Blowing snow lowers visibility in the Newfoundland neighbourhood.
Blowing snow lowers visibility in the Newfoundland neighbourhood.
OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Canada will appeal a Federal Court ruling that limits First Nations' ability to postpone the election of chiefs and councils during the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said.The department developed regulations last year to allow First Nation councils to delay elections and extend the terms of their chiefs and councillors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Miller said the regulations help First Nations avoid a critical governance gap that might be caused by their inability to hold elections during the pandemic. "First Nations have used these regulations as a key tool to help manage COVID-19 risks within their communities," Miller said in a statement. Early this month, the Federal Court ruled that a section of the regulations, related to custom election codes, is invalid.Miller said his department decided to appeal the ruling to ensure First Nations, Inuit and Métis have the authority to delay their elections."We want to ensure that communities continue to have the necessary resources and tools available to them to manage the ongoing public health situation in a way that prioritizes the well-being of their communities."Between April 8, 2020, and March 22, 2021, 116 First Nations used the regulations to postpone elections to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks.During the same period, 36 First Nations held elections under the Indian Act, 15 under the First Nations Elections Act and 65 under a community or custom process.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021.———This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
Brett Langdeau used to take the bus every day to his job at Home Depot in Coquitlam, B.C. But that all changed once the pandemic hit. "A large part of it was due to fear. I didn't want to be in an enclosed space with a bunch of other people," said Langdeau, who would take the bus from his home in the city. He borrowed his parent's car and has been driving to work ever since. Experts say Langdeau's story is common, and it's one of the reasons traffic levels are high in Metro Vancouver even though many people are still working from home. And traffic volume, they warn, will most likely exceed pre-pandemic levels as confidence in taking transit recovers slowly, even as more people get vaccinated and return to the workplace. Recent data from TransLink shows that crossings on three major bridges in Metro Vancouver owned by the transit authority — Golden Ears, Pattullo and Knight Street — are within 10 per cent of pre-COVID volume. The data from the transit authority compares the average number of weekday crossings every month from the beginning of 2019 until March 2021. On the Pattullo Bridge between New Westminster and Surrey, there was a definitive drop in crossings in the first few months of the pandemic, but traffic volume quickly rebounded. Last month, an average of 62,078 vehicles crossed the span on weekdays — only around five per cent less than the figure for February 2020, the month before sweeping pandemic restrictions were introduced. It's a similar story on the Knight Street Bridge between Vancouver and Richmond, where there were an average of 94,166 daily crossings on weekdays in February, a decrease of only nine per cent compared to February 2020. Meanwhile, last month, the Golden Ears Bridge connecting Langley with Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge saw its highest number of average weekday crossings since August 2019, at 67,174. While traffic levels are high on the roads, there's been a huge decrease in ridership of about 60 per cent on transit, according to TransLink. The pandemic caused a big disruption in travel behaviour, says SFU associate professor of health sciences Dr. Meghan Winters. "A lot of people did shift their travel modes. People who had choices stopped using transit. StatsCan data says that three-quarters of those people went to drive in their private vehicles," she said. Winters says people's travel behaviours generally only shift due to big disruptions in their lives like buying a house, finding a new romantic partner, retiring — or a global pandemic. "The kind of interruption or disruption we saw with the COVID lockdown was completely unprecedented," she said. Learned habits could lead to congestion Congestion levels on major crossings are something TransLink is keeping a close eye on, especially as transit ridership numbers have plummeted. "People are not sharing small spaces. Whether that be shared rides, carpooling, or on transit," said Geoff Cross, vice-president of planning and policy at TransLink. It's a problem Winters doesn't see going away once we are all vaccinated. Transit riders have developed new learned habits through the pandemic, she says — and she's not convinced vaccinations will be a big enough event to push them back to shared transit options. "When we are all vaccinated ... it's not going to feel like that same disruption. So it's not going to have that same kind of intervention feeling. And, I would say, it's likely that people will be slow to make those behaviour changes," said Winters. There were more than 62,000 crossings on the Pattullo Bridge in March 2021.(CBC) With traffic levels already close to normal, she predicts the return to in-office work and in-classroom studies will equal major congestion on the Lower Mainland's roads. "There's not capacity on our roads. We were in a state of congestion that was having social and economic impacts pre-COVID," said Winters. 'Robust' recovery in ridership predicted Once the government says it's safe to encourage larger numbers back to transit, Cross says TransLink expects some hesitancy over the first few months as riders test their comfort levels, but he's confident ridership will rebound. "We do believe that there will be a very rapid and robust recovery into 2022," he said, adding that congestion on the roads over the first few months post-vaccination could actually encourage more people to return to taking the bus or SkyTrain. He says the team is preparing a campaign to welcome riders back and convince them of the system's safety. Geoff Cross, vice-president of planning and policy at TransLink, says people no longer feel comfortable sharing tight spaces like buses and SkyTrain cars during the pandemic. But he's confident ridership in the transit system will rebound.(Maggie MacPherson) The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy — which is responsible for TransLink — says it's looking to the transit authority to convince the public to, once again, ditch their vehicles. "We are confident that British Columbians will make increasing use of transit as we emerge from the pandemic," it said in a statement. But Langdeau says his return to transit will be decided by the numbers, even if he has been vaccinated. "If we have a transmission rate that's going up, I would be hesitant to get on the bus at all," he said.
Dozens of troop carriers and missile launchers sit on flatbed wagons lining up along tracks running through southern Russia, in a region bordering Ukraine. Ukraine and Western countries accuse Russia of sending troops and heavy weapons to support proxy fighters who seized a swathe of the eastern Donbass region in 2014. Moscow denies it is part of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and says it provides only humanitarian and political support to the separatists.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, warned Canadians on Friday that "the race" between COVID-19 vaccines and variant cases is at a "critical point."
VANCOUVER — People camping and living in a Vancouver park will have until the end of the month to pack up their tents. Vancouver's park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30. Donnie Rosa said the order builds on the board's work to take back bits of the park for the community. "The intention is the encampment doesn't grow and these folks are going to be moved indoors over the next few weeks," Rosa said. A statement accompanying the order called the shut down a "necessary next step" to return the park to community use. The order comes after the province, city and park board signed a formal agreement this week to end the 10-month encampment that has swelled to roughly 400 tents. The encampment has faced criticism from a local neighbourhood association, which alleges it has become a source of crime and violence. "There are a number of people in our neighbourhood that feel quite traumatized by the experience they've gone through in the last 10 months. I'm certain there's a section of the camp population that is as well," said Katie Lewis, the vice-president of the Strathcona Residents' Association. She said it's been a long 10 months of dealing with the encampment, and she's looking forward to the park being accessible to the wider community. "I'm looking forward to kids playing in the park, I'm looking forward to seeing the Chinese elders do their tai chi there in the morning," Lewis said. "It's a pretty magical place and I'm so looking forward to seeing it thrive again." Chrissy Brett, a spokeswoman for the encampment, said campers haven't yet decided if they'll abide by the order. "It is definitely a colonial response," she said. Brett said the campers want to see the development of an urban reserve or co-op, which would allow them to camp outside if desired. Earlier this month, the British Columbia government announced it had bought three more hotels with a total of 249 units to help house the homeless. About 114 units are expected to be available soon. The campers moved into Strathcona Park after the Vancouver Port Authority won a court injunction requiring them to leave nearby Crab Park. They previously camped at Oppenheimer Park, which was shut down by the B.C. government after nearly two years over fears of COVID-19 spreading. Rosa acknowledged the possibility of the campers following the previous pattern of moving to a new location, but said the board's new bylaw to restrict when tents can be in parks could impact that movement. "We're working on our plans to make sure we're enforcing our park control bylaw," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021. Nick Wells, The Canadian Press
Rising COVID-19 case numbers means it's "more likely than not" that schools will remain closed after the end of next week's spring break, Ottawa's medical officer of health says. Dr. Vera Etches delivered that news with "a heavy heart" during a city media briefing Friday afternoon. "I know how important schools are to the health of the community," Etches said. "Closing schools will underline the seriousness of the situation and will assist people to stay home as much as possible." Along with the rest of Ontario, Ottawa is now under a stay-at-home order until at least early May as cases surge during the pandemic's third wave. City health officials also reported new 242 COVID-19 cases on Friday, a one-day record. School transmission stable The fate of elementary and secondary schools would likely be decided by next Wednesday, Etches said. Certain details, including how child-care centres would operate, still need to be worked out. Etches maintained transmission in schools isn't "out of control," with the majority of cases connected to someone else who'd caught COVID-19 in the wider community. "There have been new school outbreaks this week, but the overall number of outbreaks has remained fairly stable, and it's still a minority of schools that are affected by people testing positive," she said. "My heart is heavy because I know how important schools are to the health of our community."
Hong Kong authorities said on Friday they had seized nearly 9,000 Thai cleaning products suspected to have wrong labelling from a shop founded by a pro-democracy activist facing charges under the city's contentious national security law. Customs officers on Thursday raided 25 shops belonging to the chain, AbouThai, and arrested a 33-year-old male director of the group, the government said in a statement. "The product information marked on the packages of the products involved failed to bear Chinese and English bilingual warnings or cautions," it said, adding the estimated market value of the 8,805 products seized was about HK$400,000 ($51,400).
MOSCOW — The Kremlin said Friday it fears a resumption of full-scale fighting in eastern Ukraine and could take steps to protect Russian civilians there, a stark warning that comes amid a Russian troop build-up along the border. The statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, reflected the Kremlin’s determination to prevent Ukraine from using force to try to retake control over separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine's military chief dismissed the Russian claims that the country's armed forces are preparing for an attack on the rebel east. Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since shortly after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. More than 14,000 people have died in the conflict, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement have stalled. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of sending in troops and weapons to help separatists, accusations that Moscow has denied. The White House says Russia now has more troops on its border with Ukraine than at any time since 2014. Russia also claimed that it had to protect Russian-speakers in Crimea when it sent troops into the Black Sea peninsula and then annexed it in March 2014 following a hastily-called public vote. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday after visiting troops in the east that 26 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed so far this year. Increasingly frequent breaches of a July truce agreement mean that “we again face the need to establish a cease-fire,” Zelenskyy said. The separatist authorities in Donetsk said 20 troops and 2 civilians have been killed this year. Western and Ukrainian officials have raised concerns in recent weeks about increasingly frequent cease-fire violations in the country’s industrial heartland. They also expressed worries about the Russian troop build-up along the border with Ukraine. The concerns appeared to intensify Friday as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to his French and German counterparts about the matter. The State Department said Blinken, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed the need for Russia to cease its military build-up and heated rhetoric. During a call with Putin on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel “called for the removal of these troop reinforcements in order to achieve a de-escalation of the situation.” Peskov said Russia is free to deploy its troops wherever it wants on its territory. He accused the Ukrainian military of an “escalation of provocative actions” along the line of control in the east that threatens Russia's security. “The Kremlin has fears that a civil war could resume in Ukraine. And if a civil war, a full-scale military action, resumes near our borders that would threaten the Russian Federation's security,” Peskov said. “The ongoing escalation of tensions is quite unprecedented.” In Kyiv, Col.-Gen. Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, rejected Moscow's claims of the alleged Ukrainian preparations for an offensive in the east as part of a “disinformation campaign” and a “hybrid war.” The Russian military, meanwhile, said its scouts have trained for missions behind enemy lines during the latest drills in the Belgorod region that borders Ukraine. And in the Black Sea, the Russian navy's missile boats have practiced striking enemy ships. Dmitry Kozak, a Putin aide who serves as Russia’s top negotiator with Kyiv, warned Ukraine on Thursday against using force to retake control of the east, where many residents have Russian citizenship. Such a move would mark “the beginning of an end for Ukraine,” he said, adding that Russia would likely act to protect its citizens. Asked about Kozak’s comment, Peskov alleged that virulent nationalist rhetoric in Ukraine was inflaming hatred against the mostly Russian-speaking population of the east. He claimed that if civilians in eastern Ukraine faced the threat of a massacre, “all countries, including Russia, will take steps to prevent such tragedies.” A Turkish Foreign Ministry official said Friday the United States has notified Turkey that two U.S. warships will sail to the Black Sea on April 14 and April 15 and stay there until May 4 and May 5. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules. Such visits by the U.S. and other NATO ships have vexed Moscow, which long has bristled at Ukraine's efforts to build up defence ties with the West and its aspirations to eventually join NATO. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned Friday that Ukraine's NATO bid “wouldn't only lead to a massive escalation of the situation in the southeast but could also entail irreversible consequences for the Ukrainian statehood.” ___ This story corrects that Russia said in 2014 it had to protect Russian-speakers in Crimea, not Russian civilians. ___ Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
HALIFAX — Health officials in Nova Scotia are speeding up the province's COVID-19 vaccination program, saying all residents should get their first dose two months sooner than originally planned. All Nova Scotians who want a vaccination should be able to get their first shot by late June, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang announced Friday. The original target was September. "It's quite strange to be in Atlantic Canada these days," Strang said. "We are lifting restrictions while others are significantly locking down in other parts of the country." The earlier target was made possible by the fact that science has changed regarding the maximum time limit between first and second vaccinations. With a longer gap possible, more people can get their first vaccination sooner. "We'll move much more quickly through our priority age groups," Strang told reporters. He also announced that as of Friday, Nova Scotians 65 years of age and older are eligible to receive their first dose — a big expansion of the eligible group. Vaccination appointments for this group can be booked online at community clinics and participating pharmacy and primary care clinics that offer the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Prior to the changes announced Friday, vaccination appointments were limited to people aged 70 and over. As well, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is still available for those 55 to 64 years old. Health officials expected 40,000 doses would be administered this week and another 50,000 next week. Nova Scotia has faced some criticism for placing last among the provinces in term of its vaccination rates. Premier Iain Rankin said the province posted a record Thursday when 8,503 doses were administered, bringing the total to 138,348. As well, he said 96.2 per cent of health-care workers have received either one or two doses. "Nova Scotia is a leader is this area," he told a COVID-19 briefing in Halifax. "And we are also a leader in long-term care vaccinations, with all (residents) expected to be vaccinated by the end of April with two doses." The province reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including one case in the northern zone related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. The second case was reported in the central zone, which includes Halifax, and was under investigation. Nova Scotia had 41 active reported cases as of Friday. Noting that the majority of new cases in Nova Scotia have been related to travel outside Atlantic Canada, Strang announced some new guidelines. The province is now "strongly recommending" COVID-19 testing for travellers who have arrived from outside the region and are still in isolation. These people should get tested within two days of their arrival and again when their isolation period is about to end, on Day 12, 13 or 14, he said. As well, those exempt from the isolation requirements, including airline crew members and military personnel, should get tested three times, Strang said. Meanwhile, there have been complaints that getting an appointment for a vaccination has become difficult, but Strang called for calm, saying appointment slots will be added as the vaccine supply increases. "I'm encouraged that so many Nova Scotians want to get vaccinated, but I'm asking for patience," he said. "We need to find the resolve and resilience to keep doing what is keeping us safe and making an example worldwide." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
More than four years after her son's death, Sherry Pollard appeared in a Corner Brook courtroom Thursday to read aloud her victim impact statement, at times breaking down as she put her pain into paragraphs. She spoke of the short life of Justyn Pollard, and her grief without him, via a video link, wearing a T-shirt with his image and a locket around her neck containing his ashes. "I wear it every day. I don't go anywhere without it," Pollard told CBC News after the day's court proceedings wrapped. It was a morning of submissions to the Supreme Court to help determine the sentence for Thomas Whittle, convicted of three charges for the snowmobile crash that killed Justyn, including driving the snowmobile dangerously and drunk in the early morning of Feb. 19, 2017. Justyn Pollard, 21, was riding behind Whittle when it crashed into a taxi van on the bridge to Humber Valley Resort. Pollard died from his injuries soon afterward, but the legal proceedings stemming from the crash continue to play out, with Thursday marking the first day Sherry Pollard could detail her and her family's heartbreak. "I felt I needed to tell my side, of how much pain we've gone through with this ordeal. We lost an only child. We lost an only nephew. An only grandchild," she said, a framed picture of Justyn surrounded by her, his uncle and grandmother — all of whom submitted victim impact statements to the court on Thursday — hanging beside her. Justyn remains both a presence and absence in her life. His childhood ukulele stands as one of the many reminders of him in her home, and friends of his still message her with memories. But those remnants are all she has left, and in contrast she said the losses Whittle talked about during the trial didn't compare. "He talked about losing his job and his friends, and these are material things. We lost a soul. And that's not replaceable," she said. 'There was no empathy' Whittle maintained throughout his trial it had been Justyn Pollard's hands steering the snowmobile at the time of the crash, despite Whittle sitting in the front seat. He also said the two had switched positions several times, a version of that night that Sherry Pollard said doesn't square with the son she raised. He was meticulous with his belongings, from keeping his sneakers spotless to caring for his French bulldog — and with no experience with snowmobiles, she said, he would never have driven one after a night of drinking. "There's no way Justyn was going to drive that Ski-Doo that night. Especially being impaired. He just wasn't careless that way," she said. The fact that he wasn't wearing a helmet "I thought was just beyond incomprehensible at first," she said, later accepting it as "just stupid." During her victim impact statement, she tearfully implored people to always wear theirs. Beyond the details of the night, Pollard said Whittle's comportment during the court proceedings was rude, and inconsiderate. He represented himself throughout, and on Thursday, Whittle was at times terse and dismissive, using his final moment of addressing the court to say to Justice George Murphy, "You're gonna do what you want anyway." "I thought he was extremely disrespectful. I found through the whole trial he was very disrespectful, he was very quick to say stuff to the judge that floored me," Pollard said. Thomas Whittle of Conception Bay South was convicted in January of all three charges he faced connected to the crash. He's scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.(Lindsay Bird/CBC) Whittle did apologize to the family on Thursday, saying he was remorseful and sorry for their pain and loss. Pollard doesn't buy it. "There was no remorse, there was no empathy," she said. "There was no feeling behind that apology. and to just throw it in at the end, as an afterthought, is pretty much how it felt to me." But even as Pollard struggles with her continued pain, she hopes for a future for Whittle, and that his time behind bars will serve a purpose. "I hope he's going to get some help for his actions, and he's gonna come out, I hope, a better man. and move on with his life," she said. She hopes he will get married, have children and his mother becomes a grandmother — all things denied to her and her son. "I don't get any of those things, you know, and I felt … that he needed to hear that. He needed to hear that this is what [he's] done to me." Whittle will be sentenced on Monday. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The proportion of relatively younger Saskatchewan COVID-19 patients under intensive care in Regina has grown at an alarming rate in recent days, says the province's chief medical officer. Dr. Susan Shaw of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) tweeted new intensive care statistics for the city's hospitals on Friday morning, following a virtual town hall attended by SHA physicians on Thursday night. Up-to-date statistics about the COVID-19 situation in Saskatchewan are usually shared among doctors during those sessions and eventually posted online by the SHA. "I work in our ICUs. I follow our numbers throughout each and every day. I know we are seeing younger people admitted to ICU due to #COVID19SK. And this graph still made my jaw drop," Shaw's post read. Shaw included a slide from Thursday night's town hall presentation that broke down Regina's daily count of COVID-19 patients under intensive care by age group from early March to April 8. It showed a considerable bump in the number of patients aged 40 to 59 (shown in orange bars) compared to other age groups, as well as an uptick in patients aged 20 to 39 (blue bars). (Susan Shaw/Twitter) The findings come as cities like Regina face a rising tide of COVID-19 variants, which have been shown to be more transmissible among young people compared to the regular strain of COVID-19. As of Thursday, 206 Saskatchewan people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province, including 41 in ICUs. More than half of the ICU patients, 25, were in the Regina area. Health Minister Paul Merriman said Thursday that while Regina ICUs are at capacity, there remains room to send patients to Saskatoon if needed. Overall hospitalizations decreased in first quarter, but context is key Earlier this week, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, shared slides of his own at a COVID-19 news conference he co-hosted with Merriman. The slides covered the first quarter of 2021 only. One slide showed that overall hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Saskatchewan decreased from January to March. (Government of Saskatchewan) Alex Wong, an infectious diseases specialist and practising physician at Regina General Hospital, said context was important when looking at that slide. "[There's] no question that the data is accurate, but it's misleading if you take it at face value," Wong said. "The majority of the hospitalizations right now are in one place [Regina]. They are not spread out throughout the province. We have never surged like this in [Regina], and if we're still trending upwards in terms of cases here, the rest of the province is going to be in big trouble when it hits everywhere else." Wong said the higher hospitalization numbers in January were distributed evenly across the province. "Central and northern Saskatchewan haven't even begun to feel this," Wong said. "It would be more meaningful to show [Regina] hospitalizations only as a way to understand what the rest of the province is truly in for." READ | The province's full presentation Wednesday on COVID-19 in the province during the first quarter of 2021. Prevention is key, Shaw says Shaw also had a message for people. "We can make COVID-19 pneumonia a preventable disease," she tweeted. "There is no cure better than prevention." At the news conference earlier this week, Moe said, "the only strategy through the pandemic is vaccines."
Los Angeles County plans to return prime beachfront property to descendants of a Black couple who built a seaside resort for African Americans but suffered racist harassment and were stripped of it by local city leaders a century ago. (April 9)
A small neighbourhood in the West Kootenay has been left in limbo after the only bridge providing access to it was deemed unsafe for large fire trucks to cross. In January, property owners along Pass Creek's Mountain Ridge Road — about seven kilometres north of Castlegar, B.C. — received a letter from Nora Hannon, the fire chief of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), stating a 25-year-old privately-maintained bridge — which connects Pass Creek and Mountain Ridge Roads — doesn't have an engineer-verified load rating that certifies it's strong enough for heavy fire rescue equipment. "Effective immediately, Pass Creek Fire [Services] will not cross the bridge with large fire apparatus and will not be providing fire suppression to residents in the Mountain Ridge Road area," Hannon said in the letter released Jan. 15. "The safety of RDCK Pass Creek firefighters is paramount. Should further information become available on an engineered current load rating, the RDCK will reconsider this decision," the letter said. Skyrocketing home insurance premiums Vanessa Terwoort, representing the Mountain Ridge Road Users Cooperative Association, says district fire services discovered the bridge's situation after a homeowner in her neighbourhood applied for fire protection. Terwoort says after the fire chief's decision home insurance premiums for the 22 homes along the 700-metre pathway jumped 30 to 60 per cent. "If you do have a house fire, it'll be a complete loss," she said Wednesday to Chris Walker, the host of CBC's Daybreak South. "There won't be anything to save it." In a follow-up letter to Terwoort in March, the RDCK said Mountain Ridge Road has no fire hydrants, which means firefighters have to cross the bridge multiple times to replenish their water supply. Aerial view of the bridge connecting Pass Creek Road and Mountain Ridge Road.(Submitted by Vanessa Terwoort) Terwoort says Mountain Ridge Road property owners hired an engineer in 2012 to assess the bridge's load rating. The structure's maximum capacity was determined to be a seven-axle truck, which she says is more than double the weight of a fire truck. But Regional District of Central Kootenay Fire Services didn't recognize the certification because the engineer no longer works with the company that issued the load rating certification, according to Terwoort. "The decision was then made without a formal review, without a site visit, without hazard risk assessment," she said. "Because the load rating couldn't be confirmed nor denied, it was being considered unsafe and effective immediately, we would no longer have fire protection to our homes." Terwoort says she and fellow homeowners still have to pay property taxes, part of which are used to cover fire services. Early this week, they decided to spend $150,000 to build a new bridge to replace the existing one — in the hope of getting fire services restored. Medical services will continue The district's chief administrative officer, Stuart Horn, says he's mulling over the homeowners' request for property tax furlough until October, the time when the new bridge construction is expected to be complete. Horn also says first responder medical services from the fire department will continue. "We will be looking at everything we can do to support the community as they get this bridge replaced," he said Thursday on Daybreak South. Tap the link below to hear Vanessa Terwoort's interview on Daybreak South: Tap the link below to hear Stuart Horn's interview on Daybreak South:
Tyler Gambln, the 20-year-old Saint John man who stabbed a friend to death last summer, apologized Friday to the victim's family. When asked at his sentencing hearing if he had anything to say, Gamblin turned to Nathan Gallant's family in the courtroom. "I'm sorry for what I did," he said. "I hope you guys forgive me." Gamblin was originally charged with second-degree murder in the July 8 death of Gallant, 29, but pleaded guilty in January to the lesser offence of manslaughter. He will be sentenced April 16. On Friday, Crown prosecutor Chris Titus asked the court to consider a sentence in the range of eight to 10 years. Defence lawyer Wesley McIntosh asked for considerably less, although he did not mention the range in open court. Justice Darrell Stephenson said he wanted to "take a few days to formulate my thoughts," although he did tell the defence that he "couldn't go there," referring to the sentence proposed by McIntosh. After a day of drinking and smoking marijuana last summer, Gamblin stabbed his friend six times and left him in the ditch on the side of the road near St. Martins. (RCMP) Several members of Gallant's family read their victim impact statements in court. His sister, Kyla Gallant, said she was so shaken by her brother's death that she missed work for six months and had to go to counselling. "Even after seeking help, I'm still finding it hard to piece my life back together and make it through a work day without breaking down." She finished by saying, "I miss you every day, Nathan." Gallant's mother, Diana Hachey, told the court that "grief has become my daily routine." Members of Gallant's family leave the Saint John courthouse on Friday afternoon. From left are his aunt, sister, father and grandmother. (Roger Cosman/CBC) "Living outside my body is the only way I can get through my days," she said. Gallant's aunt, Lisa Gallant, said the family is "physically and emotionally broken." She said her nephew spent several years in the army, but left because he missed his family. She said he was "caring, considerate and would literally give you the shirt off his back." Victim left in the ditch The court heard that Gamblin stabbed Nathan Gallant six times in the ribs after a day of drinking and "smoking weed." According to an agreed statement of facts, Gamblin was at home with his ex-girlfriend Bryanna McGaghey on July 8, when he contacted Gallant in the afternoon to ask if they could hang out. At around 5:30 p.m., the trio, along with Bailey Basque, who was driving, headed to Fairfield, near St. Martins. Along the way, Gamblin and Gallant were "bickering and arguing" about McGaghey, according to the statement of facts. While at their destination, they started getting physical and play wrestling. Kyla Gallant said her brother was a proud member of the gunner community.(Submitted by Kyla Gallant) On the way back, Gallant, who was in the front seat, was "intensely staring" and smiling at McGaghey, who was seated in the rear, behind the driver. At one point, he "lunged" at her. Gamblin told police on July 23 that Gallant was harassing McGaghey. When Gallant continued, Gamblin said, he "snapped" and stabbed him. Basque pulled over to the shoulder, and Gamblin pulled Gallant out of the vehicle and left him on the side of the road. Gamblin soon took off, hiding in the woods that night and eluding police for 15 days.
Two employees working at two different city-operated mass immunization clinics have tested positive for COVID-19. In a news release issued by Toronto Public Health (TPH) Friday, the city said one of the employees worked at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre clinic between April 2 and 5. The other staff member was on-site at the Scarborough Town Centre clinic from March 31 to April 2. "The risk to the general public who attended the clinics is extremely low," the news release reads. The employees and those who may have come into contact with them were all wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and maintained physical distancing, TPH said. Measures to ensure the safety of clinic staff and those with appointments for vaccination have been taken, the city says. "As a precaution, anyone who was at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre clinic between April 2 and 5 or the Scarborough Town Centre between March 31 and April 2 should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after their visit," TPH advised. Any staff who may have come into contact with the individuals who tested positive have been informed and are following public health direction. TPH says the clinics have been cleaned and sanitized and are carefully following safety measures. All clinic operations are continuing and those with confirmed appointments should still attend at their scheduled time, the health unit says.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise domestically and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people in the U.S. about international travel to Canada.
As speculation about his political future heats up, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney made it clear Friday that he's a big-L Liberal supporter who will do "whatever" he can to advance the party's interests. Carney has been touted by some pundits and political observers as a possible future Liberal Party leadership candidate. Until he addressed Liberal delegates at their policy convention tonight, however, his political allegiances weren't widely known. In a 15-minute address to delegates, Carney praised the government for its climate policies and the Canada child benefit (CCB), a program he said has given Canadian families more "buffers" during times of crisis like the current pandemic. He also took a thinly veiled swipe at Conservative Party delegates who voted down a resolution at their party policy convention last month to acknowledge that "climate change is real." "Everyone these days — well, almost everyone — recognizes the climate is changing. But when it comes to politics, you make your own weather," Carney said. "Canada was going nowhere fast on climate before this government took office. Now, we have a legislative commitment to net zero, and we're the first country in the G20 with a carbon price policy serious enough to make a difference." The former Goldman Sachs investment banker didn't say whether he'd run for the party in the next election campaign. "Humility means recognizing the great good fortune I've had growing up and the responsibility of service that comes with that," Carney said. "That's why I'll do whatever I can to support the Liberal Party in our efforts to build a better future for Canadians," he said. The moderator of a question and answer session with Carney after his speech, former TV host turned Liberal MP Marci Ien, didn't ask if his pledge to support the party would extend to actually running under the Liberal banner. Asked earlier Friday if Carney would run as a Liberal candidate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was tight-lipped about the banker's political future. "The Liberal Party has a long history of welcoming in expert speakers at our conventions from a range of different backgrounds. We're pleased to have someone of the stature of Mark Carney who has been working very hard on among other things the intersection between the global economy and the fight against climate change," Trudeau said. "It's another example of how we work together to listen to experts, the best and the brightest from around the world as we look at how to continue to focus on getting Canadians through this pandemic and on building back better," he said. Carney — who led the Bank of Canada from 2008-13 during and after the financial crisis, and later took the reins of the Bank of England during the Brexit process — has been praised for his leadership in tumultuous times. Since leaving the U.K., Carney has been working as United Nations special envoy for climate action and finance — a job, he said, that involves convincing private sector companies to commit to going net-zero in the coming decades to drive down global greenhouse gas emissions. Carney has likened the climate crisis to a financial crisis — and has urged the financial sector to help tackle the issue. In a statement, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, the party's jobs critic, slammed Carney, calling him "one of Canada's most well-known elites." "The irony should not be lost on anyone. After getting chased out of the United Kingdom for billing more than $500,000 in travel expenses for 52 trips to exotic places, often on fossil-fuel-powered jets, Carney will preach to Canadians about the need for higher energy prices. He will also promote trendy new economic experiments that are popular with Davos billionaires," Poilievre said, referencing the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland. "Now, with Mark Carney back in Canada, he and Justin Trudeau plan to promote risky economic ideas leading to bigger credit card debts and higher taxes. By contrast, Erin O'Toole's Conservatives offer more and better paycheques to secure our future," Poilievre said.
First Nations backing Ottawa’s plan to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands feel betrayed after a court ruled in favour of aquaculture companies looking to restock fish at their sites in the region. On Monday, Federal Court Justice Peter George Pamel said Mowi Canada West and Saltstream would suffer substantial harm if they couldn’t transfer juvenile fish into three farm sites in the area. But Homalco Chief Darren Blaney said the companies’ win comes at the expense of wild salmon and all the First Nations dependent on the fish for food, and economic or cultural reasons. “The ‘irreparable harm’ — using the judge’s words — will be for the wild salmon,” Blaney said, noting Fraser River sockeye salmon returns are at an all-time low. “And it means First Nations will have to suffer the consequences of this decision.” The companies sought an injunction after federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan announced in December that salmon farms in the Discovery Islands had to close by the end of June 2022, and no new fish could be moved to the farms in the meantime. Jordan’s decision was the result of consultations with seven First Nations in the region who wanted the farms removed. But Pamel’s decision means Jordan now has to “roll back the clock” and evaluate the salmon farms' fish transfer applications without relying on her decision to ban restocking in December. Mowi has said it now expects it will secure the federal licences necessary to stock 1.2 million fish at two farms in the region. The court ruling was doubly bitter because Jordan’s decision to phase out the farms and ban fish restocking was based on talks with seven First Nations, including the Homalco, Blaney said. Yet when the fish transfer issue went to court, the Homalco and Tla'amin Nation were denied the right to intervene and speak on the issue that concerned their rights, Blaney said. “It’s pretty ironic the judge didn’t take into consideration the First Nations’ perspective,” Blaney said. “And there was nobody there with a strong voice for the First Nations.” Ecojustice lawyer Margot Venton — part of a legal team representing a conservation coalition presenting at the hearing — said the parties in court ended up discussing limited evidence about First Nations’ perspectives on fish transfers, but without them actually being in the room. “It was very uncomfortable,” Venton said, adding her clients were supportive of First Nations participating. “Everybody was talking about what those First Nations’ wishes were, but they were not there.” It’s not only the seven First Nations in the Discovery Islands region that are impacted by the loss of wild salmon, all nations along the coast and the Fraser River deserve a say, Blaney said. “You have 102 First Nations opposing fish farms, and they should all be consulted because their fish numbers are so low,” he said. “Sockeye runs are at their lowest point in 100 years of counting. Down to 293,000 when they used to be upwards of 40 million a year.” The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) backed Ottawa’s decision to phase out the farms and ban fish transfers. It also denounced the move by Mowi Canada West, Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood to launch a wider challenge, which is still moving through the courts, to overturn the Discovery Islands decision. Overturning Jordan’s decision would undermine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and First Nations rights, the FNLC said. The court decision was an example of economics trumping environmental concerns, said FNLC member and Sumas First Nation Chief Dalton Silver. “It's not really surprising,” said Silver, who is also fisheries representative for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “It always seems that industry, and the interest of economics, wins out when the environment is involved. “Decisions need to be made around sustainability and the dollar factor has to change.” While the recent court ruling is unwelcome, Jordan’s entire decision around fish farms in the Discovery Islands is on the line when the judicial review gets underway, especially if First Nations aren’t participating, said Silver. “There's a bigger decision to be made yet,” Silver said. “And I hope the courts, and others, will hear the voice of our people as reflected by the leadership council.” Rochelle Baker / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer Rochelle Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
TOPEKA, Kan. — Republicans on Friday ousted a powerful Kansas lawmaker charged with drunken driving from his leadership job following the release of a document saying he taunted the Highway Patrol trooper who arrested him and called the officer “donut boy.” The removal of Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop was the first time in at least several decades that a Kansas legislative leader’s colleagues pushed him out before the end of his or her term. Suellentrop, a Wichita Republican, had been set to be majority leader through 2024. Republican senators voted 22-4 to remove Suellentrop during a 50-minute meeting that was closed to reporters and the public. Senate President Ty Masterson disclosed the vote afterward, said Republican senators would have an acting majority leader until late May, when they will elect a new majority leader. Suellentrop will remain in the Senate. Masterson said only voters in his Wichita district can oust him from the Legislature. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. Republicans will vote on removing a powerful Kansas lawmaker charged with drunken driving from his leadership job following the release of a document saying he taunted the Highway Patrol trooper who arrested him and called the officer “donut boy.” The move against Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop would be the first time in at least several decades that a Kansas legislative leader faced an ouster vote before the end of his or her term. Senate President Ty Masterson committed Friday to an as-yet-unscheduled vote after a freshman GOP senator called for it during a morning caucus. “Obviously, the consequences need to come,” Masterson, a Wichita-area Republican, told reporters after the caucus. “It's a matter of time.” Suellentrop, a Wichita Republican, stepped away from most of his duties as majority leader after his March 16 arrest in Topeka after he was stopped on Interstate 70 for driving the wrong way. But as of Friday morning, he had given no signal that he was contemplating resigning, either as majority leader or from the Legislature. The 69-year-old Suellentrop holds the state Senate’s second-highest leadership job, and the majority leader decides which proposals are debated each day. He was set to hold the job through 2024. He came to the Statehouse on Friday but wasn't present Thursday after a judge released an affidavit from the officer who arrested him. He did not answer his cellphone Friday, and it didn't allow for a voicemail message seeking comment. Aides said he was in meetings during a break in the Senate's session. Suellentrop faces five counts, including a felony fleeing to avoid arrest and a misdemeanour driving under the influence charge. The Highway Patrol officer's affidavit said Suellentrop's blood-alcohol level after his arrest was .17, more than twice the legal limit in Kansas of .08. The call for a vote to remove Suellentrop came from Republican Sen. Rick Kloos, of Topeka, who said he's “had numerous conversations” with colleagues and wants a vote “so we can all rest.” “It's just done,” he said after the caucus. “We've all been patient, and with the new revelations yesterday, I just felt it was time.” Suellentrop's absence Thursday helped to keep fellow Republicans from passing a proposal from GOP conservatives to allow parents of academically struggling public school students to use state dollars to pay for private schooling. GOP leaders were forced to take another vote Friday with him present, though the measure failed again. Kloos said he would like to have the vote on Suellentrop's future Friday, but Masterson said the first step would be a closed meeting to establish the rules. The Senate president said he is not sure he will set the vote for Friday because emotions are running high. “I do think that when emotions are high, you don't always make your best decisions, but I think it's clear that the majority leader needs to vacate the leadership office,” Masterson told reporters. Masterson said the results of a vote on Suellentrop's future would be counted in public. But, asked about having the discussions among senators in public, he said: “We've had plenty of discussion in public.” Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Austin Shepley said in his affidavit that Suellentrop refused to take a breathalyzer test and was taken to a Topeka hospital for a blood test after a judge issued a warrant. At one point, he called Shepley “donut boy,” according to the affidavit, and said the events were “all for going the wrong way.” “While the phlebotomist was administering the blood kit, Gene Suellentop’s demeanour becoming slightly aggressive in his tone, he made reference to physically going up against me,” Shepley said. “He looked me up and down, stating he played state sports competitively in high school. He stated he could ‘take me.’” ___ Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna John Hanna, The Associated Press
Rambo the Cavalier King Charles puppy loves nothing more than to swipe something only to be chased around the house. Today it’s mom’s entire roll of paper towels. Samson sees that mom is having trouble catching the adorable thief so he jumps into action. Unfortunately, Samson is also too slow and let’s put a frustrated but hilarious bark as he gives up quickly. These two are too funny!