Clouds hang low and mist crawls over the ice in Pixie Beach, BC.
Clouds hang low and mist crawls over the ice in Pixie Beach, BC.
(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters - image credit) Schitt's Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O'Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. "The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it," he said. "Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow." The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. "This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt's Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community," Dan Levy said. "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated." Earlier, O'Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating "an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien." "Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada," she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson's turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt's Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: "We don't say goodbye, we say see you down the road." Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was "in the presence of giants," naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman's widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying "he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices." Through tears, Ledward added: "I don't have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love." In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin. O'Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen's Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the "community of storytellers" for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes' version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda's father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he "could not feel more blessed." The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen." Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York's Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler's hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. "She's the reason I made this film," said Chung. "Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on," said Chung. Other awards included Pixar's Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. "Netflix saved our lives," said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night's first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya's acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, "You did me dirty!" once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn't mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood's awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year's ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that "the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists." This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes' best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice president Helen Hoehne. "We must have Black journalists in our organization."
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year. NASA's Kate Rubins and Victor Glover put the first set of mounting brackets and struts together, then bolted them into place next to the station's oldest and most degraded solar wings. But the work took longer than expected, and they barely got started on the second set before calling it quits. Rubins will finish the job during a second spacewalk later this week. The spacewalkers had to lug out the hundreds of pounds of mounting brackets and struts in 8-foot (2.5-meter) duffle-style bags. The equipment was so big and awkward that it had to be taken apart like furniture, just to get through the hatch. Some of the attachment locations required extra turns of the power drill and still weren't snug enough, as indicated by black lines. The astronauts had to use a ratchet wrench to deal with the more stubborn bolts, which slowed them down. At one point, they were two hours behind. “Whoever painted this black line painted outside the lines a little bit," Glover said at one particularly troublesome spot. “We’ll work on our kindergarten skills over here,” Mission Control replied, urging him to move on. With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to NASA. The six new solar panels — to be delivered in pairs by SpaceX over the coming year or so — should boost the station’s electrical capability by as much as 30%. Rubins and Glover tackled the struts for the first two solar panels, due to launch in June. Their spacewalk ended up lasting seven hours, a bit longer than planned. “Really appreciate your hard work. I know there were a lot of challenges,” Mission Control radioed. The eight solar panels up there now are 12 to 20 years old — most of them past their design lifetime and deteriorating. Each panel is 112 feet (34 metres) long by 39 feet (12 metres) wide. Tip to tip counting the centre framework, each pair stretches 240 feet (73 metres), longer than a Boeing 777's wingspan. Boeing is supplying the new roll-up panels, about half the size of the old ones but just as powerful thanks to the latest solar cell technology. They’ll be placed at an angle above the old ones, which will continue to operate. A prototype was tested at the space station in 2017. Rubins' helmet featured a new high-definition camera that provided stunning views, particularly those showing the vivid blue Earth 270 miles (435 kilometres) below. “Pretty fantastic," observed Mission Control. Sunday’s spacewalk was the third for infectious disease specialist Rubins and Navy pilot Glover — both of whom could end up flying to the moon. They’re among 18 astronauts newly assigned to NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program. The next moonwalkers will come from this group. Last week, Vice-President Kamala Harris put in a congratulatory call to Glover, the first African American astronaut to live full time at the space station. NASA released the video exchange Saturday. “The history making that you are doing, we are so proud of you,” Harris said. Like other firsts, Glover replied, it won't be the last. “We want to make sure that we can continue to do new things,” he said. Rubins will float back out Friday with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to wrap up the solar panel prep work, and to vent and relocate ammonia coolant hoses. Glover and Noguchi were among four astronauts arriving via SpaceX in November. Rubins launched from Kazakhstan in October alongside two Russians. They’re all scheduled to return to Earth this spring. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
COVID-19 numbers for Alberta, reported on February 28: 133,504 people have been infected with the virus. The earliest known COVID-19 case in Alberta was detected in a blood sample collected on Feb. 24. The first case was announced on March 5. Of those cases, 127,034 people have recovered, or 95.2 per cent of all cases. 301 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the active total to 4,584. 250 people are in hospital, with 46 people in intensive care units. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. Three new deaths from COVID-19, totalling 1,886. The majority of people who have died from COVID-19 also had high blood pressure, dementia, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 7,503 people were tested for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. To date, 3,412,356 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out on 1,820,481 people. 8,982 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the last 24 hours. 227,678 doses have been administered in total; 87,695 people are fully immunized with both doses. 114 adverse events following immunization have been reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. Adverse events are classified as any health problem following immunization. They are not necessarily caused by the vaccine. COVID-19 in Fort McMurray: One new active case in the past 24 hours, bringing known active total to 38. The first case was reported in the city on March 19. Two new recoveries in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,716. Masks in public spaces become mandatory on Oct. 26, after 51 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Wood Buffalo region. Alberta has since declared a province-wide mask order. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. Three people have died from COVID-19 in Fort McMurray, with the last death reported on Dec. 24. The first death was reported Sept. 8. COVID-19 in rural areas and Wood Buffalo National Park: No new COVID-19 case in rural communities or Wood Buffalo National Park has been reported in the past 24 hours, keeping the active total at four cases. No new recoveries in rural areas or Wood Buffalo National Park in the past 24 hours, keeping the total at 139. AHS has not confirmed which rural communities have active COVID-19 cases, only community leaders have. Masks in public spaces become mandatory on Oct. 26, after 51 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Wood Buffalo region. Alberta has since declared a province-wide order. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in the RMWB’s rural areas. COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s schools: Information on school outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. No school in Wood Buffalo has been ordered to close. An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s workplaces: Information on workplace outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. Canadian Natural’s Albian site. Canadian Natural’s Horizon site. Canadian Natural’s Kirby site. Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake site. North American Construction Group. Suncor’s base plant. Suncor’s Fort Hills site. Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site. Syncrude’s Aurora site. YMCA Eagle Ridge child care. An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
Japanese companies are ramping up the use of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to reduce waste and cut costs in the pandemic, and looking to score some sustainability points along the way. Disposing of Japan's more than 6 million tonnes in food waste costs the world's No.3 economy some 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) a year, government data shows. With the highest food waste per capita in Asia, the Japanese government has enacted a new law to halve such costs from 2000 levels by 2030, pushing companies to find solutions.
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021 and it has already begun to send back jaw-dropping images of the surrounding area.
One of the town’s timeless traditions returns for the first time this year on March 6. The Orangeville Winter Farmer’s Market is scheduled to be held at the Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre’s B-rink at 6 Northmen Way to allow for expand social distancing. This is not a permanent move. They will be downtown again. “People are trying to support the market,” said Alison Scheel, general manager of the Orangeville Business Improvement Area (OBIA). “ (Online orders) grow steadily every market Saturday. It started slow, but it picked up.” The B-rink location offers plenty of space for safe social distancing and can accommodate 50 people at one time. It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday. Products include maple syrup, honey, falafels, cheese, bread, lamb meat, chicken, baked goods and prepared meals. The market was once held downtown near town hall, where vendors attracted mainly casual shoppers who happened to live nearby. It will return. The market was closed in January and February because of the mandated governmental shutdown. They were still providing preorder and pickup options for interested customers. Scheel said they average about 300 to 350 people every market Saturday as it is only held two times a month. The entrance to the market is located south of the parking lot. There will be no access through the main door. Most vendors will attend every other market, but some will alternate or change from market to market. Scheduled vendors include Bennington Hills Farm, Rasmi’s Falafel and Wild Culture Ferments, along with others. They will all be positioned at least 10 feet apart. “Customers leave their contact information at the door for contact tracing purposes,” said Scheel. “Everyone in the building has to wear a mask, and the vendor has to distance.” Organizers will not permit customers to touch the products or produce, as most items will be pre-bagged. For more information, visit www.downtownorangeville.ca and click on the farmers' market tab. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday Feb. 28, 2021. There are 866,503 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 866,503 confirmed cases (30,731 active, 813,778 resolved, 21,994 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,307 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 80.86 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 19,873 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,839. There were 35 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 320 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 46. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.87 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,425,703 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 988 confirmed cases (266 active, 716 resolved, six deaths). There were seven new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 50.95 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 62 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 196,011 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 132 confirmed cases (18 active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There were five new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 11.28 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 102,000 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,641 confirmed cases (38 active, 1,538 resolved, 65 deaths). There were three new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 3.88 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 32 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 329,339 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,430 confirmed cases (39 active, 1,364 resolved, 27 deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.99 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of seven new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There was one new reported death Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.46 per 100,000 people. There have been 236,401 tests completed. _ Quebec: 287,740 confirmed cases (7,817 active, 269,530 resolved, 10,393 deaths). There were 737 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 91.16 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,618 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 803. There were nine new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 86 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 121.21 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,280,259 tests completed. _ Ontario: 300,816 confirmed cases (10,492 active, 283,344 resolved, 6,980 deaths). There were 1,062 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 71.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,730 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,104. There were 20 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 119 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 17. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.37 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,849,514 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,859 confirmed cases (1,194 active, 29,770 resolved, 895 deaths). There were 50 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 86.57 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 473 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 68. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.89 per 100,000 people. There have been 528,966 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,647 confirmed cases (1,543 active, 26,719 resolved, 385 deaths). There were 141 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 130.91 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,027 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 147. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 573,125 tests completed. _ Alberta: 133,504 confirmed cases (4,584 active, 127,034 resolved, 1,886 deaths). There were 301 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 103.67 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,441 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 349. There were three new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 59 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,387,838 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 79,262 confirmed cases (4,719 active, 73,188 resolved, 1,355 deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 91.67 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,448 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 350. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,910,966 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,142 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 6.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,451 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 357 confirmed cases (18 active, 338 resolved, one deaths). There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 45.74 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 18 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,615 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump clung to his core election falsehoods in his first post-presidential speech, wrongly blamed wind power for the catastrophic power failures in Texas and revived a variety of the baseless claims that saturated his time in office, on immigration, the economy and more. A look at Trump's remarks Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference: WIND POWER TRUMP, assailing Democrats on energy policy: "The windmill calamity that we’re witnessing in Texas ... it’s so sad when you look at it. That will just be the start.” TRUMP, on President Joe Biden: "He wants windmills. ... The windmills that don’t work when you need them.” THE FACTS: “Windmill calamity” is a false characterization. The power outages during the severe February storm in Texas were primarily due to failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy systems, not wind and solar. Those traditional sources were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as frozen wind turbines and solar panels, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid. ERCOT reported that of the 45,000 total megawatts of power that were offline statewide during the winter storm, about 30,000 consisted of thermal sources — gas, coal and nuclear plants — and 16,000 came from renewable sources. Wind only supplies about a quarter of the electricity in Texas. “It’s not like we were relying on it to ride us through this event,” Joshua Rhodes, a research associate at the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin, said of wind power. “Nor would it have been able to save us even if it were operating at 100% capacity right now. We just don’t have enough of it.” Wind power comes from turbines, not windmills. Windmills grind grain. Trump always gets that wrong. ___ ELECTION TRUMP: “Had we had a fair election, the results would’ve been much different." TRUMP: "You cannot have a situation where ballots are indiscriminately pouring in from all over the country ... where illegal aliens and dead people are voting.” TRUMP: “This election was rigged and the Supreme Court and other courts didn’t want to do anything about it.” TRUMP on Democrats: “They just lost the White House. ... I may even decide to beat them for a third time.” THE FACTS: All of this is flatly wrong, except it is true that the high court did not intervene, because the justices — Trump nominees among them — saw no reason to. Biden won the election. It was run and counted fairly. His victory was affirmed in Congress, with Trump's vice-president presiding over the process in the Senate, in the hours after the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection by a mob stoked by Trump. Trump’s allegations of massive voting fraud were either refuted or brushed off as groundless by a variety of judges, state election officials, an arm of his own administration’s Homeland Security Department, and his own attorney general. His campaign’s lawsuits across the country were thrown out of court or otherwise came to nothing. No case established irregularities of a scale that would change the outcome — no flood of dead people voting or ballots “indiscriminately pouring in from all over the country." Biden earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, the same margin that Trump had when he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, which he repeatedly described as a “landslide.” (Trump ended up with 304 electoral votes because two electors defected.) ___ IMMIGRATION TRUMP, on foreign countries that are the source of migrants to the U.S.: "They're not giving us their best and their finest.” THE FACTS: This falsehood goes way back in the Trump administration. Foreign countries do not select people to send to the U.S. That is not at all how immigration works. He is referring to the diversity visa lottery program, although he did not identify it as such in these remarks. As president, Trump routinely assailed the program, mischaracterizing it as one in which other countries pick out undesirable citizens to send to the U.S. The U.S. government runs the visa program and foreigners who want to come to the U.S. apply for it. The program requires applicants to have completed a high school education or have at least two years of experience in the last five years in a selection of fields identified by the Labor Department. Out of that pool of people from certain countries who meet those conditions, the State Department randomly selects a much smaller pool of winners. Not all winners will have visas ultimately approved. It's not a pipeline for countries to send their troublemakers to the U.S. ___ CHINA TRUMP: “We took in hundreds of billions of dollars from China during my administration. They never gave us 10 cents.” THE FACTS: False and false, and very familiar. It’s false to say the U.S. never collected a dime in tariffs on Chinese goods before he took action. They are simply higher in some cases than they were before. It’s also wrong to say the tariffs are being paid by China. Tariff money coming into the treasury is mainly from U.S. businesses and consumers, not from China. Tariffs are primarily if not entirely a tax paid domestically. ___ ECONOMY TRUMP: “We built the strongest economy in the history of the world.” THE FACTS: No, the numbers show it wasn’t the greatest in U.S. history, much less in the history of the world. He was actually the first president since Herbert Hoover in the Depression to leave office with fewer jobs than when he started. The U.S. did have the most jobs on record before the pandemic, but population growth explains part of that. The 3.5% unemployment rate before the pandemic-induced recession was at a half-century low, but the percentage of people working or searching for jobs was still below a 2000 peak. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer looked at Trump’s economic growth record. Growth under Trump averaged 2.48% annually before the pandemic, only slightly better than the 2.41% gains achieved during Barack Obama’s second term. By contrast, the economic expansion that began in 1982 during Ronald Reagan’s presidency averaged 4.2% a year. ___ Yen reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writer Josh Boak contributed to this report. ___ EDITOR'S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures. ___ Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck Hope Yen And Calvin Woodward, The Associated Press
A father and son duo will take to the hills in freezing temperatures for charity this Saturday - and they'll be doing so without the benefit of proper winter wear. Brad Brown and his son will toboggan down Murray’s Mountain Park wearing bathing suits at noon. The challenge is part of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ontario in his bathing suit. “I jumped in cold water already in the middle of February,” said Brown. “My son has done it too. Last year was his first time jumping in the pool.” Brown is one of the basketball coaches for Special Olympics Dufferin. He is also involved in curling and bocce ball. His son is also an autistic athlete. Brown and his colleagues, of about four coaches, participated in various activities. As a group, they set a goal of $3,000 and raised $3,500. Brown set a goal of $300 himself and has surpassed that amount with $460. His son raised $430 himself as well. About 70 per cent of the funds raised will be sent to Special Olympics Dufferin, with the remaining 30 per cent to the parent organization, Special Olympics Ontario. Other participants plunged into a water body, such as a lake or river, to raise awareness and funds for the campaign. Some of his colleagues, the other coaches, have opted to plunge at a lake elsewhere. He couldn’t go deciding to do a different activity. Those registered for a polar plunge of their own will receive a polar plunge toque with a $30 registration fee. Those who raised $100 will receive a commemorative long-sleeve shirt. Those who raised $500 will get you a YETI 26-ounce bottle with a triple haul cap, the top individual fundraiser, Special Olympics athlete, and volunteer fundraiser gets an Xbox One. The most creative video plunge gets a weighted blanket. The park has “use at your own risk” signs in place, redacting a previous ban on tobogganing altogether. Brown would usually participate in the annual event in Shelburne, but he decided to do it close to home with no end in sight with the pandemic here. “We normally do it in Shelburne, as a big group, but because of COVID, everybody is back home and told to do it virtually and do what you can,” said Brown. “I don’t have a pool or anything, so we decided we’re going to toboggan in our bathing suits.” Polar plunges began on Feb. 1 and ran until Feb. 28. To take part in the fundraising effort, visit www.polarplunge.ca. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
Dufferin OPP say one man has died from his injuries after his car collided with another vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign in Amaranth. At about 8:26 a.m. Feb. 20, the OPP’s Dufferin detachment responded to a collision on County Rd. 12 and 20th Side Rd. in Amaranth. The initial investigation determined a silver sedan was being driven southbound on County Road 20 when it went through a stop sign and collided with a red sedan heading eastbound on 20th Side Road. The driver and passenger in the silver sedan sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken a local hospital.. The driver of the red sedan, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, suffered fatal injuries as a result. He has been identified as Scott Hambleton, 60, of Grand Valley. Police continue to investigate the collision and ask anyone with information to contact them at 1-888-310-1122. Those who have witnessed the collision and wish to speak to victim services can call Caledon/Dufferin Victim Services at 905-951-3838. Editor's Note: Feb. 23, 7 p.m.: this article has been edited from a previously published version to accurately detail the roads on which the collision occurred. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo urged citizens of the West African state on Sunday to ignore conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus vaccines ahead of the launch of its nationwide inoculation campaign against the virus on Tuesday. "Taking the vaccine will not alter your DNA, it will not embed a tracking device in your body, neither will it cause infertility in women or in men," he said. Ghana was the first country to receive vaccines as part of the global COVAX scheme aimed at providing poorer nations vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHARLOTTETOWN — Officials in Prince Edward Island have placed the province under a 72-hour lockdown starting at 12 a.m. Monday after multiple new infections and two clusters of COVID-19 emerged on the island over the weekend. The "modified red alert" period will see schools and most non-essential businesses close for three days and require islanders to practice physical distancing with anyone outside their immediate household, with exceptions for people who live alone or require essential support. "We would rather go harder and stronger now than wait for an outbreak like we have seen in other provinces that could put us in an extended period of lockdown for weeks or even months," Premier Dennis King said late Sunday during a briefing with reporters. The restrictions were announced as health officials reported five new COVID-19 infections, for a total of 17 cases in the past five days. Along with the new diagnoses comes a growing number of close-contact and potential exposure sites at places like fast-food restaurants and retail stores. Two COVID-19 clusters have been identified in the cities of Summerside and Charlottetown and many of the new infections cannot be linked to travel, officials said. "We have two clusters of cases that are in our community and we do not have a source," chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison said. "However, they all appear to be linked to each other. We are not seeing widespread community transmission at this point in time." The three-day lockdown will allow public health officials to undertake comprehensive contact tracing and ramp up testing, she said. "We need to get our arms around these clusters of cases and make sure it has not spread into any kind of widespread community transmission," Morrison added. The short-term lockdown was announced as more moderate "circuit-breaker measures" took effect in an effort to curb the spike in infections. Those restrictions included limiting gatherings to a household plus a consistent circle of 10 contacts, banning tournaments but allowing sports practices to continue, and limiting gyms and retail stores to half their normal capacity. Those measures will remain in force until March 14, while the lockdown is expected to be lifted Thursday. But if new cases emerge over the coming days that are not linked to the two clusters, or if new infections continue to rise, Morrison said it's possible the lockdown could be extended. The new infections recorded on Sunday include two males, both in their 20s, and three females, two in their 20s and one in her 50s. The province reported six new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, all among patients in their 20s. "Until we are able to confirm otherwise, we need to act as if this is a variant," King said, referring to virus mutations of concern that have surfaced across the country. "What we know is that the variants move and spread quickly, therefore we need to move quickly as well and do our best to get caught up." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for Republican Party unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions and trumpeted lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he has been hailed as a returning hero, Trump blasted his successor, President Joe Biden, and tried to cement his status as the party’s undisputed leader despite his loss in November. “Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage, where his old rally soundtrack had been playing. “I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we begun together ... is far from being over." Though Trump has flirted with the the idea of creating a third party, he pledged Sunday to remain part of what he called “our beloved party." “I'm going to continue to fight right by your side. We're not starting new parties,” he said. “We have the Republican Party. It's going to be strong and united like never before.” The conference, held this year in Orlando instead of the Washington suburbs because of COVID-19 restrictions, has served as a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness on display. Speakers, including many potential 2024 hopefuls, have argued the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. And they have repeated his unfounded claim that he lost the November election only because of mass voter fraud — an assertion that has been repeatedly rejected by judges, Republican state officials and Trump’s own administration. Still, Trump continued to repeat what Democrats have dubbed the “big lie," calling the election “rigged” and insisting that he won in November, even though he lost by more than 7 million votes. “As you know, they just lost the White House,” he said of Biden, rewriting history as he teased the prospect that he will run again in 2024. “I may even decide to beat them for a third time," he said. And he mocked those who have warned that such talk will damage the party. “If Republicans don’t get this and the other things I’m going to say, then you should, like the Supreme Court, be ashamed of yourselves," he said. The conference's annual unscientific straw poll of just over 1,000 attendees found that 97% approve of the job Trump did as president. But they were much more ambiguous about whether he should run again, with 68% saying he should. If the 2024 primary were held today and Trump were in the race, just 55% said they would vote for him, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 21%. Without Trump in the field, DeSantis garnered 43% support, followed by 8% for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and 7% each for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. It is highly unusual for past American presidents to publicly criticize their successors so soon after leaving office. Ex-presidents typically step out of the spotlight for at least a while; Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation after he departed, while George W. Bush said he believed Obama “deserves my silence” and took up painting. Not Trump. He delivered a sharp rebuke of what he framed as the new administration's first month of failures, including Biden's approach to immigration and the border. “Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history,” Trump said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki brushed off the expected criticism. “We’ll see what he says, but our focus is certainly not on what President Trump is saying at CPAC," she told reporters. Aside from criticizing Biden, Trump used the speech to crown himself the future of the Republican Party, even as many leaders argue they must move in a new, less divisive direction after Republicans lost not only the White House but both chambers of Congress in the last elections. And he insisted the party was united, even as he called out by name Republicans who voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and lashed those he labels RINOs, “Republican in name only.” “We cannot have leaders who show more passion for condemning their fellow Americans than they have ever shown for standing up to Democrats, the media and the radicals who want to turn America into a socialist country," Trump said. On Friday, Trump began his vengeance campaign, endorsing Max Miller, a former aide who is seeking to oust Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted in favour of Trump’s impeachment. Still, in his speech Sunday he insisted the only gulf in the party was “between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else, all over the country.” While he no longer has his social media megaphone after being barred from Twitter and Facebook, Trump has already been inching back into public life. He called into conservative news outlets after Rush Limbaugh's death and to wish Tiger Woods well after the pro golfer was injured in a car crash. He has also issued statements, including one blasting Mitch McConnell after the Senate Republican leader excoriated Trump for inciting the Capitol riot. McConnell has since said he would “absolutely” support Trump if he were the GOP nominee in 2024. At his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump has been quietly meeting with aides and senior party leaders as he builds his post-presidential political operation. While he has already endorsed several pro-Trump candidates, aides have been working this past week to develop benchmarks for those seeking his endorsement to make sure the candidates are serious and have set up full-fledged political and fundraising organizations before he gets involved. They are also planning a new super PAC that could raise unlimited amounts of money, though one aide cautioned they were still deciding whether to create a new entity or repurpose an existing America First super PAC. Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
The mayor of Auckland called for residents to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines after New Zealand's biggest city was thrown into its fourth pandemic lockdown over the weekend. The seven-day lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on a city of 2 million was prompted by just a single new COVID-19 case, reinforcing the New Zealand leader's strict "go hard, go early" response throughout the crisis. That approach has been credited with making New Zealand one of the most successful countries in the world at controlling the spread of the coronavirus, but the latest shutdown has been criticised by some on social media.
by Spencer Kemp Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Over the past decade, Saskatchewan has seen a decrease in the number of collisions that involve drinking or drugged drivers. The number of incidents is only around a third of what it had been a decade ago, with 617 incidents taking place in 2019. There has been a downward trend of collsions since 2008 when the province saw 1,695 collisions that involved drivers under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Corporal Darcy Thiemann with the Esterhazy RCMP detachment says while their numbers stay fairly consistent from year to year, they have noticed a decrease in the number of young drivers taking to the streets while under the influence. He says that with the current state of bars and nightclubs being closed early, they have also noticed fewer drivers taking the risk as well. “You get the fluctuation sometimes through the busier times of the year,” explained Corporal Mike Eady with the Westman RCMP Detachment. “But I haven’t noticed too much of a downward trend.” Eady did note a change in their calls, however. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he noted a decrease in calls regarding impaired drivers, but an increase in other types of calls. “It’s changed up a bit from what it’s been in the past. It’s roughly as busy but with different types of calls coming in. People have been cooped up for quite a bit so a lot of mental health-type calls and domestic diputes, that type of thing.” “What we really want people to understand is when you are charged with impaired driving you really turn your life upside-down,” explained Tyler McMurchy of SGI. “There are license suspensions, vehicle impoundments, ignition interlock requirements, driver education, and you will face significant financial costs from not only what is determined by the court, but also from the Safe Driver Recognition Program.” McMurchy explained that the consequences for drivers who have a blood alcohol content over .08. Upon being charged, those drivers' vehicles can be impounded for 30 days. Following the impoundment, the driver's licence can be suspended until all the charges are dealt with in court. “You’ll also have your license suspended immediately as well. That suspension is indefinite. It will be suspended until the charges are dealt with in court or until you are eligible for the ignition interlock program,” McMurchy added. “There is a really significant financial cost and there is the way it will just upend your life as a result of getting an impaired driving charge.” The number of road fatalities is well below the 5-year average of fatalities due to drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Numbers have been trending downwards since 2008.. “If somebody died because you were impaired, could you live with yourself?” McMurchy asked. “We don’t want anybody to ever face that question and have to find the answer to that.” In 2019, 342 individuals were injured due to impaired drivers in Saskatchewan while 21 individuals lost their lives. S Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
With fewer than 50 active COVID-19 cases in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo area, the municipal mandatory mask bylaw has been lifted. But, the province-wide mask rule is still in place. The municipal order will return if active COVID-19 cases again rise above 50. On Thursday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) reported less than 50 active cases of COVID-19 in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo area. Under the municipal bylaw, which passed in October, the bylaw would be reviewed every 30 days and end if active case numbers had dropped below 50. The bylaw was passed by council before the Alberta government introduced a province-wide mask rule in November. The provincial mask bylaw still applies to businesses and people in public indoor spaces. This includes places of worship, indoor workplaces, schools and on public transit. The municipal bylaw was slightly different from the provincial order. The provincial order requires masks on children that are at least two, while the municipality applied the order to five. The municipal order exempted places of worship, while the provincial order does not. The municipal order allowed masks to be removed when eating and drinking at a designated seating area, while the province allowed exemptions for eating and drinking in general. email@example.com Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — Branden Grace closed eagle-birdie Sunday to win the Puerto Rico Open, an emotional triumph following his father's January death after a month-long fight with the coronavirus. Grace holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-4 17th and birdied the par-5 18th for a one-stroke victory over Jhonattan Vegas at windy Grand Reserve. “This morning I had a tear in the car when I was talking to my wife,” Grace said about father Peter. “It was an emotional day. I thought about him a hell of a lot out there, especially the last tee shot. I was really struggling the last hole, because I knew he was watching over me. I knew he was guiding me." The 32-year-old South African player won for the second time on the PGA Tour and 13th worldwide, closing with a 6-under 66 to finish at 19-under 269. “It’s been a very tough couple of years and a tough couple of months and it’s just nice to — obviously, with all the support back home with my wife and my son and my family and everybody back home,” Grace said. “And all that we have been through, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.” Vegas, from Venezuela, birdied the 18th in a 65. Puerto Rican player Rafael Campos and Grayson Murray, tied for the third-round lead, each shot 70 to tie for third at 16 under. Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., finished in a tie for 22nd at 10-under 278. Fellow Canadian Taylor Pendrith finished in a tie for 53rd with a 4-under 284. Michael Gilgic finished in a tie for 63 with a 2-under 286. Grace drove into the right bunker on the 17th, the hole playing 300 yards to the front of the green with the tees moved well forward. “That was a tough bunker shot,” Grace said. “And to play it perfectly, just get it with just enough check and managed to get it to roll out and 5 or 6 feet to go, I knew it was in. So, that was obviously fortunate.” He also hit into a greenside bunker on 18, flopped out to 6 feet and made the winning putt. “The only thing you can’t do on 18 is hit it left,” Grace said. “I managed to hit a great drive, and I wasn’t going to go left. I pulled my second. And I knew if I could get it maybe front edge or in the bunker, then I’m going to give myself opportunity. And fortunately I was in the second bunker, so I could really just get it up on the slope and just get it to run out a little bit and manage to play perfectly.: The tournament was played opposite the World Golf Championship event in Florida. Grace earned a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a spot in the PGA Championship in May, but not the Masters in April. Campos had his third top-10 finish in his home event. He tied for eighth in 2016 and tied for 10th in 2017. He parred the final three after rebounding from bogeys on 10 and 11 with birdies on 12, 13 and 15. “I can seal the deal. I know I can,” Campos said. “It just didn’t happen today. I didn’t have my best game out here, but I still managed to give myself a real opportunity of winning the tournament. I think it’s just getting myself more opportunities and it will happen eventually.” Needing an eagle to catch Grace on 18 after birdieing 17, Murray hooked his drive into the trees, took an unplayable lie and made a bogey. Brice Garnett (65 ) and Andrew Putnam (69) were 15 under. The Associated Press
Oil prices were up on Monday on rising optimism about COVID-19 vaccinations, a U.S. economic stimulus package and growing factory activity in Europe despite coronavirus restrictions. Signs that Chinese oil demand is slowing kept prices from moving higher. Brent crude rose 51 cents, or 0.8%, at $64.93 a barrel by 11:29 a.m. EST (1629 GMT), and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $61.78 a barrel.
Canada's COVID-19 hotspots showed diverging approaches to handling the crisis on Sunday, as Ontario and Prince Edward Island prepared for new lockdowns while Quebec entered a week of spring break complete with some activities meant to ease the monotony of life during a global pandemic.Prince Edward Island announced it was entering a 72-hour lockdown starting at midnight as the province struggled to contain an outbreak of COVID-19.The short-term public health order was announced as officials reported five new infections of the disease in a province that has seen few cases for most of the pandemic. The Island has now recorded 17 new infections over the past five days. Health officials identified two clusters of COVID-19 in the cities of Summerside and Charlottetown, and said it’s possible the island has community spread of the virus. The province has a total of just 132 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.The three-day lockdown requires residents to stay home as much as possible and will close all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, with post-secondary education moving online only."We would rather go harder and stronger now than wait for an outbreak like we have seen in other provinces that could put us in an extended period of lockdown for weeks or even months," Premier Dennis King said late Sunday during a briefing with reporters.Ontario, meanwhile, passed the 300,000 case mark on Sunday as the government prepared to hit a so-called 'emergency brake' in two northern public health units grappling with surging case numbers.The Thunder Bay and Simcoe-Muskoka District health units will enter the lockdown phase of the province's pandemic response plan on Monday in order interrupt transmission of COVID-19 at a time when new variants are gaining steam.The province has also pushed back its spring break until April in an effort to limit community spread.Quebec, in contrast, has allowed movie theatres, pools and arenas to open with restrictions in place to give families something to do as the traditional winter break kicks off, even as most other health rules remain in place.The province opted to allow students and teachers the traditional March break, even though Premier Francois Legault has said he's worried about the week off and the threat posed by more contagious virus variants. Quebec's health minister said the situation in the province was stable on Sunday, with 737 new cases and nine additional deaths — even as confirmed cases linked to variants of concern jumped by more than 100 to 137.Most of the variant cases have been identified as the B.1.1.7 mutation first identified in the United Kingdom, including 84 in Montreal.Ontario, meanwhile, reported 1,062 new infections linked to the pandemic on Sunday as it became the first province to record more than 300,000 total cses of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.The country's chief public health officer urged Canadians on Sunday to continue following public health measures as a way of buying critical time as vaccine programs ramp up."Aiming to have the fewest interactions with the fewest number of people, for the shortest time, at the greatest distance possible is a simple rule that we can all apply to help limit the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement.Canada's immunization program received a boost last week with the approval of a third COVID-19 vaccine, raising hopes that provinces will be able to inoculate their most vulnerable populations before the more contagious variants can fully take hold.Toronto announced Sunday that it was expanding the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness, noting that they have a higher risk of serious health impacts due to COVID-19 and are vulnerable to transmission in congregate settings.Quebec, meanwhile, is set to begin vaccination of the general population on Monday, beginning with seniors 80 and over in the Montreal area, or 85 and over in the rest of the province.While some regions with extra doses began administering shots late last week, the pace of inoculation will ramp up on Monday when mass vaccination clinics in Montreal throw open their doors.Case counts were more stable elsewhere in the country. Manitoba reported just 50 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday and two new virus-related deaths, while Saskatchewan saw its overall tally climb by 181 but did not log any new deaths.Alberta reported three new virus-related deaths and 301 new infections, including 29 identified as variants of concern. In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia logged three new cases while officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported seven. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021 Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
(Matt D'Amours/CBC - image credit) With temperatures expected to plummet later this week, Montreal is launching a massive snow-clearing operation in an effort to clean up the sloppy, wet mess before the city freezes over. Starting at 7 p.m. Monday, nearly 2,200 snow-clearing vehicles will be working to remove snow from 10,000 kilometres of streets, sidewalks and bike paths, cleaning up the eight centimetres of snow and rain that fell on Saturday. Sunday's warm temperatures made for wet, soupy conditions throughout the region, with water pooling in some places. On Monday, morning rainfall is expected to turn into flurries in the afternoon, with an expected snowfall of up to four centimetres, according to Environment Canada. Then temperatures will drop to a low of -16 C overnight, potentially creating treacherous walking and driving conditions if all that water and wet snow freezes. The rest of the week, temperatures are expected to be well below freezing. That's why it's better to clear the streets now to ensure that water can flow into the sumps, the city says in a statement. "This operation is particularly aimed at securing the traffic lanes," said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. "We are trying to prevent frozen and slippery surfaces from forming in the coming days while removing the snow that has accumulated recently." As always, the speed of any snow removal operation is affected by the amount of parked cars in the way. The city is again reminding residents to check for orange no-parking signs and to move their cars out of the way in time. Towing operations will not involve warning sirens after 7:30 p.m. due to the curfew. Traditionally, these sirens give people one last chance to move their car before getting ticketed and towed at their expense. In general, signs warning of a parking ban from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. are installed before 3 p.m. the same day. When no parking is allowed between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the signs are installed the previous day before 8 p.m. In the boroughs of LaSalle and Verdun, residents have to call the number on signs to see if the parking ban is in effect.