A look at some second-leg matches in the Europa League's last 32 taking place on Thursday: AC MILAN-RED STAR BELGRADE (2-2) A meeting of two former European champions is level after the first leg amid controversy over apparent racist abuse aimed at Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. UEFA appointed an investigator Tuesday to look into the incident after footage published online appeared to show Ibrahimovic being insulted as he sat in the stands. There were no fans allowed in the stadium for the first game, but Red Star had officials and guests in the stands. Milan goes into the game without a win in its last three after losing 3-0 to fierce rival Inter Milan in Serie A on Sunday. NAPOLI-GRANADA (0-2) Spanish club Granada is on the verge of a major upset in its first European competition. Yangel Herrera and Kenedy scored Granada's goals at home against a Napoli team whose season seems to be slipping away. One win from six games in all competitions this month has seen Napoli fall from challenging for the Champions League places in Serie A to clinging on in seventh. ARSENAL-BENFICA (1-1) The Europa League is Arsenal’s last opportunity for a trophy — and might represent the team's only route to qualifying for European competitions next season. Mikel Arteta’s team has dropped to 11th in the Premier League and is nine points off Chelsea in fifth place, which is set to be the sole Europa League qualifying position in the league. Thomas Partey has returned to training with Arsenal after a hamstring injury but it remains to be seen if the midfielder is fit enough to feature in the second leg against Benfica. The game will take place in Athens due to coronavirus travel restrictions. LEICESTER-SLAVIA PRAGUE (0-0) Leicester midfielder James Maddison will miss the match because of a hip injury. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers does not believe the issue requires surgery but said Maddison is in consultation with specialists. The in-form attacking midfielder, who came off hurt in the Premier League match at Aston Villa on Sunday, missed matches at the end of last season with a hip injury and had an operation in July. “We’re just having to get a specialist’s opinion on it to formulate a plan for his recovery,” Rodgers said. Leicester is in third place in the Premier League and has been one of the surprises of the season. MANCHESTER UNITED-REAL SOCIEDAD (4-0) Edinson Cavani, Donny Van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba remain sidelined through injury for United, which is all but assured of progress after a big first-leg win in neutral territory in Turin. A shoulder issue prevents midfielder Hannibal Mejbri from making his first-team debut after a week that has seen fellow 18-year-old Amad Diallo — signed from Atalanta in January — and 17-year-old Shola Shoretire make their first starts in the senior side. “Hannibal was injured in the reserves, he’ll be out for a month,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has added 19-year-old Northern Ireland international Ethan Galbraith to United’s Europa League squad. “He was just coming into our squad. Unfortunately for him he’s out.” AJAX-LILLE (2-1) Even without two of its best players, Ajax is on the verge of eliminating the French league leader. Lille was heading for a win in the first leg before Ajax turned the game around with a penalty by Dusan Tadic in the 87th minute and a goal from Brian Brobbey in the 89th. Ajax is without striker Sebastien Haller after he was left off the squad list due to an administrative error. Goalkeeper André Onana was handed a 12-month doping ban this month after testing positive for a banned substance, something he blamed on a mix-up with his wife's medicine. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Le concept de microforêt se répand petit à petit pour répondre à la bétonisation de nos existences. Au risque de détourner ce qui définit une forêt.
Former vendors at the Beaverlodge Farmer’s Market are exploring a new venue, citing concerns with inconsistent guidelines at the current market. “We’re in the very-beginning stages of (starting a new market),” said former vendor, Heather Tillapaugh of Silk Purse Acres. “Our goal is to be very welcoming to anybody and everybody - the current market limits who can come to the market to sell their items, based on who’s already selling those items.” Brittni Hudson, who ended up renting a table there for just a few months, told the News an estimated 10 vendors have left, citing concerns about “inconsistencies” in rules around multiple vendors selling similar items and a variety of rental fees. Tillapaugh agrees. “Customers want variety and choices. I don’t hold any ill will toward the Beaverlodge market - we just wanted different things,” said Tillapaugh, whose operation 10 kilometres west of Beaverlodge grows various garden produce. She was a vendor of the farmer’s market from June to December 2020. The Beaverlodge Farmer’s Market is one of more than 130 approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Joyce Hatton, Beaverlodge Farmer’s Market president, confirmed the rules limit the number of vendors selling certain items. “For example, baby blankets and quilts don’t sell well, so we try to limit (them),” Hatton said. Slow-selling products at too many tables would be disadvantageous to vendors, she said. Hatton said the market currently has approximately 14 vendors, and it’s typical to have fewer early in the year compared to Christmas, when there are up to 25. Like Tillapaugh, Hudson objects to limits on vendors selling certain items. “A lot of people sell the same thing, but they’re different styles and textures,” Hudson said. Hudson said she signed on as vendor in late October with a variety of signs and decals and chose not to return in early February. Shannon Murdock sold farm eggs and other items at the market, signing on in August 2020 and leaving in November. She cited limits on types of products as a concern. “Everybody should be able to succeed,” Murdock said. “Any farmers market I’ve ever been to has the same item being sold by multiple vendors.” Both Hudson and another former vendor, Sheena Hailstones, had concerns about discrepancies in table rentals. Hatton told the News that new vendors pay a weekly table rental of $20; after three months it drops to $15; three years in, table rental drops to $10 a week. “We felt the vendors who were with us all the time deserved to have a break,” Hatton said. “If they leave and come back, they pay full price again.” Tillapaugh said she has been gauging support from community members for a new market and is in contact with Eileen Kotowich, farmers market specialist with the Alberta government. Kotowich told the News it is possible for a town to have more than one approved farmers market. Kotowich said where two markets exist in one community, they typically don’t go “head-to-head.” “They have different times, different days of the week, serving a different clientele,” she said. The application must include a business case demonstrating how the market would be viable if another is nearby, Kotowich said. Tillapaugh said a business case for a second market can be made. “The Beaverlodge market is currently the only market west of Grande Prairie,” she said. “There’s a very wide area of people to bring into the market as vendors and as customers.” Tillapaugh said the former vendors are considering either an indoor or outdoor venue and the market would likely be seasonal, from spring to early fall. The application must be approved by the provincial government and Alberta Health Services, she said. Tillapaugh said she is hopeful the applications can be complete and the market opened this spring. She said there would also be start-up costs, and the former vendors may hold some fundraisers to achieve this. The amount needed will depend on the location and if it already has the necessary amenities like tables, she said. If costs are minimal, fundraisers won’t be necessary, she added. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Small businesses will continue to benefit from provincial relief after the current small and medium enterprise (SME) relaunch grant program concludes at the end of March. The SME grants will be followed by the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit. Up to $10,000 will be available under the benefit to small- and medium-sized businesses impacted by the pandemic and restrictions, according to the Alberta government last week. Under the SME grants up to $20,000 is available to businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees and that have experienced revenue loss amid restrictions. The additional $10,000 under the new benefit can be used to offset COVID costs, including buying personal protective equipment, paying bills or hiring staff, according to the government. According to the provincial government, the benefit can also be used to pay rent, replace inventory or expand online operations. The new benefit will be available to business owners who can demonstrate they’ve lost at least 60 per cent of their revenue as a result of the pandemic. The benefit will cover 15 per cent of their lost monthly revenue, up to $10,000, according to the Alberta government. Funds distributed through the benefit won’t need to be repaid, with further parameters for the program to be unveiled in April. The benefit program has a $120 million budget. According to the Alberta government, as of last week more than $359 million has been distributed to more than 50,000 businesses through the SME program. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
(Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit) The Prince Edward Island government plans to set up collaborative structures for patient care that it refers to as "medical homes" and "medical neighbourhoods." In his state of the province address on Monday, Premier Dennis King said three Island communities will get the new structure this year, staffed by multi-disciplinary teams with electronic medical records a critical part of the initiative. The "home" is the family doctor, who will co-ordinate each patient's care, and the "neighbourhood" is an integrated team of other health-care providers, which could include nurse practitioners, diabetes nurse educators, and dietitians among others. The person's overall medical care will be documented and communicated through an electronic health record. Dr. Kristy Newson, president of the P.E.I. College of Family Physicians, said the family physician will be like the quarterback for your care, but an entire team of people could be working to improve your health. "The evolution of family medicine and the way we are training early career family physicians is in this team-based model, and the key is the communication between all the providers," she told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier on Wednesday. "So you have your own network of allied health-care professionals that you interact with on a daily basis. And they always have communication back to the physician as the centre of the medical home." National blueprint The P.E.I. college's site links to a College of Family Physicians of Canada document that calls the concept a blueprint "for the future of family practice in Canada." The document explains that the medical neighbourhood "includes the many realms of health care outside of primary care, such as referrals to other medical specialists, health care providers, hospitals, long-term care, and home care structures, or to broader social and community supports such as community-based mental health and addictions supports and other social services." The document goes on: "Similar networks have been formed across Canada and around the world with the goals of providing improvements to patient outcomes, safety, and experience; lower costs through reduced duplication of services; improved delivery of preventive services; and more evidence-based patient care." More from CBC P.E.I.
There may be a lockdown, but Paradise council still had a bevy of development applications to deal with last week. Councillor Alan English made inquires during the February 16 meeting of council as to whether a development application for Stapleton’s Road would have accommodation for potential flooding, given a history of flooding in the area. The application was for a two-lot infill subdivision at civic number 35-37. “One lot was previously subdivided from the original parcel, thus creating a three-lot total,” said councillor Sterling Willis, adding the planning and protective services committee recommended approval of the application subject to 14 conditions. That’s when English then raised his concerns. “We’ve had a lot of problems on Stapleton’s Road with flooding over the years,” he said. “Is there any anticipation of problems with these building lots or is there any particular requirement that they would have to fulfill in order to ensure that there is no flooding in that area?” Director of Planning and Protective Services Alton Glenn said each lot would have to have a grading plan submitted and approved by the Town’s engineering department. “So that the new lots couldn’t create any adverse conditions, such as flooding, or anything else, to the existing lots,” explained Glenn. English inquired further as to whether there would be any special requirements for culverts needed to access the lots. Director of Infrastructure and Public Works Chris Milley said there will be requirements for the culverts, but he did not have them on hand. Milley said he could provide the information at a later time. “But, yes there would be requirements for the size of the culverts going in there,” said Milley. “It would match what else is on the street.” English noted the culverts on the properties just below the lot are quite large, while the ones above are smaller. “The main consideration is that it’s going to be taken into account when the lots are finally approved,” summarized English. During the same meeting council approved an alcohol licence, subject to no objections received in response to the discretionary use and other conditions that were advertised, for an establishment on Topsail Road. “With the pandemic and everything going on, it’s not to see our business community is going strong and we’re continuing to grow our economy in the Town of Paradise,” said councillor Patrick Martin. Other applications included a baked goods and charcuterie board home based business on Beaugart Avenue (subject to no objections to the discretionary use notification and adherence to 10 conditions), a three unit row house on Dina Place (again, subject to no objections from a discretionary notice or nearby residents), and a five lot residential subdivision at Three Island Pond. That application was previously approved in principle following no objections from the public. Willis explained resident had expressed concerns about the submission deadline date. The date was extended, but Willis said the resident did not submit an objection. Councillor English said he spoke to the resident in question, and that the concern was primarily related to some confusion about the notice itself. “Subsequent to that Director Glenn and the Planning Department clarified that for him,” said English. “He didn’t express a particular concern about the development itself. He did, and I’m just throwing this out there as I have similar concerns myself, he did wonder how this can proceed on all lots where there is some issue with a river running through it, and the pond, and there has to be a septic system installed, and so on. So, as far as I understand it, these lots are approved, and Service NL will have to approve the septic systems which will legitimize the building lots.” All permit motions passed unanimously. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says allocating COVID-19 vaccine doses for Indigenous people in urban areas through the provinces is faster and more effective than delivery directed from Ottawa. He says he will be working with provinces and territories to ensure they prioritize Indigenous people in their immunization efforts, even as the National Association of Friendship Centres and other advocates call for more direct federal involvement.
(CBC - image credit) A large fire Wednesday morning in Ingonish, N.S., destroyed a barn and the livestock inside, which were the heart of a young family's business and livelihood. The barn belonged to the Groovy Goat Farm & Soap Company, located along the Cabot Trail in northern Cape Breton. "It just was such a shock and it all just happened so fast," said Shannon Costelo, who owns the Groovy Goat with her husband, Ryan Costelo. Costelo said a neighbour knocked on their door to point out smoke coming from the barn behind their house. "We went out right away and there was smoke at that point ... It didn't seem like a lot so my husband ran out with the fire extinguisher. But he went in and the whole barn was already filled with smoke," Costelo said. She said her husband kicked the doors open, hoping the goats inside, which included some new kids, would run out, but none did. They were unable to rescue any of the animals that were in the barn. Engulfed in flames within minutes "It just went so fast and, you know, the whole barn was filled with hay in the hay loft, so ... it didn't take long," she said. It was only about, like, five or 10 minutes from the time we saw the smoke that it was totally engulfed in flames." The wind was blowing in the direction of the family home, Costelo said, so while her husband called for fire crews, she packed up their three children and got them off the property for fear the barn fire would spread. Costelo said her family built the barn about five years ago as their business was just taking off. They operate a petting farm and a shop where they sell their goat milk, soaps and other bath products. In addition to their goats, the family also owns some cows, which were out in a pasture at the time of the fire. 'It was pretty traumatic' Costelo said her husband is also the chief of the Ingonish volunteer fire department, which is not far from their home, so he got the truck from the station and started trying to extinguish the blaze with the help of neighbours before additional fire crews arrived. "It was very hard for him," Costelo said. "It was pretty traumatic." Crews from Ingonish and Neils Harbour responded to the blaze around 8:30 a.m. Victoria County deputy warden Larry Dauphinee was among the firefighters responding to the call. "It's a big loss to the community," Dauphinee said. "It's definitely a young couple with a nice business on the go ... I'm sure the community will pull together and assist as much as they can." Dauphinee said high winds made the fire difficult to control, as crews worked to save nearby buildings. A GoFundMe account has been launched to raise money for the Costelo family. Costelo said she and her husband haven't talked a lot yet about what comes next, but she's hoping to keep the business going. "We'll never, never get the animals back and we'll have to live with what happened," she said. "But we do hopefully plan to rebuild the barn and kind of pick ourselves up and keep going, if we can." MORE TOP STORIES
(Aaron MacDonald - image credit) A dilapidated but historic piece of P.E.I.'s coastal culture has been put to rest. Work is now complete on removal of Rocky Point wharf in Charlottetown Harbour, with a rock breakwater now in its place. "We had a number of complaints from timbers leaving the existing wharf and washing up on the beach," said Stephen Yeo, chief engineer for the province. "It was a safety concern." Work included removal of wood pilings, creosote planks and steel debris at the site, located in the community of Rocky Point, near the mouth of the West River in Charlottetown Harbour. The five-week project was completed in mid-January at a cost of $450,000. Keeping costs down The province opted to install a rock breakwater to cap the underwater foundation of the wharf, rather than excavate and remove the structure completely. "If we removed everything, the cost would have been probably three times what we paid," said Yeo. Work began in December and was complete by mid-January. Engineers also believe installation of the breakwater will minimize alteration of water flow, erosion and sand-deposition patterns where the wharf once stood. "It shouldn't have any effect at all," said Yeo. Rocky Point had been the site of a public wharf and ferry service since the 1800s, according to historical records, and provided a vital transportation link in the early days of the province. Improvements to roads, including construction of the West River Causeway, contributed to the wharf's decline. In recent years, the wharf's distinctive Y-shape at its deep-water end remained visible, and now that work on the breakwater is complete, remnants of it can still be seen at low tide. Rocky Point is now the location of a rocky breakwater. The breakwater replaces the wharf with a structure that is intended to have similar waterflow, erosion and sand-deposition characteristics. To dismantle the wharf, crews built a temporary road on top of it, to serve as a working platform for heavy equipment. As debris was removed, the temporary road was replaced with rock, to form the 145-metre long breakwater. Seabirds, including cormorants, herring gulls and terns, had been the most prolific users of the wharf in recent years, often perching in large numbers on its sun-bleached wood frame. The newly installed rock is not easy to walk on, and the breakwater is not intended for use by visitors. "I don't anticipate it will draw a big crowd," said Yeo. The province owned the wharf and continues to own the new breakwater as well as access to it, off Route 19 in Rocky Point. Land around it remains in private ownership. Staff will keep an eye on the new breakwater at Rocky Point through the coming year to make sure it's holding up properly, according to Yeo. More from CBC P.E.I.
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Le portail en ligne et la ligne téléphonique pour réserver son rendez-vous pour recevoir le vaccin contre la COVID-19 seront lancés le 15 mars, et ce n’est qu’à partir de cette journée que les Ontariens âgés de 80 ans et plus pourront recevoir leur première dose. Le général retraité Rick Hillier, responsable du plan de vaccination en Ontario, avait pourtant indiqué, à la mi-février, qu’il espérait pouvoir commencer la vaccination des membres de la communauté âgés de 80 ans et plus à compter du 1er mars. Quelques jours plus tard, l’échéancier avait été reporté à la deuxième semaine du mois de mars, et mercredi matin, le plan prévoyait plutôt le début de l’immunisation des aînés à la troisième semaine de mars. La vaccination des groupes prioritaires devrait se dérouler ainsi, selon le plus récent calendrier dévoilé par la province, mercredi: La province demande aux Ontariens de ne pas appeler pour prendre rendez-vous s’ils ne font pas partie des tranches d’âge prioritaires, afin de ne pas engorger le système. La vaccination des travailleurs essentiels devrait débuter en mai, mais le gouvernement Ford tarde à offrir des détails sur les professions qui seront incluses dans la liste des travailleurs essentiels. C’est son cabinet qui déterminera qui en fera partie. Néanmoins, chaque bureau de santé publique est responsable de son propre plan de vaccination, ce qui signifie que le début et le déroulement de l’immunisation peuvent varier d’une région à l’autre. La vaccination des aînés de la communauté débutera d’ailleurs le 5 mars dans certains quartiers de la Ville d’Ottawa. Au cours de la deuxième phase du plan de vaccination en Ontario, qui entre en vigueur le 1er mars, les pharmacies, les hôpitaux et les médecins de famille pourront commencer à distribuer les vaccins, a fait savoir Rick Hillier. L’Ontario en retard Depuis le début de la vaccination en Ontario à la fin du mois de décembre, Doug Ford vante les mérites de la province en répétant que l’Ontario est celle qui a le plus de doses administrées. Toutefois, comparé à d’autres provinces comme l’Alberta et le Québec, l’Ontario est en retard sur plusieurs plans, notamment en ce qui concerne le lancement du portail de réservations en ligne, la vaccination des résidents aînés de la communauté ainsi que le pourcentage de la population vaccinée. L’ex-général Rick Hillier espère que tous les résidents de foyers de soins de longue durée auront reçu leur deuxième dose du vaccin la semaine prochaine. Plan «bâclé» La cheffe de l’opposition officielle à Queen’s Park, Andrea Horwath, a qualifié les plus récentes annonces de la province de «choquantes», en fustigeant le gouvernement de ne pas avoir pu mieux préparer la province pour la vaccination. «Pourquoi l’Ontario est si loin derrière?», a demandé la néo-démocrate, en mêlée de presse, qui a jugé le déroulement du plan de vaccination comme étant «bâclé». Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
TERRACE, B.C. — The family of a pregnant Indigenous woman who alleges she was turned away from a northern British Columbia hospital and later gave birth to a stillborn baby says a review of the incident must be made public. Sarah Morrison has alleged she was denied maternity services at Kitimat General Hospital on Jan. 27 and had to travel to another facility 65 kilometres away in Terrace, where she delivered a stillborn infant. Dustin Gaucher, Morrison's uncle, says the results of a review by the Northern Health Authority must be released publicly to prevent it from "hiding the truth," adding that no one in his family including Morrison has been contacted to assist with the probe. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the review shortly after Morrison's family accused the Kitimat hospital of turning her away and alleged anti-Indigenous racism. Northern Health says in a statement that the findings won't be made public because provincial legislation prohibits release of results and recommendations from quality of care reviews. A spokeswoman for the health authority says the legislation is meant to promote open discussion and full participation with health-care professionals in order to determine if any changes should be made to future practices. Gaucher says if the review results are not released, little will come of it except his family will "relive our trauma." "This review is just that. The people out there want answers, but nobody gets any answers," he said in an interview. Morrison and her partner have filed a statement of claim in B.C. Supreme Court alleging the Northern Health authority, several doctors, Kitimat General Hospital and Mills Memorial Hospital used racial stereotypes and failed to provide emergency care. None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed. Northern Health said in a statement on Feb. 12 that it could not comment on the case for privacy reasons, but its board has endorsed a review of allegations of racism in health care at its hospitals. "We do wish to express that the loss of a child is tragic and our hearts go out to the family." Its statement said the review will seek guidance from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.'s former representative for children and youth, who wrote a report about anti-Indigenous racism in the province's health-care system. Mills Memorial has said the health authority would respond on its behalf. None of the others named in the lawsuit could be reached for comment. (CFTK) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
The opportunity to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic has come to life for some Métis students, thanks to a pilot project that began last fall. Royal Roads University (RRU) Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) is offering an 18-week culturally inclusive Professional Project Administration (PPA) program to Métis citizens through a partnership with Métis Nation of B.C. (MNBC). “Our first cohort of 15 students will successfully graduate from the PPA Program on Feb. 26,” said Tim Brigham, RRU PCS project lead last week. “We’re implementing feedback from our graduates for the second iteration of the program and hope to enroll up to 22 student participants this April.” Participants in the Oct. 15, 2020 to Feb. 26, 2021 session completed eight online courses through RRU PCS in the pilot program. Content from the program included courses such as: Collective Leadership, Digital Literacy, Microsoft Office Fundamentals, Project Management, Operations Management, Data Management, Proposal Writing and Business Communications. Métis citizens from all over the province are eligible to attend the pilot program. Going forward, each course instructor will be implementing student feedback and amending content to ensure participants are set-up for success in the workplace. The project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and is valued at $1.3 million. “The purpose of our program is to empower Métis citizens with an online delivery format where participants can upskill or retrain in a program that values their culture,” said Brigham. “My team is constantly working together to ensure there’s continuous improvement applied to the PPA Program across the board. We have welcomed Métis elders and guest speakers during the pilot and offer our instructional team, as well as program participants, cultural workshops while we strive to build a culturally inclusive program and prepare our students for success in the workforce.” Graduates from the first iteration of the program are currently working with a career advisor to practice interviewing skills, revamp their resumes and identify employment opportunities. Support for graduates through the career advisor will be ongoing, and is available to all program participants. The second cohort is scheduled to begin on April 12, 2021 and a session for the third cohort is currently being planned for September of 2021. Métis citizens interested in applying for the program can contact Brigham at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer
“Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease,” by Jason Dearen (Avery) Lower back pain. Spinal stenosis. Cataracts. All those conditions are treated with drugs manufactured by compounding pharmacies. And those drugs can blind or kill you, due in large part to an almost total absence of regulatory oversight. In his terrific but unnerving new book, “Kill Shot,” Associated Press investigative reporter Jason Dearen explores the shadow industry of compounding pharmacies and various unsuccessful efforts to rein it in. The story centres on the New England Compounding Center, which in 2012 produced mould-infested batches of an injectable steroid that killed more than 100 people and sickened nearly 800 others across 20 states. Eventually, the lab in Framingham, Massachusetts, half an hour west of Boston, was shut down, and 13 people, including co-owner Barry Cadden and supervising pharmacist Glenn Chin, were convicted of federal crimes. But as Dearen makes clear in his gripping, tautly written narrative, the problems posed by pharmacy compounding — which accounts for at least 10% of the country’s drug supply — are far from over. Relying on transcripts, interviews, FDA inspection reports and other sources, he reconstructs this slow-moving tragedy in scenes of almost cinematic intensity. We meet the sympathetic victims, many of them elderly people living with chronic pain, who, after receiving the injections, died slow, horrible deaths from fungal meningitis and its complications. We also meet the callous lab owners, who set out to enrich themselves by cutting corners, hiring unqualified staff, running a filthy operation and relying on payoffs to drum up business. And while some NECC employees were eventually held accountable, they had a host of enablers. These included the lobbying group Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding; members of Congress, who accepted their campaign contributions and killed meaningful reform; and the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2002 struck down a section of a law designed to give the FDA more oversight. Thankfully, there were good guys as well: mostly, the dedicated doctors and scientists in hospitals, state health labs and federal agencies, including the FDA and CDC, who tracked the mysterious outbreak of deadly infections in real time and limited its scope by alerting the public. “Kill Shot” is coming out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the overall fragility of the U.S. health care system. By calling attention to just one facet of it, Dearen has performed a tremendous public service. He includes a handy checklist of questions to ask prescribers about compounded drugs, but his takeaway is inescapable. Consumers would do well to educate themselves about treatment options and press for tougher regulations. Their lives — and those of their loved ones — may depend on it. — Ann Levin worked for The Associated Press for 20 years, including as national news editor at AP headquarters in New York. Since 2009 she’s worked as a freelance writer and editor. Ann Levin, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The fight to win the leadership of his party could be nothing compared to what Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has ahead: keeping his party together as he tries to win over voters who haven't voted for it recently. Caucus morale is buoyed by this week's House of Commons vote in favour of a motion declaring a genocide against Uighur Muslims in China. But the Tories remain stuck behind the Liberals in the polls and the Liberal war room is revving up to keep them there. The Tories' hawkish view on China stands as a point of demarcation between O'Toole and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, so while the Tories lauded the vote Monday as a victory for human rights, it's also one for them. That Liberal MPs, but not cabinet, voted with the Tories on the motion underscores the point, O'Toole argued after the vote. "The fact that Mr. Trudeau did not even show up to be accountable is a terrible sign of leadership," he said. That he'd take a strong stance on China was a key promise O'Toole made in his bid for leadership last year. But how he's following through on others is emerging as a question as O'Toole marks exactly six months in the post. Among the issues: a fear he'll backtrack on a promise dear to the heart of the party, especially in the West: repealing the federal carbon tax. MPs not authorized to publicly discuss caucus deliberations say many are concerned about O'Toole's stated support for a Liberal bill aimed at cutting Canada's net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. Most environment and economics experts say getting there without a carbon tax is possible, but would cost more because the regulations needed to achieve the goal would ultimately be more expensive. For a party fixated on the bottom line, which path to take without inflaming the base is a tricky choice. O'Toole's spokesperson says he remains committed to scrapping the federal carbon tax, though O'Toole himself no longer includes it in election-style speeches to general audiences, nor would he repeat the commitment to reporters when asked last week. Another marquee promise, to defund the CBC, is also in the wind. Spokesperson Chelsea Tucker didn't directly answer this week when asked if he would still do that if the Conservatives win power. All outlets need a fair playing field, she said in an email. "Conservatives are committed to ensuring the best path forward for Canada’s news sector." The promises on the carbon tax and on defunding the CBC were key planks for O'Toole's leadership campaign because he needed the Tory base on side to win. But as he seeks now to broaden the appeal of the party, many in caucus are expressing frustration with his approach. Recent meetings have been laced with tension and demands for change, several told The Canadian Press. Underpinning the grumbling: how kicking controversial MP Derek Sloan out of caucus played out, the appearance of a demotion from the important finance-critic post for wildly popular MP Pierre Poilievre, and frustration over the Conservatives' overarching pitch to the public. In some instances, MPs have issued their own statements when official lines out of O'Toole's office didn't jibe with their own points of view. MPs Rachael Harder and Jeremy Patzer publicly lashed out over new Liberal measures restricting travel to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, calling them draconian and an overreach, while O'Toole's office stuck with a call for compassion. Meanwhile, some MPs see focusing on anything but vaccines against COVID-19 a waste of political energy, including the recent vote on China. Others argue that O'Toole's stated focus on jobs — it was the reason Poilievre has a new title as jobs and industry critic, O'Toole says — means little without ideas to advance. O'Toole's team has partially blamed lacklustre polling on an inability to get out in front of people during the pandemic, and have tried to counter it with ad blitzes. Those efforts are also aimed at defining O'Toole before the Liberals come up with a narrative of their own. The two clashed Wednesday. As O'Toole marked six months as leader with a new ad portraying him as a serious worker, the Liberals jumped on a clip from his leadership race where he suggests he wants to put the prime minister in a portable toilet. O'Toole's office discounted the tactic as another effort by the Liberals to distract from their record, calling on them to focus instead on vaccines. There are other signs of a disconnect emerging between O'Toole and at least some of his caucus. One is over an upcoming vote in the House of Commons on a ban on conversion therapy. O'Toole says he is against the practice of forcing those questioning their gender or sexual identities into therapy but it's a free vote for his MPs. The members of his caucus who oppose the ban are organizing their own strategy sessions to frame their planned votes, work that includes O'Toole's deputy chief of staff. And the well-organized social-conservative wing of the party is gearing up for the Tories' March policy convention. The effort includes snapping up delegate spots so rapidly that some party stalwarts didn't get one, raising fears the social conservatives will be mighty enough to get controversial policies passed. Competition for spaces is a healthy sign, said party spokesman Cory Hann. "We have had more people interested in our convention than at any time in history, so of course there's going to be competitive delegate-selection meetings right across the country, which just shows how much interest there is in our party," he said. O'Toole said recently what the polls show today doesn't matter. "The Conservatives got Canada through the last global recession, better than any other country, without raising taxes. That is what we will do," he said. "And I think the polls will be on election day when Canadians want to choose that strong future." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) Canada's COVID-19 vaccine rollout needs to guarantee equal access for migrants and undocumented workers, advocates for migrant rights say. The Migrant Rights Network says it fears that countless migrant and undocumented workers won't get vaccinated because of their immigration status — either because they lack access to health coverage or they worry about their personal information being shared with immigration enforcement authorities. "While federal and provincial governments have made promises and assurances that vaccine access will be universal, policies and practices have not changed," said Syed Hussan, a member of the Migrant Rights Network secretariat, at a virtual press conference today. "Concrete action is urgently necessary to ensure life-saving public health measures are accessible to all migrant and undocumented people." WATCH: Advocates call for equal access to vaccines for migrants and undocumented workers The group laid out a list of demands in an open letter signed by 270 civil society organizations and addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial and territorial leaders. Their goals include: making sure vaccines are free for everyone in Canada, regardless of immigration status; ensuring that getting a vaccine doesn't require a health card; and directing vaccine providers to not demand personal information in exchange for receiving a vaccine dose. The group also said that vaccines shouldn't be mandatory and that health care providers should be trained not to turn people away if they don't have a health card or access to health insurance. The letter comes as provinces and territories make plans for a country-wide mass vaccination campaign. The quantity of vaccine doses being delivered to Canada is expected to ramp up substantially in the coming weeks and months. Many lack health cards The Migrant Rights Network estimates that over 1.6 million people in Canada don't have permanent resident status and says that many of them work in essential jobs in such sectors as health care, cleaning, construction, delivery and agriculture. The group says many migrants and undocumented workers are being denied vaccination because they don't have health cards — which in many cases are tied to work or study permits. The group was joined at the press conference by an undocumented worker at a long-term care home in Toronto who came to Canada in 2014. The woman — identified only as "Lily" during the press conference — said her immigration status expired in Jan. 2020, leaving her undocumented and without an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card. Lily said she has been denied the COVID-19 vaccine, while all the residents and staff in the home where she works have received two shots already. "I am on the front line every day, just like everyone else who lives and works in the home. But while they are better protected from the virus's spread, I am not," said Lily. "Undocumented workers are already denied access to health care, housing, social services and legal rights. Now we are being denied access to COVID vaccinations because it is tied to an OHIP card, which we do not have." Dr. Danyaal Raza is a family doctor at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and board chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Dr. Danyaal Raza, board chair of the physicians' advocacy group Canadian Doctors for Medicare, said he was part of an outreach team that went into a Toronto homeless shelter last week to vaccinate residents there. Raza said the team offers residents vaccinations without asking to see their health cards. They were also given the option of providing an alias. Raza, who is also a family doctor at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said this model should be in place across the country — especially as provinces and territories prepare to conduct mass vaccination campaigns in the coming months. "We need to make sure that this is the case at every single vaccine clinic because we're hearing now that it's not, and that's not acceptable, especially if we're going to hit that target for herd immunity," said Raza. Vaccines will be free and accessible: PHAC Vancouver MP Jenny Kwan, the federal NDP's critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, backed the call for vaccine access for migrants and undocumented workers. "Migrant workers and undocumented workers do critical work in Canada and we have to ensure that we do our part in protecting them from COVID outbreaks without any fear of reprisals," said Kwan. "Not only is including migrant workers and undocumented workers in the vaccination process the right thing to do, if we aren't targeting hotspots for transmission and protecting the most vulnerable to infection, then we are only prolonging the pandemic for everyone and adding additional strain to our hospitals." The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed that the two COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use in Canada — from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are free and will be accessible to everyone in Canada. "While they're available to priority populations first, they'll be available to everyone in Canada who is recommended to get the vaccine by federal, provincial and territorial public health authorities," Anna Maddison said by email. "This applies to everyone in Canada, including those who aren't citizens (and who are over the age of 16 for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or over the age of 18 for the Moderna vaccine)." But Maddison pointed out that provincial and territorial governments are responsible for administering the vaccine. Each province and territory has its own separate immunization plan laying out who can get a vaccine and when, along with the location of vaccination sites. A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Health said an OHIP card isn't necessary to receive a vaccine — although another piece of government-issued photo ID is, such as a driver's licence, passport or other provincial health card. B.C.'s Ministry of Health said people looking to get vaccinated in that province will need to show proof of age and Canadian residency. The ministry said it needs to collect some information so that anyone who receives the vaccine can be followed up with by public health for health reasons, and for scheduling a second dose. Any information provided to public health for the purpose of the immunization plan will not be shared with other organizations, the ministry said. Over two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed by the federal government since immunization began in December, and over 1.6 million doses have been administered, according to the COVID-19 Tracker project.
FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today. One case is in the Edmundston region in the northwest of the province and involves a staff member in their 70s at the Manoir Belle Vue long-term care home. That facility has reported more than 90 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. The other new case involves a person in their 50s in the Moncton region. There are now 64 active reported cases in the province and two people in hospital with the disease, including one in intensive care. New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,426 COVID-19 infections and 26 deaths linked to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
Trudy Hodges, Family and Community Support Services director, and Amie Greene, FCSS program services co-ordinator, presented an update on 2020 operations to council in delegation. In 2020, Beaverlodge FCSS served 33 clients through its home support program, including 30 seniors. Home support made 232 visits, according to Hodges’ presentation. The food bank served 61 families and another 187 individuals throughout 2020, with an additional 61 Christmas hampers prepared. FCSS also helped residents complete 110 income tax returns. FCSS had 615 requests for service in 2020, from 498 town residents, 102 County of Grande Prairie residents and 15 others. City residents may be examples of “others” who used programs like babysitting courses, Greene said. Use of FCSS services was generally down in 2020; FCSS would typically complete 150 to 170 income tax returns, Greene said. Programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit may account for less demand for FCSS services, Hodges said. FCSS received $60,800 of its budget from the Alberta government and $30,400 from the county, with the remaining $269,000 provided by the town, Hodges said. Municipal election: Council also approved two motions to prepare for the Oct. 18 municipal election. Coun. Judy Kokotilo-Bekkerus’ motion to set two advance voting dates, Oct. 9 and Oct. 13 at the community centre, was carried. Coun. Cyndi Corbett’s motion to establish a voting station at Amisk Court from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 18, in addition to the main voting location at the community centre 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., was carried. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Lors de la séance du conseil de la MRC de Minganie du 16 février, les élus ont adressé une demande au gouvernement du Québec pour que l’île d’Anticosti soit incluse dans le territoire du Plan Nord. Malgré le fait que l’île soit au-dessus du 49e parallèle, elle ne fait pas partie du plan de développement du nord québécois. Pour la MRC de Minganie, l’île recèle un potentiel important au niveau forestier et faunique et son exclusion du Plan Nord est un frein au développement de ce lieu. Le préfet de la MRC de Minganie, Luc Noël, explique qu’il n’y a aucune reconnaissance spécifique accordé à Anticosti par le gouvernement. Cela fait que l’île ne peut bénéficier de certains programmes qui pourraient l’aider à subvenir à certains besoins reliés à sa situation d’insularité. « Si le gouvernement veut faire du développement durable avec le Plan Nord, je pense que le projet de faire inscrire l’île d’Anticosti comme site du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO pourrait correspondre à cet objectif », affirme Luc Noël. Cette demande de la MRC de Minganie fait suite à la vision de la municipalité d’Anticosti qui souhaite relancer le développement de l’île en misant sur le tourisme durable et bonifier ses infrastructures d’accueil. De son côté, la Société du Plan Nord indique que le territoire de celui-ci est déterminé par « différents facteurs, dont les limites géographiques des régions administratives existantes, le type de végétation, l’isolement des collectivités, les principales industries et activités économiques présentes, et le critère de la nordicité ». C'est donc en se basant sur ces critères que le gouvernement a décidé de ne pas retenir l'île d'Anticosti dans le territoire du Plan Nord. De plus, la Société du Plan Nord affirme qu'elle « n'a pas l'intention de proposer au gouvernement d’entamer un processus de révision des limites du territoire d’application » du Plan Nord pour l'instant. Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
(BAE Systems Inc./Lockheed Martin Canada - image credit) Canada's budget watchdog predicts construction of the navy's new frigate fleet could cost at least $77.3 billion — a number that could rise even higher if the frequently-delayed program faces any more setbacks. Yves Giroux, the parliamentary budget officer [PBO], said the overall price tag for building 15 Canadian Surface Combatants could hit $82.1 billion in the event the program is delayed by as much as two years. The Liberal government is basing Canada's new warships on the design of the British-built Type 26 frigate. The House of Commons government operations committee asked the budget office to crunch the numbers on other designs, such as the FREMM European multi-mission frigate and the Type 31e, another British warship. The French FREMM frigate Aquitaine in an undated file photo. Those estimates show the federal government could save money by dropping the existing program and going with the other designs. It could also save money by building a fleet that includes two classes of vessel, such as the Type 26 and one of the other warships. Giroux said the idea of a mixed fleet makes sense from a fiscal point of view, but he couldn't say whether it would agree with the federal government's vision of what it wants the navy to do. "It's a good way of saving costs, if the government is interested in cutting down on its costs," Giroux said in a virtual media availability following the report's release today. Depending on the ship, the savings could be substantial. Deep cuts to construction costs possible: PBO For example, the budget office estimated that ditching the existing program and switching entirely to the Type 31 frigate would cost $27.5 billion, a projection that includes a four-year delay. The cost of acquiring an entire fleet of 15 FREMM warships is estimated at $71.1 billion — somewhat comparable to the existing program. A mixed fleet using either one of the alternate designs and the existing Type 26 also would result in savings. Giroux acknowledged that such a scenario would mean the navy would have to invest in separate infrastructure, support and supply chains — something it is reluctant to do. But it might be a good idea from a larger perspective, he added, because a mixed fleet means "you don't put all of your eggs in one basket." Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux. As of last fall, the Department of National Defence was insisting it could build all 15 Type 26 frigates, under contract with Lockheed Martin Canada and Irving Shipbuilding, for up to $60 billion. Giroux said he hopes the department is correct for taxpayers' sake, but his team stands by its numbers. The department stuck by its estimate in a statement issued today — but acknowledged the difference in the cost estimates could be explained in part by the fact that PBO includes the project's associated provincial sales taxes, while the federal government does not. The statement said the decision to select the Type 26 design was made based upon the capabilities it will bring to the navy. "As the PBO noted, the other design options that they examined would have 'more limited' and 'modest' capabilities than our selected design," the statement said. "These reductions would impede the [Royal Canadian Navy's] ability to execute its assigned roles and missions to keep Canadians safe both at home and abroad." The department also categorically ruled out scrapping the program or going with another design. "This is not an option we will be pursuing," the statement said. "Selecting a new design at this stage in the project would lead to significant economic loss for Canada's marine industry and those employed in it. "It would have major operational impacts for the [Royal Canadian Navy], due to associated project delays and life-extension requirements, as well as increasing the costs to operate and maintain more than one class of ships in the future." In their response, the Conservatives focused on the delays that led to the higher cost projections. "The increased costs of the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program are a direct result of Justin Trudeau's failures and the Liberals' mismanagement on this important procurement," said the statement, issued on behalf of Conservative defence critic James Bezan. "Conservatives continue to support our plan to revitalize the Royal Canadian Navy and the National Shipbuilding Strategy. But we do not support this ongoing Liberal dithering and costly delays to the CSC procurement." The latest report builds on an analysis prepared by the PBO office two years ago which projected a construction cost of $70 billion. The new numbers, Giroux said, reflect new information from the defence department about the size of the warships and the capabilities being built into them, as well as anticipated production delays. The outgoing president of Irving Shipbuilding, Kevin McCoy, told CBC News in an interview recently that the production timeline to build a Type 26 is seven-and-a-half years, which is two years longer than the five year timeline that had been built into the program. That means the navy won't see its first new frigate until 2031, on the current schedule. McCoy said in his interview that when the program started out under the previous Conservative government, the intention was to build a warship from scratch. He said it took several years and a change of government to convince Ottawa and the navy that doing so would be extraordinarily expensive — more expensive that the current program. A question of capabilities Dave Perry is vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and one of the country's leading experts on defence procurement. He said that when you look at the defence department's tax explanation and consider the delays, the projections are not too far apart. He said he believes the only fair comparison is between the existing Type 26 design and the FREMM frigate because they have similar capabilities. "To use a boxing analogy, it is in the same weight class," said Perry. He said the choice to include the less capable Type 31e in the comparison struck him as odd. The PBO report notes the difference and acknowledges that the less expensive Type 31e is designed to operate mostly in conjunction with the larger Type 26, which has air defence capabilities, among other things. A mixed fleet, he said, is something policy-makers could consider and is something Canada has had in the past — but the notion extends far beyond simple budgeting. "We would be building a different navy, a significantly less capable navy," Perry said.
“Speak, Okinawa,” by Elizabeth Miki Brina (Knopf) Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa” is a masterful memoir in which Brina examines the complex relationship she has with her interracial parents. Brina’s father, white and American, met her mother, who is from the island of Okinawa, while he was stationed there on a US military base. The two settled in the United States, where Brina’s mother spent decades feeling lonely and out of place. Brina grew up feeling close to her father and resenting her mother. Desperate to feel wholly American, she pushed her mother away, embarrassed of her accent and overall inability to truly assimilate. In this investigation of her childhood, Brina begins to see things differently. She looks at life from her mother’s perspective, and now, she starts to understand the depth of her pain, pain she endured from leaving behind all she knew and loved, and also the pain of calling occupied land home. “Speak, Okinawa” is both a mediation on Brina’s own family as well as a powerful history of the United States occupation of Okinawa, where it maintains a massive military presence to this day. Brina’s writing is crisp, captivating and profound. She is vulnerable, raw, and relatable, and her stories will no doubt cause readers to reflect on their relationships with their own parents. As educational as it is entertaining, “Speak, Okinawa” is well worth the read. —- Molly Sprayregen can be reached at her site. Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press