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
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
Guillaume Carlier, un jeune cinéaste francophone de Calgary, nous amène sur les traces de jardins japonais en Alberta et en Colombie-Britannique, symboles de résilience de la population nippono-canadienne déportée durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Borrowed from Nature, un documentaire qui vient de sortir en partenariat avec Radio-Canada, à Vancouver. La première fois que Guillaume Carlier a posé son regard sur le jardin japonais de New Denver, en Colombie-Britannique, il n’était alors qu’un enfant. En dépit de son jeune âge, il avait déjà entendu parler de l’histoire douloureuse relatant la déportation de la population nippono-canadienne durant la Seconde Guerre. « Depuis que je suis jeune, je connaissais ce jardin, mais je ne m’étais jamais demandé qui l’avait créé », explique-t-il, jusqu’à ce qu’il soit parvenu à l’âge adulte et que cette question commence sérieusement à l’interpeller. Plus tard, il apprend que c’est le Canadien-Japonais, Roy Tomomichi Sumi qui l’avait conçu de ses propres mains. Le maître jardinier avait été déporté comme l’environnementaliste canado-japonais David Suzuki dans les camps d’internement durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Roy Tomomichi Sumi est depuis décédé. Aujourd’hui, il est considéré comme une sommité en Alberta et en Colombie-Britannique dans l’art du jardin japonais, et devient le fil d’Ariane du jeune cinéaste francophone qui lui permettra de se plonger dans un chapitre de l’Histoire canadienne aussi douloureux que méconnu. Ces jardins sont des métaphores qui racontent le passé, mais ils sont aussi le moyen de faire la paix avec le présent et d’avancer vers le futur. L’Histoire en héritage L’immigration japonaise a commencé vers 1860 dans la province de la Colombie-Britannique et représentait juste avant le début de la Seconde Guerre mondiale une population de 22 000 personnes. Après l’attaque en 1941 du Japon contre Pearl Harbor, le Canada, allié des États-Unis, décide de prendre des mesures draconiennes. La loi sur les mesures de guerre permet alors des actions de grande envergure comme la confiscation de bateaux, des entreprises, des biens fonciers et finit par transférer vers des camps d’internement la population canado-japonaise . Ces Canadiens d’origine japonaise durent y rester durant toute la Seconde Guerre, n’emmenant avec eux que deux valises et un simple sac. Au vu du contexte historique, « il y avait un fort sentiment anti-asiatique au Canada et aux États-Unis, ils craignaient qu’il y ait de l’espionnage », explique le jeune cinéaste alors qu’ils étaient citoyens canadiens. Un vrai traumatisme pour des gens venus initialement au Canada pour embrasser une vie meilleure, et qui perdirent du jour au lendemain tout ce qu’ils avaient mis si longtemps à bâtir. Une situation injuste qui, à la fin de la guerre, a mis la population nippono-canadienne face à un second choix cornélien : partir vers l’est, ou bien retourner au Japon selon la volonté des autorités canadiennes. Certains décidèrent d’aller en Alberta, notamment du côté de Lethbridge. C’est en 1967 que la petite ville des Prairies accueillera son premier jardin japonais, le jardin de Nikka Yuko. Des jardins et des hommes Transmuter sa peine en un magnifique jardin japonais, c’est la façon dont les rescapés de ces camps ont décidé d’exorciser les mauvais souvenirs. Un signe de réconciliation en somme. « Dans la culture japonaise, c’est très difficile de parler de cette période dans l’histoire du Canada », explique le cinéaste de 31 ans. Ce documentaire a été filmé durant l’été 2020 dans trois de ces jardins japonais : le jardin de Nikka Yuko à Lethbridge, en Alberta, et construit en 1967, le jardin d’Heiwa Teien à New Denver, en Colombie-Britannique, construit en 1994, et le jardin de Nitobe, à Vancouver, situé lui aussi en Colombie-Britannique et construit en 1960. « Ce jardin [de Roy Tomomichi Sumi créé dans les années 1980], est un geste pour tout le monde, c’est aussi pour enseigner aux Canadiens ce qui s’est passé », explique Guillaume Carlier. Le documentaire a pu être livré à Radio-Canada Vancouver en septembre et aura pris un mois de tournage entre les deux provinces pour raviver la mémoire de cette partie de l’histoire, mais aussi « questionner l’identité de la culture canadienne », met de l’avant le cinéaste. Guillaume Carlier et son épouse Gillian McKercher ont sorti ce documentaire avec leur maison de production Kinosum qui signifie littéralement en japonais « on aime les films ». Si le film reste l’exclusivité de Radio-Canada pendant une année, « tous les Canadiens peuvent déjà voir ce documentaire de 45 minutes sur le site de CBC GEM », explique le cinéaste. Le film a déjà été vendu à l’international et sera distribué par la suite en France, au Japon et aux États-Unis.Hélène Lequitte, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
En Abitibi-Témiscamingue comme partout ailleurs au Québec, les personnes immigrantes et les Autochtones font souvent face à des inégalités et à du mépris dans le contexte d’intégration au travail. Cela se reflète dans un écart de leurs revenus et dans un accès limité aux emplois correspondant à leurs compétences, ce qui peut avoir des répercussions sur leur santé mentale. Le président du conseil d’administration de La Mosaïque, association interculturelle d’accueil et d’intégration des personnes immigrantes de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Aimé Pingi, constate que les différences culturelles ont une incidence sur l’ouverture à parler de santé mentale, ce qui peut être particulièrement nuisible en milieu de travail. « Là d’où je viens, parler de santé mentale, c’est un tabou. On va parler de santé mentale uniquement lorsqu’une personne a des comportements extrêmes, alors que la dépression est considérée simplement comme un signe de découragement », dit le Rouynorandien d’origine congolaise. Il a été approché dans le passé par des syndicats de la région pour régler des différends entre employeurs et employés immigrants. « J’ai été appelé à intervenir, car les employeurs trouvaient que certains comportements chez les immigrants étaient “bizarres”, mais en réalité, ces derniers se montraient simplement découragés de devoir franchir des plafonds de verre pour essayer d’avoir des postes qui ne leur étaient pas accessibles », dit M. Pingi. Inaccessibilité aux emplois qualifiés Les nombreuses embûches rencontrées par les immigrants qui tentent d’obtenir un emploi et un revenu correspondant à leurs compétences finissent par avoir une répercussion sur leur stabilité émotionnelle. Selon Statistique Canada, la rémunération des nouveaux arrivants diplômés universitaires représentait 70 % du montant gagné par leurs homologues nés au Canada en 2017. Un rapport de la Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse révèle qu’à compétences et profils égaux, les candidats ayant un nom à consonance canadienne-française ont au moins 60 % plus de chances d’être invités à un entretien d’embauche que les candidats ayant un nom à consonance africaine, arabe ou latino-américaine au Québec. M. Pingi signale qu’en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, la situation n’est pas différente qu’ailleurs dans la province. « J’ai accompagné un immigrant diplômé en biologie qui a été contraint de travailler chez McDonald’s et Tim Hortons. Il était très découragé et il a fini par quitter la province. » Il souligne également le cas d’un homme russe qui avait du mal à se trouver un emploi dans la région après avoir quitté son emploi précédent. « Il était découragé et à un moment donné, il a commencé à développer des problèmes de santé mentale. Les gens jugeaient qu’il avait des comportements “anormaux” et riaient de lui. Personne ne voulait lui donner une lettre de recommandation. C’était un cas difficile à gérer. » Les diplômés touchés davantage M. Pingi précise que les immigrants détenant des diplômes de l’étranger sont notamment défavorisés dans la région. « Il arrive souvent que les postes de gestion et de supervision soient octroyés à de jeunes locaux qui n’ont pas la formation adéquate, au détriment d’immigrants qualifiés qui ne reçoivent même pas d’appel lorsqu’ils postulent pour ces postes. » Selon le ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration, 62 % des 1020 immigrants admis au Québec de 2008 à 2017 avaient au moins 14 ans de scolarité. Du total des personnes immigrantes reçues dans cette période, 61 % provenaient de l’Afrique. Diplômé en sciences chimiques au Congo à son arrivée en 2008, M. Pingi a décroché un poste comme chauffeur de surfaceuse à Saint-Félix-de-Dalquier, près d’Amos, pendant un an, avant d’être embauché comme technicien au contrôle de qualité dans l’usine d’embouteillage d’eau Eska. Il lui aura toutefois fallu quatre ans pour être reconnu par l’Ordre de chimistes du Québec. « J’ai de la chance, car depuis deux ans, je peux travailler au laboratoire de chimie analytique à la Fonderie Horne à Rouyn-Noranda », se réjouit-il. Impliqué à La Mosaïque depuis dix ans, M. Pingi est dévoué à l’intégration des nouveaux arrivants en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. « Nous organisons des activités pour leur offrir des opportunités de réseautage afin qu’ils puissent briser l’isolement, se faire des contacts dans la région et trouver un emploi », explique-t-il. Briser le cycle Une étude de la Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse souligne que la sous-représentation et les relations avec les Autochtones suivent souvent les mêmes tendances que celles en matière de communautés culturelles. « Si le gouvernement ne reconnaît pas l’existence du racisme systémique, ce sera difficile que les gens voient cette problématique », soutient Arlene Laliberté, psychologue algonquine originaire de Témiscamingue. Consultante en bien-être des communautés à la firme LaLouve et membre du Centre de recherche en prévention du suicide (CRISE) à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, Mme Laliberté s’intéresse au suicide en milieu autochtone. Elle offre des services de psychothérapie dans quatre communautés autochtones de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue. « Je suis toujours émerveillée par la force et la résilience de mes clients, et je souligne souvent à ces personnes leur courage pour briser le cycle de discrimination et d’abus. » Mme Laliberté invite ceux qui vivent cette réalité ou qui en sont témoins de joindre leur voix à ceux qui travaillent pour l’inclusivité et la justice sociale.Karla Meza, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
A number of projects will be moving forward next year as council has approved the capital portion of the city’s 2021 budget. Building repairs and upgrades, park redevelopments, and new vehicle acquisitions were hot button topics during the hours-long discussion of council’s first budget deliberation meeting. Repairs and upgrades to roads, sidewalks, street lights and traffic lights will also be conducted across the city. In total, the city’s capital budget comes in at $33.59 million. In terms of new vehicles and equipment, the city will be acquiring three new ice resurfacers, in which Councillor Rosemary McConkey questioned why all three needed to be replaced at once. While the life cycle of these vehicles is about 10 years, McConkey notes two of them are only eight years old, adding a staggered approach to acquiring new vehicles would be better. “Having three replaced all at once will put pressure on another council’s budget year down the road,” she says. However, according to city staff, two of the vehicles have multiple issues, which would cost more in the end to fix rather than to replace. “We go through a whole process of identifying total cost to upkeep equipment,” says city staff. “If it’s on the list, it’s costing us too much or there are safety issues related to the units.” A number of other vehicles will be added to the city’s fleet as part of a scheduled replacement program, including a couple of Chevrolet Silverado trucks, two vacuum sweepers, three front mowers, and a pumper, to name a few. A new Hazmat vehicle will be added to Fire Hall 1 to provide Oshawa Fire Services with a fully operational rapid response vehicle, as well as a new vehicle for the assistant deputy chief. Phase 3 of the city’s downtown streetscape redevelopment program is also moving forward, which includes the widening of sidewalks on the north side of King Street West from Simcoe to Prince Streets, “to enhance pedestrian amenities and increase accessibility.” Parks to see improvements this year include Raglan Park, Kingside Park, Crimson Court Park, Deer Valley Park, Conant Park, and Sunnyside Park. Some of the redevelopment in these parks include the replacement of playground equipment, playground resurfacing, the replacement of existing site furnishings, new park pathways, a parking lot and the addition of tree plantings and naturalization areas. As part of the city’s capital budget, council also endorsed a number of anchor and partnership grant requests to community organizations. The city’s Anchor and Partnership Grant programs are part of council’s commitment to work with Oshawa-based, not-for-profit volunteer community organizations that provide beneficial programs and services to the community. Organizations receiving anchor grants this year include Boys and Girls Club of Durham, Friends of Second Marsh, Motor City Car Club, Oshawa Children’s Community Fair, Oshawa Folk Arts Council, Oshawa Rotary Ribfest, Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame, and Santa’s Parade of Lights. Council also approved partnership grant requests for Hearth Place, Bawaajiigewin Aboriginal Community Circle, and Durham Alliance. However, there were a number of organizations that did not receive funding grants in next year’s budget, including Canadian Automotive Museum, Feed the Need in Durham, Oshawa Art Association, Oshawa Firefit, Royal Canadian Legion Branch and the Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre. Council’s next budget deliberation meeting is on Friday, Dec. 4 when council will continue with the 2021 operating budget. According to city staff, with the pandemic came several unexpected costs to the city, and as a result, council is looking at a 2.39 per cent tax levy increase for 2021. According to Commissioner of Finance Stephanie Sinnott, this means a $47.88 increase to the city portion of the property taxes for a property assessed at $356,000 – the average assessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. Final approval of the 2021 budget is expected on Friday, Dec. 11.Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
Regina– When the COVID-19 vaccine comes, Saskatchewan will be ready. That’s according to Minister of Health Paul Merriman, who started the Dec. 2 COVID-19 update talking about upcoming vaccines, the first of which, made by Pfizer, received emergency approval in the United Kingdom on that very day. “Near the start of this pandemic, I remember Premier Moe saying, ‘This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon,’” Merriman said. “That is still true today. And we still have a long way to go in this marathon. Even marathons have a finish line. And now we know where that finish line is. “The finish line is when we have delivered a safe, effective vaccine to a significant number of Saskatchewan residents. That's where life can truly start getting back to normal. “Saskatchewan Health and the SHA (Saskatchewan Health Authority) have already done a lot of work, getting ready to deliver this vaccine. They will have a more detailed presentation on that plan sometime next week. For now, I want everybody to know: We in Saskatchewan are ready to go. “As soon as the federal government is able to start delivering the vaccine to us, we will be ready to deliver that to Saskatchewan people quickly and safely. “This is a huge undertaking involving thousands of healthcare workers, and other support staff, transportation, storage, and many other logistical issues. But let me assure you, we will be ready. Healthcare workers, elderly first Merriman continued, “Premier Moe and I have directed all necessary resources be directed to this effort. Based on the advice of public health officials, we will be prioritizing who will receive it first. There'll be more detail on this presentation next week. But it's no surprise that we expect healthcare workers, and the residents in our long-term care and personal care homes to receive the first vaccines. “We do not yet have an exact timeline on when we will be receiving these vaccines. The federal government is now saying the first deliveries will be early in the new year. Saskatchewan’s per capita share that we should be receiving in the first quarter of 2021 is about 180,000 doses, enough to vaccinate 90,000 people. This is just based on the deliveries from Pfizer and Moderna, who have applied for their vaccine approvals. In the last few days two more companies, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, have also applied to have their vaccines approved. This could result in more vaccines being delivered, even quicker. When that occurs, we will be ready to start receiving the shipments. And we will also be ready to go. “This is how we get back to normal in Saskatchewan. This is how our health system will get back to normal. This is how our economy will get back to normal. This is how our lives will get back to normal. It is quite literally the shot in the arm that Saskatchewan needs. And be ready to deliver that shot in the arm, as soon as the federal government starts getting us that vaccine. Until then, we all have to keep following the public orders and guidelines to protect ourselves and others. Keep physical distancing. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Limit your close contacts and stay home, if you're not feeling well. And follow the other good practices that we know to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It's how we keep ourselves, and those around us safe,” Merriman said. New Democratic Party Leader Ryan Meili told reporters, “I was concerned that the minister didn't understand his responsibility yesterday. This government should be talking about vaccine readiness and encouraging people to learn about the vaccine and get ready to take it, ready to protect each other. “They failed when it came to masks, getting people ready and promoting that early. They helped create this anti-mask pushback that we see in the in the province, with their mixed messages. They need to be ready and be promoting the COVID-19 vaccine, because it is essential, if we're going to get past this. And we're going to need more than the vaccine. It's not enough to wait to the vaccine and have a terrible December and January, and who knows when we actually get it. We need to act now. But we also need to act now, to get people ready for when the vaccine is here.” Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand authorities have approved tech billionaire Sean Parker’s purchase of a one-third stake in film director Peter Jackson’s visual effects studio.Parker needed special permission from the Overseas Investment Office because he isn’t a New Zealand resident and the Weta Digital studio is worth more than 100 million New Zealand dollars ($71 million).In a decision published on its website this week, the office said Parker and his business associates had the relevant experience and were “of good character.” It said Weta Digital was raising money to grow its business.Parker, who co-founded the file-sharing service Napster and is a former president of Facebook, said in June there was a huge, unmet demand for high-quality animated content.“I have been a Weta superfan for the past two decades — I recall my sense of wonder when I first saw the character of Gollum brought to life, and later the surreal feeling of being transported to the alternate reality of Pandora," Parker said, referring to the work Weta did on Jackson's “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and James Cameron's “Avatar."Parker's representative said Wednesday he had no further comment on the purchase.Weta employs about 1,550 people and is based in New Zealand's capital, Wellington. Company records indicate Jackson and collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens own just over two-thirds of the company. Weta will issue new shares for Parker, diluting Jackson's stake.Jackson could not be reached for comment.In June, Weta appointed Parker's business associate Prem Akkaraju as chief executive and said it would begin producing original content for the first time in its 25-year history.In 2016, Parker and Akkaraju founded a video-on-demand startup called Screening Room, which this year relaunched as SR Labs.Nick Perry, The Associated Press
Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter is urging the province to take a look at the evidence-based data for COVID-19 to help save local communities from further hardship. In just a matter of days, Durham Region was moved from the Orange zone to the Red zone of the provincial framework for fighting and stopping the spread of the virus. Carter says this means there’s been a lot of significant changes in regards to public gatherings and how retail locations have operated. He’s urging the community to continue to follow the advice of the health care professionals and continue to “stay apart, mark up, lather up, and if you can work from home stay at home.” “That’s one of the ways we can stop the spread.” Carter is also calling for the community to support local. “If there’s a way that we can support local, like I always say, ‘Oshawa loves local,’ let’s find a way of supporting our local economy,” he says. Carter is also calling on the province to consider the “true data” and where the spread is coming from, when making decisions in regards to moving the different regions to different stages. “Our retailers, our service industry, our local economy has done an incredible job in investing in PPE and making sure they’ve taken all the right steps to make sure that your safety, your well-being, is their number one priority,” Carter continues. He says any decisions the province makes impacts communities locally, adding the province needs to take into consideration where the spreads are happening and take a look at the data, and make a decision based upon that. “The province must take a close look at the region’s COVID-19 active case numbers to identify the sources of transmission,” he says. “It is critical the data be used to make sector-specific restrictions and to determine if local restrictions – especially those that are having a huge impact on our restaurants and local businesses – can be reduced.” The City of Oshawa continues to post updates to its webpage. Visit www.oshawa.ca/coronavirus for the latest updates on changes to services and programs, as well as frequently asked questions and resources.Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Dec. 3 ... What we are watching in Canada ... The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2019 election campaign to introduce such a bill, developed with Indigenous people, by the end of this year. The bill is expected to echo a private member's bill introduced by former NDP MP Romeo Saganash, which the House of Commons passed two years ago. That bill stalled in the Senate, where Conservative senators argued it could have unintended legal and economic consequences, and then died when Parliament dissolved. The UN declaration, which Canada endorsed in 2010, affirms the rights of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination and to their language, culture and traditional lands. It also spells out the need for free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous Peoples on anything that infringes on their lands or rights. --- Also this ... The trial of a teen boy accused of sexually assaulting two fellow students at a renowned Toronto high school is set to continue today. The teen has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of gang sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon in connection with two incidents at St. Michael's College School in the fall of 2018. Earlier this week, court viewed part of a video in which one of the complainants, also a teen boy, told police about an October 2018 incident in the school's locker room. In the video, the complainant recalled hearing a group of students laugh as they held back his arms and sexually assaulted him with a broom handle after football practice. The role of the accused was not specified in the portion of the video played in court, and the complainant did not mention him by name in that part of the footage. More of the video is expected to be shown in today's hearing, which is taking place in court and over video conference. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... Advocates and lawyers anticipate a flurry of clemency action from U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming weeks that could test the limits of presidential pardon power. Trump is said to be considering a slew of pardons and commutations before he leaves office, including potentially members of his family, former aides and even himself. While it is not unusual for presidents to sign controversial pardons on their way out the door, Trump has made clear that he has no qualms about intervening in the cases of friends and allies whom he believes have been treated unfairly, including his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The list of potential candidates is long and colourful: Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, imprisoned for financial crimes as part of the Russia investigation; George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, just like Flynn; Joseph Maldonado-Passage, a.k.a. “Joe Exotic," who starred in the Netflix series “Tiger King”; and former contractors convicted in a Baghdad firefight that killed more than a dozen civilians, including women and children. Trump, long worried about potential legal exposure after he leaves office, has expressed worry to confidants in recent weeks that he, his family or his business might be targeted by president-elect Joe Biden’s Justice Department, although Biden has made clear he won't be part of any such decisions. Nonetheless, Trump has had informal conversations with allies about how he might be able to protect his family, though he has not taken any steps to do so. His adult children haven't requested pardons nor do they feel they need them, according to people familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private matters. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... Nearly 100 world leaders and several dozen ministers are slated to speak at the UN General Assembly’s special session starting Thursday on the response to COVID-19 and the best path to recovery from the pandemic which has claimed 1.5 million lives, shattered economies, and left tens of millions of people unemployed in countries rich and poor. Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said when he took the reins of the 193-member world body in September that it would have been better to hold the high-level meeting in June. Nonetheless, he said Wednesday it "provides a historic moment for us to come together to beat COVID-19." "With news of multiple vaccines on the cusp of approval, and with trillions of dollars flowing into global recovery efforts, the international community has a unique opportunity to do this right," he said. "The world is looking to the UN for leadership. This is a test for multilateralism." When financial markets collapsed and the world faced its last great crisis in 2008, major powers worked together to restore the global economy, but the COVID-19 pandemic has been striking for the opposite response: no leader, no united action to stop the pandemic that has circled the globe. --- On this day in 1970 ... The "October Crisis" ended when British Trade Commissioner James Cross was released by his FLQ kidnappers in Montreal. Cross was seized from his home in October, and another FLQ cell later kidnapped and murdered Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte on Oct. 17. --- In entertainment ... William Shatner, the Canadian who played the iconic commander Capt. James T. Kirk in "Star Trek," has taken to Twitter to urge Alberta use the federal COVID-19 app rather than its own. Shatner writes, “you just need to get Alberta on board,” adding that the province cannot go its own way in a world interconnected by travel. Shatner writes Alberta’s approach is, “bizarre and dangerous,” but also says “what do I know? I’m just an actor.” Premier Jason Kenney’s government has avoided signing onto the federal app, saying it’s not as effective because Alberta’s app is connected to contact tracing rather than simply delivering notifications of close contacts. Alberta’s app has tracked down just a handful of cases in six months, but the government says the program will be more effective as more people sign on. --- ICYMI ... Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams is accusing the City of St. John's of taking Christmas away from the residents of a subdivision he developed on the city's outskirts. Williams says that just as he did last year, he recently installed a 10-metre Christmas tree in the centre of a traffic roundabout in the Galway subdivision, which was developed by his company DewCor. But this year, he says the city took issue with the tree, requiring that he take out an insurance policy and asking him to keep it unlit due to traffic concerns. In a statement emailed Wednesday, city staff in the transportation engineering department say they're open to considering other locations for the tree in Galway that don't interfere with an intersection. Kevin Breen, the St. John's city manager says the tree went up last year without a permit. Meanwhile, the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl has offered to give the tree a proper home with lights, and Williams says the tree will be delivered there within the next two days. "All's well that ends well," Williams said in an interview. "It's going to the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl, and to be quite honest with you, if Galway could be part of Mount Pearl, that would be my choice." --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020 The Canadian Press
Do “self-cleaning” elevator buttons really work?Without rigorous independent studies, experts say it’s hard to verify claims of “self-cleaning” or “antiviral" surfaces that have popped up during the pandemic.But they also say you shouldn’t worry too much about how well such features really work.COVID-19 is an airborne disease. Research suggests it would be difficult to catch the virus from surfaces like an elevator button.“You get it through what you breathe, not through what you touch,” said Emanuel Goldman, who studies viruses at Rutgers University.Studies showing the virus can survive several hours on plastic or metal surfaces do not mimic real-life conditions, said Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford Health Care.Companies are selling antibacterial and antiviral elevator button or door handle covers. But building or office managers looking to protect employees or tenants would be better off buying hand-sanitizing stations instead, Winslow said.And anyone wanting to avoid the virus should continue taking regular public health precautions: mask-wearing, social distancing and avoiding indoor events, bars, dining and gyms.Routine hand washing is also recommended, whether there's a pandemic or not, Goldman said.___The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org.Read previous Viral Questions:Are dining tents a safe way to eat out during the pandemic?Do masks with antiviral coating offer more protection?Will social distancing weaken my immune system?The Associated Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Thursday Dec. 3, 2020.There are 389,775 confirmed cases in Canada.Canada: 389,775 confirmed cases (67,564 active, 309,886 resolved, 12,325 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.There were 6,307 new cases Wednesday from 79,492 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 7.9 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 42,309 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,044.There were 114 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 615 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 88. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.79 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,652,814 tests completed.Newfoundland and Labrador: 340 confirmed cases (30 active, 306 resolved, four deaths).There was one new case Wednesday from 319 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.31 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 16 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 63,163 tests completed.Prince Edward Island: 72 confirmed cases (four active, 68 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Wednesday from 354 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 61,037 tests completed.Nova Scotia: 1,332 confirmed cases (127 active, 1,140 resolved, 65 deaths).There were 17 new cases Wednesday from 2,340 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.73 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 89 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 13.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 149,259 tests completed.New Brunswick: 514 confirmed cases (119 active, 388 resolved, seven deaths).There were six new cases Wednesday from 1,062 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.56 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 61 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 102,612 tests completed.Quebec: 145,062 confirmed cases (12,740 active, 125,197 resolved, 7,125 deaths).There were 1,514 new cases Wednesday from 9,764 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 16 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,632 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,376.There were 41 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 210 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 30. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.35 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 83.97 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,204,216 tests completed.Ontario: 119,922 confirmed cases (14,526 active, 101,698 resolved, 3,698 deaths).There were 1,723 new cases Wednesday from 42,779 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12,039 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,720.There were 35 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 144 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 25.39 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,146,013 tests completed.Manitoba: 17,384 confirmed cases (8,970 active, 8,072 resolved, 342 deaths).There were 277 new cases Wednesday from 2,336 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 12 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,477 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 354.There were 14 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 86 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 24.97 per 100,000 people. There have been 351,645 tests completed.Saskatchewan: 8,982 confirmed cases (3,970 active, 4,959 resolved, 53 deaths).There were 237 new cases Wednesday from 1,342 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 18 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,935 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 276.There were two new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 16 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.51 per 100,000 people. There have been 263,604 tests completed.Alberta: 61,169 confirmed cases (17,144 active, 43,464 resolved, 561 deaths).There were 1,685 new cases Wednesday from 13,989 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 12 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,368 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,481.There were 10 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 61 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.2 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 12.83 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,487,573 tests completed.British Columbia: 34,728 confirmed cases (9,835 active, 24,424 resolved, 469 deaths).There were 834 new cases Wednesday from 5,062 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 16 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,642 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 806.There were 12 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 98 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 14. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.28 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 807,438 tests completed.Yukon: 49 confirmed cases (19 active, 29 resolved, one deaths).There were two new cases Wednesday from 63 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 3.2 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 5,399 tests completed.Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed cases (zero active, 15 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Wednesday from 37 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 6,434 tests completed.Nunavut: 193 confirmed cases (80 active, 113 resolved, zero deaths).There were 11 new cases Wednesday from 45 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 24 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 38 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 4,345 tests completed.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.The Canadian Press
This holiday season is going to look different for everyone, but as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, seniors across the Durham Region are especially at risk of significant challenges associated with isolation. In years past, Home Instead has lifted the spirits of seniors, making them feel remembered and cherished, with its Be a Santa to a Senior program, in which the community can purchase gifts for seniors. Community members would grab an ornament from Christmas trees located in retailers, purchase a gift and return it to be wrapped and gifted to a senior. However, due to the pandemic, Cathy Dow, owner of Home Instead for Oshawa and the surrounding area, says they had to pivot the program and offer the program in a virtual capacity by partnering with Amazon Business. “Recognizing the program’s importance, and particularly this year, and with the need to keep everyone safe, Home Instead partnered with Amazon for the first time,” she says. “We have still developed great relationships with local non-profits and organizations to facilitate the purchasing and distribution of gifts on the wish list – which is all done virtually.” She says this year’s focus is on older adults who are living in long term care, as most are with restrictions and accessibility is very limited. “It spreads holiday cheer and brightens the lives of our older adults who are alone or financially challenged during this season,” Dow adds, noting through this global pandemic, the feelings of isolation are amplified. “Providing gifts and sense of community… that has always been there and so I think this year particularly will be very comforting to many.” To help a senior this season, members of the community can visit the BeASantatoaSenior.com website and enter their postal code to view wish lists for local seniors on Amazon. A personalized greeting can be included with the gift which will be shipped directly to the senior. Since the program began in 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has provided approximately 2.1 million gifts and brightened the holiday season for more than 750,000 seniors nationwide. “We need the community’s help more than ever to make sure seniors feel connected this year,” Dow says. “This year we knew we had to find a way to spread holiday cheer to seniors, and we are grateful for the community’s participation.”Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s disaster authority and the U.S. Geological Survey say a 5.0 magnitude earthquake has struck Siirt in southeastern Turkey.The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, or AFAD, said Thursday there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the quake that hit at a depth of 20 kilometres (12 miles) at 8:45 a.m. (0545 GMT).Turkey is crisscrossed by fault lines and was hit by two strong tremors this year -- one that hit the western port city of Izmir last month, killing 117 people, and another in Elazig province, killing 41 people.At least 17,000 people died in a powerful earthquake in northwest Turkey in 1999.The Associated Press
With two old rivals facing off in Ghana's presidential election on Dec. 7 amid familiar economic woes, many voters are paying more attention to a new element in the political mix - the first ever female vice-presidential candidate for a major party. Former education minister Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman hopes that the decision of Ghana's main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to nominate her as its candidate for vice-president will inspire other women to enter politics.
Two Rohingya told Reuters their names appeared on lists compiled by government-appointed local leaders without their consent, while aid workers said officials used threats and enticements to pressure people into going. Mohammad Shamsud Douza, the deputy Bangladesh government official in charge of refugees, said the relocation was voluntary. Police escorted the first group of 1,000 refugees in buses from Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar for the journey to Chittagong port and then on to Bhasan Char – a flood-prone Bay of Bengal island that emerged from the sea 20 years ago.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A mysterious object temporarily orbiting Earth is a 54-year-old rocket, not an asteroid after all, astronomers confirmed Wednesday. Observations by a telescope in Hawaii clinched its identity, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The object was classified as an asteroid after its discovery in September. But NASA’s top asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, quickly suspected it was the Centaur upper rocket stage from Surveyor 2, a failed 1966 moon-landing mission. Size estimates had put it in the range of the old Centaur, which was about 32 feet (10 metres) long and 10 feet (3 metres) in diameter. Chodas was proven right after a team led by the University of Arizona's Vishnu Reddy used an infrared telescope in Hawaii to observe not only the mystery object, but — just on Tuesday — a Centaur from 1971 still orbiting Earth. The data from the images matched. “Today’s news was super gratifying!,” Chodas said via email. “It was teamwork that wrapped up this puzzle.” The object formally known as 2020 SO entered a wide, lopsided orbit around Earth last month and, on Tuesday, made its closest approach at just over 31,000 miles (50,476 kilometres). It will depart the neighbourhood in March, shooting back into its own orbit around the sun. Its next return: 2036. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
More than 50 people who live in the western P.E.I. community of Forestview have signed a petition calling on the provincial government to move high-voltage power lines away from their homes.The lines run along Howlan Road and carry electricity generated at the West Cape wind farm.The province did remove three-quarters of the lines in 2008, says local resident Clyde Penney, and promised at that time to move the rest once future wind turbines were established in that area."We're asking now for government to live up to that responsibility and to remove the lines," said Penney.After more than a decade of lobbying, the residents of the area say the time to move the lines is now, as the province plans a $44 million project to establish a 106-kilometre transmission line to transport energy from a future 40-megawatt wind farm in Skinners Pond to a substation in Sherbrooke, near Summerside. It's planned for 2025.Penney said 52 impacted residents have signed the petition.He said they're not against the turbines, just against the lines running by their homes."In some cases they're only 25 feet from the houses," said Penney, adding that the lines devalue their properties and pose a potential health risk."The birds won't even land on them."'Just devastated'The residents want to see the lines relocated away from homes on the road.Juanita Gallant told CBC News when they rerouted the other lines back in 2008, she and her neighbours thought all the lines would be moved."But they stopped about a quarter of a kilometre from our house. That was it. We were just devastated," she said."They rerouted everything from here right through to Summerside, but they didn't reroute this bunch of homes right here," said her husband, Ricky."They should've done that from the start."Their MLA, Robert Henderson, has asked the government to follow through on its commitment, suggesting it use the poles, wire and insulators along the new route of its wind energy corridor."They're right in their front yards," he said. "The community has been very patient."Penney wrote to Energy Minister Steven Myers in August, but said he has not heard back yet.In the legislature Tuesday, Myers said he doesn't know where the new power corridor will be located, but he's willing to meet with residents to discuss their concerns.A spokesperson with Maritime Electric said the company was not aware of any recent issues or concerns in that area, and it would be up to the province to decide whether to move the lines.More from CBC P.E.I.
The pandemic is preventing Pearl Harbor survivors from attending an annual ceremony remembering victims in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack. WWII veteran Mickey Ganitch, 101, has attended before, but will mark the anniversary this year from California. (Dec. 3)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — About 750 gallons (2,800 litres) of diesel and water have been cleaned up after an Alaska oil spill that state Department of Environmental Conservation officials said occurred during a fuel tank transfer. State conservation officials said the Nov. 25 spill in the village of Selawik happened after workers started transferring fuel from a city fuel tank to a water treatment plant tank. The reasons for the spill and the amount spilled is still under investigation, officials said. “We know that 35,000 gallons is still in the tank and is not threatening to release at this time," said Sarah Moore, a state conservation agency spokesperson. "So we have a ballpark estimate, but are still working on some more concrete numbers about the volume spilled." The incident was reported to state conservation officials at about 1:30 a.m. last Thursday. The spill happened about 600 feet (183 metres) from the Selawik River, a source of water for the village. The fuel tank holds just under 46,000 gallons (147,000 litres) of diesel while the water plant tank holds about 4,000 gallon (15,000 litres), Alaska's Energy Desk reported. U.S. Coast Guard officials arrived in the village on Tuesday to provide equipment and investigate the cleanup. “In addition to investigating the causal factors of the incident, we are on site to assess any potential environmental impacts,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Dane Grulkey in a statement. “We are assisting our community and agency partners organize a safe, effective and co-ordinated response.” The Associated Press
BRUSSELS — A senior legal adviser said Thursday that the European Union’s top court should reject Hungary’s attempts to overturn a European Parliament action aimed at holding the country to account for what lawmakers consider to be a breach of the bloc’s values.Advocate General Michal Bobek recommended that the European Court of Justice “dismiss Hungary’s action as unfounded.” Advocates General routinely provide legal guidance to the ECJ. Their opinions aren't binding on the Luxembourg-based court, but are followed in most cases.The EU parliament launched a procedure in 2018 to force Hungary’s EU partners to sanction the government in Budapest over concerns about the country’s constitutional and electoral systems, the independence of its judiciary, corruption and conflicts of interest, as well as fundamental rights concerns.The “Article 7” procedure was contained in a resolution that was adopted in a 448-197 vote, while 48 lawmakers abstained. Hungary argued that had the abstentions been taken into account, the vote wouldn't have achieved the required two-thirds majority.In Bobek’s opinion, a person who abstains from a vote asks to be counted as neither in favour nor against a proposition, and to be treated as if they weren't voting at all. He also said that EU lawmakers had been informed more than a day before the poll that abstentions wouldn't be counted as votes cast.It’s the first time the parliament has launched such a procedure. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has also taken similar action against Hungary. If four-fifths of Hungary’s 26 EU partners agree “there is a clear risk of a serious breach” of the bloc’s values, Budapest could lose its voting rights.The EU’s treaty says the bloc “is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.”The Associated Press
Federal officials today explained how they plan to roll out millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks as Ottawa launches its mass inoculation campaign.The initial supply of the doses will be limited — just three million Canadians are expected to get shots in the first three months of 2021. Millions more doses are expected to arrive as the supply chain stabilizes.One of the principal challenges facing the immunization effort is the distribution of vaccines that must be kept at very low temperatures – well below those that a standard commercial refrigerator can offer.The Pfizer vaccine, which is expected to get the green light from Health Canada as early as this month, needs to be kept at approximately -80 degrees Celsius to remain stable. The Moderna product, another vaccine that uses groundbreaking messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, must be kept at -20 degrees Celsius.Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, a former NATO commander in Iraq, is leading vaccination logistics and operations at a new national operations centre in the Public Health Agency of Canada.While the country is facing unprecedented "logistical complexities," he said, the military and its partners will be ready to deploy vaccines as soon as they are approved in Canada.Fortin said the national operations centre isn't waiting for Health Canada's sign-off to begin preparations. The Pfizer product will be delivered by that company directly to provincial and territorial distribution points as early as the end of the month.The federal government already has secured the cold storage required for this product. All of the provinces have indicated where the Pfizer-specific fridges should be placed and 14 distribution points nationwide will be ready to receive the vaccine starting on Dec. 14, Fortin said.WATCH: Six million doses to arrive in Canada in the first three months of 2021A senior official, speaking to CBC News on a not-for-attribution basis, said Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Quebec will get two such delivery sites each, with one in each of the other provinces. A plan for the territories is still being finalized, the official said.The shots likely will be distributed on a per capita basis, the official said, much like how federally procured personal protective equipment has been issued to those jurisdictions throughout this pandemic. Some observers have said provinces dealing with higher caseloads should get priority access to vaccine shots at first.Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday a per-capita distribution plan will disadvantage his hard-hit province. He also raised concerns about Ottawa's plan to take the lead on inoculating Indigenous people. "This hurts Manitobans, to put it mildly," he told reporters.Eventually, there will be 205 "points of issue" locations across the country where health care professionals can administer the vaccine, Fortin said. It will be up to the provinces and territories to specify where and when individual Canadians will be inoculated.WATCH: Maj.-Gen. Fortin says simulation tests will be held at vaccine distribution sitesFortin said at least one "dry run" has been executed so far, with more planned in the days ahead, to ensure things run smoothly once this vaccine hits our shores from manufacturing hubs in the U.S. and abroad. These practice runs will ensure officials are comfortable with what Fortin called the "very unique requirements" of this Pfizer vaccine.Preparing for the worstFortin said he's actively planning for multiple worst-case scenarios, such as bad weather, cyber attacks and fires at distribution hubs. IBM, the information technology company, said in a blog post published on Thursday that it had uncovered "a global phishing campaign" targeting the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine distribution mission, Operation Warp Speed."We're very much executing a whole-of-nation approach. The size and scope and scale of this problem is unprecedented and there's a number of factors at play," Fortin said."I like the idea of being ready before the Christmas timeframe, so we are certain to be ready when it comes in January."The general said his team is in daily contact with Pfizer and the company is "comfortable" with the plan that Canada has crafted. Pfizer has said it won't ship product to a country that isn't ready to receive a vaccine that is so temperature-sensitive.Pfizer review 'progressing really well': Health CanadaDr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada, said Thursday that the regulatory review of Pfizer's vaccine is "progressing really well" and her department has the "majority of information" it needs from the company to certify that it's safe and effective.In an interview with CBC's Power & Politics, Sharma said the final approval could come in the next 7 to 10 days. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to meet on Dec. 10 to decide on an emergency use authorization (EUA) for that shot and Sharma said Canada is following a similar timeline.Canada has placed orders with Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for 20 million doses of the two-dose vaccine, with options for millions more in the months to follow. The company has reported its vaccine was 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 among clinical trial participants who had no evidence of prior infection.Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, said Canadians shouldn't be fixated on the exact date when Pfizer gets the nod from Canadians regulators."I think we shouldn't be so obsessive with the actual delivery of the vaccines themselves, the dates and so on. I think what's really important is the fact we're planning, preparing, doing exercises," he said."We're doing the dry runs, the soft launch so that once the vaccine technically arrives, everyone will be comfortable, we'll be trained to actually utilize the vaccine." The Moderna vaccine, which is expected to secure regulatory approvals after the Pfizer product, will be imported into Canada by the federal government, largely through private shipping companies. Ottawa will in turn divide up the product for the provinces and territories.The government is now finalizing "end mile" contracts with logistics firms — the companies that will transport the Moderna vaccines to centres where Canadians can go for a shot.On Monday, the Massachusetts-based company applied to the FDA for its EUA for the American marketplace. Data from the company's final clinical trial are encouraging, demonstrating the vaccine is 94.1 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 and 100 per cent effective at preventing severe cases of the disease.Two other companies, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical division, Janssen, have also submitted their vaccines for regulatory approval. Sharma said those companies still need to submit "large chunks of information" before a final decision can be made.Njoo said the federal government is now refining who is best suited to get an early dose of a vaccine — early guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) suggests seniors in long-term care homes and frontline health care workers will be among the first to get a shot.Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole and his party's health critic Michelle Rempel Garner held a news conference this morning to discuss an opposition day motion that will call on the government to release its plan by Dec. 16.O'Toole accused the government of failing to provide Canadians with a plan and a timeframe for vaccine distribution."Without a concrete timeline for vaccines, businesses won't have the confidence to reinvest in their operations and rehire Canadians who have been laid off during the pandemic," he said."Without a reliable timeline, or details, provinces have the impossible task of establishing complex supply chains with no lead time."The motion calls for a status update on: * How each type of vaccine will be safely delivered, stored and distributed to Canadians. * The date on which each vaccine type will be first deployed in Canada and the rate of vaccinations anticipated by month. * Any planned federal guidance with respect to the deployment of the vaccine by priority group, such as front-line health workers and seniors. * The plan to distribute the vaccine to Indigenous communities, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans.