China's embassy in the Philippines has denounced the United States for "creating chaos" in Asia, after a visiting White House envoy backed countries in disputes with China and accused Beijing of using military pressure to further its interests. During a trip to Manila on Monday, national security adviser Robert O'Brien underscored the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and told the Philippines and Vietnam, countries both locked in maritime rows with China, that "we've got your back". "It shows that his visit to this region is not to promote regional peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the U.S.," the embassy said in a statement issued late Monday.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday vowed to defend the democratic island's sovereignty with the construction of a new fleet of domestically-developed submarines, a key project supported by the United States to counter neighbouring China. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has been for years working to revamp its submarine force, some of which date back to World War Two, and is no match for China's fleet, which includes vessels capable of launching nuclear weapons. At a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a new submarine fleet in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, Tsai called the move a "historic milestone" for Taiwan's defensive capabilities after overcoming "various challenges and doubts".
An opposition lawmaker called on Tuesday for Malaysia to outlaw online hate speech, accusing authorities of downplaying the gravity of an issue highlighted by a Reuters investigation into abuse on Facebook of Rohingya refugees and undocumented migrants. Citing the Reuters report on rising xenophobia online in Malaysia in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, lawmaker Chan Foong Hin asked the Communications and Multimedia Ministry last week to state its plans to combat such hate speech.
Salt that crystallizes with sharp edges is the killer ingredient in the development of a reusable mask because any COVID-19 droplets that land on it would be quickly destroyed, says a researcher who is being recognized for her innovation.Ilaria Rubino, a recent PhD graduate from the department of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta, said a mostly salt and water solution that coats the first or middle layer of the mask would dissolve droplets before they can penetrate the face covering.As the liquid from the droplets evaporates, the salt crystals grow back as spiky weapons, damaging the bacteria or virus within five minutes, Rubino said."We know that after the pathogens are collected in the mask, they can survive. Our goal was to develop a technology that is able to inactivate the pathogens upon contact so that we can make the mask as effective as possible."Rubino, who collaborated with a researcher at Georgia State University in Atlanta to advance the project she started five years ago, was recognized Tuesday with an innovation award from Mitacs. The Canadian not-for-profit organization receives funding from the federal government, most provinces and Yukon to honour researchers from academic institutions.The reusable, non-washable mask is made of a type of polypropylene, a plastic used in surgical masks, and could be safely worn and handled multiple times without being decontaminated, Rubino said.The idea is to replace surgical masks often worn by health-care workers who must dispose of them in a few hours, she said, adding the technology could potentially be used for N-95 respirators.The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval. It could also be used to stop the spread of other infectious illnesses, such as influenza, Rubino said.Dr. Catherine Clase, an epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, said the "exciting" technology would have multiple benefits.Clase, who is a member of the Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials in the engineering department at McMaster, said there wasn't much research in personal protective equipment when Rubino began her work."It's going to decrease the footprint for making and distributing and then disposing of every mask," she said, adding that the mask could also address any supply issues.The Public Health Agency of Canada recently recommended homemade masks consist of at least three layers, with a middle, removable layer constructed from a non-woven, washable polypropylene fabric to improve filtration.Conor Ruzycki, an aerosol scientist in the University of Alberta's mechanical engineering department, said Rubino's innovation adds to more recent research on masks as COVID-19 cases rise and shortages of face coverings in the health-care system could again become a problem.Ruzycki, who works in a lab to evaluate infiltration efficiencies of different materials for masks and respirators, is also a member of a physician-led Alberta group Masks4Canada, which is calling for stricter pandemic measures, including a provincewide policy on mandatory masks.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
A B.C. surgeon who called his preteen patient a "loose woman" during an appointment has been fined and reprimanded by his professional regulator.Dr. Bruce Taro Yoneda, an orthopedic surgeon based in Victoria, has admitted that he "engaged in unprofessional conduct by using sexualized language during a surgical consult," according to a public notice posted Friday by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.Yoneda also acknowledged telling the same young patient he would give her a "lube job," and admitted he did not give her a full explanation before he began questioning her about her menstrual cycle.The college's inquiry committee, which investigates complaints against doctors, "was critical of the registrant's admitted conduct and concluded that his use of inappropriate language displayed a lack of insight," the notice says.As part of a consent agreement with the college, Yoneda has been fined $7,500, received a formal reprimand and has had his registration as a doctor transferred to "conditional" status. He's also agreed to take courses in clinical communication and professionalism.
Residents were given proper notice of a vote to remove Fort Simpson's liquor purchasing restrictions, according to N.W.T. finance minister Caroline Wawzonek. MLA for Nahendeh Shane Thompson – also a minister – posted to Facebook on Monday regarding concerns constituents had raised about the plebiscite held on November 12. Specifically, the post related to concerns about how much public notice was provided leading up to the vote and how to contact the official in charge of it. Residents ultimately voted overwhelmingly in favour of lifting alcohol restrictions in the community. Of 730 eligible voters, 240 cast a ballot and 175 of those were in favour of removing restrictions. The Department of Finance, which oversees liquor regulations in the N.W.T., is now in the process of implementing the result, which may take several weeks. Thompson's post relayed a message he had received from Wawzonek addressing concerns. “Based on all of the information I have received to date, I am confident in the integrity of the plebiscite held in the village of Fort Simpson,” Wawzonek's message to Thompson reads. Wawzonek states some residents who attend school away from Fort Simpson believe they did not receive adequate notice of the plebiscite. She concludes, however, that there was sufficient notice within the village, on Facebook, and through the media in the weeks and months before the vote. She adds returning officer Tammie Cazon fulfilled her duties in the Local Authorities Elections Act by providing public notice of the plebiscite, including details on how and where to vote. Wawzonek says Cazon met legislative requirements by posting public notices in five locations – the bank, the Northern store, the Unity store, the Nahanni Inn and Pandaville restaurant. “It is not the responsibility of the returning officer to locate and notify every resident of the community who may not be currently living in the community. That would be an impossible task," Wawzonek writes. "Voters bear some of the responsibility for informing themselves about how to exercise their democratic right to vote.” The final concern regards the returning officer’s email address and confusion about how to reach Cazon. Wawzonek again asserts faith in the process, saying her department confirmed with Cazon only one email address was distributed for voters to use. Proxy voting was an option in the plebiscite but, according to Wawzonek, Cazon did not receive any emails related to proxy voting. The community of Fort Simpson requested the plebiscite after a petition with more than 150 signatures from residents was turned in to the village council late last year, asking for action to try to remove the restrictions. Restrictions are set to be lifted in the coming weeks, though an exact date has not been set. Once the regulations are changed and restrictions lifted, the village is still bound to pandemic-related alcohol restrictions, which limit customers to a maximum of $200 per day at any liquor store in the territory and six mickeys (375-ml bottles) of spirits in a 24-hour period.Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
B.C.'s health-care workers are pleading with the public to heed health orders while bracing for difficult working conditions as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise.On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced there were another 1,933 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days and 17 more deaths.This comes just over two weeks after restrictions were initially put in place in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities, and a few days after those restrictions were extended to cover the entire province. Christine Sorensen, president of the B.C. Nurses' Union, says nurses are frustrated when they see people continue to gather in groups and not follow the guidelines because that increases transmission and puts additional pressure on the health-care system."It puts greater demands on the staff that also fairly tired, looking for a bit of a rest and a break and really not seeing anything coming in the next few months, particularly with the holiday season coming and people wanting to mix and mingle with their friends and family," Sorensen said. Dr. Kathleen Ross, the president of Doctors of B.C., says the prospect of burnout is looming closer for many front line health-care workers. "Many of us are afraid to go home for fear of infecting our loved ones and many more of us drop our clothes at the door and run to the shower before we even greet our family," said Ross. "We're adjusting to the new normal ... but of course we cannot expect that surge capacity to last forever."And both Ross and Sorensen point out it is not just front line health-care workers shouldering the burden, but additional staff like cleaning crews and maintenance workers who keep the whole health-care system operational."There are lots of unsung heroes in the system, not just in the emergency rooms where there are doctors and nurses taking care of our most acutely ill," Sorensen said. Sorensen says she worries the spike in cases could escalate to point where essential health-care workers are kept on the job even if they've been exposed."[I'm] very concerned [about that]. Nurses are dedicated and they do want to continue working, but if we get enough nurses exposed or sick, we won't have enough nurses to deliver healthcare," she said. Ross says this is a crucial moment."If everyone does their part, if we all step forward and follow the public health guidelines as they have been laid out, then we'll get there. But we have to do it all together."
The staff tested positive last week and Maxwell was checked for the virus on Nov. 18 using a rapid test which was negative, the prosecutors said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. Maxwell was placed in quarantine at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for 14 days, said the letter. Maxwell has not shown any symptoms of COVID-19 and will be tested again at the end of her two-week quarantine.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Miss Vickie's Canada says some of its potato chips that were part of a recall in Eastern Canada earlier this month due to possible glass contamination were inadvertently shipped west. The company says the chips were only shipped to retail customers in Alberta, Brandon, Man., and Moose Jaw, Sask, and that it's working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to co-ordinate a voluntary recall. It says 630 bags are involved, and they have very specific "guaranteed fresh" dates and "manufacturing codes." Consumers who have purchased the chips should not eat them and are urged to throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. At the beginning of November, Miss Vickie's recalled some chips sold online and in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada due to what it said was "isolated reports of the presence of a small piece of glass found at the bottom of the bag." The CFIA says on its website there have been reported injuries associated with the products. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. The Canadian Press
Before the province builds a correctional facility off County Road 44 in North Grenville, the 182-acre parcel of land will get one more agricultural use. On Friday, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark announced that the province has authorized the land for use to host the 2022 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM). "I'm pleased that our government has formally cleared the way for North Grenville to host the 2022 International Plowing Match on the former Kemptville College lands, bringing this prestigious event back to Leeds and Grenville," said Clark. While the 182-acre property won't hold the entire plowing match, it was a key component to hosting the event in North Grenville, according to regional plowmen's association board chairman Harry Bennett. "The land in question, which is the site of the new prison, will hold the tented city – so all the exhibitors - and we'll also use that land for the horse plowing and VIP plowing," said Bennett. Parking and the RV park will spill over across the road (County Road 44) onto municipal land, but more room is still needed. "We will need more land for the competition plowing, but that hasn't been finalized yet," said Bennett. The IPM was last held in Leeds and Grenville in 2007 when it was hosted by Rideau Lakes Township. Next year's IPM will be hosted in Lindsay. It takes about two to three years to organize each IPM, with the help of anywhere from 400 to 500 volunteers, according to Bennett. "The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo is a staple event for Ontario's farmers, which showcases our renowned agriculture sector to visitors from around the world," said Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman. Gaining permission to use the provincial acreage in North Grenville has been an ongoing negotiation for the past year. "MPP Clark was certainly in favour of us using the land, and we believe he was pushing for us to have it, so we're very grateful for that," said Bennett. Clark had requested use of the site after being approached by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association and local organizers. "The Plowing Match is an incredible opportunity for us to highlight our region's rich agricultural history and to show the world that we remain on the leading edge of food production and agri-business innovation," said Clark, adding the event is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors to the community, providing an economic boost and creating new opportunities for investment. The Ontario Plowmen's Association, which has existed since 1911, has been organizing IPMs for more than 100 years. "The first plowing match was held in 1913 on Sunnybrook farm, the site of Sunnybrook Hospital today; it's only been cancelled a handful of times, once in 1918 due to the Spanish Flu, and a couple of times during World War II when farmers couldn't leave their farms, and then this year with COVID," said Cathy Lasby, executive director of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association.Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative, Brockville Recorder and Times
John Kerry, one of the leading architects of the Paris climate agreement, is getting one more chance to lead the fight against climate change after President-elect Joe Biden named the longtime senator and former secretary of state as climate envoy for national security.Biden's team gave little immediate detail on Monday about how he envisioned Kerry shaping the new job, which many on social media and on all sides of the climate-action spectrum were quick to dub “climate czar.” But the transition team made clear that it will be a prominent role, with Kerry becoming the first member of the National Security Council to focus exclusively on climate change.It was one of Biden’s first steps in making good on campaign pledges to confront climate damage from fossil fuel emissions more broadly and forcefully than any previous U.S. administration. And it's a sign of how the incoming administration is heeding warnings that natural disasters from global warming will weaken U.S. defence and spur conflicts around the globe.“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry tweeted. “I’m proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President’s Climate Envoy.”At 76, Kerry has the stature to help him make deals with foreign governments on global climate efforts. But he's up to a half-century or more older than the activists who pushed climate change to the forefront of national politics over the past four years.Varshini Prakash, the executive director of the Sunrise Movement climate group, whose members skew younger, called the appointment a “very good move,” saying Kerry combined a long track record on climate issues with a commitment “to engaging and listening to young voices.” But Prakash called for Biden to go further and create a new domestic federal office to push agencies on climate efforts.The incoming administration’s move comes after four years in which President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, promoted more drilling of climate-damaging oil and gas and mining of coal, and steadily dismantled Obama administration efforts to rein in fossil-fuel emissions.Biden has pledged to get the U.S. back into the Paris climate accord. After 2018 midterm elections in which young progressives like New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez succeeded in pushing climate change toward the front of the U.S. political agenda, Biden in his presidential race promised a $2 trillion plan to overhaul the nation’s transportation and power sectors and buildings to curb fossil fuel emissions.Kerry was a senator from Massachusetts, failed Democratic presidential candidate against George W. Bush in 2004, and Obama’s second secretary of state from 2013 to 2017.In the Senate, Kerry in 2010 was one of the main authors of one of the biggest legislative pushes to date by the Congress to limit fossil fuel emissions. It failed.Kerry's former Democratic colleagues in Congress praised his appointment.Kerry brings “diplomatic and political expertise” and “knows better than anyone how to ensure this crisis receives the international attention it so desperately needs,” said Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental advocacy group, welcomed the incoming Biden administration’s move on Kerry.But “it is important somewhere in Biden’s administration,” particularly in climate, to see “not just the same people and actors we have seen before on these issues,” Hartl said.Other environmental advocates — some of whom want the U.S. to pivot away from all fossil fuels within a few years — were more acerbic. Wenonah Hauter of Food and Water Action said Kerry’s record was far too tepid on limiting fossil fuels. “Kerry’s proposals are tired ideas from years past that will do little or nothing to address our climate crisis,” Hauter said in a statement.The U.S. military has warned in a series of reports that climate change is a security threat on many fronts. That includes “through direct impacts on U.S. military infrastructure and by affecting factors, including food and water availability, that can exacerbate conflict outside U.S. borders,” the federal government’s most recent, grim climate report said.Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
Continuing on a commitment to build a diverse and inclusive community, the village of Westport is hosting three workshops to help inform both the public and council members in the village and beyond about racial issues. "I sent an invitation to area councils and was gratified to find that both Smiths Falls and Perth are on a similar track, and are forming task force committees," said Westport Mayor Robin Jones. "I will be tuning in this Wednesday," said Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow. Smiths Falls is currently in the process of selecting members to fill its task force. "We recently approved the terms of reference, and we're looking for partners in the community who have a role to play, such as police services, youth, and health care. We also want people who have lived experiences and ideally a representative from First Nations and the LGBTQIA community," said Pankow. A similar model is expected to be developed in Westport. In July this year, after passing an anti-discrimination, anti-racism bylaw, the council committed to forming a task force to examine the village bylaws for implicit bias. "I will be looking for a wide collection of experiences to form the committee," said Jones. Meanwhile, Jones is launching a series of three workshops to help inform the public and people interested in participating in the public consultation on discrimination and racism. "We haven't formed the task force yet; that will come at the end of the these three workshops," said Jones. All the workshops will be online and are free to watch on the village's YouTube feed. They will remain on the village YouTube feed for a few days so people can tune in later if they can't catch the live feed on Wednesday. The first workshop is going to air on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and will feature Senator Gwen Boniface as the speaker talking about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian and Ontario Human Rights Codes, their role, how they overlap and how they differ. "These are foundational workshops, that will examine the legal framework around discrimination and racism, the science behind implicit bias and health equity," said Jones. The second workshop, on Jan. 27, will be with Anna Laszlo, director of the organization Fair and Impartial Policing, and will tackle unconscious bias and the techniques to manage our own biases and the impact of unconscious bias in organizations. All the workshops will be moderated and audience members will be able to ask questions. "I will be putting out my email and I will moderate the workshops," said Jones, adding that participants will be able to ask questions by emailing her directly during the workshop. The third workshop, on Feb. 24, will tackle health equity, and access to the social determinants of health within a society, and will be led by Tanis Brown, a registered nurse and health equity co-ordinator at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. This workshop will tackle poverty and education and is an area of particular interest in Smiths Falls, where Pankow says there is bias against poverty. "As we dig deeper we want to make sure we're as inclusive and accommodating a community as possible. We know that people living in poverty face huge barriers and different forms of prejudice," said Pankow. While Westport passed a bylaw enshrining the values of inclusivity within their municipal laws, Smiths Falls made a proclamation, but regardless of how each community has approached the subject they say they are moving forward with their commitments to address bias - overt or implicit-within their communities.Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative, Brockville Recorder and Times
The Canadian Coast Guard says it has completed its cleanup of a diesel spill caused by a collision between two vessels in the harbour at Parksville, B.C.According to the Coast Guard, a barge carrying a fuel truck struck a fishing boat in the French Creek Harbour on Monday at around 11:50 a.m.The collision caused the tank of the fuel truck to rupture, leaking diesel into the harbour. Although initial estimates suggested that 300-500 litres had been spilled, the Coast Guard said Monday evening that the final estimate is 188 litres.The Coast Guard says it deployed absorbent pads to soak up the fuel, and spoke with the barge's owner on the next steps in the cleanup. The barge's crew was able to plug the leak and pump most of the remaining fuel into the barge's tanks.By 7:45 p.m. PT, a Coast Guard spokesperson said "all recoverable product" had been removed from the water and the surface sheen should dissipate shortly.Canadian law states that the owner of any barge or vessel responsible for a spill is responsible for all costs of the cleanup.
The Wood Buffalo Food Bank (WBFB) will be moving to a new downtown location, with renovations expected to be finished by late February or early March. Purchasing a new building has been considered for the past few years even before April’s flooding, which damaged the food bank’s King Street location. The new site, which is at 10100 Centennial Drive, will include offices, community meeting spaces, a kitchen and a warehouse. For the past four years, the food bank had started outgrowing its King Street location and was renting storage space to supplement the site. With everything run from one building, Dan Edwards, executive director of the WBFB, said it will be easier to support the community. “If I don’t have to spend money on a building, those dollars can go further towards doing our work, expanding our programs and bringing in new programs,” he said. “It’s going to be great.” Edwards said remaining downtown was always the best option for the food bank. The facility would still be located in a flood area, but downtown is the only area with spaces large enough for their needs. A downtown building is also easier for people to reach than its temporary location in Gregoire—which is where the food bank has been operating since the flood. Edwards said remaining downtown keeps the organization close to residential areas and major bus routes. The new site will still need some renovations, but Edwards says the finished product will be better for staff, volunteers and clients. “Just having that freedom in knowing it’s our own space will make everything much easier,” said Edwards. “We’re going to work hard to make it feel like an inviting space so our clients have somewhere to feel safe when they’re coming in for assistance.” The annual Syncrude Food Drive is also beginning this weekend, which comes as the food bank sees demand continue to rise. Since March, roughly 50 new households per month are added to its client list. The food bank is expecting this trend to continue into 2021, especially as COVID-19 cases rise. In spring, people who turned to the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will also be required to pay taxes on the benefit, which Edwards fears will make budgets tighter for some families. This year’s food drive will be done through collection bins at grocery stores. People can drop off food, cash and gift card donations between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29. A list of in-demand items will be available on the Wood Buffalo Food Bank’s website, social media and in stores. Some in-demand items include canned fish, canned meat, baking goods, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and diapers size four, five and six. The food drive provides WBFB with 30 to 40 per cent of their food for a year. The food bank’s goal is to raise a total of $300,000 and 80,000 pounds of food. -with files from Laura Beamish email@example.comSarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for a man who spent 37 years in prison for the murder of a toddler says the British Columbia Appeal Court should first consider new evidence in the case he believes involved a miscarriage of justice. Thomas Arbogast said Monday that Phillip Tallio pleaded guilty in 1983 based on "ineffective assistance" from his lawyer at the time. Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin Delavina Mack, who court has heard had been sexually assaulted in a home in the northern community of Bella Coola. Tallio, now 54, told the court last month that he wasn't aware of the implications of the plea agreement his trial lawyer had him sign when he was a teenager. Arbogast said DNA evidence the Crown has rejected because it does not point to Tallio as the perpetrator could have made a difference at his trial because experts have testified it is reasonable, relevant and credible. "You say that that is the basis on which to set aside a guilty plea, even if the plea was otherwise entered in conformity with the law?" asked Justice S. David Frankel, one of three judges on the appeal panel. "Yes," Arbogast replied, referring to three other cases with valid guilty pleas he outlined that were found to be unreliable based on subsequent information. He said the Crown's view that a voluntary and valid guilty plea is the end of the matter and requires no further analysis may be acceptable in most cases considered by the Appeal Court, but not in cases like his client's. Tallio, who is out on bail, received a life sentence without chance of parole for 10 years as part of a plea agreement. He was never released from prison because he refused to admit his guilt to the parole board. The opinion of a second psychiatrist was particularly problematic during the trial, Arbogast said. The Crown and defence counsel relied on the statement, he said. "That caused an entire string of events to unfold with respect to the plea," he said, adding that the opinion "could not have been used as proof of the truth in 1983." The court has heard the second psychiatrist wrote in a letter dated May 17, 1983, that Tallio made incriminating statements about the crime scene. The first psychiatrist who met with Tallio several times starting when he arrived at a psychiatric institute for a court-ordered assessment on April 25, 1983, found the teen had a low IQ but was not necessarily mentally ill. Arbogast said Tallio's compelled placement at the institute the following day was without consent and done on the basis of an assessment of his fitness to stand trial and mental health. He said questions on whether statements to psychiatrists in that context could be used as proof of the truth were before the courts as far back as the 1960s before amendments in 1992 allowed them to be used to discredit an accused but not as evidence against them. Arbogast said trial counsel would not have been involved in plea negotiations if the second psychiatrist's statement "was not in play." "There was no other cogent evidence to support guilt that was admissible," he said. Rachel Barsky, another of Tallio's lawyers, said testimony last month from experts suggests DNA tests by a lab in Texas on the girl's tissue samples taken during an autopsy do not positively point to Tallio as the perpetrator. Barsky said later testing done at the B.C. Institute of Technology was contaminated. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
La motion qui réclame des excuses au premier ministre pour la promulgation en 1970 de la Loi sur les mesures de guerre et le recours à l’armée contre la population civile du Québec a été rejetée à 263 voix contre 56. Le parti des verts et la majorité des néo-démocrates ont voté en faveur de la motion qui avait divisé les députés jeudi en plénière. Le parti avait utilisé sa journée d’opposition aux Communes pour relancer les débats. Plusieurs élus estiment que la loi fut promulguée à la demande du Québec, lui aussi responsable d’opérations policières. Le chef du Bloc québécois, Yves-françois Blanchet, souhaite que « la Chambre réclame des excuses officielles du premier ministre au nom du gouvernement du Canada pour la promulgation, le 16 octobre 1970, de la Loi sur les mesures de guerre et le recours à l’armée contre la population civile du Québec afin d’arrêter de façon arbitraire, d’incarcérer sans accusation et d’intimider » près de 500 citoyens québécois. Au cours des débats, le Bloc a appelé ce gouvernement « qui se proclame contre la violence et l’extrémisme à travers le monde à faire montre de compassion » à l’égard des victimes et de leurs familles. « C’était inadmissible il y a 50 ans et ça l’est toujours aujourd’hui », a plaidé M. Blanchet devant des élus non acquis à cette cause pour la plupart. Les bloquistes mis en minorité Des libéraux et des conservateurs leur ont objecté le souvenir de l’enlèvement par le Front de libération du Québec de l’ancien vice-premier ministre du Québec, Pierre Laporte. Avec d’autres victimes, il mourut dans des conditions troubles aux mains du Front. Il a également été rappelé au chef du Bloc québécois que la loi sur les mesures de guerre fut promulguée à la demande du Québec de Robert Bourassa, premier ministre à cette époque. « C’est le Québec qui a reconnu sa responsabilité en donnant une compensation aux victimes … C’est la sûreté du Québec qui a mené les opérations policières », a soutenu le député Gérard Deltell du Parti conservateur, radicalement opposé à la motion. Pour les libéraux, le Bloc a présenté « une vision tronquée de l’histoire » dans un contexte où les responsabilités étaient partagées par tous les paliers de gouvernement. Malgré les rapports relativement froids entre les bloquistes et les néo-démocrates, le NPD a apporté son appui à la motion de Yves-François Blanchet. Il a fait valoir au débat la possibilité que le gouvernement de Pierre Eliott Trudeau avait à cette époque, de rejeter la demande du Québec au nom des libertés fondamentales. Le premier ministre n’était pas au vote. Justin Trudeau avait déjà indiqué la semaine dernière que le Bloc québécois ne parlait pas pour tous les Québécois. Il avait auparavant expliqué qu’il préférait se concentrer sur la pandémie de Covid-19 et l’avenir, plutôt que de s’intéresser « aux débats politiques sur ce qui s’est passé, il y a 50 ans. » Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Christmas lights in North Vancouver, B.C., will continue to be exempt from municipal bylaws and complaining neighbours.A motion in front of the District of North Vancouver that would have banned outdoor lights from being illuminated between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. was quickly shot down by council on Monday night. "It got so much media attention today," said Mayor Mike Little, who expressed some confusion the proposal had been placed on council's agenda to be immediately voted on."This is the very first chance this council has had to discuss it," he said.After it was removed from the agenda, Little showed council a picture of his home on his Zoom background, showing it lit up for the season. Where did the proposal come from? Left unsaid was why staff brought the proposal to ban overnight Christmas lights in the first place.It was part of a series of proposals to change regulations on single-family homes. Coun. Mathew Bond said consultation over the changes happened over the past two years, specifically to deal with complaints around construction. "The issue of noise and light as a nuisance came up specifically due to a neighbourhood dispute," he said.But Bond said there had only been three complaints about seasonal lighting in the past five years, and didn't believe that met the bar required for a bylaw change. "We're all trying to stay physically distant and keep to our household in a dark and kind of dreary Vancouver winter," he said. "People are looking for any chance to bring some lights and some life and some joy to their neighbourhood "In their proposal report, staff warned that even if council passed the bylaw as recommended, it "will require careful consideration of what is considered decorative/holiday/seasonal lighting."Based on the city's bylaws, the fine for disobeying the Christmas light bylaw would have been $100.
The company's Executive Vice President for Europe and Canada told Euronews that once approved the vaccine could be distributed "very fast" across all EU member states.View on euronews
At the regular Esterhazy town council meeting on Wednesday, more concerns regarding the West sign corridor were brought to the council’s attention. At an earlier council meeting a motion was passed to go forward with 4x8 signs for the West sign corridor—it was previously only 8x8 signs on the corridor. Without having a firm plan in place for the sign corridor since 2017, the council wanted to ensure as many signs as possible fit on the corridor. There are over 20 names on the sign corridor waiting list and the best way to give more businesses an opportunity was to move from 8x8 signs to 4x8 signs. No business with a sign up on the West sign corridor is under contract, but the town plans to provide them with the opportunity to update their signs to fit the new mandated size. One of the previous sign owners isn’t happy with the decision because they’ve kept their sign up to date and put money into it and doesn’t think it’s fair they’ll have to change their sign. Both councillors Tenille Flick and Vern Petracek understood the frustration of the sign owner because they don’t believe it’s fair to force someone to change their sign when they’ve been keeping it up to date and following the previous rules. “We made a decision and we have to stick to our guns,” said Councillor Randy Bot. “If we don’t change the signs then we won’t have sign space for the new plan,” said Councillor Maggie Rowland. “We can’t change the plan for one sign.” Economic Development Director Tammy MacDonald says that nothing has been approved by the town since 2017 so any work done was never brought to the town’s attention. MacDonald felt that all the signs should be the same size and abide by the same rules and with this plan the town will own the signs which will allow them to enforce their own policies. “The person never approached the town about renewing their contract,” said Mayor Grant Forster. “To make it work for everyone else we have to hold firm on this.” The council will not be making any changes to the sign corridor motion already passed and will be moving forward with their plan. “We’re still going forward with it,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “What happened was before 2017 there were one-year contracts put in place for the sign corridor. The town at that time gave a bunch of specifications for those signs. Some of the people—there were eight spots—abided by it and some didn’t, but this is one of the people who abided by it well. “They spent money and made sure the sign was there, but nothing was ever followed through with us after in terms of renewing the contract. Now that we’re changing it, this business is upset with the changes. This new plan has been worked on since 2017 to make these changes so we can have a nice sign corridor with more signs.” Sign corridor tender awarded The council passed a motion to award Timco Construction the tender for the West sign corridor. Timco Construction will be constructing and installing the posts for the signs. The construction and installation work will cost $625 per unit with up to 32 units to be installed for a total of $20,000 plus any applicable tax. The West sign corridor was budgeted in the 2020 budget and the council agrees in the coming years they’ll make the cost back with the new larger sign corridor and consistent contracts between the town and businesses with signs. Arena kitchen to remain closed With no response to previous tenders put out for the Dana Antal Arena kitchen, the council has decided to look into setting up a vending machine. The council looked at two options prior to the vending machine decision, to hire someone to run the kitchen or ask for volunteers. Given the circumstances with Covid-19 this year, council believes neither option seems plausible. The addition of a vending machine offers food with low maintenance and no health risks for those serving or buying food. The council says this is a short-term solution and will continue to look for volunteers in the future. “The vending machine is a good Covid-19 specific solution for the time being,” said Acting Administrator Mike Thorley. “We’re going to look at the information necessary to put a vending machine in and talk to the contractor out of Yorkton to see if we can get a one-year deal with them or up until March or April of next year. There’s nobody looking for this type of work right now and I think we’re better off to just have vending machines so there’s availability for something in the building.” NoneRob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. says it has agreed to become the operator of the Syncrude project by the end of 2021, as long as each of the joint venture's owners grants formal approval.Suncor owns a 58.74 per cent stake in the Syncrude Joint Venture, a position it has increased from 12 per cent in 2016.Other Syncrude stakeholders who must approve the agreement are Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., CNOOC Oil Sands Canada and Sinopec Oil Sands Partnership.Suncor chief executive Mark Little says the transition will help Syncrude better compete on cost per barrel.Little says the deal could yield $300 million a year in synergies, noting Syncrude and Suncor have families employed by both operations after years of close ties between neighbouring energy projects.Suncor's statement says that Syncrude and Suncor also stand to gain from the bi-directional pipelines connecting Suncor’s Base Plant and Syncrude’s operations, which are now complete and being commissioned.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020.The Canadian Press