Green party leader Sonia Furstenau has been re-elected in her Cowichan Valley riding in the B.C. election.
The Canadian Press
Green party leader Sonia Furstenau has been re-elected in her Cowichan Valley riding in the B.C. election.
The Canadian Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania's courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state's lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state's lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbour deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly's lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state's high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state's justices refused Thursday, and Kelly's lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the state’s courts, justices cited the law’s 180-day time limit on filing legal challenges to its provisions, as well as the staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. In addition to challenging the state's mail-in voting law, Kelly’s lawyers question whether the state's justices violated their clients' constitutional rights by throwing out the case on the basis of time limits and barring them from refiling it on the same grounds. Lawyers for Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in court filings that Kelly's lawyers never before argued that the U.S. Constitution provides a basis for their claims, making it “highly unlikely” the U.S. Supreme Court will grant what they are seeking. In the underlying lawsuit, Kelly and the other Republican plaintiffs had sought to either throw out the 2.5 million mail-in ballots submitted under the law or to wipe out the election results and direct the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to pick Pennsylvania’s presidential electors. ___ Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter Marc Levy, The Associated Press
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 26, 2020 When a single mother was struggling to afford a bed for her and her kids, Mike the Mattress Guy stepped up. Owner Mike Rudkins dropped off bunk beds for the children and a queen-size bed for Mom. That’s the kind of charitable gesture that helped Rudkins and his wife, Krista, earn the provincial Small Businesses, Big Hearts Award. The Barrie entrepreneur also helps the community by offering free delivery for donations to the Barrie Food Bank or the Women’s and Children’s Shelter of Barrie. Last May, Small Business Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria created the award, which was designed to recognize businesses that help their community during COVID-19. Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin presented the award at the Barrie store. “Mike the Mattress Guy helped our community by donating services, resources and time to help others so that the vulnerable can be in a better position to rebound from the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19,” she said in a media release. If you know a small business that has stepped up to help the community, send their story to email@example.com Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
VANCOUVER — A Transportation Safety Board team has been assigned to investigate a marine accident that seriously injured two crew members from a freighter moored in English Bay, off Vancouver.A statement from the board says the team will examine why a lifeboat from the bulk carrier Blue Bosporus was accidentally released from the ship on Dec. 1.A coast guard statement issued Tuesday said the two crew members were hurt as they carried out a routine drill in the covered lifeboat.The boat began to sink after it had dropped into the water and a vessel from the Kitsilano coast guard station was one of several that responded, rescuing the injured sailors.The statement from the safety board says its team will gather information and assess the occurrence.Three Ukrainian crew members died and one was hurt in October 2000 when a similar covered lifeboat fell about 15 metres into the water from a bulk carrier moored in English Bay.A report by the safety board in 2003 identified issues with the lifeboat's lowering mechanism and the hooks connecting it to the launching equipment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.The Canadian Press
Calgary police and bylaw officers are cracking down on people who are "blatantly ignoring" public health rules designed to keep people safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, city and enforcement officials reaffirmed Thursday.Police announced on Wednesday that they had charged three people under the Public Health Act after a rally last weekend, and were looking for three others who are also facing charges.During the protest, hundreds of people marched through downtown Calgary to protest against mandated masks and other public health measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.On Thursday, police confirmed to CBC News that they have mailed tickets to the three who were being sought.The individuals face charges of contravening an order of the chief medical officer of health and failing to wear a face covering, with fines of $1,200 and $50, respectively."The biggest challenge that we seem to be facing right now are those that are blatantly ignoring the laws," Mark Neudeld said. "The issue is not that they're unaware and require education. The issue is more that they disagree, and these people will be charged accordingly."'This is about keeping all Calgarians safe'The protests have been a weekly occurrence in the city and across the country for months, but Saturday was the first since the province introduced new restrictions, including that outdoor gatherings must be limited to 10 people while still following physical distancing and other public health guidelines.When Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the tightened restrictions on Nov. 24, he also warned that peace officers or police can fine people who break restrictions, with $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts. That announcement boosted calls for police and bylaw officers to start charging scofflaws.The news comes as Alberta continues to lead the country in total active COVID cases, with 17,144 active caseson Wednesday afternoon,compared with 14,526 in Ontario, a province with more than three times as many people, and 12,740 in Quebec, which has twice the population.It has also led the country in terms of new infections per capita over the past week.There are currently 6,331 active cases of COVID-19 in Calgary, 162 people are in hospital and 30 are in intensive care. Since the pandemic started, 202 in Calgary have died of the disease."We are absolutely not looking to punish people who are simply trying to get through this pandemic," Neufeld said when he announced the new charges on Thursday."This is about keeping all Calgarians safe by addressing disappointing and intentional acts of defiance that threaten our health-care system and our well-being."Calgarians are welcome to exercise their right to protest but have to follow the same restrictions as the rest of the city, Neufeld said.Police officers will continue to use their discretion when enforcing restrictions, and will work to be reasonable, focusing their attention on people who blatantly disregard the public health rules, Neufeld said."We've acknowledged people's constitutional right to gather and have their voices heard … but limits have been temporarily placed on those rights and freedoms in the interests of public safety and the health of our citizens," he said.City in process of serving two ticketsChief bylaw officer Ryan Pleckaitis also provided an update on the city's enforcement for community standards at the conference.The city is in the process of serving two tickets under the Public Health Act stemming from incidents that occurred around City Hall on Sunday and Wednesday, Pleckaitis said.There are additional fines that the city will serve in relation to these incidents, and under a number of other bylaws, Pleckaitis said.He wanted to remind citizens that a first offence is $1,200 while further offences are up to $100,000.In regards to a request the city has made, asking that the province expand more authority to enforce restrictions to Level 2 peace officers, Pleckaitis said there have been no developments."Unfortunately, I don't have much news on this front. However, we've had good dialogue with the province this week … and we hope to hear back soon," Pleckaitis said.Like Neufeld, Pleckaitis said bylaw officers would focus on those who blatantly disregard the rules.New Year's Eve fireworks cancelledMayor Naheed Nenshi and Sue Henry, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, were also at the conference and provided brief updates.Nenshi said that the city's New Year's Eve fireworks and celebrations would be cancelled this year because of COVID-19, and said the city will have more information on alternative, safe and less expensive options for New Year's in the coming weeks."There are many ways you can mark the occasion by staying safe and, of course, we encourage you to stay home this year so you can stay safe and healthy," said Nenshi."There are opportunities to celebrate outdoors in small groups. The city has the winter fire pits program … [and] plenty of toboggan hills and cross-country skiing tracks in park and pathways. Some outdoor skating rinks will be available, including Olympic plaza." Park fire pit program 'huge success'Henry said the city's community fire pit initiative, which has set up fire pits at select parks across the city, has been such a success that additional staff will be added to manage it.They are also looking at adding additional fire pits to meet demand, she said."This program has so far been a huge success. As of this morning, we have had over 900 requests to book," Henry said.In order to support local businesses during the holidays and expand curbside pickup, the city will remove rush hour parking restrictions in three districts, Dec. 7-27."This means on a weekday at 3:30 or 4 p.m., you can remain parked if you are in one of the three participating zones where ParkPlus zones transition into a no stopping zone," Henry said.The three neighbourhoods include: * Kensington Business Revitalization Zone. * 4th Street S.W. * 17th Avenue S.W.
NEW YORK — In the most seismic shift by a Hollywood studio yet during the pandemic, Warner Bros. Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate — including a new “Matrix” movie, “Godzilla vs. Kong” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation “In the Heights” — will stream on HBO Max at the same time they play in theatres. Among the myriad release plan changes wrought by the pandemic, no studio has so fully embraced streaming as a lifeline. But after disappointing domestic ticket sales for “Tenet," and with the majority of U.S. theatres currently closed, Warner Bros. will turn to a hybrid distribution model. Films will debut simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max in the U.S. After one month, they will stop streaming and continue to play only in theatres. As HBO Max is only available in the U.S., in Canada the studio's films will launch theatrically along with other worldwide territories, Warner Bros. Canada said. The move follows Warner Bros.' decision to put “Wonder Woman 1984” on HBO Max next December, in addition to in theatres. If that pivot sent shockwaves through the industry, Thursday's announcement was likely to rattle Hollywood to the core. It amounts to an acknowledgement that any full rebound for theatres is still a year or more away. “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do," said Ann Sarnoff, chief executive of WarnerMedia Studios in a statement. "We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theatres in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021." Warner Bros. called it a “unique one-year plan.” The studio has generally ranked among the top two studios in market share over the past decade — most recently dwarfed only by Walt Disney. Warner's films typically account for $1.5-2 billion annual in ticket sales in North America — a lot of money to compensate for in HBO Max subscribers. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. confirmed the films will be available to subscribers with no further charge. Warner Bros.' 2021 slate of 17 films includes many of the expected top movies of the year, including “Dune,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Tom & Jerry,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Make Me Do It,” “King Richard” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The move by Warner Bros. only makes the pain being felt by exhibitors all the more acute. Having been shuttered for much of the year, cinemas reopened nationwide in late summer except in some key locations, including Los Angeles and New York. But with most major releases postponed and surging virus cases, about 60% of theatres have since closed again. Regal Cinemas, the country's second largest chain, has shut all its doors. The National Association of Theater Owners didn't immediately comment Thursday. Under chief executive Jason Kilar, the former Hulu chief, the AT&T-owned WarnerMedia recently reorganized to further prioritize its streaming service. He has moved aggressively to boost HBO Max, even if it comes at the expense of the theatrical marketplace. “Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone,” said Kilar in a statement. “We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.” Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
ATLANTA — After weathering criticism for certifying President Donald Trump's narrow election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, Republican officials in Georgia are proposing additional requirements for the state's vote-by-mail process, despite no evidence of systemic fraud or irregularities. Two state Senate committees held hearings Thursday to begin a review of Georgia’s voting laws. Republicans are zeroing in on a plan to require a photo ID for ballots cast by mail. Voting rights activists and Democrats argue that the change isn't necessary and would disenfranchise voters. Biden beat Trump by just over 12,500 votes in Georgia, with Biden receiving nearly twice as many of the record number of absentee ballots as the Republican president, according to the secretary of state's office. A recount requested by Trump was wrapping up and wasn't expected to change the overall outcome. Trump, who for months has sowed unsubstantiated doubt about the integrity of mail-in votes, has also made baseless claims of widespread fraud in the presidential race in Georgia. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff have vehemently rebuffed those claims, stating unequivocally that there is no evidence of systemic errors or fraud in last month's election. Yet Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans who have been publicly lambasted by Trump, have joined the push to require a photo ID for absentee voting. “Voters casting their ballots in person must show a photo ID, and we should consider applying that same standard to mail-in balloting,” Kemp said in remarks streamed live online. Kemp faced accusations of voter suppression during his successful 2018 run for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, an election he oversaw as Georgia's previous secretary of state. He vehemently denied the allegations. Kemp faces reelection — and a possible rematch against Abrams — in 2022. Raffensperger also has suggested allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have systemic problems with administering elections and broadening the ways in which challenges can be posed to votes cast by residents who don’t live where they say. The photo ID idea has support among several members of the state legislature, including Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan. “I don't think there should be different standards for the same process,” Dugan said in an interview. Republican House Speaker David Ralston has been skeptical of voting by mail, telling a local news outlet in April that increased mail voting “will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.” Political analysts have said that typically more Democrats than Republicans use mail-in ballots. Ralston later said he was not talking about his party losing an advantage but the potential for fraud. “We must do everything in our power to ensure votes are not stolen, cast fraudulently or plagued by administrative errors,” he said in a statement this week. Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in an interview with The Associated Press that currently anyone who knows someone’s name, address and date of birth can request an absentee ballot on that person’s behalf. She said that while signature matches provide some security for mail-in ballots, the process should be shored up. One way to do that could be to require a person's driver's license number or a photocopy of a separate form of ID, she said. “We need to secure all avenues that we can of absentee ballots so we never have a candidate run around this state again saying the election was stolen because of absentee ballots,” she said. While Republicans seem ready to press forward with the photo ID requirement during the upcoming legislative session, Democrats and civil rights organizations are raising alarms. With no evidence of widespread fraud or other problems in the election, it doesn’t make sense to talk about measures that could ultimately prove to be barriers to voting, said Andrea Young, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. “What is the problem that you’re trying to solve?" she asked. “The rule should be first, ‘Do no harm’ when it comes to democracy, and whenever there are more restrictions being put on a process, you run the risk of disenfranchising Georgia citizens.” Young says adding a photo ID requirement for absentee voting would be harmful because “we know that these barriers have a different impact on African American voters, on younger voters and, in this instance, on seniors who have certainly earned the right” to vote. State Sen. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat, echoed Young’s concerns, saying Republicans were offering solutions in search of a problem. “What this says to me is that they just don’t want people voting," Jordan said. “And they specifically don’t want Democrats voting, or people that don’t support their chosen candidates voting, and they’re going to try to make it as hard as possible." Democrats and voting rights groups have for years sought to decrease rejections of absentee ballots in Georgia, arguing that minorities have been disproportionately affected. Absentee ballots are sometimes rejected because signatures on the outer envelope are deemed not to match signatures in the voter registration system, or because the envelope is not signed at all. An agreement signed in March to settle a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party spells out a standard process that must be used statewide to judge the signatures. That agreement has been the subject of much of Trump's online ire, and he has incorrectly said it “makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes.” Ben Nadler And Kate Brumback, The Associated Press
The Commissioner of Yukon has announced this year's inductees to the Order of Yukon.In a news release sent Wednesday, Commissioner Angélique Bernard gave the names of the ten inductees from the territory who were chosen from nominations submitted to an advisory council. "2020 inductees were chosen for their demonstrated excellence and achievement and their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of Yukon and its residents," the release states. This year's recipients include:Bess Cooley, who is known as a master of the Tlingit language, and has done significant work on the genealogy of the inland Tlingit. Keith Byram, known for being a big supporter of multiple community organizations and working with many local businesses in Yukon. Byram founded Pelly Construction and employs a large number of Yukoners.Doug Phillips, who served as an MLA from 1985 to 2000, and then as the territory's commissioner from 2010 to 2018. He lobbied to have the Taylor House in Whitehorse designated as Yukon's Government House. Philips has also been small-business owner, and a volunteer on many Yukon boards and committees. Jack Cable, a Liberal MLA from 1992 to 2000, and commissioner of Yukon from 2000 to 2005. He has also been involved in volunteer organizations including the Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon and the Law Society of Yukon.William Klassen, who has worn many hats in his career, including as an RCMP officer in Teslin, a conservation officer, a wildlife biologist, and deputy minister with the Yukon government. He has also been involved with the Riverdale Baptist Church since the early 1970's, the Whitehorse Gun Club, Yukon Agriculture Association and the Salvation Army. Frances Woolsey, a respected Ta'an Kwäch'än elder and a leader in promoting Indigenous culture. Dr. Sally MacDonald, who has been a family physician in Whitehorse and several Yukon communities since 1980, delivering over 1,000 babies in the territory. She has also taken on the role of assisting people at the end of their lives. Gertie Tom, who has contributed to First Nations language revitalization throughout the territory. She used the details of her speech patterns to provide a basis for a practical writing system for the previously-unwritten Northern Tutchone language. From 1961 to 1965, she worked as a part-time translator and broadcaster for CBC Radio in Whitehorse.Agnes Mills, a Vuntut Gwitchin elder who has worked to advance the rights of Indigenous people as the National Elder of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and was the First Nations elder at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. The Honourable Ron Veale who was the first to have the title of Chief Justice of Yukon, and initiated the earliest civil actions about the abuses suffered by Indigenous children in residential schools. The commissioner's office says it will be posting a video recognizing this year's recipients on its Facebook page on Jan. 1.
NEW YORK — Former J. Crew President Jenna Lyons knows a thing or two about building a brand, but now she’s ditched corporate life to build her own.Lyons started working as a J. Crew designer right out of school and took the brand from a floundering preppie catalogue to a more upscale but accessible style hub that featured tailored looks in unexpected bright colours, with mixes of patterns and textures.Her star rose considerably after Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama wore J. Crew to the Presidential Inauguration in 2009. She worked her way up to president and creative director before leaving the company in 2017 amid poor sales.While determining her next move, she took lunches with anyone who asked, and one was a TV executive who thought her unique personal style and personality would work on a reality show.Her new HBO Max show, “Stylish with Jenna Lyons,” launches this week, featuring her new businesses that bring her design acumen to home, fashion and beauty projects. It’s part documentary, part competition as she auditions a group of young style acolytes vying for a spot on her team.Unlike most of the scripted, so-called “reality TV” that dominates the genre, Lyons purposely includes production mistakes, awkward moments and candid confessionals, punctuated with snarky graphics and sound effects.In a recent interview with The Associated Press, she explained why she keeps it real, how she had to learn about making a TV series and who’s the show’s breakout star.AP: How did you approach developing the show?Lyons: I like watching reality television. I enjoy it. But I knew it wasn’t for me. I did not want to make a reality television show under the auspices of what I knew existed in the world. I didn’t want to make something that heightened drama or architected a story. I was not comfortable with that. And so, I really sought out to shift those gears.AP: Why is it important to you to be real?Lyons: There’s a lot going on in the world where everything looks so perfect — from the world of Instagram, where people present a life that isn’t necessarily real. People that I relate to are the people who show the messy stuff, and I feel better. You know, I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and most people aren’t, and I think allowing people to see, like we’re making mistakes, we’re goofy! No one shoots it out of the park every time. And I think that honesty and integrity is something we wanted to share.AP: You’re also honest about how you felt after leaving J. Crew.Lyons: I honestly feel so lucky that I’m getting a second chance. I was really scared that I wouldn’t. And I think being honest about the fact that, yes, I had this job and I had this title and I was called this, that and the other thing, and I have gotten a lot of accolades. And while I’m thrilled and really honoured, the fact of the matter is, I have hard days, too, and I struggle, and that’s pretty honest and normal. And I’m not afraid to say that.AP: How does being that vulnerable feel?Lyons: In some ways, a relief. You know, I had to live a pretty guarded and poised life in my previous job. I was on the board. I had to really represent the company. So, everything I did was not just about me, but it was about the company.AP: You’re the star and executive producer of the show. What have you learned?Lyons: I’ve learned how I know nothing about television! I made every mistake in the book. I did everything wrong. I mean you name it, I didn’t get it right. I really struggled. I didn’t understand the process, so I didn’t know what happened, what had to happen. You know, we were involved in literally everything from the graphics to the music to the editing to the colour. We were attentive to all of that. But I didn’t understand how I was supposed to go about it.AP: You offer many style tips — is it important to make style feel accessible?Lyons: I enjoyed going through an airport and seeing people wearing our (J. Crew’s) double cloth coat. That felt good to me. And so it was important to me to do something that felt like it would connect to the people that I maybe had as an audience prior, and also to my friends and family… I really wanted to talk about style in a little bit more of a deeper conversation.AP: Your dog, Popeye, seems to be enjoying the spotlight.Lyons: He loves every second. So much so that I think I have to get him an agent! (laughs) Honestly. It’s a problem.Brooke Lefferts, The Associated Press
Air Design location, Ballon Design et les Gâteaux MB se réuniront sous le même toit à compter de janvier. Une préouverture ponctuelle est prévue dès jeudi, afin de permettre aux gens de se procurer décorations et cadeaux juste avant le début du temps des Fêtes. Les trois entreprises voulaient, en se réunissant, offrir aux clients la possibilité de ne faire qu’un seul arrêt pour l’organisation de leur événement spécial. Selon Jennifer Fournier, propriétaire de Ballon Design, ce partenariat est unique dans la région et très rare dans la province. « On s’est rendu compte qu’avec des ballons, des jeux gonflables, des gâteaux et des petits cadeaux, ça faisait vraiment un beau ‘mix’. Le concept qu’on a voulu créer, c’est vraiment d’avoir tout pour un événement, sous un même toit », s’est réjouie la propriétaire de Ballon Design. En parlant avec Mélina Dubé-Boily, de Gâteaux MB, les deux femmes ont remarqué qu’elles partageaient beaucoup de clients en commun. L’ouverture est prévue jeudi. Pour débuter, le commerce n’ouvrira que ponctuellement. L’ouverture complète à temps plein avec l’arrivée de la pâtissière n’est à l’horaire qu’au retour des Fêtes. Jennifer souhaite tout de même ouvrir dès le début du mois afin de faire profiter les clients des cadeaux et des ballons pour les préparations du temps des Fêtes. Le commerce d’Air Design location est ouvert, et il est possible pour les intéressés de voir l’inventaire en ligne. Pour ce qui est des Gâteaux MB, même si l’arrivée de la pâtissière à temps plein n’aura lieu qu’en janvier, les clients pourront venir chercher leurs gâteaux précommandés sur place. De tout en boutique Chaque entreprise qui s’installera dans ce nouveau local situé au 1247 boulevard Ste-Geneviève, à Chicoutimi-Nord, dispose d’une impressionnante gamme de produits. Air Design location a dans son inventaire plus de 125 structures gonflables, de toute sorte. Pour Gateaux MB, on comptera évidemment des gâteaux, mais aussi de gros biscuits, des cupcakes, et bien plus. Ballon Design se spécialise dans les bouquets de ballons et les petits cadeaux. Son créneau est le ballon personnalisé. « Je voulais faire quelque chose de différent de ce qu’on retrouvait déjà. Avec les ballons personnalisés, je peux écrire des prénoms, des phrases ou même recréer des dessins sur des ballons, ce qui est vraiment apprécié des clients », souligne Jennifer. Elle est fière d’amener ce concept ici dans la région et encore plus à Chicoutimi-Nord. Impacts de la Covid Bien évidemment, les derniers mois ont été difficiles pour tous ceux qui oeuvrent dans l’événementiel. L’annulation des fêtes, des mariages, des partys de bureau a difficilement touché le commerce de Jennifer. La jeune femme de 30 ans a dû se réinventer. « Nous nous sommes vraiment tournés vers les livraisons. Nous sommes allés livrer des petites touches de bonheur chez les gens. Plus ça allait, plus les gens me demandaient si j’avais des petits items cadeaux, qu’on pouvait joindre aux ballons », explique-t-elle. C’est ce qui fait que depuis environ un mois, on retrouve dans la boutique en ligne des cadeaux de tout genre : jouets pour enfants, produits pour le corps, items pour la maison, et bien plus. Certaines de ces surprises peuvent même être mises dans des ballons ! Ces produits seront bien sûr mis en valeur dans la nouvelle boutique. Pour tout savoir sur les heures d’ouverture et sur les items que l’on retrouve en boutique, les personnes intéressées peuvent visiter le site Internet ou la page Facebook de Ballon Design.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
VICTORIA — A report from British Columbia's chief inspector of mines says the cause of a slow-moving landslide that has threatened a tiny B.C. community may never be determined. The steep slope above Old Fort slumped over several days in 2018, tearing out the only road and prompting evacuations in the community of about 150 just outside Fort St. John. The report, posted to the B.C. government website in October, says despite geotechnical assessments, the root cause of the slide remains "inconclusive." The first cracks in the earth were noticed in September 2018 at an active gravel pit at the top of the slope where work remains suspended after parts of it slipped 10 metres within hours. The study says it's not clear if a cause "will ever be determined with certainty," but that the pit's stockpile of gravel combined with natural slope instability and rain that was 44 per cent above average may all have been factors. The report makes four findings, including one calling on the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources to issue an alert aimed at improving industry awareness of geohazard risks at other B.C. gravel pits, reminding them to consider and plan for those risks. Owners of all but a handful of properties were allowed to return to Old Fort by late 2018, but slow-speed slumping resumed again this year, buckling the enclave's only road for a second time and prompting evacuation alerts. The ministry report does not address the latest slide. Whatever changes occurred before the 2018 Old Fort slide, the report says it was enough to change the condition of a marginally stable Peace River Valley slope, resulting in the slide. "Given the large volume of the slide, the small changes in topography that preceded it, and the lack of a clear and definitive event trigger, it is possible that if the slide had not occurred on September 29, 2018, it could have occurred at some future date — whether triggered by natural events or human activity," the report says. The Peace River Regional District said in June that information from technical specialists had determined "the risk to the community posed by the (2020) Old Fort slide movements is low.'' The district's website shows six properties, or parts of properties, remain evacuated due to the original slide, more than two years after it happened. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020. The Canadian Press
MADISON, Wis. — A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts.In another blow to Trump, two dissenting conservative justices questioned whether disqualifying more than 221,000 ballots as Trump wanted would be the proper remedy to the errors he alleged.The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities.Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”“It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step,” he said in a statement. Trump's team made the filing late Thursday evening.In asking the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, Trump had argued that there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting with a lower court, given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes.Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump's allegations. Hagedorn said the law was clear that Trump must start his lawsuit in lower courts where factual disputes can be worked out.“We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high profile cases,” Hagedorn wrote. “Following this law is not disregarding our duty, as some of my colleagues suggest. It is following the law.”Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, in a dissent where she was joined by Justice Annette Ziegler, said she would have taken the case and referred it to lower courts for factual findings, which could then be reported back to the Supreme Court for a ruling.But she also questioned whether disqualifying ballots was appropriate, saying that "may be out of reach for a number of reasons.”Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote that the court “forsakes its duty” by not determining whether elections officials complied with the law and the inaction will undermine the public's confidence in elections. Allowing the elections commission to make the law governing elections would be a “death blow to democracy,” she wrote.“While some will either celebrate or decry the court's inaction based upon the impact on their preferred candidate, the importance of this case transcends the results of this particular election,” she wrote in a dissent joined by Roggensack and Ziegler. “The majority's failure to act leaves an indelible stain on our most recent election.”Democratic Gov. Tony Evers praised the decision.“I was frankly amazed that it was not unanimous," Evers said.Trump's lawsuit challenged procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.He claimed there were thousands of absentee ballots without a written application on file. He argued that the electronic log created when a voter requests a ballot online — the way the vast majority are requested — doesn’t meet the letter of the law.He also challenged ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted — a practice that has long been accepted and that the state elections commission told clerks was OK.Trump also challenged absentee ballots where voters declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined,” a status that exempts them from having to show photo identification to cast a ballot, and one that was used much more heavily this year due to the pandemic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in March ruled that it was up to individual voters to determine their status.Roggensack, the chief justice, appointed Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek of Racine County to hear the case at the circuit court level. Simanek retired in 2010.The court late Thursday also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin resident, Dean Mueller, that argued that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. The court's brief order included a single line noting Roggensack, Ziegler and Bradley all dissented with the denial.One other lawsuit filed by conservatives is still pending with the court seeking to invalidate ballots. In federal court, there is Trump’s lawsuit and another one with similar claims from Sidney Powell, a conservative attorney who was removed from Trump’s legal team.Wisconsin this week certified Biden’s victory, setting the stage for a Democratic slate of electors chosen earlier to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for him.Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, are forming a film production company that they say will tell the stories of people whose voices are often overlooked. Their first project of their HiddenLight company is to be a documentary series called “Gutsy Women,” which Apple TV+ said in a separate announcement Thursday it plans to air at an unspecified future date. Mother and daughter, who will host the series, say it was inspired by the 2019 book they co-authored: “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience." “For too long, attention has been paid only to the loudest voices in the room. There have been generations of change-makers who have shaped and will continue to shape our world — often quietly, flying under the radar,” Hillary Clinton said in a statement. She added that the stories of those often-unheralded change-makers are the ones they plan to tell. The Clintons join former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in the film and TV production business; the Obamas' Higher Ground company has supported several projects, including the Oscar-winning documentary “American Factory.” The pair partnered with Sam Branson in forming HiddenLight. The son of business tycoon Sir Richard Branson is an actor and also founder of the boutique production company Sundog Pictures. HiddenLight says it also has plans to produce other documentaries as well as scripted and unscripted entertainment for TV, film and digital platforms. “The stories we tell and the experiences we share shape the way we see each other and help us understand our own unique place in the world," said Chelsea Clinton. The Associated Press
The Ojibway and Cree Cultural Centre celebrated its 45th anniversary this October. The non-profit organization, located at 150 Brousseau Ave., provides language, resource and education services. The centre was established in 1975 under the Grand Council Treaty 9, now known as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN). The organization, funded by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, is governed by a board of directors who represent each tribal council of the NAN territory. Dianne Riopel, the centre’s executive director, has been with the organization since the beginning. “I like working with the people. They’re funny, their culture is interesting. We always learn every day,” Riopel said. “It’s fun to work here, too. And what I like also is we work as a team. We work together.” It used to be a busy, large organization with more than 30 employees and people like writers coming in for research and reference work, she said. The organization's Resource Centre started as a private research library for Grand Council Treaty 9. It features a variety of collections ranging from materials for young readers and periodicals to rare books and video and DVD collections. There are also vertical files, which are now being digitized. About 6,500 titles are currently available for loan to NAN and non-NAN members as well as organizations, non-profits and students. “Now, with the new technology and all kind of research you can do on the Internet, it’s not as busy as before but there’s a lot of information here that is not on the Internet and this is the place where they can find it,” Riopel said. Currently, there are five employees left at the centre. “We try as much as we can to have different projects on the go. But we have to make sure that within the staff, we’re able to take care of these projects. And I don’t want the staff to be overwhelmed,” Riopel said. In partnership with a Toronto-based Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario, the organization is now working on a project to transcribe and translate over 300 video interviews with Elders from NAN communities. “At that time, they were only cassettes. Now, they’re all digitized and are being translated in English and some of them are in Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibway,” Riopel said. One of the centre's projects this year included NAN Songbooks with some Christmas songs. The language department developed one songbook in Cree and another in Oji-Cree/Ojibway languages. Another finished project includes terminology booklets, which contained terms and definitions in Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibway on political, electronic, education, mining and environment subjects. The language department also developed about 500 booklets for older people living at care homes. “Sometimes you have a nurse and the old person, and he’s trying to tell you how he feels and she’s trying to ask him what he needs. So, there is a lack of communication because of the language,” Riopel said. “So what we did, we made a booklet of different kind of words, translated in English or Cree, so that they could communicate with each other. That was a good project.” Some booklets were distributed to the hospital and care homes, including Golden Manor and Extendicare Timmins, as well as to Northern College. “It’s all kind of stuff: about how you’re feeling, medication, position, bathroom,” the organization’s executive secretary Kim Piche explained. “It’s like a little resource book.” Some of the major projects, that Riopel and Piche say they’re proud of, include creating the Omushkego Cree app and the Promises, Promises board game. The app is available for both Android and iOS users, while the game can also be played online. “I find a lot of high school students are playing this game. It’s cool for them,” Piche said. Each week, Piche and Angela Shisheesh, a Native language coordinator, also post short Cree lessons on Facebook. As for the centre’s education program, it helps develop curriculum and resource materials for NAN schools. “We work a lot with the teachers up north,” Riopel said. “That’s our main target for services. We also service schools in town here, French school boards and English school boards. Kim does a lot of show-and-tell presentations to the schools.” In the past, the centre staff used to travel and host education conferences or display and give away resources to teachers and educators. “That’s how we got in touch with a lot of people from the NAN territory," Piche said. "That was a way to go but now with COVID, we haven’t travelled." Although the number of workers at the centre has decreased and the non-profit has experienced funding cutbacks, it is “still surviving,” Piche said. “It’s never the same,” she said about her experience working at the centre for 32 years. “You come in the morning thinking you’re going to do something and then, it’s never the same … We’re a family.” For more information about the centre, visit occc.ca.Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 7, 2020 A 22-year-old driver faces a stunt driving charge after his vehicle was clocked at 176 km-h Nov. 7. An Orillia OPP officer pulled over the vehicle, which was travelling at 76 km-h over the 100 km-h speed limit, on Hwy. 400 north of Barrie. The driver allegedly told an officer he was speeding because he was late for work in Sudbury. “A court date, 7-day license suspension and vehicle impoundment will make you more late,” an OPP Tweet said. “Keep the speed down increases your chance of making it to your destination safely.” A stunt driving charge is laid if a vehicle is travelling more than 50 km-h over the speed limit. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
NEW YORK — There's theatre on Broadway. You just have to adjust your sights.More than a hundred blocks north of Manhattan's shuttered theatre district but on that same famed thoroughfare, an actor recently read his lines from a huge stage.But there was no applause. Instead, all that was heard was a strange command for the theatre: “And cut!”Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays was performing multiple roles for a high-tech “A Christmas Carol” that was being filmed for streaming this month at the empty 3,000-seat United Palace.The one-man show is an example of how many who work in theatre are increasingly defying COVID-19 by refusing to let it stop their art, often creating new hybrid forms.“Because it’s such a roll-up-your-sleeves business, theatre people figure it out,” said Tony Award-winning producer Hunter Arnold, while watching Mays onstage. “Of everything I’ve ever done in my life, it’s the place where people lead from ‘how?’ instead of leading from ‘why not?’”The coronavirus pandemic shut down theatre and the TV/movie industries in the spring. Film and TV production have slowly resumed. Live theatre is uniquely tested by the virus, one reason it will be among the last sectors to return to normal. Props and costumes are usually touched by dozens each night, an orchestra is crammed into a pit, backstage areas are small and shared, and audiences are usually packed into seats. New ways are needed.Mays' “A Christmas Carol,” which was filmed on a high-tech LED set, veers much more filmic than most other streaming theatre options and is raising money for suffering regional theatres — one stage production helping others during the pandemic.Other green shoots include radio plays, virtual readings, online variety shows and drive-in experiences that combine live singing with movies. The cast of the musical “Diana” reunited on Broadway to film the show for Netflix before it opens on Broadway.The San Francisco Playhouse recently offered screenings of Yasmina Reza’s play “Art,” an onstage production captured live by multiple cameras, with a crucial wrestling scene reimagined to keep social distancing. A musical version of the animated film “Ratatouille” is being explored on TikTok.“We will conquer it. We are theatre people. By God, we will conquer it and get it done,” says Charlotte Moore, the artistic director and co-founder of the acclaimed Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City.Her company has put on a free streaming holiday production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” with a dozen cast members, each filmed remotely and then digitally stitched together. Moore directed it — appropriately enough — from St. Louis. Other theatre pros are calling to ask how she did it.The cast was mailed or hand-delivered props, costumes and a green screen. They rehearsed via Zoom and FaceTime. A masked and socially distant orchestra recorded the score, and the sets were beamed onto the actors' screens.“You learn minute by minute by minute along the way what works, what doesn’t, what to do, what not to do,” said Moore, who starred in the original Broadway run of “Meet Me in St. Louis” in 1989. “It’s torture and it’s thrilling — thrilling torture.”Like many other theatrical hybrids venturing into the digital world these days, it's not clear what to call it. It's not technically live theatre, but its soul is theatrical.“It’s not definable in our current vocabulary,” Moore said. “It has to have a new definition, truly, because it’s certainly unlike anything that has been done.”One of the companies to show the way forward was Berkshire Theater Group in western Massachusetts, whose “Godspell” in August became the first outdoor musical with union actors since the pandemic shut down productions.Artistic director and CEO Kate Maguire refused to entertain the notion that the company — established in 1928 — would have an asterisk beside 2020 that said no shows were produced that year.“We’re theatre makers, we’re creators, she said. ”We should be able to figure out how to create something.”So they used plexiglass partitions between each masked actor. The performers were tested regularly — at a cost of close to $50,000 — and had their own props and a single costume. Each was housed in their own living space — bedroom, living area and little kitchenette. In an open-air tent, they managed to pull off a crucifixion scene without any touching or lifting, itself a miracle.Audiences underwent temperature checks and were separated by seats. Staff were placed in three protective bubbles: artistic, production and front-of-house. And there was monitoring: Last year it was an intimacy officer; this year it was a COVID-19 one.Maguire thrashed out a 40-page agreement with the stage union Actor’s Equity Association. “We never had a positive test,” Maguire said. “We had five false positive tests,” which was “harrowing.”She thanked grants for allowing her to keep her staff on payroll, making the stress level tolerable. It was clear audiences were hungry for theatre: “I would watch people shoulders shaking as the show started because they were weeping,” she said. They're doing another outdoor show now — “Holiday Memories.”Since that first brave step, other theatre companies have plunged into the void. Play and musical licensor Concord Theatricals says theatre companies across the country are looking for flexibility in case of virus restrictions.“We’re seeing many groups applying for small cast, easy to produce, plays and musicals. They’re even seeking casting flexibility and asking for permission to perform with or without an ensemble,” said Sean Patrick Flahaven, chief theatricals executive.“There’s also a trend for groups to apply for both live performance and streaming rights. Many amateur theatres are producing single virtual performances to keep revenue flowing.”Playwright Natalie Margolin decided to write a new play during the pandemic but not a conventional one. She imagined what the world would look like when it was a given that all social life existed on Zoom.Hence “The Party Hop,” a play specifically to be performed on Zoom that's set three years into quarantine in which three college girls hit the town — online. It became her first published play, and she got stars such as Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein and Ashley Park to perform in an online version, currently on YouTube. She hopes high schools and colleges will be attracted to a play reflecting the era.“It was just exciting to take part in something where it wasn’t a placeholder or a replacement, and no one needed to imagine they were anywhere else than where they were to fully realize the piece,” she said. “It’s been exciting and heartwarming to see different ways theatre has reinvented itself during this time.”Theater makers have also leaned into the storytelling part of their craft, making The Broadway Podcast Network a hub for everything from audition advice to behind-the-scenes stories.Launched shortly before the pandemic with 15 podcasts, the theatre shutdown initially wiped out its revenue streams, advertising and sponsorship. The network has since righted itself and is growing with some 100 podcasts — from the likes of Tim Rice and Tonya Pinkins — plus benefits, show reunions and original programs, like the digital theatre-based frothy soap opera, “As the Curtain Rises” with stars Alex Brightman, Sarah Stiles and Michael Urie.“Even though we had lost all of our advertising, we just knew that this was important to our community, to keep our community connected and continue to tell stories," said Dori Berinstein, co-founder of the network and a four-time Tony-winning Broadway producer. “It’s not anything that will ever replace live theatre, but it’s an extension. It’s a different way of doing that.”___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitsMark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Former Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall was sworn in to the House of Representatives on Thursday. Hall won a runoff election to briefly fill the seat in Congress of the late civil rights legend John Lewis. (Dec. 3)
WASHINGTON — China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. “Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”“I call its approach of economic espionage ‘rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. “China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace.”Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American innovation.The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with China's President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social media applications like TikTok and WeChat.China’s embassy in the U.S. did not respond to a request for comment on Ratcliffe’s op-ed, although China has routinely denied many of these allegations in the past.Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain,” Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future intelligence officials.Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national intelligence director.“This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," Ratcliffe wrote.He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel hatched a scheme to steal AMSC’s proprietary wind turbine technology, causing the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, according to the Justice Department.Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive U.S. defence technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of users worldwide.Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Plans to hold a series of community meetings on food security in the Arrow Lakes region have been put on hold due to the new restrictions handed down by the provincial health officer in mid-November. The Old Firehall Collective was planning to hold meetings in Nakusp, Fauquier and Burton late in the month to talk about food security. “We wanted to go to the grassroots, and talk to people about their food security situation,” says Rosemary Hughes, a member of the collective. “We have 51 children accessing the Nakusp Food Bank. That’s a lot.” The collective’s events had to be postponed after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new restrictions to try to stem the growth of COVID-19 cases in the province. Those restrictions included cancelling any community events for at least two weeks. “We’ll have to see what she says on December 7, and decide from there,” says Hughes, referring to the end date of the current list of restrictions. The collective will meet to decide alternative paths to consulting with the community, including possible online surveys and virtual meetings. Hughes says their new plans will be announced in local media and online. The project has received $25,000 from the Union of BC Municipalities, and $6,000 from Interior Health to do the consultations. Hughes says the project began out of concern about food security for residents of the Arrow Lakes region, and a desire to enhance Nakusp’s role as an agricultural production hub for the area.John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
Rapportant en moyenne sept nouveaux cas par jour et étant en zone orange, les Gaspésiens et les Madelinots pourront fêter Noël en groupes de six si la situation reste la même, annonce le premier ministre Legault. La région annonce cinq nouvelles infections jeudi. Alors qu’il annonçait à la grande majorité des Québécois que les rassemblements des fêtes étaient bel et bien interdits, le premier ministre a noté une exception pour les régions ne se situant pas en zone rouge, soit la Côte-Nord, la Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine et le Bas-Saint-Laurent. «Quand on regarde les règles pour les rassemblements actuellement, les gens en zone jaune ont le droit à 10 personnes, et les zones orange à six. Ça, ce n'est pas changé, mais pour ce qui est des zones rouges, c'est interdit», a noté le premier ministre, tout en ajoutant qu’il «fait confiance au sens des responsabilités des Québécois». La Gaspésie et les Îles semblent en bonne position pour conserver leur niveau d’alerte orangé, alors que la péninsule rapporte en moyenne «sept ou huit cas par jour» au cours des deux dernières semaines, selon la santé publique. Les autorités sanitaires invitent tout de même à la prudence, notant que «la recommandation de ne pas voyager entre les régions de couleurs différentes est renforcée», et que «si les gens des zones rouges se déplacent en Gaspésie malgré tout, ils ne peuvent pas se rassembler puisque la zone suit la personne». Jeudi, cinq nouvelles infections ont été recensées, dont une aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Deux cas s’ajoutent dans la Côte-de-Gaspé, un en Haute-Gaspésie et un dans la MRC du Rocher-Percé. Éclosion à la prison de Percé : Pas aussi inquiétante qu’à New Carlisle Alors qu’une éclosion de COVID-19 s’est déclenchée mercredi au centre de détention de Percé, la situation semble moins inquiétante que lors de l’éclosion à la prison de New Carlisle, il y a quelques semaines. L’établissement étant plus récent et mieux entretenu, le syndicat national des agents de la paix en milieu correctionnel et la santé publique reste prudent, mais mentionne que la réalité est bien différente entre les deux milieux. «Ce n’est pas des dortoirs comme à New Carlisle et il y a eu certaines rénovations. C’est sûr qu’on ne sait jamais comment ça évolue, mais pour le moment c’est moins inquiétant», note son président, Mathieu Lavoie. Pour l’instant, quatre détenus et deux agents correctionnels ont attrapé la maladie. Un agent est en isolement préventif comme il a été en contact étroit avec une personne infectée. Tous les détenus ont été testés jeudi, et les membres du personnel ont aussi été invités à le faire. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 20, 2020 Garry Hopkins received great news two days in a row. When you’re the CEO of a long-term-care facility in the middle of a pandemic, you can use all the good news you can get. First, a COVID-19 outbreak at IOOF Seniors Home in Barrie that began Nov. 5 when a staff member tested positive was declared over Nov. 19. “Even though we did have the one case, we are very pleased because nobody else contracted the disease, which indicates we are doing a good job with our (personal protective equipment), and our hand-washing and infection-control measures,” Hopkins told Simcoe.com. The second piece of good news came Nov. 20 when the provincial government announced it would invest $30 million in the facility to create 64 long-term-care spaces and renovate 66 existing spaces. IOOF is one of 29 projects across the province that will see 30,000 new spaces created over 10 years at a cost of $1.75 billion. There are 38,500 Ontario residents waiting to access a long-term-care space. The new spaces will be built with the current pandemic in mind by ensuring fewer residents per room. The first phase of the IOOF project — 62 new beds — should be ready in about two years, with the entire project complete by 2024. Hopkins said the IOOF facility does not have any rooms with four residents, even though it was built in 1980. “They were pretty forward thinking,” he said. “Many live in separated accommodations. They may share a washroom, but have their own bedroom spaces.” Hopkins said IOOF now has workers wearing face shields, as well as face masks, to further reduce the risk of infections. “We have to be alert all the time; you can’t let your guard down,” he said. “Of course it’s stressful because you know what the case numbers are and you worry. That’s why we are extra vigilant.” Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin made the project announcement outside the IOOF facility, saying the Conservative government is focusing on long-term care, including a recent provision to provide four hours of daily care per resident. “It’s not been an easy year during COVID, but, given our government was only elected two years ago, we have done as much as we can to put our best foot forward,” Khanjin said. “Stay tuned for more.”Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance