Teen banking app Step has raised $50 million (37.4 million pounds) from investors led by Coatue Management alongside celebrities such as singer Justin Timberlake, influencer Charli D'Amelio and former quarterback Eli Manning. Step, which offers teenagers a bank account connected to a secured spending card and peer-to-peer payments, also said it had secured funding from existing backers including Stripe, Will Smith's Dreamers VC, CrossLink Capital and Collaborative Fund. San Francisco-based Step allows parents to view balances and real-time activity, add money to their teens' accounts and manage and freeze cards.
Hanover Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks has been elected as Grey County's warden for 2021. “I believe that my credentials speak for themselves. I'm an early riser with a strong work ethic and I have the capacity to build relationships that promote progress,” Hicks said while addressing county councillors during the virtual inauguration session held Tuesday afternoon. The position of warden is voted on by fellow county council members and holds a one-year term. Hicks was nominated for the position by Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne and seconded by Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus. Hicks was born in South American country of Guyana and moved to Toronto when he was nine. He moved to Hanover in 2003 and he entered politics in 2006, serving as a councillor from 2006 to 2014 and then as deputy-mayor since 2015. Hicks served as warden of Grey County in 2019. He is a lawyer by trade with offices in Hanover and Walkerton, which he operates with his wife of 24 years, Barbara. They have four children: Selwyn IV, Rylee, Connor, and Chloe. At Tuesday’s meeting, Hicks defeated current Grey County Warden Paul McQueen, who is the mayor of Grey Highlands. In the coming months, Hicks says he plans to meet with each lower-tier council representative to build relationships and seek out priorities. “I will also immediately reach out to our provincial and federal representatives to schedule a minimum of one formal meeting each quarter to build relationships and plan how we can work together to address important priorities for the people of Grey County,” he said. “I'm also now a member of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus," Hicks added. "I have strong relationships from my first year as warden and I plan to continue to build those relationships.” For the coming year, Hicks said he would like to focus on affordable housing, rural broadband programs, and regional transportation. “We've got a number of things on the go. We're still in a COVID environment and we have to figure out how we pull out of this thing together, how to keep people safe, keep our good track record in public health, and take care of our seniors,” he added.Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
A Peel police officer faces multiple charges after allegedly leaving three prohibited firearm magazines in the trunk of a police cruiser.Police announced the constable had been charged on Tuesday, but revealed few other details.They said the officer, an eight-year veteran, was investigated by the force's professional standards bureau for 14 months. "The officer reported off duty leaving behind three prohibited firearm magazines loaded with ammunition in the trunk of the police cruiser that he was operating," a news release said.The magazines were not work issued. The officer faces three counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, three counts of careless storage of a prohibited device and one count of careless storage of ammunition.Police say the officer is set to answer to the criminal charges on Jan. 4, 2021, and that a Police Services Act investigation will follow that.
The chief of the Shawanaga First Nation northwest of Parry Sound says two new businesses in his community will help spur economic growth and secure a better future for his people. Chief Wayne Pamajewon says a new service centre is set to open in the spring and the territory’s long-awaited cannabis store could possibly open later this month. The cannabis store is set to open behind the community’s existing gas bar. “Over the years, one of the shortfalls that we’ve always encountered is the shortage of revenues to be able to do the things that we want to do. We’ve always had to wait with our hands open. I think we’re going to change all of that now by building in the economic development for our community,” the chief said. The territory learned back in July 2019 that the Ontario Gaming Commission awarded it a licence to operate a cannabis retail store. It is one of eight First Nations in the province to receive a licence. Chief Pamajewon said that a lot of work has already taken place in order to get the store open. “We’ve hired a manager so we have a person that’s putting it together right now. The policies to govern this will have to be worked out,” said the chief. “The supply, we don’t know what that is yet, but I’m sure the individual that we have working for us will be working with his staff to put that together. We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen.” Chief Pamajewon said that at this point, he sees no reason why people who don’t live on the territory wouldn’t be able to shop at the store, despite COVID, as long as all the necessary precautions are taken. He said he expects the service centre to open in mid-May of next year. The foundation is laid, he said, and the fuel tanks are in the ground. He added they are working with a couple of companies to see which one will operate the service centre. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Paralympic champion Josh Dueck was named Canada's chef de mission for the 2022 Beijing Games on Wednesday.The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Famer from Kimberley, B.C., competed at two Games, winning gold in super combined alpine skiing and silver in downhill in 2014 after also taking silver in sitting slalom in 2010. The 39-year-old served as the closing ceremony flag-bearer in Sochi."When I got the call with the news that I was named to lead the Canadian Paralympic Team my mind started to dance with possibility," Dueck said. "To be a champion for sport, friend and mentor to the athletes and part of the support team for Canada at the Paralympic Games is an incredible privilege. There is a great sense of honour and duty that comes with this storied role, and I look forward to learning from our history and building on this legacy with our teams."Dueck, who lives in Vernon, B.C., was injured in a ski accident just six years before his Paralympic debut. The first person to successfully perform a back flip on a sit ski, Dueck now works as a peer mentor and motivational speaker as well as leading Freestyle BC.Dueck worked with CBC Sports as a broadcaster for the 2018 Paralympics. The 2022 Games are scheduled to run Mar. 4-13 from Beijing, with Canada planning to participate in all five sports.Speed skater and two-time gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan was recently named Olympic chef de mission for Beijing.WATCH | Josh Dueck excited to be chef de mission:Canadian Paralympic Committee president Marc-Andre Fabien said Dueck is poised to impact the 2022 team in a positive manner."He is the epitome of strong athlete leadership and will bring so much positive energy, thoughtful introspection, fresh ideas, and valuable support to the team. He is incredibly well respected within the sport community, has been a longtime passionate advocate for Paralympic sport and brings in many different experiences and perspectives from his many roles in sport," Fabien said.As chef de mission, Dueck is tasked with promoting Team Canada, guiding its athletes in Beijing and fostering a positive environment."The story of every athlete is filled with hope, opportunity, challenge and often uncertainty. Athletes are trained to embrace challenge, let go of the things they cannot control, and to persevere through even the most difficult situations, in an effort to be a little better today than we were yesterday," Dueck said. "In the world today, we need more beacons of hope that remind us we can rise above the challenges we face. My goal is to help share these stories of hope."
Workplace safety-relatedcharges against the company managing construction at the Faro mine site and a site supervisor have been stayed.Parsons Inc. and Len Faber, who's also the mayor of Faro, were charged under the Yukon's Occupational Health and Safety Act in September 2019 for allegedly intimidating workers, obstructing safety officers in the course of their duties and failing to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.Both parties pleaded not guilty to all charges. The matter was set to go to trial on Nov. 16 but was adjourned to Nov. 24, when territorial Crown prosecutor Kelly McGill told the court that Parsons Inc. and Faber had successfully met the terms of a diversionary arrangement. The terms included Parsons Inc. augmenting its health and safety training program, while Faber had to complete coursework in psychological heath and safety. They also donated $5,000 and $1,000 to the Northern Safety Network Yukon, respectively, and paid $1,500 and $500 in administrative fees. McGill told Judge Karen Ruddy that, in light of the successful arrangement, there was no longer a public interest in proceeding with the prosecution and entered stays on all charges. Lawyers representing Parsons Inc. and Faber did not immediately return requests for comment. The federal government awarded Parsons Inc., an international engineering firm, an $80 million construction management contract for the Faro mine site in 2018. The firm held the care-and-maintenance contract before that. Faber won Faro's mayoral election in October 2018 by chance when his name was pulled out of a box after he and incumbent mayor Jack Bowers both received the exact same number of votes. The Faro mine was, at one point, the largest open-pit lead-zinc mine in the world but was abandoned in 1998. Remediation work, set to begin in 2024, is expected to cost upwards of $500 million and take about two decades, with officials needing to monitor the site indefinitely after that.
Albertans feeling cooped up by COVID-19, can take solace in some winter sunbathing. A high-pressure system hovering over Western Canada means the forecast across the province for the week ahead is downright balmy. By the weekend, most Alberta communities will hit double-digit highs. And the unseasonably mild temperatures will be accompanied by sunny, cloud-free skies, perfect for working on your tuque tan. A high of 10 C is expected in Edmonton on Sunday. Calgary will be even milder with a high of 17 C expected by Monday afternoon. Even northern communities like Fort McMurray will get a taste with a long-term forecast free of any icy wind chill. "This is almost tropical in a way," said Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "It's clearly an atmospheric gift. You don't expect weather like this." The temperatures started to thaw over the weekend, melting mountainous snow banks, turning roads into skating rinks and giving sun-loving Albertans a welcome reprieve from winter temperatures. The province is being temporarily shielded from the cold by a massive flow of pressurized, sinking air, Phillips said. "It's like putting a dome over the Prairies and it doesn't allow any kind of weather to get in. "You're squeezing in all those air molecules; they're jiggling and jaggling and creating all kinds of heat. And this is what makes it so, so unseasonably mild. "And it doesn't matter where you are. It's not just that Edmonton's getting all the good weather. The entire region is getting this gorgeous kind of weather." 'Sweater weather' The temperatures expected are about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average for this time of year, Phillips said. He said some temperature records could be broken but the most notable thing about this mild stint of weather is its duration. The balmy temperatures are expected to stick around for more than a week. "One- or two-day wonders are usually in the offing, but not a whole week or even longer with wall-to-wall sunshine, no weather to get in the way," Phillips said. "I mean, it's going to be well, not muscle shirts and tank tops, but hey, you'll be changing. "It'll be going to sweater weather rather than leather weather." After a frigid fall marked by the stress of the pandemic, the balmy forecast is likely a welcome weather anomaly. Phillips said temperatures will begin to cool off next week but the current forecast could be a tiding of things to come. "I mean, we've never cancelled winter in Alberta and we're not going to this year, but we certainly think that December looks milder than normal. "And you know, when you can claim that winter is maybe only three months long instead of five months long, you're already ahead of the game."
NEW YORK — Authorities on Tuesday announced the indictment of 18 people, including New York City rapper Casanova, in connection to a litany of gang-related crimes including racketeering, murder, drugs, firearms, and fraud offences.Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss and other law enforcement officials issued a statement accusing those named in the indictment of being part of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang, operating in New York City and part of New York state.Authorities said 17 of the 18 named in the indictment were in custody. The FBI’s New York office issued a tweet saying Casanova, whose legal name is Caswell Senior, was still being sought.“Members of Gorilla Stone committed terrible acts of violence, trafficked in narcotics, and even engaged in brazen fraud by exploiting benefits programs meant to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Strauss said in the statement.One of those indicted was accused in connection with the Sept. 21 killing of a minor in Poughkeepsie, New York. The others were indicted in connection to charges including assault, drug distribution and weapons possession. Two people were charged with falsely using other people's identity information to file for COVID-19 unemployment benefits.Casanova, currently signed to Roc Nation, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and firearms possession.Emails were sent to Roc Nation and the rapper's representative seeking comment.The Associated Press
A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
Ringette players in Ottawa say they've gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to ice time at one of the city's outdoor rinks.The Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink in Canterbury Park, southeast of downtown, opened for the season last week, with ice time divided between public skating, pickup hockey and pickup ringette.While hockey was allotted 21 two-hour time slots each week — with two of those specifically for women — ringette was given a single slot between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays."How hard do we have to fight to get more ice time for the girls who want to try out the sport, who want to play the sport, who just want to be outside and play some shinny ringette?" said Phyllis Bergmans, president of the City of Ottawa Ringette Association (CORA).She calls the ice allotment "disappointing" and while she understands there's no comparison between ringette's popularity and hockey's, ringette still attracts around 3,000 players across the city.She said CORA does have enough indoor rink time for practices, but the two hours a week is the only chance kids have to play on a city rink with their friends and family."This is ringette for fun," she said. "There isn't a kid in Canada who doesn't want to play some sort of outdoor pickup games in the middle of wintertime."Allocation based on popularityCamdyn Wilson, 17, has been playing ringette since she was four and is now a coach.She said she wishes the female-dominated ringette was given equal consideration with male-dominated hockey."I think it's very significant and quite sad because so many young girls play ringette and aspire to get better," she said. "Why are boys superior to girls and they get more time and focus?"Different sports are allocated specific drop-in sessions each week, the city's general manager for recreation, cultural, and facility services wrote in an email to CBC."The frequency of each type of session is based on community demand in the prior season, with yearly adjustments to reflect demand," wrote Dan Chenier, adding that staff can adjust the schedule as they go.The city runs the rink in partnership with the Canterbury Community Association.COVID-19 restrictions limit playersCOVID-19 has added another layer to the struggle for ice time as each activity at the rink is limited to 20 people on the ice at any one time, according to the city, with a maximum 30 minutes for each person during busy periods.Some parents worry how players could be expected to abide by those restrictions under such tight time constraints while also letting everyone have a chance to play."We need to have more time slots so it's not as crowded and they can play a proper game of shinny," said Matthew Inniss, whose 12-year-old daughter was on the rink Tuesday.
A former Barrie surgeon has given up his licence to practise medicine and has promised his regulatory body to never apply to register as a physician ever again, anywhere. The agreement arose following a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) disciplinary hearing last week. “The agreement to never reapply for registration… is the maximum level of punishment available in this situation,” said CPSO communications advisor Josh McLarnon. The college had earlier launched investigations into Dr. Emad M. Guirguis and his now-defunct Lakeview Surgery Centre on Dunlop Street following complaints. He was found to perform cosmetic surgery that was outside his scope of practice as a physician, not having the proper training and certification. He also engaged in unprofessional conduct through online advertising and communications with a specific patient. In addition to the practice ban, he was ordered to pay $6,000. “Dr. Guirguis has been brought forward to the discipline committee on a number of occasions,” McLarnon added. An investigation was first launched in 2015 resulting in a caution three years later. Another caution was later issued relating to his compliance of the first issue. In one complaint, Guirguis tried to perform bariatric revision gastric band surgery, but decided not to complete the surgery because he encountered extensive scar tissue from previous surgeries. According to documents from the college’s compliance and monitoring department, he perforated the patient’s bowel during the surgery, resulting in ongoing complications. The complainant said he did not communicate or follow up with her after the surgery or provide a refund of her fee. “The committee... was of the view that the respondent’s pre-operative assessment was insufficient,” the decision of the inquiries, complaints and reports committee found. In another report, an independent assessor concluded: “Dr. Guirguis did not meet the standard of practice of the profession in some of the cases reviewed; his knowledge was adequate but basic; his surgical skills were adequate for his limited scope of practice; his judgment was not always adequate, mostly because the brief documentation does not allow a full understanding of his train of thought and exposes omissions or incomplete assessments; and in the reviewed cases his clinical practice, behaviour, or conduct had the potential to expose one patient to harm.” Other assessors, it added, found broad deficiencies in Dr. Guirguis’s practice. In a report from Dec. 14, 2018, Guirguis was cautioned about not providing a full explanation of a procedure to a patient and ensuring the patient had full clarity about what was going to be done following a complaint to the college about the outcome of a cosmetic surgical procedure. According to CPSO documents, Guirguis agreed he has engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. He was ultimately found to have committed an act of professional misconduct. Dr. Guirguis’s certificate of registration expired Sept. 4, 2020. In addition to the clinic, Guirguis was also once a staff general surgeon at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Guirguis did not respond to requests for comment, but according to his Facebook page he is studying for his master's degree in theological studies at Tyndale University College and Seminary.Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
Supporters thronged buses taking Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong to jail after he was sentenced to more than 13 months in jail for organizing a protest.
Le psychologue sportif, auteur et conférencier de renommée internationale, Sylvain Guimond, rencontrera virtuellement, ce mercredi, à 18h, les étudiants innus du collégial et universitaire afin de les motiver à ne pas abandonner en cette période difficile de pandémie. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Macotenord.com Par le biais de sa conférence, Sylvain Guimond partagera ses trucs et de précieux conseils qui aideront les étudiants à persévérer. "La motivation, c’est l’énergie intérieure qui nous pousse à agir, en créant tes ressorts et en brisant tes freins", mentionne M. Guimond Docteur en psychologie du sport, Sylvain Guimond est conscient que les étudiants doivent parfois jongler avec leurs études, le sport, le travail et les amis, d'où l'importance de comprendre que la clé du succès et d’être bien dans sa tête. Ce professionnel souvent invité à des émissions de télévision souligne que pendant l'actuelle crise sanitaire sans précédent, chaque moment mis à notre disposition doit-être utilisé de façon positive. "Que ce soit pour travailler notre force mentale, mettre à jour nos objectifs ou prendre conscience du chemin que l’on a fait, cette année sera charnière pour plusieurs personnes." Or, des recherches ont démontré que le manque de motivation des étudiants a des répercussions directes sur le décrochage scolaire. Taux alarmant de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones Organisée par le département de l'Éducation du Conseil de Uashat-Maliotenam, cette conférence tombe à point alors que le taux de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones est alarmant. Les statistiques sont ahurissantes: plus d'un élève autochtone sur deux vivants sur les réserves abandonne les études secondaires. Le taux de décrochage est aussi inquiétant pour les autochtones qui vivent à l'extérieur des réserves. Plus de 40% de ces autochtones ne terminent pas leurs études secondaires. Dans le reste de la population canadienne, le taux de décrochage oscille autour de moins de 10%. La conférence Web du Dr Guimond offre des pistes concrètes et des stratégies à mettre en place pour motiver les diplômés de demain. De plus, les concepts développés dans la conférence s’appliquent à de nombreuses sphères de la vie. Anxiété et stress Une planète au ralentie par une pandémie occasionne beaucoup de stress et d'anxiété dans notre quotidien et les étudiants n'y échappent pas. Coauteur du livre, avec Johanne Lévesque, Anxiété sois mon invitée, Sylvain Guimond explique simplement et sans préjugés, comment naviguer entre stress, peurs, frayeurs, anxiété, angoisses, phobies... et les maîtriser. "Car être anxieux n’est pas une condamnation, et bien que l’anxiété puisse handicaper une vie, elle apporte aussi une énergie qui peut être un formidable moteur pour nous pousser à nous dépasser." Sylvain Guimond s’exprime de façon claire et imagée et propose des solutions simples aux questions parfois complexes. Il a travaillé avec plus de 1000 athlètes d’élite, dont le célèbre golfeur Tiger Woods. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The Supreme Court of Slovakia on Wednesday increased the prison sentence of a former soldier convicted of killing an investigative journalist and his fiancée, a case that triggered a political crisis and brought down the country’s government.In April, a lower court gave Miroslav Marcek a 23-year prison term for the contract killings of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova in February 2018. The high court increased the sentence to 25 years.Marcek had pleaded guilty to fatally shooting the two but appealed as did the prosecutors.The verdict by the Supreme Court is final.In September, a court acquitted a businessman, Marian Kocner, who was accused of masterminding the slayings, and one of his co-defendants.Prosecutors appealed the verdicts but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on that.Kuciak, 27, was shot in the chest and Kusnirova, also 27, was shot in the head at their home in the town of Velka Maca, east of Bratislava, on Feb. 21, 2018.Kuciak had been investigating possible government corruption. The killings prompted major street protests and a political crisis that led to the government’s collapse.Two other defendants have been sentenced in the case.One received 25 years in prison in September for his role. The other, who had acted as a go-between, agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence and received a 15-year prison term in December.The Associated Press
Calgarians with roots in India — and in some cases, land there, too — are supporting tens of thousands of farmers in that country involved in mass protests outside Delhi, fighting new laws that will change their industry and impact their livelihoods.The farmers have travelled to the Indian capital from rural regions like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, with many making the journey in tractors and on farm equipment.Watching from thousands of kilometres away, Calgarians with strong ties to Punjab and other parts of India are finding ways to support the farmers. That includes taking part in social media campaigns and a car rally, which attracted hundreds in northeast Calgary this past weekend. "These three new laws are against the farmers," said Sam Brar, who lives in Saddle Ridge."They're trying to bring in big corporations and kill all the smaller scale farming. The government won't even listen to them."In Delhi, there have been clashes with authorities, who turned water cannons and tear gas on protestors trying to enter the city.The new laws were introduced in September and change the rules around the sale, pricing and storage of produce.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the laws will let farmers set their own prices and allow them to sell crops to private businesses, ultimately giving them more freedom.But farmers are worried it will leave them open to being exploited by corporations and devastate them financially. Until now, farmers relied on selling crops direct to the government at guaranteed prices. They're also angry the changes are being made in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.To put the issue into context, more than half of India's 1.3 billion population is connected to agriculture and farming, so it's a huge issue for the country and involves a significant voter block.Modi says he hopes what he calls transformative changes will attract more private investment to the industry, but farmers and their unions say it will make life much tougher."Farmers don't want any dealings with these big corporates. They marched toward Delhi in huge numbers and now the government have used force to stop them," said Brar. "Some have been beaten like animals."Brar was one of many who attended at a socially distanced car rally that travelled in a convoy from the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary into downtown on Sunday, waving flags and blasting horns."We want to raise our voice and add some pressure from here," he said."It felt really good. We thought 100 cars might come but it was more than 500 or 600 cars that gathered."Some families in Calgary still own land in rural India and the change in laws has direct implications for them."The majority of people from Punjab, their background would be farming, and some people still have farming lands back home. They're worried in the future the corporations would take over the land and they would lose their land," said Harvinder Gill.Gill says the car rally and support being shown on social media in Calgary are an opportunity to pressure local politicians to raise awareness of the issue."They can talk to the Indian government," he said. "Help put pressure on them."On Facebook, many Indians in Calgary have changed their profiles in support of the protests and added the popular standwithfarmerschallenge hashtag to their social media accounts.The Indian government has denounced comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in support of the farmers on Monday.Trudeau called the Indian government response to the protests "concerning." Trudeau's comments were labelled as "ill-informed" by a foreign ministry spokesperson.
When the rain started to hit hard, Kelsey Richardson's main focus was to make sure her kids were safe. So, at around midnight, she packed them in the car and left her Sussex home. "We hoped to heck we were going to make it to the end of the street," she said, as she held two of her children, Abby, 8, and Bentley, 4.Richardson, her fiancé and her three children, including infant Cohen, live on Homan Avenue, one of the areas of Sussex hit hardest by Tuesday's rainstorm.As she was leaving her home, which she rents, the water was almost to the hood of her vehicle, she said."We were lucky to get out," she recalled as her kids played in the water left behind by the storm. "I thought we were going to float away."Richardson said she's distraught by the loss and didn't expect the water to ruin so many of her belongings.She lost her couches, her children's toys, window screens and her daughter's kindergarten materials. There's mud and sludge all over the house. The family was able to salvage a few teddy bears.She doesn't have insurance. And doesn't want to think about Christmas."Everything's gone," she said, hugging her daughter. Damages expected to be around $18MSussex Mayor Marc Thorne said people in the area were devastated by the downpourr, which he described as worse than the 2014 flood linked to a river ice jam that caused a state of emergency and forced neighbourhoods to evacuate from their homes."The water is a little dirtier and the damage a bit greater," Thorne said.He said the 2014 flood caused about $18 million in damage. "People are feeling heartbroken because they've been through this before."Thorne said he visited some of the homes in the area Wednesday morning, some of which have water all the way up to the first floor. He said flooding in the area has always been "one of intensity." "Many homes that had finished basements are destroyed."WATCH | Footage from the 2014 spring flood in Sussex At least 21 homes in the Sussex area have been evacuated as of 12 p.m. Tuesday because of the flooding caused by heavy rain Tuesday, according to Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization.Downey said a few of those families have been able to return home."There's certainly reports of up to several feet of water in some homes, including some sewage," he said. "So this is something that's going to be going on for a little while."This week, Downey said the weather is favourable for recovery efforts. Temperatures are above freezing in the south and there's not much rain in the forecast this week."There shouldn't be anything in terms of the water rising anymore," he said. "It should just be consistently going down." The Sussex area and Sussex Corner were the areas hit hardest by the prolonged heavy rain across the province."It's just like spring — there's not much you can do," he said Wednesday. "Once the water goes up, you just have to wait for it to go down."So far, Downey said, people in the Sussex area are the only residents to report damage. However, there are some road and school closures in other parts of the province. Downey said flooding can happen anytime of year, including early December."It just goes to show that people need to be ready for anything, essentially year-round," he said. "It's not just flood season anymore."Visitors becoming an issue Downey said municipalities are reporting disaster tourism in the area and he is encouraging people to stay home."Not only do they hamper any recovery efforts, they could end up causing problems where they need to be saved as well," he said.He said many people are showing up at closed roads and taking photos."That's just getting in the way."'It's getting so close to Christmas'Scott Hatcher, chief administrative officer with the Town of Sussex, said 14 families in the Sussex area were forced from their homes late Tuesday night.But he said hundreds of properties in the area were affected by the storm, and many had water in their basements.Local fire departments were able to retrieve the stranded families with boats and bring them to shelter."We're getting too used to flooding, which is not a good thing," Hatcher said.Trout Creek, which passes through the area, reached flood stage Tuesday night. Conditions didn't improve until about 4 a.m. "It's getting so close to Christmas and with all of the extra precautions ... with the pandemic, it's just added a bit of angst in the community," he said."That's really just piled on when you didn't need it to be piled on."Canadian Red Cross volunteers arranged emergency lodging for at least 16 residents from 11 houses in the Sussex area, said Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross. Regional emergency management coordinators are also there to make sure any needs are met.Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for most of the province on Tuesday. Central and southwestern parts of New Brunswick saw between 40 and 120 millimetres of rain Tuesday into Wednesday morning, and some southwestern regions were expecting up to 180 millimetres. Environment Canada showed 181 millimetres of rain in Mechanic Settlement, about 76 kilometres southwest of Moncton.Tina Simpkin, a CBC meteorologist said heavy rain is still expected in the Acadian Peninsula down through Moncton and into northern Nova Scotia on Wednesday. Power outages across the provinceNB Power said more than 4,000 NB Power customers are without electricity. That's after a peak of about 7,000 customers without power Tuesday afternoon.Marc Belliveau, a spokesperson for NB Power, said trees falling over power lines were the main problem. About 20 crews were working overnight to restore power.Belliveau said there was also a fire in a switch gear building in Bouctouche, probably because a piece of equipment failed.No one was hurt, but the damage is being assessed and repairs could take a bit of time.
The proposal to have the former Capital Pointe site be a temporary parking lot for one year has been approved.Regina's new city council voted 6-5 in favour of the proposal. A developer has said it is interested in purchasing the land if it had approval to use it as a parking lot for a one-year term.The city is owed $2.8 million from the property. Councillors Landon Mohl, Jason Mancinelli, Terina Shaw, John Findura and Lori Bresciani voted in favour, along with Mayor Sandra Masters. "I feel that I need to put a little bit of a trust going forward," Findura said. "I would like to see it move forward, get out of that hole." Councillors Andrew Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Cheryl Stadnichuk, Shanon Zachidniak and Daniel LeBlanc voted against the proposal."I think it's a mistake, frankly," Stevens said. "There was such promise with that corner. It really fell short and went from a hole to a buried hole now to a parking lot. And I'm not sure what's worse from a planning perspective. There was absolutely no reason to approve this." Masters said that the city is not in the business of commercial real estate development."I have a bigger fear that if we don't provide what assistance we can in terms of facilitating a sale, that we end up ... we can end up with possession of it for years," Masters said. It was the first time the new council was together. It approved a new meeting schedule and will now meet twice a month instead of once a month. Councillor Lori Bresciani is in her second term. She said from her view, the first meeting went smoothly."Of course, there's the procedural things that take a little bit of time. But I thought overall it was very, very well done," Bresciani said. "Mayor Masters did a great job and actually all of councillors spoke. So I think, again, very inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's what we want."New wellness committee, no more mandatory written statements for delegatesCity council also created a new community wellness committee. The committee will discuss housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addiction, discrimination and other social determinants of health and crime. Masters said this is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the city needs to support those combating the increasing number of overdoses. "The city needs to continue to support the services that are providing the [naloxone] kits and arriving on scene for the overdoses," Masters said. She said the city also needs to build relationships with different levels of government for funding initiatives. Masters said a safe consumption site is one of the options the committee could look into. She said she's interested in hearing from Prairie Harm Reduction about the one in Saskatoon."As well as looking at other best practices in other communities for the success stories that they've had or perhaps mistakes that have been made or learned lessons," she said. Stevens said the creation of the committee is symbolic right now and hopes it shows commitment to these issues. "I think what's really exciting about this new council and mayor is that everybody's talking about addictions, social determinants of health and community well-being," Stevens said.Also during the meeting, city council debated the mandatory written statements that previously had to be provided by people hoping to address the councillors.Councillor Stevens brought forward an amendment and said he has worked with people with intellectual disability who have trouble with the written requirement. People did not have to read their written statement verbatim. The idea passed with only Councillor Shaw opposed. Now people wanting to speak to the council will need to tell city administration in advance and will be encouraged to provide a written submission so the city administration can prepare answers, but the written submission is not a requirement. Both the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee were cut, with their responsibilities transferred to the executive committee. The community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee also merged into a new operations and community services committee.
A "high-risk" COVID-19 exposure case was reported for Windsor's Northwood Public School Tuesday, according to the board's website. In a letter to parents, the board said it is working with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) by providing lists of students and staff in possible contact with the individual. WECHU is contacting anyone who may be at high-risk and will provide follow-up steps. It's unclear whether any cohorts have been dismissed as a result of the case. This case is one of 70 active in the public board. At this time, 16 schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, the majority of which are from Frank W. Begley with 49 cases.The school continues to remain closed at this time. As for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, there are 10 active cases across six schools. W. J. Langlois remains closed at this time with three total cases.
Lakefield resident Brant Dunford decided to paint a powerful image on a paddle because he wanted to contribute to the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project and to keep the conversation alive about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “The idea to paint this portrait came to me when I was doing another drawing on the paddle. I changed my mind, basically erased what I had and got inspired to do the portrait. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Dunford. The paddle depicts an Indigenous girl with a bloodied hand across her face. It’s a strong image that’s used to show the blood shed of Indigenous woman, while at the same time bringing awareness of MMIWG to the forefront. Dunford says the paddle was purchased at a local store. He says in order for him to paint the paddle he had to sand the surface. “From start to finish, it took me the better part of two days,” he says. Dunford, a father of two and the great-grandson of the late Chief Moses Marsden of Alderville First Nation, says he likes to paint as a hobby and says he has a lot of time to do other work. “During the pandemic I find myself doing more paintings,” he says. He said he has painted a few other paddles with different images and says he plans on doing another one to bring awareness to MMIWG. The auction to bid on the paddle began Dec 1 and continues to Dec. 3. Details about the auction are listed on the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project Facebook page. Stephanie Doughty, organizer, says the project is going strong. She expects there to be a large turnout to bid on the paddle as the art is very well done. She says there was a sneak peak on Nov. 15 where many posted comments on the beauty of the artwork and showed interest in bidding before the auction began.Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
Alberta school boards say enrolment has taken a hit across the province this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they're asking the province not to allow this year's enrolment numbers dictate future funding. Bryan Szumlas, chief superintendent with the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD), said prior to the pandemic the district projected a student population of 59,000 this school year."Then we came in much lower at 56,500 students," he said.Szumlas said the drop in student enrolment could have a significant financial impact if used under the new funding model — which was introduced in September, and is based on a three-year rolling average of student attendance. Lorrie Jess with the Alberta School Board Association (ASBA) said that model has school boards concerned. "Currently, many school divisions are reporting a reduction in the number of students attending in-school learning and an increase in schools structured at home, so online learning and parent-directed home education programs, and some families have chosen not to send their children to kindergarten," she said. Szumlas said that's something the CCSD can attest to. "A drop of approximately 2,000 students. When we dug a little deeper to try to figure out, you know, those 2,000 students and where they've gone — a big chunk of those students, roughly a thousand, have to do with kindergarten and pre-K."Jess said it's a trend being seen across the province. "[Education Minister Adriana] LaGrange has told us that she knows for a fact because they're counting the student numbers that they know that kindergarten student enrolment is way down across the province," she said."I think it's just parents being unsure with the pandemic and keeping their kids home for for another year, or holding them back, or teaching them at home."At a recent ASBA meeting, Jess said a motion was passed to lobby the province for a "hold harmless year" — which asks that Alberta Education not use the weighted moving average, but rather enrolment numbers from last year when considering funding. In an emailed statement to CBC News, Alberta Education said it is currently reviewing this request. "[We are] sensitive to the unique situation caused by the pandemic this year," wrote acting press secretary Nicole Sparrow. "That is why we gave school authorities more time to provide their enrolment data to the province, and we remain committed to ensuring schools are not penalized for enrolment that may have been affected by a pandemic that is completely out of their control."Sparrow said there will be a final decision made in next year's budget. "But in the meantime it should be noted that the benefit of the new funding model is it smoothes out sudden changes in student enrolment numbers," she said. "Both for increases and decreases in enrolment because it is based on three school years of data — not just one year as under the old model."Alberta Education did not provide a breakdown of enrolment numbers."Once we have this data early next month and it has gone through the usual verification process we will have a proper understanding of provincial enrolment data and the impact of the pandemic on student registrations," said Sparrow.