Jaclyn Whittal talks about the effects of extreme cold on the human body.
Jaclyn Whittal talks about the effects of extreme cold on the human body.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Statistics Canada is preparing to conduct the next census in May 2021 and is hiring to fill 32,000 jobs across the country. These positions are being filled in both large and small communities to collect vital data to be used in planning for community resources such as schools, daycares, hospitals, emergency services, and roads. Existing census procedures have been adapted to protect both the respondents and the census employees in light of COVID-19 by limiting the amount of contact required during this process. These adaptations will allow most Canadians to complete the census questionnaire through a secure online application. Statistics Canada will provide all of the equipment needed to protect census employees in regards to COVID-19. Employees will be working in their local communities to limit the risks of travelling during the pandemic. Census employees will identify residences on maps, make phone calls to follow up with respondents, and conduct physically-distanced interviews when needed. There are both supervisory and non-supervisory positions available between March and July 2021, paying between $17.83 and $21.77 per hour. Employees will need to attend paid mandatory training. All employees will be paid for authorized expenses. Eligible applicants must be: · 18 or older · A Canadian citizen or eligible to work in Canada · Flexible and able to work 20 – 40 hours per week More information is available at https://census.gc.ca/jobs-emplois-eng.htm. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Municipal leaders who sit on the Grey Bruce health board expressed their frustration with the lack of vaccine at Friday’s meeting. Medical officer of Health Dr. Arra said that we have been “the victim of our own success” in keeping COVID numbers down, because high-risk areas have been the main priority. He said a plan for using three mass vaccination hubs has been submitted. “If we don’t get a response about piloting this hub and getting enough vaccine for high-risk task force, I plan to turn to advocacy,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a matter of advocacy… but it seems there is disparity in the distribution to some degree,” he said. Brian Milne, Southgate deputy-mayor, said that it is frustrating that Grey-Bruce had received only 200 doses at that time, and many frontline staff members were left waiting to be inoculated, while in other areas the cafeteria staff at facilities had received the vaccine. Dr. Arra said he heard the frustration and shared the concern. But he added that there is a fine line that needs to be walked, so that public health is to be seen to be working with the province, at the same time as advocating for the local area. It’s important that the public perceives that there is a united approach, Dr. Arra said. And it’s not a matter of if the vaccines come, it’s when, he said. “And we will be ready whenever that happens.” On Monday, Public Health informed the public that it had received 600 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and expected delivery of another 700 doses of the vaccine next week, which will be enough to complete first dose vaccine coverage for all long-term care residents in Grey Bruce. The latest international news is that shipments that were expected are not confirmed, and that has affected many areas in the province. Health board members were happier about the return to school on Monday for Grey-Bruce students. Many parents will be relieved from the burden of making home learning work, but others are still cautions, said Selwyn Hicks, deputy-mayor of Hanover. He said that the health unit had done a good job of communication, explaining that the data shows that transmission is not taking place in schools. Members praised the outreach and media releases. Dr. Arra said that when he meets weekly with the mayors, he learns about issues in the community quickly and the health unit can address them. A standing item on the Board of Health agenda is the opioid crises, and Dr. Arra reported that there have been more than 10 overdoses in the last two weeks in Grey-Bruce – “not deaths, thankfully, overdoses.” Anecdotally, there were 13 deaths in Grey-Bruce in 2020 from opioids, zero from COVID. It’s a difficult crisis to address, Dr. Arra commented, with many complex issues, social, technical, ethical. When the pandemic ends, he said that the health unit, with credibility gained during COVID, will have an opportunity to address opioid like never before. Other partners are doing good work right now, he said, and the pandemic is the public health priority. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
Local internet company Eh!Tel will be applying for a share of federal money aimed at building up internet through a program called “Rapid Response.” Both Southgate and Melancthon township agreed last week to write letters of support. All rural municipalities have been hearing from residents about the need for more reliable internet over the past year, with so many jobs services pivoting online. The company has projects underway using SWIFT funding in Melancthon in the Horning’s Mills-Redickville areas and in Southgate in the Dromore-Holstein-Varney. The company, based in Holstein, is proposing to put fibre in the ground from Dromore to Dundalk. The route hasn’t been determined, Southgate CAO Dave Milliner told council, but would likely go along County Road 9. Other projects could then be done to take the fibre down sideroads. Eh-Tel has a project in the Badjeros area and has fibre in the ground in Dundalk itself, including the main Flato subdivision site. “Rapid Response Funding” is a federal first come-first serve program with $150M. Applications have since closed and the projects must be completed by mid-October. Being federal, the grant doesn’t use the same mapping as SWIFT, which now has that area marked as served. Another local provider satisfied the municipal-based body that it could supply internet on request. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
FCSS Hosts Free Tax Clinic in Swan Hills Beginning in March, Swan Hills Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) will be offering a free tax clinic to assist eligible individuals to complete their 2020 income tax return. FCSS provides this service all year round and can assist with returns from up to two years ago but can not complete returns for deceased individuals. This service is offered as part of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), a cooperative partnership between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and community organizations that began in 1971. To qualify for the CVITP, individuals have to have a modest income and a simple tax situation. According to the information on the CRA website, eligible individuals for this program include: · Indigenous Peoples · Newcomers and refugees · Persons with disabilities · Seniors · Youth/Students · Homeless and housing insecure individuals · Individuals with a modest income The information on the CRA website defines a simple tax situation as one where the individual has no income, or if they derive their income from: · Employment · Pension · Benefits (Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Disability Insurance, Employment Insurance, and Social Assistance) · Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) · Support Payments · Scholarships, Fellowships, Bursaries, or Grants · Interest (under $1000) More information about free tax clinics offered through the CVITP is available at www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/community-volunteer-income-tax-program.html. Swan Hills FCSS’s tax clinic will be available by appointment. Two appointments will be necessary to complete an individual’s tax return. The first appointment will take about 15 minutes to go through the individual’s tax documents and collect any required information to complete the individual’s tax return. The second appointment, also about 15 minutes, will be for the individual to pick up and sign their completed tax return. Last year, Swan Hills FCSS completed 38 income tax returns for their free tax clinic clients. Please contact Swan Hills FCSS for more information or to make an appointment at (780) 333-4119. Visit the Swan Hills FCSS Facebook page for the latest news about their programs and services. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
THUNDER BAY — A new pilot project launched earlier this month by the Thunder Bay Police Service, CMHA Thunder Bay Branch and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre hopes to provide better and immediate services to individuals dealing with mental health crises in the community. The details of the Integrated Mobile Police Assessment Crisis Team (IMPACT) were announced through a virtual news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The pilot project is an expansion of the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team initiative which launched in June 2018. “The goal of the pilot is to reduce police time in the emergency department, divert individuals from having to attend the emergency department while providing supports for individuals in the community,” Insp. Derek West of the Thunder Bay Police Service said Tuesday. The new initiative launched on Jan. 4 and has so far had encounters with 71 individuals. Of the 71 encounters, 33 people have been diverted from the emergency department already, West said. The pilot team is comprised of one police officer and one crisis worker who will work together to respond to all mental health-related calls for service that the police service receives or are referred to on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis. Jennifer Hyslop, CEO of CMHA Thunder Bay Branch said during Tuesday’s news conference the pilot program will help reduce unnecessary encounters with law enforcement and unnecessary emergency department visits for individuals. “As we know provincially and in our community, police should not be the first responders to a mental health crisis,” Hyslop said. “If we look at the evidence in Thunder Bay and all communities across Ontario we have had to over-rely on police managing mental health issues.” Lisa Beck, director of Trauma, Emergency Department and Critical Care at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre said if an emergency department visit is required, the IMPACT team will support the individual at the hospital as well. The pilot program is different from the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team in the sense that both the police officer and crisis worker respond to calls together. “In the past there were many instances where the crisis worker arrives separately from the officer,” Beck said, adding having both police and crisis staff responding in unison is a great improvement for the patient. Another difference is the team will operate out of the police station. For the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team, crisis staff were dispatched separately from the CMHA crisis office, Hyslop said. “We designed the IMPACT team to be able to respond more quickly and swiftly and hopefully will demonstrate this model of care is maybe even more critical than the way we were running our joint mobile project before,” she said. CMHA also plans to implement five safe beds at the end of February as another diversion pathway for individuals who need extra support but do not need to attend the hospital. The IMPACT team will have direct access to these beds where individuals can be stabilized and stay up to 30 days. Due to COVID-19 and finalizing staff members, there has been difficulty opening the beds, Hyslop said, but expects everything to be in place for the end of next month. All police officers and crisis workers in the program participated in crisis intervention training, West said. An analysis of the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team which will continue to operate its two-person crisis response team seven days a week from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. found that there were significant barriers and not enough coverage for mental health calls within a 12 hour period, Hyslop said. Beck added the city’s emergency department was receiving patients with mental health concerns during all times of the day and night. Hyslop said she expects to see more interactions regarding mental health in the community with project IMPACT. “These numbers we have seen in the first few weeks are higher than what we expected,” she said. “With this new model, we are going to see interaction with individuals go up significantly.” Currently, there are four full-time positions for crisis staff filled. The CMHA is currently recruiting for two part-time crisis workers' positions to be filled. The project is scheduled to last a year. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Pop-up clinics testing for COVID-19 will be in Sydney, Antigonish and Halifax this week. Anyone 16 or older who has no COVID-19 symptoms, hasn't travelled outside of Nova Scotia, and hasn't been exposed to someone with symptoms or who tested positive, can take the test for free. People don't need to make an appointment, but must wear a mask and practise social distancing while at the clinic. The clinics will be held at the following locations at these times: Wednesday, Jan. 27 — Cape Breton University, Canada Games Complex, Sydney from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28 — St. Theresa's Hall, 285 St Peters Rd., Sydney from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29 — Amelia Saputo Centre, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 — Amelia Saputo Centre, St. Francis Xaviery University, Antigonish from noon to 6 p.m. Public Health is also encouraging post-secondary students in Halifax to get tested at Dalhousie University. "Testing is recommended for students even if they have not travelled, have not been at a location listed in an exposure notice, and have no symptoms. Testing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19," Public Health said Monday. That clinic will be held Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Dalhousie University (Goldberg Computer Science Building, University Avenue, Henry Street entrance) from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The testing is open to everyone, not just students. Anyone who does have symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and go here to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment. MORE TOP STORIES
MADRID — Barcelona rescheduled its presidential elections to March 7 and members will be allowed to vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic, the club said Tuesday. The elections had been originally scheduled for Jan. 24 but Barcelona was forced to delay the vote because of mobility restrictions imposed by the Catalan government during the pandemic. Voting will take place at six polling stations and by mail after the Catalan government made a change in the legislation “to allow for postal voting for sporting bodies,” Barcelona said. Members who are over 65 will be allowed to vote from home. Polling stations outside Catalonia, with the exception of Andorra, will not be used as originally planned because of the restrictions prompted by the pandemic. The club reiterated that “the elections are affected by the exceptional circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and for that reason they will be organized following at all times the recommendations of the health authorities in order to protect the health and safety of the voters.” “During this period the club will continue to work closely with the Catalan government and the health and local authorities to best organize the elections so that they can be carried out in the best conditions possible,” Barcelona said. The three presidential candidates are Joan Laporta, Víctor Font and Toni Freixa. Barcelona has been led by a caretaker board since former president Josep Bartomeu resigned in October. He faced the possibility of being ousted in a no-confidence motion supported by thousands of club members furious at the team’s poor performances and the club’s financial situation. Barcelona lost to Bayern Munich 8-2 in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in August, and its soaring debt forced the club to practically give away veterans like Luis Suárez to slash its salary burden. Lionel Messi later asked to leave the club but had his request denied. Barcelona plays against second-division club Rayo Vallecano in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. It trails Spanish league leader Atlético Madrid by 10 points and is three points behind second-place Real Madrid entering the second half of the season. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
Chatham-Kent’s three long-term care (LTC) homes currently in outbreak status were not among the first to get vaccinated after CK Public Health received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine on Monday. On Jan. 10, Chatham-Kent Public Health declared an outbreak at Fairfield Park LTC home, Wallaceburg. Another 11 individuals were reported to have contracted COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total up to 18. Seventeen of the cases are still active after one individual recovered. Tilbury Manor Nursing Home and Meadow Park Nursing Home, Chatham, were also declared to be in an outbreak over the weekend. To date, they each have one active case. Jeff Moco, spokesperson for CK Public Health, said as of yet no residents at those three LTC home have received the vaccine. On Monday, around 400 doses went primarily to Riverview Gardens, Chatham, and Copper Terrace, Chatham. “Those were two of the largest ones in Chatham-Kent and they're nearby, and so it’s about how do we maximize getting (the vaccines) out as soon as we can,” Moco said. Moco said the readiness of LTC homes to receive the vaccine was a factor in who got them first. CK Public Health only found out about the shipment after it arrived. “The sudden nature of things (Monday) was really, 'It's here; what do we do; let's go real fast' kind of thing,” he said. “And I think now that we know that there's going to be a supply coming hopefully ... readiness will be a little bit more apparent.” Readiness includes having things such as consent forms signed, having staff available and working around daily programming, Moco explained. There are no definitive plans yet for which LTC homes will receive the second shipment of vaccines expected to arrive next week, Moco said, adding that Public Health is focusing on meeting the provincial government’s goal of getting all LTC residents vaccinated by Feb. 5. Tracey Maxim, Fairfield Park administrator, did not respond to a request for comment regarding the vaccination of its residents. In a previous, e-mail she stated that the home will only be sending out e-mail updates twice a week and will not take individual media calls. Thirteen of Fairfield Park’s active cases are from residents and four staff members are also infected, according to Maxim. “We have taken swift action to halt the spread of the virus and are working in close partnership with Dr. (David) Colby (C-K medical officer of health) and the Chatham-Kent Public Health unit to ensure every possible step is taken to protect our residents and staff,” she said in a statement. All residents have been isolated and Maxim said they are vigilantly monitoring everyone for symptoms. All infected employees are off work. “Our dedicated staff are going above and beyond during this difficult time to ensure our residents’ safety and well-being,” she stated. There are an additional four workplace outbreaks and two congregate living outbreaks that CK Public Health is currently dealing with. As of Tuesday morning, active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent dipped to 93 after 28 recoveries and 10 new cases were reported. The cumulative total now sits at 1,121. Three individuals remain hospitalized and the death toll sits at five. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
MOSCOW — The Kremlin said Tuesday that Russia and the United States exchanged documents to extend the New START nuclear treaty. Both sides will now complete the necessary formalities in the coming days, the Kremlin said. Lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled parliament said it would complete the necessary moves to extend the pact this week. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. A senior Russian diplomat said Tuesday that Moscow and Washington were making quick progress to negotiate an extension of their last remaining nuclear arms control treaty. Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed a five-year extension of the New START treaty that is set to expire on Feb. 5, and the Kremlin quickly welcomed the offer. Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador at the international organizations in Vienna, said that Russia and the U.S. “are making remarkable and speedy progress” on the pact's extension. “There are reasons to expect that the relevant agreement can become a reality very soon,” he tweeted. Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian parliament's upper house, also said Monday that “the treaty must be preserved," adding that "we are now on the verge of that decision to be made and published.” The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance. Biden indicated during the campaign that he favoured the preservation of the New START treaty, which was negotiated during his tenure as U.S. vice-president. Russia has long proposed to prolong the pact without any conditions or changes, but the Trump administration waited until last year to start talks and made the extension contingent on a set of demands. The talks stalled, and months of bargaining have failed to narrow differences. The negotiations were also marred by tensions between Russia and the United States, which have been fueled by the Ukrainian crisis, Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other irritants. After both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019, New START is the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries. Earlier this month, Russia also announced that it would follow the U.S. to pull out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed surveillance flights over military facilities to help build trust and transparency between Russia and the West. While Russia always offered to extend New START for five years — a possibility that was envisaged by the pact at the time it was signed — Trump charged that it put the U.S. at a disadvantage and initially insisted that China be added to the treaty, an idea that Beijing bluntly dismissed. Trump’s administration then proposed to extend New START for just one year and also sought to expand it to include limits on battlefield nuclear weapons. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
The Safety Patrol at Swan Hills School is working hard to help their classmates get to and from school safely. Each school day, a team of patrollers arrives at the school early in the morning, and a team stays after school in the afternoon to guide pedestrians in safely crossing the street in front of the school. The Swan Hills School has had a Safety Patrol Program for many years, although the program had lapsed for a few years before being revived in 2015. Brenda Kuyek has been the program’s coordinator since it was reinstated and reports that “it has been a wonderful experience to work with the students and the district AMA Coordinator.” The Swan Hills Safety Patrol has achieved great success, earning the Silver Safety Standard award in the 2016 – 2017 school year, the Bronze Safety Standard award in 2017 – 2018, and a Gold Safety Standard award in 2018 – 2019. Unfortunately, the program came to an abrupt end last year due to COVID-19. The Safety Patrol at the Swan Hills School is comprised of students from grades 4, 5, and 6. Several of the current patrollers have participated in the program for three years; these more experienced patrollers are usually recognized and become Lead Patrollers. The Safety Patrol team usually meets every few months to review protocols and practices. Patrollers are usually out at the entrance to the teacher’s parking lot from 8:15 to 8:25 AM and from 3:20 to 3:40 PM. There is almost always an adult supervisor when the patrollers are on duty. The patroller’s weekly schedule is drawn up around student and parent preferences. Generally, the students who arrive at the school early are on the morning shifts, and the students who are picked up by parents or walk home from school are on the afternoon shifts. The School Safety Patrol Program in Alberta is sponsored by the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), with more than 500 schools and 17,000 students enrolled in the program across the province. AMA’s district coordinators ensure that the school Safety Patrol Programs have the appropriate supplies, such as safety vests, signs, pins, and certificates. AMA also funds and provides the training for this program, which usually involves the district coordinator visiting the school in the fall and spring to work with the students. The COVID-19 health restrictions did not allow for onsite training when school started up again this past fall, so a combination of online resources and videos was utilized under the supervision of the school’s program coordinator. The safety of the students in the Safety Patrol is of the utmost importance. The school usually tries to remind parents of their role in keeping students safe at the crosswalk through communications in the school newsletter, school announcements, and notes sent home with students. Sometimes the local RCMP and Peace Officer will make an appearance to show their support and to ensure that motorists are obeying the rules of the road. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
REGINA — Saskatchewan's social services minister says the province will soon end the practice of social workers or health professionals informing government officials when a baby is born to a mother deemed high risk.Lori Carr says the government heard from First Nations groups who wanted to see an end to so-called birth alerts.The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and other advocates have criticized the alerts as leading to high numbers of Indigenous newborns being separated from their mothers and taken into government care. The final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called on governments and child-welfare agencies to end the practice.The Saskatchewan government says 53 of 76 alerts issued last year involved Indigenous women.Carr says the practice is to end Feb. 1 and the ministry will work with community groups to support expectant mothers and ensure hospital staff contact these groups if there are concerns. "We'll just make sure that mother is in contact with their right community-based organization to get the best help at that point in time," she said Tuesday. "As we move forward, it's just honestly working so closely with those community-based organizations and our health-care professionals to ensure that nobody does fall through the cracks and that they get the right service at the right time."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2020 Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — A former senior civil servant accused of embezzling $11 million in Ontario COVID-19 relief money betrayed his own family, according to his wife and two sons. In sworn affidavits, the wife of Sanjay Madan and their two adult sons disavow any knowledge of his alleged scheme, which is now the subject of an unproven civil action against them all. According to his affidavit, Chinmaya Madan said he became suspicious of his father around June last year after discovering unexplained money in his bank accounts, some of which he didn't know existed. Only after repeated questioning did his father admit to having "diverted" money and promise to return it, the affidavit states. "I felt betrayed by my father," Chinmaya Madan said in the document filed in Superior Court. "I was and remain absolutely shocked by the allegations." The Ontario government's unproven civil claim names Sanjay Madan, who had a senior IT role and helped develop a computer application for the COVID-19 benefit for families with children. Also named are his sons Chinmaya Madan and Ujjal Madan, and his wife of 28 years, Shalini Madan. The claim alleges the Madan family, who all worked for the government in information technology, defrauded the province of at least $11 million. No criminal charges have been filed. The claim asserts the family and others illegally issued and deposited cheques under the program aimed at defraying the cost of children learning at home. The province alleges the Madans opened hundreds of accounts at the Bank of Montreal between April and May 2020, then deposited around 10,000 cheques made out to fictitious applicants. Sanjay Madan had always been "controlling and secretive" about money and managed the family's finances, his wife said in her court filing. However, the actions alleged against him were totally out of character, she said, adding she learned of 1,074 Canadian bank accounts in her name, only three of which she said she had opened. "I am at a complete loss to understand why Sanjay would risk everything in the manner he did. We needed nothing. It all makes no sense to me," Shalini Madan says. "The Sanjay the plaintiff describes is like a completely different person than the man who is my husband and the father of our children." In a statement Tuesday, the Madan family's lawyer called the wife and children "victims not villains." "The Sanjay Madan who is alleged to have behaved so inappropriately is not the man they have known," Christopher Du Vernet said. "They are still struggling to understand what prompted him to act as he did, and especially to have used his own family when doing so." The children claim they were the victims of identity theft. They say in their court filings that they believed their father was returning the "diverted" money and was making things right, but also say they wonder if he was just stringing them along. Du Vernet said last week Sanjay Madan had returned more than the $11 million the government alleges he misappropriated. He said his client "deeply regrets" his actions and was awaiting results of medical opinions on his mental health. His family, Du Vernet said, could only conclude Sanjay Madan had long suffered from a mental disorder that profoundly distorted his judgment. "Mr. Madan’s wife and children are learning that Mr. Madan has actually had two sides to him: the dedicated husband and father they saw, and the miscreant they never saw." The lawyer also said none of Sanjay Madan's family had spent any of the money he allegedly took. In his affidavit, Ujjawal Madan said he never had any reason to suspect any wrongdoing by his father. "As long as I have known him, he has been a conservative spender," he said. The government, which fired Madan in November, has a court order freezing the family's assets, which included properties in Toronto. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
A group of doctors and advocates are calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to address what they call a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in long-term care homes by bringing the military back for support and embarking on hiring and training drives.
Police say speed was a factor in a fatal crash on Six Nations of the Grand River on Thursday. A man driving a Kia Forte north on Tuscarora Road around 5:45 p.m. was killed after his speeding vehicle slammed into a pickup truck that had just cleared the four-way stop at Third Line. Witnesses called 911 after the crash, in which police said one of the vehicles rolled over. A woman in the pickup truck needed medical attention for her injuries. Police said they were children in the truck at the time of the crash. The OPP’s collision reconstruction team helped with the Six Nations Police investigation of the crash, which caused major damage to both vehicles and prompted the roads to the closed for some hours. Police say the victim’s family has been notified. No details about the driver were shared publicly. J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
Saskatchewan saw its deadliest day of the pandemic, with a record-high 14 fatalities reported on Tuesday. The previous record came on Jan. 21, when 13 people died after being diagnosed with the virus. The province has now reported 268 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic came to the province. Of those, 115 deaths have happened in 2021. One of the newly reported deaths Tuesday was a person was in their 40s who lived in the north central zone. Two people were in their 50s, with one from the Regina area and the other from the Saskatoon zone. Another two people were in their 60s from the Saskatoon zone. Three people were in their 70s and were from the Regina, Saskatoon and southeast zones. Six people were in their 80s and lived in the far northwest, north central, Regina, southeast and Saskatoon zones. New cases The province also reported 232 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total provincial caseload so far to 22,646. Here's where the new cases are: Far northwest: 23. Far north central: three. Far northeast: four. Northwest: 45. North central: 31. Northeast: seven. Saskatoon zone: 47. Central west: three. Central east: four. Regina zone: 46. South central: two. Southeast: six. There are 11 cases with pending locations. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 254, or 20.7 new cases per 100,000 people. The province says a total of 19,729 known cases have recovered from the virus, an increase of 839 since Monday. Of the province's total cases, 2,665 are considered active. There are 208 people with COVID-19 in hospital, 33 of whom are in the ICU. The province processed 2,160 COVID-19 tests on Monday. Public health measures extended The province is not implementing any new health measures to contain the spread of the virus, but it is extending the measures that currently are in place. The public health order will remain in effect until Feb. 19. They were set to expire on Jan. 29. The measures include a province-wide mask mandate, outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people maximum, while private indoor gatherings are limited to immediate households only. Visits to long-term care and personal care homes remain suspended except for compassionate reasons. Additionally, no alcohol sales are permitted after 10 p.m. in licensed establishments and sports remains suspended. A full list of current measures is available here. 3 businesses fined for not following public health order The government of Saskatchewan says enforcement of public health orders will continue to ensure businesses and events are brought into compliance as quickly as possible. On Tuesday, three businesses were fined under the Public Health Act. Crackers and the Crazy Cactus in Saskatoon and Stats Cocktails and Dreams in Regina have each been fined $14,000 each. Vaccine update The province administered 362 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in Saskatchewan to 34,080. The doses were administered in the following areas: Saskatoon: 241. Far North West: 22. North East: 23. North West: 66. Central East: 10. As of Tuesday, the province says it has administered 104 per cent of the number of doses it has officially received, with the overage due to efficiencies in drawing extra doses from vials.
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — A jersey, puck and stick signed by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky are among Ontario museum items up for auction.The 42-year-old a Guinness World Records Museum in Niagara Falls permanently closed in September.Ripley Auctions says memorabilia up for bids includes artifacts, sculpted characters, displays and exhibits.The online auction is scheduled for Feb. 12.Ripley says the museum featured visits and performances from record holders and people attempting to break records.The museum operated as a franchisee of the Guinness World Records book.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Regina– Methane, the key constituent of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas when emitted to the atmosphere unburned. In recent years there have been international, national and provincial efforts to reduce methane emissions. On Jan. 26, the Government of Saskatchewan announced support for three new projects that will reduce methane emissions, increase gas processing capacity and create jobs. The projects qualify for the Saskatchewan Petroleum Innovation Incentive (SPII) and the Oil and Gas Processing Investment Incentive (OGPII), which provide a percentage of transferable royalty credits once private funding has been dedicated and facilities have been built. “These projects, including one that’s first of its kind in the province, are already creating jobs,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said in a release. “They support Saskatchewan’s economic recovery and the environment at the same time, by capturing and commercializing methane, rather than venting or flaring it. Our SPII and OGPII incentives support oil and gas operations that want to grow and generate more value. Most importantly, they are structured so that government funding follows private investment, it doesn’t lead.” Highrock Resources Ltd., along with its joint venture partner, Kindersley-based Verdera Energy, is conditionally approved in the SPII program for their approximately $1.5 million investment in a new flare-gas-to-power project, which is the first of its kind in Saskatchewan. Executed at Highrock’s Minard oil battery, the project will repurpose a jet engine turbine and turn previously-flared gas into power for onsite use. It is expected to be operational in the winter of 2021. “We’re excited to get to work on this innovative project and want to thank the Saskatchewan government for launching the SPII,” Highrock Resources vice president of land and business development Paul Smith said. “This incentive allows us to partner with Verdera Energy to develop new innovative projects that help to significantly reduce emissions and help build Saskatchewan’s economy.” Steel Reef is conditionally approved in the OGPII program for a project to expand gas processing facilities, which has already created approximately 50 local construction jobs. The project in question is at Coleville, near Kerrobert, according to Steel Reef. This investment will add longevity and significantly increase the facility’s throughput capacity, allowing oil and gas producers to capture and sell methane gas that is brought to the surface as a byproduct of oil production. “As a company that specializes in flare gas capture, Steel Reef is pleased to collaborate with the Government of Saskatchewan and provide innovative solutions to support its emissions reductions goals,” Steel Reef Chief Operating Officer Austin Voss said. “These sorts of partnerships create a more sustainable and economic environment for investments in the commercial use of natural gas that was previously being flared or vented. This is a great outcome for the economy and environment.” Ridgeback Resources is also conditionally approved for the OGPII program to support construction of a new gas fractionation plant and supporting infrastructure near Innes, southeast of Griffin. This value-added project is currently under construction, with a total investment of approximately $12 million. Once operational, the facility will process methane gas to remove natural gas liquids and separate the liquids into products such as propane and butane for sale in the province. The facility allows oil producers to move away from flaring and venting at oil wells as a result of the realized liquids premium associated with the natural gas liquids, the release noted. “Saskatchewan’s business climate through programs like OGPII and efficient and predictable regulatory environment make this a very attractive jurisdiction to grow our company,” Ridgeback Resources chief executive officer J. Paul Charron said. Combined, these three projects are expected to reduce provincial methane emissions by up to 251,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, which is equivalent to emissions from the energy used in over 28,000 homes for a year. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
MERRITT, B.C. — Family members of a man missing in British Columbia's southern Interior are appealing for information on the second anniversary of his disappearance. Ben Tyner's father, mother and brother released the videotaped appeal from their home in Wyoming, urging anyone with information about the case to come forward. Tyner was 33 years old and managing the Nicola Ranch near Merritt when he was last seen leaving the compound on horseback, possibly to search for cattle in the surrounding hills about 300 kilometres northeast of Vancouver. His still-saddled horse was found two days later on a logging road outside the community, but there's been no sign of Tyner. Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, RCMP Southeast District spokesman, says police can't share the findings of the ongoing investigation but believe Tyner was the victim of homicide. His father, Richard Tyner, says the last two years have been the most "painful, excruciating experience ever" and the family hopes someone will provide details to answer their many questions. A $15,000 reward is offered by the Tyner family for information that locates their son and leads to the conviction of those responsible for his death. Richard Tyner says the case has not been forgotten by residents in the Merritt area. "We know many local people have continued to search for Ben, and for that we are extremely grateful," he says in the statement. "If anyone knows anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please inform the Southeast District Major Crimes Unit in Kelowna as soon as possible." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — British Columbia's public safety minister says a Vancouver couple accused of flying to Yukon to get a COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most "despicable" things he's heard in a long time. Mike Farnworth says the alleged actions of former Great Canadian Gaming Corp. CEO Rodney Baker and his wife Ekaterina Baker show a "complete lack of any sort of ethical or moral compass." Tickets filed in a Whitehorse court show the 55-year-old man and his 32-year-old wife were each charged with failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in Yukon. The allegations against them have not been proven in court and the tickets indicate the couple can challenge them. Ekaterina Baker did not immediately respond to calls and emails requesting comment while Rodney Baker did not immediately return a request for comment sent to Great Canadian Gaming, which accepted his resignation Sunday. Farnworth said the couple paid a "pretty high price," with Rodney Baker losing what the minister described as a "$10-million-a-year job." An information circular published by Great Canadian Gaming in March 2020 says Baker earned a total of about $6.7 million in compensation from the company in 2019. The tickets were issued on Thursday under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act and both people face fines of $1,000, plus fees. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press