This CCTV footage manages to capture some incredible footage of what appears to be the ghost of a child roaming the street. Did you see it? What do you think? Let us know!
This CCTV footage manages to capture some incredible footage of what appears to be the ghost of a child roaming the street. Did you see it? What do you think? Let us know!
An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
Nearly one year after the first case of COVID-19 was identified in B.C., the province announced its plan to have everyone who wants a vaccine immunized by September. B.C. has distributed 100,000 immunizations in the past six weeks, and the province announced its timeline for the general population on Jan. 22. Beginning in late-February, the province will move on to Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout. From December to March 800,000 doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in B.C., from April to June 2.6 million doses, and June to September six million doses are expected in the province. "The plan forward is one that will put 4.3 million British Columbians in a vaccinated situation by the end of September," Premier John Horgan said. "By the end of September everyone who wants a vaccination will have one and the community immunity that we're all striving for will be a reality," Horgan said. The plan depends on a consistent supply of vaccine, which has been disrupted recently with Pfizer upscaling its production plant in Europe, Horgan said. New vaccines, not yet approved by Health Canada, will also allow amendments to the plan going forward. The province announced plans Friday to establish vaccine distribution in clinics in 172 communities in March through local health authorities in partnership with businesses, volunteers and municipalities. It will be the largest immunization program in the history of the province, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, with 8.6 million immunizations (two doses per person, 35 days apart) planned in the coming months. People born in 1941 and earlier who were not immunized in Phase 1 are eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 2, starting in late February and early March, as the age group eligible for vaccine moves down from there in five-year increments. Starting in mid-to-late February, health authorities will be reaching out to seniors 80 years and older and Indigenous seniors 65 and older, and Indigenous Elders, to provide information on how to pre-register for immunization appointments. Hospital staff, community general practitioners, and medical specialists not immunized in Phase 1 will be eligible in Phase 2 as well as vulnerable populations living in congregate settings and shelters and staff in community home support and home care programs. People aged 16 to 69 who are considered extremely vulnerable will also be eligible during this time including those with specific cancers, people receiving immunotherapy, sever respiratory conditions, rare diseases, immunosuppression therapies, adults on dialysis, people who have had their spleen removed, women who are pregnant with significant heart disease (congenital or acquired) and those with significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support. Vaccinations to begin on general population in April Phase 3 (April to June) will broaden the vaccine distribution into the general population. Starting with B.C. residents aged 60 to 79, who will likely get their first shot in April. As more vaccines are approved, particularly those with less stringent transportation and temperature restrictions, other age groups may be considered during Phase 3 — specifically those between the ages of 18 and 64 who are front-line essential workers or work in specific industries. When Phase 4 begins (July to September) vaccinations will be available for those aged 59 and under, moving down in five-year cohorts to age 18. When vaccine distribution starts coming to the general population in Phases 3 and Phase 4 clinics will be held at large centres including school gymnasiums, arenas, convention and community halls and mobile clinics in self-contained vehicles will be available for some rural communities and for those who are homebound due to mobility issues, with more details coming on those operations in late February and early March. The province's communication plan launching in late-February will let residents know when they can expect to be vaccinated, how and where to pre-register and how to access vaccination clinics. Residents can register two to four weeks before being eligible for a vaccine. Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is thinking about getting Canadians the COVID-19 vaccine "when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed, and every hour in between."
Dozens of Montrealers experiencing homelessness will have a new place to sleep tonight, as the city scrambles to overcome a lack of shelter capacity made worse by recent COVID-19 outbreaks. A new temporary homeless shelter has opened at the Pierre-Charbonneau sports arena near the Olympic stadium and will remain in operation until at least March 31. The Red Cross is also setting up 150 beds at the TAZ indoor skate park in Montreal's east end, for people without homes who test positive for COVID-19. Unlike the space set up at the old Royal Victoria Hospital, this centre is strictly for those who have little to no symptoms and who do not need medical treatment. A new warming centre is also expected to open up in Cabot Square at some point next week. 24/7 spaces allow people to stay put The 24-hour shelter at Pierre Charbonneau arena is a collaboration between community group CAP St-Barnabé and CARE Montreal. Right now, ithas only 40 beds but it will eventually be able to welcome up to 112 people, with 30 of those spaces reserved for women. Michelle Patenaude, director of clinic operations at CAP St-Barnabé, said the organization agreed to help run the centre on the condition that it remain open 24/7. "Personally, places like Hotel Place Dupuis are great, but sadly, people can't stay there all day," said Patenaude. Montreal Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin said Friday that is one of many reasons COVID-19 outbreaks are difficult to control among people experiencing homelessness. "There's high mobility with this population, so people are moving from one shelter to another, from one place to another," said Drouin. Since the beginning of December, Drouin said, 192 people experiencing homelessness have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 82 people from the community groups who work with them. Many of those cases, she said, stem from outbreaks in 13 different facilities — eight of which are still active. The need to find shelter space for Montreal's homeless population has grown increasingly urgent in recent weeks, especially as the premier has stated those experiencing homelessness will not be exempt from following the 8 p.m. curfew. Calls for more overnight spaces were amplified further earlier this week, following the death of Raphaël André, a 51-year-old Innu man who died just steps away from the Open Door drop-in centre, which is currently closed overnight because of a COVID-19 outbreak last month. Vaccination campaign proceeding Drouin is hoping that the new shelters, along with the city's vaccination program for people who are homeless, will improve the situation. So far, about 400 people experiencing homelessness and 200 workers have been vaccinated. The city hopes to vaccinate about 500 more in the coming weeks. "We have a massive action plan to control the situation. We're doing screening with different community organizations and shelters," Drouin said.
REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American quarterback Tom Flacco. Flacco joins the Roughriders after two strong seasons at Towson University in Maryland. In his senior year, Flacco was named to the All-CAA second team, finishing the regular season with 2,831 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions while adding 324 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. As a junior, he finished fifth in voting for the 2018 Walter Payton Award given to the top offensive player in NCAA Division I football. That year he matched the Towson single-season record with 28 passing touchdowns and threw for 3,251 yards while also adding 742 yards on the ground. Flacco is the younger brother of NFL quarterback Joe Flacco. Saskatchewan also signed American offensive lineman Andrew Lauderdale. STAMPS SIGN SINDANI CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders have re-signed Canadian receiver Richie Sindani. The Regina native had 32 catches and 362 receiving yards over 15 games last season. He also had a catch for a two-point convert and a career-long 51-yard reception against Edmonton in the Labour Day Classic. Calgary selected Sindani in the eighth round of the 2017 CFL draft. He made the Stampeders roster in 2018 and was a member of Calgary’s Grey Cup championship team. ALOUETTES SIGN SIX MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes have signed six players, including quarterbacks Philip Nelson and Broc Rutter. Nelson took part in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' training camp in 2018 and participated in the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals rookie mini-camps a year earlier. He also played for the Dallas Renegades and for the San Diego Fleet in the defunct Alliance of American Football. Rutter was the North Central University Cardinals' starting quarterback from 2016 to 2019. He completed 309 of his 435 attempts (71 per cent) for 4,591 yards and 56 touchdowns in 15 games in his senior year. The Alouettes also signed receivers Jordan Lasley, Eli Rogers, Nelson Spruce and Reggie White Jr. TICATS RE-SIGN DEFENSIVE TACKLE HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed Canadian defensive tackle Brett Wade. The Regina native has two defensive tackles, one special-teams tackle and two sacks in 20 career games with Hamilton since being selected in the second round, 15th overall, in the 2018 CFL draft. The University of Calgary product was a U Sports second-team all-Canadian in 2017. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22 , 2021. The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Bob Avian, a Tony Award-winning choreographer who had a role in some of the most beloved and influential shows on Broadway, including “Dreamgirls,” “A Chorus Line,” “Follies” and “Miss Saigon,” has died. He was 83. Avian died Thursday of cardiac arrest at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said Matt Polk, head of the theatrical publicity firm Polk & Co. Tony-winner Tony Yazbeck on Twitter called Avian “a sweet and kind spirit who generously gave his creative talents to legendary works.” Marvin Hamlisch said: “His legacy will live on stage for years to come.” Avian rose from a dancer in “West Side Story” and “Funny Girl” to work alongside such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Cameron Macintosh, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was with Bennett that Avian enjoyed a long professional partnership, working as associate choreographer or assistant director on such Bennett-choreographed productions as “A Chorus Line,” “Promises, Promises,” “Coco,” “Company,” “Follies, “Seesaw” and “God's Favorite.” He was a producer on the original “Dreamgirls” and “Ballroom” and did musical staging for “Sunset Boulevard” starring Glenn Close in 1994, “Putting It Together” with Carol Burnett and the original “Miss Saigon” with Lea Salonga in 1991. Avian earned six Tony nominations and won twice, for choreographing “Ballroom” and co-choreographing “A Chorus Line.” He won an Oliver Award for choreographing Boublil and Schonberg's musical “Martin Guerre” in London. He also choreographed “The Witches of Eastwick” in the West End starring Ian McShane. Avian's association with “A Chorus Line” continued when he directed the 2006 revival on Broadway and the London revival at the Palladium in 2013. He also directed touring versions. He earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University and also studied at Boston Ballet School. In 2020, his memoir “Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey” co-written with Tom Santopietro was published by University Press of Mississippi. He is survived by his husband, Peter Pileski, and a sister, Laura Nabedian. Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
WELLINGTON COUNTY – The County of Wellington is undertaking a large study to improve and identify needs on its road network. The Road Master Action Plan (RMAP) intends to map out improvements to all county roads that connect the seven municipalities. Provincial and municipal roads are not included in the scope of the study. Don Kudo, county engineer, said the last time Wellington County did a transportation master plan was in 2005 making this a good time to take another look. “There’s also a number of different current issues and concerns that residents have with respect to road safety and needs that we’d like to review in this plan,” Kudo said. He explained the study is looking long range to 2041 which will help with budget forecasts and more currently at operational improvements. A press release lays out four key objectives that are guiding the study: The county is seeking public input throughout the process with a survey and mapping tool available until Feb. 11. “Community engagement is critical to the success of the RMAP,” said Andy Lennox, county roads committee chair, in a press release. “By engaging, we can be certain that the RMAP is shaped by our community. Residents have an opportunity to participate in meaningful engagement.” The map allows participants to pin points on particular county roads or intersections to highlight areas that have speeding issues, safety concerns, improvement suggestions or general comments. “We thought we would try to either see if there’s other new locations or confirm the issue we’ve heard in the past and the mapping tool allows residents to really provide a direct input,” Kudo said. “We can see how many other residents will have the same concerns and that’ll point us in the direction for areas of focus to look at what we can do at some of these locations.” Although geared toward county residents, Kudo said they welcome input from those in other municipalities who regularly use county roads. Those who provide input before the deadline will receive a $5 voucher for Ride Well, the county’s rideshare program, and a chance to win a $25 gas gift card. The survey and mapping tool can be found here. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
Recent turmoil in Kahnawake required the Task Force to clarify safety measures that were put in place. Starting on December 31, Directive # 55 mandated that all non-essentials stores be closed until the end of January. This measure included tobacco stores while allowing convenience stores to continue selling cigarettes strictly to Kahnawa’kehró:non. “The Task Force decided to close retail stores, which includes cigarette/tobacco stores, as they often cater mainly to non-local clients and are therefore at risk of increasing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the community,” said Frankie McComber, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake lead liaison for the Task Force, in a press release. The executive director of Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre (KMHC) Lisa Westaway said that the decision was met with a strong response. She explained that there was a big outcry in the community, as people felt like the tobacco industry was being targeted. On January 15, the Task Force announced that stores that met certain requirements, such as selling a significant amount of food, essential toiletries and cleaning products, could be reclassified to remain open. As a result, some tobacco stores have requested to be categorized as convenience stores. “There are many businesses that have rebuilt themselves differently in order to survive during the pandemic,” said Westaway. “I think it’s part of innovation and growth, we all have to adapt.” One of the stores was the tobacco shop on Highway 132 that had received more than $15,000 in fines for going against the measures. Under the new classification, it was allowed to remain open - a decision that was also met with disagreement. “This has nothing to do with politics, these decisions are about safety,” said Westaway, in response to the backlash they received for allowing stores to be reclassified as convenience stores. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) issued a statement in which it explained that decisions are made on a daily basis “to the best of everyone’s abilities and based on the best information available.” The Task Force also implemented new measures regarding outdoor rinks. Starting on January 14, it is now required that only one household at a time be found at any rinks across the territory. The decision was taken after the presence of a positive COVID-19 case was reported on January 10 at the town rink, along with several other community members. “The Local Public Health Team is unable to identify all potential contacts and therefore is asking any person who was at the town rink during those times to self-isolate until the end of the day on Sunday, January 24,” read an MCK statement. All Kahnawa’kehró:non need to reserve their one-hour spot with the Sports and Recreation Unit, who will be monitoring the rinks. Kahnawake extended its state of emergency for an additional 30 days, but the recent safety measures remain effective until January 31. email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Staff at a Vancouver Value Village store returned over $85,000 in cash donated by accident, to the rightful owner, a senior who now lives in a long-term care home.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador brushed away concerns on Friday about the living conditions of thousands of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a U.S. program that President Joe Biden is scrambling to unravel. Humanitarian organizations have documented cases of attacks, extortion, kidnapping, and sexual violence against those in the program. Most are from Central America and many live in shelters and cramped apartments in dangerous border towns or in a squalid tent city in Mexico's far northeast.
It has been a dizzying 24 hours in the Olympic news cycle, with thousands of athletes, coaches, government officials and reporters trying to sift through what's fact and what's fiction. Are the Games going forward like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) insists? Or are they being cancelled? Inside her Toronto home, Marnie McBean, Canada's chef de mission for Tokyo, was doing her best to track down information Thursday afternoon about a published report suggesting the Japanese government wants to cancel the Games. Her phone immediately started lighting up. "The story was first flagged to me by an athlete. I looked at the article. When you take the time to look at the original article, there was conjecture. It was someone guessing," McBean told CBC Sports. McBean, a three-time Olympic champion rower, went into full information-gathering mode all while trying to calm the nerves of Canadian athletes who were tweeting and texting and phoning, fearful their Olympic dreams were dashed. "I wanted to make sure we were getting to athletes before they started going down a rabbit hole of fear, doubt, or sadness." McBean said. "I knew that we wanted to and needed to get to it quickly because athletes were picking up on this. People are on frayed nerves." WATCH | 6 months out from scheduled Olympic start, here's what we know: Hours after the Times of London story, Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker took to Twitter to issue a statement. The committee "has confidence that the Games can be staged safely and successfully given what has been learned in sport over the last several months and the emphasis the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have placed on COVID-19 countermeasures," Shoemaker wrote on Twitter. McBean said their swift action and proactive approach was crucial during those valuable hours after the initial report. "I was really proud of the Canadian Olympic Committee's response to confirm what we knew — that the Games are still very much happening." WATCH | IOC's Bach says Japan remains committed to Tokyo Games: Emotional time It's been an emotional couple of weeks for McBean, who on Jan. 11 lost her rowing partner and longtime friend, Kathleen Heddle, to cancer. Heddle and McBean won Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 in the coxless pair and double sculls respectively. Heddle also earned gold with the women's eight in 1992. With all the craziness and unknowns around the Olympics, the postponement, this latest report and a pandemic still forcing most of the world into lockdown, Heddle's advice has very much been on McBean's mind. "Kathleen Heddle is always with me," McBean said, beginning to cry. "And she taught me to stay focused on the things that are important and I apply that now. "And what's important is that athletes remain focused on what they can do and that they listen to reliable sources. Listen to the people closest to you who you can trust. And that's what's important. That's what I take forward as the chef. And how we're going to proceed with the next six months." WATCH | Olympic officials deny reports that Tokyo Olympics may be cancelled: The next six months will no doubt be littered with challenges for the IOC and Olympic organizing committee. Polls show Japanese residents overwhelmingly don't want the Games. Only about 50 per cent of the approximately 11,000 Olympic hopeful athletes have qualified for the Games. And on Friday, Japanese health officials reported 108 deaths, a record daily high. The country has yet to start a vaccination program in the country but has a target date of late February. 'No Plan B' Much of the rhetoric and statements issued from the COC, IOC and many other national Olympic committees in the last days have an eerily similar tone to last March, when the decision was made to postpone the Olympics for a year. The COC made the bold move of being first to declare its athletes would not participate, citing public and athlete safety as the priority. IOC president Thomas Bach said then there's "no Plan B," meaning in the IOC's view the Olympics are happening and that the IOC is fully committed to making it happen. He uttered those same words Thursday. "A lot has changed. Everything has changed. I think everyone around the world would say there's nothing the same in our understanding of the coronavirus," McBean said. "We know a lot more about management and prevention. We know it's an airborne virus. There was a lot more fear of unknowns last March. Now we understand the value of 14 days and isolation. We understand the value of masks. We know so much more." WATCH | Olympian DeBues-Stafford talks importance of vaccines: When pressed about those same public and athlete health concerns as things stand now, McBean said it is still the priority. However, she's unwavering when it comes to whether the Olympics go ahead. "I am confident. I think international sports federations around the world are doing everything they can to understand the virus," she said. "Sport at its core is resilient. It's about figuring things out. They don't say that's an Olympic-sized task for nothing. You don't get to win gold medals easily. You have to figure out an Olympic-sized task." That's what this continues to be. A task so immense many are skeptical it's going to happen — or why it's happening in the face of a pandemic that's killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world. "Our athletes are just as conflicted as everyone because they are Canadians first before they are athletes. And like everyone they are doing their best to stay connected to their passion," McBean said. "That's what the Olympics have always been. The resilience of the athletes who represent the kid next door. They seem more like us and our communities. I think the Olympics athletes have rallied and have been part of their communities." McBean concedes it won't be like the Games she attended, or the ones Canadians are used to watching. Under normal circumstances there are so many extracurricular activities and parties outside of the competitions. McBean knows that can't happen this time. "The Olympics are going to be different," she said. "There are two parts — the competition and the Games, which is a celebration, and the parties and all the other stuff. The way they'll happen is because they'll be paired down to the competitions." "We hope to take a team of over 400 Canadian athletes to test themselves against citizens of the world and show the world a little bit of light."
OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has suspended the sale of decommissioned RCMP vehicles, two days after a man in Nova Scotia was arrested for allegedly impersonating an officer while driving a fake police car. The suspect's 2013 Ford Taurus was a decommissioned police car and was allegedly altered to look like an unmarked police vehicle. The car was similar to the replica RCMP cruiser used by a gunman who killed 22 people in Nova Scotia during a 13-hour rampage on April 18-19. Blair issued a statement today saying the RCMP's resale process for decommissioned vehicles ensures they cannot easily be misused for criminal purposes. The minister said, however, such sales will be suspended to ensure the process is not flawed. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said today he was pleased with Blair's decision. "It's a great first step," McNeil said, adding that the province's justice minister, Mark Furey, has been working with Blair on the police vehicle file. "We have a piece of legislation that will be introduced during the next session. It deals with (police) accessories and how to deal with municipal (police) vehicles in our province." On Wednesday, the Mounties said that in the most recent case, a 23-year-old suspect from Antigonish, N.S., may have used the car in question to pull over other vehicles in the Halifax region and Antigonish County. The vehicle was outfitted with LED lights in the rear window, a microphone on the dashboard, a public address system, citizens band radio and a push bar with LED lights mounted on the grill. Police also confirmed the suspect did not appear to have any police clothing or firearms of any kind. "It remains illegal to impersonate a police officer and we will take every step possible to prevent such crimes from taking place," Blair said in the statement. "We will continue to work so that all Canadians feel safe in their communities." The vehicle used in the April mass shooting was heavily modified with an emergency light bar on the roof and decals that looked exactly like those found on marked RCMP cruisers. Early in the RCMP's investigation of the mass killing, a senior officer said the killer's vehicle allowed him to "circulate around the province, steps ahead of our investigators." The replica vehicle was so convincing that questions were raised about the availability of former police vehicles for public purchase. The Mounties have confirmed that on the night of April 18, the killer set fire to several homes and killed 13 people in Portapique before evading police later that night while disguised as an RCMP officer. The next morning, he resumed killing people he knew and others at random before he was fatally shot by a Mountie at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., which is just north of Halifax. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Le Parc régional éducatif Bois de Belle-Rivière propose maintenant la location de sept vélos de type «fatbike», munis de roues larges et conçus autant pour rouler dans la neige et dans les sentiers boueux. Les citoyens de Mirabel peuvent désormais se déplacer vers les lieux et rouler sur un de ces vélos pour une durée limitée (une ou deux heures), en procédant à la location, le jour même, via le pavillon d’accueil et durant les heures d’ouverture. Notons qu’aucune réservation par téléphone ou par courriel ne sera acceptée. Les férus de plein air sont donc conviés au parc, situé sur la route Arthur-Sauvé; ouvert tous les jours, de 9 h à 17 h. Un parc de glace! D’ailleurs, le Parc annonce que le sentier de glace en forêt fut prêt à accueillir ses visiteurs à partir de ce jeudi 21 janvier. Il est donc loisible de patiner seul ou avec les membres d’une bulle familiale, sur un chemin de 2 km, tout en respectant une distanciation de deux mètres avec les autres convives. La patinoire sera également ouverte pour une capacité maximale de 25 personnes, en patinage libre seulement. À noter que le parc de glace entier exige une capacité de 400 personnes. Le port du masque est obligatoire sous le grand chapiteau. «Nous vous demandons d’être indulgent avec notre personnel, ils sont présents afin de faire respecter les règles et d’assurer la sécurité de tous», de mentionner les responsables, via les réseaux sociaux. Pour des renseignements additionnels concernant les activités proposées et les mesures en vigueur, veuillez téléphoner au 450 258-4924, ou joindre un responsable du service client, par courriel, à firstname.lastname@example.org. Pour connaître les conditions du parc, consultez le site Web [www.boisdebelleriviere.com], dans la section «Info conditions».Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
Eden Robinson is giving readers in B.C. First Nations communities a preview of the final book in her "Trickster" trilogy. Robinson wrote in a Facebook post that she's sent advance copies of "Return of the Trickster" to public libraries near Kitamaat Village, Kitimat and Terrace. The author, who's from the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations, warned readers that they may encounter some typos and errors that should be fixed before the book's March release. Robinson says the sneak peek is her way of saying thank you for all of the support she's received. "Return of the Trickster" rounds out Robinson's "Trickster" series following an Indigenous teenager from Kitimat, B.C. who discovers he has magical powers passed down through generations. The story has been adapted into a CBC series that debuted in October. The show's co-creator Michelle Latimer has resigned for the second season after concerns were raised about the accuracy of her claimed Indigenous ancestry. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Canada's main stock index dipped to cap a losing week as COVID-19 virus and vaccine concerns weighed on the energy sector. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 70.29 points to 17,845.91. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 179.03 points at 30,996.98, the S&P 500 index was down 11.60 points at 3,841.47, while the Nasdaq composite was up 12.14 points at 13,543.06. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.64 cents US compared with 79.2 cents US on Thursday. The March crude contract was down 86 cents US at US$52.27 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 4.1 cents US at nearly US$2.46 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$9.70 at $1,856.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was down about 2.1 cents at almost US$3.63 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
Alberta's film and TV industry is gearing up for an unprecedented production season that promises jobs and a cash injection for the economy as major U.S. studios look north for locations due to COVID-19 slowdowns, says Damian Petti, local president of a union for film and stage technicians. "The season ahead is something I've not seen before," Petti told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday. "We've not seen this level of scouting and shows that are already greenlit in January — ever. I've been doing this 22 years and this is shaping up to be the most robust season ever." Petti, president of Local 212 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), says there are 19 projects in the works within Alberta, but even more are being scouted and greenlighted each day. These include a series called Guilty Party with Kate Beckinsale, a Fraggle Rock series reboot and another season of Jann with Alberta's own Jann Arden. He says it's also likely that Season 15 of CBC's Heartland will shoot this year in Alberta. Industry giants Disney, NBC Universal and HBO are scouting projects in Alberta too, Petti says. The draw Petti points to three reasons for the boom in interest: the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar, federal and provincial incentives and Canada's management of the pandemic. Investors are interested in getting more bang for their buck in Canada, says Petti. One American dollar is worth around $1.28 Canadian, according to recent data from the Bank of Canada. There are also several tax credits eligible to companies who shoot in Alberta. Within Alberta, there is a film and television tax credit of up to $10 million per production for eligible Alberta production and labour costs incurred by companies that make films and television series in the province. The federal film or video production services tax credit encourages foreign-based producers to hire Canadians by offering a tax credit for Canadian labour. In terms of COVID-19 safety, Petti says major studios and streaming platforms have negotiated protocols over the summer. "We're in a good position to actually work safely. And the studios acknowledge that," he said. In Los Angeles, the epicentre of the film industry, COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes, which Petti says has led to a slowdown in production. Job creation Despite common misunderstanding on hiring, most of the film production labour in Alberta is hired within the province, says Petti. "There's a common misconception among the public that these crews are actually coming in from outside of the province," he said. "On a big Netflix of Apple project, 97 per cent or more of the shooting crew is actually hired locally." He says small businesses that produce things needed on set, like costumes and props, "thrive on the industry." "We hope to do $400 million in production this year," he said. "That would make it our best year ever." With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's admission Friday that he might have to improve the vetting for high-level appointments sparked criticism over why he didn't figure that out before he chose Julie Payette as governor general. Trudeau named the former astronaut as Canada's 29th governor general in 2017 after disbanding a non-partisan, arm's-length committee created by the previous Conservative government to recommend worthy nominees for viceregal posts. Thursday, she resigned over allegations she created a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall, an unprecedented move for a monarch's representative in Canada. Trudeau faced questions Friday about his judgment and his government's failure to check with Payette's former employers at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she faced similar allegations of harassing and bullying subordinates. "We will continue to look at the best way to select people for viceregal appointments," Trudeau told a news conference Friday outside his residence at Rideau Cottage. "It's an important role for Canadians and we will look at how we can improve it." But Trudeau would not commit to reinstating the non-partisan, arm's-length committee to choose her successor. Payette announced her resignation about a week after the government received the damning findings of an independent investigation into allegations of harassment and other workplace issues at Rideau Hall. Trudeau said he spoke with the Queen by telephone Friday to inform her that Chief Justice Richard Wagner is stepping in until a new governor general is named. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said earlier that the Queen was being kept informed and will leave the matter in the hands of the Canadian government. Trudeau said everyone deserves a safe and healthy workplace, including employees at Rideau Hall. He also said the work they have done has been "exceptional." But he deflected a question over whether he owed those employees and all Canadians an apology. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the choice of Payette was one of style over substance. "Really it comes down to Justin Trudeau, who was more interested in a flashy announcement of a governor general rather than doing the work of making sure it was the right selection," Singh said Friday. "And it seems to be an ongoing trend, this pursuit of a flashy headline instead of working to get the job done." Patricia Faison Hewlin, of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said leaders with authentic leadership skills have never been more important than now. "During these uncertain and devastating times, we are in critical need of leaders who are skilled at connecting to people in meaningful ways — building unity, allaying concerns, and showing empathy," she said. "The days are over when leaders could skimp on emotional intelligence and building relationships. Employees are demanding more from their leaders." Trudeau's minority Liberal government could be defeated at any time and, were that to happen, it would fall to the governor general to decide whether to call an election or give Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole a chance to see if he can command the confidence of the House of Commons. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday the government has begun discussions with those responsible for vetting, but the prime minister hasn't had time yet to reflect on the best way to choose Payette's successor. The government will have more to say on that likely next week, he said. He agreed the debacle of Payette's tenure shows a need to strengthen the process for vetting viceregal appointments. LeBlanc said the government report came to "compelling" and "stark" conclusions and that Payette's tenure shows that the vetting system for such appointments needs to be strengthened. "There always has been a process of vetting, of checks that are made when somebody is appointed to any government job. But clearly, the process can be strengthened, can be improved," LeBlanc said in an interview shortly after Payette's resignation. The government does not intend to release the report due to privacy issues and the promises of confidentiality made to all complainants, LeBlanc said. It will instead release a redacted version of the report in response to requests made under the Access to Information Act. LeBlanc would not discuss the contents of the report, but said it found Rideau Hall "was obviously an unacceptable workplace." LeBlanc said federal public servants "have the right to a secure, safe and healthy workplace and we are adamant … that standard be upheld at every institution of the government of Canada." He said the report "painted a picture that was not consistent" with that standard. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called on Trudeau to stop paying the expenses of former governors general after they have left office. Former governors general also qualify for a pension of more than $140,000, the federation said. "Two years ago, the prime minister said he would review this program," said federation director Aaron Wudrick. "Nothing has happened since. It's time to save taxpayers money by scrapping this outrageously wasteful program." The Senate recently agreed to pay $498,000 in compensation to nine former employees of ex-senator Don Meredith, who was accused of sexually harassing, belittling and humiliating his staff. LeBlanc said there's been no consideration thus far — and no mention in the report — of paying compensation to Rideau Hall employees, some dozen of whom complained anonymously to the CBC about Payette yelling at, belittling and publicly humiliating staff, reducing some to tears and prompting some to quit. He said such questions will be handled by senior federal officials, who are planning to talk with all employees at Rideau Hall to plan next steps. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Mike Blanchfield and Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — Two COVID-19 variants have been identified in Nova Scotia, the province's chief medical officer of health said Friday, adding that in both cases, the variant wasn't able to reproduce in the community. Tests conducted at Canada's national laboratory in December identified the U.K. variant in one COVID-19 sample from Nova Scotia and the South African variant in another case from the province, Dr. Robert Strang told reporters. "We know that neither case resulted in spread into the community," Strang said. He said, however, that household members of one person infected with a COVID-19 variant had tested positive, adding that those results identified viral loads that were too small to be analyzed at the national lab. Strang said those cases were likely connected to the South African variant. He said health officials weren't surprised to learn the variants had landed in the province, adding that their detection shows Nova Scotia's surveillance system works. "It reinforces why we need to maintain federal and provincial border measures and it certainly is another reason why we need to continue our cautious approach to COVID-19." Strang said the province was still awaiting results from the national lab on another 20 to 30 test samples. Health officials on Friday reported four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active reported cases in the province to 22. Strang said one case involves a student at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., who tested positive shortly after completing a 14-day quarantine. Strang also announced that most of the restrictions imposed across the province would be extended until at least Feb. 7, including 10-person gathering limits and the requirement that restaurants end service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. "We are still in the middle of a severe second wave that is all around us including our closest neighbour in New Brunswick," he said. As of Thursday, 10,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered, while 2,705 Nova Scotians had received their second dose. The Nova Scotia Nurses' Union launched a campaign Friday aimed at convincing as many people as possible to get vaccinated. The union uploaded a series of video testimonials to its website that offer insight and firsthand accounts from nurses who discuss their vaccinations. "We did it because we believe that our patients look up to nurses and physicians, they look up to us for direction," union president Janet Hazelton said in an interview. "We think it's important that we get the message out that the nurses' union supports the vaccine." Hazelton said while the majority of people are keen to get a shot there are still some who are "vaccine hesitant," adding that the union wants the public to know its members are confident the vaccine is safe and effective. She said annual flu vaccination rates among health Nova Scotians are usually relatively low — except this year, she said, which has seen a large uptake. People, however, need to be far more willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine than they are with the flu shot, she added. "We don't and can't have that same (lower) percentage for the COVID-19 vaccine," Hazelton said. "We need to have higher than 50-60 per cent." Front-line nurses were among the first to be vaccinated in Nova Scotia and Hazelton said so far none of her members have refused to get a shot. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
Tanner Stewart can think of no better way to flush 2020 down the drain than by filling up a tub with his cannabis-infused bath bombs in 2021. Stewart, founder and CEO of St. Stephen-based Stewart Farms, said his new bath bomb, made with 50 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 50 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) and essential oils, has been receiving rave reviews. "It's a really nice way to engage with a familiar thing like a bath bomb for a lot of consumers who already really like bath bombs and combine it with a cannabis-infused experience," he said. Stewart Farms makes three different types of bath bombs, each tailored with the help of the essential oils for a different experience. Trainwreck combines the scents of eucalyptus, sweet orange and Spanish rosemary to be uplifting and energizing. Bubba Kush is meant to be calming, with the scents of lavender, white grapefruit and cassia, and Blue Dream is meant to be a harmonizing bath bomb, with the scents of lemon grass, pepper, orange and lavender. CBD is a known anti-inflammatory, Stewart said, and THC is known to be antibacterial and anti-fungal. All of the products, which retail for $16.99 per bath bomb, are packaged individually in 100 per cent biodegradable packaging. Stewart said it's believed his farm is the first cannabis producer in Canada to use this type of packaging. He said environmental protection is a cannabis company’s responsibility. "We think that's setting a new precedent in the industry," he said. Stewart Farms' bath bombs have just sold out for the second time in multiple locations since launching about a month ago. Products are being sold in New Brunswick and in Alberta for now, with plans to expand from coast to coast by the end of 2021. Stewart said the bombs are a great, easy and harmless introduction for those who've never used cannabis products before, especially older people. "They need to be grabbing these things, and giving themselves a nice, well-deserved self-care treatment." Stewart said bath bomb users won't get high from the cannabis per se, but he's received feedback from customers that tell him their skin feels great after, they're relaxed and they have a great night's sleep. Some other say they feel clarity and it helps with pain, he added. Stewart, who's originally from Miramichi, said he's grateful the cannabis industry allowed him to move back to his home province in August 2019 from Alberta to start this business. "This industry has allowed me not only to come back home to my own province and have a job, but I'm able to build a business in a globally-leading industry." The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal