U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan to turn the tide on the pandemic, speeding up the vaccine rollout and providing financial help to individuals, governments and businesses.
U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan to turn the tide on the pandemic, speeding up the vaccine rollout and providing financial help to individuals, governments and businesses.
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
Emma Corrin just won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Princess Diana.
It’s hard to say what is the more impressive feat — remotely landing a spacecraft on Mars, or a kid from Norfolk County landing a job at NASA. Christopher Heirwegh’s unlikely trajectory took him from a Simcoe Composite School physics class to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where an instrument he helped design is scanning the surface of Mars for signs of ancient life. “It’s been a very exciting past couple of weeks, starting with the anticipation leading up to the landing, followed by the joy of knowing it made it successfully,” said Heirwegh, 39, a few days after watching the Mars rover Perseverance complete its 300 million-mile journey to the Red Planet on Feb. 18. As Perseverance floated down to the surface, Heirwegh was on the edge of his seat at his home in Pasadena, Calif. His wife, Meagan, and their six-year-old daughter, Harper, were by his side, with the rest of Heirwegh’s JPL team sharing in the suspense on a video call. “It hit me right at that moment before landing, around the parachute phase, that things are going to come in fast, and oh boy, if this doesn’t make it, where do we go from here?” Heirwegh said. “There was certainly some tension.” Perseverance’s thrusters soon kicked in to start its powered descent, and a sky crane took over to gently place the rover on Mars. While mission control filled with the cheers of relieved scientists, the Heirweghs tucked into celebratory shawarma and cake. Now that Perseverance is trundling around the Jezero crater, Heirwegh’s work has just begun. The physicist is keeping a close eye on PIXL, a high-tech X-ray machine that has been his sole professional focus since joining NASA in 2016. PIXL — the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry — is one of two instruments mounted on the lander’s robotic arm that will help answer the mission’s central question — has there been life on Mars? About the size of a lunch box, PIXL’s job is to scan Martian rocks for trace elements that could point to the presence of ancient life, while taking what Heirwegh describes as “super close-up pictures of rock and soil textures” that could reveal microbial evidence smaller than a grain of salt. PIXL has an X-ray tube at its heart, similar to what dentists use when photographing teeth. The scanner shoots pinpoint-sized X-ray beams into the rock, a process not unlike how artwork investigators chemically analyze paintings to detect forgeries. “We’re looking at things that tell us what the rock is made of, where the rock might have come from, if it was exposed to water, and also if it might have potentially harboured very primitive forms of life at one time,” Heirwegh explained. PIXL is best at finding evidence of inorganic material — heavier elements like calcium, lead and strontium — while another instrument on the rover, called SHERLOC, looks for “the building blocks of life,” lighter organic molecules like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Together, they search for “biosignatures” suggestive of fossilized bacteria that may have called a Martian ocean home billions of years ago. “Our two instruments can each produce two-dimensional elemental maps,” Heirwegh said, likening each pinpoint of data collected to the pixels on a television that combine to form a clear picture. “We’re hoping we can eventually overlay the two maps so we can really get a good idea of what the rock is all about.” Reaching for the stars The grandson of tobacco farmers who immigrated to Norfolk County from Belgium, Heirwegh grew up enthralled by the stars in the night sky and the vastness of space. He never missed an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation — “mostly just the Rodenberry years,” he clarified — and pored over images of the solar system captured by the Voyager probes. “I found that pretty fascinating, and that kind of led me to what I do now,” he said. Mike and Laurie Heirwegh have followed their son’s career with pride. “Some of the stuff is way above what we understand. Christopher always keeps it as simple as possible for us,” Mike said with a laugh. Mike, a retired pharmacist and business owner, said his “studious” and “reserved” son excelled in a science-heavy course load at Simcoe Composite School. “Whitney, our daughter, said he had this microscope he got at Christmas and would project images up in his room and explain what was on the slides to her and her sister Danielle,” added Laurie, who owns a gift shop in Simcoe. Four years studying undergraduate science at McMaster University in Hamilton led to a master’s in medical physics at Mac, where Heirwegh first tried his hand at X-ray technology. He further studied X-ray fluorescence and radiation science while doing his PhD and post-doctoral fellowship in applied physics at the University of Guelph, which involved analyzing data collected by the Opportunity and Curiosity Mars rovers. That piqued NASA’s interest, creating a rare opportunity for a Canadian to join the Jet Propulsion Lab. “There were not too many people who were doing that,” Mike Heirwegh said. “To get a job like he’s doing in NASA, you have to be uniquely different than any American.” The family left their house in Guelph to make a new life in America, with Meagan Heirwegh, herself an accomplished academic, putting her career on hold so her husband could follow his dream. “She was extremely supportive of taking this step,” Heirwegh said. “That’s been a really key part of it, and something that helped me to have the courage to make such a drastic move.” While navigating the immigration process, Heirwegh got to work calibrating PIXL years ahead of its launch on Perseverance. Past Mars rovers have used X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, but PIXL is the first with an X-ray tube, a technological milestone Heirwegh finds “quite rewarding.” In the months ahead, Heirwegh and his fellow scientists will analyze the trove of scientific data Perseverance will transmit across space to the Jet Propulsion Lab, while making sure their high-tech scanner stays properly calibrated. To keep himself calibrated in what can be a high-pressure job, Heirwegh exercises every morning, and he and Meagan solve a Mensa puzzle together over breakfast. “It’s a nice way to jump-start the physical and mental gears,” he said. Heirwegh could not have known what the future held when he decided to leave Canada and boldly go to NASA to reach for the stars. But his parents say their son was destined to work on the Mars project. “I think the term ‘perseverance’ is very much like Christopher,” Mike said. “He persevered to get to where he is.” J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
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 in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. 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 Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- 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 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. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- 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. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- 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. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- 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 says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- 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 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Canada's chief public officer of health Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that more “real-world data” is still needed after the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations recommended that the newly-approved COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca not be given to those 65 or older. However, she said "don't read their recommendations as sort-of static, they will update as needed.”
"The Soul of a Woman," by Isabel Allende (Ballantine) Acclaimed writer Isabel Allende’s short memoir, "The Soul of a Woman" is a bold exploration of womanhood, feminism, parenting, aging, love and more. This short, but mighty memoir opens with a proud declaration that Allende has been a feminist since kindergarten, and from there launches readers into an enchanting examination of the life she has lived ever since. Now in her late 70s, Allende reflects on her life, from her childhood and parents to her experience becoming a mother and grandmother. The memoir is a chronicle of her fierce advocacy for herself and for the power of women, and it is also an ode to the many people who shaped her. With humour and wisdom, Allende offers poignant observations on topics like ambition, the lack of respect we show to aging people and the #MeToo movement. Spending time with Allende within these pages is a true delight. The book is conversational, contemplative, and relatable. Allende is self-deprecating and jubilant, writing as if she is chatting over coffee and scones with an old friend about the lessons life has taught her. The book will no doubt make you think about these big concepts in new and personal ways. —- Read more about Molly Sprayregen at https://www.mollyspray.com. Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican defended Pope Francis’ decision to go ahead with his trip to Iraq this weekend despite rising coronavirus infections there, saying Tuesday all health care precautions have been taken and that the trip is an “act of love for this land, for its people and for its Christians.” Francis is due to visit Iraq Friday-Monday in his first foreign trip since the pandemic erupted last year. Planning for the trip went into high gear after infections fell, but cases have spiked in the past month and infectious disease experts say a papal trip to a country with a fragile health care system simply is not a good idea. The Vatican has taken its own precautions, with the 84-year-old pope, his 20-member Vatican entourage and the 70-plus journalists on the papal plane all vaccinated. Iraq, however, only began its vaccination campaign Tuesday and most Iraqis who come to see the pope won't be inoculated. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni was asked how the Vatican could justify exposing Iraqis to such a risk of infection when the Vatican itself has been on a modified lockdown for months, with no public audiences, and why the trip couldn’t be postponed for even a few months. Bruni noted that Iraq has a predominantly young population and that the current daily caseload was small compared to the overall population. He said the trip has been designed to limit crowds, and that all papal events would follow Iraqi health protocols that include limited participation, social distancing, mask mandates and other measures. The pope will use a covered car — likely armoured — for all his transfers, which the Vatican says should limit the formation of crowds on the street. However, he is to celebrate a Mass for an expected 10,000 people in the sports stadium in Erbil and will use an open car there. “An entire community and an entire country will be able to follow this journey through the media and know that the pope is there for them, bringing a message that it is possible to hope even in situations that are most complicated," he said. Asked why the trip couldn't be postponed, Bruni said this period was “the first possible moment for a journey like this” and that there is “an urgency” to go. The aim of the trip is to encourage Iraq’s dwindling Christian communities that were violently persecuted by the Islamic State group, and to promote greater dialogue with Iraq’s Shiite majority. The trip will mark the first-ever papal meeting with a grand ayatollah, the Iranian-born Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani. “Perhaps the best way to interpret this journey is as an act of love for this land, for its people and for its Christians,” Bruni said. “Every act of love can be interpreted as extreme, but as an extreme confirmation to be loved and confirmed in that love.” He acknowledged there might be consequences, but said the Vatican measured the need for Iraqis to feel the pope was close to them and loved them. “Obviously the pope also looks at this need,” Bruni said. Francis' itinerary includes a meeting Friday with priests, seminarians and nuns in the Syro-Catholic Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad, where Islamic militants in 2010 slaughtered 58 people in what was the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The massacre was carried out by Al-Qaida in Iraq, which later became the Islamic State group. Francis will also travel north, to Kurdistan and the northern Iraqi cities of Mosul and Qaraqosh, which were devastated by IS and where Christian communities that date to the time of Christ were nearly emptied of their residents, and their churches and homes destroyed. In between, Francis will travel to southern Najaf to the home of al-Sistani, a figure revered in Iraq and the Shiite world. Nearby, he will preside over an interfaith gathering in Ur, the biblical birthplace of Abraham, the prophet common to Christians, Muslims and Jews. The meeting is expected to take place in the shadow of Ur's magnificent pyramid-shaped zigguraut, part of a UNESCO world heritage site. Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
C’est par souci de réduire leur empreinte écologique et pour encourager les autres à suivre leur exemple que huit élèves de l’école Le Tremplin, à Chambly, confectionnent et vendent leurs propres produits zéro déchet. C’est grâce à leur enseignante et à leur éducatrice, Mylène Duchesne et Nathalie Gauthier, qui les ont initiés au tri des déchets et sensibilisés à leurs répercussions sur les fonds marins et les animaux, que les huit garçons de niveau primaire ont commencé à nourrir un intérêt particulier pour la réduction de leur empreinte écologique. Une école pas comme les autres L’école Le Tremplin, située à l’intérieur du Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie sur la rue Salaberry, accueille des jeunes âgés de 10 à 21 ans, placés tantôt sous la Protection de la jeunesse, tantôt sous la Loi des jeunes contrevenants. « En partant, ce sont des élèves qui ont vécu des choses difficiles, apporte Nathalie, et pour qui le papier et le crayon fonctionnent très peu. De là l’intérêt d’enseigner au travers de projets », complète Mylène. « Nous avons un groupe de huit élèves de niveau primaire et ce sont tous des garçons. Ils habitent ici, de trente jours à un certain nombre d’années. Certains peuvent voir leur famille la fin de semaine, contrairement à d’autres. Ils ont vécu toutes sortes d’épreuves, mais ça leur apporte une profondeur et une maturité. » Une idée qui a germé Déjà avant de leur inculquer ses valeurs, Nathalie ne jurait que par les produits zéro déchet, faisant ses propres shampoing, savon à linge, produits de beauté et ménagers artisanaux à la maison. « Avec la COVID, les enfants se désinfectent régulièrement les mains avec des produits chimiques qui les rendent sèches. J’ai donc amené à l’école l’une de mes crèmes et j’ai vu que ça a piqué la curiosité des élèves », raconte l’éducatrice. « On s’est mis à parler beaucoup d’environnement avec eux. Puis un jour, une autre classe de l’école a lancé son propre service de café. Les élèves de cette classe recevaient des commandes des professeurs de l’école le matin et leur apportaient leurs cafés avant la première période », entame Mylène. « En voyant cela, les élèves de notre classe ont réclamé d’avoir leur propre compagnie. Nathalie et moi leur avons demandé quel genre de projet on pourrait faire. À l’unisson, ils ont répondu qu’ils voulaient réaliser ‘’des projets pour sauver la planète’’! » Il a fallu se trouver un nom, des logos, choisir des produits que l’on pouvait fabriquer, calculer combien ça nous coûterait à produire et comment faire du profit. Ils ont même appris à faire des recettes, on a pu leur faire confiance pour se mettre aux fourneaux et ils se sont bien appliqués à la tâche. Lorsqu’ils utilisaient les huiles essentielles, les gens passaient dans le corridor en commentant leur appréciation des effluves et c’était gratifiant pour eux. » C’est ainsi qu’ils ont créé toute une gamme de sept produits distincts. La Maison du zéro déchet Nathalie étant une habituée de la Maison zéro déchet de Chambly, elle et Mylène leur en ont expliqué le concept. « On a dû obtenir la permission des parents, ce qui n’est pas chose facile, pour les amener avec nous afin qu’ils visitent la maison. Là-bas, on leur a expliqué comment ça fonctionnait, la pesée des pots des clients pour éviter d’utiliser des sacs en plastique, etc. Les propriétaires ont été très gentils, nous ont super bien accueillis, ont pris le temps de parler aux garçons et même de leur donner des bonbons végétaliens. Éventuellement, sans que l’on s’y attende, ils nous ont dit que si l’on en venait à créer notre marque ainsi qu’un produit vraiment fini, ils seraient ‘‘honorés’’ de vendre nos produits sans même toucher de commission. Les garçons, Nathalie et moi n’en revenions pas. » Les jeunes artisans et entrepreneurs verts vendent présentement plusieurs de leurs produits à la Maison du zéro déchet, sous la bannière Tannants mais... écolos, une marque qu’ils ont créée à leur image. Leurs cakes à vaisselle, baumes corporels et pains nourrissants, disposés sur un présentoir, ont commencé à se vendre comme des petits pains il y a deux semaines. Les deux pédagogues s’avouent fières de l’accomplissement de leur classe, qu’elles voient comme la génération des citoyens écoresponsables de demain. Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
BRUSSELS — The European Union on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four senior Russian officials over the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most high-profile political foe. The 27-nation bloc imposed bans on travel and froze the assets in Europe of Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Igor Krasnov, the prosecuto general, Viktor Zolotov, head of the National Guard, and Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the Federal Prison Service. EU headquarters said the four were listed “over their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Alexei Navalny, as well as the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment.” Navalny, 44, an anti-corruption investigator, was arrested in Moscow in January upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation. In February, a court sentenced Navalny to two years and eight months in prison for violating the terms of his probation while recuperating in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated. The European Court of Human Rights has also ruled that it’s unlawful. Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment have fueled a huge wave of protests across Russia. Authorities responded with a sweeping crackdown, detaining about 11,000 people, many of whom were fined or given jail terms ranging from seven to 15 days. The sanctions were the first used by the EU under a new system for imposing restrictions on people and organizations deemed responsible for human rights abuses. The Associated Press
L’annonce de la mort de la jeune Rosine Chouinard-Chauveau, fille des comédiens Normand Chouinard et Violette Chauveau, que l’on a justifiée par le délestage dans tous les médias, a chamboulé le Québec. Celle qui a perdu la vie à 28 ans, en raison du report d’une chirurgie dont la nature n’a pas été révélée au public, laisse dans le deuil son jeune fils Maël, ses parents et tout l’avenir qu’il lui restait, faute de lit ou de personnel. La charge mentale des ambulanciers Patrick Dufresne, un ambulancier de Chambly bien connu chez nous, a raconté avoir fait partie des premiers répondants à l’urgence entourant le drame. Bien qu’il n’ait pas voulu s’adresser directement au journal par peur d’outrepasser son mandat, il a témoigné sur les médias sociaux. « Nous avons tout tenté pour la sauver, sans savoir qui elle était à ce moment. C’est toujours émouvant d’annoncer la mort aux proches. Encore plus en sachant maintenant que le délestage a causé sa mort. » Au début de la pandémie, on rapportait qu’Urgences-santé était intervenue plus de 2000 fois auprès de patients potentiellement infectés par la COVID-19 en seulement un mois. Aujourd’hui, on parle d’une charge supplémentaire générée par l’augmentation des AVC, des malaises cardiaques et autres menaces fatales engendrées par l’inaction et l’absence de soins, ce qui n’est pas sans affecter le moral des paramédicaux. Des chiffres parlants Québec calcule que l’on fait 34 % moins d’interventions chirurgicales dans les hôpitaux et que l’on en serait à 44 % sans l’aide du privé. Encore aujourd’hui, le délestage semble être un concept flou pour beaucoup de Québécois, qui croient à tort que seules les interventions non vitales telles que les chirurgies orthopédiques en sont affectées. D’une branche médicale à l’autre Du côté des médecins, on parle de délestage calculé. Le Dr Sarkis Meterissian, chirurgien-oncologue au Centre universitaire de santé McGill (CUSM), a raconté n’avoir délesté la chirurgie d’aucune de ses patientes atteintes d’un cancer du sein diagnostiqué, car ce type d’intervention en est une d’un jour ne nécessitant pas de monopoliser un lit pour une plus longue période. Ailleurs, dans les hôpitaux Charles-Le Moyne et Pierre-Boucher, des patientes du cancer du sein sont quand même délestées alors que leur cancer progresse, selon des sources internes et externes. Rappelons que ces hôpitaux ont été désignés par le ministère de la Santé pour recevoir des patients atteints de la COVID-19 depuis des mois, ce qui complique l’organisation du personnel et réduit la capacité d’accueil en zone froide. À l’Hôpital du Haut-Richelieu, on découragerait des patients de venir en consultation pour des anomalies cardiaques parce qu’ils pourraient y attraper la COVID. Ce serait le cas de Stéphanie Samson, une Chamblyenne que l’on a renvoyée chez elle. « Si l’on vous admet en cardiologie, vous risquez d’attraper la COVID », lui aurait-on dit. Eric Sabbah, cardiologue à l’Hôpital Pierre-Boucher, a confié au journal qu’en matière de délestage pour les maladies du cœur, l’erreur réside dans le fait d’avoir « peur de venir à l’hôpital et d’attraper la COVID », ce qui retarde le dépistage et la prise en charge médicale. Il ajoute que « c’est impossible de penser que dans un même hôpital, on sera capable de garder une section COVID et une section non COVID. C’est malheureusement la base du problème de tout délestage. Même si l’on veut garder une section qui roule et qui est verte en soins intensifs, elle devient rapidement chaude, et les gens qui doivent être opérés pour d’autres raisons n’ont plus de place en surveillance aux soins intensifs. On préfère donc retarder leur opération pour éviter toute complication postopératoire. C’est un calcul. On se dit qu’ils sont mieux d’attendre de trois à six mois sans attraper la COVID, quittes à ne pas se faire opérer ». L’anxiété chez les médecins La peur d’attraper la COVID-19 occupe l’esprit du Dr Sabbah, comme pour beaucoup d’autres au front. Sur le terrain, les chirurgiens et les médecins spécialistes étant des ressources rares et indispensables pour beaucoup de patients, le stress lié à l’idée de contracter la COVID et de ne plus pouvoir exercer est omniprésent. On peut penser au cas de patients qui ne peuvent plus être reçus en consultation par leur médecin, leur cardiologue ou leur chirurgien, parce que ce dernier a contracté la COVID, ce qui mène au report d’un diagnostic ou encore d’une intervention qui pourrait leur sauver la vie. C’est donc que ces médecins doivent composer avec la peur pour leur propre santé, pour celle de leurs proches, mais aussi pour leurs patients, qui risquent d’être délestés s’ils en viennent à ne plus pouvoir les traiter, malgré eux. Aujourd’hui, la mort de Rosine Chouinard-Chauveau donne un visage au délestage, soulevant l’indignation des uns et des autres, bien que le mystère plane encore sur le mal qui l’affectait. Reste à savoir si les questions que son décès a exacerbées trouveront réponse auprès des instances décisionnelles et médicales. Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
La Ville de Chambly se dote d’une conseillère en développement économique pour mieux accompagner les entreprises et les commerces du territoire dans leur processus d’implantation ou d’expansion. C’est Mme Kim Desaulniers qui, chargée d’occuper ce tout nouveau poste, veillera à offrir aux entreprises un soutien de proximité, à stimuler l’achat local, à contribuer au rayonnement des acteurs locaux et à attirer de nouveaux investissements. Un rôle clé à jouer La mairesse de Chambly, Mme Alexandra Labbé, explique que l’arrivée de Mme Desaulniers était prévue au budget et qu’elle est financée par l’aide gouvernementale octroyée aux municipalités pour mieux faire face à la pandémie. « Les pouvoirs d’une Ville sont très limités lorsqu’il s’agit d’aider directement les commerçants. Pour le conseil, il était vraiment important de trouver une ressource qui pourrait aider les entreprises, directement ou indirectement, en élaborant un plan de relance, et orienter les gens au bon endroit. On est aussi en train d’agrandir le parc industriel, en prévision de l’implantation de nouvelles entreprises, et Mme Desaulniers se chargera notamment de cet aspect. Elle aura plusieurs mandats et terrains de jeux et soutiendra l’équipe d’urbanisme. Mais à Chambly, on le voit bien, la relance se passe rapidement et on ne manque pas de projets pour occuper notre nouvelle ressource. » Un défi de taille Avec la pandémie qui fait des ravages chez nos entrepreneurs et qui a précipité le départ de l’ex-président de la Chambre de commerce du Bassin de Chambly (CCIBC), M. Sébastien Dion, Mme Desaulniers, ainsi que la nouvelle présidente de la CCIBC, Mme Anick Cormier, devront composer avec les retombées de la crise et s’armer d’idées pour mieux aider la relance. « On peut saluer le beau travail de Sébastien Dion, qui a changé beaucoup de choses pour l’achat local et qui laisse une belle marque. Les commerçants et les gens de Chambly peuvent être fiers de ce qui a été accompli dans les dernières années », souligne Mme Labbé. « Heureusement, on est bien contents de voir Anik Cormier, qui était déjà au C.A. depuis longtemps, reprendre la présidence. Elle forme avec les deux vice-présidents (Sandrine Milante et Luc Rousseau) un beau trio au comité exécutif. » Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
If you want to freshen up your kitchen, look no further than Grandma’s old casserole dishes. Vintage kitchenware is back in style -– pieces from the mid-20th century painted with flowers, bright colours, and specific functions, such as bracketed chip and dip bowls or four-piece refrigerator storage sets. “I’ve always been an old soul and loved anything old,” said Megan Telfer, a collector of vintage dishes, salt and pepper shakers, cookie jars and “a little bit of everything.” The 26-year-old parole officer from the Dallas area said this hobby started with family. Her grandmother gave her mother a green and white Pyrex “Spring Blossom” mixing bowl. “That’s when my interest was piqued,” Telfer said. Three years later, she has more than 300 pieces of vintage Pyrex, displayed on three large bookcases. Her 5-year-old daughter has some vintage Pyrex, too. “We don’t use 90 per cent of it,” Telfer said. “I display it.” Some collectors buy vintage dishware to try to resell it at a profit, while others are in it for nostalgia. "It reminds them of their mothers, aunts, grandmothers,” said Hope Chudy, owner of Downstairs at Felton Antiques in Waltham, Massachusetts. A year of pandemic lockdowns has led to a surge in home cooking and time spent hanging out in the kitchen. Vintage cookware fits right into that homey, old-fashioned vibe. There are lustrous chili bowls with handles, and casserole dishes set on top of brass candle warmers. These are durable dishes, often smaller than modern serving pieces, that can go from freezer to oven to table. But collectors usually acquire them for enjoyment, not utility. “It really sets your kitchen apart from others,” said Victoria Aude, an interior designer in Canton, Massachusetts. “It’s not an item you can just buy off the shelf at Bloomingdale's.” The old dishes are also nice accents when decorating a room, said Atlanta-based interior designer Beth Halpern Brown. “They can add that quick pop of colour," she said. "You can decorate a wall with them, or put one on display and change the space.” Corning first released a Pyrex dish in 1915. By the 1930s, Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. released its competitor brand Fire-King. But it’s the kitchenware made between 1950 and 1980 that seem to be most popular right now. Jo Adinolfi, a 62-year-old nurse from Shelton, Connecticut, collects Pyrex mixing bowls and stackable refrigerator sets, what collectors affectionately call “fridgies.” She started collecting and selling about 10 years ago and owns more than 2,000 pieces. The mid-20th-century glass bowls and casserole dishes from brands like Fire-King and Pyrex haven’t changed, but their prices have. “The more people that collect, the higher the demand is, the more people are trying to source the right goods to be able to feed that request,” said Stan Savellis, 42, of Sydney, Australia, who has collected vintage kitchenware since his teenage years and runs the online store That Retro Piece. Television and social media have also generated interest. Series like “WandaVision,” “Firefly Lane,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Mad Men" all highlight midcentury kitchens and kitchenware. And then there's social media too, said Vicki Matranga, the design programs co-ordinator for the International Housewares Association and author of the book “America at Home: A Celebration of Twentieth-Century Housewares.” “With everyone at home now, you can look at collections on Facebook or Instagram,” she said. In pre-pandemic days, vintage collectors would meet up at swaps. Now, people are buying and selling on eBay, Etsy, Facebook and other websites. The rarest pieces have sold for thousands of dollars, such as the 1959 “Lucky in Love” covered casserole dish that Goodwill sold for $5,994 in 2017. Still, some enthusiasts simply like the vintage look and sentimentality. “It goes with my house,” said Ashley Linder, 37, of Lake Jackson, Texas. Linder’s vintage collection includes can openers from the 1950s, and they still work. “Fortunately, I have the space to display most of it, though some are seasonal-use,” she said. One of her most treasured finds was a Pyrex “Pink Daisy 045” casserole dish on eBay. It was in great condition, still in the box. “You don’t come across a lot of pink pieces in the box,” she said. She paid $300 for it and messaged the seller in hopes of finding out how it was so well preserved. “The lady had bought an old farmhouse in Nebraska, and it was left there,” she said. “It’s an investment.” Tracee M. Herbaugh, The Associated Press
SAINT-WENCESLAS. Les Loisirs de Saint-Wenceslas invitent les amateurs de raquette et de randonnée pédestre à tester un circuit de 1,4 km. Un essai, s’il est concluant, qui mènerait, possiblement au développement de nouveaux sentiers dans la forêt située au bout de la rue Saint-Arnaud. «On est en campagne et il faut aller en ville pour marcher dans le bois», s’étonnait Éric Thériault. L’entrepreneur, avec l’aide de Mathieu Lessard, l’initiateur de la Course de la conquête du bois, va s’attaquer au problème. «Déjà, le circuit est tracé pour la course à obstacles. On a discuté au comité des loisirs de le rendre accessible cet hiver et, après autorisation de la municipalité, le site était fonctionnel après quelques jours», explique Éric Thériault qui s’assure de l’entretien avec sa motoneige. Accessible à pied ou en raquette, le circuit est pensé tant pour les débutants et les familles que pour ceux qui sont à la recherche d’une expérience plus intense. «On a la rivière Blanche et les arbres sont magnifiques, encore plus avec la neige qui tombe en ce moment, c’est féerique», ajoute Mathieu Lessard. «C’est un site avec beaucoup de potentiel pour les amateurs de plein air qui pourrait être exploité à l’année. C’est un joyau à découvrir», conclut Éric Thériault. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) took another major step in improving high-speed broadband internet access in Eastern Ontario on Monday. Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison, Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk and Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson joined with EORN Chair J. Murray Jones, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Chairwoman Debbie Robinson, Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus Chair Dianne Therrien and wardens and mayors of surrounding regions to send a letter to Laurie Scott, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure and Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, in regards to EORN’s Gig Project proposal. Representing 1.2 million people and thousands of local businesses across the region, the letter explains how COVID-19 has exacerbated the already present frustrations from constituents about the poor or limited access to high-speed broadband services. As the pandemic continues, many citizens of Ontario are experiencing difficulty working from home or accessing online learning platforms reliably due to this issue. “Residents and businesses need to be assured that they will have access to the kinds of technologies that many in large cities already enjoy,” wrote the 21 mayors and wardens. “They also tell us that they want solutions that will last for years to come because they know demand is growing exponentially every year for more and more bandwidth at higher speeds.” The letter acknowledged that there are many ways to tackle the problem and bring broadband infrastructure to homes and businesses across the region and that undertaking this project would be a major commitment for any government. The wardens and mayors collectively expressed their support and the need for all levels of government, along with the private sector, to come together to connect residents and businesses to the right high-speed services that they require and deserve. Expectations among residents and businesses in eastern Ontario continue to rise with the announcement of the provincial ICON program and the federal UBF broadband funding programs. While a regional strategy with a coordinated approach may not be readily available in many areas of Ontario, the letter explains the strong belief that a coordinated, comprehensive regional project for the 113 municipalities of eastern Ontario is the best way to address the challenge of getting the region from 65 per cent coverage with access to even 50/10 speeds to 95 per cent coverage. “We stand ready to push forward with the Gig Project,” stated the letter. “Let EORN be your vehicle to connect the more than 550,000 premises across eastern Ontario that deserve the same fibre optic technology that is available in most large cities today.” Quick, efficient and effective, Eastern Regional Ontario Network is a non-profit organization that addresses the digital divide by improving rural connectivity and supporting economic growth. The organizations represented in the letter understand the critical importance of access to world-class broadband technologies to local economies. The letter closed by asking the addressed ministers Scott and Monsef to partner with and help fund the EORN Gig Project set in motion. Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
With its support in polls dropping, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party is considering changes to electoral laws which could rescue its prospects in elections due to be held by 2023, three AK Party officials say. Polls show combined support for the AK Party and its MHP ally has fallen to just 45%. For the first time, pollsters say, disenchanted supporters who drifted away from the AK Party appear unlikely to be won back.
WARSAW, Poland — A Polish court on Tuesday acquitted three activists who had been accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for producing and distributing images of a revered Roman Catholic icon altered to include the LGBT rainbow. The posters, which they distributed in the city of Plock in 2019, used rainbows as halos in an image of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. Their aim was to protest what they considered the hostility of Poland’s influential Catholic Church toward LGBT people. The court in the city of Plock did not see evidence of a crime and found that the activists were not motivated by a desire to offend anyone’s religious feelings, but rather wanted to defend those facing discrimination, according to Polish media. The conservative group that brought the case, the Life and Family Foundation, said it planned to appeal. “Defending the honour of the Mother of God is the responsibility of each of us, and the guilt of the accused is indisputable,” the group’s founder, Kaja Godek, said on Facebook. “The courts of the Republic of Poland should protect (Catholics) from violence, including by LGBT activists.” The case was seen in Poland as a freedom of speech test under a deeply conservative government that has been pushing back against secularization and liberal views. Abortion has been another flashpoint in the country after the recent introduction of a near-total ban on it. One defendant, Elzbieta Podlesna, said when the trial opened in January that the 2019 action in Plock was spurred by an installation at the city's St. Dominic's Church that associated LGBT people with crime and sins. She and the other two activists — Anna Prus and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar — faced up to two years of prison if found guilty. An LGBT rights group, Love Does Not Exclude, welcomed the ruling as a “breakthrough.” “This is a triumph for the LGBT+ resistance movement in the most homophobic country of the European Union,” it said. The image involved an alteration of Poland’s most-revered icon, the Mother of God of Czestochowa, popularly known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. The original has been housed at the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa — Poland's holiest Catholic site — since the 14th century. Podlesna told the Onet news portal that the desecration provision in the penal code "leaves a door open to use it against people who think a bit differently. “I still wonder how the rainbow — a symbol of diversity and tolerance — offends these feelings. I cannot understand it, especially since I am a believer,” Podlesna told Onet. Podlesna was arrested in an early morning police raid on her apartment in 2019, held for several hours and questioned over the posters. A court later said the detention was unnecessary and ordered damages of about $2,000 awarded to her. Because of all the attention the altered icon has received, it is now a very recognized image in Poland, one sometimes seen at street protests. Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
Ontario reported another 966 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as debate continues around whether the province should expand the time between vaccine doses to speed up its immunization efforts. The new cases include 253 in Toronto, 223 in Peel Region and 99 in York Region. Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were: Ottawa: 64 Waterloo Region: 46 Thunder Bay: 39 Simcoe Muskoka: 36 Durham Region: 34 Halton Region: 32 Hamilton: 23 Windsor-Essex: 23 Sudbury: 19 Brant County: 13 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 13 Lambton: 11 (Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health'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 on a given day, because local units report figures at different times.) The seven-day average of daily cases fell slightly to 1,098. The cases come as Ontario's lab network processed 30,767 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a test positivity rate of 2.9 per cent. Seven more cases of the virus variant first found in the United Kingdom were confirmed through whole genome sequencing, bringing the total in Ontario so far to 542. However, coronavirus variants remain tied to several outbreaks, including one at a Toronto school. The Ministry of Education also reported 262 further school-related cases: 231 students, 30 staff members and one person who was not identified. According to the Ministry of Health, there were 677 people with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Of those, 284 were being treated in intensive care, four more than yesterday, and 189 required a ventilator to breathe. With 11 additional deaths in today's update, Nearly 7,000 people with COVID-19 have now died in Ontario. As of yesterday evening, the official death toll stood at 6,997. The seven-day average of deaths, however, has decreased in the wake of the province giving out first doses of vaccines to residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes. Health units administered 22,326 shots yesterday. A total of 264,896 people have now received both doses of a vaccine and are considered fully immunized. Ontario explores extending time between vaccine doses Public health officials in Ontario are currently exploring whether the interval between doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be extended. The move would allow for more first jabs to be given out more quickly, and single doses of both have been shown to impart considerable immunity to the virus. Yesterday, British Columbia's provincial health officer said that the province would extend the time between doses to four months, with the goal of giving all of its residents who want one a first dose by July (B.C.'s population is just over five million.) Dr. Bonnie Henry said the change is based on the "miraculous" protection offered by a single shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which can be up to about 90 per cent. Quebec has similarly increased the interval between shots to 90 days. Internationally, both the United Kingdom and Israel have also allowed for more generous timing between shots. Other jurisdictions, such as the U.S., are for now sticking with the recommended 21 and 28 day intervals dictated by clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, respectively. Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones released a joint statement Monday, saying the province has sought guidance from the federal government and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on whether it should follow B.C. WATCH | Vaccine task force member Dr. Isaac Bogoch on extending time between doses: Throughout Phase 1 of Ontario's ongoing vaccination campaign, second doses were delayed up to 42 days for some cohorts. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician and member of Ontario's vaccine task force, said that given the urgency of the vaccination effort, people should expect to see more discussion about how long a second shot can wait. "Quite frankly, this is a public health emergency and that's why many jurisdictions are starting to delay that second dose and that's why I think you will see the debate raging around how far we can extend that second dose," he told CBC News Network. Bogoch added that there is "emerging data" from multiple places and sources to support increasing the interval. Seniors wait to enter a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Brampton. Peel Region is one of several public health units that began offering first doses to people 80 years and older this week, ahead of the provincial government's official start date. Speaking to reporters at Queen's Park today, Elliott said her ministry is "anxiously awaiting" the results of NACI's review of Ontario's request. "We've been following the recommendations of NACI and Health Canada at every step along the way. We want to make sure that the decisions that Ontario makes are based on science," she continued. Re-visit guidance on AstraZeneca vaccine, expert says Meanwhile, there is also continued debate over NACI's guidance on the recently-approved AstraZeneca vaccine. NACI said late last week that it is not recommending the vaccine for those 65 years old and above. The committee argued that AstraZeneca's clinical trials did not provide enough data on the efficacy of the vaccine for that age group. Evidence from the U.K. however, suggests that a single dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine is "extremely effective" at limiting severe illness and death from COVID-19 for those aged 65 and older, said infectious disease specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti. In an interview with CBC Radio's Metro Morning, Chakrabarti said he believes NACI's decision is short-sighted and could actually contribute to vaccine hesitancy for those offered the AstraZeneca product. "People have it in their minds that AstraZeneca is an inferior vaccine and I don't blame them because the messaging around this has been very poor," he told host Ismaila Alfa. LISTEN | Infectious disease expert on NACI's AstraZeneca guidance: In Europe, France and Germany had previously announced they would also limit AstraZeneca doses to those younger than 65. Yesterday, however, France reversed it's decision, citing evidence from other jurisdictions. Getting a first dose of vaccine to as many people as possible is "our ticket out of the pandemic," Chakrabarti said. "Right now, as it stands, I would get any vaccine that is offered so that we can vaccinate as many people as possible," he added. That includes the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite limited data from the clinical trials themselves. "We're in a public health emergency and I think that sometimes a little bit of uncertainty is going to be there." Elliott said she anticipates Ontario's first doses of AstraZeneca to begin arriving next week, though she could not say how many are expected in the initial shipment.
Le Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (CEE-UQAC) a remis plus de 1000 $ à la communauté étudiante postsecondaire du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, dans le cadre de son concours Idée d’affaires. Le but de cette initiative est de stimuler l’esprit entrepreneurial des étudiants. Ils n’ont aucune obligation de se lancer en affaires pour ce concours, c’est leurs idées qui comptent. Pour cette 23e édition du concours, 26 projets ont été soumis au jury composé d’Émilie Lavoie Gagnon, de la RUCHE Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, de Karine Jean, de l’INKUB Desjardins, et de Joanne Doucet, de la Suite entrepreneuriale à Alma. Le CEE-UQAC était fier de souligner que la pandémie ne semblait pas avoir freiné la motivation entrepreneuriale des étudiants. Le concours était ouvert à tous les étudiants et diplômés de moins de cinq ans, professeurs, chargés de cours de l’UQAC pour sa catégorie universitaire. Pour la catégorie collégiale, les mêmes critères s’appliquent pour tous les étudiants, diplômés, professeurs et chargés de cours de l’un des collèges de la région. Le premier prix universitaire a été attribué à Marc-André Girard, un étudiant libre. Son projet intitulé FoodBrawl lui a valu la somme de 750 $. D’ailleurs, les projets sont confidentiels, seuls leurs noms sont dévoilés. Laurie Simard, étudiante au doctorat en biologie, a raflé le deuxième prix, qui était accompagné d’une bourse de 250 $, pour son projet Programme COGNi-ACTif. Son équipe était composée de Tommy Chevrette, Martin Lavallière, Julie Bouchard et de Yan Breuleux. Le prix Coup de cœur est allé au projet TrépAnimal de Pierre-Yves Glidden et de Patrick Dubé. Quant au prix collégial, accompagné d’une bourse de 250 $, il est allé à Fabrice Tremblay, qui étudie en AEC Programmeur-Analyste au Collège Multihexa. Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Army has launched a new recruiting campaign that targets prospective soldiers who want to live and work in Alaska. Previously, soldiers could only request assignment to Alaska after completing basic training, KTUU-TV reported Sunday. Now, they can ask recruiters to be sent to the state. Alaska provides some of the harshest winter U.S. military training regimens, the television station reported. “That’s good for us because we’re trying to build soldiers that have some of these skills,” said Major General Peter Andrysiak. “That’s a key component of what we’re doing. They’re more apt to thrive.” The Army is researching other ways to provide incentives for prospective soldiers who would move to Alaska, Andrysiak said. “If we’re going to ask soldiers and families to live here and endure some of the challenging winters, we’re looking at opportunities for how to improve that,” Andrysiak said. The Associated Press
The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on senior Russian government officials and Russian entities in response to what U.S. officials said was Moscow's attempt to kill opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent. The announcement, made by senior Biden administration officials, marked a sharp turn away from former President Donald Trump's reluctance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin. Navalny fell ill on a flight in Siberia in August and was airlifted to Germany, where doctors concluded he had been poisoned with a nerve agent.