British Columbia's premier has called on the federal government to restrict non-essential travel between provinces. B.C. is also considering a 14-day mandatory quarantine for travellers to Vancouver Island.
British Columbia's premier has called on the federal government to restrict non-essential travel between provinces. B.C. is also considering a 14-day mandatory quarantine for travellers to Vancouver Island.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania's courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state's lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state's lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbour deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly's lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state's high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state's justices refused Thursday, and Kelly's lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the state’s courts, justices cited the law’s 180-day time limit on filing legal challenges to its provisions, as well as the staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. In addition to challenging the state's mail-in voting law, Kelly’s lawyers question whether the state's justices violated their clients' constitutional rights by throwing out the case on the basis of time limits and barring them from refiling it on the same grounds. Lawyers for Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in court filings that Kelly's lawyers never before argued that the U.S. Constitution provides a basis for their claims, making it “highly unlikely” the U.S. Supreme Court will grant what they are seeking. In the underlying lawsuit, Kelly and the other Republican plaintiffs had sought to either throw out the 2.5 million mail-in ballots submitted under the law or to wipe out the election results and direct the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to pick Pennsylvania’s presidential electors. ___ Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter Marc Levy, The Associated Press
President Donald Trump's frantic effort in the courts to delegitimize an election he lost has come no closer in a month to reversing any results.Lawyers for Trump and his allies have asked judges in several states to take the drastic and unprecedented step of setting aside President-elect Joe Biden’s wins. They have filed new cases and vowed to press on with appeals.But the quantity of affidavits, lawsuits and claims made by Trump belies that they are spurious or often repetitive of arguments already rejected by judges and elections officials, some of them Republicans.Here is a look at where the legal action stands in several key states:ARIZONAA judge was holding a trial beginning Thursday brought by state Republican Party chair Kelli Ward alleging irregularities in signature verification on mail-in ballots. The judge let Ward’s lawyers and experts compare the signatures on 100 mail-in ballot envelopes with signatures on file to determine whether there were any irregularities. Ward’s lawyers found two problems: One person's vote for Trump was ultimately recorded as a vote for Biden, and another person's Trump vote was cancelled because the ballot had votes for both Trump and a write-in candidate.Courts there have already dismissed four other cases. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, certified Arizona's results on Monday. In a touch of symbolism, he declined a phone call from Trump while signing the certification papers. Lawyer Sidney Powell, who was recently kicked off Trump's legal team and has been pushing wild conspiracy theories about the election, has also filed a lawsuit there.PENNSYLVANIATrump has lost repeatedly in Pennsylvania, collecting a series of stinging rebukes from Republican-appointed judges. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a district judge's dismissal of a key lawsuit argued in an error-filled performance by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” wrote Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, nominated by Trump.The district judge, Matthew Brann, wrote of the complaint, “One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption." Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, noted that the campaign did not provide that evidence.Trump's lawyers have vowed to ask for review from the U.S. Supreme Court anyway.MICHIGANSix cases brought by Trump and Republican allies in Michigan have either been rejected or dropped. On Wednesday, Giuliani appeared at a public meeting with lawmakers and urged activists to pressure, even threaten, the GOP-controlled Legislature to “step up” and award the state’s 16 electoral votes to Trump despite Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.WISCONSINThe state’s Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear Trump's lawsuit seeking to overturn his loss in the battleground state. In a divided decision, the court didn’t rule on the merits of the claims but said the case must first wind its way through lower courts. Trump wants to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, Trump’s lawyers said they didn’t have enough time to start in a lower court.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”Trump's campaign filed a similar lawsuit in federal court Wednesday. Two other lawsuits filed by conservatives are still pending with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Powell has also filed a lawsuit seeking an order to decertify the election results in the state.____Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., David Eggert in Lansing, Mich., and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.Nomaan Merchant And Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
A group of current and former Black civil servants has issued a proposed class-action lawsuit against the federal government alleging it discriminated against Black employees for decades.They claim the government has excluded Black federal employees from being promoted."Our exclusion at the top levels of the public service, in my view, has really disenfranchised Canada from that talent and that ability and the culture that Black workers bring to the table and that different perspective," said Nicholas Marcus Thompson.Thompson is one of 12 former or current employees from multiple government departments who are representative plaintiffs in the class action. Lawyers representing them say the suit could ultimately cover tens of thousands of people who have worked in the federal public service since 1970.The lawsuit comes at a time of heightened awareness about systemic and anti-Black racism.In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said systemic racism "is an issue across the country, in all our institutions."The plaintiffs in the proposed class action are asking for $900 million in damages, a declaration from the government that it infringed on the group's charter rights and a plan going forward to promote more Black employees.It was filed in the Federal Court of Canada on Thursday and is awaiting certification. The government is expected to be served in the coming days. Lack of representation The lawyers representing the civil servants say the suit is likely the first of its kind in Canada involving Black public servants at the federal level. The statement of claim names more than 50 departments and agencies as comprising the public service.Last year, two Black Ontario government employees sued the Ontario Public Service, among others, alleging discrimination because they were Black women.In an interview in Toronto with CBC News, Thompson said that when he joined the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) six years ago, something felt off to him."When I became a Canadian citizen many years ago, I remember the citizenship judge saying that Canada is a place where freedom abounds and opportunities are endless. But when I joined the CRA, that was my expectation that I could join, start at any position and climb the ranks. And my goal was really to serve Canadians," he said."I quickly realized that the agency was not, you know, as I thought it would be: all inclusive and diverse."Thompson, who was a collections officer, said a lack of Black representation in the agency caused his morale and confidence to suffer. He also said the work environment was toxic and led to illness.When his doctor gave him a prescription for a "workplace accommodation," Thompson said he was told to clean closets because no other work was available. WATCH | What it will take to make civil service more representative:The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, which is the employer of the federal public service, said it could not comment on the allegations in the suit because it was before the courts."Systemic racism and discrimination is a painful lived reality for Black Canadians, racialized Canadians and Indigenous people," said spokesperson Bianca Healy in a statement. "The government has taken steps to address anti-Black racism, systemic discrimination and injustice across the country."She said that includes a recently announced $12 million for "a dedicated Centre on Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service."The CRA referred CBC News to the Treasury Board statement. Complaints in multiple departments and agenciesBernadeth Betchi is another representative plaintiff who also worked for the CRA off and on for several years.In a Skype interview, she described a toxic workplace where she said she experienced microaggressions and had to go on sick leave. She had to work twice as hard as her non-Black colleagues to get noticed, she said.Betchi ended up leaving the CRA and eventually found work at the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) — a federal organization that handles complaints about discrimination."Everything that they are about was everything that I am about, you know, it resonated with my values. It's there to help Canadians — Canadians who have been discriminated against, you know, on different grounds. And so I knew that this is where I needed to be," said Betchi, who's on a maternity leave from the CHRC.But her views quickly changed."When I started working there, I saw that, unfortunately, what the mandate says and what's being done inside of the organization is completely different. Black folks within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, my Black colleagues, are suffering. They're being — there's a lot of adverse differential treatment."When asked to comment on the allegations, CHRC said it "is committed to meeting the highest standards of equality, inclusion and representation" and that it has been "examining how racism may manifest itself within our organization and what steps might be needed to address it." "We know that Indigenous, Black and other racialized people face many societal, institutional and structural barriers to equality," said spokesperson Jeff Meldrum in an email."That is why work is underway to ensure that the views and perspectives of Indigenous, Black and other racialized employees on barriers that may exist within the Commission are heard and addressed. " WATCH | What has the Trudeau government done to diversify civil service?:Proposing solutions"There is a grave injustice that's taking place," said Courtney Betty, a Toronto lawyer involved in the class action."I think every Canadian should be troubled."Betty and his colleague, Hugh Scher, decided the lawsuit's time frame would start in 1970, the year Canada ratified the United Nations international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.In a joint interview, Betty and Scher spoke about possible solutions they hope will stem from the lawsuit if it's certified."There needs to be a third-party audit undertaken by an independent body, whether that's a former Supreme Court justice, whether that's a Black equity commission," Scher said.That third party should do a thorough review "to see what are the barriers to true equality and access and inclusion for Black employees, and what can be done about them," he said.Scher said another key element would be amending the federal Employment Equity Act.Its stated goal is "to achieve equality in the workplace so that no person shall be denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability."The legislation is also designed "to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities."But the lawyers argue that because Black employees are grouped together with all non-white and non-Indigenous people as "visible minorities" under the act, they've suffered by not moving up in the public service — and the unique racism they have to deal with has been ignored.Betchi agrees. "There's not a lot of Black women or Black men at the executive level," she said. "Our experience has been completely invisible and put aside."The Treasury Board has data that breaks down the "visible minority" category in the public service based on self-reporting by employees. It shows that in 2019, Black workers made up a smaller proportion of those in top-level executive positions than those doing administrative support. Thompson said he's optimistic the lawsuit will spark change."I'm very hopeful that this issue will be addressed in a forthright manner by the government of Canada," he said. "The government has shown signs that it is prepared. It has done the first major part by acknowledging that this issue exists."For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
The province says shovels will be in the ground early in the new year for construction of the long-awaited north Calgary high school.Minister of infrastructure Prasad Panda said they're weeks away from awarding the contract to a builder, and expect the school to be open for students in 2023."This is something that's very close to my heart because I have not hundreds, but thousands of friends that live in that area that are eagerly waiting for this school," he said. "It's unfortunate some of their kids are already in university. At least for the next generation it's helpful."More than a decade ago, the site, at 12065 Coventry Hills Way N.E., across the street from Nose Creek Middle School, was designated for the future high school.Community advocates have rallied ever since to see it built."For me, it's break out the champagne because I've been battling for this for 15 years. That's how I originally got involved in the community association, was battling for this high school," said David Hartwick, government relations and advocacy director for the Northern Hills Community Association. "I will be out there the day they put the shovel in the ground just to see it, because I've waited so long for this and I won't believe it until I see that shovel in the ground."Panda said he recently took steps to expedite the school build."We took it out of the P3 process to accelerate the school and get it open on time," he said. "Typically it takes a little longer, but that's why I excluded this one to push it hard, to get it done sooner."North Calgary High School's catchment area in the CBE plans covers the more than 71,000 people living in Hidden Valley, Coventry Hills, Panorama Hills, Harvest Hills, Country Hills and Country Hills Village, Hartwick said.Community members estimate the school will have 1,800 teens enrolled once it opens."It'll be at capacity Day 1 with people from the surrounding communities wanting in," said Hartwick."They're only looking at the catchment area of Northern Hills and Hidden Valley. But the reality is now you've got Livingston and Carrington to the north. You've got Evanston, who's desperate for the high school space as well. This high school could have easily been built at 2,400 students."In an emailed statement to CBC News, the CBE says the North Calgary High School will open with Grades 10 and 11, which allows Grade 12 students to graduate from the high school they started at."Enrolment upon opening will figure at approximately 1,000 students. Enrolment the following year is anticipated to rise to 1,500 students as the school expands to offer Grades 10-12," read the statement by the CBE.The closest high schools are Crescent Heights or John G. Diefenbaker — about 60 blocks away, and approximately an hour each way by bus for most students from the community.When the new high school finally opens, it'll be life changing for teens and families in the area, Hartwick said. "Now these kids are going to have the same opportunity that the separate school kids have, where they get to go to high school within their community, play sports within their community, actually participate in extracurricular activities," he said.
Three women’s groups in the Downtown Eastside are calling for the immediate creation of a task force to end violence against women in the neighbourhood. The call comes after Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham wrote about a video which appeared to show a man sexually assaulting a semi-conscious woman in daylight on the sidewalk at Main and Hastings streets, while cars and pedestrians pass by. The Vancouver Police Department says it is investigating the footage. It’s not the only shocking incident in the neighbourhood. In April, when COVID-19 restrictions had closed many drop-in spaces and public bathrooms, a woman spent hours in a porta-potty in labour. No one apparently noticed she was in distress, and the baby did not survive. In May, a woman was held for hours in a tent in an Oppenheimer Park camp and repeatedly assaulted. Janice Abbott, the CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society, said the woman had been “held captive in that tent for 15 hours screaming,” but no one did anything to help her. “That’s how normalized it is.” WISH, a non-profit that supports sex workers, said a street-based sex worker called the organization’s bad date line last week after she heard a woman screaming in a car while other people walked by. WISH, Atira and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre are calling for an immediate emergency response to the escalating violence against women in the Downtown Eastside. “We want to see it happen right away,” said Alice Kendall, the executive director of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. “We want to see a crisis response, the same way that COVID has created a national, provincial, municipal kind of co-ordinated response to ensure that all of the aspects of COVID are addressed, the economy as well as health.” COVID-19 restrictions have reduced the number of spaces people in the Downtown Eastside can go to get warm and sheltered. Especially when it comes to spaces that are safe for women. Back in April, Kendall asked the City of Vancouver for help in creating a safe outdoor space as COVID-19 measures reduced capacity in the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. But it took eight months before the centre got permits and help from the city to set up a patio space that’s still smaller than it sought. This fall WISH opened Canada’s first shelter for sex workers, and efforts have been made to set up bathroom trailers in the Downtown Eastside. City facilities like the Carnegie Community Centre and the Evelyne Saller Centre also recently opened more drop-in spaces. The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre also opened a new space at 398 Powell St. But all the drop-in centres and shelters are full, while street homelessness has increased. “We have the drop-in open, but it’s at capacity,” Kendall said. “We have 398 Powell St. open, it’s at capacity. The shelter spaces are open, but they’re at capacity. We know that hundreds of women every day that used to come to the centre are not coming.” WISH, Atira and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre are calling for an immediate improvement in conditions. But they also want governments to adopt recommendations from other reports like Red Women Rising and the federal Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “Gendered violence continues, even within our own programs, because there are so few choices available for women and gender-diverse women in terms of housing, employment, income security, safe, appropriate services and other opportunities that allow women to keep themselves safe,” Abbott said in a press release.Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
TORONTO — Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes says the much buzzed-about shower scene that opens his new Netflix documentary was a result of great trust between himself and the director.The singer-songwriter from Pickering, Ont., did a Q-and-A with director Grant Singer via video conference Thursday for members of the media to promote the "Shawn Mendes: In Wonder" film.Mendes said Singer spent a lot of time building their relationship and making him comfortable with having a camera around before filming.He said by the time they shot the hotel-room shower scene, which shows Mendes from the waist up and has generated a lot of chatter online, they had developed a good friendship."Grant, I've been asked so many times about the shower scene and how I felt about doing a shower scene," Mendes said, explaining that the deeper they got into filmmaking, the more they wanted to make it "vulnerable and raw" and develop a sense of closeness."If you were filming me for another year, it would have been like waking up in bed with me in the morning and being like, 'So how did you sleep?'" he added with a laugh.Singer noted they shot the scene on a day when Mendes was on vocal rest."It was like, the door was open and it just felt by that point we had this trust where you knew you were being filmed and there was something that, if it wasn't appropriate for me to be filming, I wasn't going to be in the room," he said."Also keep in mind, when we were shooting that, we didn't know it was going to make it into the documentary. We were just shooting. It just happened to resonate thematically because that was the day where you lost your voice, or the day after. So it narratively played a part and why it's in the movie."Mendes, who releases his fourth album "Wonder" on Friday, allowed Singer to follow him around on tour and in his personal life in the film. Cameras capture him in his childhood home in Pickering, east of Toronto, where he first got the world's attention performing in short videos on the now-defunct Vine platform. The 22-year-old, of course, has gone on to megafame with hits including "In My Blood," "Stitches," "Treat You Better" and "If I can't Have You.""In Wonder" also shows Mendes with his family and his girlfriend, fellow singer Camila Cabello, with whom he made the 2019 hit "Senorita.""As an artist, it's very easy to believe people want to take advantage of you and play into the sides of you that media wants to eat up," Mendes said. "But I know Grant and I know how he is about art."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Attorney General William Barr is coming under criticism from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who are demanding a full review of the presidential election won by Joe Biden. (Dec. 3)
WASHINGTON — China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. “Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”“I call its approach of economic espionage ‘rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. “China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace.”Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American innovation.The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with China's President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social media applications like TikTok and WeChat.China’s embassy in the U.S. did not respond to a request for comment on Ratcliffe’s op-ed, although China has routinely denied many of these allegations in the past.Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain,” Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future intelligence officials.Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national intelligence director.“This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," Ratcliffe wrote.He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel hatched a scheme to steal AMSC’s proprietary wind turbine technology, causing the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, according to the Justice Department.Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive U.S. defence technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of users worldwide.Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Queen Latifah's upcoming drama series has scored a touchdown. CBS says “The Equalizer” will get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot next February to showcase its debut. “The Equalizer,” a reboot of the 1980s series about a retired intelligence agent turned private detective, stars Latifah as an ex-CIA agent and single mom who helps those “with nowhere else to turn,” according to a network description. The series will immediately follow the conclusion of CBS Sports' Sunday, Feb. 7, Super Bowl LV broadcast, with subsequent episodes of “The Equalizer” airing at 8 p.m. EST Sundays, CBS said Thursday. A special edition of Stephen Colbert's daily “The Late Show” will follow late local news on Super Bowl night, the network also announced. The returning series “FBI” also is getting special treatment, with its season debut following the NFL's AFC championship game on Sunday, Jan. 24. The show will then air regularly at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday. The other daily CBS late-night program, James Corden's “The Late Late Show,” will air a weekend edition on the night of the conference championship and after local newscasts. The Associated Press
COVID-19. «Y'a du soleil derrière chaque nuage» chante la chanson. C’est justement une belle éclaircie qu’a connue Saint-Léonard-d’Aston dans la soirée du 3 décembre. En effet, en plus des dizaines voitures qui ont défilé en solidarité avec les résidents et le personnel du Centre l’Assomption, la directrice Manon Daigle a fait savoir que 24 des 36 résidents qui étaient atteints de la COVID-19 sont considérés sortis de la zone critique par le CIUSSS. « On n’a jamais douté que les gens seraient présents et ils le sont. On sent une grande solidarité qui s’exprime ce soir. J’ai vu des employés tantôt et ils dont dit avec les yeux pleins d’eau: «Merci de faire ça. Ça nous fait du bien à tous». Avec la bonne nouvelle, on s'en va vers le mieux», rapporte Yvan Martin, le fils de l’une des résidentes du Centre l’Assomption, qui est à l’origine du défilé auquel le Service des loisirs, les services de pompiers de Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et de Saint-Wenceslas et les policiers de la Sûreté du Québec ont apporté leur soutien. Notons qu’en date du 3 décembre, le Centre l’Assomption compte 36 cas parmi ses résidents. Un total de 19 employés sont infectés. Deux décès sont à déplorer. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Husky Energy will receive $41.5 million in federal money to maintain jobs and move toward restarting its West White Rose offshore oil project in Newfoundland and Labrador, although officials admit a restart is not certain.Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey made the funding announcement Thursday at Husky's offices in downtown St. John's. Furey said the investment ensures jobs for 331 people in the province for the next year. The money comes from a $320-million commitment from Ottawa to aid the province's sputtering offshore oil industry."We are all aware of the hardships our oil and gas industry has gone through as a result of the collapse in oil prices and a global pandemic," Furey said on Thursday.Husky will match the cash with $41.5 million of its own money, and the funding will ensure jobs for 331 people until the end of 2021, Furey said.Husky Energy announced in September it was halting construction on the project's massive offshore platform, which was largely being carried out in Marystown, on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, and Argentia, on the Avalon Peninsula. The project is roughly 60 per cent complete, and construction employed about 1,000 people in those two towns, according to a company press release. In October, the company announced it was suspending construction for all of 2021 as the company reviewed it operations in the province. "The (West White Rose) project is key to extending the life of the White Rose field. As we have said before, all options are on the table and accelerating abandonment remains a possibility," Husky spokesperson Kim Guttormson said in an email at the time. Ches Crosbie, leader of the provincial Opposition Progressive Conservatives, called Thursday's announcement "a Band-Aid over a pulsating wound." He said with no startup guarantee, Thursday's cash only helps Husky keep the West White Rose project "in mothballs."Husky had already committed to keeping the project in a state of readiness pending future decisions about its fate, and the $41.5 million is "found money," he said.Provincial NDP Leader Alison Coffin is also concerned about the project's uncertain future. "We're putting money into an industry that I don't think is sustainable at all," she said in an interview Thursday. "We're hearing time and time again that the oil industry is in decline."Thursday's decision was recommended by an oil and gas recovery task force assembled by Furey to determine how to parcel out Ottawa's $320-million aid money. The team has divided the federal cash into two streams, with $288 million earmarked for offshore oil operators, and $32 million allotted to the service and supply sector, Furey told reporters Thursday.More funding arrangements with operators will be announced in the coming weeks, he said.Coffin said she wished the money was going more directly to workers, rather than through the oil companies. "Many of those workers would like the opportunity to take control of their own destiny and be able to get the opportunity to transition to something else that is more sustainable for them," she said.Russell Williams, a political scientist at Memorial University in St. John's, said $41.5 million dollars is a lot of money to sustain a few hundred jobs. Williams said the province needs financial help in many other areas, and he's not convinced oil and gas should be a key priority for federal aid."If we're looking for financial assistance from the federal government, there are more important things," he said. In an emailed statement, Husky spokeswoman Colleen McConnell said Thursday's announcement "will allow us to progress certain work scopes in 2021 and preserve our options for a potential restart in 2022 if conditions permit."That includes work on the platform's living quarters, lifeboats, helicopter deck and flare tower as well as maintenance and preservation work, and work "to continue planning for future marine, subsea and drilling activities."Calgary rival Cenovus Energy Inc. announced a $3.8-billion friendly takeover of Husky in October. If the deal is completed as scheduled in early 2021, as many as 2,000 of the 8,600 employees and contractors currently working at the two companies will be laid off, with most of the cuts in Calgary.Synergies from the all-stock buyout are expected to result in annual savings of $1.2 billion, largely achieved within the first year and independent of commodity prices, the companies said.Husky is controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing with about 70 per cent of shares, and he has agreed to the transaction.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.\-- With files from Dan Healing in Calgary.Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press
A 38-year-old woman of St. Clair Township has been charged after a 34-year-old cyclist was killed in a collision this summer, the Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release Thursday. Lori Neville was cycling to raise money for childhood cancer on Aug. 22, when she was hit by a vehicle around 10 a.m. at Petrolia Line in St. Clair Township, south of Sarnia. In a news release at the time, the OPP said after the cyclist and vehicle collided, Lori was sent to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Now, three and a half months later, OPP said in a news release Thursday that they have arrested and charged a woman suspected to have been involved in the incident with dangerous operation causing death. "She was a great person, she always wanted to help people," Natalie Neville, Lori's wife, told CBC News back in August after the collision. The couple have a three-year-old son. Lori had started cycling as a hobby, then in June, she signed up to ride with Great Cycle Challenge Canada to fight childhood cancer, said Neville. "I think she was just looking at our son and if something ever happened, she would want there to be that support there, so she felt bad for families that had to go through that and I think it just kind of touched her heart and gave her motivation," Neville said at the time about Lori's decision to support childhood cancer. The suspect is scheduled to appear at Sarnia's Ontario Court Justice on Jan. 11, 2021.
MADISON, Wis. — A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts.In another blow to Trump, two dissenting conservative justices questioned whether disqualifying more than 221,000 ballots as Trump wanted would be the proper remedy to the errors he alleged.The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities.Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”“It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step,” he said in a statement. Trump's team made the filing late Thursday evening.In asking the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, Trump had argued that there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting with a lower court, given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes.Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump's allegations. Hagedorn said the law was clear that Trump must start his lawsuit in lower courts where factual disputes can be worked out.“We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high profile cases,” Hagedorn wrote. “Following this law is not disregarding our duty, as some of my colleagues suggest. It is following the law.”Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, in a dissent where she was joined by Justice Annette Ziegler, said she would have taken the case and referred it to lower courts for factual findings, which could then be reported back to the Supreme Court for a ruling.But she also questioned whether disqualifying ballots was appropriate, saying that "may be out of reach for a number of reasons.”Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote that the court “forsakes its duty” by not determining whether elections officials complied with the law and the inaction will undermine the public's confidence in elections. Allowing the elections commission to make the law governing elections would be a “death blow to democracy,” she wrote.“While some will either celebrate or decry the court's inaction based upon the impact on their preferred candidate, the importance of this case transcends the results of this particular election,” she wrote in a dissent joined by Roggensack and Ziegler. “The majority's failure to act leaves an indelible stain on our most recent election.”Democratic Gov. Tony Evers praised the decision.“I was frankly amazed that it was not unanimous," Evers said.Trump's lawsuit challenged procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.He claimed there were thousands of absentee ballots without a written application on file. He argued that the electronic log created when a voter requests a ballot online — the way the vast majority are requested — doesn’t meet the letter of the law.He also challenged ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted — a practice that has long been accepted and that the state elections commission told clerks was OK.Trump also challenged absentee ballots where voters declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined,” a status that exempts them from having to show photo identification to cast a ballot, and one that was used much more heavily this year due to the pandemic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in March ruled that it was up to individual voters to determine their status.Roggensack, the chief justice, appointed Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek of Racine County to hear the case at the circuit court level. Simanek retired in 2010.The court late Thursday also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin resident, Dean Mueller, that argued that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. The court's brief order included a single line noting Roggensack, Ziegler and Bradley all dissented with the denial.One other lawsuit filed by conservatives is still pending with the court seeking to invalidate ballots. In federal court, there is Trump’s lawsuit and another one with similar claims from Sidney Powell, a conservative attorney who was removed from Trump’s legal team.Wisconsin this week certified Biden’s victory, setting the stage for a Democratic slate of electors chosen earlier to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for him.Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
Negotiations between Meng's attorneys and the U.S. Justice Department picked up after the U.S. presidential election a month ago, the person said, but it is still unclear what kind of deal could be struck. Meng, 48, was arrested in Canada in December 2018 on a U.S. warrant.
REGINA — A union representing workers at a steel plant in Regina says nearly 500 of its members are being laid off.The United Steelworkers says the workers will be off the job starting Dec. 17 and their layoff notices are indefinite.The president of union Local 5890 says it's tough because people will be out of work just over a week before Christmas and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.Mike Day says the union knew layoffs were coming, but didn't expect them to hit all at once. The union says Canada's steel industry is struggling because projects are being built with cheaper steel obtained offshore rather than product manufactured locally.Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe calls the layoffs devastating and says officials are reaching out to offer whatever help they can.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.The Canadian Press
An investigation by the Ottawa Police Service into an incident in Kinngait, Nunavut, last spring involving an RCMP officer who struck an Inuk man with the door of a moving patrol truck during an arrest, raises more questions than it answers, the territory's legal aid agency says. Benson Cowan, CEO of the Nunavut Legal Services Board, said his first reaction to reading the short news release from the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) this week was one of sadness. "We seem to be in this endless situation where there is a complete and willful and casual disregard for basic principles of accountability," Cowan said. And "it boggles the mind" that neither the Nunavut government, the RCMP, nor the OPS insist on more information from the investigation, he added. "It's a betrayal of Nunavummiut on a basic level," said Cowan. The Ottawa Police issued an eight-sentence release on Wednesday that cleared RCMP of any criminal wrongdoing in the June 1 incident in Kinngait on south Baffin Island. The incident made national news last spring after cell phone video footage circulated on social media, leading to an outcry from territorial and federal politicians. "The investigation has determined that the RCMP officer driving the vehicle did not intentionally strike the community member with the vehicle door," the Wednesday release from Ottawa Police said. The incident does not amount to an assault under the Criminal Code "as the applied force was unintentional," the OPS said, adding that the arrest of the young Inuk man was "lawful." Lawful arrest of Inuk man but no charges laidCowan said the OPS goes out of its way to say the arrest was lawful without providing other crucial information. "What we see in the video is an arrest that is serious and violent. Five officers take down someone who was, at worst, publicly intoxicated, but he was never charged with anything," Cowan said. "The question of why the officer was driving in that manner, that close to the man, in support of an arrest with what turned out to be four other officers — that requires some explanation," he added. Cowan pointed to the Special Investigation Unit's practices in Ontario — after investigations into police conduct it usually publishes witness statements and lengthy explanations for its conclusions, he said. Cowan said the Nunavut government could insist on more information from the OPS. Mark Witzaney, acting manager of policy and communications for the territory's justice department, told CBC News the OPS provides information on investigations according to a memorandum of understanding. RCMP clarify findings to Kinngait mayor"The OPS has discretion related to the appropriate release of further information pertaining to an investigation," Witzaney wrote in an email. Cowan disagrees. "By making this choice, they — the Nunavut government, the RCMP and the OPS — they are willfully disregarding any concern for the community's perspective," Cowan said. Kinngait mayor Timoon Toonoo told CBC that the OPS' news release didn't make much sense to him. But he said a conference call with Nunavut RCMP gave him the chance to ask questions about the process. When asked if he was given additional information not included in the OPS' news release, Toonoo said "not really." "It was mostly the same information, but we were able to ask questions about things we don't understand. So we understand more from the teleconference we had with the inspector from the RCMP in Iqaluit," Toonoo said. Two other reviews of the June incident are ongoing: an internal code of conduct review by Nunavut RCMP, and an investigation by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.
Have you already started your holiday baking? Have your favourite go-to holiday cookie recipe at the ready? Think your favourite snowballs can go toe to toe with another family’s gingerbread person? There’s only one way to find out. Submit your recipe online and see what Aurora’s baking. The Town has put out a call for cookie recipes “close to your heart” ahead of the holiday season and the compilation of a digital Holiday Cookie Book that brings together the best of what our community has to offer. “The holiday season is approaching and it is time to dust off your holiday cookbooks and baking apron!” says the Town. “From the safety and comfort of your own home, help us share your favourite holiday baking tradition with the Aurora community. Participate in this free initiative by submitting your favourite holiday cookie recipe to be featured in Aurora’s Holiday Cookie Book posted on the Town’s website. “[Through] December 13, residents can visit aurora.ca/cookiebook to submit their favourite family recipe, including an ingredients list, step-by-step instructions, a few sentences about why the recipe is meaningful to you and an optional photo of your creation. Once submissions are collected, all submitted recipes will be put together in one easy to follow cookbook you can keep with you…for years to come.” For more information, visit the link above, or call Franco De Marco, Aurora’s Recreation Supervisor, at 905-727-3123 x3526.Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
Indigenous rights advocates say the Liberal government's draft legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) is better than expected.Justice Minister David Lametti tabled Bill C-15 in the House of Commons on Dec. 3. The bill would chart a path toward implementing the rights affirmed in the declaration."I don't think it's perfect by any means but from the draft that they were discussing with us across the country, it's come some ways," said Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in B.C., who took part in the consultation on the bill."Changing the laws of Canada is going to take some time. I think the biggest issue is going to be how they will work with Indigenous people across the country to change those laws."UNDRIP was passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007 after 25 years of negotiations to affirm the rights of Indigenous peoples to their language, culture, self-determination and traditional lands. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, as well as Quebec's Viens Commission all called for the implementation of the declaration at all government levels.'Long-overdue'After the shooting of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation member Chantel Moore by police in New Brunswick during a wellness check in June, Sayers said she is happy to see that the draft legislation addresses injustices like systemic discrimination but she has concerns about the proposed timeline outlined.If passed, the bill would require the federal government to prepare an action plan within three years of the bill's passage to achieve the declaration's objectives. Sayers would like to see meaningful consultation and an interim action plan that addresses the top priorities in Canada, something she acknowledges is not an easy task."That's going to be difficult, talking to 633 First Nations and determining that, but I really think that waiting for three years on action that may or may not be complete at that time is too long, way too long," she said."We need a change yesterday to many laws."Amnesty International Canada welcomed the legislation, stating it is "much-needed" and "long-overdue.""Because the core purpose of the new bill provides a framework for implementation, Amnesty International strongly urges the Canadian government to pass this legislation quickly," said Ana Collins, Amnesty International's Indigenous rights campaign advisor in a statement.Limitations on self-determinationIf the bill is passed, the federal government must ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with UNDRIP. While Canada is not the first country to legislate UNDRIP, Kenneth Deer said if the draft is passed as is, it would put Canada in the forefront of applying the declaration inside its borders."I'm cautiously optimistic that this could be beneficial for Indigenous people in Canada," said Deer, who is Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Kahnawake, Que., and was involved with the development of UNDRIP. He said it's important that Canada make legislation to implement the declaration, to move it from being aspirational to binding. He added the legislation has its limits when it comes to Indigenous self-determination by being a Canadian law."You can't have true self-determination and be limited by the Canadian constitution but Indigenous people can go a long way until we hit that wall," he said."Anything that the UN passes or Canada passes does not take away our right to self-determination or does not take away our sovereignty. Our sovereignty is inherent, and will always be there."
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) has expressed that Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has been fear-mongering over the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pallister noted during a media availability on Monday that he was worried First Nations living off-reserve will spread the virus to those living on-reserve if an approved vaccine is prioritized for First Nations. “It’s unfathomable that those words would come from the mouth of a leader in a province where First Nation people are in the midst of a modern-day health crisis,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Instead of creating an environment of empathy and cooperation, this premier is stoking the fires of division.” The latest data has shown that First Nations across Canada have to be a priority for an approved vaccine. According to Indigenous Services Canada, the number of new and active COVID-19 cases is steadily increasing within First Nations with 1,713 active cases. “I hope the premier did not have an ulterior motive with his inflammatory words,” said Daniels. “Anyone should be able to see why First Nation people need to be at the front of the line for a vaccine. To think or advocate otherwise sets a dangerous and potentially life-threatening precedent.” In a COVID-19 rapid testing update on Thursday, Pallister said that he has been advocating for a nationally coordinated distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine, including a national strategy for the vaccine to Indigenous people. “As you know, we have the largest percentage of Indigenous people in our province. Unfortunately, the rate of infection among Indigenous Manitobans is higher than non-Indigenous people,” said Pallister. The federal government has told the province that they will be holding back a portion of Manitoba’s vaccine which will be allocated to Indigenous communities. Pallister said that this would mean Manitobans that do not live in Northern and Indigenous communities would be the least likely to be able to get the vaccine in the country. “This puts Manitobans at the back of the line. This hurts Manitobans, to put it mildly. We will have the least amount of vaccines available for everyone else in the province,” he said. “This is unfair, and this is not what our Indigenous leaders want. I will be meeting with them next week to discuss this important issue, and I welcome their input, but I do not believe this approach is helpful or healthy.” First Nation people in Manitoba constitute 11.4% of the general population, but account for approximately 19% of current COVID-19 cases, 25% of the province’s hospitalizations, and 38% of Intensive Care Unit patients. In response to the SCO’s concerns, Pallister said that if talking honestly and openly about how getting the vaccine to people is fear-mongering then he is guilty of that action. “What’s fearful for Manitoba is not knowing when they get the vaccine and how the rollout is going to occur. We are trying to do our best to get that clear,” said Pallister. “I am trying to address fear and replace it with certainty and understanding of when we get the vaccine. I think that is what Manitobans want me to do, and that is my job.” Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe isn't committing to a threshold suggested by his chief medical health officer for granting more people the right to gather at Christmas.Dr. Saqib Shahab said Wednesday that any decision to relax COVID-19 public-health orders would have to consider the risk of infections spiking in the new year. Shahab said his preference would be for the province to wait until there was an average of 120 new cases daily, or less, before loosening limits on gatherings."I wouldn't commit to that," Moe said Thursday."We also must understand that we have a holiday season that is upon us. We have put in place a number of measures that do impact our opportunity to see family, possibly in a long-term home, during that holiday season."Also Thursday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority announced it is planning to divert up to 600 staff to respond to the pandemic, meaning some procedures such as diagnostics will have to be rescheduled. Moving staff around is meant to brace the health system for a possible influx of hospital patients, including into intensive care. Officials forecast new daily cases hitting about 560 in the next two weeks and hospitalizations doubling. "It's not a crystal ball," said CEO Scott Livingstone of the data."Right now, we know that the 14-day forecasts over the last few weeks have been quite accurate relative to what we're seeing."Another 259 cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday, along with one death.Hospitals were treating 124 patients sick with COVID-19; 24 of them were in intensive care.Moe said he believes capacity limits on public venues, a ban on team sports and a provincewide mask mandate will start to slow the virus's spread enough so that some of the health orders can be loosened when they come up for renewal in three weeks.“If we have to make that decision today, it may not be the decision that I would want and that I think many other families across the province would want."Earlier in the week, the premier said he would like to see a way for more than five people to socialize in a home over Christmas — the current public-health rule — but Thursday mainly focused on relaxing rules for long-term care facilities.Visits are not allowed in long-term or personal care homes, except for compassionate reasons."As we get closer to Dec. 17, and ultimately likely even closer to Christmas, we’ll have the discussion about whether or not there are any opportunities for maybe a visit with full (personal protective) gear in a long-term care facility or not," Moe said.“I haven’t given up hope.”Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said he's concerned the premier's office is putting pressure on the chief medical health officer to do what is politically popular, but not wise for public health.“People need to think about this. Relaxing long-term care restrictions during a COVID-19 spike, during a time when we’ve got outbreaks — that’s a way to lose a lot of lives," Meili said.On Thursday, the Saskatchewan Party government also announced the revival of an emergency grant program for small businesses that have been hit by health restrictionsBusinesses with fewer than 500 employees can apply to receive a grant of 15 per cent of their monthly sales revenue recorded before the pandemic arrived in March, to a maximum of $5,000.Eligible businesses are ones that have had to change how they operate to comply with public-health rules. The plan is to get the money to businesses within weeks.The government expects the program to cost $8 million.Meili said the the criteria are too narrow and will leave some businesses ineligible. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press