Check out what happens when this ambitious daredevil attempts a scooter trick. Epic fail!
Check out what happens when this ambitious daredevil attempts a scooter trick. Epic fail!
Hello, royal watchers. This is a special edition of The Royal Fascinator, your dose of royal news and analysis. Reading this online? Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox. The revelations just kept coming Sunday night as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gave Oprah Winfrey — and a worldwide television audience — their view on why they had to leave the upper echelons of the Royal Family. The reasons were many, but amid all they had to say, there was one statement that stood out and seems particularly serious for the House of Windsor: Meghan's declaration that a senior member of the Royal Family had worries about the colour of the skin of their first child before he was born. In an interview Monday on CBS This Morning, Winfrey said Harry told her neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip were part of conversations about Archie's skin colour. "I think it's very damaging — the idea that a senior member of the Royal Family had expressed concern about what Archie might look like," Carolyn Harris, a Toronto-based royal author and historian, said in an interview late Sunday night. Meghan told Winfrey the concern had been relayed to her by Harry, and when questioned further on it, Harry refused to offer more specifics, saying it's a "conversation I'm never going to share." And that, Harris suggests, speaks to the seriousness of the matter. "It's very clear that Harry didn't want to go into details feeling that it would be too damaging for the monarchy." WATCH | Royal Family expressed concerns about son's skin colour, Meghan tells Oprah: It will take time to digest the impact of all that Harry and Meghan had to say to Winfrey. But some early comments in the British media this morning suggest Harry and Meghan's account will have a profound impact. "They have revealed the terrible strains inside the palace. They have drawn a picture of unfeeling individuals lost in an uncaring institution. They have spoken of racism within the Royal Family. This was a devastating interview," the BBC's royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, wrote in an online analysis. "But Harry describing his brother and father as 'trapped,' and Meghan revealing that she repeatedly sought help within the palace only to be rebuffed is a body blow to the institution." 'A damning allegation' The Guardian reported that Harry and Meghan telling Winfrey of conversations in the Royal Family about Archie's skin colour is "a damning allegation that will send shockwaves through the institution and send relations with the palace to a new low." Many themes and issues developed over the two-hour broadcast, which sprinkled lighter moments — they're expecting a girl, they have rescue chickens and Archie, age almost two, has taken to telling people to "drive safe" — with much more serious concerns, including the lack of support they say they received, particularly as Meghan had suicidal thoughts. WATCH | Meghan had suicidal thoughts during royal life: "A theme that emerges again and again, and it's something that Harry explicitly states in the interview, is the Royal Family being concerned with the opinion of the tabloid press," said Harris. "This may very well have influenced decisions not to speak out about the way Meghan was being treated and that may have influenced some other decisions as well." One of those might be the question of security, something that was of considerable concern to the couple when they learned royal support for it would be withdrawn. "The Royal Family has frequently in the past received bad press regarding minor members ... receiving security,"said Harris. 'Negative headlines' "There were a lot of negative headlines regarding Beatrice and Eugenie continuing to receive security and their father's [Prince Andrew's] insistence they receive security despite being comparatively minor members of the Royal Family who do not undertake public engagements representing the Queen." There was also a sense out of Sunday's interview that issues that troubled the Royal Family in the past may still be a worry now. "Even in the 21st century after all of the problems that the Royal Family encountered in the 1990s with the breakdowns in the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew … there still doesn't seem to be a consistent means of mentoring new members of the Royal Family," said Harris. Meghan said she had to Google the lyrics for God Save the Queen, and was filled in at the last minute about having to curtsy to Elizabeth just before meeting her for the first time. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, pose for a picture at a Buckingham Palace reception following the final Queen's Young Leaders Awards ceremony in London on June 26, 2018. Both Meghan and Harry spoke warmly of the Queen during the interview Sunday night.(John Stillwell/Reuters) Throughout the interview, Harry and Meghan repeatedly expressed respect and admiration for the Queen, if not for how the Royal Family as an institution operates. But there is considerable murkiness around just who may be responsible for some of the more serious issues they raised. "We know they respect the Queen and have a good personal relationship with the Queen. We know that Meghan had a conflict with Kate but says Kate apologized and Meghan forgave her and she doesn't think Kate's a bad person," said Harris. Lacking 'specific details' "But when it comes to who made racist comments about Archie's appearance or who was dismissive directly of Meghan's mental health, [on] that we don't have specific details." High-profile royal interviews such as this — particularly one by Harry's mother Diana, in 1995 — have a track record of not turning out as the royal interviewees may have intended, and it remains to be seen the lasting impact of this one. Harris sees parallels with Diana's interview, as she "spoke frankly" about a lack of support from the family, and felt that she had been let down by Prince Charles. Meghan spoke with Winfrey before they were joined by Harry.(Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters) Harry talked of hoping to repair his relationship with his father — "I will always love him but there's a lot of hurt that happened" — but said he felt really let down, and noted a time when his father wasn't taking his calls. Harris expects the interview will prompt further critical scrutiny of Charles, and Harry's older brother Prince William. The relationship with William has already been under intense scrutiny, and is clearly still a delicate matter for Harry, who hesitated noticeably before responding as Winfrey pressed him on it. "Time heals all things, hopefully," Harry said. How Buckingham Palace responds to all this remains to be seen. Generally, the public approach in matters such as this is silence, and a determination to be seen as carrying on with regular duties. Whether a member of the family might make a more informal comment — say in response to a question from someone at a public event — also remains to be seen. WATCH | Meghan says Royal Family failed to protect her and Prince Harry: But from what did emerge Sunday evening, there is a sense that whatever efforts the House of Windsor has made to put a more modern face on the monarchy, they appear not to have yielded the fruit that might have been hoped. "There's been some elements of modernization, but it's very clear that the institution has difficulty adapting to the needs of individuals who marry into the Royal Family," said Harris. "It's clear that Meghan came away from her experiences feeling that she was not supported or mentored in her new role." Sign up here to have The Royal Fascinator newsletter land in your inbox every other Friday. I'm always happy to hear from you. Send your ideas, comments, feedback and notes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Problems with the newsletter? 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In Japan, convenience is king and getting tested for COVID-19 can be highly inconvenient. Part of solution, as it is for a range of daily necessities in Tokyo, has become the humble vending machine. Eager to conserve manpower and hospital resources, the government conducts just 40,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests a day, a quarter of its capacity, restricting them to people who are quite symptomatic or have had a high chance of being infected.
NEW DELHI — Thousands of female farmers held sit-ins and a hunger strike in India's capital on Monday in protests on International Women's Day against new agricultural laws. The demonstrations were held at multiple sites on the fringes of New Delhi where tens of thousands of farmers have camped for more than three months to protest against the laws they say will leave them poorer and at the mercy of big corporations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the laws are necessary to modernize agriculture. About 100 women wearing yellow and green scarfs sat cross-legged in front of a makeshift stage in Ghazipur, one of the many protest sites. Holding the flags of farm unions, they listened to female farm leaders speak from the stage and chanted slogans against the laws. At least 17 took part in a day-long hunger strike. “Women are sitting here, out in the open, in protest, but Modi doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about mothers, sisters, and daughters. He doesn’t care about women. That’s clear,” said Mandeep Kaur, a female farmer who travelled 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) from Chhattisgarh state to participate in the protests. Multiple rounds of talks between the government and farmers have failed to end the stalemate. The farmers have rejected an offer from the government to put the laws on hold for 18 months, saying they won’t settle for anything less than a complete repeal. They fear the laws will make family-owned farms unviable, eventually leaving them landless. Women have been at the forefront of the protests, which have posed one of the biggest challenges to Modi since he took office in 2014. Many accompanied thousands of male farmers who arrived at the protest sites in late November and have since organized and led protest marches, run medical camps and massive soup kitchens that feed thousands, and raised demands for gender equality. “Today Modi is sending wishes to women across the country on International Women’s Day. Who are these women he is sending wishes to? We are also like his daughters, but he clearly doesn’t care about us,” said Babli Singh, a farm leader. International Women’s Day, sponsored by the United Nations since 1975, celebrates women’s achievements and aims to further their rights. Women often embody what agricultural experts call an “invisible workforce” on India’s vast farmlands that often goes unnoticed. Nearly 75% of rural women in India who work full-time are farmers, according to the anti-poverty group Oxfam India, and the numbers are expected to rise as more men migrate to cities for jobs. Yet, less than 13% of women own the land they till. Demonstrations were also held at Jantar Mantar, an area of New Delhi near Parliament where about 100 women held placards denouncing the new laws and calling for their withdrawal. “Today we are finding ourselves under attack at all fronts. As women, as peasants, as workers, as youth and students," said women rights activist Sucharita, who uses one name. “We are opposed to the laws that have been passed in favour of corporations." ___ Associated Press video journalist Shonal Ganguly contributed to this report. Neha Mehrotra And Rishi Lekhi, The Associated Press
Ruba Ghazal's family wasn't big on politics — they'd already fled two countries because of them. So it was a course in high school about social involvement that Ghazal says awoke something in her. "I liked participating, and then I liked history. Eventually, I was the one who would explain Quebec politics to my parents," Ghazal said. But it's when she got to university that Ghazal became more involved in causes she cared about, eventually obtaining a master's degree in environmental studies. Ghazal is now the environment critic for Quebec Solidaire and the MNA for Montreal's Mercier electoral district, which covers much of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. Ghazal is taking part in an online talk on women in politics and women of colour in politics this Thursday, in honour of International Women's Day. The talk, dubbed Politiqu'Elle, is organized by Hanadi Saad, founder of Justice Femme, an organization that helps defend women from minority backgrounds against harassment in Quebec and which rose to prominence when the CAQ government tabled Bill 21 in 2019. Now law, Bill 21 bars public school teachers, as well as police officers, government lawyers and some civil servants, from wearing religious symbols — such as hijabs or turbans — while at work. The law was passed last year despite protests from civil rights groups and religious minorities. Saad says her advocacy work against Bill 21 and the effects of its debate (which she says prompted hundreds of Muslim women to report being harassed in the street to her organization) made her realize just how much Quebec politics lacked Muslim women, and women of colour more generally. "It's really clear there is a problem," Saad said. "Someone who is born here, who is not from an immigrant family, cannot understand what an immigrant is living." Saad says Quebec lacks politicians who know their constituents and the issues they face intimately. "We need more politicians doing field work, knocking on doors," she said. Hanadi Saad founded Justice Femme to help protect and defend Muslim women against islamophobic harassment.(Submitted by Hanadi Saad) 'Nothing is guaranteed,' says MNA calling for structural change Ghazal was born in Lebanon to a Palestinian family and grew up in the United Arab Emirates before they moved to Quebec when she was 10. She says though environmental issues are her main focus in politics, she doesn't shy away from speaking about the need for more diversity in Quebec politics, as well as encouraging younger generations of underrepresented people to get involved. In an article in the Canadian political publication Policy Options last week, Ghazal laid out the case for a proportional electoral system that would involve incentives for parties to name candidates that truly represent the population. "If that doesn't exist, there will always be steps forward and then backward. Nothing is guaranteed," Ghazal said. In the piece, Ghazal notes the state of representation in the National Assembly is better than it was before the last election, with eight per cent of MNAs being people of colour, compared to 13 per cent of the population. Forty three per cent of Quebec's MNAs are women. "That progress remains fragile," Ghazal wrote. The CAQ government tabled a bill to reform Quebec's electoral system and add more proportionality, Ghazal notes, but the bill hasn't yet been debated and she worries it will have fallen to the wayside after the pandemic. She says it's in part thanks to Québec Solidaire's will to name candidates from underrepresented communities and hand them districts they have better chances of winning that she is now an MNA. It's because of a lack of willpower to implement such practices within his party that Mohammed Barhone says he left the Quebec Liberal Party in 2020, after having served a number of roles for six years. Barhone will also be speaking at Saad's event, as a kind of political insider who isn't under pressure to walk a party line. "If there were more women of colour, more Indigenous women; if there were more Muslim women in decision-making roles, things would have taken a different turn," in the debate around Bill 21, said Barhone, who says his mother's struggles as a single parent raising three children in Morocco have made him sensitive to barriers women of colour face. For Ghazal, there was a silver lining in it all: "It allowed women like Hanadi [Saad] to mobilize people and explain to them, 'Hey, you who has always felt far from politics (like my family), well, look, politicians are now voting a law that could prevent your daughters from teaching, for example.'" That's why Ghazal says she continues to participate in talks like the one on Wednesday — even in places that may not involve her constituents — because maybe it will awaken something in a young person, like she once was. "I like sharing my experience to show it's possible," she said. Other speakers at the talk include former NDP candidate for Ahuntsic-Cartierville Zahia El Masri and Laval municipal councillor Sandra El Helou.
Sport P.E.I. has launched a new poster campaign called She's Got It All, featuring five Island athletes talking about the barriers that girls and women face in sports. The five posters have been released every Monday leading up to International Women's Day. The athletes featured in the posters are wrestler Hannah Taylor, sprinter Bailey Smith, archer Kristen Arsenault, hockey goalie Ava Boutilier and curler Lauren Lenentine. "It's different for many females in terms of their particular sport, and the barriers that may exist for that sport," said Gemma Koughan, executive director of Sport P.E.I. "Based on a lot of the information and research that is out there, women and girls do face more barriers than boys and men. So the idea of the campaign is to try to highlight those barriers, and try to promote girls and women in sport." Own message Koughan said the athletes selected for the posters have been involved with other Sport P.E.I. programs promoting girls and women in sport. The five posters have been released every Monday leading up to International Women’s Day. (Sport P.E.I. ) They wanted to involve athletes from both team and individual sports. "What we did was identify a few of those typical barriers, and reach out to these athletes and ask them, did any of these resonate with them in terms of some of the things that they faced?" Koughan said. "Invariably each of them had one that kind of sat with them, and that's why they gravitated each to their own messaging." Ava Boutilier says her poster talks about the equal opportunities for women to make a viable career in the sport that they're playing.(Sport P.E.I.) Ava Boutilier, a goaltender at the University of New Hampshire, said she was excited to be part of the campaign. "Being a female athlete in a sport, ice hockey, that's primarily dominated by men, there are some difficult barriers that we face, whether it's at the Division 1 level, at the minor hockey level, even at the professional level," Boutilier said. "So I was really excited to get involved in something like this, and have my face attached to a message that I really believed in." Boutilier says while there are professional leagues now for women's hockey, the top female players only make thousands of dollars a year and usually have to work another full-time job, as well as play hockey.(Submitted by Ava Boutilier) Boutilier said her poster talks about the equal opportunities for women to make a viable career in the sport that they're playing. She said while there are professional leagues now for women's ice hockey, the top female players only make thousands of dollars a year and usually have to work another full-time job, as well as play hockey. "The main goal of the posters is just to kind of get that conversation started, opening people's eyes more to what exactly our female athletes are facing, what are these barriers that they have to overcome, and what can we do to help that," Boutilier said. "I think the more that we can have these conversations, the more that we can try to design actionable plans to overcome some of these barriers, the better it will be for not only females in sport, but everybody in sport." Double standard Curler Lauren Lenentine said she wanted to focus on the different ways that male and female curlers are perceived. "My poster is about emotion, showing emotion on the ice," Lenentine said. "Male curlers are often seen as focused and intense, whereas as a woman, a female curler, we're seen as maybe cranky, or not having fun. So just bringing awareness to that barrier." Curler Lauren Lenentine said she wanted to focus on the different ways that male and female curlers are perceived.(Sport P.E.I. ) Lenentine said she felt that double standard recently, at the national curling championship. "I just played at the Scotties and I received so many messages telling me to just have fun, and to be sure that I smile, and I'm sure that male curlers aren't receiving those same messages whenever they're playing at the Brier," Lenentine said. "I didn't take it too personally because we were focused and we wanted to be intense. We were out there to win. We didn't want to just have fun." Lauren Lenentine says she wants it to be OK to look focused and intense when she is on the ice. (Katie Zacharias) Seeing the other posters, Lenentine realized some female athletes face barriers that she doesn't. "Curling is kind of different. We're really lucky, actually, that the male and female prizes are the same, we get the same TV coverage," Lenentine said. "I just played at the Scotties and in a typical year, it is usually sold out. So I'm pretty lucky in the sport that I play." Body image Summerside wrestler Hannah Taylor said her poster focuses on body image, "how women are constantly faced with a bunch of negative messages — from the media, or from parents, coaches, friends, everyone around them — about their body image." She imagines someone looking at her poster and thinking: "'OK, Hannah Taylor doesn't have the conventional standard of beauty for her body. She has big shoulders. She's a small girl. She's very muscular, pretty toned.'" Hannah Taylor says this is one of her favorite wrestling pictures. She had just beaten the world champion at the Olympic trials in the semifinals. (Sport P.E.I.) Since that is not typically what you see in the media, "I hope women look up to me and be like, 'Wow, she's encouraging women to just live happy, and forget about body image, and don't let that hold them back.'" Taylor said it was eye-opening to be part of the group of women featured in the campaign. "It's pretty cool to see that there's so many different barriers in sport that affect each sport differently, and seeing how us women are overcoming them," Taylor said. Taylor said it was eye-opening to be part of the group of women featured in the campaign. (United World Wrestling) Koughan said she is encouraged by the group of women who are featured in the campaign. "Yes, it's a sport-driven message, but these are female leaders of the future, for our province and for our sports," Koughan said. "I couldn't be more pleased with their their ability to articulate their experiences, and be role models for young girls. It's fantastic." The poster campaign was funded through a partnership between Canadian Women & Sport, the province of P.E.I. and Sport P.E.I. More from CBC P.E.I.
A New Brunswick tree planter is branching his volunteer-based planting efforts to more provinces this year, COVID-19 permitting. Jonathan Clark's tree planting company Replant has an environmental division that plants trees in New Brunswick's forests and develops community parks with the help of volunteers and private donations. "This year there has been so much interest that we're expanding to at least five provinces and possibly seven," said Clark. Clark said the operations will expand to British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. He said Replant had the means to expand in 2020, but couldn't due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Clark is relying on an Atlantic Bubble for it to happen this year. It's nice to think that the trees we're planting are good for just being trees - Jonathan Clark Clark said Replant's environmental division, based in Sackville, planted 10,000 trees in New Brunswick in 2020. This year, it's goal is to plant 250,000 across the country. "There's certainly demand for it, there's a lot of people who want to see more trees in Canada, partly because of the environment and partly because it's good for public recreation," he said. He said donations are growing every year and, because of this will likely have the ability to plant 1 million trees within the next two years, but declined to give figures. Clark said there are a handful of volunteers in New Brunswick who consider themselves professional tree planters. He expects to have a dozen volunteers in the province this year. Group is working on 2 community forest projects Replant's environmental division is currently working on two community forest projects in New Brunswick, that will take three years to complete. These parks will have picnic areas and trails for public use. Clark said another part of Replant's volunteer work involves buying privately-owned woodlots that have been harvested for firewood and other purposes. Once they're fully cleared, the owners no longer has a use for the land and typically look to sell the lots cheap. A Replant volunteer poses with 12,000 seedlings. (Submitted by Jonathan Clark) He said he uses this opportunity to buy and refill these harvested plots. "Our expectation is we don't want to let those trees be harvested in the future. We want to have a lot more forest that just becomes an old-grown forest eventually," he said. "It's nice to think that the trees we're planting are good for just being trees." He said Replant is looking to expand its operations through New Brunswick, by partnering with Fundy National Park and provincial parks throughout. Replant contacts these parks offering to provide its volunteers and cover the cost to replenish the forests and add diversity in tree populations. Current tree populations not sustainable Balsam fir are New Brunswick's most common tree species, which are best-suited for extremely cold climates. As temperatures rise, this species becomes more vulnerable. Clark said Replant is putting a focus on planting hardwood trees, including Birch and Mountain Ash species, as they're more adaptable to the climate, better at collecting and storing carbon, and are preferable for Canada's wildlife. "This is good for climate change adaptation, certainly a lot of wildlife prefer to see hardwood trees," said Clark. He said the challenge is these seedlings aren't popular or easy to find. A longtime tree planter Clark began his 30-year-long tree planting career travelling between British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Replant began as an educational website for prospering tree planters, to learn about job opportunities and planting techniques. Clark said the company grew to offer larger scale commercial reforestation contracts and forestry consulting engagements. Just a few years ago, he opened the environmental branch of Replant in Sackville.
OTTAWA — Newly released documents show Statistics Canada considered delaying this year's census until 2022 over pandemic-related health concerns that could erode the quality of data relied on by policymakers across the country. An agency document noted the plan for the 2021 census was developed in a "normal operating context" where tens of thousands of staff and temporary hires would interact with each other and Canadians. In a pandemic, the document noted, that plan had "a high probability of failure." The behind-the-scenes look at how Statistics Canada rethought this year's census operation is contained in 50 pages of internal reports and presentations obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. The agency ultimately decided to forge ahead with the census for this year using a plan that relies more heavily on Canadians filling out census forms online than on face-to-face interactions. Jan Kestle, president and CEO of Environics Analytics, said the census needed to go ahead as planned this year to get a baseline reading on how families, communities and businesses are faring to guide decision-making for a post-pandemic recovery. "It's not like we're in a period where there's something weird for a month. We have lived for a year (with the pandemic) and we're going to live with the implications of this for a long time," she said. "Having a census that's as good as it can be, is extremely important to the economic recovery, and the health of Canadians." Census results can help reshape electoral ridings and determine federal funding to provinces for health care, and to cities for infrastructure. Local officials use the census to decide where to plan new transit services, roads, schools and hospitals. A census takes seven years between the start of planning to the release of data. "This is a large piece of machinery that does not turn on a dime," said Michael Haan, an associate professor of sociology from Western University, and director of the school's Statistcs Canada Research Data Centre. "If they were going to shift courses by perhaps extending the census for a year, or whatever they may have chosen to do, they needed to have those deliberations well in advance of the census moment." Waiting until 2022, after the widespread distribution of vaccines, could lead to a more "normal" operation , officials wrote in one document, adding that results would better reflect typical trends rather than "an atypical year of widespread societal disruption." But it would also miss some impacts of COVID-19, including connecting detailed income data from the Canada Revenue Agency to different neighbourhoods to see the full effects of pandemic aid programs. "We have a bit of a sense of this already, but nothing as accurate and as complete as the census for giving a true picture of how much hardship the (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) may have saved us," Haan said. In July, officials said no to adding any pandemic-specific questions to the census form because it was "not the right vehicle" for collecting the information. As well, adding a question on short notice could be problematic since every question has to be thoroughly tested. "When you introduce new subject matter into a questionnaire, you run the risk of changing the way people respond to other questions," Haan said. It also takes the agency months before it can release the data for public consumption, meaning the information could be far out of date by 2022 given the fluidity of the pandemic. Statistics Canada's plan for this year's census relies more on online responses and telephone follow-ups than going door-to-door, opening up the internet option to everyone in the country for the first time. Geoff Bowlby, director general at Statistics Canada responsible for the census, said the agency expects about eight in every 10 people to respond to the census online. Enumerators going door-to-door will be masked and get responses from outside the home rather than inside as in previous census cycles, Bowlby said. Hundreds of workers hired as administrators for enumerators are going to work from home rather than temporary office space, he added. Some work can't be done remotely, such as in the scanning centres that turn paper returns into digital data. Bowlby said the agency has adjusted the number of workers in the facility, split them into cohorts, and put in a health and safety plan that includes the provision of N95 masks. "At the end of the day, we do expect to have high response to the census and that data will be of high quality, the same quality that Canadians expect from the census, and it will be a safe operation," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
For Tendai Dongo, the stress and anxiety was just too much at times. A project manager at a digital education company based in Calgary, she has spent much of the pandemic balancing her job with the needs of her young daughters. With her husband's insurance job requiring him to be out of the house frequently, the majority of the child-care responsibilities fell to her. Everything came to a head in December. "I felt that I had to quit," said Tendai Dongo, who works at Xpan Interactive Ltd. "I had to choose … a full-time career or my mental health." The mother of two girls aged five and eight years old told her employer that working full-time from home while parenting was causing her a lot of stress and anxiety. "I was just going to throw in the towel. I did not have any other opportunity out there waiting for me," said Dongo. But the chaos of watching employees juggle school closures, virtual learning, quarantines and their jobs could lead to more empathetic workplaces. Some companies, including Dongo's, are thinking creatively about how to build more flexible work arrangements for their employees. A year into the pandemic, parents are feeling the effects of being tugged in all directions — particularly women. An online survey of 1,001 working Canadians conducted between Feb. 9 and 15 by ADP Canada and Leger found half of working mothers (50 per cent) reported experiencing high stress levels due to balancing child-care obligations and work, compared to 40 per cent of working fathers. Data released by Statistics Canada also shows pandemic job losses are disproportionately affecting women. In January, for example, the employment decline for woman was more than double that of men, with 73,000 fewer women working that month compared to 33,500 fewer men. The numbers also showed the decline in employment was pronounced among mothers whose youngest child was between the ages of six and 12. Their employment rate fell 2.9 percentage points, compared to a drop of 0.9 percentage points for all working adults. 'It's really, really impossibly hard' For Danielle Ellenor, working a full-time job as an account associate for a printing company that offered little flexibility while she was home with her young children was too overwhelming. "It takes a huge toll on your mental health, on your kid's mental health," said Ellenor, an Ottawa mother of two girls aged six and seven. "It's really, really impossibly hard." Her partner has been working from home too, but his management job in software sales has him in virtual meetings most of the day. Ottawa mother of two Danielle Ellenor quit her job in December for a more flexible career.(Mathieu Thériault/CBC) In December, knowing that more school closures were coming, Ellenor left the company she had been with for almost 10 years to focus on her kids and transition to a more flexible career in real estate. "It's a gamble that I decided to make," said Ellenor. There's concern that many other women may drop out of the workforce permanently. 'We could lose an entire class of future leaders' McKinsey & Company conducted an online survey of more than 40,000 workers across Canada and the United States between June and August 2020. The survey found that one in four women were contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. "We would lose an entire class of future leaders and in some cases existing leaders, because it spans all the way to the highest levels of organizations," said Alexis Krivkovich, a senior partner at the global consulting firm. But amidst the crisis comes opportunity, she said. Some companies are finding creative ways to retain their employees, such as flexible time-off schedules, re-imagining performance management and thinking differently about working hours. "We need more of that creative thinking now to make sure that the one in four women who are saying, 'I'm not sure I can make it through this moment' come out the other side," Krivkovich said. Letting employees chart their own paths Vancouver-based software company Bananatag has embraced flexibility during the pandemic by coming up with a "choose your own adventure" schedule for its 130 employees. "We are quite flexible on location, preferred work style, preferred hours," said Agata Zasada, vice-president of people and culture at Bananatag. Agata Zasada, vice-president of people and culture at Vancouver-based Bananatag, says the company's 'choose your own adventure' schedule has kept all of their staff employed over the course of the pandemic (Dillon Hodgin/CBC) With about 50 per cent of their workforce made up of women and many parents on staff, the company wanted to remove a level of uncertainty for all of its employees. "We haven't lost anyone through the pandemic due to not being able to be flexible enough," said Zasada. Post-pandemic Bananatag will continue to let employees choose their own schedules. The company also plans to become even more flexible by entertaining the idea of job sharing and becoming more project-based. Carly Holm, founder and CEO of Holm & Company, a human resources company, is hopeful that some good will come out of this challenging year. "We've proven that we can be flexible and still be successful and be productive and that nine-to-five is irrelevant," said Holm. "It is completely arbitrary and doesn't work for a lot of people." Holm's firm offers HR services for small to medium-sized businesses. She says results of her client's employee engagement surveys show that employees are happier when given flexibility, and that companies offering it are performing better. "The companies that encourage that and have kind of that flexible, remote work, they're going to be the ones that are going to retain the people, retain women," said Holm. COVID ... has catapulted institutional mindsets around flexible work into the future - Jennifer Hargreaves, founder of Tellent When Dongo, the project manager in Calgary, told her boss she couldn't mentally handle being a full-time employee and a mother right now, her workplace took action. Instead of letting her quit, Xpan Interactive came up with a solution that she says is working well. The company dropped her workload from eight clients to one and reduced her to part-time flexible hours. She now works when she wants and when she can. Dongo's salary has also been reduced. She admits she and her husband have had to start dipping into their savings, but she appreciates that her company came up with a solution that allows her to stay in the workforce. "I still have that sense of purpose that I am still continuing in my career," said Dongo. Creating your own flexibility Since 2016, Jennifer Hargreaves has been an advocate for more flexibility and has successfully placed women in flexible higher paying jobs through her virtual networking platform. "One of the benefits … of COVID is that it has catapulted institutional mindsets around flexible work into the future," said Hargreaves, founder of Tellent, a network that provides women with access to flexible job opportunities. Jennifer Hargreaves, founder of networking platform Tellent, says the need for flexible work among her members has skyrocketed.(Submitted by Jennifer Hargreaves) Among her 10,000 members, she says the need for flexible work has skyrocketed. The first step in finding that flexible job, according to Hargreaves, starts with your current employer. She encourages women to approach their companies, as Dongo did, to see if they can draw up new arrangements. "There's no better time like right now to negotiate what you want because everything's up in the air," Hargreaves said. "Employers are starting from scratch and they're trying to figure out what this looks like as well."
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday March 8, 2021. There are 886,574 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 886,574 confirmed cases (30,268 active, 834,067 resolved, 22,239 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,489 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 79.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18,880 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,697. There were 26 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 245 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 35. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.52 per 100,000 people. There have been 25,159,921 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,006 confirmed cases (91 active, 909 resolved, six deaths). There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 17.43 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 19 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 201,814 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 141 confirmed cases (26 active, 115 resolved, zero deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 16.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 112,416 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,659 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,565 resolved, 65 deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 366,679 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,455 confirmed cases (36 active, 1,391 resolved, 28 deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.61 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 25 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 242,695 tests completed. _ Quebec: 292,631 confirmed cases (7,100 active, 275,059 resolved, 10,472 deaths). There were 707 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 82.8 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,891 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 699. There were seven new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 79 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 122.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,452,036 tests completed. _ Ontario: 308,296 confirmed cases (10,389 active, 290,840 resolved, 7,067 deaths). There were 1,299 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 70.51 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,069. There were 15 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 87 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.96 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,205,314 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 32,225 confirmed cases (1,130 active, 30,188 resolved, 907 deaths). There were 56 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 81.93 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 366 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 52. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 12 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 541,269 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 29,709 confirmed cases (1,517 active, 27,794 resolved, 398 deaths). There were 116 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 128.7 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,062 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 152. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 590,938 tests completed. _ Alberta: 135,837 confirmed cases (4,949 active, 128,974 resolved, 1,914 deaths). There were 300 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 111.92 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,333 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 333. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 43.28 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,445,307 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 83,107 confirmed cases (4,975 active, 76,752 resolved, 1,380 deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 96.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,653 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 379. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 25 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.81 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,969,444 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,232 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (one active, 41 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,849 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 381 confirmed cases (25 active, 355 resolved, one deaths). There were four new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 63.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 24 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,852 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday March 8, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 57,567 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,387,189 doses given. Nationwide, 565,719 people or 1.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 6,298.772 per 100,000. There were 316,360 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,938,570 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 81.24 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. In the province, 1.61 per cent (8,427) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 5,850 new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 41,470 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.7 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,105 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 13,281 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 83.724 per 1,000. In the province, 3.32 per cent (5,273) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 1,170 new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 15,885 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 10 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.61 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,657 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 38,676 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 39.631 per 1,000. In the province, 1.48 per cent (14,395) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 11,700 new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 73,680 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 52.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. In the province, 1.56 per cent (12,142) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 9,360 new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 56,135 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 60.11 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 16,124 new vaccinations administered for a total of 548,136 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 64.06 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85.85 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 30,192 new vaccinations administered for a total of 890,604 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.63 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (271,807) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 183,460 new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 1,086,745 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.95 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,106 new vaccinations administered for a total of 89,728 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 65.162 per 1,000. In the province, 2.20 per cent (30,334) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 124,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 71.87 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 1,428 new vaccinations administered for a total of 91,884 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 77.924 per 1,000. In the province, 2.38 per cent (28,011) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 18,540 new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 93,145 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 98.65 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 7,717 new vaccinations administered for a total of 290,391 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 65.967 per 1,000. In the province, 2.07 per cent (90,937) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 51,480 new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 326,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 311,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.646 per 1,000. In the province, 1.69 per cent (86,865) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 385,080 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 21,097 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 505.547 per 1,000. In the territory, 18.75 per cent (7,826) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 16,100 new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 35,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 84 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 60.28 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. In the territory, 10.10 per cent (4,558) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 16,200 new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 35,300 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 78 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 56.02 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,911 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 359.216 per 1,000. In the territory, 13.28 per cent (5,144) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 2,500 new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 26,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 68 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 52.69 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
Ontario pharmacists start a COVID-19 vaccine program this week at 330 locations to provide the AstraZeneca vaccine to customers aged 60 to 64 as lockdown restrictions ease in two major regions.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday said the city's government “fully welcomes” changes to the city’s electoral system that will substantially increase central government control over Hong Kong politics and exclude critics of Beijing. Chinese authorities have said the draft decision before China's National People’s Congress would mean the largely pro-Beijing committee that elects Hong Kong’s leader would also choose a large part of the legislature to ensure the city is run by “patriots.” The Election Committee would also have the right to vet candidates for the Legislative Council, weeding out any people suspected of being insufficiently loyal to China and the ruling Communist Party. Currently, half of Hong Kong’s legislature is directly elected by voters, although the mass resignation of opposition legislators to protest the expulsion of four of their colleagues for being “unpatriotic" means the body is now entirely controlled by Beijing loyalists. “There are loopholes in the electoral systems, there are also flaws in the systems in Hong Kong,” Lam said at a news conference after she returned from the National People's Congress in Beijing. “I fully understand that this is not a matter that can be addressed entirely by the government.” “I’m glad that the central authorities have, again, exercised its constitutional powers to help address this problem for Hong Kong,” she said. She declined to elaborate on the views she had shared with the central authorities regarding electoral reforms, and said many pieces of legislation in Hong Kong would have to be amended. The NPC, China’s ceremonial legislature, will all but certainly endorse the draft decision, though it may not take immediate legal effect. The planned electoral changes have drawn criticism in Hong Kong and abroad, including from the United States. On Friday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price denounced them, saying, “These are a direct attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy, Hong Kong’s freedoms, and the democratic processes, limiting participation, reducing democratic representation, and stifling political debate in order to defy the clear will of the people of Hong Kong and to deny their voice in their own government and governance." On the same day, China rallied its allies at the U.N., with Belarus — a country whose security forces have cracked down brutally on opponents of longtime authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko — speaking in support of the changes. “That a large number of developing countries have once again joined hands to raise their voices for justice at the U.N. Human Rights Council fully reflects that facts speak louder than words and will always prevail," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Monday. “China’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering." Unconfirmed reports say the legislation will also expand the size of the Legislative Council from 70 to 90 and the Election Committee from 1,200 to 1,500. Seats on the Election Committee now reserved for directly elected district counsellors will also be eliminated, further cementing Beijing's control over the body. Lam also said she could not confirm whether legislative elections — already postponed last September for one year, ostensibly because of the coronavirus pandemic — would be further deferred due to the electoral reforms. She said central government authorities are “very sincere and very committed in trying to move towards the objective of universal suffrage,” which was promised to Hong Kong under the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution that was drawn up when the British handed Hong Kong to China in 1997. Universal suffrage would give Hong Kong voters the right to vote for the city’s leader, although only candidates approved by Beijing would be allowed to run. Hong Kong has in recent months cracked down on dissent, and most of the city's prominent opposition figures — including pro-democracy activists and former lawmakers — are in jail or in exile. About 100 people, most of whom are pro-democracy activists and supporters, have been charged under the city's sweeping national security law since it was implemented in June. The NPC imposed the law on Hong Kong, bypassing the Legislative Council, saying it was necessary to restore order after increasingly violent anti-government protests in 2019. The legislation criminalizes secession, subversion, collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the city's affairs and terrorism. Zen Soo, The Associated Press
German technology group Bosch said on Monday it would open an automotive chip factory in Dresden in June to build on its leadership in sensor chips that will boost the electric car industry. The 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) plant will produce sensor chips to be installed in electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Bosch began testing the fully automated production of prototype chips, a step towards starting full-scale production at the end of the year, it said.
Receipts, like memories, tend to fade with time. That’s just one reason to digitize and track tax-related information. The right apps and habits can save space, time, money and hassle — but only if you use them. “Apps should make things easier, not more complicated,” says Clare Levison, a certified public accountant in Blacksburg, Virginia. “The definition of a good app is what works for you, not the one that’s the trendiest.” USE TOOLS YOU ALREADY HAVE Apps don’t have to be elaborate. The camera on your phone, for example, can capture receipts and other documentation. Levison recommends regularly transferring those images to a designated folder in your photo app to make them easier to find later. “You don’t want those photos mixed in with all your other selfies and whatever,” Levison says. Similarly, you can create folders in your email account to collect tax-related documents. If you’re an active investor, for example, you can put your trade confirmations there (or set up a filter so the confirmations are routed there automatically). If you purchase supplies for your business online, a folder can collect emailed receipts. Another commonplace tool that can be helpful, especially for anyone claiming business expenses or mileage, is a calendar app. These records can help document meetings with clients, business travel and other potentially deductible events. “The IRS auditor always asks for a copy of my calendar,” says Leonard Wright, a San Diego CPA who’s been audited four times. Calendar records should be kept for at least seven years, which is how long the IRS typically has to audit you. (There’s no time limit if the agency suspects tax fraud, however, so be sure your choice of electronic calendar lets you retain enough history. ) You also need to regularly download monthly statements from your financial institutions, says Kelley C. Long, a CPA and personal finance specialist in Chicago. If the IRS suspects you’ve underreported income, it may ask for bank and brokerage statements. If you use a credit card for business or other tax-related purposes, those statements can help support your deductions. While the institutions are required to keep your records for several years, you may have to pay fees to access older statements. BE SURE YOU’RE STORING FOR THE LONG TERM Ideally, your computer and phone are already being backed up into the cloud so that you can access your data if the devices are lost, stolen or destroyed. If not, you want to make sure that at least your tax information is regularly transferred to a secure cloud storage system or other safe, off-site location. The key is to keep information safe and accessible, which means choosing electronic over paper wherever possible. Paper is bulky, inefficient and vulnerable to all kinds of disasters, including fire and flood. Ink can fade, particularly on receipts needed to document expenses (credit card or bank statements typically aren’t considered enough documentation without the accompanying receipts). “I usually tell business owners, ‘No receipt, then no deduction,’” says Bob Fay, a CPA in Canton, Ohio, who is also a consumer financial education advocate for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. “This is a short message that sticks with them as they have so much on their plate every day.” But the time the IRS gets around to asking for those receipts, all you may have left is flimsy, unreadable paper if you haven’t captured a digital version, Levison says. Also, paper documents can cost you more. “People still give their CPAs literally a shoebox,” Long says. “What your CPA does then is pay one of their interns to scan all that stuff into their systems and they charge you for that.” CONSIDER SPECIALIZED APPS TO MAKE IT EASY Sometimes, specialized apps can make sense. Scanner apps can help you capture tax-related paperwork, and some have optical character recognition that allows you to turn images into editable — and searchable — files. If you have an iPhone or iPad and itemize your expenses, ItsDeductible and iDonatedIt can help you track charitable gifts throughout the year and find values for noncash donations, such as clothes and household goods. (These apps don’t have Android versions.) Apps that create expense reports, such as Expensify or Everlance, can help gig workers and other self-employed people track business-related costs. Wright, the much-audited CPA, swears by apps that help track mileage, such as MileIQ, TripLog or Everlance. “Many of these apps are easy to maintain and allow you to track and distinguish between business or personal use,” Wright says. “They’re so simple you can do that while you’re in line at the supermarket.” But it’s crucial to develop the habit of using the apps and other processes you set up, says CPA Tim Todd of Lynchburg, Virginia. Otherwise, you’re not creating the digital paper trail you’ll need to survive an audit. Plus, you could be costing yourself money. “Keeping records in real time can also help make sure you don’t forget those items come tax time,” Todd says. ____________________________ This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @lizweston. RELATED LINK: NerdWallet: Tax prep checklist: What to gather before filing http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-tax-prep-checklist Liz Weston Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
Bishop Richard Howell Jr. thundered from his North Minneapolis pulpit Sunday that the city "is under great stress right now" as the George Floyd murder trial tests how much, if anything, will change in the U.S. almost 10 months after the killing sparked global outrage. Jury selection for the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, whose knee pressing on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes was captured on graphic video last May, is expected to get underway this week. "This officer coldly refused to respond to his plea and kept his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck, snuffing the very life out of him," preached Howell as his congregants shouted out their acknowledgement. "A senseless, cold, hideous act of hate, bigotry and brutality," said Howell, who is opening his church to those who may struggle watching the live-streamed trial. WATCH | Security high in advance of trial in George Floyd's killing: Benjamin Crump, the Floyd family's lawyer, told CBC News that the upcoming case is "one of the most important civil rights cases in the last 100 years. It is the Emmett Till of today." Till, a 14-year-old Black teenager, was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly flirting with a white woman in a grocery store. His killers were swiftly acquitted. "Mississippi or Minnesota, I don't see much difference," Deborah Watts, one of Till's cousins, said at a Minneapolis news conference on Friday surrounded by dozens of families whose relatives have been shot or killed by police. "Emmett Till was murdered in August 1955, and we are still fighting for justice. "Something is wrong with that ... we have not made much progress." Last summer, millions of people protested across the U.S. against Floyd's killing in scenes not witnessed since the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Protests against racial injustice and police brutality spread to Canada and many cities internationally. WATCH | Lawyer for George Floyd's family discusses upcoming trial: Crump said the video of Floyd — handcuffed, face down on the pavement, gasping for breath — is "ocular proof" of a man being "tortured to death by the very people who are supposed to protect and defend." "The world had gotten used to seeing reality TV, but we were still shocked," he told CBC News from his office in Tallahassee, Fla. The criminal trial against Chauvin will be prosecuted by the state of Minnesota. While Crump is not directly involved in this case, its outcome will inevitably impact the family's civil case against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers involved in Floyd's death. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, with the potential addition of a third-degree murder charge. The Minnesota Court of Appeals last week ordered the judge in the case to reconsider a request by prosecutors to reinstate a third-degree murder charge, which means jury selection will not begin until at least Tuesday. Three other officers involved in Floyd's death go on trial in August. Increased security around courthouse Cameras in the courtroom will capture the trial and live stream it for broadcast on some TV channels — a first for Minnesota. The trial is being compared to that of the Los Angeles police officers who were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King 30 years ago, as well as the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which commanded large TV audiences. "The killing of George Floyd by Officer Chauvin is akin for many Americans to some type of public lynching, the likes of which we haven't seen for decades," said Kami Chavis, a law professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. "I don't want people to underestimate the power and the importance of this case and what might happen," she said. "It's a huge signal, I think, to law enforcement about what they can and can't do." The Hennepin County courthouse and many federal buildings in Minneapolis are barricaded and surrounded by concertina wire ahead of the trial.(Sylvia Thomson/CBC) The Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis is now surrounded by three rings of cement barriers, three-metre high fencing and concertina wire. The state has allocated $36 million US to security and has activated the Minnesota National Guard. Staff in the building, which includes the county government office, have been told to stay home. The courtroom has been modified to accommodate physical distancing due to COVID-19, restricting the number of people allowed inside. One person per family, four each for the defence and prosecution teams and two media members are allowed in at a time. Masks are mandatory, but cannot have anything written on them. Challenges in selecting a jury Three weeks have been allotted to jury selection as lawyers try to screen potential jurors for bias, a complicated task in such a highly publicized case. Activists in Minneapolis say Chauvin is the fourth police officer to be prosecuted in the death of a citizen in Minnesota. Two were acquitted, while one other was convicted in the death of a white woman. "For the most part, officers are pretty sympathetic figures in a lot of these cases. And juries give a great deal of deference to what police officers do. So that will be a challenge as well," Chavis said. The courtroom for Chauvin's trial has been modified to allow for physical distancing due to COVID-19.(Hennepin County) One of those acquittals involved the death of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by police in July 2016 in a St. Paul suburb while stopped at a traffic light with his girlfriend and a four-year-old in the car. The officer, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter, was acquitted — but fired from the force. Castile's mother, Valerie Castile, sent a message to legislators during Friday's emotional news conference. "We're gonna have to be brutally honest about what's going on in this country", she said. "To the State of Minnesota: we are not going to shut up, we are not going to sit down, we are going to stand in unity and we're going to bring it to you". 'Many other people were murdered before George Floyd' The death of Floyd, who was originally from Texas, has propelled the fight against anti-Black racism and police brutality back into the forefront.. Artwork of the 46-year-old's face has popped up on billboards, buildings and in museums, and his death has become a lightning rod for thousands of Black families whose relatives have been stopped, shot or killed by police in their communities. "What happened after George Floyd's death — the riots, the uproar — did not happen as a result of one man's life. It happened because many other people were murdered before George Floyd. And nothing happened. Nothing changed", Toshira Garraway, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, told CBC News. Garraway's fiancé, Justin Teigen, died following a run-in with police 12 years ago. According to St. Paul police, Teigen was fleeing police and did not die in their custody. A mural showing his face along with dozens of others, including Floyd's, covers the side of a building in North Minneapolis. It serves as a visual reminder of the more than 400 people who've been killed in altercations with police in Minnesota in the last 20 years, according to the Communities United Against Police Brutality advocacy group. "If George Floyd did something wrong, if all the rest of our loved ones did something wrong, [police] were to arrest them. Not take their lives, not destroy our lives," Garraway said. Toshira Garraway, who founded Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, stands in front of a mural of Minnesotans who have died after police encounters.(Sylvia Thomson/CBC) Crump said the Floyd family is "very, very anxious" and wants "a conviction to the fullest extent of the law." He said anything less has the potential to unleash more unrest. Violence and riots last summer in the days after Floyd's killing burned blocks of the city, with damage estimated at $350 million US. Minneapolis is bracing against heightened tensions when the case goes to the jury, which is expected to happen late April or May. "Historically in America, the police have not been held accountable for killing African Americans," said Crump, who has taken on dozens of cases where Black men and women have been shot or injured by police. "The George Floyd case will be a referendum on how far America has come in this quest for equal justice under the law."
Windsor city council has approved the final design for a parkette in Olde Walkerville. The parkette will be located at the corner of Devonshire Road and Riverside Drive and feature a bronze statue of Hiram Walker. The statue depicts Hiram Walker in a walking pose atop six whiskey barrels. He has blueprints under his arm and he's headed into Walkerville to build the town. "Normally, you see Hiram Walker depicted as an older fellow. I wanted him to be young and youthful, more, in his 50s when he was just getting out, developing Walkerville," said sculptor Mark Williams, who created the eight-foot statue two years ago. The bronze statue of Hiram Walker will be the centre piece of the new parkette.(Mark Williams) It took the city that length of time to find the right location and then negotiate with the Hiram Walker distillery for the small parcel of land. It will act as a cornerstone of the city's planned distillery district. "Having him be kind of a key piece in this gateway into old Walkerville is a really good fit," said Heidi Baillargeon, manager of parks development. Baillargeon said the design by architectural firm Brook McIlroy also features cobblestone paving, benches, lighting, landscaping and some decorative granite retaining walls with planters. The statue is currently in storage awaiting the completion of the parkette. The corner of Devonshire Road and Riverside Drive is where the parkette will be located.(Dale Molnar/CBC) Chris Edwards, publisher of Walkerville Publishing says Walker was a humble man who would probably be a little uncomfortable with the honour, but Edwards says it will be a real asset to the area. "I think it brings a lot of attention to Walkerville.It should certainly, once COVID settles down and people sort of get back to normal, should drive a lot of traffic ... People will want to see it." Even though in real life Hiram Walker was only about five feet tall or so Williams made the statue eight feet tall on purpose to reflect how much larger than life Walker was. "When you think of everything he's done ... Walker farms that used to be out there and all the trains all the way through the county. So, yeah, he was pretty big for a little guy," said Williams laughing. Now that council has approved the project, it will be tendered out — with the $1,174,432 parkette expected to be finished by July, just in time for Walker's birthday.
NEW YORK — It’s sleepy by Donald Trump’s standards, but the former president's century-old estate in New York's Westchester County could end up being one of his bigger legal nightmares. Seven Springs, a 213-acre swath of nature surrounding a Georgian-style mansion, is a subject of two state investigations: a criminal probe by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and a civil inquiry by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Both investigations focus on whether Trump manipulated the property's value to reap greater tax benefits from an environmental conservation arrangement he made at the end of 2015, while running for president. Purchased by Trump in 1995 for $7.5 million, Seven Springs drew renewed scrutiny as he prepared to leave office and was on the cusp of losing legal protections he had as president. Vance issued new subpoenas in mid-December, and a judge ordered evidence to be turned over to James' office nine days after Trump departed Washington. Other Trump legal woes, such as inquiries into his attempts to influence election officials and payments made on his behalf to women alleging affairs, have dominated the headlines. But former Manhattan prosecutor Duncan Levin said white-collar investigators go wherever the paper trail leads. “While a tax issue related to a conservation arrangement might not be as sexy as a hush-money payment, prosecutors are likely to focus on any violation of law that they find,” Levin said. “Remember, the authorities got Al Capone on tax evasion.” Seven Springs is an outlier in a Trump real estate portfolio filled with glossy high-rises and gold-plated amenities. It is listed on his website as a family retreat, although Trump hasn’t been there in more than four years. At the heart of the estate is the mansion built as a summer getaway in 1919 by Eugene Meyer, who went on to become Federal Reserve chairman and owner of The Washington Post. In 2006, while pushing a plan to build luxury homes on the property, Trump floated the idea that he and his family were going to move into the mansion, but that never happened. Brand new, the 28,322-square-foot dwelling featured more than a dozen bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley and a tennis court. Meyer's daughter, the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, was married at Seven Springs in 1940. In her memoir “Personal History,” Graham described ambivalent emotions about going there, writing: “The older I got, the more I disliked the loneliness of the farm, but in my childhood days, it was, as I wrote my father when I was 10, ‘a great old Place.’” At one point, Meyer owned about 700 acres. A philanthropic foundation established by him and his wife, Agnes, gifted 247 acres to the Nature Conservancy and the remaining land and buildings that made up Seven Springs to Yale University in 1973, after Agnes Meyer's death. The estate changed hands again when the foundation took it back from Yale and operated a conference centre there before passing the real estate holdings to Rockefeller University, which eventually sold it to Trump. Trump paid about $2.25 million under the list price for Seven Springs, acquiring the land as part of an effort to jumpstart his fortunes after a series of failures in the early 1990s, including casino bankruptcies and the sale of his money-losing Trump Shuttle airline. Trump envisioned transforming it into his first championship-calibre golf course, with an exclusive clientele and lofty membership fees. He hired an architecture firm to plot fairways and greens but abandoned the effort when residents voiced concerns that lawn chemicals would contaminate neighbouring Byram Lake, a local source of drinking water. Trump’s then tried building houses. He proposed putting up 46 single-family homes, and after that plan also met community opposition, 15 mansion-sized dwellings which he described in 2004 as “super-high-end residential, the likes of which has never been seen on the East Coast.” The project was held up by years of litigation and no homes were ever built. In 2009, Trump made a splash by allowing Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to pitch his Bedouin-style tent on the Seven Springs property north of New York City because he had no other place to stay for a U.N. visit. Trump initially suggested he didn’t know Gaddafi was involved, but later conceded he “made a lot of money” renting the land to the Libyan leader. Local officials halted work on the tent and Gaddafi never stayed there. His development plans dashed, Trump opted for a strategy that would allow him to keep the property but reduce his taxes. He granted an easement to a conservation land trust to preserve 158 acres (60 hectares) of meadows and mature forest. Trump received a $21 million income tax deduction, equal to the value of the conserved land, according to property and court records. The amount was based on a professional appraisal that valued the full Seven Springs property at $56.5 million as of Dec. 1, 2015. That was a much higher amount that the evaluation by local government assessors, who said the entire estate was worth $20 million. Michael Colangelo, a lawyer in the New York attorney general's office, outlined the central question involving the Seven Springs easement at a hearing last year regarding a dispute over evidence. “If the value of the easement was improperly inflated, who obtained the benefit from that improper inflation and in what amounts?” Colangelo said. “It goes without saying that the attorney general needs to see the records that would reflect the value of that deduction, as it flowed up to intermediate entities, and ultimately to Mr. Trump, personally.” A message seeking comment was left with Trump’s spokesperson. In the past, the Republican ex-president has decried the investigations as part of a “witch hunt.” Seven Springs caught investigators’ attention after Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen told a congressional committee in 2019 that Trump had a habit of manipulating property values — inflating them in some cases and minimizing them in others to gain favourable loan terms and tax benefits. Cohen testified that Trump had financial statements saying Seven Springs was worth $291 million as of 2012. He gave copies of three of Trump's financial statements to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform during his testimony. Cohen said the statements, from 2011, 2012 and 2013, were ones Trump gave to his main lender, Deutsche Bank, to inquire about a loan to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills and to Forbes magazine to substantiate his claim to a place on its list of the world's wealthiest people. Trump, on his annual financial disclosure forms while president, said the property was worth between $25 million and $50 million. New York's attorney general was first to act. James issued subpoenas to commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield for records relating to its assessment work on Trump’s behalf; to law firms that worked on the Seven Springs project; and to Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, for records relating to its annual financial statements and the conservation easement. James also subpoenaed zoning and planning records in 2019 from the three towns Seven Springs spans. Vance followed with his own subpoenas in December. One town clerk said investigators were given “boxes and boxes of documents” in response. They included tax statements, surveying maps, environmental studies and planning board meeting minutes. James’ investigators have interviewed Trump’s son, Eric Trump, an executive vice-president at the Trump Organization and the president of the limited liability company through which it owns Seven Springs; Trump’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg; and lawyers Trump hired for the Seven Springs project who specialize in land-use and federal tax controversies. The investigators have yet to determine whether any law was broken. Vance, who like James is a Democrat, hasn’t disclosed much about his criminal probe, in part because of grand jury secrecy rules. The district attorney's office has said in court papers that it is focusing on public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.” Documents filed in connection with the criminal investigation — buoyed by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month granting Vance access to Trump’s tax records — have listed Seven Springs among possible targets. Along with the mansion, Seven Springs has a Tudor-style home once owned by ketchup magnate H.J. Heinz, and smaller carriage houses that Trump’s adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have said served as “home base” when they visited the estate to hike and ride ATVs. During his presidency, Trump himself opted for higher-profile properties like his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course and his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he’s been living since leaving the White House. The New York Times reported last year that Trump’s tax records showed he classified the estate not as a personal residence but an investment property, enabling him to write off more than $2 million in property taxes since 2014. ___ Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press
North Shore Rescue, Canada's most famous — and busiest — volunteer search and rescue team, pulls off about 130 operations every year in the popular hiking and skiing mountains immediately north of Vancouver. Increasingly, women are joining the ranks of the mostly male squad, bringing their expertise to the difficult and dangerous work of saving the lives of those lost or injured in the backcountry. Kayla Brolly, one of seven women currently on the 45-person team, joined NSR eight years ago. "I do this work because it is immensely rewarding," said Brolly, who is a nurse. "You feel a great sense of relief when you locate a subject ... then you move forward to the extraction and you know that you're able to try and get this person home to their families. And you just feel pretty proud of your team, too, because this work isn't easy." Surya Carmichael has volunteered with North Shore Rescue for four years.(Camille Vernet/Radio Canada) The demands of the job are not for the unfit or faint of heart. NSR is called out to a wide range of missions, from complex helicopter rescues in steep and snowy terrain, to searches for missing children and older people. And while it's true the majority of volunteers have historically been men, Brolly says women have proven themselves equally capable. "I think the physicality of the work for myself hasn't been impacted by the fact that I'm a woman — like at all. I've never struggled with any of the tasks I've been assigned and I don't think that's a barrier at all for women in this type of work," she said. Surya Carmichael said she immediately felt at home when she joined NSR four years ago. "The team has been very welcoming to women," she said. "There's a diversity — diversity of genders, but also of passions, experiences and ethnicity, which brings different ideas and it's better for the team." Brolly and Carmichael work on a nighttime ropes training maneuver.(Camille Vernet/Radio Canada) NSR members put in countless hours of training to keep their skills sharp, always looking for ways to mitigate the risk to themselves while doing their utmost to complete a successful rescue. Brolly says the work demands a combination of hard and soft skills, which she and her female teammates have in large supply. "I think the women bring a special element: very creative problem-solving, lots of experience with multitasking and just excellent skills. They come in with unbelievable mountaineering skills, navigation skills, rope rescue, all these different domains, and then we get to learn from each other," she said. Volunteering with NSR can take a toll on one's personal life in all sorts of ways — Brolly jokes that her financial planner hates her. Brolly, front, is featured in the Knowledge Network documentary series Search and Rescue: North Shore, giving viewers a glimpse into some of the harrowing rescues pulled off by the team. (Search and Rescue North Shore Facebook) But inevitably, the satisfaction of serving on the highly respected team has a way of outshining the negatives. "My favourite thing about search and rescue is the camaraderie," said Brolly. "When you do these pretty dangerous things in pretty tough places and go through tough situations, you create a lot of bonds."
Some residents in Toronto's east end say Metrolinx is finally consulting them about the impact of a GO expansion project that will affect a green space near their homes known as Small's Creek Ravine. The residents, who live in the area of Danforth and Woodbine avenues, will be invited to join a working group set up by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, before the project gets underway in their area. That working group will focus on the future of a path that provides a loop of the ravine. Metrolinx plans to widen a railway embankment to support a four-track, electrified Lakeshore East line. Trees will be removed from Small's Creek Ravine to enable crews to build a retaining wall and a new culvert as part of the project. The ravine, much loved by neighbourhood families, is tucked behind Copeland Avenue, between Coxwell and Woodbine Avenues, south of the Danforth. "We're optimistic. The fact that they're now suggesting they're going to include us in the discussions is a step forward," Mitch Robertson, a resident and a member of Save Small's Creek group, said on Sunday. "I think Metrolinx has not done a good job of communicating with any community groups so far. However, we do hope that this is a turning point. We want to be there from the beginning to discuss how this can actually be done so that everybody wins." Robertson said he doesn't think Metrolinx's latest plan offers any concessions, but the group is interested in presenting its ideas with the aim of preserving as much nature as possible. He noted that the group is not opposed to a fourth track or additional train service. Mitch Robertson, a resident and a member of Save Small's Creek group, says: 'I think Metrolinx has not done a good job of communicating with any community groups so far. However, we do hope that this is a turning point. We want to be there from the beginning to discuss how this can actually be done so that everybody wins.'(Keith Burgess/CBC) In the fall, residents had raised concerns about the expansion project's environmental impact, saying it means the loss of 268 trees because of clear cutting that will occur on either side of the ravine. Residents have tied ribbons around the trees to be cut down as a visible reminder of what will be lost. There is concern about the impact on the ravine's wildlife, local ecosystem and walking path. Residents believe Metrolinx did not consider neighbourhood use of the ravine by residents, community and school groups when it drew up its plans. "There's a limited amount of space like this in the city," Robertson said. Metrolinx to plant 2,000 more trees in community In an email to CBC News on Friday, Metrolinx says it has decided to add about 2,000 more trees to the community and to form the working group that will include residents, the city and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. That working group will determine a "potential solution" for reconnecting the path on the north side of the ravine that will be severed once the culvert is in place. Currently, the path on the north side connects with wooden steps on either side of the ravine and to the path on the south side that cuts through the often muddy bottom of the ravine. Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, says: 'We recognize the importance of the ravine and the natural refuge it offers residents and families. We will be restoring and enhancing the area with native species that will provide a better functioning ravine feature for both the community and wildlife that use it.'(Keith Burgess/CBC) Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, said in the email that construction work in the Small's Creek area will not begin until October 2021. Construction initially was set to begin in January. "In the coming weeks, Metrolinx will work with the contractor and community leaders to minimize tree removals as much as possible. A site tour will be held with the contractor to walk them through the ravine and talk them through what has been heard," Aikins said in the email. "We recognize the importance of the ravine and the natural refuge it offers residents and families. We will be restoring and enhancing the area with native species that will provide a better functioning ravine feature for both the community and wildlife that use it." Aikins said Metrolinx's restoration plan for the ravine includes a variety of plantings of native vegetation. There will be a minimum of 260 trees, 932 shrubs and 4,000 smaller plants planted to support naturalization, she said. "As many as possible of the approximately 2,000 trees Metrolinx is committed to planting will be in the Small's Creek area, in partnership with the TRCA and City of Toronto," Aikins said. Majority of trees to be cut down are invasive species Arborists consulted by Metrolinx have found that the ravine has many invasive species, which are crowding out the native vegetation and reducing the habitat that supports local wildlife. Small's Creek Ravine, much loved by neighbourhood families, is tucked behind Copeland Avenue, between Coxwell and Woodbine Avenues, south of the Danforth. (Keith Burgess/CBC) Of the 268 trees to be removed, 205 are invasive species, including Manitoba maple and Norway maple, she said. "The planting of native trees and other vegetation will help to restore the ecological function of the ravine," she added. "If not all of the 2,000 additional trees can be planted in Small's Creek due to space, we're committed to planting them elsewhere in the community. Places like parkettes, the nearby waterfront, and school fields are all locations up for discussion. In the coming months Metrolinx will be reaching out to the community to figure out where these trees can be planted and come up with some creative ideas for distribution," she said. In an interview, Aikins said of its latest plan: "We took that back to our arborists and to our contractor, and said: 'Let's try and do better.' We've come up with an alternative — it's not perfect for them, I know — but it's a better alternative with more trees." Resident says appreciation for ravine has grown Celeste Shirley, a resident whose property borders the ravine, said the popularity of the ravine has grown since residents raised concerns and since the pandemic started. She said foot traffic in the ravine has increased by about 20 per cent in recent months. "It's brought a lot of people to the ravine. I'm hearing more children there. There's an appreciation of the ravine that wasn't there before," Shirley said. "If they take out the path at the bottom of the ravine, we will only be able to go across the top," she added, saying that the loss of part of a loop through the forested area will be significant. Coun. Brad Bradford, who represents Ward 19, Beaches-East York, said the local residents have made a difference by speaking out. "We've seen the power of community-led change here. The folks at the Save Small's Creek group have really rallied to make sure their voices are heard, and they have forced themselves to the table," he said.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Chloe Zhao's success — she's the first Asian woman and the second woman ever to win a Golden Globe for best director for her film “Nomadland” — has not been met with universal applause in her country of birth. The Beijing-born filmmaker, now a leading Oscar contender, instead finds the news of her success overshadowed by a nationalist backlash regarding her citizenship and her identity. Censors have removed some social media posts about the film, which has raised questions about whether it will still be released in China. Over the past week, Chinese web users questioned whether Zhao, who was educated in the U.K. and the U.S., was still a Chinese citizen and if she could be counted as Chinese given a critical comment she made about the country in 2013. Even as some celebrated her win, others dug up two interviews where Zhao said things that they considered an “insult to China.” Now publicity about the film has been removed from social media, and at least two hashtags related to it have been disabled. Searching for the hashtags “Nomadland has a release date” and “No land to rely on” (the film's Chinese title) on popular microblog platform Weibo results in a message: “According to the relevant laws, regulations and policies, the page is not found.” A post on Weibo from the government-backed National Arthouse Alliance of Cinemas that had featured a poster for the film no longer displays the poster. On Douban, a popular app where many urban Chinese users discuss books, films and TV shows, the official Chinese poster for the movie as well as a release date in China were deleted Friday, according to Variety. The app's landing page for the movie, with comments and its English-language poster, remain visible. At the heart of the controversy are two quotes from previous interviews done by Zhao. Online users circulated screenshots from a 2013 interview with Filmmaker magazine where Zhao said, “It goes back to when I was a teenager in China, being in a place where there are lies everywhere.” The interview no longer shows the quote, but archived versions of the webpage showed the original. The second quote came from an interview Zhao did with an Australian website, news.com.au, in December last year where she said “the U.S. is now my country.” Although the news site updated the story on March 3 to say they had misquoted Zhao, and that the article “has been updated to reflect she said (the U.S. is) 'not' her country," the uncorrected version of the story was the one circulating widely on the Chinese internet. It is unclear if the film will still be released in China. It was slated to be released on April 23, according to Chinese media. The China Film Administration did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment. The online debate has been split. Nationalist commentators say Zhao betrayed her country, calling her “two-faced” and saying she left the country based on her father's wealth as a former CEO of a state-owned enterprise. Other observers called for the debate to remain focused on her movie, which follows the story of a woman who lives in a van after the company that was the economic engine of her town in Nevada shut its doors. A popular film critic, Chu Mufeng, praised Zhao and her film on his Weibo where he has 3 million followers, noting that “not only was she the first ethnically Chinese female director to win best director, she was also the first Asian woman.” However, one of the top comments underneath his post said: “An American female film director, thanks, don't praise her too much.” Chu responded to the comment, saying, “If an ethnically Chinese chef was great at cooking, would you ask him where he was from? Treat a good movie as if it's a feast, all you need to do is enjoy.” ___ Associated Press researcher Chen Si in Shanghai contributed to this report. Huizhong Wu, The Associated Press