Trump suggests firing Dr. Fauci after election day; Trump prepares to sue over Pennsylvania mail ballots; Biden says to defeat coronavirus, defeat Trump first; Two girls rescued days after Turkey earthquake.
Trump suggests firing Dr. Fauci after election day; Trump prepares to sue over Pennsylvania mail ballots; Biden says to defeat coronavirus, defeat Trump first; Two girls rescued days after Turkey earthquake.
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia will look at how many children and young people across B.C. have antibodies for COVID-19. The study will look at how many British Columbians under the age of 25 have been infected with COVID-19. Thousands of children and young adults across B.C. will be mailed antibody testing kits. Dr. Manish Sadarangani, associate professor in the UBC department of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Evaluation Centre at B.C. Children's Hospital, is leading the study. He says it will answer critical questions about the role babies, children, and young adults play in the transmission of the novel coronavirus. "What we're trying to do is fill in that knowledge gap, help the policy makers, help the public health officials, by providing additional information," Sadarangani told Michelle Eliot, host of CBC's BC Today. "We're trying to really establish the full burden of this infection on children and young adults across B.C."There have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 among children, he says. It's still not clear whether the infection rates in children are the same as in adults, with children having milder symptoms, or whether fewer children are getting COVID-19."What's been striking to me in this pandemic as a pediatric infectious disease specialist is that children haven't been really prominent, which is so different than all of the other respiratory infections that we see," he said. The study will enable researchers to identify cases that may have been already identified through testing, as well as cases that may not have been identified previously either because of a lack of testing or a lack of symptoms. The team is recruiting anybody under 25 to participate in the study. Participants — or their parents —will receive a consent form, an online questionnaire, and a home finger prick test in the mail. Once participants mail in their blood sample, researchers will test each sample and reach out to those participants who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies.Anyone interested in participating in the study can visit www.bcchr.ca/springstudy.
La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois says more inclusion and support for northern and Indigenous communities is key to surviving the pandemic. Jolibois handily won municipal elections in the northern village with 60 per cent of the vote in a three-way race when results were confirmed on November 10. Incumbent Robert St. Pierre announced in October that he would not seek reelection and retired from politics. “I'm very humbled and thankful for the support that I got. This election I saw a lot of young people in line to go vote,” Jolibois told the Daily Herald. Jolibois brings 12 years of mayoral experience to the table having previously served as mayor of La Loche from 2003 to 2015. She then served as NDP MP for the riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River until 2019 when she lost her bid for re-election to Conservative Gary Vidal. Jolibois said she will ensure that the community gets the support it needs to survive the pandemic and that issues facing La Loche, such as access to healthcare and economic opportunity, are part of a bigger problem in northern Saskatchewan. “Right now I am the mayor of La Loche and I represent the Northern Village of La Loche. However, the concerns that we have here, the issues that we have here, are similar throughout the north. Government ministries, provincial and federal, still have to do their part and support northern Saskatchewan,” Jolibois said. Jolibois said she’s concerned that conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus are taking a toll on her community, as they have throughout Canada and the United States. “The challenge that we face is that it's everywhere on social media, the conspiracy theories and the misinformation floating around saying that COVID-19 is not real, that is false. COVID-19 is very real,” Jolibois said. “There are people who are ill with COVID-19. And there are people who are in self isolation because they had contact with someone and those people in isolation and those people who are in recovery require support to ensure that they make it through and recover. The onus is on each individual to do their part to slow the spread and stop the spread of COVID-19.” She said she’s taking a teamwork approach with the health authority and regional leaders to tackle the problem. “It is very important for every leader to take this seriously. To take precautions as necessary. We're inundated with information on our TV channels, social media, YouTube, everywhere else. Precautions do work, wash your hands, wear a mask, maintain physical distance. So far in the community I support people who are taking this seriously, who are self-isolating and doing their part and who are recovering from COVID-19,” Jolibois said. “There are people who don't wear masks, there are people who don't believe that COVID is real but it's everywhere. So the message is that the government has to be consistent.” Unnecessary travel south is being discouraged, but Jolibois hopes that discrimination against northerners who do need to make trips south will stop. “The challenge that we faced in the spring, the horrific backlash that the community faced. I didn't appreciate the racism and the discrimination that people faced. We were denied appointments, because we were from La Loche or the northwest,” Jolibois said. “I felt that no one came to the community’s aid to say that discrimination is happening, racism is happening, let’s stop this. Many people feel and felt that that didn't happen. That was the labeling and negative impact. Now in Saskatchewan every region is a hot zone. Every region has COVID-19.” Jolibois said that poverty as a social determinant of health could be alleviated if more investments by government and industry circled back to where wealth is generated. While industries that operate in the north are “making Saskatchewan and Canada wealthy” she said that wealth isn’t being distributed the way that it should. “It is nice to get a few social programs, but other things are required. Like dollars for infrastructure, building facilities, employment, not just at the entry level, but the most senior levels,” Jolibois said. “It is important to acknowledge that there are First Nations and to also acknowledge there are Métis in our communities, and also to acknowledge northern municipalities. All three play a critical role in our communities. But when it comes to the government, ensuring that industry directly work with all three levels of government, it’s hit and miss.” Jolibois said that in order to prosper there needs to be an equal seat at the table for the north in Saskatchewan. “First of all, the government really should acknowledge that northern Saskatchewan is part of Saskatchewan. And show us that you really do mean working with us by providing us with the appropriate resources. To be at the standard of the rest of Saskatchewan,” Jolibois said. “It's important for northern Saskatchewan to have voices, and to speak to issues, Indigenous issues and other issues. It's important that our language and culture is protected. Our cultural identity and being Cree or Dene or Métis, First Nation or Inuit. It is important that truth and reconciliation happens for all of us. It's important for all of us to work toward betterment in our communities.” Michael Bramadat-Willcock, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Northern Advocate
BEIJING — A Chinese spacecraft sent to return lunar rocks to Earth collected its first samples Wednesday after landing on the moon, the government announced, adding to a string of successes for Beijing's increasingly ambitious space program.The Chang’e 5 probe touched down shortly after 11 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Tuesday after descending from an orbiter, the China National Space Administration said. It released images of the barren scene at the landing site showing the lander's shadow.“Chang'e has collected moon samples,” the agency said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency. It said the probe also had successfully unfolded solar panels that will power it.The probe, launched Nov. 24 from the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the latest venture by a Chinese space program that sent its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims eventually to land a human on the moon.Plans call for the lander to spend about two days drilling into the lunar surface and collecting 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of rocks and debris. The top stage of the probe will be launched back into lunar orbit to transfer the samples to a capsule for return to Earth, where it is to land in China's northern grasslands in mid-December.If it succeeds, it will be the first time scientists have obtained fresh samples of lunar rocks since a Soviet probe in the 1970s. Those samples are expected to be made available to scientists from other nations, although its unclear how much access NASA will have, given tight U.S. government restrictions on space co-operation with China.From the rocks and debris, scientists hope to learn more about the moon, including its precise age, as well as increased knowledge about other bodies in our solar system. Collecting samples, including from asteroids, is an increasing focus of many space programs and China's mastery of the technology once again places it among the leading nations operating in space.American and Russian space officials congratulated the Chinese program.“Congratulations to China on the successful landing of Chang’e 5. This is no easy task," wrote NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, on Twitter."When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community.”The most recent return of lunar rocks to Earth was carried out in 1976 by Luna 24, a Soviet robot probe.U.S. astronauts brought back 842 pounds (382 kilograms) of lunar samples from 1969 to 1972, some of which is still being analyzed and experimented on.The Chang'e 5 flight is China's third successful lunar landing. Its predecessor, Chang'e 4, was the first probe to land on the moon's little-explored far side.Chinese space program officials have said they envision future crewed missions along with robotic ones, including possibly a permanent research base. No timeline or other details have been announced.The latest flight includes collaboration with the European Space Agency, which is helping to monitor the mission.China's space program has proceeded more cautiously than the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1960s, which was marked by fatalities and launch failures.In 2003, China became the third country to send an astronaut into orbit on its own after the Soviet Union and the United States. It also launched a crewed space station.China, along with neighbours Japan and India, also has joined the growing race to explore Mars. The Tianwen 1 probe launched in July is on its way to the red planet carrying a lander and a rover to search for water.Joe McDonald, The Associated Press
The B.C. government has announced two new programs to help B.C. farmers and food producers in a move the province says will help improve food security and build a stronger economy.In a statement, the province says operators of small or new farms are eligible for funding through a new pilot program, which offers up to $800,000 for business plan coaching and cost sharing on infrastructure and equipment."Small-scale farms are the bedrock of local food economies and key to strengthening short supply chains," said Sara Dent, co-founder and executive director of Young Agrarians.Dent said providing support to a new generation of farmers requires innovative programs to address their unique needs.As part of the program, a small farm is defined as one with a total annual gross revenue of less than $60,000 in the last two years. Individual farms are eligible for a maximum $17,500, with the funds covering up to 75 per cent of total approved project costs, according to the province."B.C.'s farmers and food producers have stepped up to the challenges of COVID-19," said Lana Popham, minister of agriculture, food and fisheries. "We are working with them to put us on the path to a strong recovery with investments ... that will feed people and strengthen our economy."The government also announced it is investing $90,000 to help growers increase the amount of land devoted to growing raspberries, in an effort to revitalize the province's raspberry industry. "Investment in the agriculture sector right now is critical," said Stan Vander Waal, president of the B.C. Agriculture Council. "It will play a major role in helping the province weather and recover from the pandemic-induced economic downturn, particularly in rural communities."
Yukon's health minister says the territorial government has a plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines when they become available.But neither Health Minister Pauline Frost nor Premier Sandy Silver would offer many details about what's actually in the plan.In Question Period Tuesday, Opposition Leader Stacey Hassard said the public needs more information."All we are asking for is for the minister to provide a copy of that plan to Yukoners so that they can understand what is going on here," he said.Frost both accused the Yukon Party of spreading false information and fear mongering without offering specifics. "For us to come out now and say 'Here's a whole bunch of plans for a whole bunch options,' we're not going to do that right now and we're definitely not going to make news announcements on the floor of the Legislative Assembly," Silver said.Silver did suggest that the government's exact plan will change based on which of the vaccines nearing regulatory approval the Yukon gets first.Pfizer's vaccine, for instance, has to be stored at -80 C to remain stable. That means special freezers are required to transport and store it. Yesterday, federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand said vaccines also require qualified shippers and promised details about distribution are coming soon."What the [health] department is doing is game theory, which is every single option, making sure we have considered all of the variables that would be used depending on who gets that authorization first from Health Canada, and when," Silver said. NDP Leader Kate White said the public deserves to know what the plan is."Plans can change and plans can be adapted, and no one argues or or disagrees with that," she said. "But even having an idea of what the starting [point] is, instead of speaking in generalities, I think what really folks are looking for right now is specifics."
PAUVERTÉ. Plus de 800 000 personnes n’arrivent pas à couvrir leurs besoins de base au Québec et la crise de la COVID-19 ne fait qu’exacerber leurs difficultés déplore le Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté. En compagnie du Front commun des personnes assistées sociales du Québec (FCPASQ) et du Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU), cet organisme demande au du ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, Jean Boulet de garantir à ces personnes, le plus rapidement possible, ce qui devrait être considéré comme un minimum au Québec : la couverture des besoins de base tels que définis par la Mesure du panier de consommation (MPC). «En partant, les engagements du gouvernement québécois envers les personnes les plus mal prises, les personnes assistées sociales, sont minimalistes. Donner moins que le minimum reconnu, c’est compromettre la santé et la dignité des gens. Dans ces circonstances, le refus du gouvernement d’utiliser la MPC révisée est proprement indécent car il représente un important manque à gagner pour des personnes à qui l’essentiel manque déjà. Pourquoi le gouvernement cautionne-t-il ainsi l’appauvrissement des gens ?», questionne Virginie Larivière, porte-parole du Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté qui a, une nouvelle fois, dénoncé «le refus du gouvernement du Québec d’accorder la moindre aide financière aux personnes en situation de pauvreté depuis le début de la crise». «Tout ce qui est annoncé pour les personnes les plus mal prises, ce sont les maigres engagements du plan de lutte contre la pauvreté qui sont d‘amener les personnes à l’Aide sociale à 55,1 % et les personnes à la Solidarité sociale à 77,6 % de la MPC. Cela leur donnera à peine 10 $ d’augmentation par mois à compter du 1er janvier 2021», indique-t-on. De plus, les trois organisations ont dénoncé le refus du gouvernement de tenir compte de la révision de la MPC que Statistique Canada a dévoilée en février dernier puis officialisée au mois de septembre. Rappelons que, pour une personne vivant seule à Montréal, le seuil de la MPC vient de passer de 17 820 $ par an à 20 080 $ (pour 2018). Cela signifie, par exemple, que les personnes au programme d’Aide sociale couvrent dorénavant moins de 50 % de leurs besoins de base. Finalement, les porte-parole ont demandé au gouvernement de s’engager à garantir aux personnes en situation de pauvreté, le plus rapidement possible, ce qui devrait être considéré comme un minimum: la couverture des besoins de base tels que définis par la MPC. «D’ailleurs, c’est la cible que vise le gouvernement pour les personnes avec des contraintes à l’emploi de longue durée qui seront admissibles au programme de Revenu de base en 2023. La MPC représente le minimum requis pour espérer vivre en santé et tout le monde devrait y avoir droit», conclut-on. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Forge FC lost a heartbreaker to Haiti's Arcahaie FC in Scotiabank Champions League quarterfinal play Tuesday, conceding a cheap goal on a goalkeeping blunder in regulation time and then losing a penalty shootout.The win earned Arcahaie a berth in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League, alongside the confederation's elite club teams, while moving it into the final four of the CONCACAF League — a 22-team feeder competition that sends six teams to the top-tier CONCACAF tournament.Forge, the Canadian Premier League champion, has a chance to make the Champions League via a do-or-die play-in match next week.Guerry Romondt saved Forge's first two penalties — from Daniel Krutzen and Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson. Arcahaie substitute Ose Charles converted the decisive kick in the 4-2 shootout win.The game was knotted at 1-1 after regulation time with Forge dominating play. but unable to get the go-ahead goal."Obviously this is one that stings," said Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis."We've played two games in the last 2 1/2 months. This is the third one," he added. "So there's some kind of rhythm that's not going to be there. And the toughest thing to do in this game is score goals." Forge looked in complete control up 1-0 early in the second half but conceded the tying goal in the 59th minute on a mistake by Triston Henry. He delayed playing a back pass from Kwame Awuah and his scuffed clearance attempt deflected in off onrushing Arcahaie forward Kervens Jolicoeur."That's something maybe that's going to happen once in his career," Smyrniotis said."This one kind of stings but he's fantastic. He's goalkeeper of the year in the Canadian Premier League for a reason. It's unfortunate that this comes at this moment but we've got to look past it," he added.After the tying goal the game was delayed by a hole in the Arcahaie goal netting, requiring several zip-ties to close the gap.Krutzen opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time from the penalty spot after David Choiniere was taken down in the box by Hantz Anacius. Romondt dove the right way but Krutzen's shot found the corner.Krutzen also converted a penalty — in second-half stoppage-time — to give Forge a 2-1 win over Panama's Tauro FC in the round of 16.The 24-year-old Belgian defender rattled a free kick off the Arcahaie crossbar in the 49th minute as Forge tormented the Haitians with set pieces.The four CONCACAF League quarterfinal winners qualify directly for the Champions League while the losing quarterfinalists compete in single-leg play-in games, with the two winners also qualifying.Arcahaie advances to play either Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa or Honduras' Club Deportivo Marathon, who played in a later game Tuesday, in the January COBCACAF League semifinal. Saprissa won the CONCACAF League last year.Forge will play the Saprissa-Marathon loser next week in the play-in match.Regulation time ended with Forge driving at the Arcahaie goal but unable to get the go-ahead goal. It was the same for the seven minutes of stoppage time with Arcahaie players going down like bowling-pins, delaying play.Tuesday's game went ahead despite one Forge staff member and two Arcahaie players testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of kickoff.CONCACAF said all three had been isolated. All other players and staff tested negative.Smyrniotis made two changes to his starting 11 with Johnny Grant returning from suspension to take over from Kadell Thomas and fellow midfielder Paolo Sabak replacing Elimane Cisse.Forge pressed from the opening kickoff while the Haitians looked to counter-attack. Choiniere almost scored for Forge in the opening minute but couldn't get a boot to a low ball sent across the front of goal by Grant.Forge dominated possession but could not translate it into scoring chance. And the Haitian side began to grow more comfortable on the ball as the deadlock continued.Romondt was called into action twice late in the first half, punching away Forge free kicks. Mo Babouli thought he had scored on the stroke off halftime, heading in another free kick, but was flagged offside.While Arcahaie was the home side, the game was played in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo at the more suitable Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez.The Haitians advanced Nov. 5 with a 3-1 round-of-16 win over Waterhouse FC in Kingston, Jamaica. Forge dispatched Tauro two days earlier in Panama City.The Canadian side then returned home, serving the mandated 14-day quarantine. Forge arrived in the Dominican on Nov 21, training in Punta Cana before making the 170-kilometre trip to the capital on Monday.Arcahaie moved into the round of 16 when Belize's Verdes FC pulled out of their Oct. 20 preliminary-round match due to positive COVID-19 tests. That match was also scheduled for Santo Domingo.Forge defeated El Salvador's CD Municipal Limeno 2-1 in San Salvador on Oct. 22 in preliminary-round play.Forge, thanks to its triumph in the Island Games in Charlottetown during the summer, will also have another chance to qualify for the main CONCACAF club competition when it takes on Toronto FC in final of the Canadian Championship scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.Forge exited the CONCACAF League in the round of 16 last year, beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Honduras's Olimpia. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020The Canadian Press
The Deh Gáh Got’îê Koe seniors' complex has reopened in Fort Providence following renovations. Seven additional units for seniors have been created. In a news release on Tuesday, the N.W.T. government said a local contractor and local workers had completed the project, which is designed to help more Elders remain in their home community. “Seniors are a key part of our community. Ensuring that seniors have housing in the community is important to us,” Fort Resolution’s mayor, Danny Beaulieu, was quoted as saying. “This renovation means that more of our seniors can reside in our community and spend time with family and friends.” Ensuring seniors can age in place is a stated priority of Caroline Cochrane's government. Paulie Chinna, the housing minister, said that was "a crucial part of ensuring the health and wellbeing of our Elders."Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19. It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units. Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents. He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay. The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region. Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition. "Nurses have played a critical role on the front line of Manitoba's pandemic response and they have stepped up to the challenge, working countless long hours to provide quality care for patients and residents," Jackson said Tuesday in a release. Friesen said the government’s top priority is ensuring patients and care home residents are provided with the best possible care. "Thousands of nurses working in personal care homes and hospitals across the province are making an enormous difference in our province's fight against COVID-19," he said in a release. "This agreement also recognizes many nurses on the front line of the COVID-19 response for their dedication, commitment and compassion at a critical time." Details of the agreement, which is to be in place for the duration of the pandemic, were not released. The union says it has 12,000 members and represents registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners and operating room technicians. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020 The Canadian Press
What happens to the state of business in a city when it loses its largest storefront in the downtown core even earlier than expected? It’s a question being mulled by commerce stakeholders and retail experts, along with the provincial and municipal government, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces the Hudson’s Bay Company to close its downtown Winnipeg location two months earlier than previously announced. “In light of recent restrictions on non-essential retail by the Government of Manitoba, we have made the decision to close this location,” said HBC in a statement to the Free Press Tuesday. “We remain committed to working with partners to find opportunities for this historic location that will have a positive impact on the community.” The iconic Canadian departmental shopping chain had announced in October it would be shuttering the Winnipeg store permanently in February due to a “change in consumer behaviour.” But by late Monday, a “closed” sign could be seen outside the mammoth, 650,000-square-foot store on Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard — one of the original six stores for the 350-year-old retailer before it expanded across North America. Now, industry decision-makers and onlookers are scratching their heads about what comes next for the vacant building which has more square footage than almost all other buildings in the city. For some, it’s prime real estate smack dab at the heart of a city that’s presenting an “opportunity” for future growth. While for others, it’s a growing concern about the “sad state of affairs” for brick-and-mortar stores. For almost all of them, however, a mixed-use occupancy that combines residential and commercial aspects appears to be the most sensible direction for the building. “It’s definitely an important moment in time where we can truly shape what comes next for all our businesses in the provincial hub,” said Kate Fenske, chief executive officer of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Of course, this closure does have an impact on several businesses nearby because of their proximity to that space and that’s something we need to prevent from escalating.” Citing statistics from a study conducted by the advocacy and marketing group last week, Fenske said while business is deteriorating downtown, investment in the area continues to rise and so does the possibility of new residents moving in. Upcoming capital projects underway have a combined construction value of nearly $1 billion, according to Downtown Winnipeg BIZ numbers, including the $400-million redevelopment of the Portage Place mall right across from the Bay planned for March, 2021. And at least 18,000 people are expected to call the downtown core their home in the next two years. “While it’s in no way surprising that the Bay chose to close, and it’s sad they’re closing even earlier than planned,” said Fenske in an interview. “How we go from here needs to use all that momentum that we still have going on here and use it for the future.” Lisa Hutcheson, managing partner at retail consulting firm J.C. Williams Group in Toronto, said that’s easier said than done. “Retail shopping definitely works in clusters, I mean that’s the whole concept behind having a mall to begin with — to have several stores conveniently in one place,” she said Tuesday. “But now the real question is, where do we go from here when that concept has itself become outdated and is causing closures like this? That’s difficult to answer.” Hutcheson believes the novel coronavirus “only magnified and worsened the inevitable,” given the overall lack of foot traffic in suburban-style malls and an evolving shift to online commerce seen well before the pandemic. “I do still think that if we found a good blend of mixed-use purpose for the building, it would be of great value,” she said. “It’s just that that’s the type of project which is pretty difficult to convince someone to take on right now.” Last year a company-wide valuation of HBC’s real estate holdings valued the downtown Winnipeg building at precisely $0. Over the years, the company has closed some of the store’s six floors along with its basement, consolidating stock on just two levels. Dayna Spiring, president of Economic Development Winnipeg, said her conversations with the province and the city have given her ample reason to be optimistic. “There’s so much potential here, it’s hard not to be hopeful about what can be done with that space especially with consultation from the community at large,” she said. “The opportunity is massive.” In statements to the Free Press, provincial and municipal spokespersons said both government levels are open to hearing development proposals in the future that “include an adaptive re-use of the building and conservation of the character-defining elements.” A city spokesperson said the mayor is “currently engaged in outreach with community stakeholders in this regard.” But Spiring said she doesn’t believe the building will ever remain the way it is right now. “You’re likely looking at getting rid of the guts and almost a complete reimagination of the space for it to be successful,” she added. “We just have to get through this pandemic first to make those kind of decisions.” Hudson’s Bay Co. continues to serve Winnipeggers at its Polo Park and St. Vital locations, as well as online at thebay.com.Temur Durrani, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
« On dirait que ça me touche encore plus avec la COVID, on est tous en arrêt, mais ces causes-là ont toujours besoin d’argent. Les enfants ne cessent pas d’être malades pour autant. », partage-t-elle, réalisant que 2 Millions de moins sur une année est énorme. Vicky Lemieux, originaire de Sept-Îles, demeure maintenant à Montréal. L’entreprise où elle travaille participe depuis des années aux 24 heures de Tremblant, permettant de venir en aide à plusieurs causes, particulièrement la Fondation Charles-Bruneau, pour la recherche sur le cancer à l’Hôpital Ste-Justine de Montréal. Dû à la pandémie, les objectifs ont été revus à la baisse, ce qui la motive davantage à faire sa part. « L’an passé, j’ai amassé 2000$. Puisque les objectifs ont été diminués de moitié, j’ai décidé de multiplier les miens par deux », mentionne la Septilienne qui a déjà atteint son objectif, ayant amassé plus de 5000$. Pour cette année, il ne sera pas possible de faire l’événement sur les pentes du Mont Tremblant. Vicky a toujours été une sportive, ayant fait partie des Astérides de Sept-Îles pendant 15 ans, faisait également du ski. Elle s’est mise à la course afin de relever ce nouveau défi et se sent d’attaque. L’édition 2020 aura lieu ce samedi 5 décembre, pour un 24 heures consécutives. Le tout a été adapté en raison de la pandémie, et se fera virtuellement. Chaque équipe avait la possibilité de créer son propre défi sportif. « Pour notre part, moi et mon équipe de 8, allons courir en moyenne 40 km, dont une vingtaine de kilomètres ensemble près du Canal Lachine, et le reste chacun de notre côté. », précise-t-elle. Il est encore temps de donner pour la cause en cliquant sur ce lien : https://participant.24htremblant.com/fr/users/vicky-lemieux-0?fbclid=IwAR2GZtPpxNEsGDK7B43arwgUNEdj7TnQB42YL_SwlpC4L3EpmPsH-_KznVUKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defence policy bill unless it ends protections for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.On Twitter Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted — whether their complaint is legitimate or not.Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.In October he signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.Since losing the presidential election, Trump has flooded social media with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Twitter has tagged many such Trump tweets with the advisory, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”Tuesday's veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defence policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers. The measure, which has passed for 59 years in a row on a bipartisan basis, guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.The Associated Press
Depuis sa participation au spectacle de la relève Nikamu Mamuitun à la Place des Arts de Montréal à l’automne 2019, Scott-Pien Picard profite de riches expériences comme le show de la rentrée au Centre Bell, son passage à la semaine des 4 Julie, sans oublier sa nomination au Gala de l’ADISQ 2020 dans la catégorie « Artiste autochtone de l’année ». Plusieurs supporteurs de la région, mais certainement de plusieurs endroits seront rivés devant leur téléviseur afin de le voir chanter Makusham, un mot tellement rempli de sens dans la culture autochtone. Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Sen. Joseph McCarthy is censured; Scientists demonstrate the world's first artificially-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction; Enron files for Chapter 11 protection; Colombian drug lord is shot and killed. (Dec. 2)
Brandon Sun readers requested specific questions be asked about COVID-19: QUESTION: Dr. Roussin keeps saying there hasn’t been much spread in schools. It’s always a very vague response. Are there actual statistics related to school transmission? MANITOBA HEALTH: Case and contact investigations amongst school-aged children are followed up extensively by medical officers of health and public health nurses. To date, these investigations have revealed very little transmission within schools. It should be noted that there are over 200,000 students enrolled in schools across Manitoba and to date, there have been under 1,500 infections in children 18 and under. This amounts to cases in less than 0.75 per cent in school-aged children in Manitoba. If there was extensive transmission within schools, we would expect to see a higher proportion infected amongst children; overall, the proportion infected in Manitoba since March is approximately 1.2 per cent, or almost twice that of the proportion in school-aged children. QUESTION: Do you keep numbers on how many people have tested positive for COVID but have not needed medical treatment? Or what percentage of positive people have to be admitted to hospital? DR. BRENT ROUSSIN: We know how many total hospital admissions we have and we know duration of stay on average. We keep all those severe outcome issues. We’ve had 1,092 total hospitalizations, and 204 total ICU admissions. And it depends on what you mean by no medical treatment. The total minus that is the ones that haven’t needed admission. Having no medical treatment … whether they’ve attended a physician for outpatient care — no. We wouldn’t have a way of tracking that. Do you have a question about something in your community? Send your questions to email@example.com with the subject line: Readers Ask. Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
Alberta’s top doctor is telling residents to prepare for a “much different holiday season” this year due to COVID-19. On Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said while it is still unknown what restrictions will be in place over Christmas, Albertans should still be preparing gatherings with as few people as possible. “It's been a long, hard year, and I know how important these holidays are,” Hinshaw said. The doctor said Albertans should be forgoing office parties, open houses and large gatherings this year, no matter what the restrictions look like over the Christmas holidays. Holidays with many people gathering together have accelerated the spread of COVID-19. Hinshaw said the province is still feeling the impacts of Thanksgiving and the cases that were diagnosed as a result of many people gathering indoors in groups. “It only takes one person to start an outbreak,” Hinshaw said. “I am encouraging Albertans to begin preparing for a much different holiday season and begin thinking of creative ways to celebrate safely.” She added people can get together virtually or safely outdoors while social distancing. Hinshaw said the lowest risk for spread is to celebrate with your own household and as few other people as possible. Hinshaw's recommendations come as Alberta outpaces every other province for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. On Tuesday, the province identified 1,307 new cases of COVID-19 after conducting 15,800 tests. The provincial positivity rate sits at 8.4 per cent. There are currently 16,628 active cases with 479 people in the hospital and 97 of those in intensive care. There were 10 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours. “I know this is a difficult time to grieve,” Hinshaw said.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
Meggie Fontaine de Uashat a reçu cet honneur, de la part d’une personne de son entourage. Elle est l’heureuse maman de la petite Uapukuniss, âgée de 5 mois. Elle n’a toutefois pas eu la chance de bénéficier de cette magnifique avancée, car sa communauté ne fait pas partie du Regroupement Mamit Innuat. Elle a dû faire des démarches supplémentaires, mais le plus important était de pouvoir avoir la garde de sa petite fleur. Une personne proche de Meggie a appris, l’an dernier, qu’elle était enceinte. Ayant déjà ses enfants et ne souhaitant pas pour autant se faire avorter, elle a demandé à son amie si elle désirait adopter son enfant, selon des coutumes autochtones, existant depuis des millénaires, et reconnues depuis 2018 par le Code civil du Québec. Elle a même pu assister à l’accouchement, et a coupé le cordon ombilical. Le Regroupement Mamit Innuat (RMI) servira d’autorité compétente pour les communautés d’Ekuanitshit, d’Unamen Shipu et de Pakua Shipu. Les demandes doivent respecter la coutume de la communauté, l’intérêt de l’enfant et le consentement de toutes les personnes impliquées. Il pourra s’agir également d’une alternative intéressante pour la Direction de la protection de la jeunesse. « À titre d’autorité compétente, nous serons en mesure de récupérer une douzaine de dossiers en attente à la DPJ et de migrer vers une démarche qui permet de mieux répondre aux réalités actuelles des familles et surtout des enfants innus. Il s’agit d’un grand pas vers l’autodétermination des communautés et nous en sommes très fiers ! » partage Marie-Michèle Savard, Gestionnaire de projet au secteur Services sociaux du RMI.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Mask-wearing is becoming mandatory in more and more parts of the territory as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country. Though the N.W.T. has been little affected by the pandemic in comparison to most southern regions of Canada – there is one active COVID-19 case in the territory at present – towns are proactively implementing more protective measures. In Fort Smith, masks became mandatory in municipal buildings on November 26. “As the rate of infection continues to rise across Canada, we encourage all businesses and retail stores in Fort Smith to incorporate a mandatory mask-wearing policy in their place of business,” read the town’s notice. “This added protection will help reassure the community that businesses are safe to access and continue to support local businesses.” Meanwhile, in Inuvik, local businesses like grocery stores have made masks mandatory in recent weeks. As first reported by the CBC, Fort Simpson last week unanimously passed a council resolution on November 23 to make masks more present in the village. Sean Whelly, the mayor of Fort Simpson, said the village was recommending masks specifically in retail environments, which he called the village’s “main points of contact.” “At five o’clock everyone goes out and starts shopping, and it was impossible to maintain that six-foot distance," Whelly said. "We really wanted to highlight the importance of people putting those masks on." Masks in Fort Simpson are not yet mandatory but are strongly encouraged. The council resolution states: “Personal preference is not a valid reason to not wear a mask.” Signs in place at Fort Simpson's Northern Store and Unity Store state the village highly recommends the use of masks. Masks have been mandatory at the village's liquor store since October 16. Whelly said he believed the number of people wearing masks had increased by 40 to 50 per cent since the resolution was enacted. Free masks will now be given out, which he expected to lead to a further increase in mask-wearing.Sarah Pruys and Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating whether there was a secret scheme to lobby White House officials for a pardon as well as a related plot to offer a hefty political contribution in exchange for clemency, according to a court document unsealed Tuesday.Most of the information in the 18-page court order is redacted, including the identity of the people whom prosecutors are investigating and whom the proposed pardon might be intended for.But the document from August does reveal that certain individuals are suspected of having acted to secretly lobby White House officials to secure a pardon or sentence commutation and that, in a related scheme, a substantial political contribution was floated in exchange for a pardon or “reprieve of sentence.”A Justice Department official said Tuesday night that no government official was or is a subject or target of the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday night: “Pardon investigation is Fake News!”The existence of the investigation, first reported by CNN, was revealed in a court order from U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, the chief judge of Washington's federal court. In it, she granted investigators access to certain email communications connected to the alleged schemes that she said was not protected by attorney-client privilege. The investigative team will be able to use that material to confront any subject or target of the investigation, the judge wrote.The order was dated Aug. 28, and prosecutors had sought to keep it private because they said it identifies people not charged by a grand jury. But on Tuesday, Howell unsealed select portions of that document while redacting from view any personally identifiable information.As part of the investigation, more than 50 devices, including laptops and iPads, have been seized, according to the document.Pardons are common at the end of a president's tenure and are occasionally politically fraught affairs as some convicted felons look to leverage connections inside the White House to secure clemency. Last week, Trump announced that he had pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, even as a federal judge was weighing a Justice Department request to dismiss the case.___Follow Eric Tucker at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAPEric Tucker, The Associated Press