Millions of Americans are taking to the skies and highways ahead of the Thanksgiving day holiday, posing a risk of a major virus spread around the country. The CDC is asking Americans to limit travel and stay at home this holiday season. (Nov. 25)
Millions of Americans are taking to the skies and highways ahead of the Thanksgiving day holiday, posing a risk of a major virus spread around the country. The CDC is asking Americans to limit travel and stay at home this holiday season. (Nov. 25)
WASHINGTON — The Latest on the fallout and increased security efforts after the attack of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local): 4:25 p.m. Police have arrested a man with a handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition at a checkpoint in Washington set up ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Wesley Allen Beeler was charged with carrying a pistol without a license after being stopped at the checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Court documents say Beeler approached the checkpoint but did not have a valid credential for that area. An officer noticed he had “firearms-related stickers” on his vehicle and asked him if he had any weapons inside. The papers say Beeler told the officers he had a handgun under the armrest and police detained him at the scene. They searched his car and found a high-capacity magazine in the 9mm handgun, along with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle. Authorities said he didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Associated Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — An election campaign in a Newfoundland and Labrador winter entails thigh-high snowbanks and winds strong enough to peel back eyelids. But on Saturday, Progressive Conservative leader Ches Crosbie found it does have an upside: knocking on doors is a little easier if people are already out shovelling. "It's been very encouraging here," he said from inside his campaign's SUV, as his team warmed their hands and their phones. Crosbie is flipping the partisan playbook, campaigning on a pledge to spend in order to create jobs. "Our philosophy is that you can't cut your way out of financial mess, you have to grow your way out of it," he said. "Fiscal conservatism is something best practised when you can afford to do it. And we can't afford it at the moment." He sees the stance as a rebuttal to the spending cuts some fear will come from the Liberals, led by surgeon Andrew Furey. Furey pushed back against that narrative at his first official campaign event at the St. John's Farmers' Market Saturday morning. "Now is not the time for cuts," he told reporters. "We need to grow the economy and the cuts are not going to come on the backs of hard-working men and women across the province." Before the legislature was dissolved Friday afternoon ahead of the election call, the Liberals held power with a minority government. Furey was installed as leader of the party in August, inheriting the premiership from Dwight Ball, and had to call an election within a year, according to provincial rules. In the fall, Furey assembled the premier's economic recovery team to address the province's staggering $1.84-billion deficit and $16.4-billion net debt, and to make suggestions on how the government could reorganize operations and build a stronger economy. The team has been controversial, with a major labour leader dramatically resigning. A first draft of the team's suggestions is due in February, but it's not clear if it will be made public before the election on Feb. 13. In his campaign announcement speech on Friday evening, Crosbie said Furey is trying to bury a plan for austerity measures, sending voters to the polls without knowing what they're in for. "Andrew Furey's secret plan will mean fewer jobs," he said in the speech. Crosbie and the Progressive Conservatives are Furey's biggest competition. On Saturday, in the Cowan Heights suburb of St. John's, a few shovellers who stopped to chat with Crosbie seemed impressed — particularly with Kristina Ennis, the PC candidate running in the district. Ennis is a young professional who was laid off in December from her job as a research and development analyst with ExxonMobil. "I loved it, I really miss it," she said on Saturday. "And I am just another of those people who've lost their jobs — the thousands of people — this year." She said she gets asked a lot why she joined the Progressive Conservatives, "especially as a young woman," answering that she was attracted to the party's emphasis on creating jobs through growth. "I don't want my friends to keep moving away, and I don't want to have to move away," she said. "The labour market, there's not a lot out there right now, and the competition to get those jobs is really high. There's so many people unemployed right now." At dissolution, the Liberals held 19 seats, the Progressive Conservatives held 15, the NDP had three and there were three Independents. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — A 28-year-old man is in hospital in Calgary after police say he fell while ice climbing in the Rocky Mountains. RCMP say members from their Rocky Mountain House detachment responded to a dispatch on Friday afternoon that a climber had fallen and needed medical assistance. Police say an SOS beacon was received that indicated the climber was at the south end of Abraham Lake, about 200 km northwest of Calgary. They say reports indicate he fell 12 metres. The man was long-line rescued from his location by Ahlstrom Helicopters with the help of Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue, and was then transferred to a STARS air ambulance helicopter. Police say his injuries were serious but not life-threatening. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
Many Manitobans are struggling to make sure their blood sugars are in range as they are unable to access continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). CGMs are small wearable monitors that send current blood-sugar readings to devices automatically. The monitors can provide warning of unpredictable events such as life-threatening lows during sleep. Currently, CGMs are not covered in the provincial formulary, so patients have to pay to access this device. Some families have even lost their private coverage they formerly had through their work due to COVID-19. “All Manitobans living with diabetes, including those in First Nations communities, deserve to have CGMs and insulin pumps covered so they can manage their diabetes without financial stress,” said provincial NDP leader Wab Kinew on Thursday. Emergency Diabetes Support for Manitobans, a grassroots advocacy group, is trying to address this issue and has created the “Great Manitoban Fingerprick Challenge,” to raise awareness about diabetes and the lack of coverage on CGMs. Several MLAs have agreed to take part in this challenge, including Kinew who believes that CGMs should be covered. The challenge calls for insulin, pumps, pump supplies, and CGMs to be made readily available to all insulin-dependent patients in Manitoba. “For me, this challenge is a chance, in a small way, to get an idea of what it is like to live with diabetes. This is such a huge issue in our society across our healthcare system. I want to show my solidarity and compassion for the people living in this situation,” said Kinew. In a few days, Kinew will receive a kit which he will use to draw blood and monitor his blood-sugar level. He will then go to social media and talk more about his experience during the challenge and to bring awareness about diabetes. Hollie Kirkness is a parent of a 10-year-old child with Type 1 Diabetes. Both her husband and son, Nikolai, are First Nations. She mentioned that the CGM has been a major help for her family. “One of the things he had to adapt to originally was doing finger pokes. People with Type 1 Diabetes have to check their sugar constantly, so at least four times a day we are poking his fingers. At times, the tissue at his fingers hardens, so it becomes harder to draw blood,” she said. However, the monitor that her son uses is a Dexcom G6 CGM system, which is a water-resistant sensor that can show the glucose number in real-time. “The sensor goes into the fatty tissue and transmits all his glucose readings to his phone. So, he would only need one poke every ten days. It has cheered him up so much,” said Kirkness. “The biggest advantage I found is that the CGM can show his blood sugar trends. The pokes are essentially a picture, you take it, and you can see where the blood sugar is in the moment, but you don’t know whether his blood sugar will go up or if it is minutes away from it being low.” With finger pokes, Kirkness would need to wake up a few times in the middle of the night to get Nikolai’s blood sugar reading because if her son’s readings go lower than normal, he may slip into a coma. The CGM has not only helped Kirkness and her family gain some sleep but has also enabled her son to perform physical activities without worrying about his sugar levels. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the province against considering a domestic travel ban, saying restricting travel between provinces to fight COVID-19 would only further harm the sector.The B.C. government should steer away from pursuing an outright ban and work instead with the industry and communities to better educate travelers about pandemic health and safety protocols, said Vivek Sharma, chairman of the Tourism Association of B.C.He said many tourism-related businesses are barely surviving due to the pandemic and a travel ban now would likely mean many won't survive the winter. "Tourism businesses in large and small communities are the glue that binds communities together," Sharma said in an interview. "It runs through the fabric of our province and we need to find solutions as to how we can support them to get into spring and to create an environment in the spring where those businesses can flourish and succeed."He said the tourism sector wants to stress to the government that individual behaviour and not travel is behind the spread of COVID-19."What we are saying is the problem is not happening because of the travel," said Sharma.Premier John Horgan said earlier this week his government is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel.Sharma, speaking on behalf of tourism and accommodations organizations from Vancouver, Richmond and Greater Victoria, said a non-essential travel ban could also heighten unnecessary fears and misperceptions toward visitors to B.C.There were several police reports last year from people driving vehicles with out-of-province licence plates about being confronted by local residents concerned about the spread of COVID-19.Sharma said the association has a legal opinion stating a travel ban would be difficult to implement due to Canada's mobility rights provisions, but the industry is not looking for a legal confrontation with the province."We don't want to talk about conflict," he said. "I don't even want to say we will challenge this in court."Cara Zwibel, a lawyer with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said earlier the B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary.She said it is not clear that B.C. has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases linked to interprovincial travel.The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is appealing an earlier court decision upholding travel restrictions imposed last year by the Newfoundland and Labrador government. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan .16, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Following the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump against the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the social media company said it will now prohibit ads for accessories such as gun safes, vests and gun holsters in the United States. Three U.S. senators sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday asking him to permanently block advertisements of products that are clearly designed to be used in armed combat.
Iran is in the process of building up its nuclear weapons capacity and it is urgent that Tehran and Washington return to a 2015 nuclear agreement, France's foreign minister was quoted as saying in an interview published on Saturday. Iran has been accelerating its breaches of the nuclear deal and earlier this month started pressing ahead with plans to enrich uranium to 20% fissile strength at its underground Fordow nuclear plant. The Islamic Republic's breaches of the nuclear agreement since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from it in 2018 and subsequently imposed sanctions on Tehran may complicate efforts by President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, to rejoin the pact.
Police have issued a warning after raw meat and rice were found placed at multiple intersections in a neighbourhood in Airdrie. At 11 a.m. Saturday, police were called about a "suspicious item/activity" in the Ravenswood neighbourhood of the southern Alberta city, RCMP said. "Several pieces of raw meat with rice were located on all four corners of various intersections … along with the raw meat there was a one dollar coin (loonie) located," police said. Police said they're "unsure" why the meat was placed at intersections, and are asking people to take extra precautions while walking with children or pets. Pets should be kept in yards or on leashes, police said. Anyone with information about the intersection meat mystery is asked to contact Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200, or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Fairbanks man in his 80s has died from COVID-19 and another 305 confirmed infections were reported Friday, health officials in Alaska said as the state continues vaccination efforts. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said 228 state residents and one nonresident have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March, including 23 deaths since Jan. 1, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The death rate per capita is among the lowest in the country, though the state's geographical size and vulnerable health care system complicate national comparisons, officials said. Hospitalizations and daily confirmed case counts have also declined in recent weeks. Officials said many people have been tested for COVID-19 more than once, but that each case count represents one person. The data does not specify if people who test positive are experiencing symptoms. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The state received the coronavirus vaccine in mid-December, health officials said. About 44,000 people have received the first dose and another 10,900 had received both doses required for the vaccine to be fully effective. Health care workers and adults older than 65 are now eligible for vaccination, although appointment slots are limited and have filled up quickly since being offered last week. The Associated Press
The second wave of COVID-19 continues to put a strain on health resources across the province. New numbers indicate the pandemic has deeply affected people experiencing homelessness. Health agencies and physicians are calling for more to be done to help. Katherine Ward reports.
Canada's procurement minister urged drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech to get the country's COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule back on track as soon as possible as cases of the novel coronavirus surged past the 700,000 mark on Saturday. The country hit the milestone less than two weeks after recording 600,000 cases of the virus on Jan. 3 -- a feat that took months during the pandemic's first wave. Seven provinces recorded 6,479 cases on Saturday, pushing the national tally over 702,000. Nationwide inoculation efforts had resulted in more than half a million residents receiving a vaccine dose as of Friday night, though the pace of immunizations is set to decrease as Pfizer-BioNTech upgrades its production facilities in Europe. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians' concerns about the drug company's decision to delay international vaccine shipments for four weeks during the upgrades. "We are once again in touch with representatives from Pfizer to reiterate firmly the importance for Canada to return to our regular delivery schedule as soon as possible," she said on Twitter Saturday. "Pfizer assured us that it is deploying all efforts to do just that."She noted that shipments for the upcoming week will be largely unaffected, and said Ottawa will provide updates as they become available. Ontario became the latest province to adjust its vaccination rollout plans in light of Pfizer's announcement.Dr. David Williams, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued a statement on Saturday saying officials do not yet know the full impact the delay will have on Ontario's immunization strategy. "We understand that this change in supply could see deliveries reduced by at least half for Canada in the coming weeks," Williams said in a statement Saturday."We will assess and take appropriate action to ensure we can continue providing our most vulnerable with vaccines."In Ontario, long-term care residents, caregivers and staff who already received their first dose of Pfizer's vaccine will get their second dose between 21 and 27 days later, no more than a week beyond what was originally planned. But that time frame will be longer for anyone else receiving the Pfizer vaccine, with second doses being delivered anywhere from 21 to 42 days after the initial shot.Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said Friday the reduced shipments mean that 86,775 of the 176,475 doses of the vaccine expected by Feb. 8 won't be delivered on schedule.Officials are establishing a new distribution plan, but the Quebec Health Department said it still intends to immunize as many people as possible within priority groups, with a delay of up to 90 days for the second dose.Officials in Saskatchewan said COVID-19 vaccinations will continue as doses are received, with Premier Scott Moe telling reporters Friday that the province's strategy for the two-dose regime depends on steady shipments.Canada's top doctor continued her push for strict adherance to public health guidelines as Saturday's case count inched closer to levels forecasted in bleak federal projections released earlier in the week. Modeling released on Thursday indicated Canada could see 10,000 daily cases by the end of January if current infection rates continue. "If we ease measures too soon, the epidemic will resurge even stronger," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a tweet. "This is double-down time!!"Tam said Hospitalizations and deaths across the country, which tend to lag one to several weeks behind a spike in cases, are still on the rise.Canada averaged 4,705 hospitalizations across the country with 875 patients requiring intensive care treatment For the seven-day period ending Jan. 14. During the same period, an average of 137 deaths were reported daily.Ontario topped 3,000 cases in a 24-hour period once again on Saturday and added another 51 deaths linked to the virus.In Quebec, 2,225 new infections were reported along with 67 deaths attributed to the virus, pushing the province over the 9,000 death mark since the beginning of the pandemic.New Brunswick continued to report the highest daily COVID-19 case counts in Atlantic Canada, with 27 new diagnoses reported Saturday. Nova Scotia, by contrast, reported just four.Saskatchewan reported 270 new COVID-19 cases and two further deaths on Saturday. Alberta logged 717 new infections, while Manitoba reported 180.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
Health officials in the London, Ont. area reported on Saturday the region's first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant originally detected in the United Kingdom. The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) said it was notified by the Public Health Ontario Laboratory that a patient previously diagnosed with COVID-19 had the variant, it said in a news news release. The person, who has recovered from their illness, is in their 80s and hadn't travelled outside of Canada. CBC News has confirmed that the individual wasn't in a long-term care home. "This is the first indication that the COVID-19 U.K. variant is present in London and Middlesex County. Data from the UK indicates that it may spread up to 50 per cent more easily than other variants," said Dr. Chris Mackie, the the MLHU's medical officer of health. Mackie says the best way to protect the community from further spread is for everyone to follow public health advice rigidly and to adhere to the stay-at-home order issued by the province earlier this week. In addition to avoiding unnecessary trips outside of the home, people should limit contact with those outside their household. The COVID-19 variant was first identified in Kent, United Kingdom on Sept. 20, 2020. Ontario's first case of the variant strain was identified in Durham Region on Dec. 26, 2020.
In a story January 15, 2021, about podcasts and misinformation, The Associated Press misspelled the name of the head of editorial for Kinzen, a startup that offers a disinformation tracker to companies. He is Shane Creevy, not Shane Creevey. The Associated Press
BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi is doubtful for the final of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, when his Barcelona will face Athletic Bilbao. Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer has been nursing an unspecified fitness issue that caused coach Ronald Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal on Wednesday against Real Sociedad. Without Messi, Barcelona needed some great goalkeeping by Marc-Andre ter Stegen to reach — and prevail in — a penalty shootout. Messi has been training on his own and his readiness is up in the air, Koeman said on Saturday. “(Messi) will have the last word, he knows his own body,” Koeman said. “We hope that he can play the game. “With Leo, the team is stronger thanks to his ability to create and his effectiveness as a scorer, things that we are sometimes missing. (But) he must be 100%. This is not the last game of the season.” Barcelona, however, has shown it can win without its star. While not a brilliant attacking performance, Barcelona did have one of its best collective matches in the semifinals to get past an inspired Sociedad. That gritty performance gives veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets reason to believe the team is finding its stride after a shaky start to its rebuild under Koeman. “Saying that we have got this all figured out is a bit much, but we are on the right path,” Busquets said. “We are on a good run, feeling better as a group. (Winning the title) would be an important step, and I am convinced this team can continue to grow.” Bilbao reached the final to be played in Seville after eliminating defending champion Real Madrid. Forward Raul García scored twice to earn the Basque club a 2-1 victory on Thursday. The final will be the third match in charge for Bilbao coach Marcelino García Toral. His debut last week was at home against Barcelona in the league. Messi scored twice to help Barcelona recover from an early goal by Iñaki Williams and secure a 3-2 victory. “We must go into the match thinking that (Messi) will play and that he will play at his best, and that it is our job to stop him,” Marcelino said. “My players are revved up and ready to conquer the world. To beat both Madrid and Barcelona to win this trophy would be the maximum.” Bilbao beat Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup in 2015, when it was still a two-leg final between the league and Copa del Rey winners. This Spanish Super Cup is in southern Spain after the coronavirus pandemic stopped it from being played in Saudi Arabia for a second straight season. The tournament’s revamped final four format includes the top two finishers in the Spanish league and the finalists of the Copa del Rey from the previous season. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
It's the first day on the campaign trail in Newfoundland and Labrador and the NL Alliance is busy putting together a strategy to potentially land its first seat inside the House of Assembly. The party — founded in 2018 — has four candidates running as of Saturday with election day about a month away and is focused on saving provincial money. NL Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley told CBC News the province's growing debt is a big problem the "mainstream" political parties appear to be avoiding. "There's so many things we can do as government, there's so many things leaders can do to help Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in the future," he said. "We certainly have a spending problem. We have to get our spending under control. We're borrowing to pay our bills." While his party is relatively new, Pelley isn't a stranger to politics. In 2015, as part of the Progressive Conservatives, he ran against former Liberal premier Dwight Ball in the district of Humber-Gros Morne. Pelley also led district associations and was elected president of the provincial Tories in 2016, helping rewrite the party's constitution. But in 2018, he walked away to form his own party, citing at the time he felt people were "fed up" with the way party politics operated the province. In the party's first general election the following year, the party ran nine candidates, garnering less than 2.5 per cent of the overall vote. Learning from the pandemic As the global coronavirus pandemic wears on, Pelley said things have changed that could make for some money saving options. While many peope made the switch to working from home, he said some have told him they would not want to go back to an office setting if given the option. Pelley said business as usual has changed and become more efficient, and as a result, some government buildings, travelling, food allowances and lodging fees aren't necessary anymore. "This would save money on operations, on maintenance. We can erase funds by selling or leasing properties that we own," he said. "These are ways whereby we can save dollars and we can certainly help Newfoundland and Labrador reduce their debt." When asked if having people work from home would then cost the employee money for tools such as computers and an internet bill, Pelley said if government were to invest in that, it would still create a savings. Watching investments Pelley said making large investments in large corporations looks fine on paper, but making small investments in startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses within the province ensures local employment and a bolstering of regional economies. He said one of the biggest barriers small businesses are facing is the "red tape" and "bureaucracy" owners have to go through in order to be successful. "Over the last little while, we have heard the reports about hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in the oil industry. We're not against the oil industry, we believe that the oil industry has a role to play, but we look at all these investments that were made over the last little while and what did we get in return? We've got a lawsuit or two," he said. "If it's a resource in Newfoundland and Labrador, we must, and we have to be the first to benefit and benefit the most.… The tax breaks that we give, it's much better that we invest in small businesses rather than these large companies." Pelley said NL Alliance is now working to recruit more candidates ahead of the Feb. 13 election day. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):6:45 p.m.Canada's national COVID-19 case count has surpassed 700,000.Seven provinces recorded more than 6,400 new infections today, pushing the country's tally above 702,000 since the onset of the global pandemic.It took less than two weeks for Canada to add 100,000 cases to the overall count, a timeframe that took months during the pandemic's first wave.Canada reached the 600,000-case threshold on Jan. 3. ---6:25 p.m.Alberta is reporting 717 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional virus-related deaths today.Chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted that 765 people are in hospital with COVID-19, 122 of whom are in intensive care.Hinshaw says the provincial test positivity rate is 5.6 per cent.---5 p.m.Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand is urging drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech to get COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Canada back on track. She says in a series of tweets that she understands Canadians' concerns about the company's decision to delay international deliveries.She says she's been in touch with Pfizer-BioNTech, and that they've told her they're trying to get things back on schedule. Anand notes that the government does not expect vaccine distribution to be affected in the coming week. --- 2:10 p.m.New Brunswick is reporting 27 new cases of COVID-19 today and now has 267 active cases.Public health says there are seven new cases in both the Moncton and Edmundston regions, four in both the Saint John and Fredericton areas, three in the Campbellton region and two in the Bathurst area.All of the patients are self-isolating and the origin of their infections are under investigation, while there are three patients currently in hospital.New Brunswick has had a total of 911 confirmed cases with 631 recoveries and 12 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.---1:45 p.m.Manitoba is reporting two new COVID-19 deaths.They were included in today's provincial pandemic update, which says there were 180 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba as of this morning.The update says Manitoba's five-day test positivity rate is 10.2 per cent, although Winnipeg's is lower at seven per cent.The total number of people who have died in Manitoba from COVID-19 is 761.---11:30 a.m.Nova Scotia is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today, including two cases involving university students.Health officials say the one case in the eastern zone is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada -- a student at Cape Breton University in Sydney who lives off campus and is self-isolating.The three other cases are in the Halifax area, with one a contact of a previously reported case and the other two related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, including a student at Dalhousie University who lives off campus.The province now has 30 active cases of the virus, with no one currently in hospital.---11:15 a.m.Quebec is reporting 2,225 new COVID-19 cases and 67 further deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.The number of hospitalizations dropped for a second day, this time by 22 for a total of 1,474 patients, and four fewer patients in intensive care for a total of 227.The province added 2,430 more recoveries, for a total of 210,364.The province has now reported 240,970 confirmed infections and 9,005 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.---10:45 a.m.Ontario is reporting 3,056 new cases of COVID-19 today along with 51 new deaths related to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliot says 903 of the latest diagnoses are in Toronto, with 639 in neighbouring Peel region and 283 in York Region. The province says 1,632 COVID-19 patients are currently in hospital, with 397 in intensive care. Elliott says the province had administered 189,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of 8 p.m. on Friday.--- 10:30 a.m.Ontario says a shipping delay from Pfizer BioNTech means residents who receive an initial dose of the company's COVID-19 vaccine will have to wait longer than expected to receive their second one.The government says long-term care residents and staff who have been inoculated already will wait up to an extra week before a second dose is administered. Anyone else receiving the Pfizer vaccine were initially supposed to get a econd dose after 21 days, but will now see that timetable extended to a maximum of 42 days. The government says it's on track to ensure all long-term care residents, essential caregivers and staff, the first priority group for the vaccine, receive their first dose by mid-February.---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
Roughly 5,000 more Alberta businesses are now eligible for the provincial relaunch grant. The province announced Thursday that small- and medium-sized businesses that began operating between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2020 can receive up to $15,000. They had previously been excluded from the program. For some it's a hand up, a way to grow their business during tough times. Others say it's a Band-Aid that won't stop the bleeding for long. Opportunity to expand Calgary eatery PizzaFace started a takeout operation in March, first building custom pizzas in a friend's restaurant kitchen. In September, they took over a brick-and-mortar location and since have been doing brisk business. "With the more lockdown and restrictions we tend to be busier, so we have been on a steady upclimb but that also has to do with the situation we're in as well," said co-owner Antonio Migliarese. "People can't go to restaurants, so they are stuck at home and you only want to cook so much at home before you order pizza." PizzaFace didn't qualify for the grant when it was originally launched in the spring but decided to make a go of the pizza business anyway. Migliarese said the expansion of eligibility has allowed PizzaFace to expand the business, and put some unemployed Calgarians back to work. "We've increased our employee load, reaching out to hard workers who we know want to work but can't. So we've been able to, I guess, give back in that sense." But while Migliarese is able to use the grant to grow his busy eatery, others say the money will simply be a way to stay afloat — for a little while. Barely staying afloat in tourist town Heather Merrett and Melodie-Joy Miller started Seed N Salt just before the pandemic hit, but also didn't qualify for the grant the first time around. "It was a new business that had signed leases in 2019, filed GST in 2019, incurred costs in 2019 but did not have revenue in 2019, therefore we're a new business and we're excluded," Miller said. Small- and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that faced restrictions or closures because of public health orders and experienced a revenue loss of at least 30 per cent due to the pandemic are eligible under the expansion. Merrett and Miller said while Banff is usually the perfect spot for a restaurant, theirs was impacted in several ways. Food and beverage is already one of the hardest hit areas due to the pandemic. On top of that, Banff is a destination reliant on tourism. With borders closed and restrictions in place, not only are visitors not flocking to the mountain town, but it also means fewer people are moving to Banff to take jobs in the hospitality sector. A decrease in population means a decrease in demand for food. "We are grateful. It will definitely help us out. I mean, it is $15,000, and it's a grant, so that will help us with operating costs," Merrett said. "But it won't sustain our business or help us go forward with the minimal tourists we have here in Banff right now." Merrett and Miller said they nearly decided to close and forget their Seed N Salt dream, but said they had few options except to continue. "We were already $200,000 in when COVID hit. Because of provincial and federal restrictions, we've been shut down and so our revenue compared to our forecast .. we aren't making any money," Miller said. "Now, Heather and I are fearful about the variant that everyone is talking about. "What if it causes another shutdown? What would that look like? If summer were to be like it is right now, we won't be able to move forward." The two said the only real hope of recouping what they've lost so far will be to put visitors back in Banff and open doors to dine-in service. As they hope for a return to normalcy, they'll use the grant money to pay rent and other operating costs for a restaurant they can't open. Any new company that meets the 30 per cent threshold for lost revenue will be able to apply for the grant starting Feb. 4, 2021. The province said businesses like PizzaFace and Seed N Salt that didn't qualify when the original program was announced should wait until Feb. 4 to reapply to avoid being deemed ineligible. According to provincial statistics, small- and medium-sized businesses make up 99.8 percent of all job creators in the province, and employ about half a million Albertans.
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a man whose bulldozer fell through the ice on one of its inactive tailings ponds earlier this week has now been recovered. The company issued a statement saying emergency responders completed their recovery efforts for Patrick Poitras on Friday night. The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction. Crews responded to the accident Wednesday afternoon at the mine site near Fort McMurray, Alta. A Suncor spokeswoman said at the time that occupational health and safety authorities were notified. The company says it's confirming Poitras' death with "great sadness" and "heavy hearts." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
BARCELONA, Spain — Lower-division Spanish sides took out three more top-flight teams from the Copa del Rey on Saturday, taking advantage of playing the one-match elimination rounds on their home turf. Coach Abelardo Fernández had a nightmare debut in his second stint at Alavés after it was routed 5-0 by second-tier side Almería. Cádiz lost at Girona 2-0, and Elche fell at Rayo Vallecano 2-0 also in the round of 16. The three losers joined fellow top-flight clubs Atlético Madrid, Getafe, Celta Vigo and Huesca, which all lost in the round of 32. The three other first-division teams in action on Saturday needed to go to added time to see off their lower-tier rivals. Spain's football federation overhauled the domestic cup competition two seasons ago, getting rid of home-and-away legs for all rounds except for the semifinals. The move has succeeded in giving more modest sides a better chance to go deeper in the tournament. Almería’s Sadiq Umar already had the opener by the half hour when Alavés midfielder Tomás Pina was sent off for headbutting an opponent after they apparently exchanged heated words. More mistakes by the visitors turned into goals for Almería. Goalkeeper Antonio Sivera let a long shot by Ager Agetxe slip through his grasp to make it 2-0 before halftime. Sadiq used the back of his heel to claim a brace after Sivera and a defender bungled each other’s efforts to stop the striker. Rodrigo Battaglia headed a cross into his own net in an inept attempt to clear the ball in the 52nd, and a penalty conceded by Xima Navarro sent Almería’s Juan Villar to the spot for the fifth goal. Abelardo, a former Barcelona defender, coached Alavés from December 2017 to May 2019. After an unsuccessful stint at Espanyol last season, he was rehired by the Basque club on Tuesday to replace Pablo Machín with the club two points above the relegation zone in the Spanish league. “The first thing I want to do is to ask our fans for forgiveness,” Abelardo said after his team’s defeat. “We played very poorly. We play better or worse, but we must compete, and we did not even do that. I am very disappointed. We hope that this blow will force us to turn this around.” Cádiz was unable to create a single shot on goal at Girona, which got two goals from Valery Fernández early in the second half to advance to the final eight. Sevilla substitute Lucas Ocampos scored in added time to edge Leganés 1-0. Levante had to go to a penalty shootout to better Fuenlabrada after added time ended 1-1. Valladolid needed added time to avoid an upset at third-tier Peña Deportiva on the island of Ibiza. Roque Mesa scored twice in added time to help Valladolid win 4-1. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
The Manitoba Métis Community and the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) have been shut out of critical participation in Manitoba’s rollout of the vaccine and of yet, has not participated in any kind of token engagement with the province, the MMF says. While the Manitoba Government has invited the federation to participate in discussions of limited scope, it has failed to involve the MMF in any meaningful way. There has also been no data-sharing agreement with the provincial government despite numerous requests by the MMF. “Despite what Pallister’s officials suggest, we haven’t been engaged in a plan to deliver any vaccines to the Manitoba Métis,” said the MMF President David Chartrand in a news release. “How can we provide support to communication and infrastructure for a vaccine rollout to our people when we don’t know the basics? Where are the vaccines for the Métis people? How many are there? When will they be delivered? How will our population be identified? The province has no data on our Citizens and has long refused to sign a data-sharing agreement with us.” The federation believes that the current province’s vaccination plan does not address the lack of priority for the Métis Nation’s vulnerable Citizens and Elders. With no concrete plan in place, the Manitoba Métis Community feels as though they have been abandoned by the provincial government. “The Province of Manitoba has missed its mark on the Métis Citizens. Our Elders and our vulnerable have been calling our office to find out what the plan is from the Métis government,” said MMF Minister of Health and Wellness Frances Chartrand on Friday. “However, the province presently holds the strings regarding the vaccine, and until they start working with us, we have no plan. Because of this, we have to keep reassuring our citizens that we are still trying to get Manitoba to recognize that the Métis should be included in the rollout plan.” Frances noted that as there is no data-sharing agreement between the province and the Métis, most of the information they received about their people’s COVID-19 rates is through word of mouth. Last Friday, Frances was invited to a communications meeting with the province. During the meeting, the province wanted to know how the MMF will roll out the vaccine to its community. “When we went in the meeting, we thought that it was a foot in the door for us to work together, but all they wanted was to know our vaccination plan,” said Frances. “The province did not provide any information on how many vaccines will be allocated to the Métis citizens or the number of positive cases within our community. It was just a ploy to prove that they had consulted with the Métis government.” A spokesperson from the Department of Indigenous and Northern Relations said that invitations were extended to the MMF regarding access to Manitoba’s vaccination sites and participation with the Indigenous Vaccination Communications Working Group. “The province has also reached out to encourage the development of an information-sharing agreement, and provincial officials have been regularly engaged with staff from the MMF regarding COVID-19,” said the spokesperson. “MMF staffs have been regular and active participants of weekly meetings at the provincial Indigenous COVID-19 collaboration table to address specific to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Although the MMF has declined to participate in an information-sharing agreement, their engagement with provincial health officials regarding the response to COVID-19 is demonstrable.” Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun