Meteorologist Jessie Uppal has the details.
Meteorologist Jessie Uppal has the details.
Canada's health officials spoke about the recent change in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the time between two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and how that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy in Canada.
Les femmes enceintes peuvent donner naissance de façon plus confortable et avec plus de complicité avec leur partenaire à l’hôpital Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins, à Cowansville, grâce aux nouvelles chaises de naissance ergonomique Multitrac. Un important don et la Campagne de financement 2018-2022 ont permis à la Fondation BMP de faire l’acquisition de deux de ces chaises en plus de renouveler des fauteuils et des coussins d’allaitement. La Fondation a par ailleurs souhaité souligner la contribution importante du pharmacien-propriétaire du Jean Coutu de Farnham, Denis Émond, dont l’entreprise a donné 25 000 $ pour contribuer à ces nouvelles acquisitions. Le don, réalisé en 2020 après l'achat des chaises, n’a pas pu être souligné à l’époque pour des raisons que le directeur général de la Fondation, Francis Laramée, n’a pas pu dévoiler. L’annonce a été faite cette semaine alors que la date s’approche de celle de l’anniversaire de leur petit-fils, Marc-Édouard Benjamin, décédé à la naissance en mars 2017. Le don a été fait en la mémoire du bébé né au Pavillon des naissances. «Ils avaient tellement été bien servis à l’hôpital, ils ont tellement été bien entourés qu’on a voulu redonner à cet hôpital-là, confie M. Émond. Comme pharmacien, je trouvais que c’était une façon de redonner à la communauté.» Complicité Cette chaise permet non seulement des positions d’accouchement confortables en soulageant la douleur de façon naturelle, mais donne aussi la possibilité au partenaire d’avoir un rôle plus actif durant le travail. Elle est utilisée depuis la fin de 2019 à Cowansville. L’une des premières utilisatrices est la coordonnatrice des événements de la Fondation BMP, Alice Toussaint, pour la naissance de son premier enfant. «Je l’ai utilisée pendant le travail actif, raconte-t-elle. Ça m’a vraiment aidée à passer la douleur dans le sens où, de la manière que ça fonctionne, le conjoint peut être assis derrière la femme et appliquer des points de pression. C’est un moment très agréable à partager avec son conjoint parce qu’on est tous les deux impliqués.» Lors de son accouchement, l’appareil était neuf et ses différentes utilisations étaient peu connues. «C’est vraiment modulable, comme chaise», ajoute Mme Toussaint. Elle n’a pas pu expérimenter toutes les postures. Temps La maman de Marc-Édouard, la kinésiologue Geneviève Émond, souhaitait elle aussi s’impliquer en donnant de son temps. Elle a proposé à la cheffe du Pavillon des naissances d’aider le personnel à comprendre toutes les nuances des chaises Multitrac afin qu’elles soient utilisées à leur plein potentiel. Mme Émond participera aussi à bonifier la formation qui sera bientôt donnée au personnel du département, sur l’approche du deuil périnatal. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball will hold its first Lou Gehrig Day on June 2, adding Gehrig to Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente on the short list of players honoured throughout the big leagues. Each home team will have “4-ALS” logos in ballparks to mark Gehrig’s No. 4, and all players, managers and coaches will wear a Lou Gehrig Day patch on uniforms and may use red “4-ALS” wristbands. Teams that are off on June 2 will observe Lou Gehrig Day on June 3. MLB said Thursday that the day will focus on finding cures and raising money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the legacy of Gehrig and others who died of the progressive disease that attacks nerve cells controlling muscles throughout the body. June 2 marks the 96th anniversary of when Gehrig made started at first base for the New York Yankees in place of Willy Pipp, starting his record streak of 2,130 consecutive games played. The mark stood until September 1995 by Baltimore's Cal Ripken Jr., who played 2,632 consecutive games in a streak that ended in 1998. Gehrig died of ALS at age 37 on June 2, 1941. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1939. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that Gehrig's “humility and courage continue to inspire our society” and “the pressing need to find cures remains.” MLB's committee includes Oakland outfielder Stephen Piscotty, whose mother died of ALS; Colorado outfielder Sam Hillard, whose father has been diagnosed with ALS; and Milwaukee catcher Jacob Nottingham, whose family includes six people who died of ALS. MLB teams and players helped raise millions of dollars in 2014's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The New York Yankees often mark the anniversary of Gehrig's farewell speech on July 4, 1939. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
MURPHY’S COVE – Seasonal tourism operators are entering their second season during a global pandemic. Many are wondering – did summer 2020 prepare them for this upcoming summer? Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean hosts guests from all over the world. More than 50 per cent of guests typically come from outside Nova Scotia, with 33 per cent percent being international. Owner/operator Ryan Murphy told The Journal via email how very different the 2020 season was for the business. “With COVID, our interprovincial and international [guests] went to zero. The Atlantic bubble had very little effect for us. We adjusted our marketing budget to focus locally and – fortunately – we were able to mostly make up the shortfall with Nova Scotia guests.” Murphy suggested the 2021 season will undoubtedly be different from a typical year, but he remains hopeful it will be closer to normal than 2020. “Our greatest success with COVID was transitioning quickly to capitalize on more local guests from around Nova Scotia,” Murphy said. “Our greatest challenge with COVID has been navigating the constantly changing public health requirements and the government assistance programs.” One of the largest challenges for Murphy’s in 2020 was the additional work required for reservations. Murphy’s Camping processed 40 per cent more bookings in 2020 than in 2019 – due to the extensive number of cancelled bookings from interprovincial and international guests – and subsequent bookings from provincial guests. “Another challenge COVID posed for us was our nightly mussel boils – which generally encourage interaction amongst guests and is something for which we are well known,” Murphy said. “Our decision to cancel the mussel boils for the 2020 season was not made lightly, but we felt was necessary to help limit interaction amongst guests.” Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean celebrated its 60th year in operation in 2020 – making it one of the most well-established tourism operations in Nova Scotia. “As a small campground, with just 51 campsites, we offer a very hospitable atmosphere promoting interaction between guests,” said Murphy. He spoke of the history of the business and shared that during the past 10 years Murphy’s Camping has received guests from more than 60 countries. “Murphy's Camping is committed to providing an unforgettable camping experience for its guests by creating a friendly and hospitable atmosphere in a picturesque environment. Our main activities include overnight accommodations and wild island adventures, including scenic boat tours, boat charters and an island drop-off service.” Murphy explained Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean has historically invested a significant portion of its marketing budget outside Nova Scotia and Canada. “As a result [the campground] has seen double digit growth in recent years – outpacing average tourism growth in the province.” Bookings for 2021, Murphy said, are not on pace with typical years – but that is expected. “With the timeline for international travel still largely unknown, our bookings consist of provincial guests and some hopeful interprovincial guests,” he said. “Generally speaking, provincial reservations do not reserve as far in advance as international guests; hence, fewer bookings at this time.” As a well-established Nova Scotia seasonal business operator, Murphy noted the company understands its position of privilege as a longstanding tourism operation will help it weather the COVID pandemic. “As a business that was founded closer in date to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic than the present-day pandemic – we’re confident in our ability to bounce back from the impacts that COVID-19 is having locally and around the world. “We’re hopeful tourism in Nova Scotia will recover swiftly following the pandemic and – as a province – we can get back on track toward reaching the goal set forth by the Ivany Report … that is to double tourism revenue from 2014 to 2024.” Murphy believes this goal is almost certainly unachievable following the pandemic, given the long-term effects it will have on global travel. “That said,” he notes “… we must keep our sights set high.” Murphy took over in 2019 from his parents – Brian and Marilyn Murphy, who are still working in the business. They are currently in a three-year transition period. Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Ottawa has come up with a simpler way to claim expenses for that spare room or corner that became a makeshift office last spring when pandemic lockdowns went into effect across the country. In addition to the detailed method for claiming home office costs, the federal government announced a new temporary flat rate method last year with the specific aim of making taxes a little easier in these trying times. Experts say the new flat rate method is quick and easy, but using the detailed method may yield a better outcome, depending on your circumstances and it is worth checking out both ways to make sure you're getting the best deal. Edward Rajaratnam, executive director at EY Canada, said the detailed method may be better for renters than homeowners because of their ability to claim a portion of their rent, which could increase the size of their deduction beyond the $400 cap placed on the flat rate option. However, he said, the temporary flat rate method is simpler as the name would imply. "The beauty of this is it is a flat rate, it is $2 a day up to a maximum of $400 and the second beauty of that is that you actually do not need to maintain receipts," he said. "Everybody who has been working from home, they have been busy with work, so just imagine them trying to find receipts." You don't get to count days off, vacation days, sick leave days or other leaves of absence, so you might not reach the 200 days needed to max out the flat rate claim of $400. However, they don't have to be full days of work to qualify. Even if you only worked part of the day, you can claim the $2 for that day. While the flat rate method is easy, Gerry Vittoratos, national tax specialist at UFile, says you still should ask your employer to complete the Canada Revenue Agency form that allows you to use the detailed method if it turns out to yield you a better return. "You might get more if you go with the detailed method, don't prevent yourself from claiming that," Vittoratos said, noting that CRA has simplified the forms this year to make it easier for companies to provide them for employees. "Do the comparison between the two and see which one is better for you. It might turn out the detailed method is a lot better." To qualify under both methods you need to have worked more than 50 per cent of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020. Unlike the flat rate method, The detailed method requires a thorough accounting of actual expenses which need to be supported by receipts. But, unlike the flat rate method your total deduction is not capped at $400, so you could end up saving more. Eligible expenses include things like office supplies but also a share of expenses such as utilities, home internet access fees, maintenance and minor repairs. Renters can claim a potion of their rent, but homeowners cannot claim mortgage payments. You cannot claim expenses for which you were reimbursed by your employer. If you're using the detailed method and looking to claim some of your utilities or rent, you'll need to figure out how much of your home was used for work. If you had a spare room that became your designated office, the proportion that you can claim is the same as the proportion that space takes up in your house. So if your spare bedroom turned office makes up 10 per cent of the square footage of your home, then you get to claim 10 per cent of expenses like utilities for the time you spend working at home. But the calculation becomes more complicated if you were using your kitchen table or dining room, spaces that also served another purpose in your home in addition to a workspace as you can only claim for the time the space was used for work. Vittoratos says if you're considering using the detailed method it is important to know how big your home is and what proportion was used for work, as your accountant will need it to figure out what is best for you. "Have all the information in front of you. Make sure that everything is in order so you get the maximum return possible," he said. Rajaratnam noted that the flat rate deduction is per individual. So if you live with someone and you both worked from home you could both make a flat rate claim. "If you and your spouse are both working from home ... both of you can claim $400 each and you do not need to show expenses, as long as you have been working from home," he said. However, he says, everybody needs to consider their own circumstances to figure out what is best for their tax return. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. Craig Wong, The Canadian Press
JUNEAU, Alaska — Juneau city leaders have approved changes to local COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers, including waiving a $250 testing fee for non-resident travellers who are tested at the airport and exempting “fully vaccinated” individuals from strict social distancing after testing. The changes approved by the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly on Monday are meant to be encouraging for COVID-conscious travellers, KTOO Public Media reported. The rules define fully vaccinated as people who have gone more than two weeks since receiving a second dose of a two-dose vaccine or more than two weeks after receiving of one-dose vaccine. People considered fully vaccinated must still adhere to testing protocols, according to a statement from the city. But they do not have to practice strict social distancing for five days after arrival. The city describes strict social distancing, in part, as not socializing with anyone outside the person's household and not going indoors anywhere, except for one's home or the place they are staying. Non-vaccinated travellers must arrive with proof of a negative coronavirus test result, or they can get tested at the airport when they arrive and observe strict social distancing while awaiting results. The rules expire at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, unless other action is taken first. City Manager Rorie Watt said at the assembly meeting that officials “won’t be shy” about notifying the community if plans need to change. The Associated Press
Fossil fuel companies have faced increased pressure in recent years to reduce emissions, spend more on low-carbon energy and disclose the impact their production has on climate change. Chevron said on Thursday the plant, located in the city of Mendota, will convert agricultural biomass to electricity, and almost all the carbon captured in the conversion of agricultural waste would be stored underground. The venture adds weight to plans outlined by California's Air Resources Control Board last month to start phasing out all agricultural waste burning in the valley by 2025.
All regular N.W.T. MLAs have directed the territorial government to review its policies and practices for racial and cultural bias. The motion, put forward by Thebacha MLA Frieda Martselos, directs the territorial government to review policies relating to education, health, justice, housing and hiring. "Racism takes many different forms, especially in government," said Martselos. "Cultural barriers have always been a problem. Affirmative action and the procurement policy are prime examples of bureaucratic, systemic racism. This has to change. Only then, we will make a difference." The motion recognizes that half the population of the N.W.T. is Indigenous and becoming diverse, that Indigenous people face colonialism and cultural genocide. The territorial government has 120 days to respond to the motion, which Martselos put forth during a themed sitting focused on systemic racism. Government house leader R.J. Simpson said the government has a "moral and ethical obligation to root out racism in our institutions." While it is convention for cabinet to abstain from voting on recommendations to the government, "cabinet fully supports the principles behind this motion," he said. Housing rules contribute to social, economic disparities Caitlin Cleveland, the MLA for Kam Lake, said $25 million to achieve the 19th assembly’s goals over the next three and a half years is 'not very much at all.'(Sidney Cohen/CBC) Kam Lake MLA Caitlin Cleveland said northerners are forced to enter homelessness because of the housing corporation's policies, which require people to live in a community for up to one year before being added to the community housing wait list. "It can take years to get to the top of the list, and some might say a lifetime," she said. "This policy is actively contributing to the social and economic disparities of northerners." The policy puts people at risk of child apprehension, prevents them from leaving to access education or flee violence, and prevents family reunification, she said. "This means families cannot stay together and boys over 15 stand to be separated from their parents," she said. Twenty-eight of the territory's 33 communities are considered non-market rent and are dominated by public housing, she said. The housing corporation has a wait list of 900 people, said Housing Minister Paulie Chinna. She would not commit to removing the policy, but says the housing authority developed an application process that allows applicants who wish to leave the community for a number of months to return to their housing. "I don't want to discourage local individuals from leaving their community to pursue their goals and other educational opportunities," she said. Chinna said public housing is not the only option in communities, and that the housing corporation is looking to the CMHC co-investment fund to expand available housing. Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge asked for cultural awareness training for all existing staff and new hires for health centres in the territory. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada) 'Nice words' must be backed Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge said for too long "racist overtones" are directed toward Indigenous people, including at health institutions in his region. "Indigenous peoples are treated as second-class citizens in their own communities and on their homeland," he said. He recently asked for cultural awareness training for all existing staff and new hires for health centres in the territory. Monwfi MLA Jackson Lafferty points to an underutilized wellness fund for on the land healing, and millions in spending on southern rehabilitation as one example of racism in the health care system. Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn said "nice words" must be backed up by action. Norn recently alerted the territorial government to a policy prohibiting nurses from making house calls. In an email to CBC, the health authority explained that health and social services staff have responded to emergency situations in the past, but that it "presents a risk to health and social services system staff." "The public may be put at risk because the activities and skills being required for first response are outside the regular experience, training and duties of healthcare staff," the email states. MLA Jackson Lafferty is a vocal advocate for in-territory mental health and addictions treatment. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada) The department of Municipal and Community Affairs is responsible for local emergency response, including local ambulance services. Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik, Fort Smith and Fort Simpson are the only communities with ground ambulance services. Fort Resolution pre-med student calls N.W.T.'s no house call policy 'blatantly' racist, dangerous Upcoming hiring policies will include targets: Wawzonek Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby asked for numerical targets for hiring of Black and Indigenous employees, including in upper management. In the current policy, Indigenous men are not distinguished as a priority for hiring, said Nokleby. The government is rolling out an anti-racism campaign and the forthcoming recruitment framework will include targets for each department, said Minister Caroline Wawzonek. The current review will determine whether Indigenous men need specific consideration for hiring. MMIWG report risks sitting idle: Johnson MLA Rylund Johnson says the territorial government should act on MMIWG recommendations outlined in the final report. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada) Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson said he fears the territory's implementation of the MMIWG action plan is "caught in an endless cycle of planning and consultation with no meaningful action." Johnson said the calls to justice risk falling into long-term planning and that the territorial government must cost its plan to respond to the MMIWG report recommendations. "We often create great action plans but don't back them up with the dollars," he said. The inquiry interviewed thousands of people and gave specific direction through the 231 calls to justice, including establishing a guaranteed livable income and free legal aid for victims of crimes before they speak to police, said Johnson. He asked Status of Women Minister Caroline Wawzonek to commit to those items, but she said she won't prioritize any particular MMIWG call to action until the draft plan is prepared in October. That plan won't be fully costed, she said.
Students outside the Avalon Peninsula headed back to school Wednesday after two weeks of online learning. The decision is not a welcome one for some. Hannah Gillingham, a Grade 12 student at Botwood Collegiate, says that for safety reasons she would prefer if students and teachers in parts of the province were not taking part in classroom work. “I think it’s best to keep online learning because it would ensure the safety of students, parents and teachers. When you are attending school with in-person learning, one person can have COVID-19 and it will spread like wildfire, just like it did in the metro region back at the beginning of February,” Gillingham wrote in an email. The decision to return to in-school instruction was announced last Friday by Education Minister Tom Osborne and Newfoundland and Labrador English School District CEO Tony Stack. It came after the decision to move the province outside the St. John’s metro region back to Alert Level 4. When that decision was made, Gillingham created an online petition with hopes of avoiding a return to in-school instruction and, instead, keeping things digital for the moment. It is the stance of many in her school would prefer and to date, she has received plenty of support online. Since it was started on Feb. 27, more than 10,000 people have signed the petition. “Personally, I really enjoyed online learning,” said Gillingham. “I thought the way it was laid out was really well and it wasn’t all that different from in-person learning, just safer for students. It’s something a lot of people in this province enjoy doing, based on feedback from my petition.” Dan O'Brien, assistant director of programs for central and western schools for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, said he appreciates the concerns that are being expressed. He said they are the same concerns that were heard in September and the district proved then that it could make it work, and he is confident it will do the same thing this time. O’Brien said early in the process of bringing students back to school in September it was communicated regularly that the district could and would take regional approaches to schools, using guidance from Public Health. So, in areas where Public Health is not concerned about community spread and there are no issues related to the normal operations of school because of a prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, the district would keep schools open where it could, he said. As for extending the shift system being implemented in the high schools to other grade levels, O’Brien said that won’t happen. He said where the students can be cohorted — kindergarten to Grade 9 — meets the threshold of safety being recommended by Public Health where they are comfortable with having kids in school. Not having all student in all of the time in high school is representative of a challenge that is built into the structures of high school, and that is the kids are in different groups all of the time, O’Brien said. “So, if there was an incidence of the virus in a school it would be very difficult to contact trace and very difficult for us to know if we're able to contain it at all.” O’Brien said the district is conscious of the situation some parents find themselves in. “If a parent is really, really concerned, then maybe keeping their child home until they get a sense of what school is actually going to look like now might not be a bad idea for that particular family." At this point though, he’s not committing that if parents keep their child home, there will be an online option while they’re waiting. “We set up our schools to be open and it’s a complicated process to have our teachers working flat out full days and then, while they’re attending to the class in front of them in the day, to attend to the kids at home as well is a difficult prospect.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett has delivered her first opinion. The 7-2 decision released Thursday is in a case about the federal Freedom of Information Act, which Barrett explains makes “records available to the public upon request, unless those records fall within one of nine exemptions.” Barrett wrote for the court that certain draft documents do not have to be disclosed under FOIA. The 11-page opinion comes in the first case Barrett heard after joining the court in late October following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. The Associated Press
Apple could face an EU antitrust charge sheet in the coming weeks after a complaint by rival Spotify that it unfairly pushed its own music streaming service, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The European Commission could send the statement of objections setting out suspected violations of the bloc's antitrust rules to Apple before the summer, one of the people said. The case is one of four opened by the EU competition enforcer against Apple in June last year.
(ANNews) – The Alberta Government and the Fort McKay Nations have reached an agreement on an access management plan (AMP) for Moose Lake – a traditionally sacred place for Fort McKay Nations. The access plan prohibits major infrastructure development within a 10-kilometer “buffer zone” around Moose Lake, an area the Fort McKay Nations use for hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering. There will also be no new metallic or industrial minerals extraction allowed in the zone. All energy-related activities within a 1-kilometer radius of Moose Lake and Buffalo reserves are restricted to low impact exploration and monitoring only – with more enhanced environmental monitoring for all industrial development within the area. Fort McKay First Nation (FMFN) Chief Mel Grandjamb welcomed the agreement. “I must say the (Alberta) government listened and it understood Fort McKay’s desire to protect Moose Lake,” he stated. “With that understanding of our need, the government was able to take the documents through Cabinet with all our recommendations, including the ban of major infrastructure within the 10-km zone.” “The whole basis of this is for our members to go to that lake, (so) we can practice our treaty rights. We have an inherent right to the land,” he said. $8 million is going to be invested by the Alberta Government for the restoration of legacy seismic lines in the buffer zone. Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon said “It’s just one component of our commitment within that plan, but a pretty big one. “At the end of the day what we see here is a plan that balances First Nation community needs and rights, the treaty rights, within the area but still allows resource development to take place,” he said. Indigenous Relations Minster Rick Wilson also spoke on the plan by saying, “It’s a great move forward to find that balance with the First Nation and industry and the government working together.” The Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations released a statement congratulating Fort McKay on their success in preserving the land for traditional use. On March 1, Grand Chief – Okimaw Vernon Watchmaker, on behalf of the Treaty Six Chiefs, congratulated Chief Mel Grandjamb and his peoples for securing Moose Lake as a traditional use area for their members. “Their dedication and determination for more than twenty years to achieve their goals of having lands and waters for the future use by their members is a great achievement,” said Grand Chief Watchmaker. “The agreement with the Province is the first step for the Fort McKay First Nations and their future generations to protect their lands for the future use.” “Determination and perseverance on the part of Fort McKay has led their successful conclusion of a plan to go forward. They must be commended for their efforts – we await to see the outcome of their work for all the future generations to learn their traditional ways,” concluded Grand Chief Watchmaker. Fort McKay Metis Nation said the agreement is the culmination of many years of effort with various governments to ensure a plan to protect the sensitive Moose Lake area. “We’ve been moving the ball down the field for years,” stated Fort McKay Metis Nation President Ron Quintal. “Minister Nixen and Premier Kenney deserve credit for taking this file over the goal line. This decision creates a good framework for further discussions and forms the basis for the management of these important traditional lands and recognizes Metis Harvesting and Aboriginal Rights. This is a major step forward in the relationship between our communities and the Government of Alberta.” The Moose Lake AMP will initially be implemented as a policy before it is incorporated in the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP). In 2022, when LARP is reviewed, the Moose Lake AMP will be incorporated permanently. Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation and the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark are researching the possibility of combining and streamlining the groups and their programs under one organization. No concrete decision or plan has been made yet, with an eight to 10 month discussion period underway. Museum General Manager Zena Conlin says an amalgamation taskforce has been created, with board members from each group meeting every month to map out the pros and cons. “We’re exploring all the avenues on the best way for everybody to work together,” said Conlin, “and to ensure sustainability for the organizations and for the area.” Geopark Executive Director Manda Maggs says the idea to combine the two was prompted by suggestions from the Peace River Regional District, which has funded the organizations in the past. “I know they’re keen to have us explore this, but both organizations have their own separate mandates, and their own separate memberships,” said Maggs of the regional district. “Right now we’re identifying what those advantages will be. There would obviously be some advantages, as we already work together closely.” Since 2014, PRRD has granted $660,000 to the Geopar,k and more than $1.3 million to the museum since 2013. Both organizations appeared before the regional board on Jan. 28, presenting year-in-reviews. firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has continued to send stunning images of the red planet back to Earth. In this moment, an incredible shot of the Sun from the Martian surface was captured. Credit to "NASA/JPL-Caltech".
American attitudes toward China have soured significantly in the past three years, with 70% of those surveyed for a report published on Thursday saying Washington should stand up to Beijing over its human rights record even if it damages economic ties. Nearly 9 in 10 respondents to a Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,500 Americans conducted in February said they saw China, the world's second largest economy, as a competitor or enemy rather than a partner, the U.S.-based center said. "Americans want more focus on human rights – even at the expense of economic ties – in bilateral relations with China," the report said.
NEW YORK — Composer Gene Scheer, whose song “American Anthem” was quoted by President Joe Biden during his inaugural address, is returning the favour. The picture book “American Anthem” will be released June 29, Penguin Young Readers announced Thursday. It will feature Scheer's lyrics and illustrations by 13 artists, including Fahmida Azim, Matt Faulkner, Veronica Jamison and Christine Almeda. While speaking in January, Biden cited Scheer's lyrics “Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America, America, I gave my best to you.” “I was taken by surprise, and incredibly moved, when President Biden cited my song ‘American Anthem’ at the conclusion of his inaugural speech,” Scheer said in a statement. “When I sat down to write this song more than 20 years ago, I could hardly imagine where it would go. I can’t think of a better destination than in a book for children. When I think of this beautiful visual tapestry of the American story, created by a diverse team of talented artists, I am brought back to the original idea that inspired ‘American Anthem’ in the first place: We are all in this together.” Scheer wrote the ballad in 1998. It was later popularized by Norah Jones, whose version was heard in the Ken Burns documentary “War." The Associated Press
Takedown NOTICE Please DO NOT USE story slugged LJI-ONT-PORTBRUCE-SHELFICE headlined Close call – man falls through shelf ice at Port Bruce. This story has been killed by its news editor. Regards, Local Journalism Initiative AVIS d'annulation Prière de NE PAS PUBLIER l'article identifié LJI-ONT-PORTBRUCE-SHELFICE et intitulé Close call – man falls through shelf ice at Port Bruce. Cet article a été annulé par le rédacteur en chef de la publication. Merci de votre collaboration, Initiative de journalisme local Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch court ruled Thursday that a deeply religious father who kept some of his children isolated from the outside world for years in a remote farmhouse can't stand trial on charges including child sexual abuse because he has been incapacitated by a stroke. The decision came after prosecutors last month asked the court in the northern city of Assen to drop the case because the 68-year-old suspect wasn't fit to stand trial. Prosecutors had initially accused him of illegally detaining his children and sexually abusing two of them. It brings to an end a case that made headlines around the world in October 2019 after one of the man's sons raised the alarm and authorities discovered the father had been living for years with six of his children in the farmhouse in the small village of Ruinerwold in the eastern Netherlands. At a preliminary hearing in January last year, prosecutors portrayed the father, identified only as Gerrit Jan van D., as a deeply religious man who saw his family as “chosen by God” and did everything in his power — including physical beatings and other punishments — to keep them from succumbing to what he considered malign outside influences. Aerial images of the farm showed it surrounded by hedges and trees and with a large vegetable patch near the buildings. The court ruled Thursday that a 2016 stroke had so badly affected the father's ability to communicate and comprehend that continuing with the case would breach his fair trial rights. “He doesn't sufficiently understand what is happening in the courtroom,” court spokesman Marcel Wolters said in a video statement. The six children who were kept on the farm are now all young adults. Three older siblings had earlier left the family’s isolated life. Their mother died in 2004. It wasn't immediately clear what will now happen to the father. An Austrian national identified only as Jozef B., who is accused of helping the father keep the family in isolation, remains a suspect in the case. Corinne Jeekel, a lawyer representing the eldest four children, told Dutch broadcaster NOS that they were disappointed with the decision. “It is a great shame for the clients that there will be no criminal judgment” on the allegations, Jeekel told national broadcaster NOS. The rest of the family, however, stood by their father. “The youngest five children are very happy,” defence lawyer Robert Snorn told local broadcaster RTV Drenthe. Prosecutors said last month that the children are now free to choose their own futures, even if that means returning to a life of isolation. “In the past 18 months, the children have got to know our society, have been able to participate in it and have received spiritual and medical care,” prosecutors said in a statement. “If, now that they have been able to taste the alternative, they nevertheless choose to want to live in seclusion with their father again, to exercise their faith ... that is their choice.” Mike Corder, The Associated Press
The Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples Council (BUAPC), while in the process of finding a new community co-ordinator, welcomed two new citizen-at-large appointments earlier in the year. Deborah Huntinghawk and Darlene Paquette joined the council — though Huntinghawk rejoins after serving as the representative for the Brandon Friendship Centre. "I know both ladies and have worked with them on other committees, and they are a real asset to BUAPC," said Leah LaPlante, the council’s chair and representative for the Manitoba Metis Federation. The council is arm’s-length from city council and is primarily dedicated to issues of concern to Indigenous people in Brandon. The city can seek its advice and, conversely, the council can "advise city council of its own accord." Its mandate is broad, with a goal of ensuring Indigenous people have a place in Brandon, supported by policy and programming. The council is made up of two members from city council, four citizen-at-large members and one representative each from the Brandon Friendship Centre, the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, Prairie Mountain Health, Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, the Brandon School Division Board and the Brandon School Division Administration. Coun. Kris Desjarlais (Rosser) currently serves a dual role on the council — representing both the city and Assiniboine Community College. "Deb did and does such a wonderful job and really brings a motherly lens to those conversations and to our considerations. She’s very thoughtful. It’s great to have her back," he said. "And Darlene, I’ve known Darlene for years. She’s such a strong community advocate. Really not afraid to challenge people, and invite questions and good dialogue. She’ll definitely hold the council’s feet to the fire. I’m really looking forward to Darlene being on the council, actually." Desjarlais said there are normally quite a few applications for the citizen-at-large positions, more than other committees. "We really had to make tough decisions last time. It’s never fun for me to tell somebody who wants to volunteer their time, ‘I’m sorry,’" he said. For Huntinghawk, the council is a group of like-minded, community-minded people. "We all have respect for each other, and we all have respect for what happens to our Indigenous people that live in this community. We all want good things, like good health care, good education, just a positive experience to be here in Brandon," said Huntinghawk, adding affordable housing and reconciliation to the list. She also appreciates that each representative brings issues forward from their own organizations to be discussed in a solution-oriented way. The Métis and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation flags flying at city hall is one visible way to let urban Indigenous people know they belong in the city alongside other Brandonites. That was a council effort. Huntinghawk listed more projects the council has accomplished. For Paquette, a lifelong volunteer, her appointment to the council is humbling, she said. After a year’s break from boards and committees, she decided it was time to re-engage. She was elected to the Brandon Friendship Centre board in June last year. "Then I thought, I always wanted to serve on a city committee, and I thought that BUAPC would be a good fit. I know that they were doing great things pre-COVID. And, yes, I wanted to be a part of that," she said. "They have built a solid bridge between the Indigenous community and the City of Brandon and this community at large. There was a lot of work put into that, and I commend all of the board members past and current, that are appointed, and the city councillors that sit on there. They’ve done so much work in building good relationships with the city and the community." Paquette also noted the teepee project, which has seen teepee frames erected all over the city, and the Good Road Gala, which honours Indigenous people who live the seven sacred teachings — love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth. The council would normally meet once a month, and invite guests to speak from time to time, to discuss such things as justice, economic development, Indigenous relations and urban reserves. "You name it — we put a lot of things on the agenda, and then do our best to collaborate and promote the advancement in economics, education and wellness for our urban Indigenous population," said Desjarlais. The council’s work has mostly come to a standstill due to the pandemic. They are also on the search to fill the community co-ordinator position left vacant by Jason Gobeil, who moved on to pursue other interests last fall. Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
Buckingham Palace says Prince Philip has had a 'successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition.' Meanwhile, Prince Harry's wife, Meghan, has accused Buckingham Palace of 'perpetuating falsehoods' about the couple.