back out and just need to know it's been resolved," he said, adding he didn't think it was pertinent for councillors to get into the weeds of matters. "When I do talk to residents, they're not aware of the structure of staff," added Raymond. "If we had an opportunity to simplify that structure, to let them know which way to go, maybe that would simplify it." Then councillors discussed behaviour on social media. "It has to do with Facebook use so we don't get ourselves in a situation," said LaChapelle. Mayor Ted Walker said he would definitely like directions around that incorporated in the municipal code of conduct. "I have seen some instances where the line has been crossed," he said without mentioning specifics. "The unfortunate part of that is that those that don't use Facebook don't have a chance to give their opinion or correct any errors. I think discussions of that nature need to be held here and not on Facebook." All councillors agreed that the communications specialist should help prepare some do's and don't's for council surrounding social media use. "All they are is a tool to facilitate you," said Raymond. "We already have standards, a code of conduct, that as councillors we're supposed to follow wherever we are. It's easy when you're on social media to get dragged into a fight. You have to know when to stop." Daryl O'Shea, general manager, corporate services manager of technology services, indicated such an endeavour was already underway and would soon be brought to council's attention. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
MILAN — Stellantis, the car company combining PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, was launched Monday on the Milan and Paris stock exchanges, giving life to the fourth-largest auto company in the world. Stellantis shares rallied 7.6% in Milan to 13.53 euros ($16.32). CEO Carlos Tavares said during a virtual bell-ringing ceremony that the merger creates 25 billion euros in shareholder value. “The focus from day one will be on value creation from synergies, which will increase competitiveness vis-a-vis its peers,” Tavares said. Stellantis has a new logo and will launch on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, due to the Monday U.S. bank holiday, followed by a press conference with Tavares. Chairman John Elkann, heir to the Fiat-founding Agnelli family, said that the new company has “the scale, the resources, the diversity and the knowledge to successfully capture the opportunities of this new era in transportation.” The technological shift includes electrified powertrains as well as moves toward greater autonomous driving. The merger is aimed at creating 5 billion euros in annual savings. The new company will have the capacity to produce 8.7 million cars a year, behind Volkswagen, Toyota and Renault-Nissan. Fiat Chrysler, which was created from the merger of the Italian and U.S. car companies in 2014, closed Friday down 4.35% at 12.57 euros, having gained in previous days. Its closing market capitalization was under 20 billion euros, far off its 2018 highs of more than 30 billion euros. Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
Calling an emergency responder. Accessing an affordable housing unit. Children learning inside school buildings, not portables. Patients receiving care in a hospital room, not a hallway. The services delivered in cities are the heartbeat of safe and comfortable communities, ones that attract residents, jobs, and investment opportunities for municipal and regional development. Municipalities own 60 percent of Canada’s infrastructure, according to StatsCan, and bear the corresponding duty to maintain its state of good repair with limited resources. Peel’s cities rely on funding from higher levels of government to provide key services to residents, including local children’s aid societies, healthcare, schools, and social services. A tacit feature of funding to Peel is – no matter the party colours at Queen’s Park or Parliament Hill – the hyper-growth region is not getting its “fair share” of public dollars, despite the equal contribution of local income taxpayers. During the pandemic, the latest examples from Ottawa and Queen’s Park include the federal government’s initial decision to give Toronto $14 million for COVID-19 isolation centres and none to Peel, before local efforts to point out the higher infection rates in the region forced the feds to allocate $6.5 million to Peel. Queen’s Park, meanwhile, despite socio-economic conditions that drove higher case counts in Peel, gave Toronto 17 provincial testing centres, but funded only 4 in Peel, which advocates said was one of the reasons the viral spread was not properly contained in the hard hit region. “What the pandemic has done is put more of a spotlight on how we’re chronically underfunded,” said Regional Councillor Martin Medeiros, of Brampton. “The leader of any political party needs the 905 to win a majority, and we’ve delivered…But when it comes to getting love, we don’t get the love. Why is that?” Local leaders have struggled to glean an answer to this for more than three decades. But what was once a booming battle cry to put pressure on upper levels of government – most recently via a campaign called the Peel Fair Share Task Force – has been reduced like a diminuendo to a restless hum. Nine months shy of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in June 2019, Brampton councillors began making some noise through demands for increased funding to address its healthcare emergency. They highlighted the dangerous lack of hospital beds in the city, which has less than half the per capita number of Ontario overall. The city receives $1,000 less in funding for healthcare, per person, about half the provincial average. These inequities have been magnified during the pandemic. The region has had the highest infection rates in the province, and residents were put at increased risk because of the chronic failure of healthcare funding, which has left local hospitals particularly vulnerable to capacity issues. Prior to the pandemic, the three full-service hospitals in Mississauga and Brampton were already among the worst in Ontario for performance, with average wait times to be admitted between two-and-a-half and three times higher than the provincial target of 8 hours. As part of its 2020 budget asks, the City launched a “Fair Deal for Brampton” campaign for immediate funding to expand Peel Memorial hospital’s urgent care capabilities, fund the second phase of its build, and create a third healthcare facility. A city of about 650,000 residents, Brampton currently has only one full-service hospital, Brampton Civic, operated by the William Osler Health System. More than one-third of Brampton’s population has at least one chronic condition, and the City says it is projected to have the highest rate of dementia between 2015 and 2025. According to a 2014 study by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in collaboration with Peel Public Health, the region was headed for a rate of one in six people having diabetes by 2025, largely due to the significant South Asian-Canadian population, which suffers much higher rates of the disease than the general population. At the time, it was one in ten, as reported by Peel’s former medical officer of health in 2018. According to the City’s pre-pandemic data, the emergency department at Brampton Civic was equipped for 90,000 visits a year, but received about 130,000, while Peel Memorial is funded for 10,000 visits a year and received 75,000. Patient-loads have skyrocketed over the course of the pandemic. As of January 15, Osler’s system was treating 109 COVID-19 patients, where about nine weeks ago, patient transfers were triggered around the time when it was treating just 64 people. In October, Premier Doug Ford announced funding to support the addition of 766 beds for 32 hospitals in the province, including 46 at Etobicoke General Hospital, which is also in the Osler system, and 41 beds in Brampton, which has about 60 percent more residents than Etobicoke. The smaller community was also given two testing facilities through Osler during the first half of the pandemic, among the total of 17 in Toronto, while Brampton only had one. The apparent differential treatment between funding the two hospitals under Osler’s management is a snapshot of the issues facing Brampton as it seeks its fair share from the province, Councillor Medeiros said. “They gave [funding] to Etobicoke without any ties. Notwithstanding, it’s the Premier’s riding,” Medeiros said. “Yet, when the City of Brampton is looking for more investment in healthcare, and we're looking to complete the second phase of Peel Memorial Hospital, they say that there’s provincial legislation requirements that we give 20 to 30 percent as a contribution.” A lack of commensurate allocation by the Province and federal governments has also affected Peel’s $1-billion Housing Master Plan, which has not yet been fully funded. The plan seeks to create 280 emergency shelter beds and another 5,300 affordable housing units by 2034. As previously reported by The Pointer, the federal government’s commitment of $276.5 million is on top of the Region’s $333.5 million, which has been criticized by Peel social services staff as being “significantly and disproportionately high.” Regional Councillor Annette Groves, of Caledon, said that local taxes and development charges are not sufficient to support the wealth of services offered by Peel. “I don't think it has anything to do with the current government. I think that it’s been such a long, outstanding battle,” Groves told The Pointer. “The Province has given us some funding to help with the pandemic, and so has the federal government, but again, it’s still not enough because we’re so far behind in terms of, for example, affordable housing.” Both Queen’s Park and Ottawa are guilty of a form of hypocrisy. The federal government sets immigration targets for the whole country, 401,000 for 2021 and growing to 421,000 in 2023. But it does not establish a funding formula for those municipalities that willingly accommodate newcomers. Brampton, over the past two decades, has welcomed more immigrants per capita than any other large city in Canada, but the federal government does little to provide adequate services and infrastructure for the hyper-growth community that openly supports the country’s immigration policies through its growth planning. Queen’s Park, meanwhile, relies desperately on Peel to accommodate the province’s largest share of population growth, but continues to ignore the funding needs it creates through provincial growth legislation, known as the Places To Grow Act. While Mississauga and Brampton rapidly expand, schools, for example, are not brought on line fast enough by the Province, forcing the use of portables, which have become a common feature in Peel’s education landscape. GO services are also glaringly under-funded, as more and more commuters move into the region without proper transportation infrastructure. The list of inadequate funding commitments for Peel grows every year. On top of education and healthcare, affordable housing, transportation, public health, settlement support, legal aid, children’s aid and almost every other funding area are all under-funded in Peel. For example, despite skyrocketing demand, Mississauga’s legal aid clinic receives far less funding per capita than Toronto. In 2019 the co-executive director of the city’s legal aid clinic, Douglas Kwan, said it receives the second lowest funding per capita of all legal aid clinics in Ontario: the lowest – Brampton. Led by Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish, Peel revived efforts in its Fair Share for Peel coalition about four years ago to address its municipalities receiving less than half of the per capita rate of others in Ontario. In the fall of 2017, the Region organized a $90,000 conference with neighbouring municipalities, called the Summit 4 Fair Funding, to encourage a dialogue surrounding funding needs ahead of the 2018 provincial election. According to the Brampton Guardian, the summit was later cancelled after staff were not able to obtain transparent formulas as to how funding transfers were calculated from the provincial and federal governments. The effort followed years of pressure, culminating in an earlier effort in 2011 to assess underfunding and service delivery obstacles including those for seniors, people with disabilities, and victims of violence and abuse. As Peel braces for what February brings during the pandemic, the Region’s Governance Committee continues to advocate for government dollars. After almost a year of neglect, which contributed to Peel’s designation as a COVID-19 hot spot, and its placement in the current lockdown on November 23, the Ontario Ministry of Health recently agreed to a one-time funding disbursement of $14-million to Peel Public Health, to “support extraordinary costs associated with monitoring, detecting, and containing COVID-19 in the province.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @LaVjosa 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. Vjosa Isai, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
HURON-PERTH – The community spread of COVID-19 continues despite the lockdown measures being implemented across Ontario. During the Huron-Perth Public Health media briefing on Jan. 11, Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron-Perth medical officer of health, announced that the cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 across the region has reached 888 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 41 new cases added over the weekend. Currently, there are 106 active cases, five people are in hospital due to COVID-19 and the number of related deaths has reached 25. “There are many outbreaks in our long-term care and retirement homes,” she said. At Caressant Care in Listowel 10 residents and one staff have tested positive; at Livingstone Manor in Listowel two residents and two staff have tested positive; at Braemar Nursing Home in North Huron two staff have tested positive; at Exeter Villa in South Huron 37 residents and nine staff in the long-term care area have tested positive; at Greenwood Court in Stratford one staff member has tested positive; at Knollcrest Lodge in Milverton two staff members have tested positive; at Seaforth Manor in Huron East one staff member has tested positive; and at Wildwood Care Centre in St. Marys one staff member has tested positive. Although there has not been any COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Huron-Perth yet, Klassen announced that a limited shipment would be arriving soon, possibly within a week. “In keeping with phase one of the vaccination distribution plan, these vaccinations are earmarked for residents and staff of long-term care homes,” she said. “So we’re very excited about that.” Over the next month, Klassen said she estimates there should be almost 3,000 doses delivered which should allow for vaccination of most of the long-term care home residents, staff and associated caregivers in the region. The next priority populations will be retirement home residents. “Right now we have five people in hospital due to COVID, so certainly locally it’s not that our hospital capacity is being exceeded by the number of COVID patients but I think the bigger picture here is that across the province more and more patients are being admitted to hospital ICUs and there is a limited capacity,” she said. “We are part of a bigger system and we certainly would be expected to take ICU patients if called upon,” said Andrew Williams, president & chief executive officer of Huron-Perth Healthcare Alliance. “There is a provincial critical care network that is looking at all the ICU cases currently and they are looking at where they may need to move (patients) from a hot zone, basically defined as the ICUs there are full, so we fully expect that to happen over the coming weeks… it’s an ongoing conversation. We have daily meetings with all the hospitals across this region talking about patient flow and capacities… in the context of COVID there are no individual hospitals, we are very much part of a system.” Klassen mentioned that one of her frustrations is people focusing on where new cases are being announced. “They reflect transmission that happened two weeks earlier,” she said. “So if you only base your precautions on where you are seeing the cases being identified you are two weeks late so we all have to… treat everybody in every place as a place of possible transmission… It’s everywhere now.” Klassen said it’s tough to deal with limiting travel because essential workers need to get to their jobs and people need essential services, food and pharmacies. “The best way to do this would be to do it voluntarily but if that isn’t successful I think that’s when governments have to step in and take… these lockdown measures to ensure the number of interactions is decreasing so we can get the pandemic under control,” she said. Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner