The last polls before election day show the BC NDP holding a commanding, double-digit lead on the BC Liberals. Richard Zussman reports
The last polls before election day show the BC NDP holding a commanding, double-digit lead on the BC Liberals. Richard Zussman reports
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days.
The head of a U.S. biotechnology company that is developing one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates says Canada is not far behind other countries when it comes to receiving doses of its vaccine, despite criticism of the government's procurement plan from the Conservative opposition. "Canada is not at the back of the line," Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, told CBC's Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton on Sunday. Afeyan said because Canada was among the first countries to make a pre-order with Moderna, the country is guaranteed to receive a certain portion of the company's initial batch of doses as long as the vaccine proves safe and effective and is given regulatory approval. "The people who were willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to," Afeyan said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. "Nothing that happened subsequently can affect that." Moderna's mRNA vaccine is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and preliminary data released two weeks ago show it appears to be 94.5 per cent effective. Millions of doses procured The federal government secured an agreement on Aug. 5 with Moderna for 20 million doses of its vaccine, with the option to procure an additional 36 million doses. The U.S. announced a deal for up to 500 million doses just days later while the U.K. and European Union inked deals with Moderna only in the past two weeks. In total, Canada has procured some 358 million doses from seven companies — the most per capita of any country in the world, according to research from Duke University's Global Health Institute. WATCH | Federal government pressured on when Canadians will get COVID-19 vaccine Despite that promising news, the Liberal government came under intense pressure this week to lay out a timeline for when Canadians will begin receiving an inoculation as countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany have all announced plans to begin vaccinating their populations in December. Opposition politicians and some premiers argued Canada was falling behind other countries in its planning after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians would have to wait to get vaccinated because the first doses of any vaccine will go to people in the countries where the vaccines are being manufactured. Federal officials said on Thursday that if all goes well as many as three million Canadians — mainly those in "high-priority groups" — could be vaccinated in early 2021. One day later, Trudeau said that Canada is on track to vaccinate nearly every person who wants a shot by September 2021. But officials have provided few details about the government's plan to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light. Conservative critiques At a press conference on Sunday, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole repeated his view that Canada is behind other countries in procuring a vaccine. "While the Americans and the British are talking about mass vaccination throughout December and January, our government is now talking about getting Canadians vaccinated by September," O'Toole said. "We need to show Canadians that there is a plan for the vaccine." O'Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August after its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine maker CanSino collapsed following months of delays. "I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China," O'Toole said. Regulatory approval pending Companies have compressed the time it normally takes to develop a vaccine by initiating the manufacturing of doses even before studies into their efficacy are completed as part of a global effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic to an end. Moderna is in the process of applying for emergency-use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once the company obtains that authorization, Afeyan said it will begin shipping doses to countries that have made pre-orders, including Canada. Afeyan said he expects to start shipping the vaccine to Canada in the first quarter of 2021 and the quantity of shipments should increase through the second quarter and throughout the rest of the year. The company expects to be able to produce a total of 20 million doses by the end of 2020 and between 500 million and 1 billion doses throughout 2021. Moderna submitted early safety and pre-clinical data from Phase 1 and 2 trials with Health Canada last month as part of the regulator's rolling regulatory review process. Health Canada must approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it can be distributed to Canadians. Experts say Moderna's vaccine — which requires two shots taken 28 days apart — will be relatively easy to store and distribute because the vaccine can remain stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 C to 8 C for 30 days. By contrast, another leading candidate manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must be shipped and stored at -70 C. WATCH | Health Minister on how the federal government should address vaccine hesitancy: Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it's difficult to nail down a delivery date at the moment for any of the leading vaccine candidates because of the long list of uncertainties stemming from unfinished clinical trials, ongoing regulatory reviews, and manufacturing and logistical challenges related to distribution. "We're all anxious to get out of this mess as a world, but certainly as a country as well," Hajdu said. "As Canada's health minister, I'm staying focused on Canadians and on our own process, making sure our delivery plans are well laid out and that we have what we need in terms of being able to deliver on the variety of different kinds of vaccines." Hajdu added that her top priority is ensuring that Health Canada has what it needs to make sure the regulatory process proceeds smoothly so that any vaccines that are approved are safe and effective.
Stark photos released this week by a conservation group pushing hard for the province to protect what remains of B.C.'s largest and oldest trees is just one point of pressure the province's new forestry minister is facing as she comes into the job.On Thursday, MLA for Kootenay-West Katrine Conroy was appointed minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, taking over from Doug Donaldson, who did not seek reelection.Two days earlier, the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) released dramatic before and after photographs of massive cedar trees on Vancouver Island, where they were logged as part of a government-approved tree harvesting licence.It's a technique the AFA has often used to illustrate the impact of logging in areas where trees can be up to 1,000 years old. The term old growth in B.C. refers to trees that are generally 250 years or older on the coast and 140 years or older in the Interior. The trees have significance to First Nations, they are good for the environment, help to clean air and water, store carbon and house other plants and animals.But they are also prized by loggers for their monetary value.Andrea Inness, a campaigner with the AFA, says the latest round of photos taken by TJ Watt have been shared hundreds of times on social media, with comments from people asking the province to end the practise of cutting down the large, iconic trees."[People] are sick and tired of seeing photographs like that," said Inness.In taking on the forestry portfolio, Conroy — who has represented the West Kootenays for 15 years, and was minister of children and family development from 2017 — has clear direction in her mandate letter to give conservationists like Inness what they want, but maybe not in time to save the trees that remain.The letter calls for her to implement 14 recommendations announced in September by a special panel, which travelled the province for months speaking with conservationists, unions, First Nations and the public to ask about the ecological, economic and cultural importance of old-growth trees and forests and how they fit into a new forestry strategy for B.C.The panel's most time-sensitive recommendation was to defer the cutting of old-growth forests most at risk of "irreversible biodiversity loss."In presenting the report from the panel, the province did announce the temporary protection of 353,000 hectares of forest in nine old-growth areas.Conservationists like Inness and Jens Wieting, a forest and climate campaigner with Sierra Club B.C., were initially pleased with the move, but maintain such a small number of these special trees remain in the province that if more dramatic action is not taken immediately, an insignificant amount could remain by the time the province comes up with a new forestry strategy."We have to look at their willingness to quickly defer more old growth from logging," he said.An independent ecological consulting firm used provincial data in the spring to determine that while old-growth forests make up about 23 per cent of forested areas in the province — or about 13.2 million hectares — less than three per cent, or around 400,000 hectares, support biologically significant old-growth trees.Sierra Club B.C. estimates that more than 140,000 hectares of old-growth forests — those with trees at least 120 years old — are logged each year along the B.C. coast and in the Interior. "We all know the data now, we all know that old-growth logging needs to come to an end," said Inness. "The government just needs to listen and start acting."Money requiredBoth Wieting and Inness estimate the province would need to spend about $1 billion to meet the 14 recommendations, which include involving Indigenous leaders in future decisions and declaring the conservation of "ecosystem health and biodiversity" an overarching priority for the province.That would need to include money to help First Nations assess the resources on their lands and transition away from logging old-growth trees, something the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs wants."For years, the government has enabled a debilitating and dangerous system that expunges the irreplaceable cultural value of old-growth forests, viewing not the immense roots these ancient and giant trees have set in our First Nation communities to sustain our cultures and livelihoods, but rather the pecuniary value of these trees that must be exploited in the short-term," Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said in a release in October.Financial support will also be needed for communities currently dependent on old-growth logging as they transition away from it, which could be tough for the province considering it's facing a more than $12-billion deficit due to the pandemic.Back in her days as an opposition MLA, Conroy frequently spoke up for the embattled logging communities she represents, saying the B.C. Liberals should have done more to achieve fair stumpage rates, reform forestry management, and encourage reforestation to help keep the industry viable.The new minister did not respond to a request for comment before publication of this story.
PARIS — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person attendance limit for religious services put in place by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus. The measure took effect this weekend as France relaxes some virus restrictions, but it faced opposition by places of worship and the faithful for being arbitrary and unreasonable. Even before the ruling, several bishops had announced they would not enforce the restrictions and some churches were expected to defy it. The Council of State has ordered that Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days. French churches, mosques and synagogues started opening their doors again to worshippers this weekend — but only a few of them, as France cautiously starts reopening after its latest virus lockdown. Many people expressed irritation outside several Paris churches where priests held services for groups that numbered over 30. “People respected social distancing perfectly, each to his place and with enough space so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here,” Laurent Frémont told The Associated Press on his way home after Mass. To attend Mass, they had to book tickets online and give their names on their way in. However, the church’s protocol didn’t seem to help limit the number of people inside the building. Asked whether they would stay if the crowd was too large, most said they would. “I really think you couldn’t do better from a sanitary point of view,” said Humbline Frémont. For some, the new rules stirred up fears. French Catholics were sharing rules and recommendations on social media for how to behave if the police arrive at a church for a head count. Farid Kachour, secretary general of the group running the mosque of Montermeil, a heavily immigrant suburb northeast of Paris, says that his mosque simply wouldn’t open with too few people permitted. “We can’t choose people” allowed to enter for prayer. “We don’t want to create discontent among the faithful,” he said. Kachour noted that Muslims pray five times a day, further complicating the situation. To respect the rules, the mosque would need 40 services a day to allow all the faithful to pray, he said. Places of worship were allowed to continue during France’s latest nationwide lockdown, which is coming to an end in December, but regular prayer services were banned due to health concerns. Around the world, some religious services have been linked to coronavirus clusters, including superspreading events. France has reported over 52,000 virus-related deaths, the third-highest pandemic death toll in Europe after Britain and Italy. “Non-essential” shops reopened in France on Saturday, museums and cinemas will reopen on Dec. 15 but bars and restaurants will stay closed for indoor dining until Jan. 20. ___ Alex Turnbull and Elaine Ganley contributed to this report. __ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
Like so many things disrupted by the pandemic, Quincy Armorer's year didn't go exactly as planned.The artistic director for Montreal's oldest and longest-running Black theatre company was busy gearing up for the 2020-21 season, which would mark half a century of artistic achievement for the Black Theatre Workshop.Unfortunately, the restrictions on gathering and shuttering of performance venues meant that most of the company's plans were put on hold.Still, Armorer said the company will be marking its major milestone with some online material and saving the rest for a time when it's safe for everyone to return to theatres."Art is important and hopefully our audiences, when we finally are able to open up our doors again, will be there for us," he said.Faced with a subdued celebration this year and an uncertain future, Armorer said he's feeling a mix of emotions."We're very, very proud to have gotten where we are. We're a little bit annoyed that the pandemic isn't letting us do what we wanted. There's a lot going on," he told CBC's Let's Go.Armorer, who has served as artistic director for the Black Theatre Workshop for a decade, said he's "excited for the company to continue in the legacy of those that came before.""We wear that badge of honour with pride."In a normal year, the Black Theatre Workshop produces two mainstage productions each year as well as a school tour for Black History Month.The first event of the company's 50th season will feature a virtual staged reading of Sanctuary by Lydie Dubuisson. It's set to be streamed live on Facebook on Dec. 11.A home for Black artistsThe Black Theatre Workshop started out as a branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Montreal. Its very first production under the BTW banner was in June 1971.Since then, the company has expanded its operations, going on to produce award-winning plays by emerging Montreal playwrights.Armorer described the company as a home for Black artists, saying that it provides a place where many get their foot in the door and gain valuable professional experience when just starting out in their careers."If we actually think about all the artists who had their first professional contract with the Workshop ... that's something very remarkable."It's also been a place to foster collaboration and community for Black artists."For a long time, working outside of Black Theatre Workshop, you'd run into other Black artists at auditions and things like that, and often you feel like we're going up against each other — we have to compete for these roles, with our colleagues and our friends — whereas with Black Theatre Workshop, we're afforded the opportunity to work with each other.""So that's really part of what we want to capture with Black Theatre Workshop — that sense of family, that sense of community, because it really is rooted in being storytellers for all of the stories that speak to our community."Armorer said looking ahead, he wants to focus on bringing new voices and experiences to Montreal stages."We're going into our second half century now. I think what we need to do is find out what are the stories that still need to be told. How can we serve our community in the best possible way?" While this year won't be the grand celebration they planned, Black Theatre Workshop still has some exciting projects in the pipeline including a hip-hop musical by Montreal writer Omari Newton that features a rap battle between a Black teenager shot nine times by police and the white police officer who shot him.The company is also committed to reaching out to Black French-speaking audiences, partnering with French theatre companies to produce translated productions of some of its plays.A collaboration between BTW and Théâtre La Licorne will stage a new version of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau during the 2021-22 season, in both English and in French.For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
ATLANTA — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson said. “Let’s elect Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.” The presiding bishop of more than 400 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia added a pastoral flourish as horns honked and supporters cheered: “If I have a witness, somebody say amen!"As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up.Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, while Black churches and liberal-leaning Jewish groups are backing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democrats' fates are seen as intertwined in a state that this year turned blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 by a razor-thin margin.“These runoffs are critically important,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure there is no decrease in turnout.”Across Georgia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is implementing a program designed to ensure its members, and Black voters overall, cast ballots in the runoff — focusing on votes by mail and early in-person voting. Pastors at each church remind tens of thousands of congregants every week to apply for an absentee ballot and of early voting dates, Jackson said in an interview. Each local church also follows up with congregants to make sure they have a plan to vote.The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter mobilization group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor in 2018, is also preparing to tap the influence of faith communities in stoking turnout.Rev. Billy Honor, director of faith organizing at the group, said the conservative Christian Faith & Freedom Coalition — founded by former Georgia GOP chairman Ralph Reed — has long positioned Georgia “as the home of evangelical fundamentalist types when it comes to the political space."“But the truth is, for a very long time, there has been an active, effective movement of progressive-minded, justice-centred clergy” who have worked in the state on voting rights, health care and other issues, Honor added. He said Warnock was part of that work before his candidacy. Warnock is senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Meanwhile, Loeffler and Perdue can expect to benefit from a conservative Christian base that has long boosted the state’s Republicans. Faith & Freedom made Georgia one of its top three spending targets in a $50 million get-out-the-vote program during the general election and plans increased organizing for the runoffs.The reach of "the evangelical vote in Georgia is very large and very strong,” Timothy Head, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.Head noted that while President Donald Trump kept a strong hold on white evangelical voters this year, Perdue out-performed Trump in Georgia during the general election. President-elect Joe Biden may have won over some evangelicals by contrasting his character with that of Trump, Head said, but he argued that the same sort of case would be harder for Democrats to make against Loeffler and Perdue.Another faith-focused conservative group, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, is holding trainings and pastor briefings before the runoffs. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, whose president advised Trump’s reelection campaign on Catholic outreach, has announced a $4.1 million plan to boost Loeffler and Perdue through a partner political action committee.Religious issues already have become a campaign flashpoint in the runoff. The GOP has resurfaced excerpts from past Warnock sermons to assail him as insufficiently supportive of the military as well as anti-Israel. The Democrat signed a letter last year comparing Israel's policy toward Palestinians to “previous oppressive regimes" and criticized it in a 2018 sermon, while also calling for a two-state solution in the region.Warnock pushed back in a recently released television ad, saying the attacks are “trying to scare people by taking things I’ve said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor.”One group criticizing Warnock as too left-leaning on Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, is also mobilizing on behalf of the GOP incumbents.Jewish Democrats in Georgia predicted that the GOP attack on Warnock’s Israel record would fall flat, citing his record of friendship with the Jewish community through his pulpit at Ebenezer.Sherry Frank, president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women, said she sees “no doubt in the Jewish community about (Warnock’s) stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.” Frank's group is conducting nonpartisan voter turnout work for the runoffs.Georgia’s Jewish Democrats also see, in Ossoff and Warnock, candidates whose joint push for the Senate harkens back to a tradition of Black and Jewish leaders working together during the civil rights movement. Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King.Warnock is viewed “as the inheritor" of King’s legacy, said Michael Rosenzweig, co-chair of the Georgia chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which has endorsed both Democrats. “And to the extent that Jews were supportive of the civil rights struggle and supportive of (King), I think they look supportively on Rev. Warnock.”Ossoff, who is Jewish, has defended Warnock against GOP criticism over Israel and fondly recalled his own connection to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia civil rights leader who endorsed Ossoff before his death in July. In October, Ossoff said he and Lewis talked during their first meeting about “the bond between the Black and Jewish communities, marching alongside rabbis and young Jewish activists in the mid 1960s ... and how important it was that these communities be brought together."___Schor reported from Washington.___Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
ROME — Rescuers on Sunday retrieved the body of an elderly woman, the third fatality in the Sardinian town of Bitti, which was partially buried a day earlier by mudslides after torrential rainfall. The Italian news agency LaPresse said that the corpse of the 89-year-old victim had washed downhill from near her home to the town basketball court. On Saturday, the bodies of the two other victims were found. One was a rancher who was caught up in the raging muddy waters on his way home; the other was a 90-year-old man in his home. The mud in the streets reached the second floor of many buildings. Rescue crews and residents on Sunday, walking on top of the heavily packed mud, found themselves flanking upper-story balconies in the town of 2,700 people in east-central Sardinia in the province of Nuoro. The floodwaters and mounds of mud overturned and smashed cars, leaving vehicles half-buried in dirt and debris. Geologists noted that the storm-triggered calamity was the latest of several similar ones, including one in November 2013 that claimed 19 lives, to afflict the Mediterranean island. They stressed that many inhabited areas were developed on geologically unstable terrain. Sardinia Gov. Christian Solinas on Sunday lamented what he said was “excessive bureaucracy” in the failure to implement projects, funded in the wake of the 2013 flooding, to make areas of the island geologically safe. The Associated Press
A poet and creative writing instructor from Vancouver Island University has chronicled her experience of being Black in Nanaimo in a song, as part of a project called Re-Imagine Nanaimo. Sonnet L'abbe was asked how she would like to see the city of Nanaimo in 20 years and, as part of her response, she said she'd like it to include more people who look like her. "When Nanaimo asked what my vision would be for the next 20 years, I just want to encourage more people of colour and more Black people to come. Join me," L'abbe said to host Kathryn Marlow on CBC's All Points West. L'abbe has performed her song Nazaneen as part of the city's ongoing Re-Imagine Nanaimo project, which envisions what the city will look like in 2040. While the project is looking at sustainability, transit and housing, L'abbe said she wanted to open up the conversation to include the texture of the community."It felt like an opportunity to keep conversations about Black lives front and centre and to remind people about the Black community on the island while also just expressing my love for Nanaimo," she said. Listen to Nazaneen:L'abbe, who describes herself as a mixed race Black person of colour, moved to the mid-island city from Toronto a few years ago. Nazaneen addresses a fictitious Black woman who is considering making a similar move. While the song gushes over the affordability of Nanaimo's real estate and cedar-lined trails, it also notes there is no "good jerk chicken" and that "when I went to the Queens/for the reggae scene/all the dreadlocked rastas were white.""I think they're hearing the humour. I think they're hearing the love, and I think they're also hearing the opportunity, or to hear a part of a conversation that they might not have heard before," said L'abbe.L'abbe says observing that smaller towns don't have the same diversity as larger cities isn't "striking," but her own experiences of Nanaimo have been largely welcoming."The openness of people and peoples' willingness to talk, and my own exposure to, I don't know, the Chicago Blues, has been warm and surprising and it has changed me a lot, too," she said. "It has been so welcoming here."Listen to the interview with Sonnet L'abbe on CBC's All Points West:For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
TORONTO — Independent reviews of the hundreds of inmates placed in segregation over the past year found only a handful were inappropriate, new government data indicate. According to the previously unpublished information from Correctional Service Canada, only two per cent of reviews by independent external decision-makers resulted in inmates moved out of isolation, and then not always right away. "There can be rare cases where the removal may not be immediate, for example, if the inmate refuses to leave or a transfer is pending for a suitable placement," the service said. "Our goal is to ensure they can be safely returned to a different environment, which in most cases is to a mainstream population." The data, viewed with skepticism by critics, indicate that external reviewers weighed in 1,475 times as of Nov. 1. Of those, 905 were triggered by inmates isolated for longer than the legally allowed stretches. One year ago, after the courts had repeatedly struck down administrative segregation used to isolate prisoners who posed a threat to themselves or others, the government implemented a new system called structured intervention units. Key changes included allowing inmates out of their cells for at least four hours a day, giving them a daily minimum of two hours of meaningful interaction with others, and putting an external oversight mechanism in place that can result in binding directives. Since then, reviewers have looked at the confinement conditions of about 740 individual inmates. The aim was to see whether authorities were abiding by the new rules, such as giving prisoners a chance to be out of their cells and interact with others. Overall, the reviews concluded authorities took all reasonable steps to meet their obligations in 79 per cent of the cases, the service said. Critics, however, have called the new system rebranded solitary confinement. For example, criminologist Anthony Doob, who led a government advisory committee on the issue, and colleague Jane Sprott, concluded the government was failing to live up to the legislated requirements. Among other things, their analysis found a sizable percentage of inmates had spent more than two months in confinement and few had received the mandated four hours daily out of their cells and two hours of human contact. Dr. Adelina Iftene, an assistant law professor at Dalhousie University, said the new data raise questions about the review process or IEDMs. "Either there is a lack of clarity on what exactly are the role and powers of the IEDMs, or the IEDMs are tigers without teeth, or the IEDMs are not fulfilling their role," Iftene said. "The implication remains that there may still be no effective oversight of placements in the SIUs." The tiny number of reviews resulting in directives to move an inmate from confinement also raises questions about the quality of the information fed to reviewers, Iftene said. "Did they know that so many people were effectively experiencing solitary confinement?" she said. "If so, how is it possible that they recommended removal from the SIUs only in two per cent of cases?" Whether individuals’ rights are being upheld is a yes or no question, Iftene added. There are no “reasonable steps.” Correctional Service Canada defended its approach, saying the new system is part of a "historic transformation" that can't happen overnight. "It takes time to instill cultural and transformational change," the service said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
A man is dead after he crashed his vehicle into the Princes' Gates at Exhibition Place early Sunday, Toronto police say. Police said they were called to the area of Lakeshore Boulevard West and Strachan Avenue at 4:19 a.m.. The man was driving at high speed and slammed into the gates. He was pronounced dead at the scene.Police have not released his age. Officers are currently investigating the crash.
If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
A volcano in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province erupted on Sunday, spewing ash and smoke as high as four kilometers into the sky and forcing more than 2,700 residents to seek refuge, the country's disaster mitigation agency said. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country, and while many show high levels of activity it can be weeks or even months before an eruption. Raditya Jati, a spokesman for the agency, said in a statement that the eruption from the Mt. Ile Lewotolok volcano, about 2,600 kilometers east of Indonesia's capital of Jakarta, had caused panic among those living nearby.
COVID-19 continues to force school divisions to make changes in how they deliver education.On Saturday and Sunday, multiple schools in different divisions announced changes ranging from classroom shutdowns to outright school closures. In Regina, one case of COVID-19 was reported in a person at Grant Road School, which will now be closed until Dec. 7. Regina Public Schools said close contacts were informed and given information about isolation.COVID-19 cases were found at École Elsie Mironuck School, Dr. L.M. Hanna School, Ruth M. Buck School and Thom Collegiate. Affected students at École Elsie Mironuck School and Ruth M. Buck School will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 10. Affected students at Dr. L.M. Hanna School will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 8. Affected students at Thom Collegiate will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 4.Two cases in Regina Catholic SchoolsRegina Catholic Schools announced a case of COVID-19 at Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School and a case at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School.The affected classrooms at Miller Comprehensive were closed and students in those classrooms will begin learning remotely. All other classrooms remain open.At O'Neill, the person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended class two days before the school switched to the hybrid model. Students in the affected classrooms were told to isolate until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 2. Classmates of the individual in the hybrid model are to isolate until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 10.All other classrooms at O'Neill remain open.To the north, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools announced two positive cases at Bishop James Mahoney High School, two cases at Bethlehem Catholic High School, one cases at École Sister O'Brien School and two cases at Holy Cross High School.Saturday evening, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools announced one more positive case at the Holy Cross High School and one at St. Joseph High School. The affected cohorts are to switch to online instruction as of Monday.
Tobermory is a small harbour tucked into the shore of Lake Huron's massive and beautiful Georgian Bay. Mare than 20 historic shipwrecks from a long ago time lay on the bottom, inviting adventurous scuba divers to venture beneath the waves to explore them. Wooden steamships with massive boilers that propelled them over the lakes with their cargo were once commonly used to deliver food, building materials, and other products between cities and even between Canada and the United States of America. The five Great Lakes are among the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, created during the ice age when glaciers carved paths and left rivers and lakes behind when they melted. Lake Huron is situated on the Canada/U.S. border and it's northern shore is Georgian Bay, almost as large as the rest of the lake itself. The tiny, but picturesque town of Tobermory is a popular place to visit, especially for those who seek an opportunity to scuba dive in cold, but crystal clear conditions. The visibility is a blessing because there is a lot to see near Tobermory. This is where marine Fathom Five National Marine Park is located. Famous for the Flowerpot Island with it's unique structures towering high above the shore, land adventurers also flock to the area for sightseeing and pictures. The 420 million year old dolomite has been worn by the weather and waves to create mysterious caves and structures both above and beneath the water. But Fathom Five holds the allure that brings scuba divers from around the world to visit more than 20 old wrecks that have been surprisingly well preserved in the icy depths. Wooden beams, rudders, boilers and ship hardware are on the lake's bottom, just as they were when the wrecks came to rest after their destruction. A few of the wrecks have actually been placed intentionally to create interesting dive sites for exploration. Such is the case with this ship, the Caroline Rose which was built in the 1940s in Nova Scotia, Canada. Originally sunk by mishap, it was towed to its current location to make it accessible for scuba enthusiasts. A trip to Tobermory holds something for everyone. Summer scuba diving events are held by Float n' Flag Dive Centre in Burlington for those looking to investigate this area and the wonders it holds.
LOS ANGELES — Mike Tyson stepped through the ropes in his signature black trunks and heard the opening bell in a boxing ring for the first time in 15 years.The former world heavyweight champion traded lively punches with Roy Jones Jr. for eight entertaining rounds that ended with two middle-aged legends wearily hugging each other in mutual admiration.Their fight was only an exhibition and it ended in a draw. But for Tyson, the experience evoked the joy and excitement he felt so long ago at the start of his boxing career — and it was likely the start of a new chapter in his epic life.“I'm happy I'm not knocked out," Tyson said. “I'll look better in the next one.”Tyson showed glimpses of his destructive prime Saturday night during the 54-year-old boxing icon's return to the ring against the 51-year-old Jones.Tyson had the most impactful punches, showing off versions of the footwork and combinations that made him the world's most feared fighter. After eight two-minute rounds, both Tyson and Jones emerged from Staples Center smiling and apparently healthy.“This is better than fighting for championships,” Tyson said of the heavyweight exhibition, which raised money for various charities. “We’re humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We've got to do this again.”Tyson's return to the ring for this show attracted international attention, and Iron Mike did his best to demonstrate his months of work to recapture a measure of the form that made him a legend to a generation of boxing fans.Tyson tagged Jones with body shots, head shots and a particularly nasty uppercut during a bout that was required by the California State Athletic Commission to be a reasonably safe, glorified sparring session.Tyson was exhausted two hours afterward, but also clearly energized as he recounted his emotions with his wife and team looking on.“I took my youth for granted,” Tyson said. “This event made me find out what I was really made of. ... My body feels splendid. I want to beat it up some more.”Tyson intends to fight in more exhibitions next year, perhaps heading to Monte Carlo next to challenge a European fighter. He didn't close the door on the possibility of a full-fledged comeback, although that would be many fights in the future.For one night, Tyson and Jones were back at the centre of the sports world, and they reveled in it.“I'm happy to scratch that off my bucket list and move on with my life,” said Jones, the former four-division world champion widely considered the most skilled boxer of his generation. “He hit harder than I thought."Everything hurt. His hands hurt. His head hurts. Everything hurt when I made contact. He's an exceptional puncher still. He can do anything he wants next.”Neither fighter was deceived by the quality of the bout. While both came out throwing punches that evoked echoes of their glorious primes, they also tied up frequently on the inside, and their occasionally laboured breathing could be heard on the microphones in the empty arena.Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg's witty television commentary was among the loudest noises inside Staples, and he had a handful of zingers: “This is like two of my uncles fighting at the barbecue!”But Tyson and Jones were the headliners in the most improbable pay-per-view boxing event in years, engineered by social networking app Triller and featuring fights interspersed with hip hop performances in an empty arena.The event was derided as an anti-sporting spectacle by some critics, yet both Tyson and Jones appeared to handle themselves capably and safely. Their fans were clearly enthralled, with the show getting enormous traction on social media.Some of that success was due to the co-main event, in which YouTube star Jake Paul knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in the second round of Robinson's pro boxing debut. Paul, in his second pro fight, recorded three knockdowns against Robinson, the three-time NBA slam-dunk contest champion, before an overhand right put Robinson flat on his face and apparently unconscious.But most of the fans tuned in to watch Tyson, many for the first time. Any boxing fan who came of age after Tyson retired from boxing in 2005 had never seen a live fight from the legendary figure — and within the bounds of this event, Tyson delivered.Tyson said he no longer had “the fighting guts or the heart” after he quit in a dismal loss to journeyman Peter McBride in his final bout.Finally free of his sport's relentless pressure, Tyson gradually straightened out his life, kicking a self-described drug addiction and eventually succeeding in acting, stage performance, charity work and even marijuana cultivation while settling into comfortable family life in Las Vegas with his third wife and their children.The idea of a boxing comeback seemed preposterous, but Tyson started toward this unlikely fight when he started doing 15 daily minutes on a treadmill a few years ago at his wife's urging in a bid to lose 100 pounds. The workouts soon became multi-hour affairs encompassing biking, running and finally punching as he regained a measure of his athletic prime through discipline and a vegan diet.Tyson posted a video of himself hitting pads on social media early in the coronavirus pandemic, and the overwhelming public response led to several lucrative offers for a ring comeback. With the chance to make money for himself and for charity, Tyson eventually agreed to take on Jones long after the chance of their dream matchup seemed dashed.Tyson and Jones negotiated with the California commission over the limitations of their bout, eventually arriving at eight two-minute rounds of hard sparring with only ceremonial judging and no official winner. The WBC still stepped in to award a ceremonial “Frontline Battle Belt” to both fighters.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsGreg Beacham, The Associated Press
Young readers in Alberta are lagging behind the learning curve in the wake of the pandemic, two recent University of Alberta studies show. "The findings are quite alarming because we know that reading is associated in the long run with higher dropout rates and higher unemployment rates," George Georgiou said in a recent interview on CBC Edmonton's Radio Active. The educational psychology professor and director of the J.P. Das Centre in Developmental and Learning Disabilities conducted two studies looking at reading test scores for Alberta children. The first study analyzed reading test scores in September 2020 versus the previous three years using testing data on reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension from eight Edmonton-area schools. It found students in the second and third grade scored consistently worse across the three measures, though the difference was still small enough, it could be reversed. "We found that on average the kids perform between six to eight months below their grade level," Georgiou said. Students in Grade 4 and above, who mostly showed positive results, tend to have moved beyond reading as a process, to reading for pleasure. "That's why it's extremely important to get it right from the beginning," he said. The second study, funded by Alberta Education, followed 1,600 Grade 1 students on multiple reading tasks from September 2019 until February. Georgiou used those scores to determine students who were at-risk and then tested those children again in September 2020. He found only 85 of 409 children — just under 20 per cent — were reading at an average level. Sixty per cent of the children tested were at a lower standard in September than in January. Georgiou speculates school closures and online learning have contributed to the problem as they do not allow students to participate in face-to-face interventions. Another issue is that schools were simply not prepared for transitioning learning to a digital format. "We were all caught off guard," he said. "We didn't expect this to happen." The third possible reason, according to Georgiou, is budget cuts in the spring that were expected to result in layoffs for educational assistants. There are avenues for remediation however, Georgiou said. Knowing that students in the lowest grades are most affected, resources should be focused on them, he said. Georgiou also recommends teachers prioritize the foundational skills of learning, reading and teaching the young students on a daily basis, while parents read to their children for 20-30 minutes every day. Parents "will help the kids learn or comprehend what they're reading and have rich discussions with their children," he said. Georgiou has submitted his findings in a paper for The Reading League Journal, where it is under review.
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded.Dane County was the second and last county to finish its recount, reporting a 45-vote gain for Trump. Milwaukee County, the state's other big and overwhelmingly liberal county targeted in a recount that Trump paid $3 million for, reported its results Friday, a 132-vote gain for Biden.Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden's winning margin of about 20,600 votes, giving the winner a net gain of 87 votes.“As we have said, the recount only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin," Danielle Melfi, who led Biden's campaign in Wisconsin, said in a statement to The Associated Press.Trump campaign spokeswoman Jenna Ellis said in a statement that the Wisconsin recounts have “revealed serious issues” about whether the ballots were legal, but she offered no specific details to validate her claim.“As we have said from the very beginning, we want every legal vote, and only legal votes to be counted, and we will continue to uphold our promise to the American people to fight for a free and fair election,” Ellis said.With no precedent for overturning a result as large as Biden's, Trump was widely expected to head to court once the recount was finished. His campaign challenged thousands of absentee ballots during the recount, and even before it was complete, Trump tweeted that he would sue.“The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally, and that case will be brought after the recount is over, on Monday or Tuesday,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!”The deadline to certify the vote is Tuesday. Certification is done by the Democratic chair of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which is bipartisan.The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group, has already filed a lawsuit against state election officials seeking to block certification of the results. It makes many of the claims Trump is expected to make. Gov. Tony Evers’ attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the suit. Evers, a Democrat, said the complaint is a “mishmash of legal distortions” that uses factual misrepresentations in an attempt to take voting rights away from millions of Wisconsin residents.Another suit filed over the weekend by Wisconsin resident Dean Mueller argues that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted.Trump’s attorneys have complained about absentee ballots where voters identified themselves as “indefinitely confined,” allowing them to cast an absentee ballot without showing a photo ID; ballots that have a certification envelope with two different ink colours, indicating a poll worker may have helped complete it; and absentee ballots that don’t have a separate written record for its request, such as in-person absentee ballots.Election officials in the two counties counted those ballots during the recount, but marked them as exhibits at the request of the Trump campaign.Trump’s campaign has already failed elsewhere in court without proof of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist. Trump legal challenges have failed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.The Associated Press
Mummers might already wear masks, but they still have to abide by other COVID-19 restrictions. Having thousands of people disguised in doilies stroll down the streets of St. John's just doesn't jive with a recommendation from provincial health officials to only go mummering with close contacts this year. The annual Mummers Parade is moving online, along with most of the regular festival events leading up to it."Everything that we do, typically, is back. It's just in a digital platform," said Mummers Festival Executive Director Lynn McShane.No parade in pandemicA typical parade day starts with a "rig up," where people pick through tables of clothes to find a costume. This year, starting at 1:30 p.m. NT on Dec 12, organizers will be on Facebook Live offering up tips and ideas for what to wear.The parade itself will be replaced by a video of people in their mummering best. The festival is asking anyone who wants to be in it to dress up, record themselves, and send in a snippet by Dec 1.The parade day stream will end with a virtual concert.McShane said hosting most of the festival on the internet opens up possibilities for who can take part. "People who are not residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are just loving the opportunity to be able to join in from afar," she said. There are presentations, panel discussions and crafting lessons planned in the two weeks ahead of the parade.All the events and most of the required supplies are free, but donations are encouraged.Bring your own boot"The thing with mummering is eventually you take off your mask, so in terms of this year and COVID, I don't know if it offers much protection," Ryan Davis said in an interview ahead of his online ugly stick workshop Saturday. In past years, he's taught people how to put the instrument together in person.Festival volunteers predrilled the sticks and punched holes in bottle caps to ease at-home assembly. Participants could register and pick up a kit in St. John's containing all the ugly stick essentials at no charge — they just needed to have an old boot or sneaker for the bottom.For people who didn't have a kit from the festival, Davis offered up alternatives.He said they're not an essential mummering accessory, but they do amplify the experience."It's actually great if you want to go mummering because you don't want to take your nice guitar or your fancy instrument," Davis said."This is something you can beat up and beat around, so in that way, it's great for mummering."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Ontario reported another 1,708 cases of COVID-19 and 24 more deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday. The new cases include 503 in Peel Region, 463 in Toronto and 185 in York Region. There are 1,443 more cases marked as resolved. The Ontario health ministry says another 53,959 tests were completed in the last 24 hours. Labs are reporting that 3.7 per cent of the tests processed are positive.Public health officials said this week that they hope to build capacity in the system for up to 100,000 tests daily.Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were: * Ottawa: 79. * Durham Region: 73. * Waterloo: 63. * Hamilton: 60. * Windsor-Essex: 37. * Halton: 31. * Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 30. * Simcoe Muskoka: 30. * Niagara Region: 28. * Middlesex-London: 20. * Thunder Bay: 19. * Southwestern: 17. * Eastern Ontario: 10. * Brant County: 10.(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ontario health ministry's COVID-19 dashboard or in its daily epidemiologic summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit because local units report figures at different times.)The seven-day average for the number of new cases reported per day has reached a new high of 1,548, the highest it has been since the pandemic began. There are also 586 people in hospital, nine fewer than on Saturday. However, Saturday's hospitalization data saw an increase of 54 over a single day. Those hospitalizations are also nearly double what they were a month ago. There are 155 people in intensive care units as of Sunday and 99 of those individuals are on a ventilator, the same number as Saturday.The number of deaths in Ontario since the pandemic began has reached 3,648. A total of 503 of those deaths occurred this month.Of Sunday's deaths, one person was in his or her 50s, four people were in their 60s, three people were in their 70s and there were 10 people in their 80s and six in their 90s, respectively. 11 infections linked to Vaughan sports centreYork Region Public Health says that 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been linked to indoor soccer games at a Vaughan sports centre in mid-November.The public health region issued a notice on Sunday to alert the public about a cluster of confirmed cases that emerged after a group of 20 to 25 people played soccer at the TRIO Sportplex and Event Centre, 601 Cityview Blvd., on Nov. 11 and Nov. 15. "While the group wore masks during play, masks were not worn in the change rooms," the public notice said.Everyone who played soccer over both days are considered high-risk and have been told to isolate for 14 days. York Region was moved to the province's red control zone on Nov. 16, which prohibits the playing or practising of team sports except for training. York Region continues enforcement blitzOfficials also continued an enforcement blitz at businesses to make sure they were following public health protocols for the province's "red" zones. The rules limit indoor dining to 10 customers at a time with physical distancing in place. Gyms, meanwhile, can only have 10 patrons inside at once, while 25 people can attend outdoor classes.Officers inspected 256 businesses on Sunday and issued tickets at 16, a news release said.An L.A. Fitness location in East Gwillimbury, Ont., and the Trio Sportsplex in Vaughan, Ont., are among those facing charges.Authorities have inspected 867 businesses since Friday, laid 32 charges and completed 1,151 "compliance education activities," the release said.New regions moving into more restrictive zones MondayOn Friday, Ontario announced that five more regions would be moved into more restrictive zones on Monday at 12:01 a.m.They include: * Red-Control * Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. * Orange-Restrict * Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. * Yellow-Protect * Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. * Lambton Public Health. * Northwestern Health Unit.
Accroître l’autonomie agroalimentaire, énergétique et en produits manufacturés du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. C’est le projet dont la coopérative Système T souhaite être le fer de lance en unissant la classe politique derrière l’idée de faire de la région la deuxième FabRégion du Québec. Le concept a attiré l’attention de Jean Duplain, directeur général de la jeune coopérative fondée cet automne à Chicoutimi, lorsque le Bas-Saint-Laurent a décroché à la mi-octobre le titre de première FabRégion de la province et du pays. Le Bas-Saint-Laurent est en fait la quatrième FabRégion au monde, après deux régions françaises et une région mexicaine. Mais qu’est-ce qu’une FabRégion ? Une région qui s’engage à atteindre 50 % d’autonomie d’ici 2054 dans les secteurs de l’agroalimentaire, de l’énergie et de la production manufacturière. Jean Duplain a été séduit par le concept qui permettrait, à ses yeux, d’apporter une réponse aux enjeux de développement régional que connaît le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. « C’est un concept qui fédère tout le monde autour d’une vision commune », expose-t-il. Le projet permettrait aussi de rassembler des initiatives déjà existantes dans différents secteurs. « La FabRégion, c’est vraiment une démarche de devenir adulte comme région en prenant sa destinée en main », explique le directeur général de la coopérative dédiée au soutien de projets qui s’inscrivent dans l’accélération de la transition socioécologique. Parrainage Pour la soutenir dans ses démarches, la coopérative pourra compter sur le parrainage du Bas-Saint-Laurent. Rachel Berthiaume, co-coordonnatrice au Living Lab en innovation ouverte au Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup, s’est montrée enthousiaste à l’idée. Celle qui a été impliquée dans la reconnaissance du Bas-Saint-Laurent comme FabRégion préfère en fait se donner le titre de « contamineuse en chef ». Car le partage est au coeur du concept de FabRégion. Il s’inscrit dans l’initiative FabCity, un réseau mondial d’innovation ouverte qui rassemble, depuis 2014, une trentaine de villes qui souhaitent augmenter leur autonomie en misant sur les échanges numériques. « Profitons du fait que la société s’est numérisée et profitons du fait qu’on est capables d’échanger de la connaissance pour pouvoir mieux produire localement », résume la chercheuse. La FabRégion du Bas-Saint-Laurent est elle-même parrainée dans son développement par la FabCity de Paris. Rencontre avec des élus régionaux Système T souhaite organiser une rencontre avec des élus du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean après les Fêtes pour leur présenter le concept de FabRégion. Le soutien des élus, qui doivent signer une lettre d’appui, et la fédération de la communauté autour du projet sont essentiels pour intégrer le réseau. Si la mobilisation s’orchestre rapidement, le dossier de candidature de la région, appelé « déclaration », pourrait être présenté lors du prochain Sommet FabCity, sommet mondial du réseau qui doit avoir lieu en août 2021, à Montréal. Cet objectif semble réaliste aux yeux de Rachel Berthiaume. La région devra cependant faire vite si elle souhaite devenir la deuxième FabRégion du Québec et du pays, car le concept suscite aussi de l’intérêt dans d’autres régions depuis que le Bas-Saint-Laurent a décroché le titre. Le Québec pourrait même devenir la première « FabProvince » en devenant le « premier territoire interconnecté dans le monde », lance la contamineuse en chef, qui estime que l’intérêt envers le concept n’est pas étranger à la réflexion sur l’autosuffisance suscitée par la pandémie. Faire un état des lieux Le projet de FabRégion demande également de dresser un état des lieux sur le niveau d’autonomie du territoire. Un chantier important attend le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean sur ce plan. « C’est fou, on n’a pas la réponse, à savoir on en est où au niveau de l’autonomie présentement ; là, c’est très difficile », constate Jean Duplain, qui a effectué de premières démarches en ce sens. Les constats tirés peuvent parfois être surprenants, partage Rachel Berthiaume, en donnant l’exemple de la production de viande bovine pour le Bas-Saint-Laurent. « On sait qu’on produit ce qu’on mange. Mais 80 % de ce qu’on produit est parti, s’en va ailleurs et ce qu’on consomme en boeuf arrive d’ailleurs. On s’entend qu’il y a un petit décalage ? », soulève-t-elle. Une fois l’état des lieux connu, la réflexion pour repenser la production agroalimentaire, énergétique et manufacturière peut être lancée. « Devenir une FabRégion et être autonome à 50 %, ça ne veut pas dire produire plus, résume la chercheuse. Ça veut dire produire différemment, avec ce qu’il y a déjà aussi, sur notre territoire. » \+ UNE OPPORTUNITÉ POUR RÉUNIR DES INITIATIVES EXISTANTES Le projet de faire reconnaître le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean comme une FabRégion permettrait de réunir des initiatives déjà existantes qui visent à augmenter l’autonomie régionale, estime la directrice d’AgroBoréal. Le collectif Borée regroupe, par exemple, une dizaine d’acteurs qui mènent des projets liés à l’autonomie alimentaire, souligne en ce sens Isabelle T. Rivard, directrice du créneau d’excellence. Elle accueille favorablement l’idée que la région entre dans le réseau FabCity en devenant une FabRégion. « Nous, on n’aime pas quand on dédouble des choses. Essayer de regrouper ce qu’on fait déjà de bien, et le valoriser davantage, c’est un bon réflexe », estime-t-elle. Le collectif Borée a été lancé dans la région au début de l’année, lors du Sommet pour une alimentation durable. Saguenay, le Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de la région, la Fédération régionale de l’Union des producteurs agricoles, l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi et le Cégep de Saint-Félicien en font partie, entre autres. AgroBoréal, au nombre des membres du collectif, offre des « facilités administratives » pour soutenir l’initiative. Le projet a d’ailleurs reçu des fonds publics pour assurer sa coordination. Les partenaires devront identifier les actions et stratégies à soutenir. « Ce sont tous des chantiers qui sont en montage ou en développement pour la plupart », explique la responsable du créneau, dont la mission est de soutenir l’innovation et le réseautage dans le domaine agroalimentaire régional. L’amélioration des systèmes de production en serre et l’accès à la commercialisation de la viande grâce aux abattoirs de proximité font partie des chantiers de réflexion et projets sur la table.Myriam Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien