Yahoo Sports NFL reporter Eric Edholm breaks down the Wentz trade and what it means for the Colts and Eagles movign forward.
Yahoo Sports NFL reporter Eric Edholm breaks down the Wentz trade and what it means for the Colts and Eagles movign forward.
One would be hard pressed to find a more energetic person than Meisam Sharifi, an Iranian immigrant to Toronto, Canada. He loves talking about politics and his vision for how the world ought to change. “There is something fundamentally wrong with society. You see, all the people who do the jobs don’t get the benefits. The people who get all the money are the ones who do nothing,” Sharifi told NCM. Meisam Sharifi is not his real name. He is active with the group Fightback, a Marxist-Leninist political action group based in Toronto. He still has family in Iran and he is worried the country’s secret police, the Basij, might harass them for adopting a belief system contrary to the fundamentalist government of the country. He asked NCM to use Meisam Sharifi to protect his identity. Sharifi is a proud Canadian citizen now, but there is one aspect of Canadian society and policy that dissatisfies him: Canada takes a hands-off approach to getting immigrants politically involved. “I personally didn’t have any education about [Canada’s system of government]. I kind of learned that because I am active with Fightback,” Sharifi told NCM. Sharifi came to Canada in 2009 at the age of 19, which means he did not attend any civics classes in Canada. “I’m going through my memories; I think there was something in the immigration test. I think there was a little bit about how the system works. But it was very very basic,” he said. Last December, the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) placed Canada in the top five for immigration policy out of 52 countries for the year 2019. This was cause for celebration for a number of news outlets, especially in the wake of the Trudeau government’s sweeping changes to immigration policy. However, while Canada’s overall policy scored well, the country did very poorly in political participation. Canada can be proud of the fact that immigrants have great access to education, are broadly protected from discrimination and can unify with their families. But when it comes to immigrants participating in Canada’s democracy, the international metric says the country leaves a lot to be desired. MIPEX’s creators did not return NCM’s requests for interviews. MIPEX measures policy along eight metrics and assigns scores between zero and 100 for each metric by country. They examine current policies against the highest standards set by scholars. Canada’s score in areas where it did well is by no means perfect, but it is still head and shoulders better than the rest. The country did the best in terms of anti-discrimination, with a perfect score across all subcategories. But in the subcategories of political participation, it’s a failing grade. Right to vote: 0. Strength of national consultative body: 0. Active information policy: 50. Canada did get top scores in political party inclusion and funding of national immigrant bodies, but that only bumped the overall average score to 50. By contrast, Finland scored higher than Canada overall as well as in the category of political participation. There was not a single score of zero in their report card and the lowest score they received was a 75, in the right to vote category. Foreigners do have the right to vote in municipal elections in the country and even to run in them as candidates, as long as they have lived in the municipality in question for at least two years. Newcomers from the European Union (EU) can also vote in the EU parliamentary elections. National elections are reserved for Finnish citizens only. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, just to name a few, have policies similar to those of Finland. The report also praises Finland’s National Advisory Board on Ethnic Relations. The board works in conjunction with the country’s Ministry of Justice and is a network of experts that provide consultation on policy concerning minority groups. Finns describe it as “national forum for dialogue. The Board brings together migration experts from national, regional and local levels ranging from public officials to civil society representatives.” “Political mobilization, getting people to vote, was never really part of the multicultural idea in the first place [in Canada],” University of Toronto professor of sociology Jeffrey Reitz told NCM. Reitz did provide one caveat regarding studies such as MIPEX. He believes indexes like MIPEX are a “useful overview of policies” but “it has to be recognized that they are not validated in the same way that, for example, a vaccine is validated. [MIPEX] is in the category of best practices.” Mansoor Tanweer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Canadian Media
WASHINGTON — Several witnesses have been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury considering charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is already facing state murder charges in the death of George Floyd, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The Justice Department’s federal civil rights investigation has been focused on Chauvin and some of the witnesses, including other officers who worked with Chauvin, according to the person, who could not publicly discuss the non-public proceedings and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. The New York Times first reported that a grand jury was hearing testimony against Chauvin. The Justice Department declined to comment. Jury selection begins in Chavin's state case on March 8 — he faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges — with opening statements scheduled for March 29. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and beyond and led to a nationwide reckoning on race. Three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter and are scheduled to face trial in August. Like Chauvin, all three were fired soon after Floyd’s death. The increased federal grand jury activity in connection with Floyd’s death comes as the Justice Department, under President Joe Biden, is expected to focus more on civil rights issues, criminal justice overhauls and policing policies in the wake of nationwide protests over the death of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. At his confirmation hearing this week, Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s nominee for attorney general, emphasized his commitment to combating racial discrimination in policing, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that America doesn’t “yet have equal justice.” Former Attorney General William Barr had previously said that, as is standard department policy, the Justice Department was first going to allow a state prosecution to move forward before the federal investigation would be resolved. It’s unclear what specifically prompted the increased grand jury activity in the last few weeks, though most federal grand juries are discharged after about 18 months. Chauvin was prepared to plead guilty to a state charge of third-degree murder in Floyd’s death before Barr personally blocked the plea deal last year, two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the talks told the AP. Barr rejected the deal in part because he felt it was too soon as the investigation into Floyd’s death was still in its relative infancy, the officials said. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the talks. ___ Associated Press writer Doug Glass contributed from Minneapolis. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
(Scott Neufeld/CBC - image credit) Alberta Health Services has discontinued legal action against a central Alberta cafe owner who operated for weeks in defiance of public health orders intended to curb the spread of COVID-19. With restrictions in-person dining now lifted, AHS is no longer pursuing compliance against the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, a hamlet 70 kilometres northeast of Red Deer. The Whistle Stop has been at the centre of a high-profile legal battle over enforcement and a public debate over the strains that pandemic-related health orders have placed on small business. Cafe owner Christopher Scott had been issued a court order after he refused to close the restaurant's dining room, contravening a ban on in-person dining introduced in December as cases across the province soared. 'No order to enforce' In a statement Wednesday, AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson said health inspectors no longer need the courts to enforce compliance. "The order was no longer relevant, given the restrictions on dine-in service have been lifted," Williamson said. "There's essentially no order to enforce." Scott still faces two charges under the Public Health Act for contravening an order from a medical officer of health, RCMP said Wednesday. He is scheduled to appear in court in Stettler on April 22. Under the act, a first-time conviction can result in a fine of up to $100,000. Convictions for subsequent offences carry fines of up to $500,000. Scott began serving dine-in customers in late January. For weeks, the cafe operated in contravention of public health restrictions. AHS issued a public health order to Scott on Jan. 22, closing the restaurant to sit-down business. Christopher Scott, the owner of Whistle Stop Cafe, says he wants his concerns about the public health restrictions to become part of the public record. He plans to contest his charges in court. Despite the order and numerous warnings from health inspectors and RCMP, Scott refused to comply. He said opening was the only way to save his ailing business, and urged other struggling restaurants to follow suit. In response, AHS applied for an emergency injunction to force the closure and cease in-person dining. A judge in Red Deer granted the injunction on Feb. 3, citing the potential harm of contravening public health orders. Five days later, the Alberta government relaxed some restrictions. Dining rooms across the province were allowed to reopen. Scott will be reimbursed for some of the costs he incurred during litigation, Williamson said. "AHS agreed to pay costs which are commonly awarded on a discontinuance to cover costs that they have incurred to defend against the application," he said. "AHS will continue to uphold all current public health orders and restrictions, with the goal of protecting the public." Owner 'looking forward' to court battle Scott said he considered trying to continue the legal battle so his concerns about the restrictions — and the role of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health — would become part of the public record. "AHS hasn't provided me evidence that the restrictions they imposed in the first place were valid in the first place," he said Wednesday. "The order comes from an unelected official who is largely unaccountable for that action and doesn't suffer the consequences of the restrictions that she imposes. Anytime an unelected official can direct the government to infringe on any kind of rights, that's a problem." Scott plans to contest the charges he faces under the Public Health Act and is looking forward to his day in court. He said he doubts that provincial health officials had grounds to enforce the rules they had imposed. More than a dozen other restaurants across the province also opened their dining rooms, risking steep fines to serve patrons. Charges have also been laid against an Edmonton-area pastor whose church continued to hold Sunday services despite enforcement orders from AHS.
(CBC - image credit) A report from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says that rural areas of the province are at greater risk of economic decline because of COVID-19 19 and Charlotte County may be most vulnerable. The group says the county, which includes St. Stephen, Saint Andrews and St. George, is at a high risk on its Industry Vulnerability Index, with 42.6 per cent of the labour force working in industries vulnerable to COVID-19. This compares to 28 per cent for the province as a whole. Charlotte County is the only county listed as high risk in the province. Patrick Brannon, the report's lead author, said a county's vulnerability is determined based on the vulnerability of industries in the county and the county's reliance on those industries. Highly vulnerable industries would include fishing, agriculture and tourism. "They do have lots of aquaculture, fish processing and so in terms of New Brunswick counties, it's the highest and the most vulnerable to potential impacts from COVID," said Brannon. The report also explores other areas of COVID-19 vulnerability. The county's low median income means the labour force vulnerability is rated as medium, and the large number of seniors means the health vulnerability is rated as medium. Long term economic vulnerability is high. "The income and education levels are relatively low," said Brannon. "The unemployment is high at the moment, and the population isn't growing very much .. There's not a lot of immigration going into Charlotte County and the natural rate of population births/deaths is negative. The county is also losing some population to other parts of New Brunswick." Brannon said the report shows that any COVID-19 economic recovery plan policymakers come up with can't just be a one size fits all one. "They need to understand those realities that not every county and every part of New Brunswick is going to be the same," said Brannon. "The strategies to help those economies have to be a little bit different based on that structure." The strongest county in the province is Sunbury County, with a low industry vulnerability, labour force vulnerability and health vulnerability indexes.
ARVIAT, Nunavut — The Nunavut community of Arviat has declared a state of emergency over rising COVID-19 case numbers. There are 27 active cases in the community of about 2,800 people. Arviat was previously the centre of Nunavut's largest COVID-19 outbreak with 307 total cases. Starting today, the community will be under curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., with four additional bylaw officers hired for enforcement. Arviat Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. says people who break the curfew can face fines. The community, which is currently the only place in Nunavut with active cases, has been under a strict lock down since early November, with travel restricted and all schools and non-essential businesses closed. Arviat's council will decide on March 1 whether the state of emergency will be renewed. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
Charlie Munger, the longtime business partner of Warren Buffett, on Wednesday warned that the stock market bears signs of a bubble, reflecting a "dangerous" mentality among some investors to gamble on stocks as they would horse races. Munger, 97, lamented the recent mania for GameStop Corp, in which amateur investors encouraged each other online to buy the gaming retailer on platforms including Robinhood, and caught some hedge funds in a short squeeze. "A lot of them crowd in to buying stocks on frenzy, frequently on credit, because they see that they're going up, and of course that's a very dangerous way to invest."
(Connell Smith/CBC - image credit) Sean Casey, whose Saint John council seat was declared vacant this week after he missed four meetings, says he had to get away from the city because he was suffering from depression. Casey said he's been travelling in Mexico since early January, and he made the trip for his mental health. His social isolation, autism and depression had become too much, Casey said as he answered questions from CBC News over Facebook Messenger. He's said he's spoken to psychiatrists and gone to mental health services, but this was not enough. "I haven't found anything that's helped, and I didn't expect to find anything that would." Didn't get permission Council declared Casey's Ward 2 seat vacant on Monday night after he missed four meetings in a row without permission. Mayor Don Darling said councillors had no other choice but to declare the vacancy because the rules are set under the provincial Local Governance Act In Saint John, Casey lived with his father, Larry Casey, who is worried about him. "He's been going to a counsellor to try to get help because he's depressed and in a bad way," the father said. Casey said his son ran for council in hopes of connecting with people, because his autism makes it hard to communicate. "I thought this would be good for him, being in a position like that, where a person that can't make friends, can't communicate, just stuck in the house all day, if he could get out and this would help them open up," he said. "I think it's all getting to him, coming to a head, with having no friends, nobody to hang with, it's just getting to him." But serving on city council did help, the father said. Reminded of travel warnings Darling said that when Casey sent council an email saying he'll be gone from Jan. 3 to Feb. 13, he replied urging Casey to heed the travel warnings. "I certainly wanted to be on the record that, you know, first of all, if you're travelling in the midst of all of this, that's not advisable and that you will be responsible for any of the implications," Darling said. "The councillor acknowledged that he understood that." If he had come back on Feb. 13, Casey would have missed only three meetings. But because he is still in Mexico he missed the fourth on Feb. 22. Darling said getting the email from Sean Casey that he would be away was surprising. "This is … certainly not normal circumstances to have somebody, you know, get up and leave." Darling said Casey did not indicate he's been ill and did not ask for permission to miss the council meeting. Saint John Mayor Don Darling says he asked Sean Casey to heed the government's recommendation to avoid non-essential travel. The Public Health Agency of Canada has been urging people to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the government has not outright banned international travel. Despite the federal caution, Casey said he feels virus measures in airports have been adequate to protect him. "I'm not very social, so I don't go out and party every night so that has probably helped," he said. "The COVID precautions have worked for me." Casey said he's gone to Bogota in Colombia, and Tijuana, Mexico City and Cancun in Mexico. "The trip hasn't gone to plan," he said. "I was not planning on going to that many places." He didn't say when he plans to come back to Canada, but he doesn't plan to run for council in the May municipal elections.
Military veteran Eric Lalonde is surprised how quickly people are responding to a GoFundMe campaign to help purchase a new service dog for his post traumatic stress disorder. “I’m actually surprised and really appreciate it, I didn’t expect that much response,” Lalonde said of reaching the half-way mark toward the $4,000 goal. His wife, Caroline, set up the fundraiser last week with a link submitted to the East Ferris Post It Facebook page. The couple has lived in Astorville for the past eight years. Lalonde said he didn’t expect the support because members of the military don’t get that much respect in his home province of Quebec. “It’s very different, they don’t appreciate the military as much,” he said. Lalonde, 42, retired from the Canadian army last February after 23 years of service, including a decade as an infantryman with tours in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. His last 13 years of service were spent being a supply clerk in North Bay. His current service dog, Nala, is an 11-year-old German Shepherd mix. They’ve spent several thousand dollars on her veterinarian bills and more than $1,000 on medicine for a failing pancreas and hip dysplasia. “It’s time to take her into retirement,” Lalonde said, noting they found it difficult to find a new service dog due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They explored getting a rescue dog but many of them have their own issues and groups that help veterans with PTSD get trained service dogs had long waiting lists. Money is also tight as they prepare to find a better-suited home in the area this summer. Home buyers are facing a seller’s market as residents in southern Ontario cash out of their properties and flee big cities. Lalonde said he likes this part of Canada and the quiet peace of the rural area, adding he hopes their next home is the last. “I’m not moving anymore,” he said. Caroline Lalonde described their situation in detail for the online fundraiser. “After his retirement, Eric was sure he was fine and didn’t need a service dog anymore as he was home and relaxed,” she wrote. “But after a few months, he found out the dog was doing more than just working with him every day. Nala is there to encourage him to get up in the morning and keep him moving during the day. “When Nala feels Eric is about to overreact for something or having a short fuse, she will go to see him and lick him until he takes care of her, so it changes Eric’s mind and calms him down. “She will also protect Eric from people who are approaching too fast or doesn’t reflect a good vibe while approaching,” she wrote. Nala’s health did a nose-dive starting last August when her Husky died at nine years old. “She doesn’t have the energy anymore, can’t walk more than a few minutes without having pain and every time she has to get up the stairs, we can tell on her face that she’s having bad pain,” she said. “Eric was looking to wait for the next litter, in summertime, but Nala is too sick and she needs to be able to teach the puppy how to be a good service dog and the more Eric waits, the less Nala will be able to do it,” she said. A service dog trainer introduced them to a breeder who moved Eric to the top of his list for a puppy that will be ready March 14. But they were scrambling to find the $2,500 plus HST for the purchase, special food, and related expenses while also supporting ongoing Nala’s medical care. “The training will be paid by the Citadel Canine so I’m only asking enough money to be able to pay for the dog. I will provide all the proof of payments and also show pictures when I have some,” Caroline added. “If I get more than Eric needs, that money will go for Nala’s veterinarian bill, for pain medications for her hips, and also for the puppy booster.” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
BATON ROUGE, La. — Trashed on social media and censured by Louisiana Republicans, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy described himself Wednesday as “at peace” with his vote to convict former President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial and dismissed the scorching GOP backlash he's received. Louisiana's senior Republican senator said he does not believe the criticism represents the feelings of many of his party's voters. He said the censure he received from the leadership of the state Republican Party represented “a small group of people,” not the “broader Republican Party.” “I am such at peace with that vote. I say that knowing that I’m getting criticized, but I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Cassidy said in a conference call with reporters on a variety of topics. Cassidy joined six other Senate Republicans in voting with Democrats on Feb. 13 to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in an impeachment trial that saw the former president acquitted. Louisiana's other U.S. senator, Republican John Kennedy, voted against conviction. “I’ve received comments from folks who are Republican who object to the vote,” Cassidy said. “I’ve received a heck of a lot of folks who agree with me or, if they don’t agree with me, respect the kind of thought process that went into it.” He added: “There’s a diversity of opinion among Louisiana Republicans, even if there is not among a very small group of people.” Though the 57-43 Senate vote was short of the two-thirds majority needed to find Trump guilty, the seven GOP votes against Trump represented the largest number of lawmakers to ever vote to find a president of their own party guilty at impeachment proceedings. Some Republicans who voted to acquit Trump said they did not believe the Democrats proved their case that the former president was directly responsible for inciting hundreds of people to storm the Capitol building in a riot that left five people dead. Other Republicans said they simply did not believe Congress had jurisdiction over a president no longer in office. Cassidy has tried to change the conversation since the impeachment trial ended, sending out daily statements about a variety of subjects and talking about other issues, such as the confirmation hearings of President Joe Biden's cabinet appointments and recovery from the icy weather. But Trump supporters don't want to move on, and they've been slamming Cassidy on conservative talk radio and websites. They've called for Republicans to ban Cassidy from their events, and several local Republican groups have joined the executive committee of the state GOP in condemning Cassidy's vote to convict Trump. Cassidy, a doctor, overwhelmingly won reelection in November to a second term, with Trump's backing. Asked whether his vote to convict Trump could damage his chances of reelection in 2026, Cassidy replied: “It is six years off, but that's immaterial. I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution." ___ Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte. Melinda Deslatte, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A new report says too many federal inmates in isolation aren't getting a few hours a day out of their cells, pushing them into territory that could be described as inhuman treatment or even torture. Citing federal data, the report says nearly three in 10 prisoners in isolation units didn't have all or any of the four hours out of their cells they are supposed to get, for two weeks at a time. A further one in 10 were kept in excessive isolation for 16 days or longer, which by international laws and Canadian rulings constitutes cruel treatment. The findings suggest the federal prison system is falling well short of the guidelines the Liberals ushered in for "structured intervention units" designed to allow better access to programming and mental-health care for inmates who need to be kept apart from other prisoners. Prisoners transferred to the units are supposed to be allowed out of their cells for four hours each day, with two of those hours engaged in "meaningful human contact." The report by two criminologists says there needs to be better oversight of how the units are managed, adding the results show Canada commits "torture by another name." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit) Nova Scotians looking to make their homes or vehicles more energy efficient are now able to apply for rebates of up to several thousand dollars from the province. In their first official announcement since being sworn in, Premier Iain Rankin and Environment Minister Keith Irving announced $19 million in funding for rebates on energy-efficient home upgrades and electric vehicles. "We'll have the program up and running soon, but the rebates will apply as of today," Rankin said at the announcement, which was made at a dealer of electric vehicles in Dartmouth, N.S. Half of the funding, or $9.5 million, will go toward rebates for new and used electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and e-bikes. The rebates will be $3,000 for new electric vehicles, $2,000 for used vehicles and $500 for e-bikes. The provincial rebates will stack with federal rebates of up to $5,000 from the federal government for new electric vehicles. Electric vehicle charging stations in the United States. Rankin said Nova Scotia would work toward further investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. There are nearly 500 electric vehicles registered in Nova Scotia presently, according to the provincial government. Rankin said uptake of electric vehicles is higher in other provinces with provincial rebates. He also said the Nova Scotia government will work to augment the roughly 100 charging stations across the province. "More and more as the markets have the vehicles in, it's in the interest of businesses to have those charging stations," he said. "There has been work underway and we'll support more work to make sure that we have the infrastructure as well." Irving introduced Rankin at their first official announcement Wednesday. The other half of the $19 million will go to rebate programs that aim to make home energy efficiency upgrades accessible to low-income Nova Scotians. The programs are administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia, with some rebates for low-income homeowners and some for property owners that offer multi-unit affordable housing. The province estimates this will help 1,200 low-income families. 80 per cent renewable by 2030 Rankin also announced a new renewable energy target that would see the entire province have 80 per cent of its electricity use come from renewable sources by 2030. Rankin promised he would introduce the target during the Nova Scotia Liberal leadership race. The previous target of 40 per cent renewable by the end of 2020 was not met. Rankin said currently the province's renewable use is in the "high 30s," but when the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador comes online he expects that number to rise to 60 per cent. He anticipated mostly wind energy and some solar will take the province from the final 60 per cent to 80 per cent, calling the target "very achievable." "Research tells us that wind power is inexpensive and reliable in Nova Scotia. It's the quickest and most cost-effective way to add more renewables to the grid," he said. A wind turbine is framed by a sun dog, an atmospheric phenomenon, on Dalhousie Mountain, N.S., on Friday, April 23, 2010. Rankin said in the next few weeks the Department of Energy will start looking at contracts for the lowest bidders for wind farms, a new Renewable Energy Standard will be released next month, and by 2025 all electricity for provincial government offices will come from renewable energy. "It's also an economic opportunity that Nova Scotia should be part of shaping that change, and not be dragged along with it," Rankin said, adding that he wants to be the first province in Canada to get to net zero emissions. About half of the money for the rebate program is coming from the Green Fund, which is Nova Scotia's cap-and-trade program that collects money through auctions where the largest greenhouse gas emitters and energy companies are required to participate. The Ecology Action Centre estimated the auctions will generate between $27 to $32-million each year for renewable energy projects. MORE TOP STORIES
Tahltan-Tlingit artist and Coast Mountains College instructor Dempsey Bob is one of six artists nationally to be recognized with a 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGArts Awards) Artistic Achievement Award. “Dempsey Bob is recognized as one of few master carvers of his Nation who is pushing the art forward, successfully blending contemporary with the traditional style of Tahltan-Tlingit sculptural art, while remaining true to its complex protocols and unique design history,” said nominator and visual artist Jim Logan, in a Canada Council for the Arts media release. The GGArts Awards were created in 1999 by then Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and the Canada Council for the Arts and winners are selected by a peer committee. Winners receive $25,000, a medallion produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and their work is celebrated by the National Gallery of Canada. Bob’s works are featured in museum collections and galleries around the world, including the Columbia Museum of Ethnology, the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Ethnology in Japan, and Canada House in London. In 2013, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada — one of the nation’s highest civilian honours. Bob has lived in Terrace for the last 14 years where he serves as a senior advisor to the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Arts at Coast Mountain College. ALSO READ: Skeena Voices | World-renowned Indigenous artist has northwest roots “We are very proud of the work, talent and perspective Dempsey Bob brings to the students at Coast Mountain College’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art,” said Justin Kohlman, CMTN president, in a media release. “He has expertly and compassionately guided hundreds of students through the learning and reclaiming of traditional northwest coast art. We offer Dempsey our heartfelt congratulations.” Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
MONTREAL — Veteran defender Laurent Ciman has returned to Montreal, where he started his MLS playing career, this time as an assistant coach. The 35-year-old Belgian spent three seasons in Montreal before an unwanted trade to expansion Los Angeles FC in December 2017. After one season as LAFC captain, he joined Toronto FC in December 2018 after a brief stint in France with Ligue 1's Dijon. Ciman, named MLS Defender of the Year in his first season in Montreal, became a free agent after his TFC contract expired at the end of last season. For Ciman, retirement as a player means a return home. He retained his house in Montreal and wife Diana and their two kids remained there while he played in Toronto. After a successful career in Belgium, Ciman opted to come to Canada in 2015 because of the support available here for daughter Nina, who has autism spectrum disorder. "I'm very happy to be back home," Ciman said in a statement Wednesday. "It's been my wish for a long time, and this is a great opportunity for myself and my family. I just want to contribute to the club’s growth." Ciman, who won 20 caps for his country, played in the Belgian top flight from 2004 to 2015 with Charleroi Sporting Club, Club Brugge, KV Kortrijk and Standard de Liège. He played six seasons in MLS, appearing in 136 regular-season games including 126 starts. He also played in nine playoffs games, nine Canadian Championship games and eight CONCACAF Champions League matches. "We are very happy that Laurent is joining the coaching staff and that he is back with the club," said Montreal sporting director Olivier Renard. "It is a logical and beneficial association, especially knowing the attachment Laurent has always had for this club and this city. We can now count on his experience after a fruitful career in Europe, in MLS, and on the international stage." Ciman who played 515 pro matches during his career, saw limited action with Toronto but provided key backup for the injured Omar Gonzalez in the 2019 playoffs. He was a popular member of the Toronto squad. "He's got an incredible personality … a very playful personality that I think is infectious in our group," then coach Greg Vanney said during Ciman's time in Toronto. "It's something that our group needs at times, just to be able to banter, have fun, make something sometimes that is challenging or difficult into some kind of a game within the game." Ciman was a member of the Belgian squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and saw action in Euro 2016. He missed out on the 2018 World Cup, one of Belgium's final cuts. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021 The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Preliminary numbers from Newfoundland and Labrador's elections authority suggest voter turnout in the provincial election could be a record low. An Elections NL spokeswoman says she estimates 120,000 people had requested mail-in ballots ahead of last Friday's deadline. Completed ballots must be postmarked by March 12. Adrienne Luther said in an email Tuesday another 68,000 people voted in advance polls or by special ballot before her office announced on Feb. 12 that all voting would be conducted by mail. If the mail-in ballot estimate doesn't change much, the province is on track for a voter turnout hovering around 51 per cent, which would be a historic low. Luther emphasizes that the estimate of 120,000 mail-in ballot requests is both rough and preliminary because many of the telephone and email requests were for multiple electors. British Columbia's pandemic election in October saw a historic low voter turnout, while Saskatchewan's September election saw its second-lowest turnout since 1986. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
Nikola Dimitrov of AIS Technologies Group in Windsor, Ont., discusses how the pandemic has affected supply lines.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's auditor general is warning of a crisis in the nursing home sector if the government doesn't address the shortage of spaces. Kim Adair-MacPherson says the number of seniors in the province is expected to double by 2036 and there are currently almost 800 seniors waiting for a nursing home placement. She says it's unclear how the province plans to address the demand. Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch says 600 new nursing home beds will be opened over the next five years. He says the procedure the government uses to request proposals for new nursing homes has been streamlined, which he says should speed things up. Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents Rights, says the government should concentrate on helping seniors remain in their own homes instead of putting them into nursing residences. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
BEIJING — China’s commerce minister appealed to Washington for “joint efforts” to revive trade but gave no indication Wednesday when tariff war talks might resume or whether Beijing might offer concessions. “Co-operation is the only correct choice,” Wang Wentao said at a news conference. President Joe Biden has yet to announce a strategy for dealing with Beijing but is widely expected to renew pressure on trade and technology complaints that prompted his predecessor, Donald Trump, to raise taxes on Chinese imports. Wang said he looked forward to “joint efforts” to “push bilateral economic and trade relations back to the track of co-operation.” He noted President Xi Jinping talked with Biden by phone on Feb. 11 but gave no indication when negotiations might resume. Washington and Beijing have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods, disrupting global trade. They agreed last January to postpone further penalties but most taxes already imposed stayed in place. Beijing agreed to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American soybeans and other exports. It fell short of the targets set due to the coronavirus pandemic and bought about 55% of the promised goods. China’s foreign trade situation is “severe and complicated,” Wang said. He said Beijing is launching e-commerce and other initiatives to encourage sales. One focus will be markets in its “Belt and Road Initiative” to build ports, railways and other trade-related infrastructure. The Associated Press
(Justin Tang/Canadian Press - image credit) Ottawa's medical officer of health is warning that COVID-19 transmission rates are again heading in the wrong direction, and could once again place the city on a path toward tighter restrictions. Ottawa is currently an orange zone, according to the province's colour-coded scale that influences public health directives on businesses, gatherings and other activities. But on Wednesday, Dr. Vera Etches said the city is heading toward red. We could be discussing whether we need to go ahead with [tighter restrictions] next week. - Dr. Vera Etches "We are not heading toward yellow, we are heading toward red, and that's not OK," she told city councillors. "We could be discussing whether we need to go ahead with [tighter restrictions] next week." Ottawa has never been declared a red zone since the province instituted its new colour-coded system earlier this month, but back in October the city was moved into what's known as "modified Stage 2," with restrictions on most indoor activities. If Ottawa moves into the red zone, indoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of five people, restaurants can't have more than 10 customers indoors and cinemas will be closed. Etches said some key indicators show transmission of the virus is no longer in decline, and said the recent lifting of some restrictions might be giving residents a false sense of security. "Ottawa Public Health is seeing people who test positive, who work in offices and pharmacies and religious communities and coffee shops, grocery stores, warehouses, home care security — it is widespread," Etches said. "I just don't want people to have a sense [that] it's under control."
Lundi matin, la cloche de la pause sonne à l’école de l’Escale de Val-des-Sources. Emy Blanchet, qui a récemment perdu sa mère d’un cancer, se fait prendre la main par un ami. Il lui demande de se fermer les yeux. En les rouvrant, surprise : une quarantaine de camarades, touchés par son histoire, l’attendent et lui annoncent qu’ils ont amassé 800 $, qui seront donnés à la Fondation du CHUS et au CSSS des Sources. « Je pensais qu’il allait me donner du chocolat ou un petit cadeau! raconte Emy, le sourire dans la voix. Je sentais qu’il commençait à faire froid, on était dehors, je n’avais pas de manteau. Quand j’ai ouvert les yeux, j’ai vu tous mes amis qui me disaient “ surprise! ” Ils étaient là, ils m’applaudissaient. » Emy croyait d’abord à une blague. La finissante a ensuite vu une grande carte lui étant destinée. « Mon ami Émile avait la tâche de m’expliquer quel était le cadeau. Ils ont fait un grand carton pour expliquer qu’ensemble, ils avaient fait un don à la fondation de l’hôpital à la place de donner des fleurs », décrit-elle, visiblement reconnaissantes. À la genèse de l’histoire, Saule Marcoux voulait seulement acheter une fleur à son amie Emy pour la Saint-Valentin... et l’épauler dans son épreuve. « J’ai pensé que d’autres amis proches voulaient peut-être lui en acheter aussi. Je leur en ai parlé et on s’est dit que si on participait tous à ça, on allait pouvoir lui acheter un beau bouquet », décrit celle qui est également en cinquième secondaire. « Une fille du groupe nous a dit que la famille avait reçu énormément de fleurs lors des funérailles. Elle a proposé qu’on fasse un don pour les hôpitaux. Quelqu’un a amassé l’argent et l’a comptabilisé. On a finalement récolté 800 $ », explique Saule. « T’es belle, t’es forte, t’es capable » En plus du don, les amis d’Emy lui ont confectionné une carte géante. À gauche, des mots d’encouragement. À droite, quelques dizaines de photos qui représentent toute l’affection qu’ont les élèves pour la jeune femme de 16 ans. « T’es faite forte ma belle Emy », peut-on lire. « T’es belle, t’es forte, t’es capable », est-il aussi écrit sur l’affiche bleue. Et cette carte, Emy la conservera. « Je suis encore sous le choc, on dirait que je ne le réalise pas. [...] Ça reste, ça ne part pas comme des fleurs », se réjouit la finissante, profitant de l’entrevue pour remercier tous ses camarades. Les amis plus près d’Emy se sont montrés présents dès que l’annonce du cancer de sa mère est tombée. Ils étaient là à toutes les étapes, dit-elle. « Comme quand elle s’est fait opérer, ils m’ont fait un panier avec plein de cochonneries! lance la jeune femme en riant. Ils avaient acheté plein de chocolats et de bonbons pour me remonter le moral. Ils étaient toujours là pour me rassurer. Je sais que j’ai vraiment de bonnes amies. » Beaucoup d’argent Le montant d’argent amassé par les élèves de l’Escale a de quoi surprendre. Mais le nombre de donataires a aussi surpris Emy. « Je ne savais pas qu’autant de monde me supportait et était là pour moi. Je trouvais ça vraiment beau », confie-t-elle, la voix un peu tremblante. Saule a aussi été étonnée par le montant que ses collègues de classe et elle ont réussi à récolter. « Comme nous sommes des étudiants, certains ne travaillent pas. 800 $, c’est un gros montant. C’était vraiment fou de voir que tout le monde a pris de son temps et un peu d’argent pour faire du bien à Emy », exprime l’élève de Val-des-Sources, qui dit avoir réalisé que ses camarades étaient soudés. Contacté par La Tribune, le salon funéraire Fréchette a confirmé que 400 $ allaient être remis à la Fondation du CHUS et que le même montant allait être donné au CSSS des Sources dans les prochains jours. Tommy Brochu, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
BANGKOK — Regional diplomatic efforts to resolve Myanmar's political crisis intensified Wednesday, while protests continued in Yangon and other cities calling for the country's coup makers to step down and return Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government to power. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited the Thai capital, Bangkok, and held three-way talks with her Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai and Myanmar’s new foreign minister, retired army colonel Wunna Maung Lwin, who also travelled to Thailand. The meeting was part of her efforts to co-ordinate a regional response to the crisis triggered by Myanmar's Feb. 1 military coup. In a virtual news conference after her return to Indonesia, Marsudi said she expressed her country’s concern about the situation in Myanmar. “We asked all parties to exercise restraint and not use violence ... to avoid casualties and bloodshed,” she said, emphasizing the need for dialogue, reconciliation and trust-building. Marudi said she had conveyed the same principles to a group of elected members of Myanmar's Parliament who were barred by the military coup from taking their seats. The lawmakers are from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, which won a landslide victory in elections last November that would have given it a second five-year term in office. After the coup, the group, called the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the name of the combined houses of Parliament, announced it was convening the body in an online session and appealed to the U.N. and foreign countries to treat it as Myanmar's legitimate government. It has received increasing support from Myanmar's protest movement, but little if any foreign endorsement. Indonesia's acknowledgement that the group has a role to play could open an avenue for negotiations between Myanmar's ruling junta and its opponents. Marsudi described her communications with the committee as “intensive.” Indonesia and fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are seeking to promote some concessions by Myanmar's military that could ease tensions before there is more violence. The regional grouping, to which Thailand and Myanmar also belong, believes dialogue with the generals is a more effective method of achieving concessions than more confrontational methods, such as sanctions, often advocated by Western nations. Opposition to the coup within Myanmar continued Wednesday, with a tense standoff in the country's second-biggest city, Mandalay, where police holding riot shields and cradling rifles blocked the path of about 3,000 teachers and students. After about two hours, during which demonstrators played protest songs and listened to speeches condemning the coup, the crowd moved away. On Saturday, police and soldiers fatally shot two people in Mandalay while breaking up a strike by dock workers. Earlier in the week they had violently dispersed a rally in front of a state bank branch with batons and slingshots. Also Wednesday, about 150 people from a Christian group gathered in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, to call for restoration of democracy and the release of Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders held since the coup. International pressure against the takeover also continues, with more than 130 civil society groups issuing an open letter to U.N. Security Council calling for a global arms embargo on Myanmar. The letter released Wednesday cited concerns about Myanmar’s citizens being deprived of a democratically elected government and ongoing violations of human rights by a military with a history of major abuses. “Any sale or transfer of military-related equipment to Myanmar could provide the means to further repress the people of Myanmar in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law,” the letter said. In addition to a sweeping arms embargo, it said any Security Council measures should make sure there is “robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.” There have been past arms embargoes on Myanmar during periods of military rule but not on a global basis. China and Russia, both members of the Security Council, are among the top arms suppliers to Myanmar, and would almost certainly veto any effort by the U.N. to impose a co-ordinated arms embargo. Indonesia's efforts to work with other members of ASEAN to resolve Myanmar's crisis had earlier been stumbling. Protesters demonstrated outside the Indonesian embassies in Yangon and Bangkok on Tuesday in response to a news report that Jakarta was proposing to fellow ASEAN members that they offer qualified support for the junta’s plan for a new election next year. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah denied the report. There was also criticism that Foreign Minister Marsudi had intended to fly to Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, this week. Marsudi acknowledged Wednesday that she had planned to visit Naypitaw after Bangkok to directly convey Indonesia’s position and the hopes of the international community. “However, the planned visit had to be postponed,” she said. “This postponement ... did not dampen the intention to establish communication with all parties in Myanmar, once again, with all parties in Myanmar, including with the Myanmar military and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw." ——- Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report. Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Associated Press