Members of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation are electing a chief and council today.The first thing voters will encounter at the polling centres will be COVID-19 stations meant to prevent the spread of the virus, said Chief Electoral Officer Raelina Jobin.She said that includes a package with latex gloves, a disposable mask and a pencil to mark their ballot. Hand sanitizers will be available, said Jobin, and voters will put their names down on a list in case contact tracing is needed later.The voting process is set up to encourage physical distancing and voters will leave by a different door, she said.There are polling stations at the Heritage Hall in Carmacks, Jobin said, and in the Fireside Room at the Yukon Inn in Whitehorse.She said citizens can also arrange to cast a special ballot at a different location such as their home if they choose. CandidatesThe polling stations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.There are two people, Edward Skookum and Nicole Tom, running for chief.Two people, Shirley Bellmore and Willian Van Fleet are running for elder councillor.Terry Billy, Chantelle Blackjack, Toni Blanchard and Joseph O'Brien are running for one of the two Crow clan councillors.Six people, Veronica Burgess, Cody Cashin, Calvin Charlie, Bill Johnnie Jr., Jo-lene Mullett and Tanya Silverfox are in the race for one of the two Wolf clan councillors.
LONDON — British singer Rita Ora apologized Monday for breaking lockdown rules by holding a birthday party, saying it was “a serious and inexcusable error of judgment.”The Sun newspaper ran photos of Ora and others, including models Cara and Poppy Delevingne, arriving at the Casa Cruz restaurant in London’s Notting Hill area on Saturday.Under lockdown rules that end Wednesday, all pubs and restaurants in England must close except for takeout and delivery, and people are barred from meeting indoors with members of other households.Ora said on Instagram that she had held “a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.”“It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK,” she wrote.Ora, whose hits include “Anywhere” and “I Will Never Let You Down,” said she now realized “how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.”Reports of the party attracted widespread criticism.Asked about the event, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, said it was “important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules. That is for every member of the public, including celebrities.”(backslash)Britain has Europe's worst coronavirus death toll, at over 58,000 people.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
When Calvin Little died, no one noticed for a while. For the last two years of his life, the 63-year-old Torontonian lived in a nondescript east-end apartment — alone, save for a rotating cast of animals he would watch for periods of time. Little had lived inside the building since August 2018: a place for him to land after a decade of episodic homelessness. He was funny, friendly and charming, those who knew him said. But he kept his past close to his chest. Sometimes, he’d disappear for a day or two, or venture out to panhandle in the Beaches. When he died, he died in his apartment, quietly and alone. Neighbours were only alerted that something was wrong when a strange odour floated through the halls, police said. From there, they faced a challenge — no one knew how to find his next of kin. On Nov. 5, nearly a month after his death was first discovered, police turned their fruitless search over to the public — issuing a rare appeal for information leading to Little’s family. The investigator tasked to his case was puzzled. “Usually, it’s people in the building that give us good leads to the next of kin,” said Det. Const. Dennis Inniss. But none he spoke to seemed to know anything substantial about Little’s life. They couldn’t find a phone book, and had no luck via doctors, social services or the public trustee’s office. It took weeks of searching. Eventually, a spokesperson for the police force confirmed that Little’s next of kin was found. But his case, according to the head of the agency that housed him, is an illustration of a broader trend. “Throughout the city, vulnerable, older, single adults pass away, and too often, it’s totally anonymous,” said Mainstay Housing’s Gautam Mukherjee, adding that many who were once homeless were dying prematurely. “You see that here … it’s not just the hidden death, or the unacknowledged or unknown death, but also everything leading up to it that’s part of the story.” Before Calvin Little, there was John Cunningham. And before him, there was Harold Dawes. Each of the three men — Little in his 60s, the other two in their 70s — lived along the same streetcar line, and died at home. And each time, Inniss was tasked with finding their families. More than a year after Dawes died in 2018, Inniss said police decided to try something new by issuing a public appeal. Within a day, Dawes’s family was located. Deeming the tactic a success, Inniss asked police brass to do the same after Cunningham died in January. The plea did coax out some people who knew him. Neighbours, speaking to Toronto.com, painted a picture of a loner: a limo driver who told elaborate tales but, like Little, kept his personal life private. But none of the information led to his family, Inniss said. So in March, his remains were claimed by social services to be put to rest. While police appeals are rare, unclaimed remains are not. Coroner’s data shows that, in 2006, there were 145 unclaimed bodies across Ontario. Last year, there were 438, and so far in 2020, there have been more than 630, though there were some carry-overs from last year’s deaths. Separately, the number of Canadians living alone has risen from nine per cent of the population aged 15 or older in 1981, to 14 per cent in 2016. The data stoked concern about isolation and loneliness, especially among seniors, even before COVID-19 cloistered households away. Innis wishes apartments would keep records of their tenants’ family contacts for these situations. Little was asked repeatedly to give an emergency contact to staff, Mukherjee said, but he always declined. “We were it,” he said. Little was born March 5, 1957. Records tell part of his story, but there are gaps that those who spoke to the Star couldn’t fill. When his housing worker, Ben Kershaw, asked on occasion about Little’s past, he said the older man would brush the questions aside. “We have to respect other people’s way of life. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do,” Kershaw said. Some of their tenants, he added, just wanted a fresh start. By the time he arrived at Mainstay, Little had been well-known to Toronto’s Streets to Homes team for years. To many, he was known as “Papa Smurf,” a kind man who would give his own clothes and belongings to others, and make dream catchers or carvings for those he cared about. He tried to make people laugh, staff recalled, and focus on what good fortune he had. The Kingston Road unit was one of those strokes of good fortune. Kershaw remembers Little’s joy moving into unit 421, one of 136 bachelor apartments in the building. “He’d had enough of life on the streets. He wanted somewhere to call a home, somewhere to keep warm.” The east-end site offers various supports in addition to shelter. It’s unique among Mainstay’s buildings in that it accepts new tenants, including Little, by referral from Streets to Homes, instead of just through a waiting list. Little had been housed in at least two other locations before, between periods of homelessness — including in social housing. But it didn’t last. At Mainstay, Little cared for multiple animals — at first a dog, and later a cat that scampered out when Little answered his door, prompting Little to hurry down the corridor after it. He had challenges still. Inniss noted that Little battled cancer many years ago, and was in remission for five years before it returned again. “He dealt with it better than I imagine I would, or most people,” said Kershaw. The diagnosis didn’t seem to dampen his mood. To Mukherjee, Little’s death at just 63 years of age speaks to the toll that homelessness can take, even after someone is housed. In 2007, a Toronto street health report found that, compared to the overall population, homeless people were 20 times as likely to have epilepsy, five times as likely to have heart disease and four times as likely to have cancer, among ailments. It’s unclear whether Little’s health challenges were connected to the periods of time he spent homeless, but Mukherjee has found himself wondering. The average man’s life expectancy in Canada was 79 as of 2017. Little’s death, he noted, was more than a decade premature. Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the most common causes of death among older people who have been homeless, said Dr. Stephen Hwang, director of St. Michael’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, who described stark inequalities. “The life expectancy of someone who is homeless is comparable to someone living back in the Great Depression, before we had antibiotics or pretty much any of the effective medical treatments that we have today,” he said. Even if someone got into better housing and had more care, it may not be enough to undo the damage inflicted on their body — and their mind — during years of homelessness, said Dr. Sean Kidd, a senior psychologist with Toronto’s Centre for Addictions and Mental Health. COVID-19 may change things. Kidd expects it will take a year or two to see the impacts of economic instability and job losses on homelessness. But he also believes the pandemic has prompted officials to focus more on creating permanent housing, rather than temporary fixes. “These are the things that will turn the boat around,” Kidd said. Joe Cressy, Toronto’s health board chair, noted that public health data shows homeless men in the city living 20 years less on average than the overall population. “Entrenching homelessness, simply sheltering the homeless, does not reduce the lower life expectancy rates — ending homelessness does,” he said. For now, in far too many cases, people were dying without anyone to remember them, said Mukherjee. Toronto’s homeless memorial lists dozens of John and Jane Does for 2020 alone. But Little won’t be one of them. To those who knew him, he will be remembered for the animals he doted on, the artwork he made for those around him, and his perpetual sense of hope. “He was a really nice guy,” Kershaw said. “We miss him.”Victoria Gibson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
A Penetanguishene councillor wants staff to draw out a timeline to be included in the new graffiti removal policy. "I congratulate Andrea (Betty) for the report on the graffiti policy," Coun. Brian Cummings said at a recent meeting. "But the problem I still have is that our Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) policy and procedure manual has no timelines in it. We can do whatever we want to make these bylaws, but we have no timelines involved in correcting the graffiti or any of our bylaws. "I did ask for a timeline to remove graffiti, because it's very important that it gets removed immediately so it doesn't encourage more graffiti in town," he added. Betty, director of planning and community development, said the policy for the bylaw enforcement department does not have timelines, however, the property standards bylaw has some strict standards and rules. "There are some timelines for the removal of graffiti once the notice has been given from the town," she said, not specifying what the timelines were, and later admitting it requires clarity. "Each occurrence and complaint can vary and rely on outside sources." Having said that, Betty added that staff could take a look at that policy procedure on that bylaw, since it's about eight years old and worth a review. "We should have some sort of timeline on this," said Cummings. "I agree with the procedure, but there should be a timeline to the procedure." A quick look at the MLE policy and procedures document available online shows there are no timelines around notices of contravention issued under bylaw. CAO Jeff Lees said it would be useful to refer the item for review.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sled dog mushers in communities on Alaska's Yukon River have received thousands of pounds of donated food to help feed their animals during a shortage of the salmon that is normally a staple of their diet.Pet food manufacturer Purina donated 39,000 pounds (17,690 kilograms) of high-protein dog food last week to mushers in Tanana and Fort Yukon, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.The donation by the company, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., was prompted by the efforts of Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.Quinn-Davidson organized an online effort to help the sled dog mushers after several contacted the commission.The campaign raised more than $32,000 in addition to the donation from Purina.The Alaska Department of Fish and Game stopped subsistence fishing for fall chum salmon in some Yukon River areas, leaving mushers struggling to feed their dogs.The area has experienced a decline in king salmon runs, a primary human food source, for more than a decade, said Alida Trainor, a subsistence resource specialist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.The king salmon run was bad this year, but summer and fall chum salmon runs usually help make up the difference. This year’s combination of king salmon and chum salmon crashes was unprecedented, Trainor said.“It was a double whammy. They got hit twice,” Trainor said. “So it creates a food insecurity issue for humans and for dogs, but dogs are part of what we call the subsistence economy.”Quinn-Davidson and regional experts worry generous donations will not be enough. This year’s poor salmon run affects more than just the mushers, who are often integral components of the subsistence economy of entire communities.“It’s a tradition, a culture that’s been passed down for years, and without being able to feed these dogs this winter, there’s some mushers who are going to have to sell them or give them away, or worse,” Quinn-Davidson said.The Associated Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday demanded answers on the exact delivery date and quantities of COVID-19 vaccines for the province - when such information is available - from the Canadian federal government and from pharmaceutical companies. The premier called it “unacceptable” that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on vaccine efforts and no delivery date for them is yet to be provided.
OTTAWA — Kawartha Dairy Limited is recalling certain ice cream products in Ontario due to "possible presence of pieces of metal," Health Canada says. The Kawartha Dairy flavours affected by the recall are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in both 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages, and Mint Chip ice cream in 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages.Health Canada says consumers should not eat the four recalled products, and retailers, restaurants, and institutions should not sell or use them.Recalled ice cream should be thrown out or returned to the location where it was purchased.Health Canada says the recall was triggered by the company on Sunday, adding the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other items.There have been no reported injuries associated with eating the recalled flavours as of Sunday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — The co-author of the million-selling “Game Change” has a book of his own coming about the 2020 election.Simon & Schuster announced Monday that John Heilemann is working on a “dramatic, first-hand account” of Joe Biden's victorious campaigns over his Democratic Party rivals in the primaries and over President Donald Trump in the general election. Heilemann had collaborated with Mark Halperin on “Game Change,” about the 2008 race, and on “Double Down,” about 2012.Halperin has since faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He was dropped by Showtime, where he and Heilemann hosted the political series “The Circus,” and a planned book by the two authors on the 2016 campaign was cancelled by Penguin Press.Heilemann's new book, currently untitled, draws on three decades of covering the former vice-president, who was Barack Obama's running mate in 2008 and 2012. The publication date is not yet scheduled.“I first met Joe Biden in 1986 when I was in college and he was getting ready to run for president the first time, and I’ve been following his ups and downs, his triumphs and tragedies, ever since,” Heilemann said in a statement. “The story of how, against all odds and against the apocalyptic backdrop of America in 2020, Biden rallied in the winter of his life to defeat Trump — and, in the eyes of many, to save the country — is one of the great political tales of this or any age, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to tell it.”Screen rights have been acquired by Showtime, where Heilemann still hosts "The Circus." The HBO adaptation of "Game Change" won five Emmys and three Golden Globe awards.Heilemann is national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and co-founder of the political video platform The Recount. He is also the author of “Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era,” which came out in 2001.His current project adds to the list of books expected on the 2020 race, which includes works by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times and by Ryan Lizza of Politico and co-writer Olivia Nuzzi of New York magazine.Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
Le Ministère de l’environnement recense encore, en date du 20 octobre dernier, 50 terrains qui sont considérée comme contaminés, à divers degrés, sur le territoire de la Ville de Boucherville. Des terrains de station-service, des terrains d’entreprises du parc industriel mais également des terrains de quelques écoles et plusieurs terrains privés. La listes des terrains considérés comme contaminés compte 86 sites à Boucherville mais 36 d’entre eux ont été complètement réhabilités au fil des 20 dernières années ayant fait l’objet de travaux d’excavation pour y retirer la terre contaminée. Dans plusieurs cas, la contamination se limite à la présence d’hydrocarbure parce qu’un réservoir d’huile ou d’essence a, un jour, laissé écouler plusieurs litres de liquide, contaminant du même coup le terrain. Au nombre des 50 terrains inclus dans le répertoire du ministère de l’Environnement, quatre d’entres eux contaminent également les eaux sous-terraines avec des matières diverses. Par exemple, le terrain des Promenades Montarville écoule des hydrocarbures, le 500 Mortagne, contamine l’eau sous-terraine en raison de la présence de benzène, du toluène et de l’éthylbenzène. Au 1270 Nobel, ce sont des hydrocarbures, du pétrole entre autres qui coulent dans le sous-sol du terrain. Enfin, le parc des Iles de Boucherville est aussi dans la liste car le terrain laisse écouler du bisphénol poly chloré et du phosphore dans la nappe d’eau sous terraine. Au nombre des autres terrains qui présentent des traces de contamination, selon le même répertoire, on note de nombreux terrains dans les parcs industriels ainsi que d’anciens sites de station-service. Dans la majorité des cas ce sont des hydrocarbures qui ont été identifiés par le ministère, comme contaminent. Sur d’autres sites on note la présence de cuivre, de trichloréthylène des métaux, du benzène de l’éthylène, du nickel, du cadmium, du plomb, de l’arsenic, du chrome et du zinc. La fameuse carrière Landreville sur le rang d’Anjou y figure bien sur mais le club nautique aussi tout comme les écoles Antoine-Girouard, Pierre-Boucher et Oriente Impact, dans le Vieux Boucherville. Au chapitre des terrains résidentiels, on note trois cas, par exemple, sur la rue Nicolas-Lemaire, un sur la rue Benjamin-Sulte, un sur la rue De Grosbois, un sur Louis-Joseph-Lafortune, un sur la rue De Muy et un autre sur de Touraine. La liste complète des terrains considérés comme contaminé, à Boucherville peut être consultée sur le site internet du ministère de l’Environnement et de la lutte aux changements climatiques au www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca . Et à simple titre de comparaison, la situation n’est guère mieux à Longueuil ou on recense plus de 300 terrains contaminés dont ceux des hôpitaux Pierre-Boucher et Charles-Lemoyne ainsi que plusieurs autres dans le secteur du Parcours du Cerf. François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
Une halte avec restauration rapide, station-service et dépanneur pourrait voir le jour près de la future autoroute 35, à Saint-Armand. Une demande pour modifier les usages du terrain est en cours d’approbation à la MRC Brome-Missisquoi. La municipalité a été approchée par une entreprise à numéro pour réaliser un tel projet, il y a quelques années déjà, raconte la mairesse Caroline Rosetti. Bien qu’elle ne connaisse pas les détails du projet, elle sait qu’il s’agira d’un endroit où il sera possible de s’arrêter pour manger un repas d’une bannière de restauration rapide et pour faire le plein d’essence avant de passer les douanes américaines ou en arrivant au Canada. Cependant, pour permettre cet usage, la municipalité a d’abord dû s’adresser à la MRC Brome-Missisquoi afin qu’elle modifie son schéma d’aménagement pour ce lot. Ensuite, Saint-Armand devra modifier son règlement d’urbanisme pour se conformer aux nouveaux usages. Le projet verrait le jour à l’intersection de la route 133 et des chemins Champlain et du Moulin, là où sera construit un carrefour giratoire par le ministère des Transports du Québec. Le nouveau zonage ne concernerait que le terrain ciblé et n’affecterait pas les usages des lots voisins. «C’est une pointe qui est déjà déstructurée par plein d’usages, explique Nacim Khennache, aménagiste à la MRC Brome-Missisquoi. Il y a une dizaine de résidences, une entreprise de transport et un garage dans ce coin-là. Nous, on va chercher le bout de la pointe juste à côté du carrefour giratoire, une petite superficie qu’on va dédier à un service routier de transit, à proximité de la sortie de l’autoroute, juste pour que ce soit logique pour que les utilisateurs de la route puissent, avant de passer les lignes, aller se restaurer ou s’approvisionner en essence.» Répondre à un besoin «C’est un bon endroit pour ça», ajoute Mme Rosetti. «Et c’est une bonne chose parce qu’on n’encourage pas nécessairement les camions-remorques à entrer dans le village.» La dernière station-service à proximité de l’autoroute, pour les camions et automobilistes qui se rendent aux douanes de Saint-Armand par l’A35 puis par la route 133, par exemple, est à Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. M. Khennache précise qu’il y en a une à Saint-Alexandre, mais plus loin de la voie rapide. Ce projet, s’il est accepté, permettra de répondre à un besoin. Une séance d’information publique se tiendra par visioconférence, le 2 décembre dès 19 h, en cliquant sur ce lien. La consultation publique par écrit se tiendra du 3 au 17 décembre. Les questions et commentaires pourront être envoyés à M. Khennache par courriel au firstname.lastname@example.org.Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
BRUSSELS — With nothing on their agendas for months to come, music festival organizers in Belgium want to use their know-how to help the country's coronavirus vaccination campaign.The Belgian government has set a goal of vaccinating about 70% of the country's population, about 8 million people, when approved COVID-19 vaccination shots become available.As the vaccines are expected to arrive in multi-dose vials for shots to be administered all on the same day, Belgium health authorities are planning to vaccinate people in groups as much as possible. The task will pose many logistical challenges, including the creation of vaccination centres that festival organizers say they can help set up.Enjoying a strong reputation in the music world, Belgian festival experts have proven experience in both building huge pop-up structures and in crowd management.With the music industry hit hard by the pandemic's economic, several festivals in the French-speaking region of Wallonia and the Brussels area have created a federation to better defend their interests. They have a large network of technicians who are currently unemployed and are ready to help out.“Our sector has been at a standstill for many months, and our many staff are eager to bring their creativity and dedication to the fight against coronavirus," said federation president Damien Dufrasne.One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported some 577,000 confirmed cases and more than 16,500 deaths linked to the virus.Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said COVID-19 vaccinations could start in the European Union's 27 nations before the end of December. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, has agreements with six potential vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh contract. The deals allow it to purchase over 1.2 billion doses, more than double the population of the EU.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
NEW YORK — On Dec. 31, China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin to the World Health Organization. By Jan. 31, WHO declared an outbreak of a novel coronavirus a global health emergency. Come March 11, the world was facing down the COVID-19 pandemic.Parents sat children down to explain what a pandemic is. Related terms usually restricted to medicine and science stormed into everyday conversation. Over time, we were pandemic baking and pandemic dating and rescuing pandemic puppies from shelters.All of which led Dictionary.com on Monday to declare “pandemic” its 2020 word of the year.Searches on the site for the word spiked more than 13,500% on March 11, senior research editor John Kelly told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the announcement.“That's massive, but even more telling is how high it has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year. Month over month, it was over 1,000% higher than usual. For about half the year, it was in the top 10% of all our lookups.”Another dictionary, Merriam-Webster, also selected pandemic as its word of the year earlier Monday.Kelly said pandemic beat out routine lookups usually intended to sort more mundane matters, such as the differences between “to, two and too.”“That's significant,” Kelly emphasized. “It seems maybe a little bit obvious, and that's fair to say, but think about life before the pandemic. Things like pandemic fashion would have made no sense. The pandemic as an event created a new language for a new normal.”Lexicographers often factor out routine lookups when evaluating word trends.The pandemic, Kelly said, made us all worthy of watercooler chatter with Dr. Anthony Fauci as our knowledge grew about aerosols, contact tracing, social distancing and herd immunity, along with the intricacies of therapeutic drugs, tests and vaccines that can help save lives.“These were all part of a new shared vocabulary we needed to stay safe and informed. It's incredible,” said Kelly, who works with a team of lexicographers to come up with words of the year based primarily on site traffic.Asymptomatic, furlough, non-essential, hydroxychloroquine and a host of other pandemic-related words saw massive increases in lookups as well.Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, chief executive officer of Dictionary.com, said one key ingredient in the hunt for the site's word of the year is sustained interest over time. Pandemic met that standard.“This has affected families, our work, the economy,” she said. “It really became the logical choice. It's become the context through which we've had dialogue all through 2020. It's the through line for discourse.”The word pandemic has roots in Latin and the Greek pandemos, meaning “common, public.” Breaking it down further, “pan” means “all” and “demos” means “people.” As evidenced in a medical text by a Dutch-born physician, Gideon Harvey, pandemic entered English in the 1660s in the medical sense, Kelly said. He noted that “demos” is also the basis for the word democracy.A pandemic is defined by Dictionary.com as a disease “prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.” Its broader sense, as evidenced in its roots, can be used thusly: “A pandemic fear of atomic war.”Dictionary.com also noted other worthy search trends beyond the pandemic. After the May 25 death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, words around racial justice experienced spikes, including fascism, anti-fascism, defund and white fragility.“There was no way for us to leave that out of the conversation this year,” Kelly said.Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
For Norma and Darren Dingwell, Wednesday mornings are spent with a handful of volunteers, peeling and chopping vegetables in the kitchen of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Montague, P.E.I.The couple has been hosting a weekly Wednesday night meal for people in the area for several years now. This spring, COVID-19 restrictions put that weekly tradition on hold temporarily, but the couple has found a way to keep it going, while adhering to public health measures."It's something that people had looked forward to for almost four years," said Norma."So then when COVID hit and everything had to stop, you know, we'd run into people that would come and they'd be like, 'Can you do it again? Can you tell us if you're going to do it again?' So, yeah, it was nice to start back up again."Before the pandemic, people would gather in person to enjoy the weekly dinner together. When that was no longer an option, Norma reached out to the Chief Public Health Office to find a way to make it work. > It's the best part of my week. — Darren DingwellNow, the meal is served in compostable takeout containers for people to enjoy at home. Masks are worn and hand sanitizer is used. And people come in one door, and go out another. 'Feeling of community'Norma said many people in her community struggle to pay for food, or go without so that their children have enough. She said the need for this meal has only grown — and it was important to find a way to keep offering it. "It saddens us that so many people rely on something like this," Norma said, adding that 80-90 people usually show up for the weekly meal. "But then we are very blessed that we are able to provide even just one good meal a week for people. It's something that they don't have to worry about, a Wednesday meal. They know that they can get one here." The meals are prepared entirely by volunteers, with food paid for entirely through donations. "It's the best part of my week," said Darren, who comes up with the meal plans — everything from spaghetti and meatballs to roasted vegetables served with pork gravy and homemade biscuits. "We still want to make sure that people have that feeling of community, that there is somebody there for them … Even though we can't dine in and share a meal together, we can still look after one another this way. And this, we felt it was very important." People asked to book ahead for Christmas mealThe couple plans to host a Christmas meal, as they usually do, but with some changes: It'll be a take-out dinner, and this year, the pair is offering to deliver it anywhere in the Montague area. "We want to get the word out to people that we're here on Christmas Day," Darren said."And don't go without. We're going to have all kinds." The couple asks that anyone interested in having a meal on Christmas Day contact them by Dec. 17, so that they know how much food to purchase and prepare. More P.E.I. news
People travelling from Toronto and Peel regions to visit inmates at jails and prisons in other areas across the province are a real concern for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. Rob Finucan, union president for Ontario, said the union would like in-person visits with inmates to be suspended, including at Warkworth Institution medium-security federal prison, southeast of Peterborough. Finucan said in-person visits were prohibited at the start of the pandemic, when case numbers were far less than they are now. “I know visits in person are important, but during this time, they do have the ability to do video visits,” he said. Government and health officials in Toronto and Peel regions have been asking residents to travel only if it’s absolutely essential, Finucan said. “And then we’re allowing them to come for visits to our areas … so that’s our main concern is that it’s going to come into our institutions through visits,” he said. While keeping workers and inmates in institutions COVID-free is important, keeping community members where intuitions are located safe is also crucial, Finucan said. “Obviously when people are coming from Toronto or Peel into our communities, especially the small communities like Warkworth, they’re probably going to stop for gas, maybe stop for something to eat, and so there’s that chance of community spread also,” he said. The union doesn’t expect in-person visits to be stopped indefinitely, but until the number of cases start to decrease, especially in the hot spot regions, Finucan said it’s ludicrous that those visitors are still allowed into institutions. Currently, the health and safety measures in place are allowing fewer visitors than usually permitted into the visiting area at once and visitors must socially distance from both workers and inmates. Some visits last longer. “The private family visits (PFVs), they come in for three days and then the inmate has to self-isolate for 14 days after the PFV before they go back into the institution,” Finucan said. Although there have been cases within institutions across the country, Grand Valley Institution for Women located in Kitchener has been the only Ontario facility to have a COVID-19 case, Finucan said. There have been 85 inmates at Warkworth Institution medium-security federal prison who have been tested for the virus, with 84 testing negative and one awaiting test results, Correctional Service Canada reported Friday. Health measures There are measures in place to protect the health of staff, inmates and visitors at Canadian correctional facilities. Masks provided for inmates, if required; Self-screening and temperature checks for staff; Increased cleaning measures; Testing of inmates provided by health units; New inmates isolated for 14 days and tested before joining general population; Expanding use of temporary absences; Visitor access must be confirmed in advance and are by appointment only; Health screening required for visitors. Visitors with symptoms will not be permitted to visit; Masks required and must be supplied by visitors; Professional visits, including legal counsel, will continue with additional screening.Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
Edward Blake Rudkowski was a member of Nunatsiavut, and before that the Labrador Inuit Association, for 34 years. He ran successfully to represent Labrador Inuit living outside the land claim as an ordinary member in 2017, was re-elected in 2018 and was named the Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly, the legislative branch of the Inuit government. That was, until Nov. 20, when Blake Rudkowski was told he was no longer a member of Nunatsiavut, his status as a beneficiary was revoked and he could no longer hold the political office he had been elected to. Blake Rudkowski told SaltWire Network he was told he didn’t meet the eligibility requirements and was just over 17 per cent Inuit. According to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, there are a number of requirements that can lead to a person being a beneficiary, including that a person is one-quarter Inuit, is a descendant of someone who settled permanently in the land claim area prior to 1940 with no Inuit ancestry or is adopted by a beneficiary. “To be clear, they didn’t tell me I wasn’t Inuit,” he said. “They said I wasn’t Inuit enough.” He says he would like to know what formula they use to come up with that determination, and what factors were taken into account to determine it. He’d also like to know why that number matters more than what was determined when he was first accepted as a member of the Labrador Inuit Association 34 years ago. His status as a beneficiary of Nunatsiavut had been challenged two years ago and he’d been going through the process ever since. “Immediately after the election, literally the day after, there were two challenges to my membership eligibility,” he said. “I’d been dealing with this behind the scenes since then.” He said the two people who challenged his membership were political rivals — one a person he had beaten in an election and another a former politician — and the timing of it seemed curious to him. “It felt like membership was being used as a tool of political retribution,” he said. Having Nunatsiavut beneficiary status challenged is like coming in as a new applicant and is a daunting task that, successful or not, can take up a lot of time. In 2013 an amendment was made to the Nunatsiavut Beneficiaries Enrolment Act that allows any member to challenge the membership of another. Blake Rudkowski said this allows people to try to use membership as a tool to try to harm their enemies. “What this does is it allows someone who is a malcontent or has a beef with someone else a vehicle to exact some sort of retribution. At minimum, even if it's not successful, it can cause someone a significant amount of mental anguish.” What this has created, Blake Rudkowski said, is a climate where some people are afraid to speak up about issues they have with the government for fear they may have their rights as a beneficiary stripped away, or at the very least have it challenged. When he was in government, it appeared there were an increasing number of memberships being challenged, he said, to the point where people were asking whether a full review was underway. He said he also heard complaints that the process was inconsistent, which he believes to be the case. “You have a lot of cases where it’s one brother in, one sister out, one cousin in, one cousin out, so there’s an inconsistency across the board which speaks to the fact that maybe there’s a problem with the process. That’s been a long-standing critique of many beneficiaries, there’s an inconsistent application of the rules.” Blake Rudkowski said he doesn’t know what steps he’ll take next, and while it appears his career as a politician in Nunatsiavut has come to an end it won’t be the last time people see him the political arena. The Nunatsiavut Government put out a statement Monday about Blake Rudkowski’s removal, saying he was removed from the government once his eligibility as a beneficiary had been revoked. “First Minister Tyler Edmunds reminds beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement that the Nunatsiavut Government plays no role whatsoever in determining the membership of any individual,” the statement read. “The beneficiary enrolment process is independent from the Nunatsiavut Government.” SaltWire asked to speak to someone with the Nunatsiavut Government about the requirements and the process, but an interview was not available before deadline.Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
VAUGHAN, Ont. — York Region has confirmed 11 cases of COVID-19 linked to a soccer game at a sports facility in Vaughan, Ont. The public health unit says about 25 people played at TRIO Sportsplex and Event Centre on Nov. 11 and 15. It says the players wore masks during the game but not while they were in the change rooms. Most of the cases were Toronto residents, with some from surrounding areas. Team sports were allowed in York Region at the time but screening of patrons was required. The region moved to stricter pandemic restrictions on Nov. 16, prohibiting team sports except for training. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
The Downtown Windsor Winter Market has been cut short as the region enters the province's red-control COVID-19 measures. This weekend was the last for the city's winter market as Windsor-Essex adopted new restrictions Monday under the red-control COVID-19 provincial category. The market was an extension of the summertime Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market and was expected to run until Dec. 12 on the ground floor of the Pelissier Parking Garage. "The severity of circumstances that have caused our region to be moved to red means we are left with no option but to close the Winter's Market," Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association chair Brian Yeomans said in a news release. "On the grounds of public safety, and in an effort to protect our visitors, vendors, volunteers and staff and to contain the virus, we are unable to proceed with the market at this time."Under the new restrictions, only 25 people are allowed to gather for outdoor events.A full breakdown of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario's red level can be found on the province's website here. More from CBC Windsor
Nova Scotia reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, giving the province a total of 138 active cases.One of the new cases, linked to Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, was announced late Sunday but reported in Monday's figures. The other 15 are in the central zone.The Nova Scotia Health Authority said 628 people were tested at a pop-up clinic in Dartmouth, yielding six positive results. Those people were told to self-isolate and make arrangements to take a standard test. The health authority completed a total of 3,054 tests Sunday. It also reported that on Friday, it wrongly reported nine positive cases, when in fact it was eight. "We continue to see strong interest in the asymptomatic pop-up rapid testing locations, which shows Nova Scotians, including young Nova Scotians, are taking this virus seriously," said Premier Stephen McNeil in a news release."I want to thank all who have come out for a test, as well as the volunteers and health staff at the sites. We are also seeing impressive test numbers at the labs, a reflection of the hard work of staff there. These are important pieces of our collective effort to contain the virus."On Monday evening, the Nova Scotia Health Authority announced two sites where potential COVID-19 exposures may have taken place: * East Peak Indoor Climbing at 6408 Quinpool Rd. on Nov. 21 between 1:30-4:30 p.m. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 5. * Heartwood Cafe at 3061 Gottingen St. on Nov. 21 between 4:00-7:00 p.m. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 5.Anyone exposed to the coronavirus at these locations is asked to call 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing even if they don't have symptoms.Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said experimental research detected COVID-19 in Wolfville's wastewater."Although it is not definitive, it could be a sign that COVID-19 has found its way into that community," he said in the news release. The province is operating pop-up COVID-19 rapid testing clinics Monday in Wolfville and Halifax.The Wolfville tests will be done at 117 Front Street between 1:30-8 p.m. The Halifax testing site will be at the YMCA at 2269 Gottingen Street from 1:30-8 p.m. Lineups could stretch outside, so people are encouraged to wear warm clothing. The rapid test clinics will test anyone over the age of 16 who has no symptoms of COVID-19, has not travelled recently, and has had no contact with someone known to have COVID-19. The two clinics won't test people who have been at an exposure site, or those who work in the hospitality industry.The Department of Health and Wellness said people who work in bars or restaurants should not go to pop-up sites, but instead book a test online at 811.novascotia.ca.Nova Scotia started using pop-up clinics to test for COVID-19 last week.7 health-care workers test positiveNova Scotia Health has resumed releasing the number of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.As of Monday, seven health-care workers have tested positive in the province. There are six active cases and one resolved case.Public Health says 29 health-care workers are in isolation "as a result of moderate to high-risk staff-to-staff contact in the workplace." There haven't been any patient-to-staff risks identified at this time.COVID cases in the Atlantic provincesThe latest numbers from the Atlantic provinces on Monday are:SymptomsAnyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811: * Fever. * Cough or worsening of a previous cough.Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the website or call 811: * Sore throat. * Headache. * Shortness of breath. * Runny nose.MORE TOP STORIES
The P.E.I. government has provided funding for a Summerside group that hopes to learn more about the challenges faced by French-speaking women when dealing with family violence.Actions Femmes I.P.E. was founded in the 1970s to support Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island. It was recently given $10,000 for a project that will not only consult survivors of violence about their experiences, but also share those voices.Group executive director Johanna Venturini said the province's Acadian and French-speaking populations are largely in rural areas, and that can create challenges beyond any language barriers."When you are in a very small rural community, everyone knows each other. Sometimes it can be helpful but we know that sometimes people can talk a lot and gossip can circulate very quickly," said Venturini."If you are experiencing violence, you don't really want that everyone knows about it. So it can be sometimes why a victim will prefer to hide in a situation and not want to leave her home."By talking to survivors of violence, Actions Femmes hopes to learn more about how to help Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island.By sharing their stories, the group intends to let people know that domestic violence can happen even in small communities, and it is everyone's business to help stop it.There are a number of avenues for women experiencing domestic violence to seek help, said Venturini. * 911 for immediate emergencies. * P.E.I. Rape and Sexual Assault Centre. * Family Violence Prevention Services. * 211 for help navigating the services available.While primarily English, these services do have bilingual staff available. Actions Femmes wants to learn how these services are helping French-speaking women, as well as any ways they might be failing them.More from CBC P.E.I.
WINNIPEG — Artis Real Estate Investment Trust says four trustees have tendered their resignations and both its chief executive officer and chief financial officer will retire as part of a deal reached with private equity firm Sandpiper Group which sought changes at the trust.Under the terms of the agreement, Artis chief executive Armin Martens will retire effective Dec. 31 and chief financial officer Jim Green will retire after the trust's 2021 annual meeting of the unitholders.Sandpiper's slate of five nominees, including Sandpiper chief executive Samir Manji, will join two of the existing trustees — Ben Rodney and Lauren Zucker — to make up the new board.Artis proposed a plan in September that would see it spin off its retail portfolio into a new real estate trust and focus on its North American industrial and office businesses. Sandpiper opposed the plan and said it would cut costs and increase distributions if it won its fight to replace the Artis board. Jetport Inc., the trust's largest unitholder, had said it would vote in favour of the Sandpiper board nominees at a meeting set for February.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:AX.UN)The Canadian Press