What does the U.S. presidential election mean for Canada? Mercedes Stephenson talks to former foreign affairs minister, John Baird, to get the latest on the Donald Trump and Joe Biden campaigns and what to expect come November 3rd.
What does the U.S. presidential election mean for Canada? Mercedes Stephenson talks to former foreign affairs minister, John Baird, to get the latest on the Donald Trump and Joe Biden campaigns and what to expect come November 3rd.
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges' assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign's error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign's request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday's ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
Deaths from illicit drugs in Prince George edged closer to record-setting proportions last month. The year-to-date total stood at 43 as of the end of October, according to a monthly update from the B.C. Coroners Service issued Wednesday and increase of five from the month before. The city appears on pace to surpass the record 51 deaths recorded in 2018. Four of the deaths last month involved drugs in which fentanyl was detected and raised that year-to-date total to 33. Forty-six such deaths were reported in 2018. Since the start of 2018, there have been 127 drug-related deaths in the city and the rate per 100,000 people stands at 44.8. Only Hope and Vancouver have higher rates. Across B.C., it was the fifth month this year for which more than 160 suspected illicit drug deaths were reported to the BCCS and more than double the number of people who died as a result of illicit drugs in October 2019. "We are continuing to see record-breaking numbers of people dying in B.C. due to an unsafe drug supply in our province, and it's taking a toll on families and communities in this dual health emergency," chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement. "Challenges during COVID-19, such as access to key harm-reduction services and the toxic drug supply, including the extreme concentration of illicit fentanyl, are resulting in continuing significant and tragic loss of life across the province. Our hearts go out to those grieving the loss of family members, friends and colleagues. "We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances. We also continue to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for anyone experiencing problematic substance use who is seeking this medical assistance."Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
More than once during the weeks leading up to the provincial election Premier Moe referred to the province as being a supplier of raw materials to the world, but is this where the province should remain? Over 70% of Canada’s farmland is located in the prairies and historically, Saskatchewan was referred to as the “bread-basket of the world”, but with the shift away from primarily wheat production and the growth of the oil and gas sectors, that title has fallen into disuse. Yet, Saskatchewan remains in the realm of a primary producer. The problem with that status became evident earlier this year when COVID-19 arrived on our doorstep. As a province we are heavily reliant on other districts to supply our finished products and when they run into problems, such as the outbreaks of the coronavirus among their employees, the ripples are felt all along the food chain. But the authors of a new report just released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives highlights another factor that while many across the prairies realize its happening, may not realize the full extent nor the implications of the trend. For years ‘bigger is better’ has been mantra of our culture, bigger homes, bigger trucks, bigger toys, and this is true of farming as well. Since the 1980’s farmers in Saskatchewan have been encouraged become bigger. Marginal farmland was pulled into production to make for bigger crops. Bigger equipment could complete the farmers work in less time and well, bigger equipment meant that it was possible to work more land, and the cycle continued. The era of broadly distributed land ownership, of food production by small and medium-sized family farms, is fading and the small farm is all but extinct. The number of young farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba has, according to the report Concentration Matters: Farmland Inequality on the Prairies, declined by more than 70 percent, in just one generation—since 1991 (Statistics Canada Table 32-10-0169-01). The report authored by Darrin Qualman, Annette Aurélie Desmarais, André Magnan, Mengistu Wendimu for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) states that while it remains the case that local families do operate the vast majority of our farms, there are fewer and fewer of those families every year. Thirty-eight percent of the farmland in Saskatchewan is operated and controlled by just 8 percent of Saskatchewan farms or just over 2,400 operations. These 2400+ farms average 9,382 acres in size, though many are much larger. The reduction in the number of small farms, the concentration of farmland and farm income into fewer and fewer large operations, and barriers to entry created by rising land prices (See Farm Credit Canada, Farmland Values Report), all make it more difficult for young and new farmers to enter agriculture, the report goes on to say. This difficulty in gaining access to farmland is therefore, effectively stifling the possibility of farming as a career choice for young Canadians (Qualman, Akram-Lodhi, Desmarais, and Srinivasan, 2018). Farms larger than 10,000 acres make up less than 2 percent of total Prairie farms, yet those very large operations captured approximately 15 percent of gross revenues and net income. On average, these very large farms earned net incomes of more than $820,000 before depreciation. At the other end of the size distribution, farms smaller than 1,000 acres, though they make up 53 percent of total farms, captured just 21 percent of revenues and 18 percent of net income. On average, these farms earned net incomes of just over $34,000 each. Because margins are tight and per-acre net income is low on cattle farms and grain and oilseed farms, a young or new farmer on a small farm with few acres paid for has a very limited ability to pay for additional acres, large farms often have greater capacity to borrow money (on better terms than those usually offered to smaller farms), and as a result unless a young farmer can partner with another, either a family member or another farmer looking to start ‘slowing down’, there is no avenue for him or her to get in and fewer and fewer farm children are returning to the farm. In 2014, for instance, 73 percent of farmland transactions involving an ownership change were between arms-length parties (neighbours), whereas 27 percent were among family members (Magnan and Sunley 2017). The rate of farmland concentration however, is running far ahead of the rate of farm loss. Since 1966, Canada has lost half of its farms, but the number of farmers who control the vast majority of land is far smaller than the numbers above suggest. According to the report, across the Prairie Provinces, farms larger than 5,000 acres, which represents 7 percent of all farms, own 27 percent of all farmland that is owner-operated, also those same 7 percent of Prairie farms that are larger than 5,000 acres, lease 67 percent of government leased farm land and rent or lease 35 percent of all land rented or leased by farmers from non-government farmland owners. So, while it may remain the case that our farmland is owned by local families, it is also the case that most is owned by a very small percentage of families. In 2016, 37,622 farm operations owned about half of all Canadian agricultural land in private hands. Translated into number of people, the authors of the study made a rough assumption that each farming operation included, in some combination of parents, children, spouse/partner, about 2.5 landowners. Thus those 37,622 farm operations become 94,055 people (less than .3% of the Canada’s entire population) own half of the country’s food-producing acreage. The great exit of young people from rural to urban areas is well documented in report after report in Statistics Canada library, but to bring this into a more local perspective, the 1976 census shows the population of the RM of Fish Creek to be 591, by 1981 that number had dropped to 510. (https://archive.org/details/1981939081982engfra/page/n47/mode/2up?q=Fish+Creek+RM) Twenty years later, the population was 382 and while that number is now recorded as 345, in the intervening years it did drop as low as 307 at one point. The report concludes that unless government policies or economic shocks alter these trends, 20 years from now, the area of land operated by small farms will be negligible, and farms larger than 5,000 acres may operate 50 to 60 percent of Prairie farmland (up from about 37 percent today).Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man accused of an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver in late August appeared in court this week to plead guilty to several, unrelated charges connected to fraud from earlier this year. Colton Herneshuhta, 21, pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges relating to fraud, forgery, a break and enter and breaching probation orders on Thursday, Nov. 26 in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom. Court heard several instances where Herneshuhta used fake cheques to defraud several agencies in the city from January to April. On Jan. 6, Herneshuhta attended a loan agency business on Red River Road and presented a forged cheque for $1,139. A few days later, the business learned the cheque was fraudulent and alerted police who identified Herneshuhta as the person who cashed the cheque. He was also on probation at the time. On Jan. 9, Herneshuhta again used more fake cheques at two different businesses on Red River Road totalling $900. In a different case, another complainant gave Herneshuhta her debit card and pin number after he lied about why he needed it, according to Herneshuhta lawyer's George Joseph. “Mr. Herneshuhta made attempts to withdraw money that were outside the perimeters of the representation he made to (the complainant),” Joseph said. He initially attempted to withdraw $1,499, but was only able to take out $500, court heard. In April, Herneshuhta used a fake cheque of $850 to defraud the Children’s Aid Society. A few months later in August, Herneshuhta was identified as a suspect of a break and enter at a business on Victoria Street on Aug. 2. The Crown stated there was no estimate provided by the business of the damage caused or items stolen. Joseph told the court his client has struggled with a cocaine addiction for 10 years which has fuelled his criminal behaviour. Since being in custody, Herneshuhta has remained sober and has been working on his education as well as taking advantage of programs while in custody, Joseph said. Herneshuhta was sentenced to a joint submission of six months in custody, less pre-sentence custody. Crown counsel Piera Pasloski said Herneshuhta’s criminal record is limited and acknowledged his addiction which has been driving his criminal behaviour. “Mr. Joseph shared with me at the counsel pre-trial that Mr. Herneshuhta has had an extremely hard-wired addiction problem since age 11,” she said. “The hope is he will get himself the treatment he needs once he is released and that this behaviour will cease.” Herneshuhta was given credit at an enhanced rate for the time he has spent in pre-sentence custody of 136 days. He has 44 days left to serve going forward. After his custodial sentence, he will be placed on probation. Part of his probation conditions include participating in any assessments for counselling and substance addictions as well as completing any treatment programs if he is directed by probation. He is also not to contact any of the complainants or enter the businesses he defrauded. He will have 12 months to pay a victim surcharge fine for each of the 13 counts. Herneshuhta was not ordered to pay a restitution order. Herneshuhta also has outstanding charged connected to an alleged armed robbery from Aug. 24 of a pizza delivery driver. He is scheduled to return to court for these matters in early December.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
TORONTO — Rogers Sportsnet is parting ways with veteran Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Mike Wilner.The broadcaster announced the split on its Twitter feed Friday. A reason wasn't given for the decision.Sportsnet said Wilner had a "voice that became synonymous with Blue Jays baseball."Wilner, the Blue Jays' first Toronto-born play-by-play broadcaster, became the full-time radio announcer alongside Ben Wagner prior to the 2019 Major League Baseball season. He also called most of the games in 2018 following the retirement of longtime announcer Jerry Howarth.Prior to joining the broadcast booth full-time, he served as a backup announcer and hosted the "Blue Jays Talk" pre- and post-game shows starting in 2002.Wilmer said on a social media post that "his heart is broken," but added he is grateful for getting a chance to "live an absolute dream."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The number of reported new cases of COVID-19 and related deaths surged in Ontario on Friday, a day after officials expressed cautious optimism the spread of the dangerous virus was moderating.Figures released show a record 1,855 new infections, a whopping increase of 25 per cent from the previous day. Public health authorities also reported 20 new deaths.There were slight decreases in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ventilators.The surge in new cases comes as the province grapples with how best to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in an effort to keep the health-care system functioning.Health Minister Christine Elliott said the sharp spike was not unexpected, given that stringent measures in the hard-hit Toronto area only kicked in on Monday. It would likely take two full weeks before the numbers start dropping, she said."We're still seeing the results from some of the events that have happened and some of the celebrations that have happened in the last few weeks," Elliott said.Premier Doug Ford spent much of Friday's briefing looking forward to the day when an anti-COVID vaccine might be available. Former chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier will oversee a distribution task force, Ford said, as he called on the federal government to provide details as soon as possible about the doses the province can expect."We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said.Several hospitals have now experienced outbreaks, including a major facility in London, Ont. Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ont., became the latest hit after three patients and two staff tested positive. The facility said it had closed its clinical teaching unit to new patient admissions and was pondering whether to close one of its eight operating rooms. It also said it was suspending in-person visits in favour of virtual connections.Staff at high risk of exposure had been tested and asked to self-isolate, Cheryl Evans, a Grand River spokeswoman, said.In recent weeks, the provincial government and local health authorities have reimposed increasingly stringent anti-pandemic measures, forcing businesses to close and strongly advising people in hot spots to all but isolate.On Thursday, police ticketed a provincial politician, Randy Hillier, for his role in an anti-lockdown protest at the legislature. Supporters carrying placards that suggested the pandemic was fake did not wear masks.Ford called the politician totally "irresponsible.""Folks that believe this is just a big hoax, which I've never figured that out, this is a very serious virus, we're seeing it around the world, around our country," Ford said.Four of the hardest hit regions all saw significant case increases, with Elliott reporting 517 new infections in Peel, 494 in Toronto, 189 in York Region, and 130 in Halton.The most recent provincial projections indicate the province was on track to see more than 9,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by mid-December without the more stringent measures.Ford has warned against planning Christmas or other celebrations, while Elliott has said it would be "very optimistic" to expect much of an improvement in time for the holidays.While schools have remained open, the education minister has warned that an extended winter break or move to remote-only learning may be needed."We are thinking ahead to be able to mitigate any increase of transmission in our schools because we've fundamentally, in this province, been able to keep that rate down,'' Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Thursday.Latest figures show 122 new cases in schools, bringing the total infections to 4,470, with at least 2,769 involving students, and at least 614 involving teachers and staff. Public health authorities on Friday closed the private Northside Christian School in Listowel, Ont., until at least Dec. 1 after an outbreak. Huron Perth Public Health said the school reported one case but others might be connected.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
The Pentagon's acting defence secretary has made a rare visit to Somalia, a conflict-plagued nation in the Horn of Africa where American forces have been assisting in the fight against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Christopher Miller, who was installed as acting defence secretary Nov. 9 when President Donald Trump fired Mark Esper, met Friday with U.S. troops in Mogadishu, the capital, to express appreciation for their work and to reiterate the U.S. commitment to combating extremist groups.Just hours after Miller's visit, the Somali government announced that a suicide bombing in Mogadishu killed at least seven people, and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility.Trump is expected to order a withdrawal of most or all of the 700 U.S. troops based in Somalia before he leaves office Jan. 20.Miller has been in the Middle East and parts of north Africa this week on his first international trip as acting defence secretary. Miller, who previously headed the National Counterterrorism Center, has not been nominated by Trump for Senate confirmation as Pentagon chief.Associated Press, The Associated Press
Comme chaque année, les gens sont invités à faire preuve de générosité pour la Grande guignolée organisée par le Centre d'action bénévole (CAB) de Port-Cartier. L'organisme ne récolte que des dons en argent. La directrice du CAB de Port-Cartier, Laurencia Bond, explique qu'il y a deux façons pour faire un don. Les gens peuvent se présenter en personne aux locaux du CAB de Port-Cartier ou ils peuvent le faire en ligne en suivant ce lien. Il est possible de faire un don jusqu'au 16 décembre. Un reçu aux fins d’impôts pourra être remis pour les dons de 20$ et plus. L'argent récolté servira à offrir des bons en argent pour les familles dans le besoin. Avec ses bons, les personnes pourront se rendre dans les commerces pour acheter de la nourriture. Le CAB de Port-Cartier a commencé sa campagne en sollicitant les donations des entreprises de Port-Cartier. Jusqu'à présent, la grande guignolée a déjà réussi à amasser plus de 8 000$.Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
Seems like only yesterday,the first leaves were falling down the trees, little Kanehsata’kehró:non were running around trick-or-treating, dressed as their favourite monsters or heroes. All that is in the past now, making place for one of everyone’s - yes even you the Grinch in the back - favourite moments of the year. Pandemic or not, Kanesatake is determined to celebrate and to make the most out of this December. Community members will be able to start the festivities on December 1 with the special 12 Days of Christmas calendar. The initiative was developed by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in collaboration with the Kanesatake Christmas Committee and Kanesatake Child and Family Services. The spokesperson for the ERU, Robert Bonspiel, explained that due to COVID-19 restricting the type of activities typically allowed, they had to think outside the box to make sure the community would still get into the spirit of the holidays. “Our vision is to give the community the most memorable holiday possible,” said Bonspiel. “This has been a very hard year for all and if we can assist in bringing as much joy to our children, families and elders as we can, then that is what we are going to do!” While every year the Christmas committee provided different events, Bonspiel said that they all knew they wouldn’t be able to offer the Santa brunch or the gifts giveaway in the same, traditional ways the community is used to. The idea behind the calendar is to engage the community in interactive activities branded under the 12 Days of Christmas. Everything will happen online. Each day, members who decide to participate will have to perform a series of challenges from holiday dance videos and card making for elders, to wearing an ugly Christmas sweater or even singing Christmas carols in Kanien’kéha. Videos and photos will be uploaded on the Facebook page of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake or Kanesatake Health Centre for the chance to win different prizes that have yet to be announced. “We thought this would be a great way to reduce the feeling of isolation and promote mental wellness,” said Bonspiel. The holidays are meant to be a joyful time, spent with families and friends but it can also unbox unwanted presents such as depression and stress. It can be overwhelming to plan gifts and expenses, dinners, or simply to deal with loneliness. Add that little mix into the anxiety brought by the coronavirus and the holiday cocktail could be hard to swallow. However, it can be reassuring to know that ironically, we are all together, going through the experience of loneliness. A recent poll showed that 50 percent of people across Canada reported that the state of their mental health had worsened, with stress levels doubling since the beginning of the pandemic. So get your camera ready, take out your Christmas decorations, dust off your old pans for the bake-off and post your best take. Let the magic begin! email@example.comVirginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
MONTREAL — Officials at Montreal's Ecomuseum Zoo are pleading for whoever stole their bird, a raven named Kola who doesn't fly very well and has chronic health issues, to bring him back. The person or people who broke into the rear of the property late Monday or early Tuesday didn't harm or steal any other animal, leaving executive director David Rodrigue stumped as to why they took Kola. A hole was cut into Kola's aviary, either to steal him or to allow him to flee, Rodrigue said, adding that the act could have been a misguided attempt at activism. "I really have a hard time understanding why it could happen — why here?," he said in an interview Friday. "Just bring him back so we can ensure his well-being." Kola, who arrived from a rehab centre four years ago, requires medication and specialized food preparation, doesn't fly well and is unlikely to survive without proper care, Rodrigue said. If Kola was "freed" then he's probably not alive, he added. "This will most likely be a death sentence for Kola." Aside from chronic health issues, he had a broken wing and couldn't be returned to the wild after the rehab stint because it didn't heal properly, Rodrigue said. "In his case, he can't fly well or far and if he was left to go out, he wouldn't make it very long or very far," he said. "He would probably not live very long in someone else's care and that's really what we've been trying to say." Rodrigue said the animals who live at the zoo are all non-releasable, adding that his refuge takes in a lot of animals who are from rehab centres, have disabilities or who were born in captivity. The zoo has been closed since early October due to COVID-19 restrictions. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is lashing out at people protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures outside his house. During his daily briefing, Ford called the protesters "buffoons" and asked them to respect his family and neighbours.
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is “profoundly disappointed” that 20 recordings of private meetings of the provincial emergency response team were leaked to the public. The recordings, made public by a CBC story published Thursday morning, paint a picture of Premier Jason Kenney and the provincial government overruling the expert advice of Hinshaw and civil servants and pushing an early relaunch strategy focused on the economy. “I have always felt my ideas are respectfully considered. I have always had respectful discussions with public servants and elected officials,” Hinshaw said to reporters on Thursday. “I do not dictate every detail of each policy decision and I should not. I was not elected by Albertans. The final decisions are up to elected officials who were chosen by Albertans. This is how democracy works." Alberta's top doctors said while the 20 meetings were leaked, they were taken out of the broader context of the meetings, and don’t show the meetings before and after the ones recorded as part of ongoing discussions to keep Albertans safe. The meetings were supposed to be private and a safe space, Hinshaw said, and leaking them is a violation of trust and the oath that public servants take. “The safety and trust are now broken,” Hinshaw said. Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro sang Hinshaw’s praises Thursday afternoon, calling her one of the finest chief medical officers of health in the country. Shandro said the CBC story violated Hinshaw’s confidence and embarrassed her. “I called Dr. Hinshaw this morning to say she has nothing to apologize for and she has my complete confidence,” Shandro said. In the past 24 hours, the province confirmed another 1,082 cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total of active cases up to 14,052. There are currently 383 people in the hospital including 84 people in intensive care. Ten more people have died from the virus, bringing the total amount of people who have died to 510. Yesterday, there were 15,900 tests done. Around 100,000 COVID-19 rapid testing kits will debut in the province in December. The COVID-19 testing capacity will allow for the identification and notification of positive cases in less than 20 minutes, which will speed up care and isolation, reducing the risk of further spread. The tests will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of showing symptoms, allowing health officials to quickly identify positive cases at testing sites, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing. To ensure the validity of the results, two swabs will be collected from each patient, and all negative tests from both systems will be subject to confirmation by the existing lab-based testing method. This is because a negative result is not as reliable as traditional testing and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials said they will use these pilots to determine how to streamline processes related to patient management, results notifications and digital record-keeping before the tests are deployed widely across the province. The province is looking at expanding the use of the tests where it can be of the greatest value to the public, such as at homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump still won't bring himself to concede the election he decisively lost to President-elect Joe Biden. But he's now acknowledging he will leave the White House if Biden's win is affirmed by the Electoral College, which is firmly on track to do just that in a few weeks.“Certainly I will," he said Thursday when asked if he will vacate the premises after electors make Biden's win formal. “But you know that."Trump, who took questions from reporters for the first time since the election, unleashed another round of complaints about the vote and theatrical warnings that “a lot of things” would happen before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14 that could possibly change results. But while he's stirring uncertainty about how he will behave in the weeks ahead, there is no real suspense about the outcome.All states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets and any challenge must be resolved by Dec. 8. States have already begun that process, including Michigan, where Trump and his allies tried and failed to delay the process, and Georgia and Pennsylvania.Nothing stands in the way of Biden taking office Jan. 20 with a clear margin of electoral votes.No concession is needed from Trump for Biden to become president, none has been offered and Trump may never admit he was beaten fair and square. But there were a few signs that Trump was coming to terms with his loss.At one point he expressed concern that Biden would get the glory from pending coronavirus vaccines. “Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines," Trump said, “because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”The fact that a sitting American president even had to address whether or not he would leave office after losing reelection underscores the extent to which Trump has smashed one convention after another over the last three weeks.Vote certification at the local and state level is typically a ministerial task that gets little notice, but that changed with Trump's fierce but fruitless legal challenges and attempts to manipulate the certification process in battleground states he lost.No evidence has emerged of the widespread voting fraud that Trump and his legal team have repeatedly alleged, only to be slapped down by judges and state election officials.Trump spoke to reporters in the White House’s ornate Diplomatic Reception Room after holding a teleconference with U.S. military leaders stationed across the globe. He thanked them for their service, joked that they shouldn't eat too much turkey, then turned to the election after ending the call. He repeated grievances and angrily denounced officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two key states that helped give Biden the win.Trump’s administration has already given the green light for a formal transition to get underway. Yet Trump took issue with Biden moving forward.“I think it’s not right that he’s trying to pick a Cabinet,” Trump said, even though officials from both teams are already working together to get Biden’s team up to speed.Asked if he'll attend the inauguration, Trump said he knows the answer but doesn't want to say.He said he'll go to Georgia to rally supporters before two Senate runoff elections that will determine which party controls the Senate. The White House said that rally is expected Dec. 5.One of the reasons Republicans have stood by Trump and his baseless claims of fraud has been to keep his loyal base energized for those Jan. 5 runoffs. But Trump, in his remarks, openly questioned whether that election would be fair, casting suspicions that could dampen Republican turnout.“I think you’re dealing with a very fraudulent system," he said. “I’m very worried about that.” He said: “People are very disappointed that we were robbed.”Trump made clear that he will probably never formally concede, even if he said he would leave the White House.“It’s gonna be a very hard thing to concede," he said. “Because we know there was massive fraud.”Electors “will have made a mistake” by affirming Biden's win, he said.Yet “time isn’t on our side.”Will he run again in 2024? Trump said he doesn't “want to talk about 2024 yet.”“This has a long way to go,” Trump said, even though he lost.Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
The numbers of positive COVID-19 cases across the country are grim as the second wave of the pandemic has the country firmly in its grip. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer released new modelling on Friday that suggests Canada could see 60,000 daily new COVID-19 cases by the end of the year if people increase their contacts with others, but that number could be limited to 20,000 a day if Canadians keep the same number of personal contacts they have now. The modelling shows that instead of flattening the curve, national daily case counts are “increasing significantly,” and rapid growth is occurring in several provinces because each new case in Canada is spreading the infection to more than one other person. On average 5000 new cases are being identified daily and still people across the country are refusing to acknowledge that this is a serious threat. In early October, Prime Minister Trudeau warned Canadians that Thanksgiving gatherings were out the window, but we still had a chance for Christmas. Two weeks after Thanksgiving case numbers started to rise, and then Hallowe’en happened, and a week later the number of cases here in Saskatchewan really started to escalate. But we are not alone. On Sunday November 22, Alberta led the entire country with 1,584 new cases, despite having a fraction of the population of Ontario and Quebec. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer likened the spread to “a snowball rolling down a hill, growing bigger and faster, and it will continue unless we implement strong measures to stop [it].” A Canadian health policy and health services research consultant, recently relocated to Melbourne, Steven Lewis shared his thoughts on Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 situation with CBC and he pulled no punches. “When 95 per cent adherence isn't good enough, you cannot rely on moral suasion or appeals to civility” and “the Saskatchewan government's "half-assed" approach will simply prolong the pandemic's devastating effects on people's health and the economy.” He continued, “It is increasingly clear that you can't slow-walk the pandemic with a fine-tuned balancing act that keeps the economy humming while keeping daily case rates at a predictable and low level. So, you have to come down hard and fast and universally to flatten the curve quickly. Bottom line: Saskatchewan has been tested by the second wave and largely failed.” On Wednesday November 25 before the Premier announced the latest measures the province recorded 164 new cases of COVID-19 pushing the total number of active cases over 3000. One-hundred and eleven are in hospital and nineteen are being cared for in intensive care units. Coming into effect at 12:01 am Friday November 27, seating at restaurants will be limited to four people per table with two to three metres separating tables dependent upon whether or not barriers are in place between tables. Capacity at performance and gaming venues will be restricted to 30. Any type of social indoor gathering in public areas are limited to 30. All team/group sports, activities, games, competitions, recitals, practices, etc. are suspended, including amateur and recreational leagues for all age groups. Athletes and dancers 18 years of age and under may continue practicing, conditioning and skills training in groups of eight or fewer, abiding by the required mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants at all times. Fitness activities and group fitness classes in groups of eight or fewer continues to be permitted, for all ages. Mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants must be maintained. All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, including wedding, funeral and baptismal services. All students, employees and visitors in schools and daycares except while consuming food or beverage must now wear masks. Children 0-2 years remain exempt. Children ages 3-12 should wear a mask if possible. As well all employees and visitors in all common areas in businesses and workplaces and all residents, employees and visitors in all common areas in provincial and municipal facilities. Masking is required in indoor public areas even if barriers are in place. Retail businesses must enhance the expectation of mask use and mitigation measures through signage and staff training. Large retail locations are required to limit customers to 50% as determined by half the specified fire-code capacity or four square metres of space per person whichever is less. Premier Moe adamantly denied the necessity to enact a complete shutdown. During the press conference he said because we have a better understanding of the virus than in the spring and “we” know what to do. He went on to state that it would be unfair to shut down businesses and put people out of work. The aim of the government is to find the right balance and minimize the impact on people’s livelihoods. Interestingly enough this is the same theory that has been expressed by Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney even as new cases in that province have exceeded those of Ontario and Quebec. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
NEW YORK — Fans of Bad Bunny are used to expecting something different each time he releases new music.He's done it since his first studio album, 2018's “X 100pre” ("Forever"); then with “Oasis”, his collaboration with J Balvin in 2019, and last February with his award-winning “YHLQMDLG,” a 20-track project which explored love and loss through a combination of trap and reggaetón.Now he is surprising fans with “El Último Tour del Mundo” ("The Last Tour of the World"), a 16-song collection written during the pandemic and released Friday in which he plays with alternative music, punk, pop and even rock ‘n’ roll.“I am not a fan of repeating the same formula,” the singer says. “Each album that I've made has it's own identity.”“El Último Tour del Mundo” was mostly written by Bad Bunny and features collaborations with American singer-songwriter Abra, Spanish sensation Rosalía and Puerto Rican Jhay Cortez.The album arrives only a few days after Bad Bunny received a Latin Grammy, two American Music Awards and two new Grammy nominations, including for best pop duo/group performance for “Un Día (One Day)” with Balvin, Dua Lipa and Tainy.While recovering from COVID-19, the 26 year-old musician, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, spoke to The Associated Press from his home in Puerto Rico. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.AP: You had to cancel your planned performance at the American Music Awards after testing positive for the coronavirus. How are you feeling?Bad Bunny: I am well, thank God. I am feeling better. There were days where I felt a little bad, but I feel that I'm almost totally recovered.AP: You have plenty of reasons to celebrate: A Latin Grammy, two American Music Awards, two new nominations to the Grammys, a new album. This has been an important week.Bad Bunny: I am very happy. Many things are happening. Despite being a difficult year for many, myself included, 2020 has also given me many things to be grateful for thanks to the music. We are very happy, enjoying the blessings and the good things that may come.AP: In “El Último Tour del Mundo” you play with new rhythms and elements. Tell us a bit about this production.Bad Bunny: I've always said that albums are for making new, different things and to discover yourself as an artist. I am not a fan of repeating the same formula... This new album is meant to be listened while relaxing at home, in your room, in your car, at night with some friends, with a glass (of wine) or a beer. It has many songs that are fun and it has a lot of emotion. It has a lot of me. More than a Bad Bunny album, this is a Benito album.AP: Besides the mood of your music, how do you feel that the pandemic has affected you as an artist?Bad Bunny: It forced me to be even more productive because I was alone at home doing nothing. At times I felt like writing songs that had to do with everything that was happening, but at the same time I told myself ‘No’ because I want people to forget reality when they listen to my music. But reality always touches your music: there are a few songs where you can feel that the muse was everything that is going on, like “Antes Que Se Acabe” ("Before It Ends"). That's a very special song that comes from that sensation that the world seems to be coming to an end, but before that happens we need to give love and share with one another.AP: Would you call it a more introspective album?Bad Bunny: You could say that, although it also has some songs about heartbreak, which people always love to hear and I do love to write... and other themes like “Maldita Pobreza” ("Damn Poverty"), which is very fun, one of my favourites. It starts with this boy that wants to give everything to a girl and he can’t because he’s poor, and then the song takes a turn and becomes a little social. There’s also “Yo visto así”, which is my story and the story of many people always criticized for the way they dress, and it’s like saying “If you don’t like it, well...” (laughs.)AP: Why “The Last Tour of the World”?Bad Bunny: When I released “YHLQMDLG,” this whole quarantine thing started and I wrote most of the songs during those first weeks. The only thing that gave me life was working on the album. At that moment, the images that we were seeing on TV and social media were apocalyptic, like the world was coming to an end. I think that had an influence in the album's title and it doesn't imply that this is going to be my last tour, but the last tour of the world, literally: No one will be able to go on tour. No one. Neither Maluma nor Lady Gaga. It’s like me moving forward a tour from 2032 to 2020, before the world comes to an end.___Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner.Sigal Ratner-Arias, The Associated Press
The mother of homicide victim Preston Thomas made a rose to honour her son and said she plans to take the rose with her to every court appearance of the man charged with his murder. “This rose is a symbol of the justice I want for my son,” Lillian Thomas posted on social media. Joel Yuzicapi, 28, appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Nov. 17. He has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 4 in the 200 block of Avenue S North. Police charged him with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 27-year-old Preston Thomas. According to Saskatoon Police, they were called to a hotel on Airport Drive at about 7:20 a.m. on Aug. 1 for a report of an injured man in one of the hotel rooms. When they arrived they found Thomas deceased. Police say the victim and accused were known to each other. Yuzicapi is scheduled to appear again in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Dec. 2 for case management. Saskatoon Police Major Crimes continues to investigate. If anyone has information they are asked to contact the Saskatoon Police at 306-975-8300 and to ask to speak with an investigator in Major Crimes or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / The Battlefords News-OptimistLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — An angry Premier Doug Ford lashed out on Friday at anti-lockdown protesters outside his home, accusing them of intimidating nearby residents and saying their actions wouldn't sway him.His neighbours, Ford said in offering them a sincere apology for getting caught up in the situation, make no government decisions and never signed up to be targets."Stop acting like a bunch of buffoons out there and start respecting the people of Ontario," Ford said at his daily briefing. "This is totally unacceptable that my neighbours are being intimidated, being threatened, and these people, they need to stop."Protesters opposed to measures aimed at curbing the lethal spread of COVID-19 have gathered outside the premier's west-end Toronto home daily. Their actions, he said, are unacceptable."You want to protest me, come down to Queen's Park," Ford said. "You can do cartwheels, you can jump up and down." Ford took aim at Independent legislator Randy Hillier, who did lead an anti-mask and anti-lockdown rally at the legislature on Thursday. Police ticketed Hiller, whom Ford called irresponsible, for allegedly breaking health rules imposed to curb COVID.Hillier's supporters took to social media to denounce the citation and restrictions as unnecessary. Ford, however, said it's unfathomable that some people believe coronavirus disease to be a hoax when in fact the virus is so serious. "Look at the states to the south of us that want to ignore the regulations — they're blowing up," he said. "They have mobile morgues driving around in Texas collecting bodies. If that's not a wake-up call, I don't know what is."On Friday, Ontario reported a record 1,855 new infections, a 25 per cent surge in a day, and 20 new deaths. The province has now seen 109,361 cases, 3,575 of them fatal.Ford defended the restrictions that have shut down many businesses and limited gatherings as public health authorities urged people to stay home except for essential reasons. The measures, he said, were proven effective earlier this year."The proof is in the pudding: When we did it last time, we were down to almost 100 cases, which is unheard of in a population of 14.77 million people." The protesters outside his house, Ford said, were special interest and political groups. Small business owners on his street and elsewhere in the neighbourhood were among those anti-lockdown protests end up hurting, he added.Ultimately, Ford said, the protesters were violating the very tenets of political discourse. "There's an unwritten rule here in Canada: You don't go after people's families and neighbours," he said. "You want to come at me, come at me, and leave my family and leave my neighbours alone."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Air Canada pilots have ratified changes to their contract that will help the carrier grow its cargo business, as airlines scramble to minimize the pandemic’s toll on their bottom lines.The Montreal-based airline said in a statement Friday that it would convert several of its retired Boeing 767 aircraft to carry freight and that it had appointed a new executive, Jason Berry, to oversee its cargo division."Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo have pivoted quickly to new and unique commercial opportunities in response to evolving market conditions over the past 11 months,” said Lucie Guillemette, Air Canada’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, in a statement.The airline has looked to cargo as a potential opportunity in an otherwise bleak year. In May, Air Canada announced it was adding flights to Bogota, Lima, Amsterdam, Dublin and Madrid to its cargo service, which includes up to 100 international all-cargo flights per week, according to the airline.With fewer flights, and less cargo being transported in the luggage compartments of passenger aircraft, the price of shipping cargo by air has increased. Other airlines such as American Airlines and United Airlines, have begun operating cargo-only flights this year, hoping to use the opportunity to stem their losses. But Air Canada’s decision to convert several planes to carry freight will require a bigger investment in its cargo business than before, when it was transporting goods on empty passenger jets or planes with the seats taken out, said John Gradek, a lecturer at McGill University and the head of its Global Aviation Leadership Program. That raises questions about whether the slump in passenger demand will last long enough for the bet to pay off, he added.Converting passenger jets to freighters involves cutting into the plane’s fuselage to create doors that can be used to load cargo and installing rollers on the floor of the plane, an effort that can cost tens of millions of dollars per plane, according to Gradek.“The airplane has to get literally rebuilt to operate as a freighter,” Gradek said. “It’s not like you’re just pulling seats out and away you go.”Air Canada's announcement today comes as the country's air sector awaits a decision from Ottawa on financial support for the industry. The Canadian government pledged in September to provide support for hard-hit businesses in the travel and tourism industries, but it has yet to announce a detailed plan.Air Canada says the contract changes will help it operate more competitively in the cargo business.Michael McKay, chair of the Air Canada Pilots Association’s master elected council, said the organization’s members voted on the revised agreement earlier this month. The Boeing aircraft, which have been grounded and were exiting Air Canada’s fleet, will form a new fleet once they are converted to freighter configuration, McKay said.Berry, whose appointment as vice president for cargo begins Jan. 1, will join Air Canada from Alaska Airlines' wholly owned subsidiary McGee Air Services, where he was president. He led Alaska Airlines' cargo business from 2012 until June 2019.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)Jon Victor, The Canadian Press