A Canadian couple has been charged under the Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act after allegedly chartering a plane to the territory and misrepresenting themselves in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Kristen Robinson reports.
A Canadian couple has been charged under the Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act after allegedly chartering a plane to the territory and misrepresenting themselves in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Kristen Robinson reports.
NORTH HURON – A request from Morris-Turnberry to change the cost-sharing arrangement for building department services was deferred by North Huron council on March 1, with councillors a little baffled at the suggestion. The ongoing dispute over cross-border service agreements was the reason for the deferral. Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip stated he feels the request should be discussed as a part of the total cross-border agreement talks. “We’ve been a year and a half trying to make the first agreement and they have never even come to the table,” said Reeve Bernie Bailey. “I don’t know why you would open up a second agreement when they can’t even make an agreement on the first one.” The request from Morris-Turnberry is a change to the cost-sharing arrangement for the Chief Building Official (CBO). North Huron CAO Dwayne Evans wrote in a report to council that in March of 2018, Morris-Turnberry and North Huron councils passed bylaws entering into a Shared Services Building Agreement. “On Jan. 22, 2021, the CAO received correspondence from Morris-Turnberry requesting the change to the cost-sharing arrangement for the CBO's salary and benefits,” wrote Evans. Under the current agreement, Morris-Turnberry is responsible for 60 per cent of the CBO’s salary and benefits, and North Huron is responsible for the remaining 40 per cent. Morris-Turnberry is requesting the CBO’s salary and benefits be equally shared. The estimated cost to North Huron is approximately $10,000, wrote Evans. North Huron council decided to defer the motion and send the request back to the Cross-Border Committee, asking them to provide a report outlining the options available, including hiring their own building inspector. Morris-Turnberry CAO Trevor Hallam said in a letter to North Huron council that with the data they have compiled during the two years since the arrangement was made, they have discovered that “the 60-40 allocation of costs set out in Schedule A does not accurately reflect the usage of the services by each municipality.” He added, “The division of actual hours spent by the CBO in 2020 was 51.09 per cent in North Huron and 48.91 per cent in MorrisTurnberry and in 2019 it was 47.9 per cent in North Huron and 52.1 per cent in Morris-Turnberry.” North Huron councillors were also aware that the upcoming construction season would increase the CBO's workload; with shovels in the ground coming soon in both Wingham and Blyth, they realize that they would likely be justified in hiring their building inspector. The matter will be revisited at the next North Huron council meeting. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
BRUCE COUNTY – The county’s corporate services committee took a closer look at development charges on Feb. 25 during a workshop called “development charges 101.” While some of the lower tier municipalities have development charges – Huron-Kinloss, South Bruce Peninsula, Kincardine and Saugeen Shores – this will be the first time for the county. The concept of development charges is based on the idea that growth should pay for growth – the alternative is having existing taxpayers carry the burden of growth. Development charges may be implemented to fund things that are outside what’s considered normal subdivision infrastructure, for example, roads, watermains and sewers. The idea is to keep the overall impact of growth to a minimum on existing taxpayers, said the consultants. However, existing taxpayers could pay part of the cost of growth, for example, if an arena were expanding from one ice pad to two. The general focus of the workshop was on what development charges can fund, and what they can’t. In September, a report on development charges was presented to the committee. A background study was included in the 2021-2025 budget and forecast. The consulting firm of Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. was retained to lead the study. This is the same firm that is conducting the growth study for the county, meaning consistent growth data would be used. The consultants will be presenting information on development charges at a number of meetings for council and members of the public. The first stakeholder meeting was held the afternoon of the presentation to the executive committee. A second such meeting is planned for June 10. A second council workshop is planned for July 8, time to be determined, followed by a third stakeholder meeting. A public meeting is planned for Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to noon, with the development charges bylaw to be passed at a later date. The consultants explained development charges are a fee charged by a municipality to recover growth costs. Growth costs are recovered to build new infrastructure supporting growth, pay down existing debt for past growth works, and avoid taxpayers paying for costs that serve growth. They don’t pay for operating costs or infrastructure renewal. That is paid for by taxes from new homes and businesses (assessment growth). As explained in the report to council, among the things development charges could fund are new buildings, expanded buildings and converted buildings. These are split into different classifications – residential, commercial, institutional and industrial. There is also an opportunity to make special fees or exemptions for some of the classifications or sub-classifications such as seniors special care facilities, affordable housing or wind turbines. The consultants said many municipalities exempt places of worship, although this may include only the part of the building actually used for worship and not halls rented out to the public. Other common exemptions include farm buildings, industrial development, downtowns, brownfields, hospitals and affordable housing. The consultants stressed it’s up to the county what they choose to exempt. One of the key topics covered in the workshop was legislation governing development charges, including new regulations and emerging issues. The county intends to implement development charges in a graduated manner, over time updating them. The development charges in the county will take into consideration a number of factors such as the business climate including housing demand, the pressures on the county and residents which may be leading to imbalances that can be addressed, in part, by development charges, and the development charges imposed by neighbouring counties. Committee members asked a number of questions including how bridges fit in to the system, whether its better to phase in the charges or implement them all at once, and exemptions. County Coun. Luke Charbonneau, mayor of Saugeen Shores, explained his municipality doesn’t have a lot of exemptions, having chosen to keep development charges as simple as possible. What they do have are “grants targeting certain types of development.” County Coun. Anne Eadie, mayor of Kincardine, said, “I look forward to the next steps.” Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
It wasn't hard to tell when Walter Gretzky was in the building. A fixture at Toronto Maple Leafs home games, the man known as Canada's hockey dad had time for everyone. And it didn't matter if they were old friends or strangers with an outstretched hand. "There was always a buzz around when Walter was there," Leafs alumni Darryl Sittler said Friday. "I don't know how much he got to watch of the games because everybody wanted to share a moment." Walter Gretzky, who nurtured the game's best player on the family's famed backyard rink in Brantford, Ont., died Thursday at 82. Tributes poured in after Wayne Gretzky confirmed his father's death on social media. "Walter instilled in them not only an uncommon understanding of hockey's essence, but a love and respect for the game that has become synonymous with the name Gretzky, all while ensuring that the game was fun to play," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Friday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Walter Gretzky cared deeply about his family and community. "His kindness was undeniable, his passion was obvious, and his impact was immense," Trudeau tweeted. "My thoughts are with Wayne and the entire Gretzky family, and all who are mourning the loss of Canada's hockey dad." Walter was there every step of the way as Wayne dominated the sport from a young age before eventually leading the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cups in the 1980s. "RIP Walter Gretzky, the father of Canadian hockey," tweeted former Oilers winger Esa Tikkanen. Sittler said it didn't matter who you were — Walter had the time. "Just a very nice gentleman," he said. "If he spotted you before you spotted him, he'd come right over and say, 'Hey Darryl!' He always had a big smile on his face." Bettman praised the Gretzky family patriarch for staying connected to hockey at all levels after Wayne retired as a player. "Walter's passion for the game and for teaching it to young players transcended place, status and skill level," he said. "During the two decades since Wayne retired, Walter could always be found at a rink, sharing the game with players and fans at all levels. "Quietly and humbly, Walter dedicated so much of his time to countless charities with little fanfare, but with a deep commitment to improving the lives of so many — particularly children." Mark Ritter, a former sports journalist and Brantford resident, drove an hour Friday to the city about 100 kilometers west of Toronto to leave a hockey stick at Walter's reserved parking spot at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. He recalled once spending an hour talking hockey with Walter at Wayne Gretzky's restaurant in Toronto. "He was always really kind," Ritter said. "He was always shaking hands. He was always making eye contact with people. I think his greatest gift really was time. I think it's something that people take for granted these days. And I think we've kind of learned a little bit more about that during (the COVID-19 pandemic). That time is really important. And he gave it up unselfishly with kindness and love and care. We lost someone really special. "I don't think you'll hear a negative word about him. He was a great asset to our country." Leafs alumni Rick Vaive, who got to know Walter at various events, said the Great One's dad set an example for hockey parents everywhere. "I just remember him as a really nice person more than anything else," Vaive said. "You never heard any stories about him pushing (Wayne) onto greatness or anything like that. He just built a rink and helped him start playing and learning the game. That's all he did. "I liked the fact, talking to him, that he loved all his kids. He was proud of them all. It wasn't just Wayne." Sittler said Walter, who suffered a stroke in 1991 and lost much of his memory, always showed up prepared to golf tournaments, other functions or just the local arena with pictures to sign. "He was a mainstay," Sittler said. "Walter became a legend in his own right for the person he was and the difference he made in people's lives. "He'll be missed. He's an icon." -With files from Nicole Thompson in Brantford, Ont. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021 ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
(ANNews) – On Feb. 23, the Siksika Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alberta Health Services that commits to improving health services for Siksika members. The relationship agreement is aimed at understanding, addressing and preventing inequities in health services, policies and programs for nation members. “The MOU forges a strong relationship and partnership model between Alberta Health and Siksika Nation that will give the Nation increased control and access to quality health services, and an opportunity for government to explore innovative health services with a First Nation partner,” said the Siksika Nation is a press release. Tyler Shandro, Minsiter of Health stated, “By creating meaningful relationships and listening to our Indigenous partners, I am confident we can work collaboratively with Siksika Nation to ensure community members can access culturally appropriate health services where and when they need them, both on and off reserve.” The Memorandum, which is also known as a relationship agreement, is the first agreement in Alberta history to include the Blackfoot language. It is working to eliminate racism and bring positive, transformative change to the health care for Siksika. The agreement acknowledges Siksika Nations Elders’ Guiding principles, said the press release. The agreement includes commitments to:; "Pursue a lasting and cooperative relationship; Acknowledge that the status quo is not acceptable; Commit to bringing about positive and transformative change in healthcare and socioeconomic outcomes for Siksika." It also sets out to: "Reduce jurisdictional uncertainty; Address social and economic determinants of health; Eliminate systemic racism within the healthcare system in Alberta, where it exists, and ensure that Siksika members are provided culturally safe healthcare services." Nioksskaistamik, Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation, said that the “tremendous strength of Siksika Nation is its extensive and effective range of health services. This Relationship Agreement with Alberta Health will further empower Siksika Nation to deliver comprehensive programming and services that are holistic, community-based, and put the health and wellness needs of Siksikawa first. “Today’s signing represents an important step forward in Siksika Nation’s relationship with Alberta Health as we endeavour together towards equitable health outcomes.” “At all times, and particularly throughout the pandemic over the past year, Siksika has worked hard to make sure our people are taken care of, and also to take care of our neighbours. This has been a real priority for Siksika Nation: to be intentional about creating relationships that are of mutual benefit. This agreement we are signing today is one such example,” said Chief Crowfoot. As part of the relationship between the Siksika Nation, Elder Clement Leather gifted Minister Shandro with a Blackfoot name of great significance: Ksiistsikomipi’kssii (pronounced: KSIS-TSII-KO-MII-PIIK-SI), which means Thunderbird. “Around this time next month is when we hear first thunder,” said Elder Clement Leather. “This is when our spiritual people start preparing themselves for ceremony; first thunder is like a wakeup call for people to get ready for what’s to come.” Siksika Councilor, Kent Ayoungman provided context: “Our people have a strong kinship with the whole of our surroundings, with creation. In today’s ceremony, blessings are going to be asked for by the Elder; he is going to call on this special kinship to honour you with a name today. For our people this is very important, it is one of the highest honours a person can receive. Given your work alongside our people here in Siksika, this is why we have chosen to give you a Blackfoot name today.” Shandro, said he felt honoured to be gifted with his new Blackfoot Name. “It’s an amazing honour,” he said. “I didn’t know this was going to be happening today. I don’t have any words to describe it, but it is an incredible honour that I can’t put words to.” The Siksika Nation , a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy, is located one hour east of Calgary, Alberta. Jacob Cardinal is an LJI reporter for Alberta Native News. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is setting aside $3 million to accelerate the process of awarding land titles in historically African Nova Scotian communities. Many African Nova Scotians live on land without clear title bequeathed to them by ancestors, limiting their ability to obtain mortgages, access housing grants or to sell their homes. African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince said today the money will help resolve claims without requiring residents to go to court. Government officials say the $3 million investment will help speed up a process that began in 2017 to help residents of North and East Preston, Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, Lincolnville and Sunnyville get clear land titles at no cost. Premier Iain Rankin says after working with African Nova Scotian communities, he learned there are barriers that need to be removed in order to ensure the success of the initiative. To date, the Land Titles Initiative has cleared 194 land parcels from more than 500 applications and more than 850 eligible parcels of land. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
NORTH HURON – North Huron councillors approved Tuckersmith Communications' request for a supportive letter, even though the fibre optic cables won't reach North Huron. Reeve Bernie Bailey told councillors that the talks with SWIFT and other local internet providers are moving very slowly. He feels that North Huron will be last on the list. Councillor Chris Palmer hopes that sending out a letter of support to Tuckersmith Communications will either "light a fire under Huron-Tel," or encourage "the little guys" to look into funding. The need for rural internet has never been more vital with the pandemic forcing many people to work from home; online classrooms and meetings have also become a new normal. The project, if approved, would start in 2022 and end in 2026. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
It's an understatement to say COVID-19 has changed how businesses carry out their affairs. And the maple syrup industry is no different. Lori Costello, who co-owns Bella Hill Maple Syrup in Nipissing Township with her husband Dan, says there's no doubt the pandemic changed their business. However, it may not be all bad. Last year and again this year, COVID has seen the cancellation of the Powassan Maple Syrup Festival, an event Lori Costello says generated about 10 per cent of Bella Hill's annual income. But while nothing replaced last spring's festival, organizers believe they may be able to hold a festival this year in late summer or early fall. “A fall festival would coincide with the fall colours,” said Lori Costello, adding maple syrup festivals in the northern American states like Vermont and New Hampshire are a regular occurrence and very big. “They've been more popular to go then because the weather is nicer,” she said. “So maybe we can also piggyback on the great weather.” The Costellos make enough maple syrup to sell year-round, so there's no risk of running out of the product if the local festival takes place about six months later. So when you're handed lemons in a COVID environment, you find a way to turn those lemons into lemonade, as the Costellos did when last year's festival was cancelled because of the pandemic. The Costellos introduced porch pick-up of their products to limit client contact because of the virus, but the big and noticeable change was turning to e-commerce. New to the Bella Hill Maple Syrup website is the ability to now buy its products online. Costello says people all over began ordering online more often than ever before once COVID restricted where they could go. So the Costellos joined the throngs of businesses that added online buying to their respective sites. “People could already see on our website what we had to offer, but e-commerce made it easier so we decided to go there,” she said. “I'm not sure we would have gone to e-commerce if it hadn't been for COVID.” Costello says online orders have increased and adds the process of selling online is quick because the customer pays at the same time when placing an order. The Costellos re-tap their two thousand trees each year and it's a process that takes them four to five days. With above freezing day-time temperatures expected to begin after this weekend, the sap will start running and the Costellos are ready. On average they'll produce 3,000 litres of maple syrup each year, but last year was a bumper crop and they came away with 3,300 litres. But Lori and Dan Costello don't limit themselves to just maple syrup. Lori Costello says the syrup they produce helps them make a total of 17 value-added products. She says among those value-added goods are maple butter, maple sugar, maple jelly and sugar candy. In addition, the Costellos also make maple mustard, maple barbecue sauce and a concoction of wild blueberries infused with maple syrup. Costello says although the value-added goods are sold online, they're mostly for sale at the North Bay Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and the Temagami Community Market on Saturdays. The Costellos also appear at the Powassan Farmers' Market. There are four colour classes of maple syrup; golden, amber, dark and very dark. The golden and amber colours are made early in the maple syrup season and they are the Costellos' main focus. They make some dark coloured maple syrup but avoid the very dark syrup because by then the trees have started to bud and Costello says the taste becomes stronger. Lori Costello says the golden colour maple syrup is what Bella Hill uses in the production of its value-added goods like sugar candy and maple butter. And the husband and wife team have had enormous success with those value-added products and have the hardware to backup the claim. At the Royal Winter Fair in 2018, Bella Hill Maple Syrup won the John David Eaton World Championship Cup when their product won in the golden/delicate taste category at the fair. In addition to selling its maple syrup to the public, Bella Hill Maple Syrup can also be found at Krause Farms in Powassan, Foodland in Callander, Freshmart in Astorville and The Green Store in North Bay. The small business also offers free deliveries to Powassan, Nipissing and North Bay residents. Costello says with this year's sap just about ready to start running, she expects Bella Hill Maple Syrup ready for sale before the end of March. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says it should be able to get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible people in the province this spring — months ahead of the original prediction.Officials say it is because the province has changed strategies and is delaying second doses in order to get more first doses done more quickly.Johanu Botha, a member of the provincial vaccine task force, says much depends on the flow of vaccine supplies from the federal government.He says all first doses should be done sometime between mid-May and the end of June.Recent studies have shown that first doses are more effective than originally believed, and many provinces have decided to delay second doses as a result.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021 The Canadian Press
There isn't enough COVID-19 vaccine getting to countries through the COVAX system, says the World Health Organization, so it's recommending an emergency waiver of medical patents to ramp up vaccine production in developing countries.
BERLIN — One of Germany's best-known TV directors and scriptwriters has been formally charged with raping an aspiring actress almost 25 years ago, Munich prosecutors said Friday. Dieter Wedel was the first prominent figure in the country named when the #MeToo movement targeting alleged sexual abusers in the media and the arts gathered pace in Germany three years ago. Wedel, 81, has denied claims by several women that he pressured them for sex. The 20-page indictment against Wedel claims that in 1996 an actress visited him in a Munich hotel to read scenes for a part she was hoping to play. Wearing only a bathrobe, Wedel allegedly forced her onto the bed and raped her. Prosecutors cited more than 20 witnesses and experts, as well as diary entries, in their indictment. German news agency dpa quoted Wedel's lawyer Doerthe Korn criticizing the publicity surrounding the case and the fact that the allegations against her client were first made in a newspaper article, which wrongly suggested the statute of limitations had already expired. The Associated Press
VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuania on Friday refused to extradite to Belarus opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, with the Baltic nation's foreign minister saying “hell will freeze over first" before the demand by Belarus' authoritarian leader is granted. Tsikhanouskaya lost to Alexander Lukashenko in an Aug. 9 presidential election. Official results showed Lukashenko to have garnered 80% of the vote while Tsikhanouskaya received 10%. Tsikhanouskaya and her supporters refused to recognize the results, saying the outcome of the vote was manipulated. Unprecedented mass protests demanding Lukashenko's resignation rocked Belarus for several months. Tsikhanouskaya sought refuge in neighbouring Lithuania right after the election amid pressure from Belarusian authorities. On Tuesday, Belarus demanded her extradition on charges that she plotted to stage violent riots. Tsikhanouskaya’s team rejected the charges, saying in a statement that she has always supported only peaceful protests. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that in his country people seeking shelter “can feel safe and no one would be handed over ... because of their fight for democracy, freedom of speech or freedom of religion.” Lukashenko’s government has unleashed a sweeping crackdown on post-election protests, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Human rights activists say more than 30,000 people have been detained since the demonstrations began, with thousands beaten. The West has condemned the conduct of the election and the brutal crackdown on protesters. The United States and the European Union have said that the election was neither free nor fair and urged Lukashenko to engage in talks with the opposition, a demand he has rejected. International pressure has so far left Lukashenko, who has run the country for 26 years, relying exclusively on assistance from Russia, which has a union agreement with Belarus envisaging close political, economic and military ties. The Associated Press
NORTH HURON – North Huron council deferred the decision to approve the fire dispatch agreement with Owen Sound, pending clarification of a new clause. The recent amendment included an increase in the amount of time required for termination notice. The new clause reads, “If either party wishes to terminate the agreement, it may do so upon giving a minimum of 18 months prior written notice, and the effective date of termination shall be the end of that fiscal year after the year in which notice is given. “For example, if either party wishes to terminate the agreement on Dec. 31, 2024, the party providing notice shall provide written notice of termination no later than June 30, 2023. If termination happens prior to the end of the year, North Huron is liable to pay all fees to the end of the year. The previous agreement stated six months notification and no mention of paying to year end.” Fire Chief Marty Bedard agreed to request clarification from the Owen Sound Police Services on why the increase went from a six-month to an 18-month notification period. Councillors were otherwise on the same page with the agreement's renewal and said they were pleased with the services. Council will vote on the agreement at the next regular council meeting, scheduled for March 15, and pass the bylaw once they have an answer to their question. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
LONDON — Prince Philip has been transferred from a specialist cardiac hospital to a private facility to continue his recovery after a heart procedure, Buckingham Palace said Friday. The palace said the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Wednesday. He was moved to King Edward VII's hospital on Friday and is “expected to remain in hospital for continuing treatment for a number of days,'' the palace said. Philip was admitted to the private London hospital on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday he was transferred to the specialized cardiac care hospital. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and the monarch received COVID-19 vaccinations in January and chose to publicize the fact in order to encourage others to also take the vaccine. Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired in 2017 and rarely appears in public. Before his hospitalization, he had been isolating at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Although he enjoyed good health well into old age, Philip has had heart issues in the past. In 2011, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains and was treated for a blocked coronary artery. The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His illness comes as the royal family braces for the broadcast on Sunday of an interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Meghan and husband Prince Harry quit royal duties last year and moved to California, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. The Associated Press
The 2021 world women's curling championship is back on the calendar. The event has been added to the list of bonspiels that will be held in the Calgary bubble at the Markin MacPhail Centre. Competition is set for April 30-May 9, the World Curling Federation said Friday in a release. The world championship was originally scheduled to be held March 19-28 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. That plan was scrubbed last month after Swiss health authorities declined to provide permission due to COVID-19 concerns. The Canadian women's curling championship kicked off play last month in a spectator-free, controlled environment at WinSport Arena on the grounds of Canada Olympic Park. Kerri Einarson's Manitoba-based team repeated as Scotties Tournament of Hearts champions and will represent Canada at the world championship. The addition of the WCF event brings the list of curling bubble events to seven. The Canadian men's championship was set to begin Friday night and run through March 14. The Tim Hortons Brier will be followed by the March 18-25 Canadian mixed doubles playdowns, the April 2-11 men's world championship and two Grand Slam events. Many top international women's teams will already be in Calgary ahead of the worlds to play in the Slams. The Champions Cup is set for April 14-18 and the Players' Championship will be played April 20-25. The world women's championship serves as the main qualifier for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The top six finishers will earn berths for their countries at the Games. The 14-team field includes host Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, the U.S., and defending champion Switzerland. "We are delighted to have reached an agreement to hold the LGT world women's curling championship in the Calgary bubble," WCF president Kate Caithness said in a statement. "This is a vitally important championship for Olympic qualification. "We are extremely grateful to Curling Canada and all our stakeholders for their willingness to work together, and at such short notice, to ensure that qualification for Beijing 2022 happens on the ice and in competition." Einarson's team defeated Ontario's Rachel Homan to win the Hearts title last Sunday. It was a rematch of the 2020 final. Einarson was denied the opportunity to play at last year's world championship in Prince George, B.C., after that event was cancelled last March. "The protocols that have been in place for the early events in Calgary have proved successful in keeping athletes, officials and the host city safe, so we feel good about this plan carrying on successfully through to the end of the LGT world women’s curling championship," said Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson. "Our board of governors has been truly supportive of our plans from Day 1 as we started down this road, and then as this late situation presented itself, they again stood behind us. It is a result of the positive relationships between our board and the World Curling Federation that we have been entrusted with this opportunity." Einarson was guaranteed the Canadian spot if the 2021 world championship was rescheduled for this season. If the event was pushed to the 2021-22 campaign, Curling Canada said the Hearts winner would be "factored in" to the representation decision. The Canadian Olympic Trials will be held Nov. 20-28 in Saskatoon. A last-chance WCF qualifier is planned for December to fill out the 10-country field for Beijing next February. The WCF also changed the dates for the world mixed doubles championship — also an Olympic qualifier — on Friday. Originally set for April 24-May 1, it will now be played from May 16-23. An announcement on a host city will be made at a later date, the WCF said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
More than 20,000 U.S. organizations have been compromised through a back door installed via recently patched flaws in Microsoft Corp's email software, a person familiar with the U.S. government's response said on Friday. The hacking has already reached more places than all of the tainted code downloaded from SolarWinds Corp, the company at the heart of another massive hacking spree uncovered in December. The latest hack has left channels for remote access spread among credit unions, town governments and small businesses, according to records from the U.S. investigation.
Results from an online survey indicate widespread unhappiness over the decision to hold a provincial election prior to mass vaccination in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as overwhelming disapproval of Elections NL's handling of the entire process. Following the election's postponement due to last month's COVID-19 outbreak and a return to Alert Level 5, CBC's Vote Compass asked voters five questions to gauge their sentiments on the unprecedented pandemic election. Half of the 841 people surveyed said they strongly agreed the entire process should have waited until most people had been vaccinated. Another 18 per cent chose "somewhat agree," with the two categories combined representing 68 per cent of respondents. Liberal Leader Andrew Furey has stood by his decision to call the winter election, a move heavily criticized throughout the campaign, even prior to the outbreak, by opposition parties. That partisanship was reflected in the survey: when results are broken down along party lines, only 11 per cent of Liberal voters strongly agree the election should have waited, compared with 77 per cent of Progressive Conservatives and 63 per cent of NDP voters. Sixty-one per cent of all people surveyed thought adults over the age of 65 should have been vaccinated prior to heading to the polls. Updates to the province's widescale vaccine rollout have only come in the last week, as supply problems have dogged the entire country's ability to receive shipments since the start of 2021. Satisfaction with Elections NL, headed by chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk, was low among survey respondents.(Paul Daly/The Canadian Press) Elections NL disapproval, integrity concerns The majority of people surveyed also weren't happy with how the entire election has proceeded — a process still underway, as Elections NL says it could be April before the results are known. Ninety-two per cent of PC voters, 80 per cent of NDP and 47 per cent of Liberals said in the survey they either disapproved or strongly disapproved of Elections NL's management thus far. Carrying out the election hit the rocks as COVID-19 cases surged in the week preceding the Feb. 13 election day, with Elections NL staff resigning en masse out of pandemic fears or because they were in self-isolation. Alongside that, confusion ensued as to whether chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk or the chief medical officer of health had the authority to delay in-person voting. It was only after the confirmation that the contagious B117 variant was driving the outbreak and the entire province was moved into Alert Level 5 — on the evening before election day — that Chaulk announced the entire election would be held by mail-in ballot. The mailing process has since been dogged by extensions, adjustments and concerns, such as a lack of translation of ballots into Indigenous languages. The survey indicates mixed results for how people felt about the election's integrity. Fifty-six per cent of respondents overall felt either "not confident at all" or "not very confident" in its integrity. But breaking down respondents by party suggests distinct partisanship: 75 per cent of Liberals surveyed were either "very" or "somewhat" confident in the election, compared with 22 per cent of PCs and 30 per cent of NDP voters. That pattern leans into the three main party's leadership stances. While Furey has said the Liberals will accept the election's outcome as legitimate, PC Leader Ches Crosbie has said a legal challenge to results is "almost inevitable." NDP Leader Allison Coffin has voiced concerns about voters disenfranchised through the process. The election is on track for a record-low turnout of 51 per cent, if all mailed ballots are returned by the Mar. 12 deadline. Online polls don't have the same margin of error as traditional polls do, but Vox Pop Labs, the company that ran the survey, said a comparative sample of 841 people would have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted between Feb. 24 and March 2. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A 28-year-old man faces multiple charges in a hit and run that badly injured a couple who were walking near Westbrook Mall in southwest Calgary last December. A couple was walking at the intersection of 13th Avenue S.W. and 37th Street S.W. at about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 when they were hit by a sedan, police said at the time. The driver fled the scene by travelling northbound on 37th Street S.W. Steven Albert Henry Verdenhalven, 28, has been charged with two counts of hit and run causing bodily harm, and one count of careless driving, police said in news release issued Friday. The collision left a 37-year-old man in critical condition and a 38-year-old-woman in serious condition. Both were transported to hospital, where police said Friday the man remains in serious but stable condition. Family members of the couple said in December that the man's parents witnessed the accident, and urged anyone with information to contact police. The Calgary Police Service acknowledged people that came forward in its release on Friday. "We would like to thank the media and members of the public who provided information crucial to the resolution of this investigation," police said.
Avec la multiplication des opérations de vaccination contre la Covid-19, l’activité économique reprend un peu plus à chaque semaine et la période printanière verra de nombreuses opportunités d’emplois se multiplier. Le quincailler RONA dont le siège social est à Boucherville est d’ailleurs actuellement à la recherche de 67 employés pour ses deux succursales de Boucherville (27 emplois) ainsi que celles de Varennes (10 emplois) et Ste-Julie (10 emplois) ainsi que pour son Réno Dépôt de la rue Nobel à Boucherville (20 emplois). En fait, Lowe’s Canada, qui est un chef de file du secteur de la rénovation résidentielle au Canada cherche à embaucher près de 2 000 associés à temps plein et à temps partiel au Québec en vue de la saison la plus achalandée du secteur de la rénovation. Les postes à pourvoir (permanents et saisonniers) vont des rôles de commis à la réception et d’associé(e) aux ventes à ceux de gestionnaire, en passant par des rôles de soutien administratif et de marchandisage. Les magasins corporatifs RONA et Réno-Dépôt de la Montérégie cherchent à pourvoir près de 600 postes à temps plein et à temps partiel dans le cadre de leur campagne d’embauche printanière. Les personnes intéressées peuvent postuler en ligne à https://lowescanadaembauche.ca/ François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
BRANTFORD, Ont. — A small memorial has sprung up for Walter Gretzky outside the arena that bears his son's name in Brantford, Ont. The elder Gretzky died Thursday at the age of 82. Two hockey sticks — one full-sized, one miniature — and a Canadian flag adorn the sign marking off Walter Gretzky's parking spot outside the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. "Reserved for Walter Gretzky, Lord Mayor of Brantford," the sign reads. Mark Ritter, a former sports journalist who left the full-sized hockey stick leaning up against the sign, says the famous hockey dad was a community fixture. He says he lived in Brantford for six years but has since moved away, and drove about an hour to pay tribute to Gretzky Friday morning. He says he regularly saw Gretzky at the nearby McDonald's when he lived in the southern Ontario city of about 100,000. "He was always really kind," Ritter said. "He was always shaking hands. He was always making eye contact with people." "I think his greatest gift really was time," Ritter said. "...He gave it up unselfishly and with kindness and love and care." Others laid flowers at the foot of the Gretzky statue outside the sports centre. The monument depicts Walter Gretzky and his wife Phyllis with a young Wayne, looking on as the adult Wayne Gretzky hoists the Stanley Cup over his head. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Le député de Lac-Saint-Jean, Éric Girard, assure que tous les citoyens de la région seront branchés à Internet haute vitesse d’ici 2022, tel que promis par le gouvernement de François Legault. Le 26 février, la ministre fédérale du Revenu Diane Lebouthiller, la ministre québécoise des Affaires municipales, Andrée Laforest, et Bell Canada ont annoncé avoir branché à Internet haute vitesse 1 944 foyers Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean grâce à des investissements conjoints de 2,5 M$. Les municipalités de L’Anse-Saint-Jean, de Sainte-Rose-Du-Nord et Saint-Ambroise et Saint-Félicien sont concernées par l’annonce. Au cours des prochains mois, 1 500 foyers supplémentaires seront branchés, soit à Saint-Honoré et l’arrondissement de La Baie, à Saguenay. Cependant, seulement 93 foyers des 1 944 foyers annoncés sont au Lac-Saint-Jean, plus précisément, le secteur de Saint-Méthode. Le député de Lac-Saint-Jean, Éric Girard, réitère toutefois l’engagement de son gouvernement à brancher l’ensemble du Québec à Internet haute vitesse d’ici septembre 2022. Dossier complexe « C’est un dossier extrêmement complexe, il y a beaucoup d’intervenants à consulter. On a une rencontre de prévue le 8 mars avec nos municipalités, nos directeurs généraux et nos maires pour répondre à leurs questions. C’est une rencontre très attendue. Rappelons qu’avec le gouvernement précédent, des annonces avaient eu lieu, mais rien n’avait été fait. Nous, on garde le cap pour 2022 afin de réaliser cet engagement », explique le député. Environ 10 000 foyers ne sont toujours pas branchés à Internet haute vitesse dans la région. À Saint-Henri-de-Taillon, 250 résidences en secteur de villégiature n’y ont pas accès, selon les estimations du maire. Saint-Gédéon et son rang des Îles, certains secteurs de Desbiens, de Sainte-Monique-de-Honfleur, de Labrecque et de Lamarche attendent également d’être branchés. Espoir La MRC de Lac-Saint-Jean-Est s’attend toutefois à des annonces importantes au cours des prochains mois. Compréhensif, le directeur général, Sabin Larouche, a bon espoir de voir se réaliser d’ici 2022 le branchement complet des foyers. « Les compagnies comme Bell qui appliquent sur ce projet-là vont toujours là où il y a de la rentabilité. Il ne faut donc pas se surprendre s’ils choisissent des tronçons plus facilitants pour eux où des infrastructures se trouvent à proximité, plutôt que de desservir le dernier bout du rang. Ce qu’on sait, toutefois, c’est ce que dans les prochaines semaines, il devrait y avoir des annonces assez importantes qui vont faire en sorte qu’on ne sera pas laissé pour compte », explique le directeur général de la MRC de Lac-Saint-Jean-Est. Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean