Ace escapes his run at a pet resort in this priceless clip. He makes it look so easy!
Ace escapes his run at a pet resort in this priceless clip. He makes it look so easy!
Le ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) a statué. Une aire d’attente de 300 véhicules ainsi qu’une zone de préchargement seront aménagées à l’approche de la traverse de Tadoussac afin d’atteindre l’objectif des traversées aux 20 minutes. L’instance gouvernementale avait plusieurs scénarios dans la mire, dont cinq ont été analysés plus en détail. « L’option retenue est celle qui répond au plus grand nombre de besoins exprimés par les intervenants du milieu que nous avons rencontrés comme la municipalité, les citoyens, les commerçants, la SÉPAQ et la Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ) », a indiqué Lysanne Girard, lors de la présentation publique virtuelle du projet aux Tadoussaciens le 20 janvier. Ce scénario prévoit deux voies de circulation en direction est (vers Baie-Comeau), deux voies de circulation, réduites à une voie près de l’intersection de la rue des Pionniers, en direction ouest (vers Québec), une zone de préchargement (près du quai d’embarquement) et une aire d’attente hors route (face à l’Hôtel Georges) du côté sud. À l’entrée de la zone de préchargement, le MTQ prévoit deux systèmes de transport intelligent permettant de contrôler le processus d’embarquement. Il permettra, selon le MTQ, de respecter un délai de 20 minutes comprenant l’embarquement, la traversée et le débarquement des véhicules en plus d’éliminer l’attente en zone urbaine. « De plus, les utilisateurs auront un accès permanent à la voie de secours (lit d’arrêt) par la voie locale en libérant la zone en bas de la côte. L’accès aux rues municipales et aux commerces en sera également bonifié grâce à l’élargissement des voies de circulation, entre autres », de préciser Mme Girard. Même si plusieurs citoyens et résidents de la Côte-Nord contestent la nécessité de ce projet dont les coûts sont estimés à plus de 50 M$ en raison de la possibilité de construire un pont sur le Saguenay, il n’était pas permis d’interroger les intervenantes du ministère sur le sujet lors de la rencontre publique. « Nous ne discuterons que du projet qui nous concerne, celui du pont sur le Saguenay en étant un autre bien distinct », a précisé la conseillère en communications Sarah Gaudreault. Quelques questionnements de citoyens sont survenus à la fin de la rencontre en ce qui concerne le bruit et la certitude d’effectuer les traversées aux 20 minutes. « Actuellement, il y a seulement une voie pour embarquer. Ce que la solution propose, avec la zone de préchargement, on devrait être en mesure d’embarquer avec les deux rampes, donc à deux voies. La STQ pourra venir précharger pour accélérer le processus, ce qu’elle n’est pas en mesure de faire pour le moment », a répondu Marie-Hélène Grenon, ingénieure au MTQ. Rappelons qu’en 2009, le MTQ et la Société des Traversiers du Québec (STQ) ont annoncé la construction de deux nouveaux navires d’une plus grande capacité (110 véhicules au lieu de 72) pour améliorer le service offert aux usagers de la traverse. L’objectif était d’offrir des traversées aux 20 minutes. « Des interventions seront nécessaires afin d’améliorer la fluidité de la circulation sur la rue du Bateau-Passeur (route 138) et de permettre le passage des véhicules en 20 minutes (embarquement, traversée et débarquement) », a conclu l’intervenante du MTQ. Le projet de réaménagement des voies à la traverse de Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine en est présentement à l’étape de la conception, soit à l’avant-projet préliminaire. Prochaines étapes \- Octroi du mandat de conception par un appel d’offres public; \- Évaluation environnementale; \- Plans d’acquisition ; \- Inventaire archéologique; \- Appel d’offres pour la réalisation des travaux; \- Construction; \- Environ 5 à 8 ans seront nécessaires pour compléter le projet.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Près de 80% des Canadiens se sont déclarés favorables à une réglementation qui obligerait les entreprises de médias sociaux à retirer de leurs plateformes les contenus haineux ou racistes dans les 24 heures suivant leur publication, selon un sondage de la Fondation canadienne des relations raciales (FCRR). L’étude menée par la firme Abacus Data pour le compte de la FCRR révèle précisément qu’au moins 60% des Canadiens pensent que le gouvernement fédéral a l’obligation de proposer une réglementation pour empêcher la diffusion de discours et de comportements haineux et racistes en ligne. 23% restent incertains, mais seulement 17% préféreraient que le gouvernement n’intervienne pas. «Les discours haineux et le racisme sont des choses qui ont toujours existé, mais les plateformes de médias sociaux permettent de les diffuser sous le voile de l’anonymat à un public beaucoup plus large», a déclaré Mohammed Hashim, directeur exécutif de FCRR. Il a soutenu que le résultat de ce sondage est une raison de plus pour que «le gouvernement fasse de la réglementation des discours haineux en ligne une priorité politique». Selon la Fondation canadienne des relations raciales, les récents événements aux États-Unis ont alerté leurs voisins canadiens sur la montée de l’extrémisme et des discours haineux sur les plateformes telles que Facebook, Twitter et YouTube. M. Hashim a estimé que cette préoccupation avérée est «aussi la preuve que le Canada est loin d’être à l’abri des expressions de haine et de racisme en ligne». En effet, 93% des Canadiens estiment que les discours haineux et le racisme en ligne constituent un problème et 49% qui pensent qu’ils sont des problèmes très graves. 1 Canadien sur 5 est victime de la haine en ligne L’enquête a également révélé que les couches sociales les plus vulnérables à la haine en ligne sont les groupes racialisés, qui représentent près de 20% de la population canadienne. Ils sont trois fois plus susceptibles d’en avoir été victimes que leurs homologues non racialisés alors que les crimes haineux ont augmenté de 7% au Canada en 2020, selon la police. Les internautes de 18 à 29 ans sont «plus susceptibles que les plus âgés d’avoir directement reçu ou été témoins d’injures offensantes, de commentaires racistes, sexistes et homophobes, d’incitations à la violence, de harcèlement sexuel et de menaces physiques en ligne». L’étude tend à démontrer que la restriction des libertés est moins préoccupante que le sort des victimes. La firme Abacus data a établi que «les Canadiens sont bien plus préoccupés par l’impact des discours haineux en ligne sur leurs concitoyens que par la limitation de la liberté d’expression ou les restrictions à la vie privée». Quatre Canadiens sur cinq seraient favorables à l’adoption des mesures législatives selon lesquelles ceux qui publient des contenus haineux ou racistes seront tenus responsables de leurs actes. «Alors qu’il existe une législation sur la haine dans le monde réel, le cyberespace n’a pas reçu le même niveau de diligence législative», a déclaré M. Hashim. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Ani Di Franco, "Revolutionary Love” (Righteous Babe Records) Pioneering folkie activist Ani Di Franco is a standout instrumentalist whose guitar could kill fascists. Alas, on “Revolutionary Love,” her six-string doesn’t play a major role — or many notes. Not that Di Franco has gone mellow. With characteristic passion on her first studio album since 2017, she makes the personal universal, and the political personal. Her title cut is a seven-minute pledge to propel social movements with love and forgiveness, the message underscored by a slow-burn soul groove. Elsewhere Di Franco quotes Michelle Obama, skewers an ex-president and calls for resilience in the wake of depressing news headlines. Such topics are mixed with couplets about personal pain and bliss, sometimes within the same song. The best of “Revolutionary Love” is very good. Di Franco's acoustic guitar is most prominent on “Metropolis,” and it's beautiful — a love ballad with shimmering reeds that evoke her description of “fog lifting off the bay.” The equally compelling “Chloroform” laments domestic dysfunction as a string quartet creates dissonance of its own. Elsewhere Di Franco blends elements of folk, jazz and R&B, and makes music suitable for a rally. She's at her most politically vociferous on “Do or Die,” singing about “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to a Latin beat. Di Francophiles will find it positively patriotic. Steven Wine, The Associated Press
A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for a violent home invasion in 2019 and assaulting two correctional officers while in jail awaiting trial. Luc Roger Nowlan of Dieppe pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a knife, break and enter and uttering death threats to a woman on May 13, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting two correctional officers in August and September 2019. "This was a planned and deliberate home invasion," provincial court Judge Ronald LeBLanc said of Nowlan's May 2019 crimes as he sentenced Nowlan on Monday afternoon. Crown prosecutor Maurice Blanchard outlined the facts of the case to the judge before Nowlan was sentenced. Blanchard told the judge that Nowlan exchanged Facebook messages with a woman he knew from school, asking if she wanted to buy marijuana. She refused, and Blanchard said there was a "heated argument" online. Tape, rope and knives used A week later, Blanchard said, the woman heard someone coming to her door and recognized Nowlan. He kicked the door open, punched the woman and pulled out a knife and tape. Blanchard said Nowlan was holding her down, trying to tie her up and stabbing the knife into walls and a counter. Blanchard said the woman was terrified, but didn't want to scream because she was worried it would further upset Nowlan. While swinging the knife around, he cut the woman in several places. "This was somewhat of a drawn-out incident," Blanchard told the judge. At one point, the prosecutor said Nowlan stabbed the knife into a wall and it got stuck. The woman saw a chance to escape and ran to a bedroom, closing the door behind her. She ran through a patio door out onto the street, flagging down a driver for help. "She said she was very worried throughout this," the Crown said. "But what scared her most was that he said words to the effect of 'I'm not going to to stab you, I'm going to have to kill you.'" Nowlan also admitted hitting a correctional officer while in jail on Aug. 8, 2019, and then pulling a shank made of plastic. A second assault occurred in jail on Sept. 25, 2019, involving a different correctional officer. Clearly, he has a significant mental illness, that cannot be denied, and he has an extreme addiction issue. - Defence lawyer Alex Pate In issuing the sentence, LeBlanc read extensively from a psychological report by Dr. Julian Gojer prepared for the defence, which traced Nowlan's addiction to drugs and declining mental state leading up to the crimes. The report described how Nowlan had started using various drugs in his late teenage years and sometimes wouldn't sleep for days. The report indicated Nowlan became mistrustful and paranoid of his parents, claiming they were filming him and posting the video online and making millions of dollars from it. The judge said Nowlan experienced drug-induced psychosis. He said the report points to a major mental illness, either a psychosis or schizophrenia. "Clearly, he has a significant mental illness, that cannot be denied, and he has an extreme addiction issue," Alex Pate, Nowlan's defence lawyer, told the judge. 'I feel bad about it' Nowlan told the judge he didn't mean to harm anyone, and that he's not a violent person. "I feel bad about it, I wish I would've never done it," he said. The judge pointed out he was sentencing Nowlan for three different violence offences and Nowlan previously assaulted his father. LeBlanc imposed an overall sentence of six years for the home invasion, 18 additional months for assaulting a correctional officer with a plastic shank, and 30 more days for assaulting the second correctional officer. Nowlan was given 933 days credit toward his prison time for the time he's spent in custody since arrest, reducing the total time he'll spend in prison to just over five years.
MILAN — Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte was suspended for two matches on Tuesday following a clash with referee Fabio Maresca over the weekend. Conte was sent off in stoppage time for protesting at the end of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Udinese. There was a further altercation in the tunnel and the league’s sporting judge report states that Conte confronted Maresca “in a threatening manner, shouting a seriously offensive expression at him.” Conte, who has also been fined 20,000 euros ($24,000), will miss upcoming league matches against Benevento and Fiorentina. Inter is second in Serie A, two points behind city rival AC Milan. Team manager Gabriele Oriali was suspended for one match and fined 5,000 euros ($6,000) for his part in the protests. He approached Maresca at the end of the match on the field “shouting disrespectful expressions at him.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
POLITIQUE. À l’issue d’une rencontre avec des acteurs des milieux économiques, la députée de Shefford, Andréanne Larouche et son collègue d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien Lemire, par ailleurs vice-président du Comité permanent de l’industrie, des sciences et de la technologie, proposent un fonds propre aux régions. «Je voulais ouvrir un espace de dialogue avec des dirigeants d’organismes économiques, d’entreprises et de municipalités pour échanger sur nos propositions pour la relance», a expliqué Andréanne Larouche au sujet de sa tournée de consultations économiques. Elle a reçu de nombreux témoignages d’entrepreneurs en difficulté selon les bureaux de circonscription des deux élus. «La pénurie de main-d’œuvre est aussi un enjeu qui freine le développement économique de nos régions et qui comporte de nombreuses ramifications. Je pense à la complexité et aux délais en matière d’immigration en lien avec les travailleurs étrangers et aux problématiques de logements qui limitent grandement les possibilités d’attraction de travailleurs», analyse le député d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien Lemire. Sa collègue de Shefford et lui saluent les contributions des centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAE), mais ils préconisent qu’on leur donne «plus de moyens afin qu’ils assurent un soutien de proximité aux entrepreneurs.» En effet, plus de 200 000 PME, soit 20 % des emplois du secteur privé, envisagent sérieusement de mettre la clé sous la porte selon la dernière mise à jour de l’analyse de la fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante. Un fonds de développement par et pour les régions Sébastien Lemire estime que les questions du développement territorial nécessitent des « solutions flexibles adaptées aux régions » et non des approches globales développées à Ottawa. En parlant d’Internet, le bloquiste annonce que le comité de l’industrie a dans ses cartons un rapport sur cet «enjeu fondamental» pour lequel sa circonscription, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a pris 20 ans de retard. «Il faut s’assurer de démocratiser son accès pour tous, même dans les zones moins densément peuplées… il faut sortir de la logique de rentabilité », dit-il en conférence de presse dans un plaidoyer énergique sur l’accès au développement régional. Les deux élus soutiennent «la mise en place d’un fonds de développement par et pour les régions», qui devra être déployé en fonction des besoins spécifiques de celles-ci. Ils déplorent «des improvisations d’Ottawa» même s’ils reconnaissent que les programmes s’ajustent progressivement. Ils prônent «les enjeux identifiés par les régions», comme les incubateurs d’entreprises ou l’innovation territoriale plutôt que «des programmes mur à mur mal adaptés» conçus à partir des mégalopoles uniformes. En cette veille de rentrée parlementaire et en prélude au budget fédéral, Andréanne Larouche envisage de poursuivre ses consultations «afin que les programmes soient les mieux adaptés aux besoins des entrepreneurs.»Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
A Saint Andrews councillor who recently voted on a new short-term rental bylaw for his town has a history of challenging an Airbnb proposal in his neighbourhood. But Coun. Guy Groulx says this situation doesn't put him in a conflict of interest position but rather gives him "insight" into the weaknesses of the town's current zoning bylaw, which will allow him to help the town create better planning rules. "It's hard to be completely separate in everything. And the only thing you can do is act in the best interests of the town," he said. In 2019, Groulx made a submission to the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission's Planning Review and Adjustment Committee outlining his objections to a planning application filed by Garth and Marissa Browne. The Brownes had received the green light from the regional committee to have a unit in their Ernest Street home be used “to provide sleeping accommodation for the travelling public,” according to a planning report. Judy Hartford, a development officer with the commission, reported to the committee in July 2019 that the Brownes had a “strong case for a variance” to allow for this arrangement. The property was zoned for mixed-use and both single-family dwelling, and tourist homes fit into that usage, she noted. The variance was granted, but then Groulx appealed the decision to New Brunswick's Assessment and Planning Appeal Board. It ultimately ruled in Groulx's favour and overturned the decision by the planning committee. Groulx said the case demonstrates that the planning committee didn't let his position as a councillor influence its decision despite his presentations against the variance. Saint Andrews council recently passed the first reading of its short-term rental bylaw. If implemented, the bylaw will develop a permit system to regulate short-term rentals in the town. It could potentially limit the number of short-term rental permits to three per person. Groulx voted on that first reading. Garth Browne declined to comment for this story this week. In a previous interview with the Telegraph-Journal, Browne said the web of zoning bylaws is “scaring away young people from this community.” “Which is a shame,” he added. Town clerk Paul Nopper said Saint Andrews' conflict of interest policy falls under the town's procedural bylaw and the Local Governance Act. A conflict of interest is defined as when a council member could make a personal profit or a financial gain from a decision. "As staff, I can't make judgment on it... From my personal point of view, and from what I've seen, there is no conflict of interest from Coun. Groulx," Nopper said, noting none of the council members own an Airbnb or any short-term rental. In the event of a conflict of interest, under the town's procedural bylaw, Saint Andrews council members have to declare any conflict themselves, and if they don't and there is a conflict, then there could be repercussions, such as an RCMP inquiry or investigation. Groulx said his duty as a councillor is to "promote the adherence and application of zoning bylaws." "I am not opposed to short-term rentals as they can play an important role in promoting tourism in our community, but a balance must be struck that protects the affordable housing stocks, respects the rights of neighbours and provides a level playing field with existing short-term rental providers," he said in an emailed statement. Deputy Mayor Brad Henderson said he's recused himself in the past from multiple debates, sometimes even if it's just because of a perceived conflict of interest. Groulx said he has recused himself before too. "It's a small community," Henderson said. "You certainly have to be more careful, in the fact that everybody knows everybody else, or seems to have a friend or a neighbour or a co-worker that's invested in a particular interest. So you do have to be careful." - With files from Mike Landry The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Saint Andrews passed the first reading of its short-term rental bylaw at a special council meeting on Monday. The bylaw was created, said Coun. Andrew Harrison, to develop a permit system to regulate short-term rentals in the town. Short-term rental residential units are full dwelling units (or parts of it) used as accommodation for travellers for no more than 30 days at a time, he said. "The purpose of this bylaw is to help limit negative impacts to long-term rentals and housing affordability, ensure the accommodations meet safety requirements and compliance, neighbour compatibility, support the tourism economy and support equity among all short-term rental accommodation providers," Harrison said. Town clerk Paul Nopper said AirBnBs have "very limited to no regulations at this point." Deputy Mayor Brad Henderson said it's to make sure that when people are visiting Saint Andrews, it's safe. The bylaw mostly covers permit requirements, inspections, responsibilities of the owner and operator, prohibitions and penalties. Saint Andrews resident Joanne Carney said she would like to see a compromise on the bylaw and aims to bring her concerns forward to council. Carney operates a short-term rental space within her home and has also purchased a property for her employees and for short-term rental space. She said if the bylaw is passed, it would make it so that certain zones require a primary resident on the property that houses the short-term rental space. She said she's not so sure that "penalizing" short-term rentals will make these spaces revert to long-term rental spaces or increase the vacancy rate. She said there needs to be a balance between long-term and short-term rentals "I know the councillors, they're open to changes and discussion. They'll definitely hear from people who are threatened to be shut down at the moment." In addition, she said limiting the short-term rental permits (if the primary resident lives there most of the time), doesn't make sense. In some cases, she said owning and operating short-term rentals, helps make living more affordable in Saint Andrews. The councillors discussed having a three-permit limit per individual for short-term rentals with a potential grandfather clause, or an increasing permit fee for individuals; instead of a 50-permit limit for the whole town. CAO Chris Spear said all existing short-term rentals would be included in this 50-permit total. Nopper said the 50-permit limit was based on the town's pre-existing short-term rental numbers and took into consideration council's aim to protect the long-term rentals by limiting the number of short-term rentals. "It limits that so that we don't have AirBnB Inc. coming in and buying up a bunch of short-term rentals," said Coun. Guy Groulx. Coun. Kurt Gumushel was against limiting the number of short-term rentals. Nopper said he would take the discussions and feedback and put it into the second draft of the document. There were also some discussions and clarifications at the meeting between the councillors concerning limiting of guests and permit qualifications. The full bylaw is posted on the town's website, so the public can view it before it goes onto further readings and a public hearing. Nopper said the bylaw could be passed by April 2021 but Mayor Doug Naish said it's subject to change. "It will be done right," said Naish. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — People arrested during three nights of rioting sparked by the Netherlands' new coronavirus curfew will face swift prosecution, the Dutch justice minister said Tuesday as the nation faced its worst civil unrest in years. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said rioters would be quickly brought before the courts by public prosecutors and will face possible prison terms if convicted. “They won't get away with it,” he told reporters in The Hague. The rioting, initially triggered by anger over the country's tough coronavirus lockdown, has been increasingly fueled by calls for rioting swirling on social media. The violence has stretched the police and led at times to the deployment of military police. Grapperhaus spoke after a third night of rioting hit towns and cities in the Netherlands, with the most serious clashes and looting of stores in the port city of Rotterdam and the southern cathedral city of Den Bosch. “If you rob people who are struggling, with the help of the government, to keep their head above water, it's totally scandalous,” Grapperhaus told reporters. He stressed that the 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew is a necessary measure in the fight against the coronavirus. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: “Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?” He also appealed to parents of the young rioters, asking: “Did you miss your son yesterday? Did you ask yourself where he was?” The municipality in Den Bosch designated large parts of the city as risk areas for Tuesday night, fearing a repeat of the violence. Residents in Den Bosch took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup as the city’s mayor said he would investigate authorities’ response to the rioting. A total of 184 people were arrested in Monday night's unrest and police ticketed more than 1,700 for breaching the curfew, a fine of 95 euros ($115). Officers around the country also detained dozens suspected of inciting rioting through social media. Police said rioters threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers. “This criminal violence must stop,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted. “The riots have nothing to do with protesting or struggling for freedom,” he added. “We must win the battle against the virus together, because that's the only way of getting back our freedom.” The unrest began Saturday night — the first night of the curfew — when youths in the fishing village of Urk torched a coronavirus testing centre. It escalated significantly with violence in the southern city of Eindhoven and the capital, Amsterdam. Gerrit van der Burg, the most senior Dutch public prosecutor, said authorities are “committed to tracking down and prosecuting people who committed crimes. Count on it that they will be dealt with harshly.” The rate of new infections in Netherlands has been decreasing in recent weeks, but the government is keeping up the tough lockdown, citing the slow pace of the decline and fears of new, more transmissible virus variants. The country has registered more than 13,650 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Mike Corder, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer confidence rose in January as Americans became more optimistic about the future. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index increased to 89.3, a rebound from December when it dipped to 87.1. The increase was fueled by the board's rising expectations index, which measures feelings about the future path of incomes, business and labour market conditions. The present situation index weakened further, likely reflecting concerns about the resurgence of COVID-19. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
The Municipality of Whitestone is considering launching an education campaign on invasive species in the region. Reports of Japanese knotweed in the Dunchurch area were brought to council over two years ago and, in October 2020, Coun. Joe Lamb brought the issue up again. During the Jan. 18 meeting, Coun. Beth Gorham-Matthews presented to council some recommendations on how to educate both municipal staff and the public. Some of the recommendations include webinars for residents, online training for staff and a clean equipment policy. Here are five quotes from the council discussion. “What the Ontario Invasive Plant Council suggests is whenever starting a program of invasive species, it’s best to begin with education and not just the education of the public, but for our staff as well because this is something new,” said Gorham-Matthews. “We have discussed putting a line in the (2021) budget for invasive species and I think the chief administrative officer (Michelle Hendry) thought $5,000 would be good for this year in terms of educating staff, public and doing these webinars,” said Gorham-Matthews. “We have applied for the TD Environmental Grant and we should hear back in April on that, which will go toward our training. We’re looking at protocols for clean equipment. I have reached out to the MTO and I’m waiting to hear back on the Japanese knotweed at the Highway 124 and Narrows bridge in Dunchurch,” said David Creaser, public works manager for Whitestone. “I’m supportive of the budget, I’m supportive of what you’re doing — my concern is we’re not scientists. I don’t want us to be doing things that (should) be assessed by the ministry that’s responsible. I don’t want our staff trickling over the bounds of what we should be doing and I’m concerned about liability that may come out of that … but no problems with training the staff but it should be limited,” said Lamb. “The Ontario Invasive Plant Council recommended a clean equipment policy ... where contractors we hire to come in and do work in the municipality have cleaned their equipment (beforehand) so that seeds and dirt that may be infected with invasive species don’t get transmitted from one area to another,” said Gorham-Matthews. The courses recommended for staff and the public, as quoted by the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, would cost $650 for staff training and $900 for public outreach. Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Mikey and Ellie the Great Danes enjoy their naptime, but also really enjoy playtime. Watch and laugh as Ellie encourages Mikey to give up his lanai loveseat nap to go out and play together.
Opposition leaders were quick to criticize Justin Trudeau’s handling of the pandemic on Monday — the one-year anniversary of the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Canada. As the country heads towards a grim milestone of 20,000 deaths, the government’s official Opposition leader, Erin O’Toole, said a smooth vaccine rollout is the “key.” Canada has so far vaccinated about two per cent of its population with its two approved vaccines, by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, but the delivery of the latter has ground to a halt as the company upscales its plant in Belgium. As a result, Canada will receive zero doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and a reduced amount for the weeks to come. “It is imperative we work together to improve the Liberal vaccine plan and get Canadians back to work,” O’Toole said in a press conference Monday morning. Green Party Leader Annamie Paul echoed calls for increased collaboration among parties. “The prime minister has not invited other party leaders to meet and be briefed on the COVID pandemic and on the government’s response for months,” Paul said. “This is the kind of thing that prevents parties from having and presenting a united front to the public.” Paul repeated calls for Trudeau to convene an intergovernmental COVID-19 task force to co-ordinate a national response to the pandemic. She praised U.S. President Joe Biden, who appointed a national COVID-19 response co-ordinator on his first day on the job. Paul, who has sounded the alarm on the “humanitarian crisis” happening in long-term care (LTC) homes, is also urging Trudeau to convene a first ministers meeting to develop a plan to tackle the issue. Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh brought up the example of the 19-year-old who worked at an Ontario LTC home and died after contracting COVID-19 to push for better paid sick leave. “This is devastating and could have been avoided if paid sick days were made more accessible,” Singh said. As of now, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) has some shortfalls, according to Singh, who pressured the feds to create it in September. The CRSB gives $500 per week for two weeks to workers who can’t work because they’re sick, need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have an underlying health condition that makes them more prone to infection. The program has paid out more than $287 million since it launched, according to government data, however the number of people approved to receive the benefit has been shrinking every month, from 67,600 in the first eligibility period to 21,830 in the first week of January. Singh says there’s a lack of awareness of the benefit and wants the government to better promote it. He also wants the CRSB to be amended so that it’s easier for people to apply, for more people to be eligible and for the money to flow into people’s bank accounts faster. Singh had an unsuccessful attempt to recall Parliament earlier than scheduled to discuss these matters but is expected to bring them forth in the House this week. There will also be an emergency debate on Canada’s vaccine shortage Tuesday evening. Yasmine Ghania, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
COVID-19. Dominique Anglade, la cheffe du Parti libéral du Québec, voudrait que le premier ministre François Legault demande à la Santé publique d'étudier la possibilité de moduler les contraintes associées aux mesures sanitaires dans les régions moins touchées par la COVID-19. «Actuellement, plusieurs régions ont eu la chance d'être globalement épargnées par la pandémie. Bien qu'il y ait certaines éclosions et que la santé et la sécurité des Québécois demeurent nos priorités, ces régions doivent se résigner à appliquer les mêmes mesures sanitaires que les régions plus densifiées et aux prises avec une transmission beaucoup plus importante de cas et un taux d'hospitalisation en augmentation», expose Dominique Anglade, cheffe de l'opposition officielle. «Je demande à François Legault de considérer la particularité de ces régions et de demander à la Santé publique d'étudier en fonction de leur situation épidémiologique régionale, les impacts des contraintes associées aux mesures sanitaires établies de manière mur-à-mur sur l'ensemble du territoire du Québec. Évidemment, nous continuons à demander aux Québécois de suivre les consignes sanitaires», ajoute la cheffe libérale. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WHISTLER, B.C. — A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia.A statement from the Environment Ministry, which oversees the Conservation Officer Service, says the 69-year-old victim is recovering in hospital from serious injuries to his face and hand.The attack occurred Monday near the man's property in the Soo Valley, about 150 kilometres north of Vancouver, between Whistler and Pemberton.The ministry says Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby.Conservation officers with a specialized team that investigates predator attacks also responded.The ministry says those officers don't believe there is any ongoing risk to the public and further details could be released soon.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — When D Smoke was teaching high schoolers in Southern California, the rapper still pursued his dreams of breaking through as a hip-hop artist while leaning on the encouraging phrase: “There’s no expiration on realness.” D Smoke maintained that mindset as a motivator before he made a splash on Netflix’s music reality TV series “Rhythm + Flow” in 2019. He won the competition, impressing judges Cardi B, T.I. and Chance the Rapper with his ability as a multi-instrumentalist and bilingual rapper who could easily switch from English to Spanish in his rhymes. Last year, D Smoke rode the momentum from the show's success, performing alongside boxer Deontay Wilder before a heavyweight championship bout and releasing his debut album “Black Habits,” which this year earned him a Grammy nomination for best rap album. He’s also up for best new artist against Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus and Kaytranada. It’s been a long road toward Grammy recognition for D Smoke, but the 35-year-old had other milestones along the way. He’s a UCLA graduate who taught Spanish and musical theory at Inglewood High School. He's also penned songs for The Pussycat Dolls, Ginuwine, Joe and Jaheim, some of which he co-wrote with his brother, R&B singer SiR, who is signed to Kendrick Lamar's Top Dawg Entertainment. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, D Smoke talked about the pressure of finding success outside “Rhythm + Flow,” how being a teacher matured his lyrics and his thoughts on why Grammy voters nominated him and other 35-and-up rappers in the best rap album category. _______ AP: You were in your 30s with a decade of teaching under your belt, so did you ever think you were past your prime to pursue a music career? D Smoke: I always tell people that there’s no expiration on realness. People need incredible art. Anytime you spend pursuing whatever level of success and see yourself achieving, it’s time to get better. Always getting better. It didn’t matter if I got a (Grammy nom) when I was 40. It’s just going to be that season. _______ AP: What compelled you to learn Spanish? D Smoke: I went to a middle school that was predominantly Latino and all my friends spoke it. That’s when I told myself that I must be fluent in this. You’re not going to switch languages and I’m left out. I took Spanish one, two and three at Inglewood High. While everybody was doing it to get a grade, I was already like, “I’m learning this.” Then finally, when I went to UCLA, I just kept going. _______ AP: Was rapping in English and Spanish in front of Cardi B — who is also bilingual —- your strategy to win “Rhythm + Flow”? D Smoke: Everything I did on the show was strategic. That’s how you approach a fight with strategy because just being tough or trying to outdo somebody will get you hurt. I’m using a fight metaphor. I knew there were lyricists on the show. I knew they could rap their (explicit) off. But the goal was to distinguish myself. I knew that was going to be memorable. By going into the later rounds, they would be like, “There he goes. That’s the dude who can speak Spanish.” They were going to remember me from that one performance. I knew they were going to remember that until the end. _______ AP: What was the strategy to ride the momentum after the show? D Smoke: We knew that we had a limited window of converting all of these Netflix fans into music fans and people who respect the craft and follow the journey outside of Netflix, because it’s far longer before than what people realize. There was pressure to show that. If you look at the trajectory of artists who come off shows, their biggest success is the show. ...That was our goal to go ahead and transition from the Netflix star that people viewed me as to an artist. _______ AP: In the best rap album category, each Grammy nominee is 35-years-old and up (Nas is the oldest at 47). What are voters trying to say? D Smoke: It opens a conversation of what our culture needs and wants. I think all the things that happened in the past year are really sobering. I think people are requiring, at this moment more than ever, music that speaks to them at a deeper level. _______ AP: Can you elaborate a little more? D Smoke: We need mature voices in rap. We need them to be at the forefront. Of course, we’re going to listen to the kids, because we need to hear them out so they feel understood. But everybody stops to listen to a voice of reason, the voice of experience and wisdom. ...I’m experienced but I’m speaking from a place of when I was 17, acting up and wild. I’m still wild, but I’m smart enough to go about my business a certain way. _______ AP: Did being a high school teacher help the maturity in your music? D Smoke: Absolutely. I was a teacher who got to know my students. You can’t really reach nobody if you’re not concerned about who they are. It’s an exchange. I would ask, “What are you listen to? Put me up on what’s going on.” Some of it I hate, but some I would be surprised and say, “That’s dope.” In that exchange, you learn how music effects people. _______ AP: Is your music influenced by other West Coast rappers like Tupac, Kendrick Lamar and Nipsey Hussle? D Smoke: I for sure borrow from them more than any other West Coast artist. Of course, I must mention Snoop (Dogg). I look up to him so much, because he’s an elder in the game and still as relevant as ever. That’s beautiful. That’s another example of these experienced voices still being present in the culture. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices jumped in November at the fastest pace in more than six years, fueled by demand for more living space as Americans stick closer to home during the pandemic. Home prices soared 9.1% in November compared with 12 months ago, according to Tuesday’s report on the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. That is the largest increase since May 2014. Low borrowing costs are also contributing to rising home sales, which have sharply reduced the number of dwellings available. The limited inventory of homes is pushing up home prices. Sales of existing homes rose in December and home sales for all of 2020 rose to the highest level in 14 years. Phoenix posted the largest price gain in November from a year earlier for the 18th straight month, with a 13.8% increase. Seattle's 12.7% gain was the second-highest, followed by San Diego at 12.3%. All 19 cities reported larger year-over-year price gains in November than in October. Detroit wasn’t able to fully report its home sales data because of delays related to a coronavirus lockdown. Home sales may slow in the coming months, consistent with declining sales in the winter, but are expected to remain elevated. The number of people who signed contracts to purchase homes fell in November compared with October, but was at a record high for November. Contract signings are usually followed by a completed sale within two months. Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Jane Fonda cemented herself into Hollywood allure as a chameleonlike actor and social activist, and now the Golden Globes will honour her illustrious career with its highest honour. Fonda will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 78th annual awards ceremony on Feb. 28, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Tuesday. A member of one of America's most distinguished acting families, Fonda has captivated and inspired fans along with critics in such films as “Klute” and “Coming Home.” Fonda, the daughter of Oscar winner Henry Fonda and sister of Peter Fonda, made an impact off-screen by creating organizations to support women’s equality and prevent teen pregnancy and improve adolescent health. She released a workout video in 1982 and was active on behalf of liberal political causes. In a statement, HFPA President Ali Sar applauded the Golden Globe winner’s decorated career and her “unrelenting activism.” “Her undeniable talent has gained her the highest level of recognition,” Sar said of Fonda. “While her professional life has taken many turns, her unwavering commitment to evoking change has remained.” The DeMille Award is given annually to an “individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment.” Past recipients include Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball. Nominations for the upcoming Globes show are scheduled to be announced Feb. 3. Fonda, 83, has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won two for the thriller “Klute” and the compassionate anti-war drama “Coming Home.” She had other prominent films including “The China Syndrome,” “The Electric Horseman” with Robert Redford, and “9 to 5” with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. She stars in the Netflix television series “Grace & Frankie.” Fonda gained notoriety in the the 1970s when she travelled to North Vietnam during the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests and posed for photos next to an anti-aircraft gun. She fell under hefty criticism for her decision — one she repeatedly apologized for — to pose in the photo that gave her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” In 2014, Fonda was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute. She launched IndieCollect’s Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors, an organization aimed to support the restoration of films helmed by women from around the world. Fonda was arrested at the U.S. Capitol while peacefully protesting climate change in 2019, an action dubbed Fire Drill Fridays. For her 80th birthday, Fonda raised $1 million for each her nonprofits, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential and the Women’s Media Center. She also serves on the board of directors and made $1 million donation to Donor Direct Action, an organization that supports front-line women’s organizations to promote women’s equality. Fonda’s book, “What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action,” released last year, details her personal journey with Fire Drill Fridays. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of an Ottawa man who suffered a fatal heart attack during an encounter with police. In a statement, the Ottawa Police Services Board says it has come to a "mutual agreement" with the family of Abdirahman Abdi, putting an end to the civil action. It says the details of the settlement are confidential and will not be released publicly. However, the board notes both sides agree "significant improvements" need to be made to how police respond to people experiencing mental health issues. The settlement comes months after an Ottawa police officer was acquitted of manslaughter and assault charges in connection with Abdi's death in July 2016. An Ontario judge ruled in October that he couldn't conclusively say the blows Abdi suffered during his arrest significantly contributed to his death. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
HELSINKI — A new two-party coalition government was sworn in Tuesday in Estonia, led by the first woman prime minister since the Baltic nation regained independence in 1991. The 15-member Cabinet of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas took office after lawmakers in Estonia's parliament approved the government appointed by President Kersti Kaljulaid. Kallas, 43, is a lawyer and former European Parliament member. The centre-right Reform Party that she chairs and and the left-leaning Center Party, which are Estonia’s two biggest political parties, reached a deal on Sunday to form a government. The previous Cabinet, with Center leader Juri Ratas as prime minister, collapsed this month due to a corruption scandal. The two parties each have seven ministers in the Cabinet in addition to Kallas serving as prime minister. The government controls a comfortable majority in the 101-seat Riigikogu. Kallas stressed gender balance in forming the new Cabinet, placing several women in key positions, including naming the Reform Party's Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as finance minister and Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, as the foreign minister. Kallas' Cabinet has a little over two years to leave its mark in this European Union and NATO member before the next general election set for March 2023. One of the government's immediate priorities is to tackle Estonia’s worsening coronavirus situation and the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. The Reform Party, a pro-business party espousing liberal economic policies, emerged as the winner of Estonia's 2019 general election under Kallas' lead. However, she was outmanoeuvred by Ratas' Center Party, which formed a three-party coalition with the populist right-wing EKRE party and the conservative Fatherland party. But Ratas’ government, which took office in April 2019, was shaky from the start due to strong rhetoric from the nationalist EKRE, the nation’s third-largest party which runs on an anti-immigration and anti-EU agenda. The EKRE leaders, Mart Helme and his son Martin, brought the government to the brink of collapse at least twice. However, Ratas' government was eventually brought down on Jan. 13 by a corruption scandal involving an official suspected of accepting a private donation for the Center Party in exchange for a political favour on a real estate development at the harbour district of the capital, Tallinn. Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million, is now one of the few countries where both the head of state and the head of government are women. However, that may not necessarily last long as Estonian lawmakers will convene by September to elect a new president. Kaljulaid, who assumed her post in October 2016, hasn't announced whether she will seek reelection to another five year term. Jari Tanner, The Associated Press