Bachelor Nation star Demi Burnett has apologized after a photo resurfaced of her wearing a Yeezy jacket with a Confederate flag on the sleeve. It’s the latest in a string of racist issues surrounding the “Bachelor” franchise.
Bachelor Nation star Demi Burnett has apologized after a photo resurfaced of her wearing a Yeezy jacket with a Confederate flag on the sleeve. It’s the latest in a string of racist issues surrounding the “Bachelor” franchise.
When the Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars last month, it arrived with a B.C.-made tool in its figurative tool belt. The six-wheeled, plutonium-powered U.S. rover landed on the red planet on Feb. 18, with a mandate to drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be returned to NASA in about 2031. That drilling will be done using a drill bit tip designed and manufactured by a company based in Langford, B.C. "It has great wear and fraction resistance so it is perfect for a Mars application," said Ron Sivorat, business director for Kennametal Inc., during an interview on CBC's All Points West. The drill bit tip is made from K92-grade tungsten carbide blanks, which Sivorat said are one of the toughest grades used for drilling here on earth and he is confident it will be good enough for Mars. According to Sivorat, the company has had a relationship with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2014, when the space agency first began ordering and testing Kennametal Inc. drill bit tips. In 2018, the company learned NASA wanted to work with it to build a bit for Perseverance. Sivorat said staff built the drill bit to NASA's specifications and then sent it to the agency who finessed it somewhat for its Mars mission. When Perseverance landed safely on the fourth planet from the sun, it was an exciting moment for Kennametal Inc. employees, many of whom watched the landing online and are continuing to check on Perservance's daily progress updates. "We know that we are going to be part of, in one way or another, an historical event that will be remembered for many years to come," said Sivorat. Sivorat said he expects the drill bit built in B.C. to start penetrating the surface of Mars in the next couple of weeks. And B.C. is not the only Canadian province with a connection to Perseverance. Canadian Photonic Labs, based in Minnedosa, Man., manufactured a high-speed and highly-durable camera that played an instrumental role in landing the rover. The Manitoba company's relationship with NASA dates back roughly 15 years, he said — but much of the work that's happened in that time has been cloaked in secrecy.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
BARRIE, Ont. — Police say they have closed Highway 400 in both directions due to a series of vehicle collisions. Ontario Provincial Police have shut down the major artery from Highway 88 outside of Bradford, Ont., to Mapleview Drive in Barrie, Ont. Whiteout conditions on the highway north of Toronto have limited visibility and made driving treacherous. Police and paramedics are on the scene, although they say no serious injuries have been reported yet. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP estimates that dozens of vehicles have been involved in accidents on the 30-kilometre stretch of Highway 400. Schmidt says that police have begun to remove cars from the road, but they're asking commuters to avoid the area as high winds and poor visibility continue. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
CALGARY — All systems are go for the Canadian men's curling championship after the women proved elite curling can happen in a pandemic. Curling Canada says no one tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts which concluded Sunday in Calgary. In an arena with no spectators, Kerri Einarson's team from Gimli, Man., claimed a second straight title. "We said at the start of the week if we sent everybody home healthy, then we did our job," said Curling Canada's Nolan Thiessen, who among his many titles is director of event presentation, innovation and athlete liaison. "The women that came and participated did amazing. They took everything seriously. They just did whatever they needed to do to make sure they could compete. "Proof of concept. They've shown it can be done. It's on everybody else who descends into the bubble to do what we need to do." About 500 on-site tests were conducted during the Hearts with no positive tests, Thiessen said Monday The Hearts was the first of four Curling Canada events relocated to Calgary in a hub-city model walling participants off from the general public. The men start arriving Tuesday in Calgary for the men's national championship, the Tim Hortons Brier, opening Friday at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre. The 35-team field for the national mixed doubles March 18-25 will be announced Tuesday. The men's world championship follows April 3-11. A pair of Grand Slams, which are Rogers Sportsnet's properties, are also scheduled for Calgary in April. The women were confined to the arena and their hotel on either side of Trans-Canada Highway in Calgary's west end, and drove themselves back and forth in rental cars. They bought into testing and self-isolation before and after arrival in Calgary, regular temperature checks, mandatory masks off the ice, and no socializing at the hotel with other teams with nary an eye roll or sigh, Thiessen said. The women accepted Curling Canada needed to do what Alberta Health required so they could curl. "There were times when they were like 'oh, what are we supposed to be doing here?' but not in a bad way," Thiessen said. "We have a chief medical officer on site and they are responsible for that piece of it. It wasn't a curling person making a medical decision. "Any time we told them anything health and safety related, they knew it was us passing on the information." Northwest Territories third Jo-Ann Rizzo's bout of food poisoning on the first night of the tournament was a test run of some pandemic protocols. While the CMO was convinced it was a stomach bug, Rizzo was tested anyway. She and her teammates isolated in their rooms all day awaiting the result. N.W.T.'s game against Canada that day was postponed two days to what was a morning off for all teams. "It definitely showed a good reason why we kept a draw open in the middle of the week," Thiessen said. "It showed a good reason for what our protocols were and why we put safety first. "We're not expecting to go this whole thing with every day going exactly according to plan and there's no health issues. That hasn't been the case with any sport." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has agreed to live in the seat of state government in Charleston, ending a long-running challenge over his residency. A Kanawha County judge Monday signed an order dismissing a 2018 lawsuit filed by a former state lawmaker. Through his attorney, Justice said he intends to reside in Charleston “consistent with the definition of ‘reside’ in the Supreme Court of Appeals’ opinion," according to the dismissal order signed by Senior Status Circuit Judge Dan O'Hanlon. “The parties agree that Respondent’s voluntary agreement to reside at the seat of government within the meaning of the Constitution renders this case moot and that the case should be dismissed,” O'Hanlon wrote. In allowing the lawsuit to proceed in November, the state Supreme Court rejected arguments from Justice that the courts could not force him to live in the state capital. The challenge has been a thorn in the side of Justice, a two-term governor who defended living in Lewisburg even though the state constitution says the governor “shall reside at the seat of government” in Charleston. The justices wrote that courts had the right to compel the Republican governor to comply with the constitution. Justice's lawyers had appealed to the Supreme Court after the lower court declined to throw out the case. Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle brought the suit after bipartisan criticism that Justice lived 100 (160 kilometres) miles away from Charleston, near his resort, The Greenbrier. Both sides had argued over the definition of “residency.” Sponaugle claimed the common sense meaning of the word “residency” holds that the governor needs to sleep in Charleston. But Justice's lawyers have said the term was vague and the matter was a political question outside the court's purview. While defending the constitution's residency clause, the justices also said the governor "failed to meet his burden to show that the circuit court exceeded its legitimate powers.” Under the terms of the dismissal order, Justice, a billionaire businessman and richest person in the state who owns a complex business empire of coal and agricultural entities, agreed to pay $65,000 to Sponaugle for attorney fees and costs. John Raby, The Associated Press
Donwood Park public school is temporarily shutting its doors because of a COVID-19 outbreak that include four cases of variants or concern. Erica Vella has details.
WASHINGTON — The White House is making it abundantly clear it has no plans to share America's COVID-19 vaccines with Canada or Mexico. Press secretary Jen Psaki has been indicating for weeks that the Biden administration would not allow the export of doses manufactured in the U.S. any time soon. Today, with Mexico planning to explicitly ask for help, Psaki ruled the possibility out entirely. She says President Joe Biden is focused first on making sure the vaccine is available to every American. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was expected to ask Biden directly for doses when the two meet virtually later today. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly stopped short of making a similar request in his virtual meetings with Biden last week. "No," Psaki said today when asked whether the U.S. would be willing to share its supply of vaccine doses. "The president has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are available to every American. That is our focus." Psaki hinted last week that the White House position could change later this year once more Americans are vaccinated and the doses are no longer in such short supply.Johnson and Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine began shipping out today after it received emergency authorization over the weekend from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That now makes three vaccines that are available in the U.S., along with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Health Canada has yet to approve the Johnson and Johnson shot, but gave the green light last week to a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
Starting today, Montreal's transit corporation is installing 76 defibrillators across all of its Metro stations. The long-awaited project will cost $306,379, take about five weeks and comes six years after a coroner's report recommended that each Metro station have a first-aid kit and resuscitation equipment. "In a few weeks, no matter where an incident occurs in a Metro station, a defibrillator will be accessible within five minutes, which can make a huge difference to the chances of survival," said Philippe Schnobb, chairman of the STM board of Directors, in a news release. Philippe Déry, a spokesperson for the STM, told CBC News that, until now, there have been no defibrillators in Montreal Metro stations. Currently, an ambulance technician assigned to Berri-UQAM is equipped with an AED (automated external defibrillator) and can respond to emergencies at neighbouring stations. That service will continue to be available after the defibrillators are ready for use. "Since the STM operates in an urban and denser environment, our customers and employees have always been able to count on first responders (firefighters) and on the pre-hospital emergency care offered by Urgences-santé," said Déry. "The project this winter is going further than the coroner's report by equipping not only stations but also service vehicles and many other work sites." 'Simple to use' Since 2010, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada has called on all public institutions to provide emergency care equipment, says Salim Grim, manager of the foundation's resuscitation program in Quebec. For bystanders worried they may cause more harm than good by using an AED, Grim says they shouldn't hesitate to reach for a defibrillator since the device instructs the user. "When someone is in cardiac arrest, citizens have to understand that the person is almost dead," Grim said. "It's simple to use. If the AED is recommending a shock, it's not the decision of the person. It's the recommendation of the machine. There is no chance to hurt someone. The most important thing is to do something."
?Esdilagh First Nation (Alexandria) was relieved to finally receive its first round of coronavirus vaccines on Friday, Feb. 26. “It’s quite frustrating the way things have been rolling out for our community in general,” Coun. Chad Stump said. “All of our sister communities out west in the Chilcotin were all vaccinated and some of them are going through the second round of vaccinations, and today it’s finally the first day we got 30 vaccines for ?Esdilagh.” The 30 vaccines were administered to high-risk elders at the community’s Chief Frank Joe Health Centre and chief and council forfeited their right to be inoculated first due to the limited number of Moderna doses delivered. The small semi-remote Indigenous community situated along both sides of the Fraser River between Williams Lake and Quesnel entered lockdown in mid-January as the Cariboo Chilcotin region experienced an increase in COVID-19 activity, with several First Nations experiencing clusters or outbreaks. As vaccines became available to neighbouring Tsilhqot’in and non-Tsilqhot’in communities, all ?Esdilagh could do was wait as the First Nations Health Authority deemed them low-risk, Stump said. “That’s what it felt like for the longest time—?Esdilagh being forgotten. Just because there’s a smaller number of people doesn’t mean we’re not high risk. The coronavirus doesn’t care who you are or where you come from.” Stump estimates between 150 people live on-reserve and within the reserve’s close vicinity and said the 30 vaccines are “a drop in the bucket.” Variants have raised renewed concerns about resurgences and Stump said the community needs to make sure it is fighting to get more vaccines for people that are off-reserve and who are high-risk within the community. He praised the health staff for their efforts and noted ?Esdilagh COVID-19 enforcement officers Daryl Johnny and former chief Roy Stump are making sure the community is adhering to the lockdown and following key guidelines in reducing the risk of contracting or spreading the disease. Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
VANCOUVER — Axel Schuster's first season as sporting director of the Vancouver Whitecaps was anything but boring. Despite navigating a series of unprecedented challenges, he believes the club finished last year with a solid foundation they can build on as training camp opens this week. "We spoke about it. We still think we did some sustainable, good steps," Schuster said. "Obviously we didn’t really meet our expectations at the very end, but it was close and now we have a new bar and we want to jump over this.” Last year, Schuster navigated the club through a season full of stops and starts as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the Major League Soccer schedule and forced all three Canadian clubs to relocate south of the border. The Whitecaps lived at a hotel in downtown Portland for more than two months and played at Providence Park, home of the rival Portland Timbers. The 'Caps ended the unusual campaign outside of the playoffs for the third year in a row with a 9-14-0 record. All of the upheaval took its toll on the group, Schuster said. “It took us too long to come back into shape and into structure, to be that team that we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, that we had been in the first two games," he said. “I will stress and challenge my team and my coaches to say ‘We want to be a big step better than last year.’” There'll be more hurdles this season, however. The team is holding its training camp in Vancouver but plans are in the works to relocate to Salt Lake City due to border restrictions. There's hope the team can return to Vancouver before the end of the season if conditions improve. COVID-19 has also made it difficult to organize pre-season games, Schuster said. The club isn't planning on playing any exhibition matches until they arrive in Utah ahead of the season kick off on April 17. One positive note heading into 2021 is the team's relatively low turnover. Two dozen players from last year's roster are back, including last year's leading goal scorer Lucas Cavallini. The team will also get back goaltenders Maxime Crepeau and Thomas Hasal, who both suffered season ending injuries in 2020. Crepeau went down with a fractured thumb in July and Hasal followed in September with a concussion and stress fracture in his left tibia. Having so many returning players means the club can skip the rebuilding process this pre-season, said coach Marc Dos Santos. It's a very different starting point from what the 'Caps have seen in the past two years, where the club attempted to integrate a number of new players before the season began. "It gives you a better chance to succeed," Dos Santos said Monday after the team's first voluntary group training session. "At the end of the day, when I look at the teams that succeed in MLS, they're groups that have been together for a good amount of time. They're groups that there's a chemistry between guys, there's a core that's important that comes back year after year. And that's where we have to get as a club." A few new faces will filter into the training facility in the coming weeks. Colombian striker Deiber Caicedo has yet to join the group after signing a three-year deal in January. Draft picks Javian Brown, a Jamaican right back, and David Egbo, a Nigerian forward, are still finishing up immigration paperwork. And goalkeeper Evan Newton is in Vancouver, finishing his quarantine and is expected to begin training soon. Adding to the team this off-season was tougher, Schuster said, not only because of the pandemic, but because he and Dos Santos are confident in the squad's existing core. "That makes it more complicated to add more quality because you only want to add more quality, you want to add better players," he explained. "So obviously the recruitment process is also more complicated because you have to go to another shelf in the store, in the market to find the right players." Still, there are likely more pieces to come. There's talk that the Whitecaps are looking to sign Bruno Gaspar, a 27-year-old right back with Portuguese side Sporting CP. Schuster declined to comment on any pending deals, but said he is still working hard on bolstering the team. "We feel even better knowing that there are more to come," he said. "We are hopeful that we get them." No matter who's on the roster this year, the club's objective will be clear, Schuster said — play hard and make it into the post-season. "The goal is to go straight to the playoffs and be a playoff team," he said. "We want to be a team that competes to win every single game." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida officials are recommending that the state's antiquated unemployment processing system be replaced after a review confirmed what had long been known: a broken system full of glitches that was incapable of handling the unprecedented deluge of jobless claims spawned by the coronavirus outbreak. The state's Department of Economic Opportunity is recommending that the current system, known as CONNECT, be discarded and replaced with a more robust and modern system that employs cloud-based technology that could allow the system to more nimbly respond to increased demands. The department, which oversees the state's unemployment system, is asking lawmakers for $73 million over the next two years to modernize the system that left hundreds of thousands of jobless Floridians without unemployment checks for weeks and sometimes months. The director of the agency, Dane Eagle, told lawmakers Monday that Florida was not alone in its struggles. “We are far behind in where we need to be,” he said. “Florida is not the only state to experience these challenges." But as the unemployment rate surged when businesses closed, Florida was among the slowest states — if not the slowest — in getting unemployment checks to those with no other income to pay mortgages, rents and other necessities. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who likened the benefits claim system to an “old jalopy” breaking down at the Daytona 500, ordered the inspector general to investigate. The Economic Opportunity Department launched a review of its own, and the results were presented Monday to the legislative select committee on pandemic preparedness and response. The report makes clear that the system was neither prepared nor responsive at a time of crisis, when some 1.3 million Floridians, at the peak of unemployment in April, tried to access benefits through online portals that continually crashed or phone systems that only added to frustrations. The long awaited inspector general’s report could be released in a matter of weeks. The inspector general’s findings are current being reviewed by economic opportunity officials. The CONNECT system prompted concern from the start. Soon after the online portal launched in October 2013, it was beset by system crashes that prevented people from claiming benefits. Despite previous audits that identified numerous glitches, many of the problems were never addressed. Those same system failures prevented people from accessing the system. Critics warned that the system was doomed to fail. “Unfortunately, as it turns out, we were absolutely correct," said Democratic state Rep. Evan Jenne, the House minority co-leader. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 3.1 million people have filed unemployment claims in Florida. The state has paid out more than $23.1 billion in benefits — less than a fourth of that from the state's reemployment assistance program. The rest of the funds came from federal pandemic relief packages, some of it earmarked to supplement meagre unemployment checks and to provide benefits to gig workers and others who were not eligible for traditional state benefits. The state's electronic portal was initially unable to process claims filed by freelancers and other independent contractors, adding to confusion, frustration and anger. The state eventually put in place a parallel electronic system to handle claims from nontraditional workers. In fact the state's electronic portal was so overwhelmed that state officials reverted to filing claims on paper forms. As part of its just-completed review, the Department of Economic Opportunity is also asking lawmakers for authority to establish an Office of Accountability and Transparency, but it was unclear in a presentation submitted to the pandemic committee exactly what its role would be. In addition, it wants to create a Reemployment Assistance Modernization Strategic Planning Office to oversee the modernization effort. The new money requested by the Economic Opportunity Department adds to the $39 million COVID-19-related outlays in its current year budget. The $73 billion being requested for the next two years would nearly double the department’s budget during the same time period. A more modest $8 million is also being requested to supplement the department's typical annual budget of $41.3 million in the three years after. Before the pandemic, the Reemployment Assistance System budget was about $12 million annually. Meanwhile, the state’s Unemployment Benefit Trust Fund has been dramatically depleted. Its balance is now just $777 million -- less than a fifth of the $4 billion it had before the pandemic. Bobby Caina Calvan, The Associated Press
The Senate voted Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as education secretary, clearing his way to lead President Joe Biden’s effort to reopen the nation’s schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cardona, 45, a former public school teacher who went on to become Connecticut’s education chief, was approved on a 64-33 vote. He takes charge of the Education Department amid mounting tension between Americans who believe students can safely return to the classroom now, and others who say the risks are still too great. Although his position carries limited authority to force schools to reopen, Cardona will be asked to play a central role in achieving Biden’s goal to have a majority of elementary schools open five days a week within his first 100 days. He will be tasked with guiding schools through the reopening process, and sharing best practices on how to teach during a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month released a road map for getting students back into classrooms safely. The agency said masks, social distancing and other strategies should be used, but vaccination of teachers was not a prerequisite for reopening. Cardona, who gained attention for his efforts to reopen schools in Connecticut, has vowed to make it his top priority to reopen schools. At his Senate confirmation hearing last month, he said there are “great examples throughout our country of schools that have been able to reopen safely.” The debate has become a political firestorm for Biden, who is caught between competing interests as he aims to get students into the classroom without provoking the powerful teachers unions that helped put him in the White House. He says his goal of returning students to the classroom is possible if Congress approves his relief plan, which includes $130 billion for the nation’s schools. Republicans have rebuked Biden for failing to reopen schools faster, while teachers unions opposed the administration’s decision to continue with federally required standardized tests during the pandemic. The tricky terrain is nothing new for Cardona, however, who faced similar tension navigating the pandemic in Connecticut, and who has won early praise even from Biden’s critics. Republicans in Congress have applauded Cardona’s efforts to reopen schools in Connecticut, and some see him as a potential ally in their support for charter schools. Teachers, meanwhile, see him as a partner who brings years of experience in education and knows the demands of the teaching. The nomination continues a meteoric rise for Cardona, who was appointed to lead Connecticut’s education department in 2019 after spending 20 years working in Meriden, Connecticut, public schools — the same district he attended as a child. He began his career as a fourth grade teacher before becoming the state's youngest principal at age 28. In 2012, he was named Connecticut’s principal of the year, and in 2015 he became an assistant superintendent of the district. When he was appointed state education commissioner, he became the first Latino to hold the post. Cardona grew up in a public housing project in Meriden, raised by parents who came to Connecticut from Puerto Rico as children. Through his career, he has focused on closing education gaps and supporting bilingual education. It’s a personal issue for Cardona, who says he spoke only Spanish when he entered kindergarten and struggled to learn English. Cardona was the first in his family to graduate from college, and his three degrees include a doctorate in education from the University of Connecticut. He and his wife, Marissa, have two children in high school. His deep roots in public schooling fit the criteria Biden was looking for in an education secretary. During his campaign, Biden vowed to pick a secretary with experience in public education. It was meant to draw a contrast with then-secretary Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who spent decades advocating for school choice policies. In an increasingly fractionalized world of education, Cardona has vowed to be a unifier. At his confirmation hearing, he promised to engage with “the vast, diverse community of people who have a stake in education.” He added that, “we gain strength from joining together.” As he works to help schools reopen, he will also be tasked with helping them address the damage the pandemic has done on student learning. He has echoed Biden’s call for further education funding, saying schools will need to expand summer academic programs and hire more counsellors to help students with mental health issues. He's also likely to face an early test as he weighs how much flexibility to grant states as they administer standardized tests. Last week, the Education Department ordered states to continue with annual testing but said assessments could be offered online or delayed until fall. The agency also held out the possibility that states could be granted “additional assessment flexibility” in certain cases. Some states are already pushing for that extra flexibility, including Michigan, which is asking to replace state tests with local “benchmark” assessments that were administered this year. It will be up to Cardona to decide how much leniency to provide. Republicans have also set the stage for a fight over transgender athletes. At last month’s hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., raised objections with policies that allow transgender girls to participate in girls’ athletics. It’s the subject of a legal battle in Connecticut, where some cisgender athletes are challenging a state policy that lets transgender students participate as their identified gender. Pressed by Paul to take a stance on the issue, Cardona said he would support the right of “all students, including students who are transgender.” Collin Binkley, The Associated Press
Pour poursuivre avec son dossier d’un pont sur le Saguenay, macotenord.com décortique aujourd’hui la première étude indépendante datant de 1973. Comme le dit le dicton: Il faut savoir d’où l’on vient pour savoir où l’on va. Cette étude technique et économique est l’œuvre de T.A. Monti, ingénieur civil, diplômé de l’Université de Harvard et docteur en science de l’Université de Montréal. Ce professionnel était secondé par une équipe d’ingénieurs de Montréal et d’une firme de Londres, expérimentée dans les ponts suspendus, notamment. D’entrée de jeu: deux grandes constatations de cette étude indépendante. Elle confirme qu’un pont est faisable sur le Saguenay, brisant ainsi un vieux mythe selon lequel un pont était irréalisable sur cette rivière étant incapable de trouver le fond, qu’elle était trop large ou que le climat était trop drastique. Ce rapport confirme que la construction d’un pont et son entretien coûteraient moins cher au gouvernement du Québec que de maintenir le traversier. Le pont à lui seul aurait coûté 35M$ une fois les 4 années de construction complétées en 1977. Les principales dépenses étant l’acier du pont, 13M$, et les câbles, 11M$. Ajoutons des travaux nécessaires dus à un roc très fendillé en surface faisant augmenter le coût des attaches des câbles. Il fut aussi découvert que la région de la Malbaie est le centre séismique de l’est du continent. Les charges des tremblements de terre y sont cinq fois celles de Québec et Montréal et deux fois celles de la Californie. Bien que le lien permanent au-dessus du Saguenay à Tadoussac est d’une nécessité grandissante, la construction d’un pont suspendu à quatre voies de circulation, estimé à 50M$ dans son ensemble, n’est pas chose facile, mais pas impossible. Un pont semblable enjambe depuis des années le Bosphore à Istanbul en Turquie ou les réalités de Tadoussac sont sensiblement les mêmes. De plus, la route #15 qui dessert la région à l’époque était l’axe principal, surtout à cause de la lenteur du transport maritime, le coût élevé du transport aérien et de l’absence de chemin de fer sur l’ensemble du territoire. L’étude détermine aussi que la population nord-côtière devait augmenter de 6% faisant passer le trafic annuel de 210 000 véhicules en 1970 à 450 000 véhicules par année à l’ouverture du pont en 1977. L’avenir est florissant avec de mégas projets comme l’usine Rayonner. Sept-Îles est la ville avec le revenu moyen le plus haut au Canada dans les années ’70. Par contre, déjà de longues files d’attente au traversier pendant la belle saison et les jours fériés causaient des maux de tête aux usagers. Plus rentable un pont qu’un traversier Québec a subventionné le traversier à la hauteur de 900 000$ en 1974, incluant l’entretien annuel des quais. À ce rythme-là, Québec devait prévoir un budget de 1,5M$ pour maintenir son traversier en 1977, date où le pont aurait été opérationnel. De plus, le gouvernement prévoyait devoir remplacer les quais pour la somme de 200 000$ pour celui de Tadoussac et 320 000$ pour celui sis à Baie-Ste-Catherine. On a même envisagé d’en faire un pont à péage, soit 1$ par traversée. Une idée qui n’a pas tenu la route longtemps, car M. Monti mentionnait que « ça ne serait pas équitable pour les habitants de la région de la Côte-Nord qui contribuent déjà à défrayer via leurs impôts les coûts des autres ponts ailleurs au Québec où la traversée est gratuite. » Le temps c’est de l’argent Dans ce document, il est aussi démontré qu’avec un pont, il y aurait épargne de temps. On estimait que dans les meilleures conditions, il fallait 20 minutes pour traverser à Tadoussac y compris embarquement, débarquement et traversée. Lors des périodes de pointe, ce temps d’attente grimpait à plus d’une heure. On a alors évalué ce temps en dollars en considérant qu’un camion avec un chauffeur pouvait coûter à cette époque 8$ l’heure. On précise qu’il est plus difficile d’estimer le coût pour les véhicules à passager. Bref, le prix moyen avait donc été fixé à 2,50 l’heure. En 1970, 306 000 passagers, 210 000 véhicules et 44 000 camions utilisaient le traversier. Selon une formule mathématique avec les coûts du traversier, l’entretien, les pertes de temps et l’inflation, M.Tonti arrive à la conclusion: LE PONT SUR LE SAGUENAY A TADOUSSAC EST DÉFINITIVEMENT RENTABLE, peut-on lire en grosses lettres dans le document de 31 pages. L’économie était alors de 1,750 000$, soit quelque 80, 000 000 (80M$) pour une période de 50 ans. Si ce pont n’est pas encore sur pied en 2021, rappelons que les élus s’opposaient farouchement à ce tracé qui prévoyait traverser le village de Tadoussac en passant derrière l’hôtel Tadoussac avec une route de contournement du village de Baie-Ste-Catherine. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
PINE BLUFF, Ark. — A 15-year-old boy shot and seriously injured a fellow student Monday morning at an Arkansas junior high school, and the suspect was detained in a juvenile detention facility, authorities said. The shooting happened in a hallway at Watson Chapel Junior High School as students were switching classes at about 10 a.m., Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant said. The school is in the city of Pine Bluff, about 40 miles (65 kilometres) southeast of Little Rock. The school went on lockdown after the shooting. The shooter ran away but was found in a nearby neighbourhood by a tracking dog, Sergeant said. The wounded boy, who was also 15, was airlifted to a Little Rock hospital where he was “in very serious condition,” Sergeant said. His name was not released. At one point, there was confusion about the boy's condition as a police spokesman reported that he had died. Lt. David DeFoor, Pine Bluff’s police spokesman, later retracted that statement and confirmed the boy was still alive. In the subsequent statement, DeFoor said “bad information was released.” The suspect was taken to a juvenile detention centre and prosecutors have not yet decided whether charges will be filed in juvenile or adult court, officials said. His name was not released because of his age. “We don’t have a definite motive right now as to why the incident occurred,” Sergeant said. “However we do believe this was a targeted incident as opposed to a random incident.” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who had earlier issued a statement mourning the erroneous death report, issued a follow-up statement noting that the boy was alive but in serious condition. “Our prayers remain with the family,” he said. Monday was scheduled to be Watson Chapel’s first day back for on-site learning in several weeks after winter weather and water issues closed the facility. ——— This story was first published on March 1, 2021. It was updated on March 1, 2021, to correct an erroneous report that the shooting victim had died. The Associated Press
TORONTO — Some Ontario seniors braved frigid temperatures Monday to get a COVID-19 vaccine as several regions in the province moved ahead with their plans to vaccinate the general public. With the broad launch of a provincial booking portal still two weeks away, some local public health units used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. In York Region, where bookings opened Monday morning for shots that could be administered as early as the afternoon, dozens of seniors and their caregivers lined up outside a sports centre to get the vaccine. Some huddled together for warmth - a winter weather advisory was in effect for the region - as the line to enter the centre in Richmond Hill moved slowly. Hassan Abbas Kara was saving a place in line while his grandmother waited in a car. “I don't want her to wait in the cold, so it’s a little thing I can do right now to help her," he said. Atta Hussain, 82, said the process was "beautiful" and well organized, and expressed relief after receiving his shot. "We thank everybody who is participating," he said. York Region said its vaccination clinics were fully booked just two hours after they started taking appointments. A spokesman said approximately 20,000 appointments were made Monday across five locations in the region. Clinics were also offering shots to those 80 and older in Windsor-Essex County, and to those 85 and older at a hospital in Hamilton, where officials warned of long wait times amid high call volumes to its COVID-19 hotline. Hamilton's top doctor apologized for backlog on the phone line and asked people who don't live in the city to not call about appointments. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. "Some of them are already vaccinating the over-80-year-old people that are living within their regions," Elliott said Monday. "I think that's something that we should be celebrating not denigrating." Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said he's happy some public health units are offering shots already, but argued it could cause issues later when health units that have already started making appointments on their own systems have to switch over to the provincial one. The province also said Monday that it has asked the federal government for guidance on possibly extending the intervals between the first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses to four months. It pointed to British Columbia's decision to do so and said there's growing evidence suggesting intervals between the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses can be safely extended. Monday also saw two Ontario regions - Thunder Bay and Simcoe Muskoka - return to lockdowns as a result of rising COVID-19 cases. Restrictions on businesses and gatherings were loosened in seven other health units: Niagara Region, Chatham-Kent; Middlesex-London; Southwestern; Haldimand-Norfolk; Huron Perth; and Grey Bruce. Municipal officials in Simcoe Muskoka raised concerns about pressure on small businesses and the effects of yet another lockdown on the public during a public meeting with the health unit on Monday. The region's top doctor said he's heard concerns about the strict measures from people in areas with fewer cases. Dr. Charles Gardner said he'll be in touch with the province's chief medical officer about whether a full lockdown is required for the region. In Thunder Bay, which entered a lockdown after reporting more COVID-19 cases in February than all of 2020, a local hospital reported it was expanding its COVID-19 and intensive care units to meet the needs of the community. Meanwhile, a spokesman for federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the Public Health Agency of Canada was reviewing a funding application for an isolation site in Thunder Bay after the city said it could no longer afford to keep it running. Ontario reported 1,023 new cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths from the virus on Monday. - With files from Cole Burston This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — MPs will hear from federal ministers and officials as early as this week on the safety of returning travellers after two women were allegedly sexually assaulted during mandatory COVID-19 quarantine. The House of Commons public safety committee voted to hold a hearing with the federal public safety and health ministers as well as officials from the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada. The Opposition Conservatives proposed the hearing following reports that a quarantine screening officer as well as a returning traveller had been charged in separate sexual assault cases that allegedly occurred last month. Last week the Conservatives called for suspension of the obligation for travellers to quarantine in hotels until better safety measures are in place, as well as an end to the use of security guards, who they say haven't been properly evaluated, to check on people quarantining at home. Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said he doesn't necessarily believe the quarantine measures need to be suspended, but he wanted to see improvements to ensure the safety of travellers under quarantine. Liberal MP John McKay, the committee chairman, said Monday the hearing could take place this week but cautioned it would be a challenge to schedule witnesses in time. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Biden administration backed Democrats' efforts to overhaul voting rules and turn over the process of drawing congressional districts to independent commissions on Monday, weighing in on a political fight that is likely to dominate Washington in coming years. The United States is facing an "an unprecedented assault on our democracy, a never before seen effort to ignore, undermine, and undo the will of the people, and a newly aggressive attack on voting rights taking place right now all across the country," President Joe Biden's Office of Management and Budget said in a statement. The House of Representatives is set to vote and likely to pass a sweeping election reform bill, HR-1, as soon as this week.
MADRID — It was a tactical change that didn't last more than 15 minutes, but it was just long enough to cost Real Madrid a chance to fight for the Spanish league lead in the derby against Atlético Madrid next weekend. Coach Zinedine Zidane's attempt to push Madrid forward by switching formations midway through the game against Real Sociedad backfired on Monday, leading to a 1-1 home draw that kept the defending champions from getting within range of the city rival going into the derby at Atlético's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday. Madrid conceded after Zidane changed a 4-3-3 formation to 3-5-2 at halftime, leaving Madrid more exposed defensively. It needed an 89th-minute equalizer by Vinícius Júnior to salvage the draw. “We changed to three defenders because I didn't like how we were pressing forward, but then we changed it back quickly,” Zidane said. “Maybe it hurt us. I was trying to change the dynamic of the game.” The draw halted Madrid’s four-game winning streak in the league and left the club five points from its city rival, which has a game in hand. Madrid has the same points total as second-placed Barcelona but trails on goal difference. A win would have moved Madrid within three points of Atlético entering the derby. “We had our chances but couldn't capitalize on them and in the end we lost two points at home,” Zidane said. “We can't forget that we were up against a great rival and it played very well.” Sociedad, which had won three in a row in the league, stayed in fifth place, six points from fourth-placed Sevilla in the final Champions League place. “We leave with a bad taste in our mouth,” Sociedad forward Cristian Portu said. “We deserved more. Usually an away draw against Real Madrid is a good thing, but not with the way that the game developed.” Madrid, still without injured players such as Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos, struggled against Sociedad’s well-organized team at Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium. Portu opened the scoring for the visitors with a header into the top corner in the 55th minute, taking advantage of some soft defending by Madrid left back Ferland Mendy. “There was some disconnection after the change to three defenders,” Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said. “We were a bit lost and they had more space. In the end, Mendy couldn’t get to the cross in time and they scored a great goal.” Zidane said he made the tactical change because he wasn’t happy with how the team had been playing. “It was only for about 10 or 15 minutes and then I changed it back to a 4-3-3 formation and we played better,” he said. Vinícius Júnior, in his 100th match with Madrid, equalized with a shot from inside the area. Madrid forward Mariano Díaz came close by hitting the crossbar earlier in the game, and midfielder Casemiro also wasted a couple of good opportunities with second-half headers that flew wide. It was Madrid’s first draw at home in the league, adding to three losses. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
A new directive issued in response to "buttergate" could make it hard for dairy farmers to keep up with demand for the staple ingredient, according to experts, who suspect that the controversy may be rooted less in fact than media frenzy. Last week, Dairy Farmers of Canada asked its members to find alternatives to palm supplements in cattle feed while a working group looks into consumer concerns that butter has become harder as a result of such additives. The move came after media reports linked a purported change in consistency to the common practice of bolstering cows' diets with palm byproducts. Dairy Farmers of Canada maintains that palm supplements are safe and notes they are federally approved for use in livestock feed. The recommended suspension of these supplements won't cause shortages Canadian-made dairy products, the lobby group says, due to the supply management system that limits production to keep prices stable. But animal science experts warn that ruling out palm-based feed supplements based on questionable claims about their effects on butter's consistency could cost Canadian dairy farmers and potentially lead to an increase in imports. Professor Adam Lock, who studies dairy cattle nutrition at Michigan State University, said farmers have used palm oil and its derivative, palmitic acid, to help cattle meet their energy needs for decades, and there are no alternative feed supplements that are as efficient and economical. He harbours serious reservations about the scientific merits of "buttergate," which has spread to become an international media sensation. Lock believes the Dairy Farmers of Canada's denouncement of palm supplements is a misguided response that could cause significant challenges for the association's members. "It seems like rather a knee-jerk reaction," Lock said. "It's dangerous and wrong to try and blame any potential changes in milk fat and quality (on) ... a single group of feed ingredients when we know there are so many factors that affect milk fat composition." "Buttergate" proponents believe that dairy farmers are adding more palm supplements to cattle feed to keep up with pandemic-fuelled demand for the baking ingredient. In their view, an increased palmitic acid content of butter would increase the melting point and make it harder to spread at room temperature. But Lock said there's no solid data to support this hypothesis. Lock said the chemical composition of milk is too complex to pinpoint a single fatty acid as the reason for changes in a product's properties. Palmitic acid is one of the most common naturally occurring fatty acids in butter. Feed supplements only cause a slight increase in their abundance, Lock said, and this is offset by changes in other fatty acids. For farmers, he said, a minor increase in palmitic acid content can be crucial to meeting butterfat quotas, but the difference is nutritionally negligible in terms of human consumption. Palm oil is the world's most-consumed vegetable oil, and can be found in products ranging from soap to cookies. But some critics say the Canadian dairy sector shouldn't be supporting palm oil production practices that lay waste to the environment. Lock suggested these concerns may be overblown. Many feed supplements use palm byproducts, which cows can digest but aren't suitable for direct human consumption, and may be otherwise wasted, he said. Jake Vermeer of Vermeer's Dairy Ltd in Camrose, Alta., said he's consulting with his cattle nutritionist about alternatives to palm supplements and is confident he'll find a way to adapt without compromising production or quality. Vermeer said satisfying customers is his farm's first priority, but he's still waiting to hear from Dairy Farmers of Canada's working group about whether "buttergate" is backed up by science. "I think the cows are the ones that will have to suffer in this, as palm oil is definitely a great energy source for them," he said. David Christensen, a professor emeritus of animal and poultry science at University of Saskatchewan, said while he also has questions about the theory behind "buttergate," he's far more certain that the Dairy Farmers of Canada's directive is going to have negative repercussions for milk producers. Without palm oil or its derivatives, Christensen said dairy farmers are left with few options to meet their quotas. Farmers could alter their feeding programs but there's no supplement as effective as palmitic acid in boosting milk fat to meet the requirements for butter, he said. Alternatively, Christensen said producers could work more cows to maintain operations, but that may not make economic sense for some farmers. Ultimately, Christensen said imports will compensate for any shortfall in the Canadian butter supply, but farmers are bound to face greater costs to produce the same amount of milk fat. Eric Baumann, who operates a dairy farm near Athens, Ont., said he's sticking with palm supplements because the practice is compliant with federal safety regulations, and he believes it's best for his cattle and his bottom line. "Getting mad at dairy farmers about the use of palm oil is like getting mad at the garbage person for the amount of waste that is produced," Baumann said. "The garbage isn't there because of the disposal service, and palm oil byproducts aren't created because of dairy farmers." Lactanet chief operating officer Daniel Lefebvre, who advises Dairy Farmers of Canada about animal nutrition, said the elimination of palm supplements will likely create challenges for milk producers who may not have the capacity to meet their quotas. But ultimately, he said, losing markets because of consumer backlash poses a greater risk to the dairy industry than these disruptions to farmers' operations. "The reaction of the consumer, fuelled by some media hype that was not based on facts, caused too much of a threat to the dairy industry that they couldn't not do anything," said Lefebvre. "The unfortunate situation is that it's not facts and science that prevailed but public perception." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Six Nations of the Grand River says that all students in the First Nations territory will finish this school year online. The Six Nations Council says it will reopen schools in September for in-person learning. Six Nations, a predominantly Haudenosaunee community, has the largest population of any First Nations reserve in Canada. It closed its territorial borders to non-band members in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kathleen Manderville, director of federal schools, said in a statement last month that the decision is not a reflection on the hard work done to prepare the schools for in-person learning this spring. Manderville says that school buildings will be accessed for essential work only. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press