Travel is not recommended across Ontario's traditional snowbelt regions as potent snow squalls threaten more than 30 cm of snow through Saturday.
The leader of the NL Alliance has officially ended his campaign after suffering a medical situation over the weekend that required emergency surgery. Graydon Pelley was to be on the ballot in Humber-Gros Morne, up against Liberal Leader Andrew Furey, Progressive Conservative Jim Goudie and New Democrat Sheina Lerman. In a release in the early morning hours on Friday, Pelley announced he would have to suspend his campaign permanently. "This was an extremely difficult decision, and one I put a great deal of thought into over the past days," Pelley said in the release. "I've discussed the possibility of continuing the campaign with my doctors and family at length, and at this time we all feel that focusing on my health and recovery is most important." The party had been hopeful that Pelley would recover in time to continue his campaign, but according to Friday's release, he will require "extensive recovery time," following the emergency medical situation on Jan. 16, which led to emergency surgery the next day. Pelley will stay on as leader of the NL Alliance. The party will not be reopening nominations in the district, citing time restraints around nomination deadlines. Anyone who wants to put their name on the ballot for the Feb. 13 election must file the necessary paperwork with Newfoundland and Labrador Elections by 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Tinkerbell is a lot like a shadow — wherever her family goes, the little goat follows. But the Nigerian dwarf and Lamancha cross has gone missing now for the third time — and it's been two weeks, the longest Tink has ever been away from her family. It's a mystery, and Kari Carr — who runs HorsePlay! Ranch Adventures near Okotoks — is convinced something is afoot. Carr got the goat for her youngest daughter, who was lonely on the days her older brother went off to school. The pair were fast friends, and soon the goat even captured the attention and laughter of parents, kids and visitors. "If I've got a wheelbarrow full of something that I'm moving, Tink jumps in the wheelbarrow with me," Carr said. "Her favourite prank is to jump on the tarp and get dragged … I cannot help but laugh, even though I've seen her do it a hundred times. She's just so funny." Programming at the ranch mostly focuses on horses, and Carr offers classes for kids to get comfortable around her ranch animals. The courses involve trail riding adventures and more. Tinkerbell, along for the rides, quickly became a star at the ranch. "She's the sidekick that steals the show," Carr said. Before Tink disappeared, Carr said she'd just started to train the active goat how to pull her daughter in a sled. "If she's busy, she doesn't get into trouble," Carr said. "She comes home tired." Tink goes missing The first time Tink went missing, Carr said she figured it was a one-off. But then it happened again. Both times the goat was wearing accessories, like a rig Carr and her husband had perfected to keep Tinkerbell's horns from poking people or dinging door frames. "We know for a fact that you need a good knife to cut it off," Carr said. "It's impossible for her to get it off because if anybody would have, it would have been Tinkerbell, little punk." Carr said after the second disappearance, she bought a tracking collar. Only problem was, the batteries couldn't stand up to the Alberta winter. Unfortunately, she took the collar off the same day the goat went missing to replace the batteries. Carr said she's checked every building, every ditch and left no stone unturned to find the beloved animal. She has canvassed her area and called all of the veterinary clinics nearby, even contacting the RCMP. "At the beginning, I just thought it was some punk kids and you've got to give them a break," Carr said. "So if this is funny — OK, you've had your giggles, but time to stop." Carr said all she wants is for Tinkerbell to be returned. Whether the goat is dropped off at a veterinarian office, or turned in to the RCMP, no questions asked. "Do the right thing. Give us a call, give us a tip, whatever."
A Yellowknife immigration consultant allegedly told his Chinese client that if he purchased $1 million worth of shares of Fortune Minerals Ltd., the mining company would offer him a job and help him immigrate to the Northwest Territories. The accusation came out in a series of court documents filed by consultant Liang Chen and his former client, Shengtang Wang, who are suing each other after their business relationship fell apart. Wang is suing Chen and his B.C.-based immigration consultant company, C.L. Pacific Immigration Consulting Ltd., alleging he never returned a $50,000 deposit and owes him another $75,000 for breaching a currency exchange contract. Chen has since filed a statement of defence and counterclaim against Wang. While he does not dispute the claim that he breached the currency exchange contract, he laid out a series of his own claims, accusing Wang of slander and breaching a number of business contracts, totalling more than $1.7 million. He's also suing for more than $4.6 million in exemplary damages. None of the claims have been proven in court and no court date has been set. Chen has previously been sued by two other former clients, one in the N.W.T. and one in B.C. In court documents filed on Dec. 9, Chen says in 2016, Wang hired him to help apply to the territory's employer-driven stream of its nominee program, after a previous application he made to B.C.'s provincial nominee program failed. According to the government of the Northwest Territories website, the employer stream is designed to help companies who want to hire and nominate foreign nationals when there are no Canadians or Canadian permanent residents available. In a reply and defence to Chen's counterclaim dated Jan. 4, Wang alleges Chen told him if his wife purchased $1 million worth of shares in Fortune Minerals, a London, Ont., based company which operates in the N.W.T., then it would hire him as a skilled worker under the territory's employer stream. He claims Chen insisted he purchase the shares and promised he would receive a work permit from the government of Canada soon after doing so. Wang alleges that despite following Chen's instructions, his application to the employer stream was rejected. He claims Chen "negligently or fraudulently misrepresented the requirements for the employer program" to get him to agree to an alleged verbal agreement. That agreement, according to Chen's claim, would see him broker the deal to purchase shares of a publicly traded company in exchange for a stock commission, a claim Wang denies. In his court document, Chen writes that "Mr. Wang understands if he makes $1 million in share purchase of a PTC [publicly traded company], the company will support him for NTNP-ES [the Northwest Territories Nominee Program's Employer Stream]." Chen did not expressly say in his court documents he was the one who told Wang that the investment would result in support for the program, and Chen never named Fortune Minerals. However, Chen laid out the stock purchase in detail, claiming Wang purchased about $750,000 worth of shares through private placements, and another $250,000 worth of shares from "James William Jr., a previous PTC director." When reached by phone, Chen could not clarify if he meant James Williams Jr., a former director of Fortune Minerals, and declined to comment on the court case. Fortune Minerals also declined to comment on the story, saying in an email it would not be appropriate to comment or speculate on matters before the court. Calls to Williams Jr. were not returned. In his court filings, Chen notes that in March 2016, the PTC was experiencing difficulties with the market price per share trading near a five-year low, at around $0.05 a share, compared to its five-year high of $1.60, figures which line up with Fortune Minerals stock price. Chen also referenced a commitment by the government of the Northwest Territories to an unnamed infrastructure project that would greatly enhance the value of the share price. In Jan. 2016, the territorial government said it would file an application in March of that year for permits needed to build an all-weather road from Behchokǫ̀ to Whatì. The president of Fortune Minerals called the road essential to supply its NICO mine project, a cobalt, gold and bismuth mine about 50 kilometres northeast of Whatì. Third attempt at nominee program After Wang's application was rejected to the employee stream, he hired Chen to help him apply to the territory's business stream of the nominee program, the third time he retained Chen's services to help him immigrate to Canada. The agreement included a $50,000 "investment deposit" which would be returned to Wang if he received a work permit Wang was accepted into the program in January 2019, and opened NorthernSky Films, a 360° dome theater in Yellowknife. Chen claims he and Wang understood the deposit was intended to be used to compensate him for the work he carried out to get the business up and running, including sourcing equipment and contractors, providing advice on hiring staff, and finding potential customers like schools and travel agencies. Wang claims no such deal was in place. Alleged Copperhouse slander In early 2020, Chen alleges Wang went behind his back and spoke to his business partners at the Copperhouse Eatery and Lounge, spreading lies that he deceived his immigration clients, including two former servers who worked at the Yellowknife restaurant, and owed Chen hundreds of thousands of dollars. Chen claims the fallout led his partners at the Copperhouse to cut ties and buy him out, resulting in a loss of more than $500,000. He's also suing Wang to recover those funds. Wang denies making slanderous comments, and denies he contributed to any losses Chen suffered.
A petition with thousands of signatures from parents asking for hockey games to be allowed again in Saskatchewan has been delivered to Premier Scott Moe. "We are calling on Premier Scott Moe to facilitate a return to hockey in February," reads a part of the online petition, which was originally started on the website change.org several months ago. It was just shy of 10,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon, after gathering hundreds of signatures in recent days. The petition says hockey provides physical, mental and social health benefits to youth, along with economic benefits to communities. Tyson Almasi has two boys, aged 11 and eight, playing hockey in Saskatoon. He said he would sign that petition. "I'm one of those parents, I love sport, I love organized sport, I love what it does for my kids," he said. In an update last week, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association told its members they shouldn't expect to play any games until at least the end of March. Under the province's latest sports rules, announced in November to curb the spread of COVID-19, team sports and group activities are suspended. Athletes 18 years old and under can keep practising in groups of eight or fewer, if they use masks and practise physical distancing, but organized games aren't allowed. Prior to that, sports and recreational activities were allowed under the province's reopening strategy, with guidelines intended to ensure participants were kept safe. Almasi says the rules and regulations set up in the fall were working because they made everyone accountable to each other. "If one kid is showing a symptom, that whole team would be on precautionary [and not allowed to practise]." That meant coaches, parents and kids had to rely on each other to stay safe. Almasi said he believes hockey makes headlines because its contact tracing is good and officials report positive cases, but he said the cause of most people's COVID-19 infection is unknown. Provincial data on sources of COVID-19 exposure has shown a large number of cases have a "pending" or "unknown" source. Premier Moe alluded to the petition during a news conference earlier this week, saying he gets feedback from many people asking him to allow children to play games. "I hear about that from my nephews when I go home," Moe said. "I talked [Monday] night to a parent that was speaking quite passionately to the challenges that he sees, not only from a physical perspective with his child that isn't able to compete this year, but the mental health challenges that him and his friends and his teammates are going through as well." Regina parent Krista Broda wants to see games return for her boys, aged five and seven. "It's hard to watch them not have something to look forward to," Broda said. "They love hockey … they just live and breathe it. We've been going to the outdoor rinks a lot, but it's just not really the same as the team mentality." Broda would like to see youth and adults separated when it comes to deciding when games will be allowed. "You have senior hockey players sitting in a dressing room after the game, having a drink," she said. "The kids are coming dressed to the rink and leaving dressed. So I think that makes a huge difference." Risk from hockey low, parents say Both Broda and Almasi said the risk from playing hockey is as low as going to school or to a bar, which have remained open. "I take my son to practice. They come dressed, they all wear masks on the ice. They do everything that they're asked to do," Broda said. "And they're being punished because some people go to a dance party at a bar," she said, referring to video that surfaced recently of people dancing, some without masks, at The Tap Brewhouse in Regina. "I guess I feel like the risk is so low and it needs to be considered that they should be allowed to play." Both parents said they're not calling for hockey to go back to "normal" right now. "When we say play a hockey game, it's not team camaraderie in a dressing room where you're listening to music and singing," Almasi said. "If it means dressing in a car or walking into a rink, not even sitting on the bench.… parents understand. If we only needed one ref — anything to modify it so it closely resembles a game of hockey to the kids," he said. "I don't need to watch another hockey game. I just want my kids and other kids to just not write off another year." Broda said Hockey Regina has been doing a great job and she feels confident sending her kids to play hockey again with restrictions in place. "[Hockey Regina] did everything they could and I felt safe. I mean, I'm extremely cautious and I felt safe sending my kids to play," Broda said. "I think that in the end it would make for happier kids and happier parents. And I just think it would be better for everybody."
CBC's virtual road trip series Land of Living Stories explores the hidden gems across Saskatchewan. You can invite CBC's Laura Sciarpelletti to your community for a virtual tour. Visit cbc.ca/lovesk to pitch your ideas. Rose Richardson speaks about the history of her people, the Métis, as someone who has spent years invested in the well-being and advocacy of that community. Métis history is steeped in values — like giving back to the community, helping each other, and advocating for Métis culture — as well as traditional dress, music and beadwork, and land-based survival. Traditional medicines, community pride and a love of language are key parts of the past and present of the Métis in Saskatchewan. Richardson, 79, has spent much of her life in the village of Green Lake in northwest Saskatchewan. Green Lake, about 45 kilometres east of the city of Meadow Lake, is one of northwest Saskatchewan's oldest settlements — and it's predominantly Métis. This land on the west side of the sprawling Prince Albert National Park is home to swaths of boreal forest. The Métis of the northwest region call the area, lush with nature, the gateway to Saskatchewan's north. Richardson is a specialist in traditional Indigenous medicines and an educator. Originally from Meadow Lake, Richardson's family moved to Green Lake when she was a young girl. From an early age, she was taught to hide who she was. "When I moved to Green Lake, most of the students [were] a mixture of French and English," Richardson said. "But we were taught by nuns and people were not allowed to talk Cree..... It was almost like it was an evil language." "I didn't teach my kids to talk Cree because, to us, it was sort of a hidden language because we were not allowed to speak it." Today, Richardson focuses on teaching Michif, the primary Métis language, to adults at the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research in Meadow Lake. Green Lake is now home to many advocates, lawyers and educators. "We are known as a really strong community in terms of being able to fight for our rights. We have a lot of people that are really well-spoken people," Richardson said. "But there was a time in life where there was denial. People had to hide the fact that they were Métis because of the racism. One side of my family sort of denied it and said, 'We're French.' But you only have to look at me and you wouldn't have problems identifying me as a Native person." For part of this Land of Living Stories road trip, we wanted to focus on Métis culture and, more specifically, Métis music made in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan music historian Kaley Evans, of the Prairie to Pine music history website, guest-curated this playlist for us all. Listen to it here. Richardson says this caused her to carry some shame with her as she grew into an adult. "When I went to university, I figured I could never make it because I was Native. We were taught [in the Catholic Church] that girls didn't have to go to school because they should get married and raise a family," Richardson said. "But I wanted to do something. I didn't want to be poor for the rest of my life. I ended up making that decision when I was about five years old. I never wanted my children to be poor. I never wanted them to face discrimination." Richardson's daughter Angela Bishop has no shortage of words to describe her love for Green Lake and her respect for not only her mother, but her community. "I had a culturally enriching experience," said Bishop of her upbringing, which she says literally took a village. "I was very independent and strong-willed thanks to my parents, who were both independent and strong-willed and gave me a real strong sense of confidence and pride in who I am." Today Bishop practises Indigenous law. "I practise law in this area because of my wish to give back to my community. I'm working on several files where we're negotiating Métis self-government. Such is my commitment to reconciliation," said Bishop. "I believe in promoting good relationships where everybody benefits. My experience, my choice, has been shaped by how I was raised." Métis feather painting The Métis are known for their beautiful beadwork, dancing and love of music. But for Lucille Scott, it's all about painting. Scott is a Métis artist who lives in Canwood, about 130 kilometres south of Green Lake. She paints beautiful scenes and memorials onto Canada goose feathers with acrylic paint. Those feathers are then placed into frames made out of old, weathered barn wood — a staple of iconic Saskatchewan landscapes today. "I taught myself to envision what I'm going to put on that feather first. See it in my mind and then put it on that space," said Scott. Scott most loves to paint animals, especially horses, grain elevators and Prairie scenes. She says her art is especially influenced by her Métis culture. "My grandmother on my dad's side used to make paper flowers ... paper roses and sell them as wedding bouquets. She always did these these crafty things and I would watch her. And my grandmother on my mother's side was from the north and she did bead work. She did beautiful roses on her beadwork. They really inspired me, my two grandmothers." Scott's work is often gifted to prominent public figures such as former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, Premier Scott Moe and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde. One of Scott's painted feathers was recently gifted to Tristen Durocher, the young Métis man who camped in a teepee near the legislative building in Regina last year to raise awareness about suicide in the province. "I enjoy it because when I do my feather paintings, I put good energy into that. And I'm hoping that that good energy goes onto that person who the feather has been gifted to." Eatery on Main, Meadow Lake To the west, in the city of Meadow Lake, Kassidy Dunsing works as the owner and operator of the restaurant, café and bakery Eatery On Main. Dunsing took over the restaurant in 2018 after moving to Meadow Lake from nearby Turtle Lake. "You feel very welcomed. A lot of people do move to Meadow Lake to work at our mills as they are the huge economy source here. So we have people coming from all over Canada to work and typically when they get here, people stay. We are [a] very small business-orientated community that does work together very well," said Dunsing. Eatery On Main is known for its juicy in-house burgers and decadent and unique homemade cheesecakes. But Dunsing says the customers are pretty sweet themselves. "We're super lucky to have a whole bunch of regular customers here at the eatery. Especially since COVID. We've had some really sincere customers in here that have decided every Friday night, [they're] ordering from the eatery. And we just know to expect them," Dunsing said. Dunsing says the small businesses of Meadow Lake are special, but so is the nearby Meadow Lake Provincial Park — a huge perk for the locals. She says the hiking trails are a big part of her weekly plans. Right now, visitors to the park will find that the trails have been turned into skiing trails for some wintertime fun. Sturgeon River Ranch The area in and around the town of Big River, 120 kilometres east of Meadow Lake, is perfect for hiking and horseback riding. Take a short 30-kilometre drive out of Big River and you will come up on Sturgeon River Ranch, located on the west side of Prince Albert National Park. Staff take guests on long, rustic horseback rides on the park's trails. The Sturgeon River is the boundary to the park, and the river is visible from ranch property. "We're in the transition eco region of the boreal forest. And so this is basically the start of the boreal forest. As you head north, it's more forest before it gets in the glacial shield quite a ways north," said John Prosak, owner of Sturgeon River Ranch. Wolves, deer, birds and black bears can be seen on these rides, but the bison are the biggest draw. The wild plains bison herd in the park is Canada's only totally free-ranging herd of its kind within their historic habitat. "When you do see them, they are a wild animal and they act like one. So they become alert and then they make a few grunts and alert the others. They all look at you and then take off into the bush run," Prosak said. "It is awesome to hear them, see them every time, because they go crashing off through the bush and you can feel the rumble of their hooves. You can feel the earth shaking when the herd runs through the bush. You can hear trees snapping." Riding along the Sturgeon River Valley with Prosak and his crew, guests can spot a mix of poplar trees, jack pine forest, birch and willows. While many guests like to visit the ranch in the summer, wintertime on the trail is something special. "Most people don't realize how awesome it is to ride in the winter. It's probably my favourite time of year to ride. One of the things is that it's so quiet. You feel like you can hear things for miles and miles and miles, 'cause there's not as many birds. There's just not as many sounds. And there's not as much foliage. There's no leaves to block the sound," Prosak said. "You can also see a long ways because the leaves aren't on the trees, the grass isn't grown up in the bush. And when there's snow like this, you can see the moose and the deer and the elk and the bison from quite a far ways away." Turtle Lake, Cochin Turtleford, located 136 kilometres northeast of Meadow Lake, is the proud home of Ernie the Turtle — a massive roadside attraction that happens to be the biggest and friendliest turtle in Canada. Visitors can catch a glimpse along Highway 26. Up by Turtle Lake, you can search for the infamous Turtle Lake Monster. About once a year, someone claims to have had an encounter with what is sometimes described as a massive scaly beast. Local Cree legend says people who ventured into the monster's territory on Turtle Lake vanished without a trace. Gord Sedgewick, a Saskatoon area biologist for the Ministry of Environment, worked in the Meadow Lake and Turtle Lake area for 20 years. He says he's been hearing about the Turtle Lake Monster for just as long. "You've heard of the surgeon general? Well, this is the sturgeon general of monsters, I guess, because it's so old," Sedgewick said. Visitors have insisted they've seen the monster, but Sedgewick says no pictures have ever conclusively proven its existence. "We did a lot of live trout netting and surveys. And I can tell you that we never did catch the Turtle Lake Monster. But the Turtle Lake Monster will always likely always be with us. But please, for me, don't hurt it if you do catch the monster. If it is real." Sedgewick says the sightings of the so-called Turtle Lake Monster might actually be sightings of an unusually large lake sturgeon, or a relic of prehistoric plesiosaurs. But you never know .... Meanwhile, 70 kilometres away in the resort village of Cochin, stands the only lighthouse in Saskatchewan. This working lighthouse sits on the top of Pirot's Hill. It serves as a beacon for summertime boaters and people on snowmobiles in the wintertime. Visitors get a workout by climbing the 153 steps to the top of the hill. The payoffs are expansive views of both Murray and Jackfish lakes, as well as the village and prairie farmland. Cochin lighthouse may just be the perfect place to reflect on the beauty of the northwest — a land that spotlights Saskatchewan's nature and its diversity.
You can hear panic in Sharise Sutherland-Kayseas's voice. She speaks quickly as she tells her mother, Dina, that she feels complaints she's filed with Pine Grove Correctional Centre staff are going nowhere. She hasn't been able to connect with her lawyer or the Elizabeth Fry Society, which advocates for female inmates, she says. Sutherland-Kayseas has been in the Saskatchewan provincial facility, just north of Prince Albert, for almost two years, awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge from 2019. Her mother worries for her well-being, because Sharise hasn't consumed any solid food for more than two weeks in protest of the conditions at the facility. She is one of two inmates at the facility taking part in the hunger strike, which the provincial government calls a "tray refusal." "They're asking for support — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually," Dina Kayseas said in a phone interview. "They need that genuine, real support." Dina says her daughter was recently refused a visit with a medical professional, as she is alleged to have not complied with the orders of a guard, which resulted in her being restrained and brought back to her cell. But Kayseas says her daughter told her was just "trying to catch her breath," as she's been fatigued since she stopped consuming solid food. "She was trying to get help," Kayseas said. In her experience, fasting can quickly take a toll on a person's overall well-being. "It's like you're walking in two worlds," she said. Even if they're prisoners behind bars, still they're human. - Dina Kayseas "Sometimes I cry," she said, noting she regularly smudges and prays for her daughter. "I worry. I don't know if she's going to die sometimes. It seems like they don't care." Kayseas feels what's happening in Pine Grove is a continuation of Canada's colonial foundation, which has seen Indigenous people systemically oppressed and assimilated for centuries. "It's like Indigenous women incarcerated in Saskatchewan are like flies, house flies ... getting swat," she said. "They're sitting there and they're waiting to die." As a worried mother, she's calling for better support and conditions for Indigenous inmates. While they may be accused or convicted of committing crimes, they still deserve compassion, she says. "It's not right to treat an Indigenous woman, or an Indigenous person, the way they're being treated," she said. "Even if they're prisoners behind bars, still they're human." A petition has been filed calling for the resignation of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell, as a result of the province's handling of COVID-19 in its correctional facilities, with several demonstrations and protests held in recent weeks. But concerns about the province's correctional facilities have been ongoing for years. In 2015, inmates at the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre detailed concerns about what they called "inhumane conditions." At the time, that included issues around overcrowding, quality of food and overall conditions, as reported by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. All inmates treated fairly: ministry In a conference call on Thursday, Noel Busse, executive director of communications with Saskatchewan's Ministry of Corrections, said the province is doing everything it can to safely support inmates at the facility, including offering cultural resources and access to elders. "The ministry works to ensure that everyone in the correctional system is treated fairly," he said, noting that is part of the staff code of conduct. "We specifically made it a priority to ensure that correctional staff are equipped to interact with First Nation and Métis offenders in a way that's culturally informed." Busse says staff go through an induction training program and are provided workshops on the importance of traditional practices like sweat lodge ceremonies and knowledge keeping within Indigenous cultures, as well as learning about treaties and Indigenous history and culture. I've never had it be this be difficult, or have these kinds of limitations imposed on us. - Patti Tait, Elizabeth Fry Society The province has introduced extensive cleaning measures at the facility, he said, with nurses checking on inmates on a daily basis. Those on hunger strikes get increased monitoring and checks, Busse said. "We're able to facilitate medical and psychiatric services virtually when required, and in the event that an offender requires health services beyond what's available at the correctional facility, we'll make sure that's provided." Communication breakdown: Elizabeth Fry Society But the interim executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society, who is also the organization's cultural co-ordinator and knowledge keeper, has concerns about what's happening at the facility. Patti Tait says the pandemic has affected the support the organization can offer inmates in provincial facilities, as outside visitors aren't allowed. Tait says while she understands the provincial government is trying to keep those inmates safe, they need to find a balance to ensure they're supported through the pandemic. "It's very upsetting that our normal processes that we have always engaged in — which would be visiting Pine Grove every two weeks, seeing all the young women on their units, having them voice their concerns and taking those concerns back to administration — is being really undermined by the restrictions that COVID has imposed on us." She worries without those visits, oversight around ensuring human rights are being respected overall may go "by the wayside." Tait says Elizabeth Fry has been notified about the issues Sutherland-Kayseas has raised and have been trying to get in touch with the facility, but her staff have had a difficult time getting through. She said she's also heard inmates are having trouble connecting with their lawyers or support organizations like Elizabeth Fry. In more than 30 years in advocacy work, "I've never had it be this be difficult, or have these kinds of limitations imposed on us," she said, adding the organization has been able to work with federal facilities to maintain access at some of the prisons run by Correctional Service Canada. Correctional staff work on a daily basis to ensure the safety of the facility, the inmates and the public - Noel Busse, Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety "I'm struggling with the provincial system and the fact there seems to have been a breakdown in — not only [in] our ability to come and go, but also in our ability to contact the women." Tait says the majority of inmates at the facility have not actually been convicted of any crime, but instead are waiting for their case to work through the judicial process. As a result, they don't have access to the same programming or supports as people who have been convicted. "That means they do nothing, and they have no one coming in from the outside," she said. Ministry works to protect public, inmates: spokesperson Busse, the ministry spokesperson, noted inmates may have their phone call privileges restricted due to behaviour inside the facility, but said they still have the ability to call legal counsel, as well as organizations like the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Saskatchewan ombudsman and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. He also said he was not aware the Elizabeth Fry Society was willing to go into the facility to offer supports, even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, but noted those restrictions are in effect as a safety measure across the province. Busse stressed that while the pandemic has been difficult for both inmates and staff at the facility, the government of Saskatchewan is working to address the concerns behind the tray refusal and protect those who are incarcerated, even if there are challenges. "These disagreements happen and … they sometimes make their way into the media, and inmates aren't satisfied with steps that have been taken or the repercussions that result from specific actions," said Busse. But that "doesn't mean the ministry doesn't care about the people in our care," he said. "Correctional staff work on a daily basis to ensure the safety of the facility, the inmates and the public."
The falling number of COVID-19 outbreaks at Alberta child-care facilities appear to show measures in place are working, says an infectious disease expert. Craig Jenne, an associate professor at the University of Calgary in the department of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases, said the numbers peaked along with community transmission. The key now is to keep overall cases down and watch for coronavirus variants, Jenne said. "We believe our current defences are working well against the viral strain that's here now," Jenne said. "But if that changes — if that is able to spread more easily — it may mean that our current limitations on occupancy and spaces and handwashing may not be as effective at stopping viral spread. "That may lead to more transmission within child care, but also within the community, meaning more kids are going to a daycare or child-care setting with the virus." In August, there were two outbreaks of five or more cases, and 10 people tested positive. By December, there were 15 new outbreaks at child-care centres with 125 cases. But this month, there are fewer than half as many outbreaks — So far this month there are six new childcare outbreaks in Alberta including 64 cases. "In every outbreak, health officials have acted quickly and are worked closely with operators to limit spread and protect the health of everyone involved," said Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan in an email. "This includes conducting contact tracing and ensuring that anyone at risk of exposure is contacted, isolated and tested." When asked to provide numbers for all outbreaks — not just those with five or more cases — McMillan said while outbreak protocols are implemented as soon as two cases are linked, outbreaks are reported at five cases. "Outbreaks at reported at five cases as there it is likely that evidence of epidemiologically linked transmission has occurred. We are reporting data for all publicly reported outbreaks," he said. Outbreaks since mid-summer There have been a total of 36 outbreaks of five or more cases in child-care facilities in Alberta since mid-summer. Lin Farnholz with Coded Minds Canada found out about a case of COVID-19 at one of her Calgary out-of-school care programs and shut down the cohort that was involved. "My team and I got together on a Sunday, we called all the families to let them know what had happened," Farnholz said. The outbreak of 5 cases hit in December, despite extra staffing and consistent cleaning. "At least two of them, I was told, were asymptomatic. So that's a tough thing to fight against, because if you don't know you're sick, it's hard to stop that spread," she said. Here are details provided by McMillan on all publicly reported outbreaks in child-care centres since August 2020: August 2020 Edmonton Zone: 1 outbreak (5 total cases) Calgary Zone: 1 outbreak (5 total cases) September 2020 Edmonton Zone: 1 outbreak (5 total cases) October 2020 Edmonton Zone: 1 outbreak (12 total cases) Calgary Zone: 1 outbreak (21 total cases) South Zone: 2 outbreaks (29 total cases) November 2020 Edmonton Zone: 4 outbreaks (65 total cases) Calgary Zone: 3 outbreaks (22 total cases) North Zone: 1 outbreak (10 total cases) December 2020 Edmonton Zone: 7 outbreaks (49 total cases) Calgary Zone: 7 outbreaks (54 total cases, 4 active) North Zone: 1 outbreak (22 total cases) January 2020 Edmonton Zone: 4 outbreaks (33 total cases, 20 active) Calgary Zone: 1 outbreak (26 total cases, 26 active) Central Zone: 1 outbreak (5 total cases)
Five years after four people were killed and seven others injured in La Loche, the northern Saskatchewan community continues to heal. On Friday, La Loche will mark the milestone anniversary of the Jan. 22, 2016, shootings at a home in the community and Dene High School. The day also brings anguish knowing more milestone anniversaries will come — 10 years, then 20. "It's very important to emphasize that healing is occurring for many in the community. But when we are reminded by an anniversary it makes it a little bit more challenging," La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois said. "It's a difficult time always, and maybe it will be different in the years to come. But it is a heavy day, a heavy week and a heavy month." On the afternoon of Jan. 22, 2016, a then-17-year-old gunman killed his two cousins at a home in the community, and then went to the school, where he fatally shot two more people and injured seven others. The community will commemorate the four people who died — brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, and educators Adam Wood and Marie Janvier — and the seven injured by hosting a virtual prayer Friday afternoon. Meals delivered to 500 members of the community will follow, and in the evening a virtual gospel concert will be broadcast by a local radio station. Students at Dene High School helped put together a memorial video to mark the occasion, with dignitaries, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sharing messages of hope. In the video, Trudeau calls the shooting a "senseless moment of violence" that changed lives forever, and "the kind of tragedy no one should ever go through." "Even from afar I stand with you, and I mourn with you," Trudeau said, vowing to offer financial assistance. Finding the right supports for students In the five years since, the community has evolved and preserved forward. "It's a journey. Everyone heals at their own pace, but I can say we have made improvements at the school level," said Donna Janvier, principal of Dene High School. Mental health services have been added to Dene High School, and a physician routinely visits to provide health care to students. WATCH | A February 2016 report on the shooting in La Loche a month earlier: A modular farm has been donated so students can plant, grow and harvest fresh produce for the school's breakfast and lunch program. An outdoor school program was introduced, and is now in its third year, and is helping students to connect with nature, their elders and cultural practices, Janvier said. "It is crucial. It is our identity. It is who we are," she said. "Integrating that into our everyday learning and curriculum is very important because as students, as a community, we need to remember who we are." Janvier says changes have been positive, as students once again feel safe coming to school. Educators continue to put a focus on making them feel valued, important and listened to, she said. Coping with grief, loss during a pandemic But grieving within the community has become more difficult during the pandemic, as people are isolated. COVID-19 has put a strain on public health resources, and with the restructuring of services, it's hard for many to access mental health support. Therapy sessions have moved online, but those who don't have internet access can't get the help. "We need more resources to work with residents. That is a worrying thought, not only for myself, but for others as well," Jolibois said. "It gets down to taking one day at a time." WATCH | A 2016 report on how La Loche is trying to heal: For Janvier, the hardest part of dealing with the aftermath of the shooting has been to lead. "Many of my students, and many of my staff members grieve differently, heal differently, and I need to be conscious of that," Janvier said. "I know a lot of educators probably feel this way, but as an educator you really want to fix something, and you know you can't, and that is the frustrating part." Five years later, the community continues to celebrate its small successes while continuing its healing journey. "We are resilient. We can move forward," said Janvier. "We need to remember Jan. 22, 2016, and how our lives have changed since then," she said. "And every year, we will remember. We will remember the deceased. We will remember the injured. We will remember the survivors."
A significant population of goldfish is thriving in the duck pond at Odell Park, and both city officials and conservationists in Fredericton are concerned. "They've flourished," Mike Glynn, city forester and assistant manager with the city's parks and trees division. "They've done very well in the duck pond." That's not a good thing. An unwanted species Glynn told the city's livable community committee on Thursday that people have been dumping unwanted goldfish into the pond for years, and he estimates there are hundreds there. "There's also lots of different sizes," said Kristin Elton, project co-ordinator with the New Brunswick Invasive Species Council. They could clean up a population of juvenile trout, salmon and other fish in fairly short order. - Stephen Chase, councillor The fish can grow to be 40 centimetres long and weigh up to five pounds. Elton said the fish are either reproducing or they're being introduced at different stages." Goldfish are a species of carp, and they compete with and prey on native species. The duck pond is man-made, but Glynn said the real problem will come if the pond overflows, because the goldfish could find their way into the storm sewer. "And if they can find their way into the storm sewer, then they can find their way potentially to the St. John River," he said. "And then it becomes another invasive introduction in a native water watershed." The city is in preliminary talks with partners including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the province about what can be done. Pond isn't a place for unwanted animals For now, the city plans to add signs warning people against dumping animals into the pond. "The greater problem is that people feel that that is an appropriate solution, to just dump unwanted animals or aquarium contents into the environment," said Elton. Coun. Stephen Chase, who is also the executive director of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, said the city should act quickly. "They are highly predacious on native species, so they could clean up a population of juvenile trout, salmon and other fish in fairly short order, plus they multiply with great rapidity," he said. Chase said the city should look at options to eradicate the goldfish. "In the short term, there should be a barrier placed on the little outlet to prevent fish from escaping," he said.
Special weather statements are in effect for a system that could dump some significant snow over southern and central Nova Scotia Friday.
Charlottetown police are looking for the driver of an SUV they believe was involved in multiple hit and runs on Sunday afternoon. Two vehicles were stopped in the left turn lane on the Charlottetown bypass at St. Peters Road, waiting to turn north onto Route 2. The drivers told police a vehicle approached from the rear and attempted to go around them, colliding with both in the process. Another collision involving the same vehicle occurred minutes later, police said. The vehicle was traveling south on St. Peters Road and rear ended someone near the intersection of Francis Lane, then carried on and turned right onto Duncan Heights, police said. This accident happened around 4:20 p.m., according to a news release. Police located a silver SUV the next day that they believe was the vehicle involved, but they are still looking for the driver. Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to contact Charlottetown police at 902-629-4172 or P.E.I. Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. More from CBC P.E.I.
The Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC) wants the B.C. Ministry of Education to make a statement recognizing the risk to learning posed by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and indicating that teachers need specific training to help. According to Heidi Bernhardt, founder of CADDAC and the group's director of advocacy and education, ADHD has been identified as a neurodevelopment disorder in recent years, but for about two decades, teachers have been told it's insignificant and they don't need to pay attention to it. "What we need is the Ministry of Education to give as much weight to the learning risk of ADHD as they do to autism and learning disabilities," said Bernhardt. She said the disorder can significantly affect learning, but there are simple accommodations that can make a big difference, including: Sitting close to the teacher. Extra time with the teacher to break assignments into smaller chunks. Help for students to time manage. Help focusing attention. Having access to prepared notes because listening and taking notes at the same time can be a challenge. Being in smaller areas with fewer distraction for exams and tests. CADDAC produced "report cards" for the provinces' ministries of education in 2010 and Bernhardt said B.C., Ontario and Quebec all received failing grades. Her group has been lobbying B.C. officials since 2014 to have ADHD recognized and now the ministry is transitioning to what's called an inclusive model, meaning different disabilities aren't categorized at all. 'Ensuring every child is supported' The Ministry of Education sent CBC News a statement in response to CADDAC's advocacy. It doesn't include the term ADHD anywhere, but says in part, "All students have the right to receive supports to access their learning. Our goal is to respond to a student's educational needs, and not only a medical diagnosis." "Nothing is more important than ensuring every child is supported to reach their full potential and that's why we are committed to removing barriers standing in their way," the statement reads. Bernhardt said it's important for the ministry to specifically address ADHD as it makes the change to an inclusive model. That's because even though students with ADHD can get support, teachers haven't necessarily been educated on their particular needs and there's a history of discounting the challenges posed by ADHD.
The 1987 blizzard couldn't stop 334 hardcore NHL fans from attending the New Jersey Devils game, leading to a unique and exclusive club named for their dedication.
Carbon Craft Design works with businesses and factories that are looking for solutions to their high greenhouse gas emissions.
Jeremy Dutcher and Possesom Paul don't make any apologies about wanting to change the world. The young Wolostoqi artists are at the beginning of a three-year project with the Atlantic Ballet Theatre that will culminate in a new production, and they hope another step forward in sharing their culture, making lasting connections and artistic excellence. Dutcher, a composer and singer, says the opportunity to bring a Wolostoqey story into a "ballet space" and "concert hall" is huge. "I've had this vision of what opening night is going to be like with our people there, and they know that it's their story," he said. "They never even thought they were invited — we didn't even get in the door, and now we're on stage and we're shaping the narrative, we're telling the story." The partnership started with a friendship between Possesom Paul, a grass dancer and choreographer from Sitansisk, or St. Mary's First Nation, and Igor Dobrovolskiy, the Ukrainian-born artistic director and choreographer at the Atlantic Ballet. The two met at a powwow in Fredericton six years ago and after working together on several projects, including a Canada 150 production, Paul knew he wanted to do something even bigger. "Through our work together and through our understanding of each other — we clicked," Paul said. "And it grew and grew and then the next part was, 'I'd like to come on board and do a real production, a full production.'" This partnership is a first for Dobrovolskiy, who credits an elder with explaining to him how you can blend the "colonial ballet style" with Indigenous art to create something new and beautiful. "It's the two canoes, running together, and across," he said smiling. "I never thought that somebody will come to me and tell me, 'Let's do production together.'" Dobrovolskiy, who is nearly 60, joked he is learning how to be a "collaborator" rather than "a dictator." This is the first time he has worked with another choreographer on a major production. "Possesom is the first. And imagine we have to figure out our relation, how we will co-create." Sharing their sacred bundles For Paul and Dutcher, who grew up together in New Brunswick, there is a strong sense of responsibility in undertaking this creative project. Within minutes of meeting them you learn how important elder Maggie Paul, who is also Possesom's grandmother, has been in their lives. It was Maggie who gave Possesom his first pair of moccasins and told him, "Once you put those moccasins on, you're going to have to dance." "To have that beautiful gift … gave me a pride that my peers didn't have," Possesom said of growing up immersed in his Wolastoqey culture. He became a professional dancer at the age of 11 and has performed around the world. It was also Maggie who inspired and encouraged Dutcher to learn the Wolastoqey songs of his ancestors that were preserved on wax cylinders in the archives of the Canadian Museum of History. Those songs would become the foundation of his award-winning 2018 album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. "There are so many of our young people — Wolastoqi young people that haven't had the opportunity to learn from people like Maggie Paul," said Dutcher, a member of Tobique First Nation, or Neqotkuk. Everyone carries a "sacred bundle" of teachings, Possesom and Dutcher explain, and they are responsible for sharing them as they do their "earth walk." "It's a transformative moment right now where we actually get to bring these stories in this space," said Dutcher." And every step we take, behind us is a room full of ancestors and people that want to see this work happen because we get to do what they didn't." A genuine voice Dutcher admits he was hesitant about sharing their stories, language and traditions with a wider audience and sometimes feels the urge to "hold them really close." "Tokenism is real — as Indigenous creators, we've all felt it," he said. "We need to be conscious that when we enter every art space that there is a precedent of that extractive storytelling, of 'Oh, we've got a brown face on the poster and somebody dancing. We've done our work.'" However, after spending time with Dobrovolskiy and Possesom and witnessing their close and collaborative relationship, Dutcher said he is convinced their "stories are safe here." "It's not about a devouring of our song and story and placing them just as scenery or background or a setting for a ballet story to be told." As Indigenous people we have nothing to reconcile. This isn't about that…it's about creating excellence. That's what's the most important part. - Possesom Paul Dobrovolskiy believes this new ballet they are creating, will give the audience a better understanding of the land where they live. Listening to Dutcher's music has already inspired scenes in his imagination. "It's a little bit foggy but still I feel it's there." When asked whether this project is an example of what reconciliation looks like, Possesom explains that is not for him to answer. "As Indigenous people we have nothing to reconcile," he said. "This isn't about that … it's about creating excellence. That's what's the most important part." 'We're building a nation' By bringing their stories into a new, wider space, Dutcher and Possesom believe they are creating more than just a show, they are creating "infrastructure for the future." "We're building a nation and that can't be understated," said Dutcher. "Non-Indigenous people haven't even had the opportunity to actually get to know us until quite recently because every media portrayal, everything has been from outside of us, looking at us and saying, 'Well, this is how you are.'" "We're in this moment right now where we're building things, we're creating things that truly come from our world view," Dutcher said. "It's a transformative moment." Possesom wants their work to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together. "We're all treaty people," he said. "Nobody's going and packing up and leaving this land. That's not the point. The point is that we need to understand that we are all here as stewards of not only the space, but our relation to each other." The Wolostoqi creators see it as a sort of crossroads. One path leads to the separation that has existed for hundreds of years and the other, to unity. "I think that's the gift that this moment is offering us," said Dutcher. "If we just show what that unity looks like, if we just show what the collaborative spirit of sharing our stories with people outside of us … that's the work." Few hints about story, production Dobrovolskiy, Possesom and Dutcher spent a week together in Moncton and Grande-Digue this month, as the process of creating a large-scale ballet production got underway. "It's exciting," said Possesom. "This is our world of what we do and we're all really good at what we do." For his part, Dobrovolskiy is looking forward to creating something that is rich with culture, and said working with Possesom and Dutcher has been "amazing." "Some Ukranian guy involved with the Indigenous people to create some story? Ridiculous. But it's natural. I feel it's natural," he said. No one would share any details of the story, the characters or the music for the production, but Dutcher did give a hint about the broader themes. "The number one emotion every time we sit down to think about the characters and what is driving it is joy, celebration," he said. "We're still speaking our languages, we still know our songs, we still have our dances." Dutcher said one written account of Europeans arriving on the East Coast, and being greeted by his Indigenous ancestors has always stayed with him. "They came down to the bank of the river as the Europeans came in, and the women went out into the water and they stroked their arms and they sang to them," he said. "Our teaching is that welcome song — it never went away." "When you give Indigenous people the microphone, so often we go to joy, we go to celebration, we go to humour. Because that's how we survived. That's the only way. In all the indignity that we have been served, and we still say welcome."
An Island group working to protect the rights of tenants says the P.E.I. government should be doing a better job of tracking eviction numbers. The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) keeps statistics only in cases where tenants have challenged their eviction. Nobody knows how many tenants are being evicted if no protest is filed. "A lot of people just aren't quite sure of their rights," said Aimee Power, with the P.E.I. Fight for Affordable Housing. "We just hear things anecdotally when people contact us, if they're aware of us. "It's leaving so much information in the wind that would be really helpful for developing policy and helpful for tenants and for knowing the reasons and trends for evictions that are happening in P.E.I." David McQuillan, the tenant support worker with Community Legal Information, says almost 40 per cent of the calls he handled last year on the group's rental inquiry line had to do with evictions, accounting for 90 of 240 calls. "It's really difficult to know how many evictions are happening on P.E.I. each year," he agreed. "The current system places the burden of challenging evictions on the tenant." Having the full statistical picture "could help our lawmakers identify problems in the rental market and set their priorities," McQuillan said. The only valid reasons for an eviction on the Island at the moment are: Non-payment of rent. Breach of the rental agreement. The landlord needing the space back for personal or family use. Demolition of the building. Renovations to the unit. "Some people think that if someone buys the house that they're living in they're automatically evicted — but that's not true," Power told Island Morning's Laura Chapin. Sometimes there are some bad-faith evictions out there. — Aimee Power "It's only if they are going to move into it. If they are going to continue renting this building and not doing any renovations, the tenant should be staying in that building for the same rent and a lot of people don't know that." Database of evictions called for She would like to see officials establish a database of all eviction notices served on the Island, with measures in place to shield people's privacy, so that a more detailed picture can be examined. "Sometimes there are some bad-faith evictions out there," Power said, with landlords saying they are evicting a tenant in order to move in themselves, but not following through on that. The province is in the process of updating its legislation in a new Residential Tenancy Act, with a view to having a final draft before MLAs this fall. "Currently, there is no requirement for tenants or landlords to register documents (lease agreements, eviction notices, etc.) with IRAC," a provincial government spokesperson said in an email to CBC News. "The Rental of Residential Properties Act is a complaints-based system that provides both tenants and landlords an avenue to have an independent review of situations between a landlord and tenant." The email said the first draft of the new act underwent consultations in March 2020, and didn't include a provision for mandatory registration of evictions. "We will be giving Islanders another opportunity to provide their feedback on the new draft before we bring a final draft of new legislation to the legislature." More from CBC P.E.I.
A Yukon Supreme Court judge has thrown out part of a lawsuit against the territorial government. The suit stems from a 2015 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Chance Oil and Gas, formerly Northern Cross, is seeking up to $2.2 billion in damages after the government imposed the moratorium. The company's statement of claim, which was re-filed a year ago, alleges the government's fracking ban amounts to an "unlawful de facto cancellation" of the company's oil rights in the Eagle Plains area. In a statement of defence filed in late March, the government says it never granted Chance the right to establish commercial production at Eagle Plains. The statement says Chance was only ever granted exploration permits that gave it the right to drill test wells and sell any oil it found during those tests. In a written ruling issued on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Edith Campbell struck down three claims against the government, including a claim of unlawful interference with economic interests. She also threw out Chance's request to order the government to exempt it from the fracking ban. Campbell also granted a request from the government to remove Energy Minister Ranj Pillai from the suit. The former Yukon Party government issued the fracking moratorium in 2015 following months of hearings on the practice by a select committee of the Legislative Assembly. Fracking is only permitted in the natural-gas rich Liard Basin in southeast Yukon, and only with the approval of local First Nations. The Liberal government, elected in November of 2016, later said it would not issue permits for fracking operations anywhere in the territory.
There have been no reported cases of influenza on P.E.I. this season, as well as fewer cases of coughs and colds, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison is crediting "unintended impacts" of pandemic restrictions. With cough and cold season all but non-existent this year because of COVID-19 health measures, P.E.I. Honibe lozenge-maker Island Abbey Foods has laid off 30 staff. There's been a reorganization in the top ranks at Health PEI, after lessons about improved workflow learned during COVID-19. In her weekly checkup with CBC News: Compass, P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says they've given 6,500 doses of vaccine on P.E.I. so far. A small number of younger people are reporting side-effects such as headache, fever, body aches and sore throat. Work on the Oyster Bed Bridge replacement will take about a month longer than expected due to COVID-19-related supply chain issues. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported on P.E.I. is 110, with seven still active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations. New Brunswick announced 32 new cases on Thursday. There are now 324 active cases in the province. Nova Scotia reported two new cases, with 22 now active. Also in the news Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
A quick, but potent storm has dropped 25+ cm of snow over eastern Newfoundland, with strong winds creating dangerous blizzard-like conditions.
Schools and municipal buildings in the St. John's area are delaying their openings Friday, as blustery weather continues across eastern and northern parts of Newfoundland and moves northward toward Labrador. Environment Canada meteorologist Veronica Sullivan says 25 centimetres of snow has been recorded at St. John's International Airport, with another five more centimetres expected before the end of the day. Sullivan said local reports suggest most people got around 30 centimetres, however, with the highest amounts around the northeasterrn Avalon Peninsula and on the Bonavista Peninsula. She expects the storm will move off the northeast Avalon by mid-morning, making for a sunny but windy afternoon. "That snow could still be blowing around a bit, even though it's not falling from the sky anymore," Sullivan said. Delayed opening for schools The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District announced shortly after 6 a.m. NT that schools in and around St. John's would have their opening delayed by three hours to allow snowclearing to continue. Buses will be running three hours later than their regularly scheduled time. Schools on the Bonavista Peninsula and through parts of central Newfoundland are also closed for the morning, with the district providing an update later in the morning. Schools in St. Anthony and St. Lunaire-Griquet will be closed through the day. The College of the North Atlantic's Bonavista and Clarenville campuses are closed for the morning. Buildings on the St. John's campus of Memorial University will not open until 1 p.m. 'Slick' roads RCMP Const. Jeff Wiseman says roads on the northeast Avalon were "pretty slick" Friday morning, with poor visibility in some areas. Wiseman said there's a lot of snow and slush still covering roadways, and advised people to stay home unless absolutely necessary. "So anybody that's out and about, please make sure that you are reducing your speeds according to the road conditions," he said. "If you don't need to be out, of course, don't be out on the roads." Wiseman said if drivers do need to be on the roads, they should keep their headlights on and leave extra space between vehicles. Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Const. James Cadigan agrees, and says to expect icy conditions and be cautious on the roads. "Certainly, visibility is everything, people are gonna be still walking and using pedestrian ways and obviously they're not going to be quite as clear as they would be any other day," he said. "So we've gotta be really vigilant as we're making our way about the community today." Other delayed openings Municipal buildings and facilities in St. John's and Mount Pearl are closed Friday morning, with a further announcement expected later in the morning. Garbage and recycling collection in St. John's, Conception Bay South and Portugal Cove-St. Philip's will be postponed until Monday. Provincial government offices in the St. John's area will also have a delayed opening, with an update at 11 a.m. NT. Provincial snow plows are back on the roads Friday morning. The Department of Transportation pulled them from a number of highways on the Avalon Thursday evening because of whiteout conditions. Route 101, also known as the Long Harbour Access Road, was closed early Friday. The Avalon Mall, which closed early on Thursday, will open at 10 a.m. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A man is facing a handful of serious charges including attempted murder after police received a call about a man bleeding from the head while running down a street in Dartmouth, said Halifax Regional Police. Police were called Thursday night at 10:14 p.m. after they received reports about a man with a head injury in the 0-50 block of Jackson Road. He was reportedly running down the street while he bled, according to a news release from the Halifax police. Officers eventually found a 34-year-old man with life threatening injuries, it appeared he had been hit with a blunt object. He was taken to hospital for treatment. Less than 20 minutes later at 10:31 p.m. police arrested a 58-year-old man at a nearby residence. The suspect is facing charges of attempted murder, assault with a weapon, and aggravated assault. MORE TOP STORIES
Most people would say they'd like to live independently as long as possible. Even many older seniors who make the choice to move into a personal care home say that there was no place like their own home. Moira Magee, a 60-year-old homeowner with a disability, says that's precisely why she's determined to stay in her house in Roddickton-Bide Arm, on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula. But Magee says she needs government help for repairs and modifications to be able to stay independent, and so far, the assistance is not being made available to her. "This province is responding abysmally. It disproportionately disadvantages people with disabilities," said Magee. "I understand now why so many people have dilapidated homes, and we hear these stories about our people who are living in deplorable situations, because I am living in one." Sick and poor Magee suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has a physical health condition called Raynaud syndrome, which is triggered by cold and stress and affects her circulation and mobility. Magee said the circulation in her feet is sometimes so bad that she loses all feeling in them, and she loses balance or can't stand at all. She is receives $725 a month from a federal Canada Pension Plan disability benefit, and $29.76 every two weeks in provincial income support that goes directly to make minimum payments on her electricity bill. Magee said she can't afford to heat her entire house, so she spends most of her time living and sleeping in one area, which has a wood stove. "I do have other heating sources. I don't have money to pay the hydro. I have absolutely no money in my budget." The area of her home that Magee is able to occupy with some level of comfort is actually the former furnace room, but it's some distance away from her only functioning toilet. Magee also has no running water in her kitchen, and there are walls without drywall, after failed attempts to renovate over the years, with the discovery of mould resulting in work being left uncompleted. Her home has wires hanging across living areas in some places. Magee doesn't have money to finish the necessary work herself. Few options Magee has applied for funding through various government departments and agencies, including the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. The Crown corporation's mandate includes providing loans and grants to homeowners for upgrades to improve energy efficiency or for other needed work, but Magee said the NLHC assistance offered so far hasn't been enough to cover the areas she believes need the most attention, such as electrical improvements. I'm proud that I own a home. - Moira Magee Magee said she's been told she should consider giving up her house and entering a personal-care home, an option she says has been explored by the Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health Authority. But, at age 60, Magee doesn't want to give up her independence. "I absolutely wouldn't make that decision, because I just believe it is not the right decision for me," said Magee. "I'm proud that I own a home … and I've done well to keep my home throughout everything that I've been through, and I'm not giving it up." Home first The province's Department of Health and Community Services and Labrador-Grenfell Health have both told CBC that keeping people in their own homes is a priority. Neither would speak specifically about Magee's situation for privacy reasons. But, in an emailed statement, they said the provincial government has a "home first" philosophy and that it seeks to find ways to allow people to stay independent for as long as possible. The funding agencies from which Magee has applied for help — including NLHC and the Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour, which has responsibility for income support — also won't comment on her case. NLHC provided CBC with information about three different possible funding programs for which Magee may be able to qualify, subject to a home inspection and/or assessment by an occupational therapist: the provincial home repair program (repayable loans of up to $12,500), the home energy savings program (forgivable loan of up to $5,000), and the home modification program (repayable loan of up to $10,000). Let's do the renovations and give supports. - Craig Reid, disability advocate In an emailed statement to CBC, the Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour said that it "can make loan payments, within maximum shelter benefit amounts, to Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) on behalf of a person receiving income support if that client is eligible to receive a loan for home repairs through the NLHC provincial home repair program." Magee said she'd like to see a commitment to lend her money to do the necessary work along with a plan for the Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour to repay the loan over time, in keeping with shelter benefits available to income support recipients. Not uncommon Craig Reid, a prominent advocate for people with disabilities in N.L., said Magee's story of disability, poverty and housing challenges is all too familiar, although he has no first-hand knowledge of her circumstances. He said it's the kind of situation about which he hears quite frequently, and Reid believes it's only going to get worse in Newfoundland and Labrador as the province's population continues to increase in age. "It's going to be happening more and more as people get older and are going to find out their environments are not going to work for them," said Reid. "There's only so many long-term care homes we could build. There's only so many personal-care homes we can build." Reid said what's needed is a government strategy that prioritizes new housing construction that's in keeping with universal design principles, so that people can live safely in their homes throughout their lives. Reid said government financial assistance is needed to help homeowners modify housing that becomes unsuitable as they acquire disabilities of one form or another, whether the impairments are cognitive, sensory or physical. Last resort For people who, like Magee, don't want to enter a personal-care home, Reid said making such a move should be considered a last resort, especially at her age and given the relatively higher expense of maintaining a person in such a facility for the rest of their lives, compared with the one-time cost of repairs or modifications to a person's place of residence. The rate for a room in a personal-care home in Newfoundland and Labrador is about $2,400 per month. "I think when you weigh what it costs to have someone every year for 20 years in a personal-care home, and you weigh that against what it's going to cost to do the renovations, that they can live gracefully at home, I think the balance of the scale tips grossly toward, 'Let's do the renovations and give supports,'" said Reid. Determined Magee said she'll keep lobbying for the funding she believes ought to be available to her through existing, established government programs. Just last week, Labrador-Grenfell Health approved an extra $150 per month for her from funding that's sometimes available for people with disabilities who get home support. Magee said she's grateful for that assistance and will use it to buy groceries and to pay for someone to clear snow to her door. But the larger question that looms for her, in these colder winter months, is how long she will be able to stay in the home she owns if vital repairs and modifications aren't completed. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
OTTAWA — Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc concedes Julie Payette's resignation as governor general shows a need to strengthen the process for vetting vice-regal appointments.Payette resigned Thursday, about a week after the government received the damning findings of an independent investigation into allegations that she presided over a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall.LeBlanc says the report, commissioned by the Privy Council Office which he oversees, came to "compelling" and "stark" conclusions.He says the debacle of Payette's tenure shows that the vetting system for such appointments needs to be strengthened.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose the former astronaut to be Canada's 29th governor general in 2017 — after disbanding a non-partisan, arm's-length committee created by the previous Conservative government to recommend worthy nominees for vice-regal posts.At his biweekly briefing today on the COVID-19 pandemic, Trudeau can expect to be pummelled with questions about his judgment and his government's failure to check with Payette's former employers at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she faced similar allegations of harassing and bullying subordinates."Obviously, this circumstance is far from ideal," LeBlanc said in an interview shortly after Payette's resignation."There always has been a process of vetting, of checks that are made when somebody is appointed to any government position. But clearly, the process can be strengthened, can be improved."LeBlanc said discussions have already been had with those responsible for vetting, but the prime minister hasn't had time yet to reflect on the best way to choose Payette's successor. The government will have more to say on that likely next week, he said.Trudeau's minority Liberal government could be defeated at any time and, were that to happen, it would fall to the governor general to decide whether to call an election or give Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole a chance to see if he can command the confidence of the House of Commons.Until a successor is named, Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Wagner will assume the duties of the governor general so there will be no constitutional vacuum. Still, LeBlanc said the government intends to move quickly to find a successor. "We recognize also the need to be expeditious, not to have the chief justice acting in this role for a period of months. I don't think that would be appropriate."The government does not intend to release the report just yet due to privacy issues and the promises of confidentiality made to all complainants, LeBlanc said. But it will eventually release a redacted version of the report in response to requests made under the Access to Information Act.While he wouldn't go into details, LeBlanc said the report found Rideau Hall "was obviously an unacceptable workplace.""Public servants who work for the government of Canada have the right to a secure, safe and healthy workplace and we are adamant ... that that standard be upheld at every institution of the government of Canada."He said the report "painted a picture that was not consistent" with that standard.The Senate recently agreed to pay $498,000 in compensation to nine former employees of ex-senator Don Meredith, who was accused of sexually harassing, belittling and humiliating his staff.LeBlanc said there's been no consideration thus far — and no mention in the report — of paying compensation to Rideau Hall employees, some dozen of whom have complained anonymously to the CBC about Payette yelling at, belittling and publicly humiliating staff, reducing some to tears and prompting some to quit. He said such questions will be handled by senior PCO officials, who are planning to talk with all employees at Rideau Hall to plan next steps forward.A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Friday that The Queen is being kept informed and will leave the matter in the hands of the Canadian government.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
There's a time capsule of sorts inside the community housing building at 395 University Avenue East. Walking into Unit 107 is like stepping into the past. The kitchen cabinets, bathroom tile, and even some of the door handles harken back to the early 1960s when it was designed. In those days, the apartment offered the cutting-edge of accessibility. Today, it's uninhabited, and has been for years. "These units are typically very difficult to rent because it doesn't meet the accessibility needs most people require," explained Kirk Whittal, COO of the Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC). While the unit sits empty, the wait list for housing in the city has topped 5,500. CHC currently covers more than 4,700 units in 735 buildings. Much of its stock is decades-old, with construction of some facilities dating back to the 50s, 60s and 70s. But changes are coming. Windsor city council has approved a $170-million plan to renew and repair its community housing between now and 2028, after years of underfunding. It's a "historic investment," according to Ward 2 councillor and CHC board member Fabio Costante. Mayor Drew Dilkens also took to Twitter, where he described the decision as the "largest investment" in public housing in more than 10 years. About $90 million of that funding would come from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The city and county would cover $40 million, adding another $40 million in the years to come. "I'm happy. My staff refer to it as 'He's happy, happy, happy!' This is great," said CHC's CEO Jim Steele. The corporation has been underfunded for years, he added. "You do the best that you can. More for less has been the motto we've worked with. But over time you move into tomorrow the problem you should have paid for today." Funding has swung like a 'pendulum' Windsor isn't alone when it comes to a long waitlist and aging facilities. Housing advocates say many cities have struggled to properly fund affordable housing and have not had support from other levels of government. Province-wide research carried out by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association before the pandemic found a need for 69,000 more rental housing units and called for repairs in 260,000 others. "What Windsor is experiencing is the story across Ontario and I have to tell you across Canada as well. Ontario and British Columbia are in very dire need," said CEO Marlene Coffey. Funding for housing across the province has swung like a "pendulum" over the years, she added. "What we've seen is ... there have been periods of investment and expansion and then, over time, in the 1990s there was devolution, which lead to additional constraints, which put housing into the municipal portfolio mostly," she said. "There has been a long time of under-funding in the sector." That lack of support is now being compounded by the need for repairs in older buildings, yet another result of a housing system that was cobbled together over 30 years and not by design — It just sort of happened. The cost of maintaining housing is often too much for municipalities to bear and Coffey said her organization is looking for the federal and provincial government to supply stabilization funding. A chance at a 'clean slate' Forced to focus on big-picture problems such as roofing, fire safety and trying to keep the elevators running, the interiors of many local units have been come outdated and tired, according to Steele. Tenant complaints about everything from kitchen cupboards to heat and security have piled up for years. Now the CEO hopes the massive injection of funding could help make its properties more comfortable. "To be able to get in there and just take everything out and just start with a clean slate, we can talk to the customer, and we can say 'How best should we do this for you? What do you need?'" Cathy Nantais has lived in community housing for roughly 15 years. In all that time she's heard about and witnessed a range of problems from water issues and fires to complaints about other occupants. Some of the CHC sites are in need of serious work, she said, speaking generally. "The floor has been there since the building was built. It's all cracking, it's all getting mould in it that you can't get it out. It's got to be replaced. And it smells," she said. "Then you look up and there are ceiling tiles and they're leaking and there's water stains and mould up there too." 'We're people, just like everybody else' While $170 million might seem like a lot to most people, Nantais anticipates it will only be enough to cover the major issues in each building. Beefing up front-door security, energy management and alarm systems are among the changes that are anticipated, said Steele. Improving accessibility, beyond what's offered in spaces like Unit 107, also represents a large portion of the planned funding. "We're excited. It's a tremendous amount of work. It's going to be difficult work, but we're ... looking forward to the idea of trying to make an improvement to our portfolio," said Whittal. As for those who might question spending so much on social housing, Nantais has a simple answer. "B.S. Just because some of us end up in community housing doesn't mean we're anything less than someone who lives in Russell Woods or South Windsor or wherever. We're people, just like everybody else, except, this happens to be our home," she said. "If it wasn't for CHC and housing there'd be a lot more of us out on the street."