The B.C. government is seeking an injunction against three churches that have continued to hold gatherings in defiance of provincial COVID-19 restrictions. The churches say their gatherings are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The B.C. government is seeking an injunction against three churches that have continued to hold gatherings in defiance of provincial COVID-19 restrictions. The churches say their gatherings are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
China's medical products regulator said on Thursday that it had approved two more COVID-19 vaccines for public use, raising the number of domestically produced vaccines that can be used in China to four. The two newly cleared vaccines are made by CanSino Biologics Inc (CanSinoBIO) and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). They join a vaccine from Sinovac Biotech approved earlier this month, and another from Sinopharm's Beijing unit approved last year.
(Jackie McKay/CBC - image credit) Nunavut's Health Minister Lorne Kusugak is defending his department's plan for vaccination clinics in the territory, and specifically in the capital, Iqaluit. In the legislature on Tuesday, Kusugak faced criticism for a "lack of communication" about the vaccine rollout from Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone. "My constituents have been telling me that they feel that the government of Nunavut's communication on the vaccination rollout plan has been lacking. I can't help but agree," Arreak Lightstone said in the Legislative Assembly. In Iqaluit, the vaccine was only available to members of priority groups and residents 60 and older, until recently. In the Legislature on Tuesday, Kusugak said that Iqaluit Public Health had already moved on to vaccinating residents 55 and older and was now ready to vaccinate residents age 45 and older. More than 1,100 Iqaluit residents already received their first dose, Kusugak said, adding that a city-wide vaccination clinic will happen later in March. Arreak Lightstone said it's the first he had heard about the change. "There has been no public announcement about the adjustments and there is no indication on the website," Arreak Lightstone said. "This is the first time that we have heard that there is somewhat of a phased-in approach for the vaccination of Iqalummiut, which I guess will be conducted in different age brackets." Vaccinations in Nunavut currently depend on how many doses arrive from the federal government, and when. The territory is announcing clinics as those doses arrive. In smaller communities, vaccination clinics have been scheduled for the entire population. But in larger centres, restrictions have been put in place, focusing first on elders and front line workers. Health minister throws shade at MLA over vaccine dispute Kusugak denied Arreak Lightstone's claim and applauded the long hours being worked by public health staff to vaccinate city residents. "The public does know, Mr. Speaker, and it is unfortunate that Mr. Lightstone didn't know, but the public seems to know. We are on top of it," Kusugak said. "It's amazing how we have vaccinated over 1,000 people in Iqaluit, and Mr. Lightstone didn't even know there was a vaccination happening." A few hours afterwards, a public service announcement was released by the department saying Iqaluit residents aged 45 and over can get vaccinated starting March 1. "At this time, Iqaluit Public Health asks that only Iqalummiut who are in the identified priority groups call to make an appointment," a spokesperson from the ministers office said in an email. Iqaluit Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone says it's unclear in Iqaluit who in is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Outside of the capital, anyone can call to sign up for a future vaccination clinic. "As mass immunization clinics for adults in all other communities in Nunavut started in early January and will continue throughout February and March, it is appropriate for individuals eligible to receive the vaccine to contact their local health centre to book an appointment," the department said. Upcoming dates for clinics in communities have also been announced. Before the announcement, Pond Inlet MLA David Qamaniq said dates for community clinics have been unclear. Clinics are currently scheduled until mid and late March, but Pond Inlet has yet to have a clinic scheduled. Qamaniq asked if second doses will have to wait until April or May for some communities that haven't seen vaccination clinics yet, even though the territory had hoped to vaccinate 75 per cent of the eligible population by the end of March. Kusugak said clinic dates can be weather- and charter-dependent, so communities might not know specific dates for their clinics until two or three days before they take place. "We will take another look at the rollout plan and see where we could tweak it to make some improvements," he said. Kusugak also reminded residents that the vaccine doesn't mean residents will be able to travel without isolating.
Shares of Tesla fell 8% during the day after Bloomberg reported that production of Tesla's less expensive sedan, the Model 3, had been temporarily suspended, raising questions about whether it had enough supplies to keep the assembly line moving. Several automakers, including General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, and Ford Motor Co, are hit by the shortage of chips, forcing them to scale down production. "Fremont shut down for two days (parts shortages) & restarted yesterday," Musk said in a Twitter posting.
(Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit) John Janisse knows Windsorites can't visit Plymouth, Mich., this year for the annual Ice Sculpting festival, and Quebec's famous ice hotels are far away, so he decided to give his patrons at the River's Edge Tap and Table on Riverdale Avenue the next best thing. "I just thought it would be kind of a fun, cool idea to create our own ice bar right here in the most southern part of Canada," Janisse said. So he ordered up 220 blocks of ice from a Chatham firm last week and on Friday, he assembled the bar on the patio overlooking Little River. "It was pretty cold putting it together," he said. But the effort paid off as he says clients have been coming in droves to have a drink and take selfies with friends at the bar. He even installed multi-coloured track lighting in the blocks to add a bit of a glow at night. The blocks change colours such as blue and orange. WATCH: Tap the player below to see the ice bar in action. "It's been received very, very well," he said. "I think it's a unique, phenomenal idea," said customer and friend Ron Friest. "And it's just great to be outside and enjoying something unique and special with great friends." With temperatures expected well above freezing for several days, the ice bar may not stay frozen for long but Janisse is hoping to keep it up until next week. "At night we pack it with snow to keep it protected," he said. If weather permits, Janisse will build another ice bar this season, and likely next year. A shot of the River's Edge Tap and Table ice bar at night. One of the many colours made by special lighting in the ice bar.
SAINT-LÉONARD-D’ASTON. Si la Santé publique le permet, les amateurs de golf de Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et des environs pourront bientôt s’adonner à leur passion à l’intérieur. Un golf virtuel initié par Alex B. Perreault, Frédéric Courchesne-Carignan, Félix Guévin et Jonathan Lavoie s’ajoutera au complexe Chez Boris. «L’installation sera bientôt complétée. Il manque le turf. Les gens vont pouvoir amener leurs bâtons et leurs tees. C’est très réaliste comme expérience. C’est un système par radar qui calcule l’effet et la distance de la balle. À la base, Frédéric Courchesne-Carignan avait un golf virtuel dans son garage. On a essayé ça et on a bien aimé. C’est là qu’est venue l’idée de l’ajouter à l’endroit où l’on trouve les espaces de jorkyball», explique Alex B. Perreault qui, avec ses associés, a voulu également rendre un hommage au terrain de golf développé par Richard Lebeau et Jean-Paul Provencher dans la conception du projet. «On a reproduit le parcours du golf Le Pro situé en bas de la côte à Saint-Léonard. On a pris les données avec Google Maps et les élévations avec un logiciel. Tout y sera, on verra même le tracteur à gauche du départ du trou 1», indique-t-il, enthousiaste. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The African Union is backing calls for drugmakers to waive some intellectual property rights on COVID-19 medicines and vaccines to speed up their rollout to poor countries, the head of its disease control body said on Thursday. South Africa and India, which both manufacture drugs and vaccines, made the proposal at the World Trade Organization last year, saying intellectual property (IP) rules were hindering the urgent scale-up of vaccine production and provision of medical products to some patients. They have faced opposition from some developed nations, but the backing of the African Union may give renewed impetus for the push to relax IP rules.
Après avoir omis d’appliquer sa propre Loi sur les espèces en péril (LEP) dans le dossier du chevalier cuivré en 2012, le gouvernement fédéral a corrigé la situation la semaine dernière. Mais parallèlement, Ottawa serait tout de même sur le point de donner son aval au projet d’agrandissement du terminal à conteneurs du Port de Montréal dans sa forme actuelle, et ce, malgré les risques que ce dernier pose pour la survie du poisson en danger d’extinction. Ciblé par une action légale intentée par des organismes voués à la protection de l’environnement, dont la Société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada (SNAP), Ottawa a publié vendredi un projet d’arrêté ministériel afin d’officialiser l’obligation de conserver intact l’habitat essentiel du chevalier cuivré. Ce dernier se limite à une portion du fleuve Saint-Laurent et de la rivière Richelieu. En vertu de la LEP, Ottawa aurait dû poser ce geste dans les 180 jours suivant le dépôt du texte définitif du programme de rétablissement du chevalier cuivré dans le registre public des espèces en péril, dépôt qui a eu lieu le 20 juin 2012. Une action concrète aurait donc dû être posée avant le 17 décembre 2012, mais pour une raison toujours inexpliquée, cette démarche n’a pas eu lieu plus tôt. Quoique tardive, une telle décision devrait, selon toute logique, avoir des conséquences sur l’agrandissement du terminal à conteneurs du Port de Montréal à Contrecœur. Or, les représentants fédéraux ont également annoncé « qu’on ne s’attend pas à ce qu’un promoteur de projet ait à supporter une charge administrative accrue à la suite d’un arrêté du conseil sur l’habitat essentiel », une remarque qui a de quoi laisser perplexe les électeurs préoccupés par la protection de l’environnement et la transparence de leurs représentants. Le gouvernement libéral a par ailleurs réitéré que le décret ne devrait pas avoir de répercussions considérables sur l’examen du projet présenté par l’Administration du Port de Montréal (APM) pour son terminal de Contrecœur. Rappelons que ce projet de plus de 750 millions de dollars a reçu l’appui du gouvernement fédéral via un investissement de 300 millions de dollars de la Banque de l’infrastructure du Canada. On peut donc se demander à ce stade comment l’administration Trudeau parviendra à respecter son engagement environnemental et sa promesse faite aux administrateurs du port. « Ça semble arrangé à l’avance avec le gars des vues », a affirmé Alain Branchaud, directeur général de la Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP) lors d’un entretien accordé à La Presse. Le décret couvre tout l’habitat essentiel. C’est solide, ça correspond à ce qu’on s’attend. Mais en même temps le gouvernement dit à l’avance qu’il va autoriser le projet de Contrecœur avant même qu’on lui ait fait la demande! » Le biologiste met par ailleurs en doute la validité du plan proposé afin de compenser la perte d’habitat du chevalier cuivré. « On dit qu’on va compenser, mais on n’a aucune expertise scientifique pour le chevalier cuivré, a poursuivi M. Branchaud. Ce n’est pas sérieux! On est dans une crise de biodiversité et on fait encore des niaiseries comme ça, ça n’a pas de bon sens. » Steve Martin, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
(Walter Strong/CBC - image credit) Final arguments were heard in N.W.T Supreme Court last Friday in the trial of Chad Beck, who is accused of second-degree murder. In an agreed statement of facts, Beck fatally struck Cameron Sayine in the head with an axe two years ago, on July 1, in Fort Resolution. Sayine flew to the ground, resting by his friend's feet, when he was hit again in the back. He died as a result of the first blow, the court heard. Beck attempted to plead guilty for manslaughter, but the Crown rejected that offer. Beck's lawyer, Peter Harte, maintained that his client should be convicted of manslaughter, not second-degree murder. Death result of a sudden reaction, defence argues In court, Harte argued that the level of Beck's intoxication meant he was not of sound mind, and argued that Sayine had provoked Beck. According to the agreed statement of facts, Sayine had attacked Beck numerous times that day, resulting in a gash above his eyebrows in addition to bruises on his face. The pair had a history of violence. They'd known each other their entire lives, Beck testified in court on Feb. 17. He said they had even been best friends at one point, but that relationship soured after an altercation between the two when Sayine stole alcohol from Beck's grandmother. Beck ran after Sayine to retrieve what was stolen, but they fought instead. Things were never the same after that, Beck testified in court. During hi's testimony, Beck went on to describe a series of events where Sayine would "beat him up" and break in and enter his home. Harte argued that Beck had not intended to kill Sayine, but even if he had, it was because he was provoked. Sayine was described as a bully, whom Beck grew scared of. Harte told the court that Beck grabbed the axe upon entering the house for the purpose of scaring Sayine away, but then panicked, and swung at his head instead. In his testimony, Beck told the court, "I was thinking, what if sees me with an axe and hits me and takes it away. I just panicked. I swung the axe as a reaction." Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews told the court a “grizzly and horrible murder had taken place” in the cabin pictures pictured above, in Fort Resolution. It was a sudden reaction after a series of violent attacks, Harte said. Due to how much Beck had been drinking that day, Harte also argued that it was unclear whether Beck could connect bodily harm with death. When Beck testified, he said that he struck Sayine again because he did not think the first strike to the head had killed him. Harte told the court that Beck was a quiet guy, who respects his elders and does not like to get into fights. In other words, the nature of violence inflicted that day was out of character for Beck. But the Crown prosecutors told a different story. Crown says Beck intentionally struck Sayine Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews told the court that a "grizzly and horrible murder had taken place." She said Beck had intentionally struck Sayine with the axe after he grew tired of putting up with his bullying, and ensured that he stayed down, Andrews said. Sayine was a "nuisance" to Beck, she said. Instead of feeling remorse, Andrews argued Beck mutilated his body, when he struck Sayine several times after he was already dead, demonstrating he had "no respect for Sayine, in life and in death." Andrews questioned the defence's argument that Beck was too intoxicated to recognize that an axe would be lethal because Beck was able to recall the events that took place that day in detail. Also, Beck was able to wield the axe with no issues, showing that his motor skills were also intact. Beck also disposed of the axe, moved the body all the way down the property, and was coherent with police when he was eventually arrested, Andrews said. She argued that this showed he was self-aware, contradicting the defence's stance that he was significantly impaired, when he may have been just mildly intoxicated. Andrews assured the court that the Crown has proven Beck is guilty of second-degree murder without a reasonable doubt. Beck "killed his bully in the most unambiguous way," Andrews concluded. Justice Shannon Smallwood will announce her verdict on May 21, 2021.
(Canada Post 2020 - image credit) In recent months, London, Ont., has been home to one of Canada Post's colourful new delivery trucks, emblazoned on either side with the words, "Thanks Merci," and an assortment of happy symbols. The vehicle is just one van in a fleet of vibrant trucks that have been delivering mail across the country in psychedelic style. But originally, the design was only supposed to go on a postage stamp. The creative director and graphic artist behind the design, Andrew Lewis, who lives in London, Ont., said his idea to expand his vision from a coin-sized stamp to a vehicle wrap that would cover a walk-in van was one he didn't think Canada Post would take seriously. "I said, 'Hey, wouldn't it be funny if you took the design idea here and put it on a truck?'" said Lewis. "I showed them a mock-up of a [truck with the design] as a joke, as something fun, and they sat there and said, 'Yeah, let's do it.'" Many of Lewis's usual creations for Canada Post grace the upper-right corners of envelopes across the country. In this photo, taken in November 2019, he holds up one of his designs for Canada Post's Christmas collection. Now, Lewis's design project for a limited-edition stamp to thank employees for their service during the pandemic is also travelling on the sides of a fleet of four-wheeled thank-you letters rolling across Canada. The design, he said, is meant to inspire positivity and happiness in the people who see it. "A lot of people had rainbows in their windows and hearts and things like that last spring and summer," Lewis said of the symbols he spotted on his walks through London neighbourhoods. "So I made this fun, kind of psychedelic image because I wanted something really positive and happy, and this is a weird, gloomy and kind of oppressive time." Vans pictured above from around the country, including Nova Scotia. Lewis said he’s come across dozens and dozens of photos of his van art on the road. Lewis said the decorated vans were originally launched last fall, starting with about six vehicles. Now, he said there are around 40 vehicles on the road. They're in every major Canadian city and have been getting attention on social media from employees and the public. While Lewis said he wanted his design to be light-hearted and bring smiles to peoples faces, he also thinks public art should convey a worthy message. "Artwork that's circulating in public should have some sort of responsibility," said Lewis. "It had better be thought-provoking, and not just more visual noise."
The work depicts a rarely seen view of Paris in the nineteenth century. 'Scène de rue à Montmartre' shows how the busy suburb used to be a rural, tranquil place.View on euronews
ROME — Italy paid tribute Thursday to its ambassador to Congo and his bodyguard who were killed in an attack on a U.N. convoy, honouring them with a state funeral and prayers for peace in Congo and all nations “torn by war and violence.” Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the pope’s vicar for Rome, presided over the solemn funeral at the Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica that was attended by Premier Mario Draghi, top lawmakers, representatives of the armed forces and relatives of the young men. Ambassador Luca Attanasio and Carabiniere paramilitary officer Vittorio Iacovacci were killed Monday north of Goma when an armed group stopped them as they travelled in a two-car convoy to a World Food Program school feeding project. WFP's Congolese driver, Moustapha Milambo, was also killed in the attack. Italy has formally asked the U.N. for an inquiry into what happened amid questions about whether the U.N. security arrangements were sufficient for the mission. In his eulogy, De Donatis decried the “stupid and ferocious” attack and said it was right that Italy, Congo and the community of nations weep over such violence that “tore Luca and Vittorio from this world." “Let us pray together that today is a day in which the prayer for peace in Congo and in all nations torn by various forms of war and violence is raised to heaven," he said. He denounced how so many Congolese feel the constant threat of danger from rebel groups “knocking at their door,” saying the country had been “cruelly devastated by violence that sees their children die every day.” But he praised the men for working for peace and looking out for others “even at the cost of their own lives.” “If this the fate of peace workers, what will be the fate of the rest of us?” he asked. The funeral, carried live on state RAI television, featured masked Carabinieri officers as pallbearers and altar servers, with a military band performing Chopin’s haunting “Funeral March” as the flag-draped coffins were carried in and out of the basilica. After the service, the socially-distanced crowd applauded as the two hearses pulled out of the piazza carrying the coffins for burial, flanked by a police escort. Attanasio is survived by his wife and three young daughters, at least one of whom attended the funeral, as well as his parents and siblings. Iacovacci is survived by his fiancee and other family members. Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Caster Semenya is going to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge “discriminatory” rules that prohibit her from competing in certain track events because of her high natural testosterone, her lawyers said Thursday. The two-time Olympic champion in the 800 metres has already lost two legal appeals against World Athletics' regulations that force her to medically lower her natural testosterone level if she wants to run in women's races from 400 metres to one mile. The South African's lawyers said there's been a “violation of her rights” and wants the human rights court to examine the rules. Semenya has one of a number of conditions known as differences of sex development. Although she has never publicly released details of her condition, World Athletics has controversially referred to her as “biologically male” in previous legal proceedings, a description that angered Semenya. Semenya has the typical male XY chromosome pattern and levels of testosterone that are much higher then the typical female range, World Athletics says. The track and field body says that gives her and other athletes like her an unfair advantage over other female runners. The 30-year-old Semenya was legally identified as female at birth and has identified as female her whole life. She says her testosterone is merely a genetic gift. The regulations have been fiercely criticized, mainly because of the “treatment” options World Athletics gives to allow affected athletes to compete. They have one of three options to lower their testosterone levels: Taking daily contraceptive pills, using hormone-blocking injections, or having surgery. “The regulations require these women to undergo humiliating and invasive physical examinations followed by harmful and experimental medical procedures if they wish to compete internationally in women’s events between 400m and one mile, the exact range in which Ms. Semenya specializes,” Semenya's lawyers said. World Athletics, which was then known as the IAAF, announced in 2018 it would introduce the rules. Semenya challenged them and lost at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019. She also lost a second appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal last year. That second case will be central to her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. “Caster asks the Court to find that Switzerland has failed in its positive obligations to protect her against the violation of her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights," her lawyers said. They said the track body's rules were “discriminatory attempts to restrict the ability of certain women to participate in female athletics competitions.” Because of her refusal to lower her natural testosterone, Semenya has been barred from running in the 800 since 2019, when she was the dominant runner in the world over two laps. She is currently not allowed to run her favourite race — the race she has won two Olympic golds and three world titles in — at any major event. Semenya is not the only athlete affected. Two other Olympic medallists from Africa, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Margaret Wambui of Kenya, have said they are also bound by the rules. They also said they would refuse to undergo medical intervention to reduce their testosterone levels. “I hope the European court will put an end to the longstanding human rights violations by World Athletics against women athletes," Semenya said in a statement. "All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all." Semenya, Niyonsaba and Wambui finished 1-2-3 in the 800 metres at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, strengthening World Athletics' argument that their medical conditions gave them an athletic advantage over other women. It's unclear if the human rights court would be able to hear Semenya's case before the delayed Tokyo Olympics, which might be Semenya's last. The games are set to open on July 23. Previous sports cases that have gone to the European Court of Human Rights have taken years to be decided. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Gerald Imray, The Associated Press
(Maria Jose Burgos/CBC - image credit) Yusuf Shire was at a work meeting in Fredericton when a newcomer from Burundi called. The man had just been held at gunpoint at his home on Gregg Court near the University of New Brunswick. The caller's voice trembled as he spoke to Shire in rapid sentences about what he and his roommates had just gone through. Without hanging up, Shire rushed a co-worker out the door and asked him for a drive to Gregg Court. The newcomer was no longer there, but Shire got permission from police to collect some of his belongings. "I remember thinking his life could have been taken," said the 32-year-old Shire, who is originally from Somalia. When Shire found him, the man was in shock and alone in a hotel room, where police had taken him. Like many New Brunswick newcomers from African countries, this man had known that Shire, the president of the New Brunswick African Association, would be the person to call for help. The Gregg Court incident that Shire was called to last fall is the subject of a criminal case now before the courts. Ubuntu Shire is used to getting phone calls late at night or in the middle of a work day that require him to drop what he's doing and, since he has no car, pay for a cab or ask a friend for a ride to where he's needed. And Shire does so willingly every time. When he left a Kenyan refugee camp for Canada in 2007, he carried a small bag of possessions and a big lesson. It came from his grandparents when he was growing up in the camp: helping others always comes first. Almost every day, Shire would see his grandparents bring orphaned kids to their shelter at the camp to eat. "Without knowing these people, they were helping them," said Shire. "They raised them as family." Yusuf Shire in the Fredericton airport welcoming newcomers. In Africa, he said, this philosophy of kindness is called ubuntu. "Ubuntu means 'I am, because we are.' That is our culture. It is our way of life." Shire has a full-time job as a settlement worker at the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, and volunteers nights and weekends with the New Brunswick African Association. Sometimes, the people who call him are victims of racist attacks who need him to be their interpreter with police or to follow up with reported incidents. Other times, they need Shire to translate documents to English from Swahili or Somali or accompany them to apartment viewings and school appointments. Every so often, the calls and emails come from a much greater distance, from Africans who want to know more about the quality of life in New Brunswick before they emigrate. "I can take the load," he said. "I do this for my community. That is ubuntu." WATCH | Yusuf Shire describes the work done by the NBAA for immigrants from African countries Finding funding The New Brunswick African Association was created in Fredericton in 1999. Its headquarters are a tiny office in the Fredericton Intercultural Center with red tile floors, a desk, an old couch and colourful posters about the group tucked in a corner. The African Association is made up of nine volunteers, who organize anti-racism programs, soccer games and community food distribution and who help immigrants from African countries find housing and jobs. Today, the association helps about 800 immigrants across the province. Shire works nights and weekends trying to help answer the needs of immigrants from African countries. Once a year, the group receives a grant from the government to pay for a two-day event called AfroFest, which is hosted in different New Brunswick cities each year. People throughout Canada come together during the event with dance, music, food and workshops on African culture. "But the grassroots community work, those are the things that we have no support for from the government yet," said Shire. The group holds community fundraisers to help pay for its work. "We put our time and sometimes our own money as we try to create programs and awareness regarding these issues, especially when it comes to racism and violent attacks in our community." The 2020 AfroFest was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plans for this year are uncertain. But this year, Shire will apply for government funding and try to expand the work done by the association. He can see ways to put the money to use. For instance, he would like to set up a scholarship fund to help African youth going to college or university. Fatuma Ali, the group's vice-president, works closely with Shire. She is from Kenya and moved to Fredericton with her son and daughter in 2017. "For me, the dream is to employ people to have more programs for kids and teenagers." Ali is a full-time student at St. Thomas University, where she's studying sociology and gender studies. Every week, she drives Somali women in Fredericton, some of whom are single mothers, to their medical appointments and shopping and gives them lessons on personal hygiene. Based in Ottawa, the Burundi Drummers attended AfroFest in Moncton last year. Hands-on work According to Shire, Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton are the New Brunswick cities with the highest number of African immigrants, with the latter topping the list because many newcomers speak French. "Our community shares upcoming programs and events with each other and we used to have a lot of potlucks," said Shire of a time before COVID-19. The community, tight-knit as it is, also shares stories of racist attacks when they hear of one near them. And these stories are always shared with Shire. Owan Ahuka and his family have had support from Shire for eight years. In the last year, Shire has met some people from African countries who have been victims of attacks in Fredericton. For example, the man who was held at gunpoint in a Fredericton house by a white man. Someone has been charged in the case, which is still before the courts, but for weeks this man and the other victims were afraid to leave their home, even though they were moved to a new house in the city. "We were doing wellness checks," Shire said. "We connected them with victim services, so they can get counselling. The anxiety is there, the depression is there." Shire would buy them groceries and visit them every few days. Volunteers with the New Brunswick African Association prepare and sort the food that they will then distribute to the African community in Fredericton. "It's making them think, 'Is this the right place to live?' It puts the work on NBAA again to try to convince them to stay," said Shire. Shire is also familiar with the attacks against immigrants on Doone Street, a public housing neighbourhood in Fredericton's north side. Owan Ahuka's family lives in Wilson Row, a cul de sac off Doone Street, and was victim of attacks by neighbours. "He tried to help us solve problems and follow up on incidents," Ahuka, 23, said of Shire, whom he's known for eight years. "Even before he was president, he was a close person to us." Not afraid A lot of the work Shire does is exhausting and might sound frightening. Cabbing in the middle of the night to homes where cars have been slashed. Rushing to the hospital to tend to people with wounds. Getting calls related to standoffs. Translating depressing accounts of situations from Somali to English, back and forth, over and over again. But Shire is not afraid, and he's definitely not exhausted. Last year, one of the Black History Month activities organized by the association was to bake mandazis, which are fried dough desserts similar to doughnuts. They originated in the coastal region of Kenya and Tanzania. Shire loves New Brunswick, and he wants members of his community to feel the same way. "I tell people if they stay here, they can be part of the change. Moving to a bigger city won't make any difference. You can experience these issues anywhere you go." "We know the issues of our community better than anybody else. We must lead this conversation, but we won't be able to without support." Keeping a tradition alive Shire still remembers how every month in the refugee camp, his family would wait for food from the United Nations, not knowing what they would get. Two kilos of flour, some oil. Living in a camp is a lot of waiting without knowing what will happen next, he said. But now, Shire spends his days planning for the future — with people he met on his arrival in Canada and who have become family, but also, and for those still trying to leave refugee camps. "My grandparents, in a foreign country without knowing people, they dedicated their life in helping the orphaned kids and people in our community," said Shire. "I want to continue this tradition." 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.
(John Robertson/CBC - image credit) Atlantic Canada's largest Mi'kmaw community is preparing to launch a moderate livelihood fishery that will focus first on lobster. Fish harvesters met this week in Eskasoni First Nation to discuss the development of a plan, with fishing to begin later this spring. "Our first concentration is going to be in the lobster industry, which is deemed to kick off probably in May," said fishing captain Jibby Paul. "From there on, we will continue on with appendices to be inserted into our moderate livelihood plan." Last fall, fishermen from Eskasoni joined members of the Potlotek First Nation in carrying out one of the province's first self-regulated Indigenous fisheries. Paul said Eskasoni's moderate livelihood fishery will be far-reaching. "We expect to be fishing all of Atlantic Canada because we are the biggest First Nations band here," he said. Council to develop long-term plan Fish harvesters in the community are expected to provide advice to Eskasoni's chief and council in developing its own fishery guidelines. Paul said two moderate livelihood co-ordinators will be appointed over the coming weeks to help guide the process. He said there is no time limit on when the plan will be completed. "Time-frame factors are not a concern to us," Paul said. "It's not an overnight issue — it's a long-term plan." Mi’kmaw harvesters from Potlotek First Nation took to the water on St. Peters Bay to launch a moderate livelihood fishery on Oct. 1, 2020. The community is expected to work in co-operation with the federal government to ensure that catch is landed responsibly. "We'll work among ourselves to develop this plan that we modify and restructure, so the government and Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be very satisfied with the plan that we have set forth," said Paul. "And this is all based on the conservation and science, so we work with that department." Due to gathering limits, Paul said fishers will be able to provide input into the plan's development without having to attend meetings. Still waiting for 'moderate livelihood' to be defined The Supreme Court of Canada's landmark 1999 decision in the Donald Marshall Jr. case affirmed a treaty right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. But after waiting more than two decades for "moderate livelihood" to be defined, the Mi'kmaq are moving ahead on their own. On Wednesday, Chief Terry Paul of the Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton said his community is in the planning stages of developing its own livelihood lobster fishery, and will be seeking feedback from the community in the coming months. Chief Terry Paul of the Membertou First Nation says the community is making plans for its own self-regulated fishery. Sipekne'katik First Nation was the first to launch a moderate livelihood fishery on Nova Scotia's southwest coast in St. Marys Bay last September. That fishery faced tense and sometimes violent opposition by non-Indigenous fishermen, many of whom argued the fishery would hurt lobster stocks. Sipekne'katik First Nation and Potlotek First Nation have launched separate lawsuits against the Nova Scotia government over the right to sell seafood harvested through a moderate livelihood fishery. MORE TOP STORIES
Alphabet Inc's Google will change procedures before July for reviewing its scientists' work, according to a town hall recording heard by Reuters, part of an effort to quell internal tumult over the integrity of its artificial intelligence (AI) research. In remarks at a staff meeting last Friday, Google Research executives said they were working to regain trust after the company ousted two prominent women and rejected their work, according to an hour-long recording, the content of which was confirmed by two sources. Teams are already trialing a questionnaire that will assess projects for risk and help scientists navigate reviews, research unit Chief Operating Officer Maggie Johnson said in the meeting.
(Nancy Russell/CBC - image credit) About 75 Stratford, P.E.I., households took part in the town's free water audit program in 2020, the first year it was offered in the Island community. "Four or five years ago, Stratford introduced the water meters to set up a system for monitoring water use within the residential homes, so the watershed group partnered with the town in an effort to reduce water use within homes," said Emily VanIderstine, watershed co-ordinator. "The watershed group was seeing a lot of impact on our freshwater streams, especially in the Fullerton Creek conservation area, which is one of the town's major well fields." Checking for leaks VanIderstine said she starts the audit by teaching homeowners how to read their water meter, and how to check it for leaks. For the second part of the water audit, she goes around the home, to different bathrooms and in the kitchen, and measures the flow of each fixture, to measure how much water each faucet is actually using. She also asks the homeowners questions about their water use habits. VanIderstine says the water audits usually find a leak, about 95 per cent of the time. Finally, based on the questions and measurements, she said the home gets a rating out of 100 and recommendations on how to reduce their water use. "We've been finding quite a few leaks in most homes, especially older homes, I'd say probably 95 per cent of the time, " VanIderstine said. "I guess because people aren't normally looking for them, so you can go years without checking for leaks, especially in the older homes where maybe people have never looked." 'Shocked' at water bill VanIderstine said Stratford residents have a range of reasons for signing up for a water audit. "A lot of the times it is because of the high water bill where people are quite shocked at how much it's costing them. And then as we go into the homes, people are more interested in the conservation side of it as well," VanIderstine said. "We've had a few where it's been purely for the conservation side, but the majority of them are because of the cost of their bills." For the second part of the water audit, VanIderstine goes around the home, to different bathrooms and in the kitchen, and measures the flow of each fixture, to measure how much water each faucet is actually using. VanIderstine said some water leaks have led to hefty bills. "We've had people where their bill ended up being $1,000," VanIderstine said. "The first thing they usually do is they'll call the town and say, my water bill is extremely high. What happened? What can I do? The town usually directs them toward me." VanIderstine said if she can't find the source of the leak, the town can send a utility staff person to help. Useful advice Homeowners Wendy Wittenberg and Tim Rob had a water audit done at their home in February 2020, not long after they moved in. "Since we bought this house, and it was already a little bit old, we wanted to have as much checked as possible and look into ways to improve things," Rob said. "Partly it's indeed lowering the bill and also just wanting to use less water." Homeowners Wendy Wittenberg and Tim Rob had a water audit done at their home in February 2020, not long after they moved in. As a result of the audit, Rob said the family decided to replace two toilets that were old and had been using a lot of water. "We had leaks. I already fixed one before the water audit, in one toilet, and there was actually another leak in another toilet and I didn't know about that," Rob said. They also replaced their dishwasher and washing machine, based on the recommendations from the audit. "I would definitely recommend to have this done so you would know if you have a leakage, if you can save some money and water," said Wittenberg. The home gets a rating out of 100 and recommendations on how to reduce water use. VanIderstine said COVID definitely impacted the number of participants in the program, which launched in January 2020, with a goal of 200 households per year. The program was put on hold several times, and new COVID measures mean wearing masks and social distancing during the audits, and fewer home visits per day. "We also have to sanitize all of our equipment between each home so before we were doing four to five audits a day going from home to home, whereas now there's a bit of a break in between. "We're doing less audits a day just to reduce kind of interactions with the public to keep our contact tracing numbers a bit lower." Monitoring streams The audits pause during the summer, and the watershed crew heads out to monitor water levels, which is the second component of the program. "We've been keeping track of the number of audits we've been doing ... we're keeping track of the amount of water each home is using, the amount of leaks," VanIderstine said. "We're also measuring water volume in streams, and we're hoping that as the program goes on, we see those volume measures increase and the homeowners' use decrease." The audits pause during the summer, and the watershed crew heads out to monitor water levels, which is the second component of the program. VanIderstine said the program will continue for two more years, with funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the town. More from CBC P.E.I.
(CBC - image credit) Crosbie Williams is no stranger to barn fires, having lost a family farm years ago, but seeing Woodland Dairy's building in the Goulds engulfed in flames Monday night has stayed with him in the days since. "When you see the home for the cows go up in smoke and the cattle as well — there's no other way to say it, except it's absolutely terrifying, in every aspect. And it changes somebody from that day on," Williams, who runs nearby Pondview Farms, said. The blaze ripped through the barn, killing scores of cows — Williams estimated about 60 to 90 total perished — with little left of the structure, which he called "a complete loss." Williams was on the scene, which he said was "chaos," as more than 20 firefighters and volunteers spent hours getting the fire under control. The aftermath has rocked its owner, Michael Dinn and his family, he said. "As you can imagine, they're all over the place right now, it's been an extremely difficult time," Williams told CBC Radio's On The Go Wednesday. Dinn was relatively new on the dairy scene, said Williams, with about six years of farming under his belt after starting in the field through the industry's new entrant program. "He was doing a phenomenal job," Williams said. Dinn had been working hard to develop his land, and Williams hopes that the fire, as devastating as it was, can be put in the past. "It's been said to me that he has plans to rebuild, and I hope he does. Michael Dinn's an extremely hard worker," Williams said. In the days since the blaze, online fundraisers and other supports have popped up, as friends and the agriculture community come together to help bridge any gaps Dinn may be facing. "That's our hope, and I will certainly support him in any way that we can, and you know, it's my hope that this continues for him," he said. Williams said memories of his own family's barn fire of 1968 came flooding back as he saw Monday's fire, and he knows of many other farmers who feel the same. "It brings everything back. Absolutely terrible," he said. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
An expected dash by big corporations for offsets to meet their climate targets has prompted financial exchanges to launch carbon futures contracts to capitalise on what could be a multi-billion dollar market. Carbon offsets, generated by emissions reduction projects, such as tree planting or shifts to less polluting fuels, have struggled for years to gain credibility, but as climate action has become urgent, their market is expected to grow to as much as $50 billion by 2030. Among the major corporations that say they expect to use them to compensate for any emissions they cannot cut from their operations and products are Unilever, EasyJet, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, which all have climate targets.
On sait que la relâche ne sera pas tout à fait comme les autres. C’est pourquoi l’administration contrecœuroise a entrepris de mettre sur pied une série d’activités destinées aux jeunes de la région. Question de garder leurs pieds, les mains et leurs méninges bien actifs durant cette semaine de pause annonciatrice du printemps. Programmées entre le 1er mars et le 5 avril prochains, ces activités sont regroupées sous quatre rubriques sur le site de la Ville: Les détectives, Le spa à la maison, Les amateurs de nature ainsi que Les Indécis. Le coût d’inscription est de 5 $ pour les résidents de Contrecœur. Chaque catégorie comprend des idées en lien avec la thématique proposée, que ce soit du bricolage, du sport, une expérience scientifique ou un atelier culinaire. Afin de concevoir les activités, les initiateurs du projet ont par ailleurs fait appel à divers partenaires incluant le Zoo de Granby. Les jeunes auront en effet l’occasion d’en apprendre davantage sur le bien-être animal en général et sur nos amis félins en particulier. Ils auront aussi la chance de participer à des activités virtuelles sur la glu galactique et la magie du papier avec Technoscience. Ou encore dépenser de l’énergie lors d’un entraînement familial avec l’entreprise locale KinéCible. Les fans d’humour auront également de quoi s’occuper durant la relâche. Ces derniers pourront en effet assister au spectacle virtuel de Vincent Fecteau. Le programme comprend par ailleurs des jeux-questionnaires sur des séries télé populaires organisées par La Dame de Cœur – Pub Ludique. Des ateliers de breakdance ou de dessin sont aussi offerts par les productions Katomix. Pour participer aux différentes activités proposées, les Contrecœurois doivent s’inscrire d’ici au 24 février sur le site de la Ville. Les places sont disponibles en quantité limitée. Durant la relâche, d’autres activités sont proposées aux familles ailleurs dans la MRC. Les jeunes et leurs parents peuvent notamment emprunter des patins, skis de fond, tubes à glisser et raquettes de 10 h à 17 h au parc Le Rocher à Saint-Amable. Le tout, afin de prendre l’air et se dégourdir les pattes le temps d’un agréable après-midi à l’extérieur. À Verchères, trois ateliers interactifs sont proposés aux jeunes de la municipalité. Le 2 mars, les enfants peuvent ainsi assister à l’atelier de magie de Magislain dès 9 h. Le lendemain à 10 h, à celui de dessin offert par Sheltoon. Le 4 mars à 9 h, les curieux peuvent pour leur part participer à l’atelier de Science en folie. Des activités sont également proposées sur le site de la Ville de Sainte-Julie, dont certaines dans le cadre des Julievernales. Les résidents de tous âges pourront donc profiter des patinoires, sentiers et jeux d’évasion s’ils ont envie de bouger. Ou encore bouquiner à la bibliothèque dont les heures d’ouverture sont disponibles sur le site de la Ville. Steve Martin, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
(CBC - image credit) As the Ford government forges ahead with a plan to build a 400-series highway in the northwest of the Greater Toronto Area, a growing patchwork of city councils, agricultural and environmental groups and residents is pushing back. Highway 413, also called the GTA West corridor, would run through Vaughan, Caledon, Brampton and Halton Hills, connecting Highway 400 with the Highway 401/407 interchange. First suggested about 15 years ago, the 59-kilometre project was killed in 2018 by the Wynne government, then resuscitated a year later when Doug Ford took over. "We call it the zombie highway, because it keeps dying and being revived," said Sarah Buchanan, Ontario climate program manager with Environmental Defence. "It's very surprising to us, because each time it's proposed, there seems to be huge public outcry and a lot of evidence to support cancelling it." The province's preferred route for Highway 413, running from Highway 400 in Vaughan and curving west to where Highways 401 and 407 meet in Halton. The province argues the highway is necessary to serve a rapidly growing region, telling CBC News that by 2051, the population of the Greater Golden Horseshoe is expected to hit 14.8 million — and that roads need to keep up. But with the Ontario budget set to be revealed in late March, scores of organizers and residents are now turning to a grab-bag of online events, council meeting deputations, lawn signs, petitions and social media posts to argue for a different approach to moving people in the region. "People are recognizing that it's an economic and environmental disaster, given that it's going to pave over 400 acres of the Greenbelt and 2000 acres of prime farmland," said Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner. "I'm going to be pushing on the government from a fiscal standpoint," he continued. "My hope is we will not see money allocated for the highway in the budget." Mississauga latest to denounce project On Wednesday, Mississauga announced they had unanimously passed a motion opposing Highway 413, with Mayor Bonnie Crombie writing in a statement that it will "encourage residential sprawl and increase our dependence on cars." Orangeville and Halton Hills have taken similar stances, and other councils have backed motions calling for more assessments or consultation. Buchanan, who has been working against the project for two years now, says she's sensing a change in the political winds. "When the province first proposed reviving Highway 413, we first saw a flurry of motions mostly supporting that highway," said Buchanan. "Now those are all starting to crumble. Just in the last month we've seen York Regional Council pass a motion … calling for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to take another look at it." Caledon also came out as pro-highway, but at their most recent meeting, Buchanan said, the council there passed a motion in favour of a federal environmental assessment and more consultation on the project. There are signs Brampton council may be of two minds as well, with Mayor Patrick Brown recently telling the Toronto Star that the highway was "contrary to Brampton's economic interests." Worries over shrinking farmland Decrying a fast-tracked environmental assessment process, Environmental Defence has been calling on the federal government to step in and perform an assessment of its own on both Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, another controversial highway project. In response, Ottawa has now reached out to all seven regions, towns and cities that would play host to the highway for their input on that request. Environmental groups are also finding allies in agricultural organizations such as the National Farmers Union - Ontario and the Ontario Farmland Trust (OTF). Environmental Defence has given away about 800 of its 'Stop the 413' lawn signs, and has attracted about 16,000 signatures to two online petitions against the project. "The loss of farmland from this project will result in fragmentation of the agricultural land base and a weakening of the provincial agricultural system," wrote the OTF in a submission to the province in October of last year. The province told CBC Toronto it will be conducting an agricultural impact assessment "or equivalent study" on Highway 413, and that the preferred route for the highway, unveiled in August, was developed to avoid as much farmland as possible — but Schreiner isn't convinced. "Once you lose that farmland, it's gone forever," he told CBC Toronto. Will the highway reduce traffic? Critics also question whether the highway will, in fact, speed up travel times, with opponents often citing a study that found the highway would shave between 30 seconds and one minute per trip in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The province disputes that study, pointing out it takes unrelated trips around the region into account, and says motorists will take 30 minutes off their trip by driving the length of 413 instead of using the 400 and 401. To some residents, the highway's location still doesn't make sense. "It's ridiculous," said Rene Vlahovic, a Kleinberg resident who made a deputation against Highway 413 at York Region council earlier this month. "This highway doesn't help very much," he added in an interview with CBC Toronto. "The east-west traffic isn't the issue ... This highway is way too close to the 407 to be of any use." His thoughts were echoed by another opponent, Irene Ford, who asked the same council how the highway would ultimately help Vaughan residents. "Major pain points are nowhere close to the highway. It seems more likely to create traffic congestion and negative community impacts," she wrote to the council. Both Ford and Vlahovic are involved with a group called "Stop the 413," which, via a busy Facebook group, shares petitions and articles about the project and now has more than 1,200 members. The province is planning a public information session on Highway 413 in fall 2021, and says comments can be submitted any time at the project's official website. Price tag estimated at $6B Opponents of the highway estimate it will cost $6 billion at a minimum, if not significantly more — money they say would be better spent on increasing GO service and getting trucks onto the 407. The province, meanwhile, says the project's estimated cost has yet to be determined and points out that construction will include "infrastructure dedicated for transit and passenger stations." Jane Fogal, a councillor in Halton Hills and a vocal opponent of Highway 413, says she's been questioning who stands to gain from its construction since the concept was rebooted two years ago. "Certainly land owners along a 400 series highway could expect their property to be re-zoned for primarily industrial or potentially residential use," she said. "Their property value is certainly going up." Halton Hills Coun. Jane Fogal says: 'There are other alternatives to solve the apparent problem [of] congestion … without the harm to the environment.' Schreiner agrees. "The biggest beneficiaries are going to be the land speculators," he said. But both Schreiner and Fogal see hope in the voices of opposition around the region. "We have seen this government, in the face of significant opposition, backtrack," said Schreiner. "I would say for people who care about this … continue the opposition to it.