“The Bold Type” star Aisha Dee took to Instagram on Wednesday to call out the lack of diversity behind the scenes of the Freeform series.
“The Bold Type” star Aisha Dee took to Instagram on Wednesday to call out the lack of diversity behind the scenes of the Freeform series.
“Tropic of Stupid,” by Tim Dorsey (William Morrow) “Tropic of Stupid,” the 24th novel in Tim Dorsey’s series featuring obsessive-compulsive psychopath Serge Storms, finds the anti-hero and his drugged out sidekick, Colman, zipping around their beloved Florida in a borrowed sports car. As usual, they’ve got a kidnap victim whimpering in the trunk. This time, Serge is obsessed with researching his family tree, binge-watching all 155 episodes of an old Lloyd Bridges TV show called “Sea Hunt,” and visiting every state park in the Sunshine State. Along the way, he rubs out a scam artist who’s been preying on the elderly, destroys the national ambitions of a crooked politician and discovers that he’s not the only active serial killer inhabiting his family tree. Although Serge is a prolific killer, his victims are always creeps you might stab, set on fire or feed to sharks yourself if you weren’t squeamish about that sort of thing. The other homicidal maniac in the family prefers innocent victims, so Serge sets out hunt him down. This puts Serge in a competition of sorts with a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent working the same case. If this sounds all crazy to you, you’re right. Crazy is what Dorsey is all about. Like each of his previous novels, “Tropic of Stupid” is a wacky celebration of violence, depravity and the weirdness of Florida. Think the Three Stooges meet Ted Bundy. This one isn’t quite as funny as “Naked Came the Florida Man” (2020) or his tour de force, “The Big Bamboo” (2009), but it does have its moments, and it is told in Dorsey’s customary manic prose style. The book is apt to offend those who insist that drug use and murder are not fit subjects for humour, but it is sure to appeal to readers who think that Carl Hiaasen’s slapstick noir novels are too darned subtle. ___ Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, is the author of the Mulligan crime novels including “The Dread Line.” Bruce Desilva, The Associated Press
A Saskatchewan-raised hockey player has been paralyzed by a snowboarding accident. Kamloops Blazers forward Kyrell Sopotyk, 19, was injured in a snowboarding accident in Saskatchewan over the weekend, according to the Western Hockey League (WHL). Sopotyk is from Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. He was drafted to B.C.'s Blazers in 2016. "Everyone associated with the Western Hockey League is deeply saddened by the devastating news," the WHL said in a statement. "The WHL and our member clubs extend our thoughts and prayers to Kyrell, the entire Sopotyk family, Kyrell's teammates with the Kamloops Blazers, and all his friends during this challenging time." A GoFundMe campaign set up on Sunday to raise money for Sopotyk's needs, including possible renovations to his home and health-care costs, has surpassed its goal of $50,000. As of Monday morning, it had raised more than $76,000. "I think any parent that has to go to the hospital after an accident knows what they would be experiencing right now. It's a shock. And I think as a parent, you go through those emotions of ... 'Why my child'?" said Kathleen Zary, organizer of the GoFundMe campaign. "Kyrell is an amazing soul. The family's amazing ... I can't imagine what they're going through right now." Zary said the success of the GoFundMe campaign is not surprising. "They're very well-loved family in [Saskatchewan] and in Kamloops as well. And I know if the roles were reversed, the Sopotyk family would do the same for anybody. They're one of those families that you meet and you just are instantly drawn to them because there's just so lovely and caring to everybody." The cause and type of injury has not been made public at this time.
Calgary police evacuated a condo complex in Inglewood on Sunday after reports of a woman with a weapon trying to force her way into several residences escalated into a standoff that lasted for several hours. Police were called to the SoBow complex at the 100 block of Inglewood Park southeast just before 4 p.m., the Calgary Police Service said in a release early Monday. The woman got into one of the units and the occupants fled to safety without injury, police said. "Officers conducted a rapid entry into the building, evacuating occupants while searching for the suspect, who was located and contained in a unit," the release said. Residents of the building were taken to a safe location while negotiators and the tactical unit were brought to the scene. The fire department was also called to assist because what was thought to be smoke was seen coming from the building. But it was later determined there was no fire and the apparent smoke was the result of a fire extinguisher that had been released, police said. The suspect was taken into custody at about 1:30 a.m. Police said the investigation is ongoing and no further information can be released at this point.
Le gouvernement fédéral n’exclut pas d’invoquer cette Loi fédérale pour limiter les déplacements en raison des taux d’infection de COVID-19 de plus en plus élevés dans certaines parties du territoire, a déclaré le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Marc Garneau, dans une émission télévisée. «Nous examinons toutes les actions potentielles pour nous assurer que nous pouvons atteindre nos objectifs. La Loi sur les urgences n’est pas quelque chose qu’on peut prendre à la légère», a déclaré M. Garneau sur les antennes du réseau CBC. «Mais nous sommes avant tout préoccupés par la santé et la sécurité des Canadiens. Et si nous devons disposer du pouvoir réglementaire pour le faire, nous le ferons», a-t-il poursuivi. Dans son préambule, la Loi sur les mesures d’urgence promulguée en juillet 1988 par le gouvernement de Brian Mulroney autorise le fédéral à «prendre des mesures temporaires spéciales qui peuvent ne pas être appropriées en temps normal». Elle permettrait à Ottawa de réglementer ou d’interdire les déplacements à l’extérieur ou à l’intérieur d’une zone spécifiée, lorsque cela est nécessaire pour la protection de la santé ou de la sécurité des Canadiens. Le premier ministre Justin Trudeau a exhorté les Canadiens à maintes reprises à reconsidérer tous leurs projets de voyage, en particulier à l’approche de la période de relâche en mars. Justin Trudeau a rappelé que le gouvernement fédéral pourrait prendre à tout moment et sans préavis, «de nouvelles mesures qui entraveraient considérablement la possibilité de revenir au Canada». Contrairement à la Loi sur les mesures de guerre invoquée pendant la crise d’octobre au Québec, les pouvoirs exceptionnels que celle sur les mesures d’urgence donne au gouvernement sont encadrés par la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés. De plus, Ottawa devra recueillir l’avis des provinces. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The Township of Perry passed three beginning-of-the-year finance bylaws at the Jan. 20 council meeting. The province of Ontario requires that municipalities pass bylaws at the beginning of each year to allow for borrowing to cover expenditures, authorizing the interim tax levy and setting tax reduction rates for specific property tax classes. So, What Is an Interim Tax Levy? The interim tax levy allows the treasurer to issue temporary tax notices and set due dates, interest and penalty amounts for the new year. According to a report to council, this allows the municipality to maintain a positive cash flow and reduce the need for borrowing funds to cover operational expenses. How Does That Affect You? This year an interim tax payment in the amount of 50 per cent of the total amount of taxes for municipal and school purposes levied on the property shall be levied on all property classes. The tax levy is payable in two instalments on Feb. 25, 2021, and April 25, 2021. What Does the ‘Borrowing Bylaw’ Mean? The borrowing bylaw allows the municipality to temporarily borrow funds to cover operating expenses when necessary. The maximum amount of money allowed to be borrowed, according to the bylaw, is $500,000. The bylaw also includes a clause saying that, to access funds, a resolution must be passed by the council stating the facility and the amount to be borrowed. What Is a Tax Reduction Bylaw? The tax reduction bylaw sets out reductions on vacant and excess commercial and industrial property tax rates as well as rate reductions for first-class farmland in all property classes. These rate reductions are set out by the province of Ontario. What Do the Provincial Tax Reduction Rates Look Like This Year? The tax rate reductions for 2021 are: · The vacant land and excess land in the commercial property class is 30 per cent. · The vacant land and excess land in the industrial property class is 35 per cent. · First class of farmland awaiting development in residential/farm, multi-residential, commercial or industrial class is 75 per cent while the second class of farmland waiting development is zero per cent. Commercial property class includes all commercial offices, shopping centres and parking lot properties. Industrial property class includes all large industrial properties and first/second class of farmland awaiting development consist of land defined in accordance with provincial regulations. Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
Local police and town authorities are warning the public about the dangers of thin ice after four teens fell into a pond on the weekend. The incident happened on a pond at the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex on Sunday, just after 2 p.m. Police said the teens went out to play hockey, but shortly after getting on the ice, it broke apart. One of the group members ended up under the water, according to Const. Terry Seguin. "They were all scared," he said. "You're just getting ready to go out and have a little fun and you don't expect the ice to give way underneath you." Police say a parent who was standing on shore called 911, and paramedics assessed the teens for any injuries or hypothermia. The group member who was submerged was sent to hospital for further assessment. Seguin said people should never go out on ice without first telling someone where they'll be. Having that parent on shore gave the teens a chance to contact emergency services immediately, rather than if or when they managed to scramble out of the water. 'It is very, very terrifying' Ice needs to be at least 10 centimetres thick to be considered safe, said Seguin. Thickness can also vary in different places and it can be difficult to know just how much ice there is without chopping a hole to be sure, he added. Regardless, police say it hasn't been cold enough — for long enough — for any ice to be safe. "It takes a good two, three weeks for sure, at least, of sub-zero temperatures, to develop a thickness of ice that can be considered safe," Seguin explained. Lakeshore is also cautioning residents to stay off of ice in the municipality. Mayor Tom Bain said in a news release that retention ponds in the municipality are not safe for skating. The news release added that several of the ponds in the area have pumps that are set to automatically turn on and off depending on conditions in Lakeshore's drainage system. As a result, ice on the ponds doesn't get very thick. For his part, Seguin said a fall into freezing water decades ago taught him just how much of a shock it can be. "I can speak from experience. It ... instantaneously takes your breath away and it is very, very terrifying," he said. "The key is, keep your wits about you and get out of the ice as quick as possible and get help as quick as you can."
LOGEMENT. À l’exemple de Queen’s Park, Québec solidaire demande au gouvernement québécois de suspendre à nouveau les évictions résidentielles pour toute la durée de l'état d'urgence sanitaire. «Pendant que le Québec a les deux pieds dans la deuxième vague et que les mesures de confinement sont plus strictes que jamais avec l'imposition du couvre-feu, les évictions de locataires se poursuivent de plus belle sans que la CAQ bouge le petit doigt. Même le gouvernement conservateur de Doug Ford a compris l'importance de maintenir les personnes chez elles durant ces temps particuliers et a annoncé un nouveau moratoire contre les évictions pour la durée de la situation d'urgence. Qu'attend le gouvernement Legault pour faire de même?», s'interroge Andrés Fontecilla, le porte-parole solidaire en matière de logement tout en rappelant que le moratoire a été levé en juillet dernier par la ministre de l'Habitation, Andrée Laforest. «Comme c'était le cas en mars dernier, la flambée des cas de COVID-19 se conjugue à une grave crise du logement. Le gouvernement de la CAQ sait très bien que la loi actuelle fait défaut et qu'il doit colmater les brèches qui permettent les expulsions abusives, notamment les rénovictions. Nous allons continuer de veiller au grain afin que la loi soit revue et corrigée, mais en attendant ces changements, il est urgent de décréter un nouveau moratoire sur les évictions. Personne ne doit se retrouver à la rue en plein couvre-feu», martèle Andrés Fontecilla, le député de Laurier-Dorion. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up the case of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence after being convicted in a corruption case. The high court's decision not to hear Silver's appeal is another sharp blow to the Manhattan Democrat, who was once one of the three most powerful state officials. Silver was ousted as speaker in 2015 and was convicted later that year. His original conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again in 2018. Part of that conviction was then tossed out on another appeal, leading to yet another sentencing in July. Silver, 76, began serving his sentence in August. In the part of the case that survived the appeal process, Silver was convicted in a scheme that involved favours and business traded between two real estate developers and a law firm. Silver supported legislation that benefited the developers. The developers then referred certain tax business to a law firm that paid Silver fees. Two justices, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, said they would have heard Silver's case. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump was considering clemency for Silver, but ultimately no pardon or sentence reduction was granted. Silver has been serving time at the federal prison in Otisville, about 80 miles (130 kilometres) from New York City. Before his conviction, Silver was a giant in New York politics. First elected to the Assembly in 1977, he became speaker in 1994, holding that position for more than two decades. For nearly half that time, during the administration of Republican Gov. George Pataki, he was the most powerful Democrat in the state. Silver's lawyers had asked the court to consider allowing him to serve his sentence at home because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and dying in prison. But District Judge Valerie Caproni said issuing a sentence without prison time was inappropriate because Silver was guilty of “corruption, pure and simple.” The Associated Press
Police in Waterloo Region say a church allegedly held an in-person service yesterday despite a court order compelling it to comply with provincial pandemic rules. Investigators say they are working with public health officials to ensure "appropriate action" is taken regarding the Trinity Bible Chapel in Woolwich, Ont. They say the church already faces "numerous" charges under the Reopening Ontario Act. Ontario legislator Randy Hillier, an independent MPP and vocal critic of the province's lockdown measures, tweeted a photo yesterday that appeared to be from the service. He also posted a photo that appeared to be of the outside of the church. The government of Ontario declared a state of emergency and imposed a stay-at-home order on Jan. 12, which includes a ban on indoor gatherings and activities, including religious services. Some religious services, such as weddings and funerals, are permitted provided they include no more than 10 people and physical distancing can be maintained. The rules apply to the entire province and will remain in effect until at least Feb. 11. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge has ruled in favour of an online political writer who was prevented by Alaska's governor from attending press conferences. Judge Joshua Kindred issued an injunction Friday requiring Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy to invite Jeff Landfield to media briefings, Anchorage Daily News reported. Landfield, the owner and operator of The Alaska Landmine website, sued Dunleavy over his exclusion from the governor's press events. The former independent state Senate candidate uses the website to write about the Alaska Legislature, state government and politics. Attorneys from the Alaska Department of Law argued that because the governor’s office does not credential members of the media, and therefore does not set standards for press conference admittance, Landfield could not sue on First Amendment grounds because there was nothing to challenge. Kindred ruled Landfield had been denied due process, writing in the order that members of the media have the right under the First Amendment to be invited to press conferences. The governor may deny a member of the media the ability to ask questions while at a briefing and the governor can choose not to answer questions, Kindred ruled. Kindred concluded that a lack of written rules does not mean the governor’s office can make ad-hoc decisions about admittance. “Acceptance of the government’s arguments would effectively stand for the proposition that First Amendment rights do not exist for any members of the media in Alaska,” Kindred wrote. The injunction does not require Dunleavy or his communications staff to adopt a formal, written process. But they must invite Landfield to future events while legal proceedings continue, the ruling stated. The Associated Press
“Every Waking Hour,” by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur) The push-pull relationship between Boston police detective Ellery Hathaway and FBI Agent Reed Markham took a big leap last year in “All the Best Lies,” the third book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s compelling series of crime novels. Now, in “Every Waking Hour,” the world seems determined to pull the new lovers apart. Reed rescued Ellery from serial killer years ago, when she was just a teenager, so their mutual attraction has been fraught with complications from the start. And now? Reed’s ex-wife Sarit disapproves of Ellery. Still bitter about their divorce, Sarit threatens to stop him from seeing his toddler daughter unless he breaks off the relationship. Ellery’s teenage half-sister, a runaway from the father who abandoned Ellery and her mother years ago, shows up and moves in. And Ellery, whose kidnapping was such a huge story that journalists never lost interest in her, is horrified when a news photographer catches the lovers in a tender moment and makes their relationship public. Meanwhile, a 12-year-old girl has been kidnapped, battering Ellery with horrible memories of her own ordeal that are never far from the surface. The obvious suspect is the nanny who was supposed to be watching over the child. However, Ellery and Reed soon discover that the girl’s mother’s first child was murdered years ago when he was also 12 years old. That the crime was never solved. Might the two cases be connected? The result is a tension-filled investigation filled with twists that readers are unlikely to see coming. Though not a particularly stylish writer, Schaffhausen spins her yarn with clear, concise prose that keeps the plot moving at a torrid pace. But as usual in this series, the most compelling part of her story is the fragile relationship between the protagonists. Can it — and even should it — survive what the world keeps throwing at them? ___ Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, is the author of the Mulligan crime novels including “The Dread Line.” Bruce Desilva, The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):10:35 a.m.There are 1,958 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Ontario today and 43 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.Health Minister Christine Elliott says 727 of the new cases are in Toronto, 365 in Peel Region, and 157 in York Region. She says nearly 36,000 tests were completed since Sunday's report.Ontario also reports that 2,448 more cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Asia’s top club soccer tournament announced changes Monday to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic for a second straight season. The expanded 40-team Asian Champions League will have a group stage played in centralized hubs — in cities not yet decided — over 17 days in the east and west of the continent, the Asian Football Confederation said. Western region matches, including clubs from the Middle East, will be played April 14-30. The eastern region including Australia, China, Japan and defending champion Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea is scheduled April 21-May 7. It follows the 2020 edition being completed entirely in Qatar from when the pandemic-delayed later stages of the groups resumed in September through to the final in December. The 2021 competition schedule also cuts back round of 16 and quarterfinals pairings to single elimination games in September instead of over two legs. The semifinals and final revert to home-and-away games over two legs in October and November — when travel restrictions likely will have eased. “Once again, the AFC will put the safety and welfare of all its stakeholders as its overriding priority,” confederation general secretary Windsor John said in a statement. The Asian Champions League was originally scheduled to start in February. Preliminary rounds now kick off in April to qualify for a 40-team lineup instead of 32. Choosing hub venues for the four-team groups will begin after the draw on Wednesday with national federations invited to host. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly interested in staging games. The Saudis and Qataris are also competing with India and Iran in a bidding contest for the 2027 Asian Cup. The AFC also cancelled or postponed four other continental tournaments due to take place in 2021. The men’s Under-16 and Under-19 championships were cancelled in Bahrain and Uzbekistan, respectively. Both will host the next editions of the tournaments. Those decisions follow FIFA cancelling editions of the men’s Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups, which next take place in 2023. Also scrapped are this year Asian championships in futsal and beach soccer. Kuwait and Thailand will retain hosting rights for 2022 and 2023, respectively. The AFC Cup, a second-tier club tournament reserved for developing nations, will go ahead in a shorter form, starting in May and ending in August. The start of qualifying for the women’s Under-17 and Under-20 Asian Cup tournaments in 2022 was also pushed back from March this year to August. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports John Duerden, The Associated Press
Paris City Hall has instructed the landlord seeking to close down the city's indebted Fan Museum to extend its deadline for payment, the museum said Monday. Director Anne Hoguet said her beleaguered museum — a registered historic monument — owed 117,000 euros in rent arrears due to losses incurred during virus lockdowns last year. The money was due Jan. 23 and the landlord had threatened to seize the museum's priceless artifacts as payment. In response to AP’s reporting, on Thursday UNESCO called on France to do more to protect the small museum that French officials had placed on an intangible heritage list only last year. Hoguet said that Paris City Hall officials confirmed to her that they had intervened to get the landlord to delay the deadline. “It's a huge relief. We hope to live another day,” Hoguet said. Paris Deputy Mayor Karen Taieb told the AP that officials are now meeting with Hoguet on Feb. 5 “in order to think about long-term solutions for this heritage museum which is in a very complicated situation.” Hoguet said that she has been inundated with offers of donations since last week’s media reports. The Associated Press
Sylvia Sassie liked to listen to CBC Radio One in her kitchen, her bedroom or her car. She tuned in to the N.W.T. morning show, The Trailbreaker, and to Dehcho Dene, CBC's daily South Slavey language program. That all came to a halt about a year ago. "I didn't know what had happened," she said. "I thought maybe it just went digital?" Sassie, who lives in Fort Liard, N.W.T., called the CBC in Yellowknife and began exchanging emails with technical staff about how to diagnose the problem. "I guess it's the wiring or something that's disconnected here," she said. "I was supposed to take pictures [of the radio equipment] but I can't because there's too much snow." Fort Liard is now in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. Six people in the hamlet of 500 have tested positive and the community was put under a 14-day containment order (that is, people were advised not to travel) starting Jan. 16. The community has two other radio stations: CKLB 101.9, run by Native Communications Society of the NWT; and 95.1, which was recently established as a Christian radio service. "I prefer personally to listen to CBC North because they talk about all kinds of things," Sassie said. "What I would really like about this channel is listening to the information on the COVID." Not 'CBC-owned' "Unfortunately," said Philippe Aubé, "since this is not CBC-owned infrastructure we are ... limited in the way we can support these issues." Aubé is the CBC's senior director of transmission operations in Montreal. His department looks after about 750 transmitters across the country. He also looks after CBC-owned satellite receivers in about 70 small, mostly northern locations known as "community-owned rebroadcasters" or CORBs — including Fort Liard. As Aubé explains it, decades ago, a program was launched to help small communities take control of transmitters, antennas and radio towers installed for radio. CBC maintained control of the satellite receivers bringing in the signal, but the community — which could be a communications society or the hamlet — took ownership of the transmitter that relays that signal into the community and any other hardware. 'Community-owned rebroadcasters' Several people interviewed for this article said that at one point, the N.W.T. government played a role in funding the CORBs. In an email, a spokesperson for the department of Municipal and Community Affairs said the department does not specifically fund community-based radio, though local budgets could be used for the purpose. The same spokesperson said "most community-based radio societies are established as societies separate from the community government." The Fort Liard Communication Society, established in 1979, dissolved in 2002, according to the N.W.T. Legal Registry. It's slightly different in the Yukon. "The Department of Highways and Public Works maintains community radio sites in some Yukon communities where there would otherwise be no radio broadcast service," spokesperson Brittany Cross said in an email. That includes five sites where they "maintain the equipment and radio licensing for the CBC FM transmitters ... as well as covering the costs of building maintenance and electricity." They also make room for other Yukon radio broadcasters' equipment. "These sites are generally low maintenance, but ongoing support ... is provided through a combination of in-house staff, contractors and contributions from the other radio tenants," Cross said. 'For them, it's a CBC service' But few people know how exactly their radio gets into their houses, workplaces or vehicles. "That's where it gets a bit sketchy sometimes," said the CBC's Aubé, "when one of those communities loses their signal and people start sending emails or chat on Facebook, saying, 'Hey our transmitter's off.' Because for them, it's a CBC service." "We try to help them over the phone as much as we can, but that's pretty much where it stops." Aubé said Friday that he still hasn't confirmed what's going on in Fort Liard, though he's asked staff to follow up. "It appears it is not related to our satellite receiver," he said. 'You can always Google stuff' Chief Wilbert Kochon of Colville Lake, N.W.T., has experienced some of that technical assistance over the phone. When the community's transmitter gave out a few weeks ago, Kochon volunteered to sort it out. "I talked to your technician who helped me on the phone," Kochon said. They discovered the heat had gone out in the old band office where the transmitter is. Kochon put a portable heater on in the building and in the morning, it started working again. Kochon says repairs like these are something he does for the elders. "CKLB, they always call me too," Kochon said. "You can always Google stuff and then figure it out really fast." Even better, he laughed, would be if the community could hire its own technician and get some training from the CBC. A costly 'conundrum' That's exactly what Bert Cervo would like to see. Cervo retired from the CBC in 2015 and lives in Whitehorse. He started as a remote area transmitter technician (RATT for short) in the 1980s and has visited nearly every small community in the North. He sees the situation in Fort Liard as part of a bigger problem. He's been contacted by people in several communities where CBC radio is down, "in some locations for two years," asking whether he can help get the signal back. The cost to fly in and do so, however, is simply too high, as is the cost of moving equipment or worse, buying new gear. All of which is made worse by the pandemic, which has severely restricted northern travel. "This is a conundrum that we've all been looking at for quite a while," Cervo said. He'd like to see the CBC take over the care and maintenance of the sites, or at least reimburse whoever goes there. He'd also like to see local people trained and paid to handle technical problems. "It's just not a cheap enterprise," Cervo said. Especially if older equipment needs to be replaced. "There is nothing that costs less than $1,000 or $2,000. Nothing. Then comes travel and everything else."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was grilled by Opposition leader Erin O’Toole in the first question period in the house since before Christmas. O’Toole criticized Trudeau for not protecting the thousands of jobs related to the Keystone XL pipeline project, an accusation Trudeau said is “simply not the case,” while highlighting his efforts and communication with President Joe Biden.
QUETTA, Pakistan — A Pakistani dissident and civil rights activist who died in exile in Canada last month was returned to Pakistan and laid to rest in her home village in southwestern Baluchistan province under tight security, activists said Monday. Only immediate family members of 37-year-old Karima Baloch were allowed to attend her funeral Sunday in the village of Tump in Baluchistan. Her supporters claim that Pakistani troops had sealed off the village and prevented them from attending her burial. Her remains were brought to Pakistan from Canada earlier Sunday. Baloch’s body was found Dec. 22 near Toronto’s downtown waterfront, a place that she liked and often visited, a day after she was reported missing. Toronto police have not treated her death as suspicious though there were allegations by her supporters that she was killed. A fierce critic of Pakistani spy agencies that are often accused of abducting activists in Baluchistan and elsewhere in Pakistan, Baloch was granted asylum in Canada in 2016. Her death has raised suspicions among rights activists, who on Monday denounced authorities for holding the funeral in near secrecy. “It is appalling to see how Karima Baloch’s dead body was treated," said Mohsin Dawar, a lawmaker from Pakistan's former tribal regions who campaigns for Pashtun minority right but like Baloch, has also criticized Pakistani spy agencies. “It is not difficult to understand how this will deepen the divide and fuel separatism," he tweeted. "Is this the strategy to deal with the Baloch insurgency, to sprinkle salt on the wounds of Baloch?" There was no immediate comment from the government, but a video that surfaced on social media shows soldiers turning back several mourners who are heard in the footage saying they wanted to pay their last respects to Baloch. Angered over the situation, a Baloch nationalist group — the Baloch Solidarity Committee — issued a call for a daylong strike and complete shutdown in Baluchistan on Monday. Its statement said Pakistani troops spirited Baloch's coffin away on its arrival from Canada and foiled a move by her supporters to hold her funeral in Karachi, instead taking her remains to her home village. Later on Sunday, hundreds of Baluch activists rallied in Karachi, denouncing the government for not allowing that Baloch's funeral be held in the city. They chanted antigovernment slogans and demanded justice for Baloch, who they say was a “voice of the Baloch people” that was “silenced.” The activists insisted she did not die a natural death though they offered no evidence to support their allegation. Baluchistan has for years been the scene of a low-level insurgency by small separatist groups and nationalists who complain of discrimination and demand a fairer share of their province’s resources and wealth. Although there are also militant groups in Baluchistan that stage attacks on soldiers, separatists also often attack troops in the province, prompting authorities to detain suspects. Human rights activists often blame security forces of illegally holding people. Such detainees are usually not charged and do not appear in court, which draws protests from their families and rights activists. ___ Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report. Abdul Sattar, The Associated Press
Every Monday is going to be bring your dog to work day for Allison Helm. As a mental health programmer at Medicine Hat College, Helm will begin bringing her rescue pup Louie to MHC each Monday at 3 p.m. for students to spend time with. Louie is a seven-year-old Shepherd mix and is a registered therapy dog. Helm and Louie will meet students outside the college’s front doors. “We’re going to meet any students who want to meet Louie and spend some time with him,” said Helm. “I’ll have individual treat bags so everyone who comes can give him some treats. “We’re going to be following all Alberta Health guidelines and we’ll have extra masks and sanitizer with us.” After feeding and petting Louie, students can then opt to go for a short walk with the dog and his handler. “This is great for students who may feel isolated or alone,” said Helm. “It can be hard for students being at home, and being around a therapy dog can be really beneficial. “We encourage anyone interested to come out and spend time with Louie.” Helm says there are differences between therapy dogs and service dogs, which should be noted. Therapy dogs, like Louie, wear a vest and go places to give and receive love. People are allowed to pet Louie and feed him treats that are given out by the handler. Therapy dogs are not allowed to go wherever they please, and need permission to be at places like a college. Service dogs have more training than therapy dogs and are there to help humans who have complex needs. Service dogs are not to be pet and are allowed just about anywhere people are. They also wear vests. “Louie will be wearing his vest that labels him as a therapy dog, but we want people to know that he is friendly and a total suck,” said Helm. “He loves everyone.” Louie’s Monday appearances at the college will be weather-dependent, and will be cancelled if it is unpleasant outside. Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
“Let Me Tell You What I Mean,” by Joan Didion (Alfred A. Knopf) Back in 1968, Joan Didion identified a problem with the mainstream media. “The only American newspapers that do not leave me in the grip of a profound physical conviction that the oxygen has been cut off from my brain, very probably by an Associated Press wire …,” she begins in an essay that goes on to criticize traditional news outlets, including the wire service carrying this review, for pretending that there is such a thing as neutral, unbiased, objective reporting. That article, “Alicia and the Underground Press,” was a snarky ode to alternative newspapers in the 1960s like the East Village Other and Berkeley Barb that might have been “amateurish and badly written” but at least had the virtue of speaking directly to their readers, and speaking to them as friends. Some 50 years later, in a media landscape dominated by players who present “alternative facts” with a straight face, and consumers who get their news through platforms tailored to their specific interests, Didion’s critique seems more prescient than ever. The essay is one of 12 she wrote between 1968 and 2000 that have been collected in a new volume, “Let Me Tell You What I Mean,” sure to be of interest to Didion completists and fans of such cultural touchstones as “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” and “The Year of Magical Thinking.” Others haven’t aged as well. Another piece from 1968, about Gamblers Anonymous, quotes the people at a meeting in ungrammatical English, speaking “as if from some subverbal swamp.” In “A Trip to Xanadu,” she sneers at tourists at the Hearst Castle in their “slacks and straw hats and hair rollers.” But when she punches up instead of down, the results can be devastating, as in her portrait from the same year of Nancy Reagan, then the wife of the California governor, portrayed as a media-savvy control freak and distant mother to her then 10-year-old son. Similarly, her 2000 profile of Martha Stewart captures what most observers missed at the time — that Martha wasn’t selling homemaking, she was selling success. The best of the bunch have to do with the subject Didion, 86, knows and cares about most — being a writer. In essays like “Why I Write,” whose title she borrowed from George Orwell, “Telling Stories” and “Last Words,” she makes it clear why she has been an essential voice in American arts and letters for more than half a century. Ann Levin, The Associated Press
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring uncertainty for students across the country — with many considering putting their education on hold as a lack of jobs and job prospects have made it harder for students to fund their schooling. But, when it comes to funding their education, experts want students to know that there is a plethora of scholarships, grants, bursaries and awards available to them — and it isn't all about having perfect grades or being an athletic superstar. Leyton Vergeire is a first year student at the University of Alberta who immigrated to Canada five years ago. But last year, as the 18-year-old thought about his plans for after graduation in the midst of the pandemic, he wasn't sure he'd be able to afford university. "My parents were honestly really worried about what the outcome was for me after my high school graduation due to finances," he said. COVID-19 disruptions raising student concerns And he's not alone. A recent Statistics Canada report found that COVID-19 disruptions are raising concerns for students about financial circumstances impacting their academic futures. A lot of that, according to the report, has to do with a lack of student-friendly jobs and job prospects being cancelled or delayed because of the pandemic. "The COVID-19 pandemic affected these employment plans in a number of ways, with many participants losing their job or seeing their job prospects dry up. "The participants who planned to continue working at the job they held at the beginning of March, the majority had either lost their job (21 per cent) or been laid off (34 per cent) two months later. A further 26 per cent were still working, but working fewer hours. Less than one-quarter (24 per cent) were continuing to work as planned." But, experts say even with these disruptions to employment there are plenty of ways students can continue to fund their education. "Before you drop out and before you get to that worst case scenario, there is so many other ways that you can be funding your education and support mechanisms that have been put in place for students," said Madison Guy, founder of GrantMe, an online service that aggregates scholarship opportunities and helps students apply for the ones best suited to them. Millions in unclaimed scholarships annually Guy said there is more than $10 million in scholarships and awards in Canada that goes unclaimed every year. "There's so much money, both externally from companies and non-profits that are being given out, but also internally in institutions because institutions have so much funding available to students," she said. "But, not all of it is being given out and not all of it's being applied for." Vergeire said without scholarships, he knew he wouldn't be able to go to school full-time, or potentially at all this year. But using GrantMe, he learned about scholarships he never knew existed and was ultimately awarded more than two dozen of the ones he applied for, and he no longer worries or wonders how he'll pay for his degree. "Winning over $100,000 was really life-changing," said the honours physiology student, who hopes to one day work as a radiation therapist. "Having that amount of money under my belt really gave us a peace of mind, knowing that I'll be able to focus on my academics and my career and the future, instead of just splitting that responsibility between school and university and a financial responsibility with my family." Vergeire said the key is to apply for the scholarships that fit you as an individual most closely. "Some of the ones I won, what was specific about the criteria was how you were involved with cultural activities and multiculturalism," he said. Guidance available to students Helen Nowlan-Walls is the director of donor and community engagement with EducationMatters, which supports educational enhancement programs at the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). She said students don't have to navigate all of this alone either. "Most schools have a dedicated staff person that is the scholarship coordinator. They act as that conduit to try and help the students get aware of what the opportunities are and where they should go and different places they should be looking," she said. She said EducationMatters has more than $500,000 in awards and scholarships primarily available to CBE students, with around 20 that are also available to Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). Last year 319 opportunities were awarded to the tune of a combined $520,000. Aileen Taylor, school counselling consultant for CCSD, said even if students didn't apply for scholarships and awards during high school there are always opportunities. "It's really important that they still look, because often there's lots of money out there that are available for second, third and fourth year students as well that they should really look to," she said. She said scholarship coordinators and CCSD schools work with students to ensure they know what awards are available. "I encourage students to always go talk to their school counselor and to just ask the questions: 'Can you help me figure out what scholarships might be available through our school district? Can you help me figure out what scholarships might be available through any partnerships that we have?'" she said. Apply for scholarships during admissions process University of Calgary registrar Angelique Saweczko said there are also millions of dollars in scholarships and awards available internally at the university. "We're still in the cycle for taking in applications for a number of our award programs," she said. "One big misconception that students have is that they have to wait until they're admitted before they can apply for scholarships and awards. We actually recommend they apply before they've been admitted, because the deadlines are very shortly after the application deadlines." Grade 12 Lethbridge student Sydney Whiting is currently going through the scholarship application process. She paid the $1,000 GrantMe fee that grants her five years of access to the site's services. "That comes back pretty quickly with all the support you get. It can be one-on-one support if you request it, there are mentorship webinars and then the essay editing, where you get edits with a 24-hour turnaround," she said. And, she's already made her money back — with more than $8,000 in scholarship offers (some dependent on which school she chooses), and many more applications currently under evaluation. Guy said on average, students in Canada graduate with about $26,000 in debt, and she hopes to bring more awareness to the opportunities students have to graduate with less debt, or debt free. "A lot of those students had never applied for a single scholarship or award along the way," he said. "There's this big gap between the number of dollars that are available to students in scholarships, and then the amount of debt that the average student is graduating with. That's really something that we want to address."