This person is trying to watch 'The Bachelorette' but the dog splayed out on his back is just too distractingly cute.
This person is trying to watch 'The Bachelorette' but the dog splayed out on his back is just too distractingly cute.
For a man obsessed with winning, President Donald Trump is losing a lot.He’s managed to lose not just once to Democrat Joe Biden at the ballot box but over and over again in courts across the country in a futile attempt to stay in power. The Republican president and his allies continue to mount new cases, recycling the same baseless claims, even after Trump’s own attorney general declared the Justice Department had uncovered no widespread fraud."This will continue to be a losing strategy, and in a way it's even bad for him: He gets to re-lose the election numerous times," said Kent Greenfield, a professor at Boston College Law School. “The depths of his petulance and narcissism continues to surprise me.”In an Associated Press tally of roughly 50 cases brought by Trump's campaign and his allies, more than 30 have been rejected or dropped. About a dozen are awaiting action. Trump has notched just one small victory, a case challenging a decision to move the deadline to provide missing proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.Trump has refused to admit he lost, and this week posted a 46-minute speech to Facebook filled with conspiracies, misstatements and vows to keep up his fight to subvert the election.Five more losses came Friday. The Trump campaign lost its bid to overturn the results of the election in Nevada and the Michigan appeals court rejected a case from his campaign. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a challenge brought by GOP lawmakers. And in Arizona, a judge threw out thrown out a bid to undo Biden’s victory there, concluding that the state’s Republican Party chairwoman failed to prove fraud or misconduct and that the evidence presented at trial wouldn’t reverse Trump’s loss. The Wisconsin Supreme Court also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a conservative group over Trump’s loss.Thursday dealt another blow in Wisconsin, where a split state Supreme Court refused to hear Trump’s lawsuit seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. The case echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes. Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court late Wednesday.Judges in battleground states have repeatedly swatted down legal challenges brought by the president and his allies. Trump's legal team has vowed to take one Pennsylvania case to the U.S. Supreme Court even though it was rejected in a scathing ruling by a federal judge as well as an appeals court.After recently being kicked off Trump's legal team, conservative attorney Sidney Powell filed new lawsuits in Arizona and Wisconsin this week riddled with errors and wild conspiracies about election rigging. One of the plaintiffs named in the Wisconsin case said he never agreed to participate in the case and found out through social media that he had been included. The same lawsuit asks for 48 hours of security footage from the “TCF Center,” which is in Detroit.The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have raised are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postmarks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. Election officials from both parties have said the election went well, and Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the election's outcome.Trump's lawyers responded by criticizing Barr, who has been one of the president's biggest allies.Greenfield says their criticism speaks volumes. “It goes to show how vehement their ability to overlook reality is," he said.Failing to gain any traction in court, Trump and his allies are now turning to events with Republican lawmakers and rallies in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan where they can use unfounded claims of fraud to incite the president’s loyal base.At a rally in Georgia on Wednesday, Powell and another pro-Trump attorney, Lin Wood, suggested that Republican voters sit out of the two January runoff elections that will decide control of the Senate because of the potential for fraud. And in Michigan, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, urged Republican activists to pressure, even threaten, the GOP-controlled Legislature to award the state’s 16 electoral votes to Trump despite Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.In his video posted Wednesday, Trump said there were facts and evidence of a mass conspiracy created by Democrats to steal the election, a similar argument made by Giuliani and others before judges that has been largely unsuccessful. Most of their claims are rooted in conspiracy theories about voting machines that are not true, and affidavits by partisan poll watchers who claimed they didn't get close enough to see ballots being tallied because of safety precautions in the coronavirus pandemic. Because they couldn't see, they argued, something untoward must have happened.“No, I didn’t hear any facts or evidence," tweeted Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, after watching the video Wednesday night. “What I did hear was a sad Facebook rant from a man who lost an election."___Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., David Eggert in Lansing, Mich., and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
South Korean authorities urged vigilance on Saturday as small coronavirus clusters emerged in a third wave, centred in the Seoul area, with infections near nine-month highs. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 583 new coronavirus infections, down from the 629 reported on Friday, which was the highest since the first wave peaked in February and early March. This wave of infections is different from the first two, which were driven by large-scale transmission, said KDCA official Lim Sook-young.
THUNDER BAY — A 62-year-old man who falsely claimed to be COVID-19 positive while under arrest for violating court orders was sentenced on Friday for one count of conveying false information, failing to provide a breath sample and failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking. Arnett Langfried appeared in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom on Friday, Dec. 4 where he was sentenced by Judge Peter Bishop to 50 days of pre-sentence custody, which was enhanced to 75 days for all three charges. During his sentencing hearing, Langfried told the court he had not been tested for the virus despite telling police during his arrest on Oct. 15 he had received a positive test result for COVID-19 days before. Langfried came to police attention after the vehicle he was driving was reported to police for erratic and aggressive driving, Crown Attorney Stella Vallelunga said Friday, Dec. 4. Police conducted a traffic stop on Highway 11/17 near Shabaqua where they informed the driver of the reason for the stop and requested his driver's licence. The driver provided an expired out-of-province licence which alerted police the motorist was under court orders to not be driving. Police also observed the vehicle had two different licence plates on it. Officers advised Langfried he was under arrest for breaching his recognizance and placed him in the back of a police cruiser. Officers then spoke with a woman who was seated in the front passenger side of the vehicle who was reluctant to give police her name. Court heard police were making efforts to arrange for an alternate ride for the woman but she insisted on staying with Langfried. Once she provided her name and date of birth, police were notified her name came back as a missing person from the Peel Region area. Officers notified police in Peel. The woman became extremely uncooperative with the police and began screaming at officers she wanted to stay with her husband, court heard. While Langfried was in the back of the vehicle, he told police he had tested positive for COVID-19 in Newmarket days prior. At one point, Langfried and the woman began to verbally abuse the police by using profanities, court heard. Langfriend also pulled his mask down while speaking with police and officers observed an odour of alcohol from his breath. While police were searching his vehicle they found a full can of beer. Police asked Langfried for a breath sample to which he refused. He was also on court-orders to have zero milligrams of alcohol inside his body outside of his residence. Langfried’s lawyer, Sharon Scharfe, informed the court her client's poor behaviour that day was partly be attributed to his concern for his girlfriend. The couple also had a cat inside the vehicle who had gotten out on the highway and both individuals were distracted and upset about what had happened, the lawyer said. Court also heard a background of Langfried's criminal history including a conviction of an attempt to commit murder using a firearm in 2011 for which he received four years and eight months at a Saskatchewan penitentiary. He was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and received a one-year driving prohibition for failing to provide a breath sample. Langfried apologized for his actions in court.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Pincher Creek town council passed a mandatory mask bylaw during a special meeting Dec. 4. Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 1628-20 was proposed during the Dec. 2 committee of the whole meeting. In order to provide an immediate response to the spread of Covid-19 in the community, town council held a special meeting later that afternoon to vote on the bylaw. The bylaw passed first and second reading but required unanimous approval by all members of council to enter its third and final reading. Coun. Sussanne O’Rourke was the only council member to vote in opposition, so third reading was delayed to today. Coun. O’Rourke was again the only opposing vote for the third reading. The bylaw comes into effect immediately. Bylaw 1628-20 requires people to wear a face covering or mask that covers the mouth, nose and chin at all times while inside indoor public places and public vehicles in Pincher Creek. The bylaw specifies an indoor public place as “any property, whether publicly or privately owned, to which members of the public have access as of right or by express or implied invitation.” A public vehicle is defined as “a bus, taxi or other vehicle which is used to transport members of the public for a fee.” Business owners are required to post signage stating the face covering requirements. The bylaw does not apply to schools, daycares, or the hospital, all of which are governed by provincial policies outside the town’s jurisdiction. Violations of the bylaw will result in a $100 fine. Enforcement will be provided by members of the RCMP, community peace officers and bylaw enforcement officers. Importantly, there are a number of exemptions to the mask requirement. Masks are not mandatory for children two years and under, as well as anyone who is unable to place, use or remove the mask without assistance. People unable to wear a face covering as a result of a medical condition or disability are also exempt, in addition to people who are eating or drinking, exercising, or those working alone or separated by at least two metres or a barrier. The bylaw also stipulates individuals may temporarily remove their masks during an emergency, when they need to establish their identity, or receive a service that requires it. Coun. Lorne Jackson said the exemptions were an important component of the bylaw, since he was fully aware many cannot wear a face covering for multiple reasons, including mental anxieties or physical health and disability issues. As a result of his own limited hand use and nerve damage, Coun. Jackson sympathised with people who would deal with unkind judgments for not complying with the bylaw. “This stems from the disapproving looks that are occasionally directed toward me from individuals that are unaware of my limitations and when my injuries are hidden by clothing,” he said. Coun. Jackson also acknowledged mandating masks through legislation had become a polarized issue as people argued between protecting public health versus infringing upon civil liberties. Having many people he considered good friends on both sides of the debate made him take his vote especially serious. “I’ve been thinking about this bylaw practically non stop since it was first introduced,” he said. Enforcing mask use, he concluded, was an important way for the town to remain in control of its destiny. “I want to stress that anything we can do locally in an effort to remain below the provincial trigger numbers will help to keep the ball in our court rather than other measures that none of us want to see.” Maintaining that level of autonomy, agreed Coun. Brian McGillivray, justified the bylaw’s measures. “I think we’re shortly about to see things change rapidly in our little corner of the world where we’ve been so lucky to sort of avoid the threat from the pandemic that other areas of Alberta have been threatened with,” said Coun. McGillivray. For Coun. Scott Korbett, limiting the spread of Covid-19 had become a personal issue. “I have tested positive for Covid-19, and I have been in isolation since Nov. 27,” he announced. Although making sure to keep within his cohort and limiting social interactions out of concern for a family member undergoing chemotherapy, Coun. Korbett’s contraction of the virus emphasized the seriousness of the disease. “Symptoms for me are not dire, but I am healthy and I’m able to fight this. I can appreciate how someone vulnerable could not,” he said. Overall, Coun. Korbett said the bylaw was an important way to support the Pincher Creek business community and healthcare workers despite not being “the silver bullet to stop the spread.” Mayor Don Anderberg seconded the sentiment. “The one thing we need to keep in mind is it doesn’t matter what legislation we put in place: we have to take personal responsibility for our health,” the mayor said. “If we start thinking in terms of making sure our personal activities first of all take care of us, but going beyond that if we start thinking more of others, then I think we’ll get out of this,” he continued. “Without that type of initiative and all of us taking the responsibility, it doesn’t really matter what the law says.” Public notice of the bylaw, along with answers to frequently asked questions, is available on the town’s website at http://bit.ly/PCmaskBylaw.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
TORONTO — Chris Voth's sexuality cost him a job with a professional volleyball team overseas four years ago. The Winnipeg native, who has never named the team nor country, was told outright that the club wasn't interested in having a gay player. The 30-year-old came out publicly seven years ago because he hoped to be a role model for young LGBTQ athletes, and given the chance to go back and change that, he wouldn't. But Voth was disheartened to learn that the majority of gay athletes still don't come out, and that homophobic language on the field or court remains rampant — and Canada is among the worst offenders."That was disappointing, because I always like to think that we're a bit more further ahead up north (compared to the U.S.)," said Voth, recently home from coaching in the Netherlands.The former national team player was responding to two studies released Thursday by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The first study analyzed survey responses from 1,173 lesbian, gay and bisexual people aged 15 to 21 living in Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The study found that about 48 per cent of Canadian youth who come out to teammates reported being the target of homophobic behaviour, including bullying, assaults and slurs — and it was more prevalent among Canadian youth than Americans (45 per cent). Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who've come out to teammates reported being victimized — more than any other country surveyed by Monash's Behavioural Sciences Research Laboratory. "It's easy for Canadians to dismiss the data and say, 'No, no, that's not in our country. We're inclusive and welcoming. And we're known around the world for being friendly and polite and nice,'" said lead author Erik Denison, who's Canadian. "Canada has been a laggard globally, full stop. There's no other way to say that."Young people who came out were significantly more likely (58 per cent versus 40 per cent) to report they’d been the target of homophobic behaviors in sport settings than those who didn't, the study found. Every study over the past 15 years has shown that LGBTQ kids play sport at lower rates than straight kids, Denison said, and while there's a perception that the gap is more prevalent in boys than girls, that's not accurate. "And seeing these big gaps in participation, I can only use the word alarming," said Denison. "We're really alarmed about both discrimination in sport, and the fact these kids are avoiding sport. "Because the No. 1 thing we could be doing to reduce rates of suicide and self-harm is encouraging these kids to become active in safe and supportive environments."Numerous studies have shown that suicide attempts and ideation about suicide are significantly higher in LGBTQ kids.Voth's experiences as an out athlete varied wildly. The 30-year-old believes discrimination cost him spots on several pro clubs, contract negotiations inexplicably stalling with no explanation. On the other hand, when he signed with a pro team in Finland, he was "the first gay person that any of them had met. And only a month-and-a-half later, we were the first pro volleyball team to walk in a pride parade. So it can really go either way."Voth said LGBTQ youth are doubly impacted, losing out on the mental health benefits that come from being part of a team. The second Monash study investigated why some athletes use homophobic language.Denison pointed out that while there are "homophobes, racists and sexist people everywhere," they tend to control their behaviour around others. "The opposite is happening in sport. In sport, the culture is very supportive of homophobic language being used," he said. "Canadian sport has three official languages: French, English and homophobic language."And while most people believe it's slurs aimed at opponents during games, their studies found that homophobic language is being used at practices, in the locker-room, and at social events, as jokes and banter. "And we're not just talking about words like 'gay,' we asked about much more severe language,'" Denison said.He is working with the University of British Columbia among other schools around the world on a program aimed to train team captains to be leaders on this issue, because coaches can't necessarily create change, it's more effective when it comes from an athlete's peers.Denison said that Volleyball Canada is the only national sport organization in the country that has done work specifically targeting homophobia, and it occurred around the same time Voth came out publicly."I don't want to denigrate what the NHL (among other leagues) has done, but at the end of the day, the NHL is a professional sporting organization, they're ultimately a business," Denison said. "It's up to Hockey Canada, it's up to Soccer Canada, it's up to Rugby Canada, it's up to those bodies and provincial bodies as well to be driving change."The Canadian Olympic Committee has done anti-homophobia social media campaigns, mall installations, and regularly marches in pride parades across the country.Pro sports teams such as Toronto FC and the Toronto Raptors host annual pride games.Denison said his research, however, has shown those initiatives do little to reduce homophobic behaviour and language among fans. He'd rather see pro teams work with teams and programs at the grassroots level to hold their own pride games, among other initiatives."What we've seen is that when amateur-level teams hold pride games, the players on those teams use half the homophobic language than those who don't hold these events," Denison said. "These events are really good at getting those conversations going around 'Hey, guys, what kind of language do we actually want on our team?' That's where we can change those norms and culture, we think quite effectively."Denison pointed out that there are openly-LGBTQ people in entertainment, government, and major corporations, but by comparison, they largely remain invisible in sports, particularly on the men's side, and have since David Kopay came out in 1975 after he retired from the NFL. He's believed to be the first pro athlete to come out. Michael Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. Brooklyn Nets forward Jason Collins came out in 2013, and former Major League Soccer midfielder Collin Martin followed suit in 2018. Collins has retired, and Martin plays in the USL, and there have been no active gay players in any of the five major North American sports leagues since. Women's pro sport has been a different story. Sports power couple Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe are two of the numerous out athletes in the WNBA, NWSL, and other women's leagues. For Denison, Canada's track record is particularly disheartening."It's quite embarrassing for me as a Canadian researcher who happens to be down in Australia now to see that Canada is a laggard. Because I'm a proud Canadian, and I think Canadians have a reputation for being friendly and inclusive. "But it looks like either Canadians have been ignoring this issue, we're not aware of this issue, or worse, maybe there's some deliberate resistance to do anything about this problem."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Twelve people have died in a COVID-19 outbreak at a hospital in London, Ont., that has seen dozens of staff and patients sickened. As of Friday, the outbreak at University Hospital, which began on Nov. 10, was tied to 48 cases among staff and 64 in patients."We are doing everything in our power to keep this number from growing but trying to keep the pandemic out of a hospital is a challenge," said Dr. Paul Woods, president of the London Health Sciences Centre, which oversees the hospital. He said the hospital remains open and safe for emergencies, but has been redirecting some admissions to another facility.The outbreak began in a single unit and has since spread to five other parts of the hospital.That disruption could last through December, hospital officials said. The network has made several measures to control the growing outbreak at the hospital.It has limited movement of staff and patients between different parts of the hospital and directing staff to "work-quarantine" -- meaning they can't have social interactions outside of work.The health network has also reduced activity at the hospital to only urgent and emergent services.It said it has continued to work with Middlesex-London Health Unit to implement measures as part of its response to limit transmission.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
President-elect Joe Biden says that the most recent jobs report is "dire" and that there is no time to lose in crafting a rescue package as millions of people have lost their jobs or have seen their incomes slashed during the pandemic. (Dec. 4)
A 35-year-old Dawson Creek man was killed Saturday, November 28 when he was caught in an avalanche while out snowmobiling north of Mackenzie. Police and rescue personnel were called to the scene in the Powder King-Bijoux Falls area beginning shortly before 2 p.m. They said two snowmobilers were in the area at the time and one was buried in the snow. The victim's name was not provided. "The BC Coroners Service has conduct of this incident and is currently investigating to determine the facts surrounding this death. No further details are available at this time," RCMP said in a statement. On the previous Friday, Avalanche Canada had issued its first forecast of the season and had put the danger rating for the North Rockies at high for treeline and above and considerable for below treeline. "There was a pretty big storm that pass through the area, almost a week long storm," Avalanche Canada warning service manager Karl Klassen said Monday. "And that storm just started breaking up on Saturday, there was a fair amount of wind and quite a bit of new snow. Temperatures were quite warm and then they cooled off and those are kind of classic conditions for pretty significant avalanche danger. "We rated the danger as high, we told people to expect large avalanches on all aspects and all elevations given the amount of wind and snow and the temperatures that were occurring at the time." The high rating is one level below extreme and is used when conditions are deemed to be very dangerous. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended when the rating is in place although Klassen said it can be done with proper training and experience. "Even when the avalanche danger is high or even extreme, there are places in the mountains where avalanches just don't occur so as long as you can recognize that terrain and stay on that terrain, you'd be fine," Klassen said. "But again, just to stress, it's not something you (should do) without getting some training, getting some experience and gaining some knowledge and making a good trip plan before they leave." Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said avalanche courses remain available. Theory is being learned online or in smaller class sizes and with greater physical distancing and masks once outside for the practical part. To find a class, go to avalanche.ca and click on the learn tab. Thanks to an influx of federal funding, a three-person field team has been working in the region during the winter months since December 2019. Klassen said forecasts for the region will be issued four times a week this season, up from three times a week last winter.Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
QUEBEC — The Quebec government says it will spend $18.6 million over the next five years to improve policing in Indigenous communities.Among the measures announced at a press conference Friday is funding to enable members of Indigenous police services to stay in their communities while taking specialized training courses around conjugal violence and sexual assault investigations.Currently those courses are only offered at the provincial police academy.Shawn Dulude, the chief of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service and a vice-president of the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association, said that many of Quebec's 22 Indigenous police services are small.A service with four or five officers can't afford to send one of them away for up to a month, he explained at the press conference.The government will look at ways to deliver the training in communities, and in the languages that Indigenous police officers speak, Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault said.Dulude said the training will allow Indigenous police services to investigate crimes such as sexual assaults in their communities without having to call for support from the provincial police. "We want to be equal" with other police services, he said.Guilbault said the province will also fund basic police training for up to 24 members of Indigenous communities a year and take steps to encourage more people from those communities to consider a career in policing.Currently between 18 and 23 people from Indigenous communities graduate from Quebec's police academy every year — just over three per cent of graduates, Guilbault said. But Indigenous police services struggle with recruitment and retention. Many officers leave for police services in large cities or the provincial police, which offer better pay and benefits, Dulude said.The unique challenge of policing a small community where officers are often related to many residents can also contribute to burnout, he added. “You may be called for a conjugal violence at a home where it’s your cousin that’s the suspect, it could be your cousin that’s the victim," he said. "You can’t say I’m going to give the call to somebody else, because there’s nobody else. Often you’re alone with your partner working that shift." Dulude said he's optimistic about future negotiations with Quebec City and Ottawa around funding. Currently, Indigenous police services in Quebec receive 52 per cent of their funding from the federal government and 48 per cent from the province.In an additional measure, all members of the province's correctional service will receive training on the realities faced by Indigenous people, Guilbault said.The funding announced Friday comes after an inquiry overseen by retired judge Jacques Viens issued a damning report last year on the relationship between public servants in Quebec and Indigenous people. Guilbault said the announcement responds to several of the recommendations made in Viens' report.That inquiry was launched after a number of Indigenous women in Val-d'Or, Que., accused police of sexual assault and other forms of abuse.A report released in October on the provincial police watchdog's investigation into those allegations found that since the women came forward in 2015, more than 200 investigations have been opened into allegations of police misconduct toward Indigenous people. Le Devoir reported Friday that the complaints have led to charges against 17 police officers.On Friday, Ian Lafreniere, Quebec's minister responsible for Indigenous relations, said the fact that people are making formal complaints is a sign they have confidence in the system. Guilbault said that small number of charges that have resulted from investigations by the police watchdog is not necessarily a sign of how the agency is performing.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.— Written by Jacob Serebrin in Montreal———This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
If he didn't know it before, Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty knows it now - they can come at the most unexpected times. Shortly before he was about to ask a question during Question Period in the House of Commons last Monday, Doherty received a text from his wife Kelly, notifying him that their pregnant daughter's water just broke. "I'm going to be a grandfather for the first time," Doherty told fellow MPs who responded with a round of applause. Still a little flustered, Doherty then said he had completely forgotten what he was going to say, which drew a round of good-natured laughter. Doherty was then able to gather his thoughts and ask health minister Patty Hadju about the extent of her commitment to bringing a 988 national suicide hotline to Canada. Earlier in November, Doherty had tabled a motion to establish the service, saying the easy-to-remember three-digit number could make the difference between a life saved and a life lost. "Does the minister support a national 988 suicide hotline in Canada, and if you don't, if the minister doesn't, just have the courtesy to say so," he said. Hadju, in turn, acknowledged the big news first. "I can't help but say congratulations to the member opposite, because that's pretty exciting news to break to the House of Commons," she said. Hadju went on to say she wants to continue to work with Doherty to bring the hotline to Canada and to find ways to make realize his proposal more quickly. On Wednesday, back home in his riding and taking part in House business remotely, Doherty proudly showed his Parliamentary colleagues a picture of his granddaughter, Ren Kathleen. Videos of both moments can be seen on Doherty’s Facebook page. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
Canadian dairy farmers will receive over $1.4 billion in the next three years from the federal government to compensate for recent trade deals. On Saturday, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the funds as part of a $1.75-billion trade deal compensation package granted to the sector last year, which will be rolled out significantly faster than originally announced. The money was first slated to be distributed over eight years, not three. Canada’s poultry and egg sectors, which, like dairy, are supply-managed, will also receive compensation to the tune of $691 million over the next 10 years, said Bibeau. That accelerated timeline has been welcomed by dairy farmers, who say they need to adapt to a transformed market, despite criticism from observers who argue the compensation is an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars. “(The funding) allows farmers to really make plans right now,” said Dave Taylor, a Courtenay, B.C., dairy farmer and member of the BC Dairy Association’s board. “There are so many areas on our farms that this money could be going towards to help our farms prepare for what’s ahead.” For instance, he said farms will likely start facing increasingly stringent environmental and climate standards best met with more efficient farm management technologies. These can also improve working conditions, making it easier for farms to find and keep workers — an endless challenge. Each farm will receive an annual payment that reflects the size of their milk quota, a measure of the farm’s size. For instance, a farm with 80 cows will receive a direct payment of about $38,000 each year, according to a statement by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In total, about $468.5 million will be disbursed for each of the three years to approximately 10,300 dairy farms. Unlike most agricultural products, dairy products are supply-managed commodities in Canada, a regulatory mechanism that is designed to prevent excess milk from flooding the market and pushing dairy prices below a financially unsustainable threshold for farmers. A key part of the system is milk quotas, which are used by the Canadian Dairy Commission — the Crown corporation administering the supply management system — to control how much milk each farm produces. The system also depends on using high tariffs to protect dairy producers from imported milk products — everything from artisanal cheeses to dry milk powder — that are produced more cheaply abroad, including in the U.S. Those tariffs have proven contentious in Canada’s three most recent trade agreements: the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Each one increased the amount of dairy that can be imported into Canada. According to the Dairy Farmers of Canada, these new agreements — the most recent, CUSMA, only came into force in July — have already had an impact on the sector. In the last three years, for instance, cheese imports from Europe have been as high as 99 per cent of the 5.3 million kilograms allowed under CETA. And U.S. industrial cheese imports are already at 50 per cent of the total amount allowed under CUSMA, despite the pandemic. Once the three trade deals are fully phased in, the federal government expects imports to be equivalent to about 10 per cent of Canada’s milk production. For Taylor, the compensation package is about more than the trade agreements. “It encourages the next generation that the government does believe in us,” he said. “Maybe this is the last of the bleeding from future trade deals. It encourages me that, when other trade deals come around, (the federal government) will hold firm and say, ‘No. Dairy has given up enough already.’” Not everyone is convinced. “The COVID open bar seems to extend beyond just helping people who are in need; it is also there to help asset-rich dairy farmers,” said Sylvain Charlebois, director of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab. “(The federal government) is labelling it as compensation. What I’m seeing is a clear path towards subsidizing a sector that is heavily protected by a supply management regime.” The entire $2-billion trade deal compensation package — $1.75 billion in direct payments to farms and another $250 million for an on-farm innovation program — is misguided, Charlebois said, because the sums reflect predicted losses, not real ones. Unlike the supply management system designed to keep milk prices high enough for farmers to break even and compensate them for actual losses, he said the trade deal compensation package doesn’t reflect conditions on the ground. That could end up driving too much milk production and keeping too many “underperforming” farmers in the industry. Taylor, the dairy farmer from Courtenay, B.C., disagreed. “If a farm is not economically viable, this compensation is not going to help,” he said. “A farm like that really needs to transition, revitalize and innovate … farms really need to keep investing, we really need to keep pushing forward to adjust to the future.” In the U.S., where dairy farms aren’t controlled through supply management, the milk supply has regularly exceeded demand, pushing down prices and forcing smaller farmers out of business. The result has been an increasingly consolidated sector, with the number of U.S. dairy farms — overwhelmingly family farms and key drivers of rural economic activity — falling by half between 2002 and 2019 even as milk production increased, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But that’s not Charlebois’ only critique of the compensation funds. Cheeses and other processed products are also being imported, not just liquid milk, he noted. That means processors — artisanal cheese makers, for example — are being hit harder by the trade deals than dairy farmers. Dairy processors can draw on a $100-million compensation fund created in response to the CETA trade deal, Bibeau said in a written statement. She also noted demand for dairy products also remains strong in Canada, growing by almost six per cent since 2010. Still, for Taylor, the compensation funds reflect more than just innovation and sales. They’re about a need to maintain rural well-being and resilience in Canada’s food system — a need that has been made more visible since March, and that he hopes will be reflected in further supports for farmers across multiple sectors. “For me, COVID just flags the need to have strong food production locally, and I hope the government knows that,” he said. “I’m obviously a little biased because I’m producing food, but I want all of our lines of food — whether it’s vegetables, or beef, and on and on it goes — that we have security in that area.”Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
A trilingual 16-year-old budding baker has launched her own business in St. Albert. Valeria Fonseca is turning her passion for baking into a home business by offering her cakes for sale online. “I feel really happy. I am very happy because I have a new business and because the kitchen is my passion,” Fonseca said. Fonseca’s passion for baking and cooking ignited just one year ago after her parents separated. Fonseca lives with her mom, Catherine Varvas, who after the separation started to take over the family cooking and asked her daughter for help. Fonseca quickly took to cooking and discovered her passion for creating food with her own hands. Varvas said she loves baking and cooking with her daughter because it makes her happy and calm. "She dances, she sings – she's so happy," the mom said. Fonseca started watching baking and cooking shows, like Master Chef, and wants to be a chef when she grows up. The business really took off this year during COVID-19, when the teen had more time at home. Fonseca is doing online learning this year and makes time to bake on Tuesdays and Sundays. Making the cakes has been good for the teen's self-esteem. “People say, ‘A beautiful girl with delicious cakes,’ and I am so proud,” Fonseca said. Fonseca began her cake-making venture by baking one for a friend, who remarked that the cakes were delicious. The friend suggested the family make a video of Fonseca making the cakes to promote her baking skills, and after the video was posted to Facebook, the family got very positive feedback. "People had a very good reaction and liked the cakes," Varvas said. Fonseca said her favourite cake to make is a red fruit cake, with strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. The teen is also passionate about cooking, loves to make Mexican food and hopes to specialize in cooking that cuisine when she is older. Fonseca, who speaks English as a third language, moved to St. Albert two years ago. The family is originally from Columbia but emigrated to Montreal five years ago. Varvas said the family left Montreal to find more inclusive education for her daughter, who has Down Syndrome. Back home in Colombia, Fonseca was learning alongside all of the other children in a classroom and getting an inclusive education, but in Montreal they didn’t have that same experience. So Varvas moved the family to Alberta so Fonseca could have the very best education possible. "We came to Alberta and we've found the door open, and we are so happy here," Varvas said. To order Fonseca's cakes, you can visit Valecakes on Facebook.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
OTTAWA — Alain Babineau recalls the discriminatory hurdles he faced trying to join the RCMP in the early 1980s, including a question in his first interview about what he would do if called a word notorious for its overt racism against Black people.Those racist undertones followed him, though, once he became a Mountie. His story isn't unique, he said in an interview Friday, pointing to other federal public servants, past and present, who have faced similar barriers in their careers.This week, he is one of several current and former Black federal workers who are named as plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed against the federal government, alleging systemic discrimination in how it has hired and promoted thousands of public servants for nearly half a century.The lawsuit filed in Federal Court, which has not been certified, alleges that some 30,000 Black civil servants have lost out on "opportunities and benefits afforded to others based on their race" going back to the 1970s.The statement of claim says the $900 million the lawsuit is seeking in damages would compensate Black public servants for the mental and economic hardships they faced. The workers are also asking for a plan to finally diversify the federal labour force, and eliminate barriers that even employment equity laws have been unable to remove.Babineau said some of the positions he was promoted to during his time in the RCMP were set aside for visible minority candidates. Whenever he got a promotion, Babineau said he was labelled as having only moved up because of the colour of his skin.And when he was given a chance to help bring in diverse recruits, Babineau said he was met with a "dog-and-pony show" that didn't address hurdles that could dissuade young Black Canadians from signing up, like being assigned to largely white communities."People that have decision-making authority, they just go about their business, and they (are) just part of it," Babineau said, referring to systemic discrimination."It continues on and … they don't even realize what it is."Many Black public servants over the years have remained relatively silent about their experiences, but that changed over the summer as the Black Lives Matter movement grew internationally, said lawyer Courtney Betty.The Toronto-based lawyer was on a Zoom session with a group of employees over the summer to talk about the issue without any intention of pursuing legal action.That changed, he said, after hearing some of their stories. He pointed to one the plaintiffs, Jennifer Phillips, who works for the Canada Revenue Agency. The statement of claim says she has worked for the agency for about 30 years, faced demeaning comments and lack of career opportunities, pointing to her being promoted only once over three decades."I couldn't say no, and it wasn't an easy decision, to say yes, to take this challenge on," said Betty, himself a former Justice Department lawyer."But I just thought that something had to be done, to at least give them some resolution after all these years."He said the plaintiffs in the case are hoping their legal action ensures others don't have to go through the same pain they did in their careers. Betty also said the government has provided compensation for other groups of employees that suffered similar financial pain, and taken steps to deal with systemic issues like harassment in the RCMP after lawsuits were launched.None of the allegations in the statement of claim has been tested in court. The Treasury Board said it cannot comment on the lawsuit at this time.The secretariat acknowledged in a statement that systemic racism is a "painful lived reality" for Black, racialized and Indigenous people in Canada. A spokeswoman also pointed to the government's throne speech pledge to diversify the top ranks of the public service, and the $12 million over three years in this week's fall economic statement towards that end.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
A Strathmore resident has been recognized for her extensive efforts volunteering for the community. Marlys Lein was nominated for the 2020 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards, a yearly award given to volunteers who have made a large impact on their community. While Lein was not ultimately selected as an award finalist, her impressive contributions were recognized by a certificate and letter from Leela Sharon Aheer, Alberta’s Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women. A resident of Strathmore for over 40 years, Lein has contributed to numerous organizations in town. One of her current efforts is volunteering with the Strathmore Pickleball Club, which was founded in 2015 after the hosting of the Alberta 55+ Summer Games. Lein’s work with the club, including organizing playing venues, purchasing equipment, booking instructors and helping players has helped it to grow, said Louise Bleier, a volunteer with the organization. “We started literally from nothing and we’re over 100 members now.” Lein was also instrumental in helping to plan for the possible construction of permanent, dedicated pickleball courts and to repair the town’s existing courts, added Bleier, who wrote the nomination. “She’s volunteered hundreds and hundreds of hours over the past 40 years, and it’s improved the quality of life in our community,” said Bleier. “Her initiative and leadership are incredible.” By working with the club, Lein said she was “just promoting a game I really love … trying to get all different people exposed to it,” she said, adding she hopes the club’s membership continues to grow, especially from among the town’s seniors. While matches are sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic for now, membership is $35 and available through the organization’s website, strathmorepickleball.ca. Lein also serves as president of Strathmore Regional Victim Services Society, which provides 24-hour crisis response to victims of crime and tragedy, and is in her sixth year volunteering with the organization. Lein helps the organization continually move forward, said Linda Stead, treasurer. “She always steps forward and does what she can for us,” said Stead. “She’s a hard worker and when she takes something on, she gets it done.”Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
MONTREAL — Amid a worsening COVID-19 situation and with another region moving to the maximum alert level on Friday, Quebec's opposition parties called on the government to allow the province's public health director to be questioned over the pandemic. The opposition demand for a hearing with Dr. Horacio Arruda came as it was announced that the eastern part of the Lower St. Lawrence region — including Rimouski and Matane — would be under red-zone restrictions as of Monday. Dr. Sylvain Leduc, the regional health director for the region, said COVID-19 cases had jumped in the past week. He said more than 20 cases a day in the region of 200,000 people would be enough to trigger a red-zone designation, but it's recently been far beyond that, with a record 45 cases reported on Wednesday. Leduc said community transmission is occurring in bars, restaurants, parties, workplaces and schools, contributing to 27 outbreaks. "When there is a transmission that is sustained in all environments, it always ends by reaching our most vulnerable people," he said. "Ultimately, it ends with deaths, but also hospitalizations." It was because of pressure on the province's strained health-care network and rising COVID-19 infections that the government of Francois Legault decided Thursday to cancel a plan to permit holiday gatherings over four days at Christmas in red zones. That reversal intensified Quebec's opposition parties' demands on Friday to hear from Arruda in a parliamentary committee before the legislature adjourns on Dec. 11. Arruda has said he's willing to appear, but no date had been set, and after next week the legislature does not sit again until February. Opposition Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade also called for the government to announce a public inquiry into its handling of the pandemic. "Meeting with Dr. Arruda is a first step, but it cannot be the only step. We need an independent inquiry," she told reporters Friday in Quebec City. "We are living through probably one of the most important crises in the history of Quebec, we need to make sure that there is a public inquiry to answer all kinds of questions." As of Friday, the province had reported a total of 147,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,183 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. It has had more cases than any other province and accounts for more than half the total COVID-19 deaths nationally. Meanwhile, Quebec reported 1,345 new COVID-19 cases and 28 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus Friday. Montreal recorded the most cases with 453, with the Quebec City, Eastern Townships, Lanaudiere and Monteregie regions all reporting more than 100 cases. The province's Health Department said 24 more people were hospitalized with the virus for a total of 761, with two fewer cases in intensive care for 97. A Quebec government-funded health institute reported Friday the number of COVID-19 cases among those 80 and older has been increasing over the past three weeks, with the virus increasingly striking those at a higher risk of hospitalization. The Institut national d'excellence en sante et en services sociaux said in its latest weekly projections that COVID-19 hospital capacity should be sufficient in Montreal in the coming weeks as well as in Quebec as a whole. But it cautioned the situation remains tenuous in some outlying regions, due to COVID-19 outbreaks in elder care. Overall, the number of new cases in Quebec last week, ending Nov. 29, was up 12 per cent compared to the previous week, with the jump concentrated largely in the greater Montreal area. Health Minister Christian Dube said the latest institute forecast is a departure from relative stability in recent weeks. “In recent days we have seen worrying signs of the situation worsening, especially with regard to hospitalizations in certain regions," he said in a statement. "The decision we made to no longer allow Christmas gatherings in the red zone reflects our desire to take no risks, in support of our teams in the health and social services network." Dube also issued a decree beefing up staffing for the upcoming COVID-19 immunization campaign by allowing students enrolled in health programs and other health-care professionals to get the necessary training to administer vaccines against influenza or COVID-19. The health minister said the agreements with professional orders allows the province to add a few thousand people to administer doses. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
The federal government is laying plans for the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The approval of a vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech is said to be imminent. The second vaccine in line for approval in Canada is from Moderna. The Canadian military will have a role to play in vaccine distribution and a dress rehearsal is planned for next week to make sure doses can get to every corner of Canada. Various provinces have started spelling out their plans as well. Here's a look at what they've said so far: — Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey announced the members of a COVID-19 vaccine logistics team for the province at a news conference on Friday. The team will include Health Minister John Haggie, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Cmdr. David Botting of the Canadian Armed Forces, Indigenous Affairs Minister Lisa Dempster and Municipalities Minister Derek Bennett. Furey said the team will be ready to administer the vaccine to the province's most vulnerable people as soon as it becomes available, but did not specify who may fall into that category. — Nova Scotia The province's chief medical officer of health says he will release a detailed plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once Ottawa shares more information. Dr. Robert Strang says there is no certainty yet about the availability of a vaccine, but expressed hopes an initial supply will trickle into Nova Scotia early in the new year. Strang says the plan will include tight control of the supply and clear rules dictating who can be first in line for immunization. He says he's waiting for more federal guidance on issues ranging from priority groups to transportation and storage logistics. — Quebec The province says it will be ready to start rolling out its vaccine plan as of Jan. 1. Premier Francois Legault says that public health officials have already settled on the list of priority vaccine recipients, but details have not been released. Legault says the province is also working to put the necessary infrastructure in place to support a vaccine rollout. That includes obtaining fridges capable of maintaining the extremely low temperatures needed for the Pfizer vaccine. Quebec has also tasked assistant deputy health minister Jerome Gagnon and former provincial public health director Dr. Richard Masse to oversee the province's vaccination effort. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is among the leaders calling on Ottawa to provide more clarity as officials work to develop a provincewide vaccination strategy. Health Minister Christine Elliott has said Ontario will receive 1.6 million doses of the new vaccine from Pfizer and 800,000 doses from Moderna in early 2021, although federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said such details were still in the works. Ford has named former general Rick Hillier, who served as chief of defence staff, to oversee the province’s vaccine rollout. Nine others were named to the provincial vaccine task force on Friday, including medical experts, the province's chief coroner, former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald and bioethicist Dr. Maxwell Smith. The province had initially said it would develop its vaccine plan by year’s end, but earlier this week Ford said the province would be ready even if the vaccines arrive sooner. He has urged Ottawa to provide detailed information on potential vaccine delivery. “We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments,” Ford said. — Manitoba Government officials say they've been assembling the necessary people and equipment to set up a large-scale "super site" to deliver the vaccine as soon as it is available. Premier Brian Pallister says the province has also purchased the necessary supplies to administer two doses of the vaccine to every person in the province. The first freezer able to store the Pfizer vaccine at low temperatures has been delivered and installed, with another four on the way. As the vaccine supply from the federal government expands over the coming months, the province says it will become more widely available in a larger number of sites, similar to a conventional vaccination campaign, such as the annual flu shot. -- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta expects to start getting COVID-19 vaccines in the first week of January. High-risk patients and health workers will get them first. Kenney says his government has struck an interdepartmental team to roll out the vaccines from 30 different locations in the province. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, has said the province is expected to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year, a figure not yet confirmed by the federal government. — British Columbia The provincial health officer says seniors in British Columbia's long-term care homes and hospitals will be the first to get immunized starting in the first week of January with two vaccines. Dr. Bonnie Henry says vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna will be the first to be rolled out after approval by Health Canada. Henry says B.C. health officials are working with their federal counterparts on ways to facilitate the delivery of vaccines as they anticipate various challenges that could come up in the immunization process. More details will be provided about the province's vaccine plan next week. — Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says the territory has been in discussions with various levels of government on a vaccine rollout plan. He says the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers. Silver says rural and remote communities should also get priority status in northern regions, a fact he says he's emphasized with federal authorities. The premier says he has joined the other provincial and territorial leaders in pushing for a national strategy to distribute the vaccine. Silver says the Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements, but those issues may not apply to other vaccines under development. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020. The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor and the health minister are urging the public to slow the spread of COVID-19 this weekend by limiting any festive gatherings to immediate households.Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix say 711 new infections have been recorded in the province and 11 more people have died, for a total of 492 fatalities.They say in a joint statement that B.C. is continuing to see a significant surge in community transmission so all public health orders must be followed as more than 36,000 people have tested positive for the virus.Henry has said it's important to remain vigilant in containing the virus for the next few months and that everyone in the province who wants to be vaccinated could be immunized by September.Nearly 11,000 people who have been identified as being exposed to the virus are being monitored and 25,658 people who tested positive have recovered.The latest public health orders have meant the cancellation of adult indoor and outdoor team sports, though children can continue participating in local games without spectators.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.The Canadian Press
A Fort St. James man has been fined $1,000 for flying a drone while out on a hunting expedition. Paul James Hesse was issued the penalty on November 9 in Fort St. James Provincial Court. He was also prohibited from hunting for one year and assessed a $150 victim surcharge. The outcome stems from a complaint conservation officers received on Sept. 22, 2018. The next day, officers attended a cabin on Marie Lake, southwest of Fort St. James, where they seized the drone along with a harvested bull moose. After securing a search warrant, they gathered photos and videos from the machine and forwarded the matter to Crown prosecution. Conservation officer Richard Keenan-Toop, who was the lead investigating officer on the file, said it was the first conviction for the offence in British Columbia. The Wildlife Act was amended in July 2016 to make the use of drones while hunting illegal. "It was definitely a different one and definitely a learning experience for the Conservation Officer Service for sure," Keenan-Toop said. "But it's not something we see very often, thankfully, because hunting with a drone completely defeats fair chase for wildlife." However, Connie Morrisey, a native court worker in Fort St. James who helped Hesse put together a defence against the charges said he never actually used the drone for actual hunting. Instead, she said he was using it to get images of the cabin and a route planned for a trail from big Marie Lake to little Marie Lake, but because he was at the cabin as part of a hunting trip, he was charged. "The minute you leave your house to go hunting to the minute you get back to your house, that's considered a hunting expedition," Morrisey said. "He did not use it to hunt but he flew it when he was at the cabin." She said Hesse uses the drone for work purposes and had it with him in camp. When he came back to Fort St. James, his father picked him up and went to the cabin. "He said 'I know you can't use it for hunting but if I had known you can't even have it one you, I would've went home, dropped the drone off and went out," Morrisey said. As part of the prohibition against hunting for a year, Hesse is also prohibited from accompanying other hunters and the drone was forfeited to the Crown. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
More than half of men and women in the territories have experienced at least one sexual or physical assault since the age of 15, according to a Statistics Canada report released this week. The data were collected before the pandemic, in 2018, as part of a survey aimed at finding out more about gender-based violence. Statistics Canada defines gender-based violence as violence "committed against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender." The recent report's results don't include intimate partner violence."This is not news," said Pertice Moffitt, an Aurora College researcher who specializes in sexual violence. "Unfortunately, we have a legacy of physical and sexual assault and it's very prevalent among rural women and particularly here in the North."The Statistics Canada report says that in the territories, 52 per cent of women and 54 per cent of men reported having been sexually or physically assaulted at least once since they were 15 years old, and that 7.8 per cent of both men and women had experienced violence in the year leading up to the survey.Higher proportion in North than in provincesThese proportions are much higher than those in the provinces, where 39 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men reported at least one assault since the age of 15.Moffitt suggested that these findings reaffirm the harmful effects of colonialism and patriarchy on society. "We have this history of oppression and unhealthy relationships," she said. "The way women were treated by men, so that patriarchy, and then the historical trauma, of course, from residential school and what happened in residential school and the intergenerational impact of that."The report also says LGBTQ2+ people and women with physical or mental disabilities were among those most likely to report having been sexually assaulted since age 15. It says about half of Indigenous women (48 per cent) and men (50 per cent) reported this as well, proportions similar to Indigenous people in the provinces. The report says more than half of non-Indigenous people in the North also reported an assault since age 15: 56 per cent of non-Indigenous women and 55 per cent of non-Indigenous men. In the South, these proportions were much lower: 38 per cent of non-Indigenous women and 35 per cent of non-Indigenous men.Studies suggest underreportingStatistics Canada notes that studies suggest intergenerational trauma from colonization and residential schools have led to a "normalization of violence," which could have led to underreporting assaults."There is fear and shame about reporting, and particularly about sexual violence," said Moffitt. "And then there is judgment."Women and men were most likely to report having been assaulted since age 15 in the Yukon (61 per cent of both women and men), while reporting was least prevalent in Nunavut, with 42 per cent of women and 46 per cent of men saying they had been assaulted. In the Northwest Territories, 52 per cent of women and 55 per cent of men reported violence since age 15.'We need to consider trauma-informed approaches'COVID-19 put some people in dangerous situations, said Moffitt. Directions to stay home meant that women and children may be stuck inside with their abuser. Moffitt said research indicates that bad experiences in childhood can lead people to violence, and that "as we think about solutions and what we can do, we need to consider trauma-informed approaches ... or those adverse childhood experiences that have caused trauma." She said talking goes a long way."We need to continue always, with young girls and young boys, talking about consent and talking about sexual violence awareness."
On the cover of Peter Rukavina's new book is a photo of his late wife, Catherine Miller. She is smiling at the camera, dressed in a colourful knitted poncho with a backpack slung over one shoulder. Although the book, Using Her Marbles: Chronicles of a Family Living with Incurable Cancer, is about Miller living with the metastatic breast cancer that claimed her in January 2020, Rukavina wanted to show that his wife "owned her cancer." In the cover photo, Miller was "two years into her diagnosis, about to head off to a participatory democracy conference in Spain, with no health insurance," Rukavina told Matt Rainnie on P.E.I.'s Mainstreet. "It was the last trip that she was able to take. She did it on her own. Yeah, it was a fantastic thing." Rukavina, a well-known P.E.I. blogger and web developer, wanted to write Using Her Marbles, his first book, to help other families who may be going through a similar experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment. "Every cancer journey is unique, but just a sketch of the terrain that was to come? I would have found that useful," he said. > Trying to, I guess, reach out a hand to those who are going to go down the same path... is what was behind this. \- Peter Rukavina Fear of the unknown is one of the hardest challenges, Rukavina hears from a lot of caregivers in families of people living with cancer. "It's the feeling like 'This is a journey that you're the only one who knows anything about.' And so I think trying to, I guess, reach out a hand to those who are going to go down the same path, I think is what was behind this."Using act of writing to process life The book developed out of an email newsletter Rukavina sent to family and friends over the five years of Miller's illness. "Although it really was a newsletter for friends and family, it was also a way for me to process everything that had happened. To write it down, I think, allowed me to receive some distance from it," said Rukavina. Rukavina has been writing a blog for 20 years, so writing is often a part of how he processes his life. "It was not unusual for me to seek solace in writing." About six months after Miller died, Rukavina began to realize that those email newsletters could take the shape of a book. Going back to reread all of the emails was a challenge, however. "A healing challenge, I would say, but a challenge nonetheless in rereading these words time and time again over the recent weeks." Rereading the emails, he was also struck by how he, Miller, and their son Oliver, now 20, managed to continue in their daily lives through the many challenges of cancer treatments. "It gives me a sense of pride for us as a family, as a household, that we went through all that and that there was as much life in those five years as there was, despite all the hell." Marble metaphor helped Miller deal with cancer The title of the book is taken from a metaphor Miller used to help get her through daily life with cancer. "The metaphor was that you start the day with a certain number of marbles, let's say 100," said Rukavina. All of the actions undertaken during a person's day, from getting up and making breakfast to meeting a friend for coffee or taking a walk, use up a certain number of marbles. "At some point in the day, you're going to run out of marbles. And so the idea was that you ration your marbles," he said. "I think Catherine did effectively use her marbles over those five years. And that metaphor helped her manage. So it seemed like a good metaphor to apply to the whole journey that she was on."Son and dad 'doing OK' these daysNearly a year after Miller's death, Rukavina said he and Oliver are "doing OK". Just a few days after Miller found out her diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, Rukavina said she spoke to the rector at St. Paul's church in Charlottetown about holding her memorial service there, even though she was not a member of the church. "Her rationale being 'It's right across the street from our house, and if Oliver needed to escape, he could escape home.' "And you know for the following five years, her mind was never far from, 'What becomes of my son after I'm gone?'" Rukavina said his son, who was 14 when Miller was diganosed, helped get him through those first few months after her death. "I hope I've helped him a little bit, too." Talking about it helps The other thing that helped Rukavina was talking about the hard things. "At times where my mental health was on edge over this journey, more often than not, it's because I was keeping things bottled up. And when I had the chance to either write about them or talk to someone about them, that was helpful," he said. "When things took a turn for the worse, often our road out of it was either to talk to one another or for us to talk to professional help, sometimes to talk to a pastor. I think that's kind of what the message of the book is underlying."You can find Using Her Marbles: Chronicles of a Family Living with Incurable Cancer at Bookmark on Queen Street in Charlottetown. More from CBC P.E.I.