Here's the latest for Thursday October 29th: Millions of mail ballots still outstanding; Curfew in Philadelphia after protests and violence; Hurricane Zeta leaves damage on Gulf Coast; Czech Republic implements curfew to fight coronavirus.
Here's the latest for Thursday October 29th: Millions of mail ballots still outstanding; Curfew in Philadelphia after protests and violence; Hurricane Zeta leaves damage on Gulf Coast; Czech Republic implements curfew to fight coronavirus.
WASHINGTON — Monday seemed like the end of President Donald Trump's relentless challenges to the election, after the federal government acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden was the “apparent winner” and Trump cleared the way for co-operation on a transition of power.But his baseless claims have a way of coming back. And back. And back.On Thursday, after a Thanksgiving evening conversation from the White House with troops stationed overseas, Trump abruptly pivoted to angrily alleging — still without any evidence — that “massive fraud” was behind his defeat.Speaking to news crews gathered to watch the traditional holiday conversation with the military, Trump denounced officials in battleground states he'd lost as “communists” and “enemies of the state.” Trump also announced he'd be travelling to Georgia to meet with what he said would be tens of thousands of supporters on Dec. 5, ahead of two runoffs there that will likely determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.The 2020 presidential race is turning into the zombie election that Trump just won’t let die. Despite dozens of legal and procedural setbacks, his campaign keeps filing new challenges that have little hope of succeeding and making fresh, unfounded claims of fraud.But that’s the point. Trump’s strategy, his allies concede in private, wasn’t to change the outcome, but to create a host of phantom claims about the 2020 presidential race that would infect the nation with doubt and keep his base loyal, even though the winner — Biden — was clear and there has been no evidence of mass voter fraud.“Zombies are dead people walking among the living — this litigation is the same thing,” said Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. “In terms of litigation that could change the election, all these cases are basically dead men walking.”It's a strategy tolerated by many Republicans, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who are clinging to Trump as they face a test of retaining their own power in the form of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.“This really is our version of a polite coup d’etat,” said Thomas Mann, senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. “It could end quickly if the Republican Party acknowledged what was going on. But they cower in the face of Trump’s connection with the base.”A day after Trump said his administration should begin working with Biden's team, three more lawsuits were filed by allies attempting to stop the certification in two more battleground states. In Minnesota, a judge did not rule on the suit and the state certified the results for Biden. Another was filed in Wisconsin, which doesn't certify until Tuesday. Arizona Republicans filed a complaint over ballot inspection; the state certification is due Monday.And the campaign legal team said state lawmakers in Arizona and Michigan would hold meetings on the election “to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.”In Pennsylvania, where state Republican lawmakers met at Gettysburg on Wednesday to air grievances about the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani attended in person and Trump dialed in from the Oval Office.“We have all the evidence," Trump asserted. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion.”But the strongest legal rebuke yet came from a conservative Republican judge in federal court in Pennsylvania, who on Saturday dismissed the Trump team's lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the election. The judge admonished the Trump campaign in a scathing ruling about its lack of evidence. The campaign has appealed.Trump's allies have privately acknowledged their plan would never actually overturn the results, but rather might provide Trump an off-ramp for a loss he wasn't owning up to and an avenue to keep his base loyal for whatever he does next.“And then our governing and politics will be hellish, because he will continue doing what he’s doing from his private own perch,” Mann predicted.Emily Murphy, the top official at the General Services Administration, declared Biden the “apparent winner” Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. She made the determination after Trump's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states. She cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”Michigan certified Biden’s 154,000-count victory Monday, despite calls by Trump to the GOP members to block the vote to allow for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump claimed he was the victim of fraud. Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes there.“The board’s duty today is very clear,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns.”Still, the Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on.Trump and his allies have brought at least four cases in Michigan that sought — unsuccessfully — to block certification of election results in part or all of the state.In Pennsylvania, after Gov. Tom Wolf certified Biden as the winner, an appeals court judge ordered state officials to halt any further steps toward certifying election results. The state has appealed to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.In Arizona, just as lawyers for a woman in the Phoenix area dropped a case alleging that equipment was unable to record her ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen, Trump’s campaign filed its own lawsuit echoing some of the same complaints. As that suit was about to be dismissed, lawyers for the woman filed a new case reviving the claims and demanding that she be allowed to recast her ballot. All three of the cases have now been dismissed.“The legal process seems to be unfolding the way it’s supposed to, but the Trump campaign has made clear its desire to throw wrenches in the system wherever it can,” said Lisa Marshall Manheim, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.___Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.Colleen Long, Alanna Durkin Richer And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
The Town of Stratford, P.E.I., has taken a significant step toward the creation of an education/recreation campus first announced for the town two years ago.The town has signed purchase agreements for two properties totalling 69 hectares located between the Stratford Business Park and Bunbury Road. The plan is to use the land for a new high school, sports fields and a community wellness centre.The provincial government recommitted to the high school earlier this month, setting aside $4.1 million in the capital budget."We are pleased to see that the high school is included again," said Mayor Steve Ogden in a news release."We look forward to working with our provincial partners to locate the high school on the campus."There are still conditions to be met before the sale is concluded. That includes rezoning the land from agricultural to public service and institutional, bringing a portion of the land into the town boundaries and an environmental assessment.The total cost is about $2.4 million.In September, town council approved $2.5 million to purchase the properties. Taxes were increased one cent for the next two years to cover the cost.Council intends to sell some of the land to the province for the high school, and another portion to Stratford Business Park Corporation for an extension of the business park.The plan is to develop the land over the next few years, and those plans could include a junior high school. Residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback on their priorities for the land later this week.More from CBC P.E.I.
BURNABY, B.C. — Four men are facing charges after police say they broke up a gambling ring in Metro Vancouver. The illegal gambling team linked to B.C.'s specialized anti-gang unit says it investigated a suspected gaming house earlier this year and served a search warrant in July at Big Shots Cafe in Burnaby. A statement from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says several people were taking part in what appeared to be illegal gaming. Items such as poker tables, slot machines, cash, poker chips and playing cards were seized during the raid on July 4. Two Burnaby residents, a Delta man and one from New Westminster, all aged between 36 and 58, are now charged with being in a common gaming or betting house. Court records show all four are scheduled to return to provincial court in Vancouver on Friday and again on Jan. 6, 2021. Sgt. Brenda Winpenny says in the statement that it is a criminal offence to take part in unauthorized gambling in B.C. “Illegal gaming, and the locations that allow them, have been the root of other criminal offences that impact the safety of the public," Winpenny says. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020. The Canadian Press
About nine reports are being made to P.E.I. Child Protection Services every day, according to Green MLA Stephen Howard. "That's nine children who may be hiding in their closets or worse tonight," he said. Howard shared the recent statistic he obtained during a provincial legislature sitting in Charlottetown on Nov. 26. In a line of questioning surrounding family violence, he advocated that the province offer more supports and education for men and boys to help prevent it. "Family violence most often affects women and children, but it is not women's responsibility to fix this problem — it's everyone's responsibility." He called on Natalie Jameson, minister responsible for status of women, to direct her department to provide more initiatives specifically for males. To drive home his point, he criticized the October decision to give out free copies of a book to all of P.E.I.'s Grade 7 female students. The book, "In Their Own Words: Prince Edward Island's Famous Five," outlines the lives of five women who held separate, influential positions in government at the same time in the early 1990s. "A ground-breaking book about five amazing, strong and intelligent women that only our girls would learn about," Howard said. Howard argued that by only offering the book to Grade 7 females, it sends a message to boys that they shouldn't have to care about the women's accomplishments. "Our men need to stand up to the generational biases that hurt women," he said. "I'm not convinced that this minister truly understands the massive societal problem of gender bias is not solely women's responsibility to fix." Jameson was surprised by the criticism. She said giving away the books was a wonderful gesture, and at the time it was made adamantly clear that it's also available for anyone to read in public spaces such as libraries, she said. "Any boy in this province has access to it," she said. "(And) we can absolutely order some more." In regard to preventing family violence, Jameson noted that the department is always looking for new programming and services. "We are here to support families whether you're a woman or a man," she said. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
Prince George, B.C., resident Judy Howard recently shelled out $50 for a six-pack of soy sauce after a family Facebook bidding war, and she feels like she got a pretty sweet deal — or salty, to be more accurate.A single bottle of Canadian-made China Lily Soya Sauce usually runs about $3 and is a staple in many kitchens in northern B.C., primarily in Indigenous households where it is often used liberally in traditional dishes and everyday dinner prep.Currently, it is incredibly hard to come by, and that's causing a bit of a panic among regular purchasers.The sauce is crafted by Lee Foods in Toronto. False rumours the factory is closing could be behind why grocery stores in B.C.'s north have been cleaned out, Amazon has nothing to offer, and prices on eBay keep climbing.Prince Rupert, B.C., resident Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North, caught the concerned chatter of locals on social media and contacted Lee Foods to find out why people were fearful their favourite brand was on the brink. A woman at Lee Foods who took de Ryk's call said there are no plans to shut down the family-run business.Her explanation for the shortage was simple: "China Lily Soya Sauce is the next toilet paper in the COVID-19 pandemic."While hearing the company is still open may be a relief for some, the current situation remains dire for die-hard fans. So much so that Tahltan President Chad Day released a tongue-in cheek-warning on Facebook that soy sauce bootlegging would not be tolerated. Annita Macphee, who is Tahltan and lives in Vancouver, said she remembers rice with China Lily being a component of many childhood meals. She told de Ryk its popularity in many Indigenous kitchens could be because so many Indigenous and Chinese people worked together at one time in coastal canneries."I've heard of people buying 16 bottles," she said, adding she currently has a line on some bottles that surfaced in Powell River, B.C., so she should be supplied for the time being.Howard, meanwhile, is likely being hailed as a hero by her immediate family for the six-pack she scored after her nephew, Sheldon Howard, Jr., a Prince George resident originally from the Gitxsan community of Gitsegukla in northwestern B.C., auctioned it off."I don't think it was extortion," said Howard, who uses the sauce to flavour much of her cooking, especially salmon and herring roe dishes.This year, said Howard, a bottle or two from Santa would be a coveted Christmas gift for many in Gitsegukla.To really dive down into the cultural significance of China Lily, De Ryk also spoke with Jeremy Pahl, also known as Saltwater Hank, a Tsimshian First Nation member and Prince Rupert resident.He was plum out at the start of the week but, while it was weighing heavy, he said he was staying strong."We are going to get through it, and future generations are going to look back and say my ancestors survived the great China Lily shortage of 2020," Pahl said with a chuckle.Pahl later got lucky when some employees at Coast Mountain College called up de Ryk to let her know they had a bottle and it was Pahl's if he wanted it. You can bet he did.But if you're not one of the lucky Howards, don't know about a stash out of town, and no kindly neighbour has tracked you down via the national broadcaster to offer you a spare bottle, don't despair — Lee Foods is still in full swing.In a statement, company president Christopher Wong said while there have been some supply, shipping and staffing hiccups due to the pandemic, customers can expect to see China Lily Soya Sauce back on the shelves within the coming weeks.To hear Judy Howard talk about her Facebook auction score on CBC's Daybreak North, tap the link below:
Child health and dental care advocates are calling on a Calgary council committee to vote in favour of a motion to bring back water fluoridation when it debates the issue next week.Juliet Guichon, the president of Calgarians for Kids' Health and an associate professor of law and ethics at the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine, says the practice is cost-effective and has been shown to significantly reduce dental decay.Fluoridation in Calgary was approved by plebiscite in 1989 with 53 per cent voting in favour.The city began adding it to the water in 1991 and the practice was approved again in a 1998 plebiscite.But in February 2011, Calgary city council voted 10-3 to remove fluoride from the city's drinking water and rejected the idea of having another plebiscite or referring the issue to an expert panel.On Dec. 1, the city's finance committee is set to examine what it would cost to bring back fluoridation. "We acknowledge that city councillors are under tremendous pressure right now to reduce costs to their budgets," Guichon said in a Zoom media availability."Nevertheless … fluoridation must be considered a high priority measure."Guichon listed several arguments in favour of bringing back fluoridation, including that there's evidence the oral health of children and seniors declined after fluoridation ceased in 2011, and that it is cost effective — with $43 saved in avoided medical and dental expenses for every dollar invested, she said.Alberta Dental Association and College president Dr. Bruce Yaholnitsky said every provincial association and regulatory body in Canada is in favour of municipal water fluoridation to reduce dental disease."The benefit of fluoridation is taught in every dental school in the country and continues to be promoted," he said. "Although the greatest benefits associated with community water fluoridation is associated with children and developing teens, we know that there's benefits to all sectors of the population, especially the most vulnerable."Opponents of fluoridation have long questioned the safety of adding it to drinking water and argue that people should have a choice as to whether they're exposed to it.Council cited cost as the major reason for removing fluoride from tap water, noting the city spent about $750,000 a year to add it and about $6 million in upgrades were needed at the Bearspaw and Glenmore water-treatment plants to keep doing it.Fluoride naturally occurs in some foods and is found in the Bow and Elbow Rivers at a concentration between 0.1 and 0.4 mg/L. Health Canada recommends water be fluoridated to a level of 0.7 mg/L to prevent tooth decay.Calgary dentist Dr. Wendy Wadey says the pandemic has led to an increase in dental hygiene issues."Normal routines went out the window and so brushing and flossing routines were lost. So we're seeing more decay than we did before," she said."In addition, Calgarians have lost their insurance benefits, and even worse, some have lost their jobs, so they're deciding to delay treatment until they can get back onto dental insurance."
A proposed cannabis-production facility got a prescription from Dr. No as the RM of Edenwold rejected a request for a discretionary use permit by a 4-3 margin on Nov. 17. The proposal from Cameron Family Farms had been tabled over several council meetings while the Camerons sought to address council’s concerns over the project as well as earn local support from area residents for their proposal. While council had approved other cannabis production proposals previously, RM councillors balked at this one when a letter signed by more than 15 residents indicated many of the Cameron’s neighbours opposed the proposed greenhouse be used for growing cannabis. In response to that opposition, the Camerons say they sent a letter to their opponents, offering answers to their concerns. “We heard nothing back,” Ian Cameron said. “We refrained from going to visit them because of COVID. Nobody has gotten back to us with any of their concerns, but we did go to them with factual information rather than opinion. I did want people to know it’s a greenhouse, not a retail operation. It’s a greenhouse, and what we plant in there is a controlled product for which we are subject to licensing, regulation and security, for which of course we would abide by all of the laws.” Reeve Mitchell Huber noted there was opposition to the project and said he had advocated that the Camerons go to their neighbours to address their concerns. “With the backlash as it was, council gets hesitant to give the discretionary permit because we try not to play God,” Huber said. “That’s a bit of a strong statement, but we’d rather see more harmony over the long term. You are right in that it would have been more invasive to start a cattle operation out there.” Councillor Craig Strudwick said while he personally did not have an issue with the Camerons’ cannabis plan, he had to take into account the area residents who came out in force to oppose it. For that reason, his was one of the four votes defeating the discretionary use application. After addressing council but prior to the vote denying his application, Cameron indicated there may still be some use for the facility. “Obviously we have built the greenhouse and have been at this for a while,” Cameron said. “If we don’t put (cannabis) in there, we’ll put something else in there that’s not so regulated because we have (already) built the facility.”Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
This translation is part of a new initiative to provide content to our Chinese readers. You can find the English version, written by reporter John Cudmore here. 萬錦市一所私立職業學院Royal Institute of Science and Management，現有9人面臨欺詐指控，其中包括來自約克區的5名居民。 安省警方從2017年開始對該學院及其工作人員展開調查。結果發現，在過去6年的時間裏，學院的所有者和僱員招來的學生蓄意申請省府推出的第二職業資助項目。 這個項目本意是為失業者提供新的技能培訓，幫助他們重返職場。符合資格的申請人可獲得2.8萬加幣助學金，用於支付學費、書本費及生活費等。 警方調查發現，Royal Institute of Science and Management的學生把從政府那裏獲得的助學金作為學費交給該學校。作為回報，學生們無需上課或接受培訓就可之間獲得文憑。 另外，該學院還向MOL和監督相關項目的監管機構提供了欺詐性文件。 目前已經有9人遭到起訴，包括8名學校雇員和1名前學生。 其中來自烈治文山的居民Wei (Raymond) Xu和Xue (Sherry) Hang，今年分別58歲及51歲；還有來自萬錦市的Ye (Parker) Liu, 今年54歲，他們面臨包括超過5000加幣的欺詐及持有和販賣偽造文書等在內的多項指控。 康山居民Jing (Mary) Bian，今年34歲，烈治文山居民Jue (Judy) Li，今年37歲，面臨超過5000加幣的欺詐和參與犯罪組織活動等指控。 同樣面臨多項指控的還有來自多倫多的Deguang (Derek) Chen，今年56歲；來自怡陶碧谷的Michael Ostroff，今年73歲；來自科堡的Ming-ya (Kathy) Kennedy，今年56歲；以及來自奧克維爾的Octavian Calin Lucaciu，今年54歲。 他們將於明年1月14日在紐馬克特出庭受審，任何有相關信息的人請聯繫省警1-888-310-1122或撥打滅罪熱線1-800-222-TIPS。Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Economist & Sun
Wellington County OPP say that thanks to witnesses, they were able to apprehend a suspected impaired driver in Erin this week. On Nov. 25, OPP received reports of someone demonstrating signs of impairment entering a red passenger vehicle and driving out of a parking lot on Main Street. The vehicle was located by police, who placed the driver under arrest after it was determined their ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. The driver was transported to a local OPP Operation Centre for further testing. A 57-year-old driver from Erin was charged with impaired operation, impaired operation - 80 Plus (mg of alcohol per 100mL of blood), and driving while suspended, a Highway Safety Act offence. The vehicle has been impounded for seven days, and the driver had their licence suspended for 90 days. Police are reminding people that if they suspect someone’s ability to drive is impaired by either drugs or alcohol they report it by calling 911.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
VANCOUVER — Indigenous critics of ABC's kidnapping drama "Big Sky" say it fails to acknowledge real-life missing and murdered Indigenous women and are extending their grievance to CTV for airing the series in Canada without added context.The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs is among several Indigenous groups lambasting the Vancouver-shot series for a storyline about kidnapped women in Montana that skirts a real-life epidemic in that state, as well as B.C.The B.C. group's secretary-treasurer Kukpi7 (pronounced COOK'pee) Judy Wilson called it "imperative" that "ABC demonstrate some awareness and cultural competency" regarding systemic violence against Indigenous women and girls. But she took issue Thursday with CTV, too, saying "they are equally responsible" for airing a series that appears to discount a painful reality that extends to Canada.Her union has joined several other Indigenous groups in asking ABC to append an information card to the end of future episodes that explains the MMIWG crisis. If ABC won't do it, Wilson said she'd like to see CTV do it themselves."Anyone in the film industry and in the broadcast industry in Canada — especially with the National Inquiry (into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) — should have a social conscious if not a moral conscious and obligation to include this kind of information in their productions or at least an info card at the (end)," Wilson said when reached by phone near Vernon, B.C."By omitting it and by not including any references ... they're adding to the issue of the genocide against Indigenous women and girls."CTV did not provide comment by mid-afternoon Thursday.Similar complaints against ABC have been raised by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association representing members of tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska; and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, which represents Montana's eight federally recognized tribes; and the international Global Indigenous Council, which said it's not asking the network to pull or reshoot the series, but to insert an information card. "Big Sky" premiered Nov. 17 on ABC and CTV with Canadian stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury alongside Ryan Phillippe as detectives on the hunt for two sisters kidnapped on a remote Montana highway.It's based on C.J. Box’s novel "The Highway," which the critics say also failed to address the disproportionate number of Indigenous missing and murdered women in Montana.While much MMIWG advocacy has been directed towards politicians and the justice system, Wilson said the entertainment industry must also address the way it portrays Indigenous issues. She said there are many Indigenous organizations willing to help film and television productions tackle these concerns responsibly."A lot of it is social media or the messages that go to a lot of people on how we treat Indigenous women and girls, and social media can be a change-agent in what's happening out there," said Wilson."We need to stand in the truth and we need to talk the truth and we need to experience it so we can move forward and find solutions that are truth-based."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.— by Cassandra Szklarski in TorontoThe Canadian Press
Federal officials sought to reassure Canadians today that Ottawa has a plan to procure and distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021, as the government's critics argue that Canada seems to be falling behind other developed countries in planning for a mass vaccination campaign.Health Canada regulators are reviewing clinical trial data, the government has signed purchase agreements for promising vaccine candidates and public health officials have procured needles and syringes for a future deployment, officials said. But top civil servants still don't know how and when Canadians will be vaccinated due to a number of uncertainties.Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, said the country will grapple with "some logistical challenges" in the months to come as it prepares to inoculate Canadians. He said the federal government will leverage the Canadian Armed Forces and an existing influenza vaccine distribution network to help with deployment.Njoo warned that vaccine supply will be quite limited at first and will be reserved for "high priority groups" only — seniors in long-term care homes, people at risk of severe illness and death, first responders and health care workers and some Indigenous communities, among others.A larger rollout, he said, will happen once supply chains stabilize and regulators approve more vaccine candidates for use in Canada.If all goes well, and if U.S. pharmaceutical giants are able to meet delivery timelines, Njoo said as many as six million doses could be deployed in the first three months of 2021. Each patient will need two doses of Pfizer's vaccine.He cautioned, however, that it's an "optimistic projection" and the details are far from certain right now.Njoo said the federally run National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS), which has storage sites across the country, already has procured the needles and syringes needed for vaccinations, which will be shared with the provinces and territories.The federal government also has purchased cold storage for the promising Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, should they be approved for use here in Canada. Those two vaccines are based on groundbreaking messenger RNA technology, or mRNA, which essentially directs cells in the body to make proteins to prevent or fight disease.WATCH: Health officials explain how COVID-19 vaccines will be approvedThe government has been criticized by the opposition, provincial leaders and some public health experts for providing few details about its plans to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light.While the U.S. has publicly released a robust distribution plan — 20 million Americans are expected to be vaccinated in December alone — Canadian officials have been largely quiet about how the deployment here will be structured. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to speak with the premiers tonight to offer more specifics.Njoo said there's been a "great deal of preparation behind the scenes" and the government will provide more information about logistics, distribution and allocation at a later date.Njoo did not offer a precise timeline, beyond a commitment to getting some Canadians vaccinated "early" next year.Arianne Reza, an assistant deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada, said she expects vaccines will be available in the "first quarter of 2021."She said Canada has so far finalized purchasing agreements with five different pharmaceutical companies — AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Medicago, Pfizer and Moderna — while agreements with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax are being finalized now.Canada is expected to receive at least 194 million vaccine doses, with contractual options for 220 million more. "Canada does have firm agreements," Reza said. "We work every day with the vaccine manufacturers to firm up the delivery schedule."Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada, said her department has been reviewing clinical trial data on a rolling basis since October 9. The rolling review process — a policy shift implemented because of the urgency of this pandemic — allows drug makers to bypass the lengthy timelines they normally face when launching a new vaccine.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to make its final decision on the Pfizer product on Dec. 10 — the company has reported a 95 per cent effectiveness rate — and Sharma said Health Canada is expecting to give approval for that product "around the same time. We're on track to make decisions on similar timelines.""We don't want to set up expectations that we might not be able meet. We're working flat out," Sharma said.Reza said she doesn't know when that product might hit our shores, but she's hopeful for a fast turnaround."The minute regulatory approval comes through, they will be ready to go quite quickly with supply and initial shipments," she said.Sharma said drug companies could send vaccines to Canada for "pre-positioning" — stockpiling in advance of regulatory approval — but no vaccines have yet been shipped to our country.Health minister should apologize to families of dead Canadians: ToryConservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, the party's health critic, said delays in vaccine deployment will lead to more COVID-19-related deaths. She said Health Minister Patty Hajdu should be prepared to apologize to Canadian families who lose loved ones to the virus."I know that sounds stark," Rempel told a press conference. "But Canada's inability to be clear on the details, to have a clear plan — when countries around the world have treated this with military efficiency and the severity that's needed — will result in death.""Countries around the world will have the ability to vaccinate against COVID-19 but, in Canada, we will likely face 2,000 deaths per month because we don't have the same ability," she said, citing federal public health projections about the number of Canadians that could die each month if the virus continues to spread.WATCH | COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan outlined:She said the government is perpetuating "mass chaos" and "mass confusion" by failing to release a clear distribution plan only weeks before an expected rollout.She pointed to comments from Ontario's health minister, Christine Elliott, who said Thursday she still wasn't sure just how much her province will receive as part of the government's coordinated vaccine bulk-buying program."I don't even have words for how concerning this is ... the provinces haven't been brought to the table in a meaningful way. There's a disconnect," Rempel Garner said. "At the 11th hour, provincial governments shouldn't be asking these questions."In question period, Hajdu said Canada has more vaccines on order per capita than any other country and Ottawa is working with provinces and territories to develop a distribution strategy.She accused the Conservatives of trying to "sow division" through their criticisms and chided some Tory MPs for sharing unspecified "fake and dangerous news" on social media."The virus thrives when we're working at opposite ends," Hajdu said.
A public hearing on Nov. 16 for a proposed White City Official Community Plan bylaw amendment, required for the proposed Town Centre development, drew questions from an area land developer over the accuracy of the plan itself. Those concerns didn’t deter council, which approved the OCP bylaw amendment (Bylaw 663-20) after the public hearing without any further debate. Ben Kuzmicz of Great Plains Leaseholds said in his public hearing presentation that the town’s proposal contained inconsistencies and was not a complete plan. Some of the inconsistencies noted by Kuzmicz included maps of drainage areas, which include land owned by his firm. As he read the maps provided by the town, he said “We already have sewer and water going down either side of the road, and that would mean (drainage) water would be running uphill on that piece of property, plus, it’s within the RM (of Edenwold) and not within the jurisdiction of the Town of White City. “This makes no sense whatsoever. It’s like it hasn’t been thought through. It affects us. It affects the RM and affects what we are doing in that area.” Kuzmicz also pointed to what he said were inconsistencies in the maps within the OCP amendment, showing the proposed drainage areas. He said the size of the drainage area appeared show two different sizes of land. One map showed White City’s proposed Town Centre, “which takes in about 80 acres, give or take”, while another map, showed a different designation of the same land. “In the other map, you have two or three acres, maybe 10 acres designated,” Kuzmicz said. “That’s the information I had to come to this meeting for. Am I missing something here? One map says one thing, one map says another. Which is it? I don’t want to argue. I’m inquiring. I’m looking at two maps of the same area, both designating something different.” Town planner Mauricio Jimenez replied it was a matter of a difference in interpretation. New mayor Bryan Fergusson said he did not understand Kuzmicz’s concern either, and probed further on what the inconsistency was. “I guess Mauricio doesn’t agree with that, but that’s how we look at it based on the maps we got from your information,” Kuzmicz said. On the proposed land use of the Town Centre, Kuzmicz questioned why the town itself was spending taxpayer money on the Town Centre development rather than allowing a private sector developer to take the risk instead. “Perhaps there should be a referendum on what the use of town money is, because this is a very significant change and in terms of what I am seeing in the 46 years of experience I have in the development here, the No. 1 highway has been the significant factor in the commercial and residential development of anything,” Kuzmicz said. “I’d simply say if we felt there was an economic benefit to someone to put money into that area, we would certainly do it. There may be other risk takers who would do that in a heartbeat. What we found when we developed commercial and industrial here is the No. 1 significant factor was the Main Street of Canada. That is the reason people built, and we have been involved in about 60 percent of it.” Recent mayoral candidate Darhl Vercaigne also offered his thoughts on the OCP amendment proposal. He questioned the financial statements which led to the cost-benefit analysis of a net $4.1 million boost to the Town of White City over 15 years. “The debt load starts to accelerate after five years, not 15 years,” Vercaigne said. “There’s a little mismatch here between when revenues get paid and when principal gets paid. That’s a concern. I think this (public hearing) gives us all a chance to take a little breath.” He further urged council to reconsider both the location of the Town Centre, as the Trans-Canada Highway was the main commercial centre for the area, as well as the expense to residents of the project. The RM of Edenwold provided a written submission expressing concerns over the accuracy of the maps provided in the public hearing documents. RM of Edenwold planner Jana Jedlic noted the RM and the town had a 2015 agreement regarding the designation of a future land development north of the Trans-Canada Highway. It was not to be designated as town future development, but that’s not what a map indicated. “The RM respectfully asks the Town to remove this designation from your map, as per the 2015 agreement,” Jedlic wrote. Jedlic also wrote of the drainage areas listed in the town-provided maps, noting the RM was not consulted about the area being potentially being used as a permanent storm drain or storage of runoff. She noted the RM opposed the proposed map designation until its affected landowners could be properly consulted and an agreement was in place. The RM said there were other potential inaccuracies to the town’s maps as well, as they failed to include designations of walking trails and other infrastructure which could be added through a pending subdivision plan in the RM along the Hutchence Road extension through its decommissioned lagoons.Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
BRUSSELS — Thanksgiving just got a little bit better for the Maine lobster industry.The European Union parliament on Thursday approved a mini trade deal with the United States, which includes the elimination of customs duties on U.S. lobster imports. The passage with 638 votes for, 45 against and 11 abstentions was the last major political step for the deal to come into effect.As a result, the 27-nation EU will drop its 8% tariff on U.S. lobsters for the next five years and work to make the move permanent.U.S. lobster imports to the EU came to about $111 million in 2017 before falling off in the face of rising tensions between the trading partners, and an EU trade agreement with Canada that allowed its lobsters to enter the bloc tariff-free.Because of it, said EU legislator Bernd Lange, “we have seen a drop in demand by 50% in Maine, which is obviously quite serious. So now we are making an offer to allow American lobster to come tariff-free into the EU."For its part, the U.S. agreed to cut in half tariffs on EU imports worth about $160 million a year, including some prepared meals, crystal glassware and cigarette lighters. The tariff cuts will be retroactive to Aug. 1.The deal approved on Thursday covers only a tiny portion of trans-Atlantic trade with the U.S., but the EU hopes it will have some symbolic value. And for the lobster industry, already hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, every piece of good news is welcome.For the EU, which has had acrimonious relations with the Trump administration, a sign of goodwill will never hurt.“We have more in common than divides us," said Lange. “This piece of legislation is an offer: it’s not about lobster for all. It’s about co-operation instead of confrontation.”Raf Casert, The Associated Press
Halifax-area businesses ordered closed in an effort to curb the city's rising number of COVID-19 cases are getting another round of financial support from the province.Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday that the province would offer a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to small, independently owned bars, dine-in restaurants and fitness and leisure centres.The businesses are among those that are now closed for at least the next two weeks under health measures that took effect Thursday.MacLellan said it's the third round for a grant which is part of a larger $50-million relief fund for business."Those who received this in the past will be fast-tracked," he told reporters following a cabinet meeting. "If there are any that didn't apply . . . they still will be eligible."Businesses can use the grant money for any operational expenses, such as wages and supplies. To be eligible, businesses must have been operating since March 15. There is no cap on annual revenues."It's not going to solve everyone's problem. We always wish we could do more," MacLellan said.Under the new restrictions, retail stores can remain open, but they have to limit the number of shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of their legal capacity.MacLellan said while retailers aren't part of the targeted relief package, his department will monitor the impact on their business over what is hoped will be only a two-week period before the measures can be lifted.The province reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, including 12 in the Halifax area, one in the northern health zone and one in the western zone.It said 856 tests were administered at the rapid-testing site in downtown Halifax on Wednesday, and there were five positive results. The individuals were directed to self-isolate and have been referred for a standard test."We've seen a great uptake for asymptomatic testing among Halifax bar staff and patrons," Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health said in a news release."People are showing us how much they care about their communities by going to these pop-up rapid-testing locations. This has allowed us to detect a few cases among asymptomatic people early on and helps to stop the spread of the virus."Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has reported 167 COVID-19 cases, and it has had 1,257 cases and 65 deaths since the pandemic began.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Keith Doucette, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said companies had to have between $25,000 and $300,000 in annual sales to be eligible.
WINNIPEG — Seventy per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba happened this month and the province’s top doctor is cautioning people to celebrate the upcoming holidays in their own homes. Dr. Brent Roussin said there have been 185 deaths to date in November, including 10 announced Thursday. Sixty people died due to the novel coronavirus in October. “These deaths are much more than numbers. These are loved ones that are sorely missed right now,” Roussin said during his daily briefing.“We know we can’t continue with these numbers.”The province reported 383 new cases for a total of 15,288. Daily new infections have averaged between 300 and 500 for the last few weeks. Roussin said the pressures on the health-care system are unsustainable. “Our health-care system is being pushed to its capacity,” he said. “Our health-care providers are overwhelmed.”On Thursday there were 307 people in hospital with 46 people in intensive care. There have been outbreaks at multiple care homes across the province.The hospital in Grandview, a small community near Dauphin, was closed temporarily Thursday to redeploy staff to the local care home.“The personal care home in Grandview is besieged with cases,” Premier Brian Pallister said during question period. The NDP Opposition criticized the move saying it is a step toward permanently closing the hospital.Manitoba has brought in a series of increasingly tough restrictions over the last two months as COVID-19 numbers surged. Provincewide public health orders came into effect on Nov. 12 closing indoor service for restaurants and bars and banning people from having guests over, except for a few exceptions. It also mandates mask use in all indoor public health areas.Health officials have said the restrictions would last at least four weeks, leaving the possibility they could be loosened before the holiday season. Roussin, however, cautioned that people should keep their holiday plans within their family unit. Roussin discouraged all non-essential travel, even within Manitoba. He said bringing back interprovincial travel restrictions is not off the table as infections rise in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario. “This is not going to be a normal holiday season,” Roussin said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020. Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
Team Halo is hoping to answer questions from those sceptical or hesitant about COVID vaccines. View on euronews
Maradona était un champion hors-norme, génie tragique et extraordinaire, profondément humain.
More than two-thirds of the world’s fields, ranches and orchards are owned by one per cent of its farmers, according to a report released Tuesday. Land inequality — the concentrated ownership of land — is skyrocketing globally, including in Canada and the U.S. It’s a trend driven by large-scale industrial farming and export-oriented agricultural policies with wide-ranging impacts on everything from food security to climate change. Those investments aren’t always obvious. Historically, land ownership analyses have excluded key pieces of information, such as the value of land and the degree of control a person or organization has over it, according to the report’s authors. For instance, many farms operate under contract to agri-food corporations, giving them control over production methods and market access without explicitly owning the farm. Investors are also purchasing farmland at increasingly high rates, pushing land prices beyond the value of the crops they can produce and exacerbating farmland consolidation. An analysis of these control mechanisms was included by the coalition of organizations behind the report — a novel technique, said Ward Anseeuw, co-author of the report and co-ordinator of the initiative. The additional data revealed that worldwide, land inequality is 41 per cent higher than previously reported through national agricultural censuses. “These findings radically alter our understanding of the extent and far-reaching consequences land inequality has, proving that not only is it a bigger problem than we thought, but it’s undermining the stability and development of sustainable societies,” he said in a statement. Concentrated land ownership is associated with a suite of problems, including deforestation, political and economic inequality and the degradation of rural food security, the report notes. And while land inequality is an old problem — it was a key part of many colonial governments’ policies — the authors note that since the 1980s, the problem has gotten worse. That’s when national and international trade policies were implemented that made it easier for financial institutions and global agri-businesses to purchase vast tracts of farmland for conversion into industrialized crop production. This land was generally purchased from small- to mid-sized family farms growing a diversity of crops for local or regional consumption. Replacing them were larger industrialized farms owned by vertically integrated companies invested from seed to sale in international commodity markets. It’s a trend that accelerated after the 2008 financial crash, said Devlin Kuyek, senior researcher at GRAIN, an international non-profit supporting small farmers and social movements. Those investors, including several Canadian pension funds, started purchasing farmland worldwide. And with deeper pockets than most farmers, they didn’t struggle to find the land, despite policies in certain jurisdictions — including some Canadian provinces — that limit foreign farmland ownership. It’s a practice that drives land consolidation, he explained. Meanwhile, smaller-scale farmers producing food for regional and local consumption often struggle to make ends meet because of high farmland prices and competition from global commodity markets. It’s a pattern that is seen worldwide — including in B.C., explained Mullinix. The province has a proliferation of small, diversified farms serving local markets, many of which struggle to afford farmland (farmland prices in the province are also driven by real estate speculation, not only agri-businesses and investments from financial institutions). There are also several large ranches and orchards producing food for Canada-wide and international markets — and not much in between. Still, Kuyek said that Canadians have more leverage than they might think. Canadian pension funds are some of the world’s largest farmland investors and sustained pressure from the people whose money they are managing can help change their practices. “We have an interest in understanding what’s going on with our money. If the money is being used to expand industrial agriculture, kick communities off their lands, destroying the future of the planet, it’s not really a good investment that way,” he said. “But this is a new area for the pension funds, so putting pressure on them now, making them aware of the risks … it can sort of push them to hold back from stepping into that area of investment.” Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
The province announced a public health emergency Tuesday and declared that students from Grades 7-12 would spend the rest of the calendar year learning from home. All students in the province will begin their winter break on Dec. 18. All students will return from winter break for online classes in early January and in-person classes are set to resume on Jan. 11. “We were not really made aware in advance of that announcement of what the decision might be,” said public division superintendent Mark Davidson. “We were all in a position of examining what we were hearing against the planning that we had already done. We feel good about the extensive planning we have done for all of the scenarios and had been communicating with families for the last month or so about how they might prepare for that possibility.” The public division has 460 kids learning through its online hub this winter. Students who are now forced to learn from home will stay with their same classmates and teachers, just in a virtual format. “It will be a more robust set of expectations around the time students commit to their programming,” said Davidson. “There will be significantly higher expectations (compared to last year’s online learning that started in March). “We’ve been given no indication that students will just simply pass based on the grades they earned today, so students will need to invest in the work the teachers are providing” One reason for sending some kids home, other than to stop the spread of COVID-19, was to give school systems a bit of a break heading into the new year. Davidson says the public schools have had instances where a teacher couldn’t be found to work a classroom, but it has been rare. “We’ve done fairly well with regard to the level of absence among our staff,” he said. “There have been few occasions where we have been unable to find a substitute teachers to fill absences. “It has happened more often than in previous years, but definitely less often than we had feared before the year began.” Davidson added that there have been instances where replacement bus drivers have been needed. Extra cleaning staff hired at the beginning of the school year have been able to fill in for sick custodial workers. As for what is next for public schools, Davidson says planning for every scenario is key going forward to January. “The education minister has said the plan is to return to school on Jan. 11, but there is much that can happen between now and then,” said Davidson. “We’re planning for everything and it’s why we put so much effort and detail into planning, and to communicating those plans with staff and community.” Davidson thanked staff, students and families for all of the work that has been done so far during the school year. MHCBE Catholic School Board of Education superintendent Dwayne Zarichny says the board was not taken aback by the announcement. “With the rise in cases around the province, it wasn’t very much of a surprise,” he said. “Looking at how the numbers were jumping, I think people were expecting some change in direction from the premiere and minister of education.” The News reported earlier this fall that the Catholic board had more than 60 students learning virtually this semester, and Zarichny says the board is able to handle the increased online needs. “Since last spring when we went online, we have worked with staff to offer them plenty of opportunities to enhance their skills around working at home,” said Zarichny. “We also took another PD day and gave it to teachers to get themselves ready to move back to an online format. “We’re trying to give staff extra time to prepare.” All teachers who would normally be in class with the Grade 7-12 students will shift online for the time being. Zarichny says students will not be able to coast to the winter break, or after it. “For the most part, the learning will be normal,” he said. “We expect the same level of rigour and the same level of work to be done by students. “We want students to be picking up where they left off in January, and for their to be minimal or no disruptions in learning at all.” As for staffing, Zarichny says things have gone well considering circumstances. “Up until a few days ago, we hadn’t had an incident of COVID at a school,” said Zarichny. “We’ve been relying on the normal trends using substitute teachers and haven’t really had any trouble.” As for transportation and custodial staff, there has been little to no trouble for MHCBE’s staffing. Zarichny says he is proud of the work that has been done by everyone this school year.Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Members of a Six Nations land reclamation camp have appealed two court injunctions ordering them to vacate a housing development in Caledonia, Ont.Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the group and defendant in the case, said Thursday that he filed an appeal in Ontario Superior Court to fight the injunctions."We chose to engage in a process, a process that is not our own, to try and move it forward," said Williams during a media update Thursday. "For us the issue of the land here is still before the courts and certainly needs to come to a nation-to-nation discussion."The occupation of the McKenzie Meadows development, dubbed 1492 Land Back Lane by demonstrators, has stretched on for months, and has included blockades across area roads, court orders to remove people staying there, and dozens of arrests.Last month, Justice John Harper ruled that the activists had to vacate the land where Foxgate Developments planned a housing complex. The Six Nations group says the property is unceded Indigenous land and has been occupying it for 131 days. Harper ordered the Six Nations members to vacate on Oct. 22.Williams said Thursday that he's retained lawyers Barry Yellin and Wade Poziomka from the Hamilton firm Ross & McBride LLP. If the appeal is successful, he said, Foxgate Developments and Haldimand County will have to restart the permanent injunction proceedings."The filing by Ross & McBride LLP focuses on the failure of the court to distinguish between contempt and abuse of process, a procedural issue," the 1492 Land Back Lane group said in a media release. "The issue is that Williams's pleadings and evidence were thrown out by Justice Harper in error contrary to the law, procedural fairness, and the rules of civil procedure. If successful in the appeal, the matter would be returned to superior court before a different judge, and all of Williams's pleadings would be reinstated in his defence."The appeal, Williams said, is "an honest effort to engage in the legal system at a time that I was unrepresented in the court process."Harper said last month that Williams has shown "contempt" for the court by refusing to obey previous, temporary injunctions, and by insisting the Cayuga, Ont., courtroom was part of the "colonial" court system.Harper said the court must acknowledge the "abuses that have been put upon the Aboriginal community," but "claims and grievances in our society … must be done respectfully, must be done in compliance with the orders."The Six Nations Elected Council signed a deal in 2019 with the developers for $352,000 and 17 hectares of land in exchange for support of the two housing projects. Williams said Thursday that the elected council has expressed "tentative" support for 1492 Land Back Lane. Six Nations' traditional government, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council of Chiefs, supports the reclamation camp.The group has been calling on the federal and provincial governments to step in and work with their representatives toward a peaceful resolution.Despite a pledge from the office of Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, that government officials "look forward to meeting with the community at the earliest opportunity" and are "committed" to addressing longstanding land claim issues, Williams said negotiations have yet to begin."They've said over and over again that they want to be at the table, that they're working on it … and here we are. This is three-and-a-half months later," said Williams. "Apparently it takes a long time to get here from Ottawa."