C-3PO star Anthony Daniels says "The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special" brings back memories of the original special in 1978. (Nov. 18)
C-3PO star Anthony Daniels says "The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special" brings back memories of the original special in 1978. (Nov. 18)
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
Kneehill County councillors heard a presentation from a non-profit society that aims to educate kids about finances and business during their regular meeting Nov. 24. Reeve Jerry Wittstock and Coun. Debbie Penner attended the meeting virtually, with Deputy Reeve Faye McGhee chairing the meeting. Junior Achievement, represented by staff member Melanie Willerth, made a presentation to council with three goals in mind, she said: raising awareness of the organization, recruiting volunteers and funding opportunities. Willerth stated the organization offers courses in host schools intended to teach student about finances and business. She provided a summary for councillors listing programs such as More Than Money, Our Business World, A Business of Our Own, Dollars With Sense, Stronger Together, Economics for Success, Investment Strategies and World of Choices. Willerth noted three communities within Kneehill County currently have Junior Achievement programming including Linden, Trochu and Three Hills. The 16 programs are offered to about 400 students. She noted the organization would like to get more awareness of the programs’ value, all of which are offered free of charge to schools, and ideally recruit more volunteer instructors. She explained the programs are offered to students by community members who are knowledgeable about business, and would include one night a week for about 16 weeks. Junior Achievement is a non-profit society which is always happy to see more sponsorship stated Willerth, who added that sponsors are always recognized on program materials. Deputy Reeve McGhee asked about the organization's structure and funding. Willerth answered Junior Achievement has a board of directors and relies heavily on fundraising, with some funds coming from communities and some from the provincial government. The business sector also supports the program she noted. Reeve Wittstock asked how much it costs to offer the programs in Kneehill County. Willerth answered that courses include expenses such as materials and volunteer training, adding up to about $200 to $250 per course. Coun. Penner stated her kids participated in Junior Achievement programming and learned valuable skills like budgeting. She asked if courses are currently accepting, and Willerth answered that there are still courses registering for December and also next year. Coun. Glen Keiver asked if all of the courses must be completed or in a specific order, to which Willerth answered no, they are all stand-alone courses developed for certain school grades. Deputy Reeve McGhee stated she also had kids who completed Junior Achievement courses. After Willerth completed her presentation, councillors discussed the Junior Achievement program. Reeve Wittstock asked if Kneehill County has funded this group in the past. County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Haugen stated in the current year Kneehill County has budgeted $3,000 for the Junior Achievement program, and it has been funded in the past as well. Wittstock noted that should pretty much cover the local programs compared to the figure Willerth gave of about $200 per program. “I would say that’s $200 of well-spent money,” said Deputy Reeve McGhee in support of the program. Penner added she also supports the program but hears that they have trouble finding volunteer speakers to help. Coun. Ken King asked that since Kneehill County is currently funding the group, is the county being credited for its support, and also wondered if Willerth knows Kneehill County is currently funding the program. CAO Haugen stated he will follow-up with Willerth to clarify those details. The presentation was accepted for information.Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review
OTTAWA — Vaccines are now a bright spot of hope on the COVID-19 pandemic horizon. But much about them, and their rollout in Canada, remains up in the air. Here’s what we know so far:What are the leading candidates?Manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all filed applications to have their vaccine candidates approved in Canada. Under a “rolling submission" process, producers hand over data — from animal tests, for example — as it comes rather than as a complete package.That information includes how the vaccine candidates perform in different demographic groups and data about possible harms and risks.Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, says final data packages for some vaccines are expected as soon as the next few days, and that the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech could get the green light next month.Why don’t we know when they’ll be distributed?The Liberal government says the first vaccine shipments should start to roll off tarmacs and port terminals early next year, bound initially for priority groups, including seniors in long-term care homes and front-line workers. But much about the deployment process has yet to be announced.Canada has struck purchasing deals with five pharmaceutical manufacturers, and agreements in principle with two more, paving the way for at least 194 million vaccine doses if all their products are eventually approved. But remaining question marks include which vaccines will pass muster and when and how details of provincial allocations from Ottawa will be nailed down.Meanwhile, the country's limited manufacturing capacity has curtailed domestic vaccine production options and resulted in greater dependence on vaccines made in foreign countries, which tend to prioritize their own citizens.What are the logistical hurdles?Distributing a vaccine poses massive logistical challenges. The unprecedented process involves providing up to two doses of a vaccine — which the leading candidates require instead of just one — to nearly 38 million Canadians spread across a vast country within several months. Ottawa is taking the lead on procurement and overall distribution, but on-the-ground delivery will be handled by the provinces, creating a complex deployment chain.Some vaccines are easier to move around than others. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be transported and stored at -70 C to remain effective, which would slow its rollout, though Ottawa has already purchased some cold storage for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Moderna vaccine candidate also requires freezing but not at the same temperature as the Pfizer candidate.AstraZeneca's vaccine is even less finicky about storage temperature but the company said Thursday that promising results from its clinical trials need further validation.Meanwhile the government is trying to contract transport companies for vaccine shipments. On Friday, Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who commanded NATO troops in Iraq, to head up the Canadian military's role in co-ordinating logistics and lead the vaccine's eventual rollout across the country.Experts believe more than half of Canadians will be inoculated by September “if all goes well,” Trudeau said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
The P.E.I. government announced Friday the timing of its expansion of its current insulin pump program that will extend benefits to Islanders with diabetes up to age 25. The previous age cutoff for the program was 18.The province will also increase the number of glucose tests strips available through its diabetes drug program from 100 to 120 strips.It's a commitment the province made in its 2020 budget, announced in June. The other Atlantic provinces already cover insulin pumps for those up to age 25. The changes to the programs are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2021."Diabetes [affects] more than 15,000 Islanders, and it is so important that we offer additional support to these individuals so they can live healthy, fulfilling lives without cost as a barrier," said Health Minister James Aylward in a news release.Insulin pumps allow people with diabetes to auto-administer insulin rather than injecting a syringe throughout the day multiple times. According to Diabetes Canada, there are more than 48,000 Islanders living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase to 57,000 in 10 years as the population ages. Age restriction remainsAdvocates for more help for Islanders with diabetes have been calling on the province to lift the age restriction altogether, as Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and the three territories have. There was no mention of that in Friday's release.Aylward also announced a new diabetes strategy for the next four years aimed at three key areas: prevention, detection and management — exactly the same goals the province had for its very first diabetes strategy, in place from 2014 to 2017. "We want to work with Islanders to help reduce the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes; we want to make sure that more Islanders are screened for diabetes; and, we will help Islanders better manage diabetes so they can live healthy and active lives," the 2020-2024 strategy says.In addition to financial assistance, Health PEI's provincial diabetes program offers education and advice to Islanders living with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it, the release said. Diabetes Canada said in the release it is pleased the province has aligned its goal with the organization's national strategy, called Diabetes 360°, and looks forward to working on it with government. More from CBC P.E.I.
TORONTO — Rogers Sportsnet is parting ways with veteran Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Mike Wilner.The broadcaster announced the split on its Twitter feed Friday. A reason wasn't given for the decision.Sportsnet said Wilner had a "voice that became synonymous with Blue Jays baseball."Wilner, the Blue Jays' first Toronto-born play-by-play broadcaster, became the full-time radio announcer alongside Ben Wagner prior to the 2019 Major League Baseball season. He also called most of the games in 2018 following the retirement of longtime announcer Jerry Howarth.Prior to joining the broadcast booth full-time, he served as a backup announcer and hosted the "Blue Jays Talk" pre- and post-game shows starting in 2002.Wilmer said on a social media post that "his heart is broken," but added he is grateful for getting a chance to "live an absolute dream."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
The Delta Chi fraternity headquarters says it has closed down operations of its Windsor chapter and suspended all its members after racist and hateful messages were allegedly exchanged by its members connected to the University of Windsor chapter.It will seek to permanently close the chapter as part of an internal investigation."I am appalled and disgusted at what was presented to the University and our International Headquarters," Jerod Breit, Executive Director of Delta Chi, said in a statement to CBC News."That anyone, let alone members of Delta Chi, would say or believe in what these students, many now alumni, have expressed is deeply disturbing."The statement said the international headquarters, based in Indianapolis, will seek the maximum penalty for the members allegedly involved, which is permanent expulsion. It went on to say that the International Fraternity Headquarters "has placed the Windsor chapter under conservatorship, suspended the student membership of all undergraduates, and ceased operations indefinitely, pending the outcome of the commission hearing." It added that it will then seek a permanent suspension of the chapter."Delta Chi denounces all forms of hatred, racism, bigotry and violence, and holds individuals accountable for actions that do not reflect our values," the statement said.The messages included hateful comments directed at wide variety of ethnic and religious groups, homophobic slurs and comments celebrating violence.Windsor police confirmed Friday they are investigating.Some faculty at the University of Windsor expressed outrage in response to the incident."We're reeling, that's about all I can say," said Richard Douglass-Chin, an associate professor of English and women's studies. "It's not that we're shocked, because I think that this is an issue. What's shocking about it is it's coming to the public eye, and people are starting to talk about it," he added. "Which is good because it's there, and it has been there."Sujith Xavier, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law, was critical of a statement from the university which distanced itself from the fraternity."[The fraternity members] are part of our community and we have to take responsibility for what they did, which were racist, homophobic, etc. And so for [University of Windsor president Rob Gordon] to then say, to kind of push against this, I think is really disingenuous."The private Facebook messages allegedly made by members and alumni of the frat were exposed by two university anti-racism groups, which sent them to the university demanding action.The university Thursday denounced the messages and said it would launch an investigation. The university statement said that Delta Chi, like all fraternities and sororities at the university, does not have a formal relationship with the University of Windsor or its student union, but sometimes books university spaces 'for meetings or activities." That opportunity was immediately suspended.University President Robert Gordon said in an updated statement Friday that the university had retained legal experts to investigate the messages."The investigation is being led by Malcolm McKillop, Laura Williams, and Richard Appiah. Each of them has deep experience as a legal professional and investigator of discrimination and equity-related issues," he said."Their investigation will work to verify the highly inappropriate messages and actions and confirm any violations of the University's code of conduct. Its purview will extend to making any recommendations of disciplinary action."He said the investigation will begin on Monday, and said the university has encouraged anyone with information that may assist the investigation to share it with the investigators.In a separate letter Friday to the Windsor chapter's president, the headquarters ordered the chapter to cease all operations immediately. That includes everything from social functions to messaging between the chapter's members.The letter files six charges against the chapter, including "Violation of the Delta Chi Basic Expectation 2 - 'I will respect the dignity and worth of all persons. I will not physically, mentally, or psychologically or sexually abuse or haze any human being.'"The letter also said that the fraternity's conservator has removed all the executives at the chapter from their positions.
TORONTO — An angry Premier Doug Ford lashed out on Friday at anti-lockdown protesters outside his home, accusing them of intimidating nearby residents and saying their actions wouldn't sway him.His neighbours, Ford said in offering them a sincere apology for getting caught up in the situation, make no government decisions and never signed up to be targets."Stop acting like a bunch of buffoons out there and start respecting the people of Ontario," Ford said at his daily briefing. "This is totally unacceptable that my neighbours are being intimidated, being threatened, and these people, they need to stop."Protesters opposed to measures aimed at curbing the lethal spread of COVID-19 have gathered outside the premier's west-end Toronto home daily. Their actions, he said, are unacceptable."You want to protest me, come down to Queen's Park," Ford said. "You can do cartwheels, you can jump up and down." Ford took aim at Independent legislator Randy Hillier, who did lead an anti-mask and anti-lockdown rally at the legislature on Thursday. Police ticketed Hiller, whom Ford called irresponsible, for allegedly breaking health rules imposed to curb COVID.Hillier's supporters took to social media to denounce the citation and restrictions as unnecessary. Ford, however, said it's unfathomable that some people believe coronavirus disease to be a hoax when in fact the virus is so serious. "Look at the states to the south of us that want to ignore the regulations — they're blowing up," he said. "They have mobile morgues driving around in Texas collecting bodies. If that's not a wake-up call, I don't know what is."On Friday, Ontario reported a record 1,855 new infections, a 25 per cent surge in a day, and 20 new deaths. The province has now seen 109,361 cases, 3,575 of them fatal.Ford defended the restrictions that have shut down many businesses and limited gatherings as public health authorities urged people to stay home except for essential reasons. The measures, he said, were proven effective earlier this year."The proof is in the pudding: When we did it last time, we were down to almost 100 cases, which is unheard of in a population of 14.77 million people." The protesters outside his house, Ford said, were special interest and political groups. Small business owners on his street and elsewhere in the neighbourhood were among those anti-lockdown protests end up hurting, he added.Ultimately, Ford said, the protesters were violating the very tenets of political discourse. "There's an unwritten rule here in Canada: You don't go after people's families and neighbours," he said. "You want to come at me, come at me, and leave my family and leave my neighbours alone."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump still won't bring himself to concede the election he decisively lost to President-elect Joe Biden. But he's now acknowledging he will leave the White House if Biden's win is affirmed by the Electoral College, which is firmly on track to do just that in a few weeks.“Certainly I will," he said Thursday when asked if he will vacate the premises after electors make Biden's win formal. “But you know that."Trump, who took questions from reporters for the first time since the election, unleashed another round of complaints about the vote and theatrical warnings that “a lot of things” would happen before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14 that could possibly change results. But while he's stirring uncertainty about how he will behave in the weeks ahead, there is no real suspense about the outcome.All states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets and any challenge must be resolved by Dec. 8. States have already begun that process, including Michigan, where Trump and his allies tried and failed to delay the process, and Georgia and Pennsylvania.Nothing stands in the way of Biden taking office Jan. 20 with a clear margin of electoral votes.No concession is needed from Trump for Biden to become president, none has been offered and Trump may never admit he was beaten fair and square. But there were a few signs that Trump was coming to terms with his loss.At one point he expressed concern that Biden would get the glory from pending coronavirus vaccines. “Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines," Trump said, “because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”The fact that a sitting American president even had to address whether or not he would leave office after losing reelection underscores the extent to which Trump has smashed one convention after another over the last three weeks.Vote certification at the local and state level is typically a ministerial task that gets little notice, but that changed with Trump's fierce but fruitless legal challenges and attempts to manipulate the certification process in battleground states he lost.No evidence has emerged of the widespread voting fraud that Trump and his legal team have repeatedly alleged, only to be slapped down by judges and state election officials.Trump spoke to reporters in the White House’s ornate Diplomatic Reception Room after holding a teleconference with U.S. military leaders stationed across the globe. He thanked them for their service, joked that they shouldn't eat too much turkey, then turned to the election after ending the call. He repeated grievances and angrily denounced officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two key states that helped give Biden the win.Trump’s administration has already given the green light for a formal transition to get underway. Yet Trump took issue with Biden moving forward.“I think it’s not right that he’s trying to pick a Cabinet,” Trump said, even though officials from both teams are already working together to get Biden’s team up to speed.Asked if he'll attend the inauguration, Trump said he knows the answer but doesn't want to say.He said he'll go to Georgia to rally supporters before two Senate runoff elections that will determine which party controls the Senate. The White House said that rally is expected Dec. 5.One of the reasons Republicans have stood by Trump and his baseless claims of fraud has been to keep his loyal base energized for those Jan. 5 runoffs. But Trump, in his remarks, openly questioned whether that election would be fair, casting suspicions that could dampen Republican turnout.“I think you’re dealing with a very fraudulent system," he said. “I’m very worried about that.” He said: “People are very disappointed that we were robbed.”Trump made clear that he will probably never formally concede, even if he said he would leave the White House.“It’s gonna be a very hard thing to concede," he said. “Because we know there was massive fraud.”Electors “will have made a mistake” by affirming Biden's win, he said.Yet “time isn’t on our side.”Will he run again in 2024? Trump said he doesn't “want to talk about 2024 yet.”“This has a long way to go,” Trump said, even though he lost.Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
After a summer of informing people about COVID-19 rules, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer says it's time for a stricter approach."The time for education is now mostly over. Any egregious non-compliance will and should be met through fines and other measures," Dr. Saqib Shahab said at a news conference Thursday. Shahab also asked people to flag infractions by others."There's [a] public health safety number. So, you know, it is important to report noncompliance," he said. Shahab's comments came as the province reported 299 new cases of the virus, Saskatchewan's third highest daily bump. It also came as officials at the Saskatchewan Health Authority warned of emergency rooms that are nearing their full capacity and the need for people to follow public health guidelines. Since the pandemic began, the province has favoured educating people on the rules, instead of immediately issuing fines. Individuals can face fines of up to $2,000 (not counting a victim surcharge) for failing to self-isolate or breaking gathering limit rules. For corporations, the fine can reach $10,000 (also not including a victim surcharge). "Where we've seen some of this stuff happen over the summer, typically, we start with an educational approach," said Scott Livingstone, the health authority's CEO, at the same news conference. What health officials do when told of an eventShahab and Livingstone made the remarks in response to questions about whether the increased challenge of contract tracing might be causing the virus to spread and a report of a planned large event in Saskatchewan this weekend. "If we're made aware of a large event, typically public health inspectors would come out and have a conversations with the organizers about what they're doing and how what they're doing or planning would fit or not fit current public health orders," Livingstone said. "If it was obvious that the event was not meeting current public health orders, the event organizers would be advised as such and there would be recommendations from public health inspectors to not go ahead with that event."If the event went ahead and was found to have broken the rules, "there are remedies with respect to fines," Livingstone said. 42 charges under public health act The province has occasionally publicly announced some instances of fining, particularly in September and October.The recipients varied from a Saskatoon home owner who hosted a private gathering with 47 people when the limit for private meetings was 30 (it's now five), to the pastor of a gospel outreach centre in Prince Albert where singers went unmasked. The gospel centre was cited as a multi-jurisdictional superspreader.Between March 1 and Oct. 31, RCMP members in Saskatchewan received a total of 2,912 COVID-related calls for service — an average of 364 calls a month.The vast majority of the calls were resolved "by educating members of the public of the potential health and enforcement consequences that can result from non-compliance with the public health order," an RCMP spokesperson said Friday.However, 42 charges for summary violations were issued under the province's public health act, including for people who held large gatherings or did not self-isolate.What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Physical fights broke out in Taiwan's parliament after an opposition party objected to the government's move to lift a ban on imports of U.S. pork and beef
Moose Jaw Minor Hockey says it has a plan to keep kids on the ice in the coming month, while following the province's new restrictions.New measures announced earlier this week, which came into effect Friday, include suspending all team and group sports for a period of at least three weeks. Athletes under the age of 18 can still practise, though, provided they are able to distance and keep group sizes to a maximum of eight.A tweet by the association Thursday night saying hockey was still on received backlash on social media, with some believing the tweet meant the association still planned on playing games."Maybe it was a poorly worded tweet. I do apologize for that," said Moose Jaw Minor Hockey president Chris Flanagan, adding a tweet has been sent clarifying the plan."We are not playing games. We are just training in our groups of eight. We're following every single restriction and guideline that the province has set out this week." The new schedule until the end of the year will see teams get one to two hours of ice time each week to practise, with a maximum of eight players on the ice at a time and everyone wearing masks.Coaches can split their ice time in half, so two groups of eight players can get on the ice on the same day, or they can have eight players on for the entire time slot, and then have another group of eight on for the next practice.Flanagan said other regulations include not using player benches and requiring everyone to come to the arena dressed to practise. No hockey bags are allowed, and safety captains are to attend and take attendance for COVID tracing.Parents are not allowed to watch the practices, and can only come in to tie the skates of their children.Flanagan said they are also adding more restrictions beyond the province's requirements, such as trying to keep kids together who attend the same school."[We'll] try to keep them all together so we're not mixing bubbles from the school system."In a letter to parents, the association said there will be zero tolerance for teams that break any of the restrictions.Those that do will be have their practice times put on pause until further notice."We're going to give it a shot here for the next couple of weeks," Flanagan said. "If it doesn't work, if teams aren't showing up or players don't want to participate, we'll re-look at our plan here and make a decision."We believe the mental health of physical activity is a very important thing for these kids. And right now we believe we can achieve that while being safe and following the guidelines."
Seems like only yesterday,the first leaves were falling down the trees, little Kanehsata’kehró:non were running around trick-or-treating, dressed as their favourite monsters or heroes. All that is in the past now, making place for one of everyone’s - yes even you the Grinch in the back - favourite moments of the year. Pandemic or not, Kanesatake is determined to celebrate and to make the most out of this December. Community members will be able to start the festivities on December 1 with the special 12 Days of Christmas calendar. The initiative was developed by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in collaboration with the Kanesatake Christmas Committee and Kanesatake Child and Family Services. The spokesperson for the ERU, Robert Bonspiel, explained that due to COVID-19 restricting the type of activities typically allowed, they had to think outside the box to make sure the community would still get into the spirit of the holidays. “Our vision is to give the community the most memorable holiday possible,” said Bonspiel. “This has been a very hard year for all and if we can assist in bringing as much joy to our children, families and elders as we can, then that is what we are going to do!” While every year the Christmas committee provided different events, Bonspiel said that they all knew they wouldn’t be able to offer the Santa brunch or the gifts giveaway in the same, traditional ways the community is used to. The idea behind the calendar is to engage the community in interactive activities branded under the 12 Days of Christmas. Everything will happen online. Each day, members who decide to participate will have to perform a series of challenges from holiday dance videos and card making for elders, to wearing an ugly Christmas sweater or even singing Christmas carols in Kanien’kéha. Videos and photos will be uploaded on the Facebook page of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake or Kanesatake Health Centre for the chance to win different prizes that have yet to be announced. “We thought this would be a great way to reduce the feeling of isolation and promote mental wellness,” said Bonspiel. The holidays are meant to be a joyful time, spent with families and friends but it can also unbox unwanted presents such as depression and stress. It can be overwhelming to plan gifts and expenses, dinners, or simply to deal with loneliness. Add that little mix into the anxiety brought by the coronavirus and the holiday cocktail could be hard to swallow. However, it can be reassuring to know that ironically, we are all together, going through the experience of loneliness. A recent poll showed that 50 percent of people across Canada reported that the state of their mental health had worsened, with stress levels doubling since the beginning of the pandemic. So get your camera ready, take out your Christmas decorations, dust off your old pans for the bake-off and post your best take. Let the magic begin! email@example.comVirginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
An individual from Montgomery Village Public School (MVPS) has tested positive for COVID-19. Parents, guardians, and staff were notified of the case on Friday (Nov. 27), and assured that the appropriate measures are being taken. “We will continue to work closely with Public Health and take their direction as they complete their investigation,” said Brent Ellery, principal at MVPS. “Where Public Health determines there was a transmission risk to others in the school, they perform a risk assessment for any contacts.” Should the investigation result in Wellington Dufferin Public Health (WDGPH) determining any additional staff and students are at high risk of exposure, they’ll be directed to isolate. It will also be recommended that they be tested during their isolation period. According to the active-cases reporting page on the Upper Grand District School Board’s (UGDSB) website, there have been no class or school closures related to the incident. Ellery noted that Public Health is currently performing contact tracing, and explained that the identity of the individual is protected by privacy legislation. Anyone wishing to know information about how this is being handled and what steps are being taken to ensure the health and safety of staff, students, and the school’s community, are directed can find out more through this letter from Public Health. Dufferin County remains in orange-level restrictions as of Nov. 27. There are now a total of 161 active cases of COVID-19 within the boundaries of WDGPH, including an increase of 23 cases since the previous update on Nov. 26. Three people have been hospitalized. 60 of those cases are in Dufferin County. Montgomery Village Public School is the only school within Dufferin County to have a new active case since the previous update on Centennial Hylands Elementary School. Total active school cases in the county sit at two.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
OTTAWA — The federal government is sending $542 million to Indigenous groups to help them set up welfare services for children and families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.The Canadian government has been promising to transfer control over child and family services to Indigenous governing bodies so they don't need to rely on outsiders to protect children in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.In 2019, Parliament passed a law to reform the system, requiring that children on reserves have access to services equal to those who live off reserves. The legislation also recognize that Indigenous Peoples' constitutional right to self-government includes the right to run their own welfare agencies."We are keeping our promise to give them the support they need to keep children within their families and their communities, so they can grow up surrounded by the strength of their culture to achieve their full potential," Trudeau said.Child-protection agencies have often removed Indigenous children not just from their parents but out of their communities entirely when workers decide the kids aren't safe — often because a lack of funding left them with few other options.That's broken up families and hurt children's connections to their heritage. Federal census figures say Indigenous children make up more than half the kids in foster care across the country, despite being fewer than eight per cent of the children in Canada."Behind these devastating numbers, there are real children, real and terrible stories," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Friday in a separate news conference.The new money is for everything from research and expert advice to consultations on how those Indigenous governments will establish and run their own child and family services, as well as to support their negotiations with provincial and federal authorities.Miller said this is an "essential step to correct the errors of the past" and will help unleash the potential of Indigenous young people who have been held back for generations.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) says it is investigatinga cluster of cases at both Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette campus and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare."The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is working closely with hospital administrators to determine the source of transmission and the potential risk to staff and patients," Dr. Wajid Ahmed, WECHU medical officer of health, said in a statement.The health unit gave few details about the clusters."Due to privacy considerations, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is unable to disclose publicly any further details about the cases or the number of close contacts at the hospitals," Ahmed added.In a news release, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) said the hospital has fewer than 20 confirmed cases and/or cases under investigation by the WECHU. The affected unit was not identified. "All patients on the affected unit are being tested. All staff who have worked on the affected unit during the timeframe under investigation will be offered testing," the statement reads. "HDGH is cooperating with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and is taking this most recent development very seriously."The statement said HDGH would be taking additional measures in response to the cluster, including, "closing the affected unit to any new admissions, enhanced cleaning on the affected unit, temporarily suspending Designated Care Partners Visitation program on the affected unit and reinforcing the importance of the use of personal protective equipment and consistent washing of hands and respecting of physical distancing across the campus."WRH also acknowledged the cluster in a news release."At WRH, any admissions to the 7th floor (East and West) at Ouellette Campus will be examined closely and patients cannot be transferred out unless discharged home or for medical necessity," it said."Testing for COVID-19 on all patients from this floor will be completed by the end of today on Friday, November 27th, 2020.""All staff who had contact with this 7th floor (East and West) from November 18, 2020 to [Friday], have been notified and are being requested to be swabbed for COVID-19," it added.WRH said it will suspend all visitation to the 7th floor East and West until further notice.The cluster of cases comes as WECHU reported 51 new cases of COVID-19 in the region Friday. It also announced that the region would be moving into the red or "control" level of Ontario's COVID-19 response framework Monday. That means new restrictions on dining, gyms and social gatherings among other areas.
Students in the Newfoundland and Labrador K-12 system won't be writing public exams at all this year, as the education minister announced the department will be cancelling end-of-the-year tests in June 2021.Minister Tom Osborne said the decision was made in consultation with school councils, educators, administrators, and some working in the post-secondary system."It's as a result of the time students lost — two and a half months last year — the fact that we're still in the pandemic, and to give educators and students the stability of knowing that they don't have to focus on public exams," said Osborne.Exams for the end of the fall semester were cancelled back on Sept. 1, in keeping with what schools in the other Atlantic provinces announced.Osborne at the time said June exams were still on the table. But on Friday, Osborne said their cancellation is a decision that's been in the works for a while."Speaking with educators and school councils and administrators and so on, the decision we're making today we believe is in the best interests of our students."The provincial NDP have been pushing for exams to be cancelled in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.In October, NDP MHA Jim Dinn, a former high school principal and president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association, called public exams "stressful in the best of times," and demanded just last month the provincial government make a decision before it's too late.At that time, Osborne said he wasn't going to rush the issue, and expected to make a decision in January."We wanted to take time to measure the level of progress of students and whether or not they were able to make up that two and a half months," he said.Osborne said his department will use the time to look at the value of public exams in normal, non-pandemic circumstances."I know in the mid-1990s, public exams were cancelled, and our post-secondary institutions here in the province at that particular time expressed some concern that our students were ill prepared going into our post-secondary institutions, so the decision was made in 2000 to reinstitute public exams," Osborne said."I know some of the other provinces don't have them, but whether or not it'll be public exams or some other ... form of standardized measurement throughout the province, we do need to ensure that students … have a standardized level of learning and education, so we need to have a good look at this going forward."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada next week will reveal the breadth of the emergency spending it has made during the pandemic and lay the groundwork for future stimulus and social measures, like a national childcare program, government sources told Reuters. Canada did not release a budget for this fiscal year, which began in April, because of the economic uncertainty created by COVID-19, but in July projected a C$343.2 billion ($263.8 billion) deficit, the largest since World War II. The new fiscal document, dubbed the Fall Economic Statement, will be released on Monday and will include several scenarios for future spending and growth, and an update on this year's deficit, which one source said would be greater than the July estimate.
Calgary Emergency Management Agency deputy Chief Sue Henry has been chosen to replace the outgoing head of the organization.Henry's current boss, CEMA chief Tom Sampson, announced last month that he would leave the post after 35 years of service with the city.Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi hailed the selection of Henry as Sampson's successor as the best possible choice after a search process that drew distinguished applicants from all over the world."You are going to be so extraordinary," Nenshi said to the new CEMA chief at an event on Friday at the Emergency Operations Centre. As second in command of CEMA, Henry was responsible for disaster risk reduction, community education and outreach and business continuity."She also provided leadership to Canada Task Force 2, an all-hazards disaster response team, [making it] one of the leading six heavy urban search-and-rescue teams in Canada," the city said in a release. "Henry has played key leadership roles in the 2013 southern Alberta floods, wildfires in Chuckegg Creek, Fort McMurray and Slave Lake … and most recently supporting the city's response to COVID-19."Before joining CEMA, Henry was a firefighter, rising to the rank of assistant deputy chief. She has worked with the city since 2001.Henry thanked Sampson for his years of service to the city."Calgary is a better place for your dedication and commitment," she said.Henry said she's excited to take helm of an agency with such a talented team of people committed to keeping Calgarians safe."I have learned so much from Chief Sampson these last years. And while typically you would take a new leadership role in calmer conditions — that is, not in the midst of a global crisis — I am committed to continue the fight against COVID-19 and any other emergency that comes our way. There is an amazing team and agency that make this work possible."Sampson's last day will be Nov. 30. Henry will begin as the new chief on Dec. 1.
The mayors of Campbell River, Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Gold River are asking to be included in consultation about the 18 fish farms in the Discovery Islands near Campbell River. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bernadette Jordan, is currently consulting with seven affected First Nations about the future of those open-net fish farms. She will ultimately conclude whether licences for these farms will be renewed at the end of the year. Her office also announced earlier this month it is beginning the transition away from open-net farming — a federal campaign promise. Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech is leading the consultations with First Nations, the aquaculture industry and conservation groups on that transition. Both of these initiatives are highly relevant to local governments, and the four mayors are asking to be included. “We are not requesting a seat at the government to government consultation,” they wrote in a letter to Jordan on Nov. 25, “However, we believe it is imperative that all those who may be affected by the final decision be given the opportunity to have their voice heard and considered…” They stressed the economic and cultural importance of “both the fish farming and wild salmon industries” for the region. Fish farming has become a significant part of the North Island economy, providing jobs, and spurring ancillary markets. Opponents to fish farms have argued that the open-water pens pose significant health risks to wild salmon negatively impacting that industry, ecology and the First Nations’ cultural and ceremonial relationship with salmon. READ MORE: Open-net salmon farms on their way out of B.C. waters Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Gold River don’t touch the Discovery Islands, but they have a stake in the industry as a whole. Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom said she was shocked at how much revenue Mowi and Cermaq spend specifically in her town, based in a report they produced for the region. Cermaq spent over $2 million on the North Island in 2018 alone. It’s more than the jobs on the farms themselves, she said. It’s all the other stuff like net mending, food, water taxi services, fuel, accommodations, janitorial services and small contractors. On top of that, there is a fear that if these 18 farms are denied a renewed licence to operate, it could spell doom for other farms around Vancouver Island. “We support both the fish farming industry and the wild salmon recovery process. We strongly believe these activities can safely co-exist in the same ocean,” they wrote. READ MORE: DNA presence of pathogens harmful to fish almost triples near B.C. salmon farms: study READ MORE: Minimal risk to wild salmon from viruses on farmed B.C. salmon: Fisheries Department Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced Sept. 28 it had determined the risk of viruses to wild salmon from farmed salmon are minimal, satisfying the 19th recommendation of the Cohen Commission which called for a removal of the 18 Discovery Island farms by Sept. 30, unless the health risk was determined to be minimal. In the same news release, it announced the consultation with the Holmalco, Klahoose, Komoks, Kwiakah, Tla’amin, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) and Wei Wai Kum (Campbell River) First Nations about the 18 farms in their region. Opponents cried foul to the minimal risk announcement, pointing to a separate study that concluded the risk was significant. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press