Dog "Basil" is a double amputee, but after tipping his chair he took a little zoom through the snow. @wheelpuppy
Dog "Basil" is a double amputee, but after tipping his chair he took a little zoom through the snow. @wheelpuppy
When the Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars last month, it arrived with a B.C.-made tool in its figurative tool belt. The six-wheeled, plutonium-powered U.S. rover landed on the red planet on Feb. 18, with a mandate to drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be returned to NASA in about 2031. That drilling will be done using a drill bit tip designed and manufactured by a company based in Langford, B.C. "It has great wear and fraction resistance so it is perfect for a Mars application," said Ron Sivorat, business director for Kennametal Inc., during an interview on CBC's All Points West. The drill bit tip is made from K92-grade tungsten carbide blanks, which Sivorat said are one of the toughest grades used for drilling here on earth and he is confident it will be good enough for Mars. According to Sivorat, the company has had a relationship with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2014, when the space agency first began ordering and testing Kennametal Inc. drill bit tips. In 2018, the company learned NASA wanted to work with it to build a bit for Perseverance. Sivorat said staff built the drill bit to NASA's specifications and then sent it to the agency who finessed it somewhat for its Mars mission. When Perseverance landed safely on the fourth planet from the sun, it was an exciting moment for Kennametal Inc. employees, many of whom watched the landing online and are continuing to check on Perservance's daily progress updates. "We know that we are going to be part of, in one way or another, an historical event that will be remembered for many years to come," said Sivorat. Sivorat said he expects the drill bit built in B.C. to start penetrating the surface of Mars in the next couple of weeks. And B.C. is not the only Canadian province with a connection to Perseverance. Canadian Photonic Labs, based in Minnedosa, Man., manufactured a high-speed and highly-durable camera that played an instrumental role in landing the rover. The Manitoba company's relationship with NASA dates back roughly 15 years, he said — but much of the work that's happened in that time has been cloaked in secrecy.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Rideau Waterway Land Trust (RWLT) has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase a large property on Opinicon Lake near Chaffey’s Lock. The 30-hectare (74-acre) piece of land in the heart of the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only World Heritage Site, is also within the Frontenac Arch UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The location provides critical habitat for many species-at-risk, the RWLT said in a release on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021. The Frontenac Arch also provides a “land bridge” that connects the boreal forest of the Canadian Shield to the forests of the Adirondack and Appalachian Mountains. The organization says this link helps to maintain genetic diversity in plant and animal life as our climate continues to undergo change. According to the release, the land abuts provincially significant wetlands, is near the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS), and has been used for scientific research and education. The current owners now wish to sell the land and its acquisition is an ideal project to help the Trust celebrate its 25th year of successful operation. Since it’s incorporation in 1996, the RWLT has been able to preserve 20 significant properties through ownership and conservation easement while expanding its area of interest to include all the communities within the Rideau Corridor from Kingston to Ottawa. If RWLT is successful in this fundraising campaign, they say the property will be added to the Land Trust’s collection. A map of the properties protected by the RWLT can been seen here, and includes the popular Rock Dunder hiking trail near Morton, Ontario. The property up for purchase was once owned by Don and Mary Warren. Don was one of the founders of the Rideau Waterway Land Trust, an educator and activist who led the community’s resistance to the plan to electrify the Rideau Canal’s locks in the 1960s, according to the release. The organization says Mary was an enthusiastic supporter and was instrumental in convincing Don to purchase this property in 1965. The opportunity to establish the Warren Nature Reserve is a fitting tribute to their foresight, RWLT said in the release. RWLT is seeking to raise $120,000 towards the $435,000 project cost by April 2021; all donations will be used to leverage matching government funding. The RWLT expects the government funding to cover 40 per cent of the land acquisition cost, providing they are able to raise the other 60 per cent. RWLT has a very short timeframe to raise these funds, and say any and all donations from local communities would be greatly appreciated. Anyone interested can learn more about this project at www.rwlt.org/warren. Donations can be made at www.rwlt.org/donate, noting “Warren Property” in the donation comments. All donations will receive a charitable receipt. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
BARRIE, Ont. — Police say they have closed Highway 400 in both directions due to a series of vehicle collisions. Ontario Provincial Police have shut down the major artery from Highway 88 outside of Bradford, Ont., to Mapleview Drive in Barrie, Ont. Whiteout conditions on the highway north of Toronto have limited visibility and made driving treacherous. Police and paramedics are on the scene, although they say no serious injuries have been reported yet. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP estimates that dozens of vehicles have been involved in accidents on the 30-kilometre stretch of Highway 400. Schmidt says that police have begun to remove cars from the road, but they're asking commuters to avoid the area as high winds and poor visibility continue. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
REGINA — Saskatchewan's finance minister says it's going to be tough to eliminate the province's deficit by 2024 and the government is likely to pick a new goal. Donna Harpauer says the province's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is going slower than hoped. During last fall's provincial election, Premier Scott Moe campaigned on a promise to eliminate Saskatchewan's $2-billion deficit by 2024. He also promised it wouldn't happen through increasing taxes or slashing services. Harpauer says the Saskatchewan Party government believes in having a plan for eliminating the deficit, but it won't make irresponsible cuts to meet its goal. She says with a slower economic recovery, it's going to be "very, very difficult" to get back to balance by 2024. Harpauer says more will be said about the deficit when the 2021-22 budget is presented April 6. "We still haven't taken in our final projections, so I guess there's a faint hope," she told The Canadian Press on Monday. "The way the projections are coming in, in all good likelihood, we'll have to change that goalpost." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021 The Canadian Press
Donwood Park public school is temporarily shutting its doors because of a COVID-19 outbreak that include four cases of variants or concern. Erica Vella has details.
TORONTO — Ontario's long-term care minister said she didn't go public early last year with concerns about COVID-19 spreading in nursing homes because she didn't consider herself an authority on the emerging threat. Merrilee Fullerton faced criticism from all three opposition parties Monday after newly released transcripts showed she told Ontario's long-term care commission she was aware of the dangers the novel coronavirus posed to the sector long before it was declared a global pandemic but kept those concerns within government. The minister, who is a physician, said while she was worried about a number of issues and discussed them with cabinet colleagues and the province's top doctor, she was no expert. "As a long-term care minister, I understand my role," she said. "I'm not the chief medical officer. I'm not a public health expert. I'm not a scientist ... I'm a retired family doctor who cares very deeply about long-term care and the residents and the staff." Fullerton testified before the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission last week, with the transcript posted online Sunday night. The commission heard that Fullerton and her deputy advocated for stronger measures than what the government was willing to put in place. "You were ahead of the chief medical officer of health in many respects, from your notes anyway," John Callaghan, the commission lawyer questioning Fullerton, told her. For instance, Fullerton's notes from the time suggest she was concerned about asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes as early as Feb. 5, 2020. That possibility wasn't publicly acknowledged by the government until much later. Fuller told the commission her personal history gave her insights into the situation that other politicians may lack. "I had suspicions early on only — well, because I'm a family doctor and spent many years dealing with the elderly," she said. "They may not present with typical symptoms, and so you always have to be watching." NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the Fullerton should have spoken out earlier, suggesting that could have saved lives. "The amount of tragedy that Ontarians have had to deal with as a result of this is unforgivable and it is unforgettable," she said. "So there's a lot of responsibility to go around here." Horwath said Fullerton's testimony also pokes holes in Premier Doug Ford's pledge from the early days of the pandemic to create an "iron ring" around nursing homes. "This iron ring never materialized, it never existed," she said. Liberal Party health critic John Fraser said Fullerton should have spoken out publicly. "It's definitely clear right now that she should have fought harder," he said. "There was a lot at stake." Fullerton said Monday that she did not consider resigning from her role in protest because she felt she could make urgently needed changes to the sector. "Why would I resigned from a position where I felt I could be a strong voice and move something that had been neglected for so many years?" she said. "Why would I resign from that duty, from that responsibility, from that obligation?" COVID-19 has devastated Ontario's long-term care system, causing the deaths of 3,865 residents and 11 staff members so far. The commission also heard that Fullerton refused to suggest the risk of COVID-19 was low in a video filmed in early March. Her notes from the pandemic's first wave, read out during the interview, also show that she advocated for locking down long-term care homes before the province did so, and was concerned about staff not wearing personal protective equipment at all times the week before the province made it mandatory. Fullerton told the commission she was also advocating for essential caregivers to be allowed back into long-term care homes as early as May. Such caregivers — usually family members — weren't allowed back into the facilities until July, and even then, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has said, the rules were being applied inconsistently until adjustments were made in September. But she said others — particularly Dr. David Williams, the chief medical officer of health — said the risk of essential caregivers bringing COVID-19 into the facilities was too great. "I was very eager to get caregivers back into the homes, because I believe it was well-being and emotional well-being," Fullerton said. "However, others understood differently and had their reasons for understanding the risks that they did, and so it was left." The commission is set to present its final report on April 30. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Shawn Jeffords and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
A local conservation group is aiming to get phragmites at Wye Marsh. The invasive species is spreading and crowding out native vegetation that is at the centre of the food web supporting the biodiversity at the marsh, said Kate Harries, president of MTM Conservation Association (MTM). The MTM is a volunteer board responsible under contract of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for managing crown land at Marl Lake, Tiny Marsh, and Matchedash Bay, she explained to Tiny council during a presentation at a recent council meeting. Harries was looking for in-kind and financial support in the amount of $6,000 over the next three years for a project aimed at tackling the issue. She said the group is looking for $3,000 from the township for year one, two-thirds of that in year two and one-third in the last year. The association, Harries said, is budgeting an expense of $32,666 for each of the three years. This funding, she explained, is made up of support from Tiny Township and other community partners, such as Ducks Unlimited Canada. She said she will be applying for a federal grant seeking $22,166 annually for the three-year program. "We've identified a federal fund we feel we have a good chance of getting a grant from to cover a three-year project," she said, talking about the EcoAction Community Funding Program. Step one of the project will be to map the spread in the Wye Marsh, Harries said. "At present, an educated guess is that we have approximately 140 hectares of invasive phrag and the marsh could be plugged within eight years," she added. In some Southern Ontario wetlands, Harries said, the invasive plant grows in dense fields leaving nowhere for waterfowls to nest and trapping any turtles that wander into the stand. She said MTM started forming a plan of attack last year in collaboration with the Severn Sound Environmental Association and the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre. "The time to evaluate the problem is when the ice is in and you can walk out there and look at the phrag," said Harries. "Our first opportunity was in early February." For that visit, she said, the group invited Janice Gilbert, executive director, Invasive Phragmites Control Centre, to visit the location. "She's pioneered the use of truxors, amphibious vehicles in cutting the phrag out where it's growing in water," said Harries. "They can do in three days what it could take a crew of people a whole season." She said Gilbert is positive about the potential of an intensive three-day attack with herbicide and truxors this August. Volunteers can then work before and after to take out the less dense patches of phragmites. Harries explained to MidlandToday that the herbicide Gilbert is proposing is a form of glyphosate. "We didn't want any herbicide sprays," said Harries. "But Janice said there's no other way of dealing with the phragmites when it's growing along the dyke. We've tried digging it out of the dyke structure, but it's too tough. The roots are totally entangled." This, she said, is like having to choose between the evil of the phragmites and the evil of herbicide. "They do it very carefully with backpack sprayers and it's spot application, which looks at exactly the spot you're targeting," said Harries. "We would need to get a permit from the provincial government to use that. There's certainly a lot of concern among ourselves because we're very conscious of the need to be carefully of the amphibians in the area." After listening to the proposal, council was immediately on board with the idea, provided they could find some money, having recently approved their budget. Tim Leitch, director of public works, said there was money in his department for just such a project. "We do have money we just set aside for phrag control in the township and my recommendation would be to utilize that amount for this," he said. "I think this is a great opportunity for us to get involved with." Coun. Cindy Hastings asked if MTM would be able to cover the remaining 50% with another grant and what percentage of the 50% could be covered by in-kind contributions? "As far as I know, there's no limit," said Harries. "But when we get somebody like the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre in with the truxors, they are providing some in-kind services, but they need to be paid in cash." Since the grant application had to be submitted by March 3, council ratified its decision at its regular council meeting. The motion stated that Council would supports the phragmite removal project by providing a letter of support and $3,000 in cash for 2021 and offer additional support either through the Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament or through an in-kind donation. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Hannah MacKinnon says her symptoms include a headache, sore eyes, sore throat, and runny nose — 'a lot like normal cold symptoms, as well as aches and pains in my body.' Hannah MacKinnon says she always wore a mask when she was supposed to, sanitized her hands so much the skin cracked, limited close contact, and went out only a few times. All that didn't prevent her from contracting COVID-19. MacKinnon, 22, is one of the 11 cases announced on the weekend, and one of P.E.I.'s 18 active cases. She's home in Montague, self-isolating. So far her parents have both tested negative but they too are isolating for the next two weeks. "I'm feeling OK, definitely better than I thought I would considering the circumstances," MacKinnon said in a message to CBC News. Be kind to your neighbour, as you never know the full story from their point of view. — Hannah MacKinnon "I have a headache, sore eyes, sore throat, and runny nose — a lot like normal cold symptoms — as well as aches and pains in my body." MacKinnon said she posted about her condition on Facebook because she wants people to know anyone can catch COVID-19, even people like her who are careful and follow the rules. "Even if you're doing everything right, there's still a chance you could contract it. And that slim chance decided to choose me. "I'm scared, it's very real, and it's hard on my family, but I hope everyone takes this as a lesson — be kind to your neighbour, as you never know the full story from their point of view." MacKinnon's father, Dan MacKinnon, supports his daughter's decision to go public. He said they still don't know how Hannah caught the virus. "We live in a small town. We might as well get out there and tell people the facts so they don't get false information, and just kind of deal with whatever happens," he said in a video interview with CBC's Steve Bruce for CBC News: Compass. Even if you're doing everything right, there's still a chance you could contract it. And that slim chance decided to choose me. - Hannah MacKinnon "So far, it's been very positive. "Not everyone who has contracted COVID-19 necessarily even knows that they have it. You could be walking around for two or three days and not [think] that you have it, and then all of a sudden, symptoms appear." Dan MacKinnon says his family wanted to go public with his daughter's condition to help people understand that anyone can become infected with COVID-19 — even if they follow the rules. In order to protect the privacy of her co-workers, CBC News is not identifying Hannah MacKinnon's place of employment. "Trust me, your health and everyone else's is so much more important than a couple days missed [work]. Better safe than sorry," she said. "I called in sick as soon as I was experiencing cold-like symptoms — and even though I thought I only had a cold, here I am." More from CBC P.E.I.
The Massachusetts financial professional who gained notoriety as GameStop bull "Roaring Kitty" is no longer a broker registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to the organization's online records. Keith Gill, known as Roaring Kitty on YouTube and DeepF***ingValue on Reddit, is no longer a registered financial broker as of Feb. 26, the FINRA records show. Gill became a central figure in a January trading frenzy in which shares of the ailing videogame retailer surged more than 1,000% in two weeks, driven by interest among retail investors in online forums.
SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Six Nations of the Grand River says that all students in the First Nations territory will finish this school year online. The Six Nations Council says it will reopen schools in September for in-person learning. Six Nations, a predominantly Haudenosaunee community, has the largest population of any First Nations reserve in Canada. It closed its territorial borders to non-band members in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kathleen Manderville, director of federal schools, said in a statement last month that the decision is not a reflection on the hard work done to prepare the schools for in-person learning this spring. Manderville says that school buildings will be accessed for essential work only. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Aucun résident de foyers de soins de longue durée de l’Ontario n’a perdu la vie en raison de la COVID-19 ni n’a reçu un diagnostic positif au virus, dimanche. Dans ces établissements, quatre employés ont été déclarés positivement à la COVID-19 au cours de la journée de dimanche, selon le plus récent bilan, publié lundi, par la province. En tout, plus de 21 500 cas de COVID-19 ont été répertoriés en FSLD depuis le début de la pandémie, dont 6 622 chez les employés. La province a déploré le décès, causé par le virus, de 3744 résidents de ces établissements, ainsi que de 11 employés. Dimanche, 1023 nouveaux cas de COVID-19 ont été ajoutés au bilan de l’Ontario, qui se situe maintenant à plus de 300 000 infections enregistrées jusqu’à présent. La province a répertorié 535 cas du variant du Royaume-Uni, 27 de l’Afrique du Sud et trois du Brésil. Décès Dimanche, le coronavirus a emporté six Ontariens. En tout, la maladie a causé la mort de 6986 résidents de la province. Au cours de la dernière journée, 659 personnes aux prises avec des symptômes de la COVID-19 étaient à l’hôpital, dont 280 aux soins intensifs avec des effets plus graves. Parmi ces derniers, 175 avaient besoin d’un respirateur pour rester en vie. L’Ontario a administré 714 695 doses du vaccin contre la COVID-19 jusqu’à présent. Dimanche, 17 424 Ontariens ont roulé leur manche pour recevoir une dose du vaccin. On compte, en date de dimanche à 20h30, 704 424 Ontariens pour qui la vaccination est terminée. Ces personnes ont reçu leurs deux doses jugées nécessaires par les fabricants pour être considérées comme immunisées. Un peu plus de 97% de la population de l’Ontario n’a encore reçu aucune dose du vaccin contre le coronavirus. Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
A Thunder Beach resident in Tiny Township is hoping to throw some light on three main traffic-related concerns he has for that area. Joel Rubinovich, who made a deputation to council at its recent meeting, said he was speaking for himself when bringing up these issues, but that others would also benefit from a resolution. His first complaint involved the placement of street signs, which he believes is impractical. "There is a lack of uniformity in sign size," reads his letter to council. "Placement of the signs often renders them useless as indicators of where to turn. Signs are often blocked by bushes, etc. Drivers cannot rely on them." Rubinovich said that's not just true for the intersection of Chemin du Loop and Green Point Road, but also for other areas within the township. "Another one that bothers me is Concession 12 East and Overhead Bridge Road," he said. "The sign is hidden behind the bush, it's small and can only be seen at the last minute." And even if there are signs, Rubinovich said, there are no street lights illuminating them for drivers. "When it's dark and you drive down (Chemin) du Loop and come to corner of Green Point (Road) there's absolutely no way you know this is where you turn," he said. "At the end of the street, there's a big yellow sign to indicate the end of du Loop. The turn off is before, you can't see it, and I miss it most every time. The street sign is on the right and the turn is on the left." The last matter of concern Rubinovich mentioned related to debris in the form of pebbles on the roads. "I've been up here, more of a permanent resident before my daughters," he said. "We take the same route to get to each other's homes and there's one particular corner where the pebbles have never been swept up. They did some repair work and there are more pebbles and there are no sidewalks. I'm not asking for sidewalks but as an older citizen, I find it inconvenient to walk on pebbles. I could fall very easily and break something." Rubinovich said he was aware none of this would be looked after immediately but perhaps the public works staff could consider a regulation with respect to street signs and street lights and clean up roads more often. In his conversations with department officials, he said, it seems as if they're on different wavelengths. "One of the things you have to be prepared to do is to to go on site, and it's difficult to do so these days with COVID," said Rubinovich. Tim Leitch, director of public works, said he did visit the site and staff did some corrections, including brushing around the current signs. "The road was swept and we redid the tar and chip," he said. "The lighting was looked at through the dark sky initiative and we feel that we do have consistency. However, we will continue to provide a response to Mr. Rubinovich and look at these three requests and make sure satisfactory answers are provided." Rubinovich said he disagreed with the claims of the clean up. "With all due respect, there's a lot of tar and a lot of chip but nothing has been cleaned up at that intersection in the past five years I've been here, despite what you think," he said. Coun. Cindy Hastings said it would be fruitful to hold some more discussions around this at an upcoming council meeting. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
VANCOUVER — Axel Schuster's first season as sporting director of the Vancouver Whitecaps was anything but boring. Despite navigating a series of unprecedented challenges, he believes the club finished last year with a solid foundation they can build on as training camp opens this week. "We spoke about it. We still think we did some sustainable, good steps," Schuster said. "Obviously we didn’t really meet our expectations at the very end, but it was close and now we have a new bar and we want to jump over this.” Last year, Schuster navigated the club through a season full of stops and starts as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the Major League Soccer schedule and forced all three Canadian clubs to relocate south of the border. The Whitecaps lived at a hotel in downtown Portland for more than two months and played at Providence Park, home of the rival Portland Timbers. The 'Caps ended the unusual campaign outside of the playoffs for the third year in a row with a 9-14-0 record. All of the upheaval took its toll on the group, Schuster said. “It took us too long to come back into shape and into structure, to be that team that we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, that we had been in the first two games," he said. “I will stress and challenge my team and my coaches to say ‘We want to be a big step better than last year.’” There'll be more hurdles this season, however. The team is holding its training camp in Vancouver but plans are in the works to relocate to Salt Lake City due to border restrictions. There's hope the team can return to Vancouver before the end of the season if conditions improve. COVID-19 has also made it difficult to organize pre-season games, Schuster said. The club isn't planning on playing any exhibition matches until they arrive in Utah ahead of the season kick off on April 17. One positive note heading into 2021 is the team's relatively low turnover. Two dozen players from last year's roster are back, including last year's leading goal scorer Lucas Cavallini. The team will also get back goaltenders Maxime Crepeau and Thomas Hasal, who both suffered season ending injuries in 2020. Crepeau went down with a fractured thumb in July and Hasal followed in September with a concussion and stress fracture in his left tibia. Having so many returning players means the club can skip the rebuilding process this pre-season, said coach Marc Dos Santos. It's a very different starting point from what the 'Caps have seen in the past two years, where the club attempted to integrate a number of new players before the season began. "It gives you a better chance to succeed," Dos Santos said Monday after the team's first voluntary group training session. "At the end of the day, when I look at the teams that succeed in MLS, they're groups that have been together for a good amount of time. They're groups that there's a chemistry between guys, there's a core that's important that comes back year after year. And that's where we have to get as a club." A few new faces will filter into the training facility in the coming weeks. Colombian striker Deiber Caicedo has yet to join the group after signing a three-year deal in January. Draft picks Javian Brown, a Jamaican right back, and David Egbo, a Nigerian forward, are still finishing up immigration paperwork. And goalkeeper Evan Newton is in Vancouver, finishing his quarantine and is expected to begin training soon. Adding to the team this off-season was tougher, Schuster said, not only because of the pandemic, but because he and Dos Santos are confident in the squad's existing core. "That makes it more complicated to add more quality because you only want to add more quality, you want to add better players," he explained. "So obviously the recruitment process is also more complicated because you have to go to another shelf in the store, in the market to find the right players." Still, there are likely more pieces to come. There's talk that the Whitecaps are looking to sign Bruno Gaspar, a 27-year-old right back with Portuguese side Sporting CP. Schuster declined to comment on any pending deals, but said he is still working hard on bolstering the team. "We feel even better knowing that there are more to come," he said. "We are hopeful that we get them." No matter who's on the roster this year, the club's objective will be clear, Schuster said — play hard and make it into the post-season. "The goal is to go straight to the playoffs and be a playoff team," he said. "We want to be a team that competes to win every single game." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
Un train qui circulait sur le chemin de fer QNS&L a déraillé la nuit dernière. Un porte-parole de la compagnie IOC mentionne aucun blessé. La voie demeure fermée pour le moment, afin d’y effectuer des réparations. « Rio Tinto confirme qu’un déraillement impliquant un train d’IOC s’est produit sur le QNS&L au mille 175 (au Labrador) la nuit dernière. Il n’y a eu aucun blessé et les mesures nécessaires ont été prises pour assurer la sécurité des lieux. Nos équipes sont à pied d’œuvre pour effectuer les réparations requises pour rouvrir la voie le plus tôt possible. », précise un porte-parole de la Compagnie minière IOC. Transport Ferroviaire Tshiuetin mentionne également dans un communiqué, que dû à des circonstances hors de leur contrôle, le départ des voyageurs fût annulé ce matin, 1er mars. La billetterie de Sept-Îles est également fermée pour la journée, et les appels sont transférés aux bureaux de Schefferville. Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
LONDON — A Moroccan landscape painted by Winston Churchill and owned by Angelina Jolie sold at auction on Monday for more than $11.5 million, smashing the previous record for a work by Britain’s World War II leader. “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” sold at Christie’s in London for 8,285,000 pounds ($11,590,715). The pre-sale estimate was 1.5 million pounds to 2.5 million pounds, and the previous record price for a Churchill painting was just under 1.8 million pounds. The image of the 12th-century mosque in Marrakech at sunset, with the Atlas Mountains in the background, is a piece of both political and Hollywood history. The only painting that Britain’s wartime prime minister completed during the 1939-45 conflict, it was completed after the January 1943 Casablanca Conference, where Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt planned the defeat of Nazi Germany. The two leaders visited Marrakech after the conference so that Churchill could show Roosevelt the city’s beauty. Churchill gave the painting to Roosevelt as a memento of the trip. The painting was sold by Roosevelt’s son after the president’s death in 1945, and had several owners before Jolie and partner Brad Pitt bought it in 2011. The couple separated in 2016 and have spent years enmeshed in divorce proceedings, amid speculation about the division of their extensive art collection. They were declared divorced in 2019 after their lawyers asked for a bifurcated judgment, meaning that two married people can be declared single while other issues, including finances and child custody, remain. The painting was sold by the Jolie Family Collection. The buyer wasn't immediately identified. The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for the Huawei executive facing extradition to the United States says there's evidence showing the case against her is "manifestly unreliable" and he wants that evidence admitted to the record. Meng Wanzhou's lawyer Frank Addario says emails between staff at the telecom giant and international bank HSBC show the bank was well aware that Huawei controlled another company called Skycom, therefore Meng wasn't responsible for any violation of U.S. sanctions again Iran by the bank. He told the B.C. Supreme Court hearing that staff at HSBC knew that Skycom was sold to Canicula, that Canicula was Skycom's parent company and that Huawei controlled the Canicula account. Addario is asking the judge to admit affidavits including emails and bank account information into evidence to support the defence team's case at Meng's committal hearing, to be heard in May. Meng was arrested at Vancouver's airport in 2018 on a request by U.S. officials who allege she misrepresented the relationship between Huawei and Skycom, causing HSBC to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran. Both she and Huawei deny the allegations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
A man accused of holding a girl against her will at a remote northern Saskatchewan cabin wants to be tried in Court of Queen’s Bench by judge and jury. Defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle told the Meadow Lake Provincial Court on March 1 that he is in discussions with the Crown about the possibility of running an abbreviated preliminary hearing for Aaron Gardiner. Prosecutor Andrew Clements had indicated that the Crown may go by way of direct indictment. Pfefferle asked the court for a one-week adjournment to see if the defence and Crown can reach an agreement for an abbreviated preliminary hearing. Clements didn’t object. Judge Janet McIvor adjourned the matter until March 8. Canada’s Criminal Code allows for a case to be sent directly to trial without a preliminary hearing through a direct indictment. Direct Indictment is only used in serious crimes and when it’s in the public interest. Gardiner, 42, appeared in Meadow Lake Provincial Court by phone from the Regina Correctional Centre. He has been in custody since his arrest in April 2020. Gardiner allegedly held a girl captive for four days at a remote cabin across from Île-à-la-Crosse Lake. A specialized RCMP tactical unit was flown to the isolated cabin by two military CH-146 Griffon helicopters to rescue her and arrest Gardiner. He was charged with unlawful confinement, assault, overcoming resistance, uttering threats, resisting arrest, possessing a firearm for a dangerous purpose, use of a firearm in commission of an indictable offence, proceeds of crime, and possession for the purpose of trafficking. Three months after his arrest, police added more charges after more alleged victims came forward. There have been numerous adjournments and delays in the case against Gardiner because he has gone through about five lawyers. Gardiner has either fired the lawyers or they have withdrawn from representing him. email@example.com Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
TORONTO — Air Canada is simplifying its regional operations amid COVID pressures by reaching a deal to make Chorus Aviation Ltd.'s Jazz Aviation subsidiary the exclusive operator of Air Canada Express flights. The change means Air Canada will transfer operation of its 25 Embraer E175 fleet to Jazz from Sky Regional where they have operated for a decade. Jazz will become sole partner for regional flying for aircraft with at least 70 seats until 2025. It will also remove 19 Dash 8-300s from its fleet this year. Air Canada says the consolidation of regional flying with Jazz is due to the pandemic and the need to reduce costs. "This necessary realignment of our regional services will help Air Canada achieve efficiencies and reduce operating costs and cash burn by consolidating its regional operations with one provider," stated Richard Steer, senior vice-president, operations and express carriers. "Moreover, by streamlining the regional fleet, this agreement will also position Air Canada to operate more competitively with a single provider as traffic returns following the pandemic." Air Canada said it expects to save $400 million over 15 years by combining its fleet under one operator, reducing overall regional flying compensation and related operational cost savings from changes to the capacity purchase agreement. In addition, the new agreement will lower future contractual capital expenditure and leasing costs, avoiding an estimated $193 million in future capital expenditures. For Halifax-based Chorus, the agreement provides greater cash flow certainty and eliminates potentially significant draws on working capital. "With the Jazz fleet operating at a fraction of the capacity it flew a year ago, now is the time to update the CPA to help preserve regional flying and Jazz’s place within it," said Chorus CEO Joe Randell. "Bringing the Embraer 175 aircraft into the Jazz Covered Aircraft fleet ... is a demonstration of our cost competitiveness and strong relationship with Air Canada," he said in a news release. The changes to the capacity purchase agreement with Jazz are subject to Jazz reaching an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association, International. Walter Spracklin of RBC Dominion Services said the changes were "positive." "For Air Canada, we view the consolidation of its regional flying with Jazz as a sound strategic move," he wrote in a report. Spracklin added that Chorus can sell or lease the Dash 8s that it owns, 15 of which have had their useful life prolonged by about 15 years, or convert them for cargo operations. Air Canada's shares gained $1.21 or 4.8 per cent at $26.31 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Chorus shares were up 23 cents or 5.5 per cent at $4.43. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:CHR) Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The show must go on at the Stratford Festival, but this summer it'll be happening outdoors. Organizers say they've made tentative plans for "about a dozen" live productions held in-person at the renowned southwestern Ontario festival between late June and the end of September. The plays and cabarets will take place beneath two canopies, one at the Festival Theatre and the other at the new Tom Patterson Theatre. The idea was inspired by the original tent where the Stratford Festival first performed in the early 1950s. Under the outdoors model, the festival's organizers expect to seat up to 100 people in "socially distanced pods," double the usual number of audience members who could be seated at the indoor theatre. The full slate of plays and cabarets will be announced in the spring. The plan will keep the Stratford Festival in operation throughout this summer after COVID-19 forced the entire 2020 season to be cancelled, leading the organization to dip into its endowment and secure a line of credit to stay afloat. Stratford Festival's executive director Anita Gaffney says this summer's schedule is designed so that it can be modified to either shrink or grow in size, depending on provincial and community health guidelines. She added that it's "only through significant and thorough advance planning that we can put in place the safety measures that will be essential for any eventuality." Performances will be streamed online for those who cannot attend in-person shows. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press