A windy day in Newfoundland brings snow and cold.
A windy day in Newfoundland brings snow and cold.
A look at some second-leg matches in the Europa League's last 32 taking place on Thursday: AC MILAN-RED STAR BELGRADE (2-2) A meeting of two former European champions is level after the first leg amid controversy over apparent racist abuse aimed at Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. UEFA appointed an investigator Tuesday to look into the incident after footage published online appeared to show Ibrahimovic being insulted as he sat in the stands. There were no fans allowed in the stadium for the first game, but Red Star had officials and guests in the stands. Milan goes into the game without a win in its last three after losing 3-0 to fierce rival Inter Milan in Serie A on Sunday. NAPOLI-GRANADA (0-2) Spanish club Granada is on the verge of a major upset in its first European competition. Yangel Herrera and Kenedy scored Granada's goals at home against a Napoli team whose season seems to be slipping away. One win from six games in all competitions this month has seen Napoli fall from challenging for the Champions League places in Serie A to clinging on in seventh. ARSENAL-BENFICA (1-1) The Europa League is Arsenal’s last opportunity for a trophy — and might represent the team's only route to qualifying for European competitions next season. Mikel Arteta’s team has dropped to 11th in the Premier League and is nine points off Chelsea in fifth place, which is set to be the sole Europa League qualifying position in the league. Thomas Partey has returned to training with Arsenal after a hamstring injury but it remains to be seen if the midfielder is fit enough to feature in the second leg against Benfica. The game will take place in Athens due to coronavirus travel restrictions. LEICESTER-SLAVIA PRAGUE (0-0) Leicester midfielder James Maddison will miss the match because of a hip injury. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers does not believe the issue requires surgery but said Maddison is in consultation with specialists. The in-form attacking midfielder, who came off hurt in the Premier League match at Aston Villa on Sunday, missed matches at the end of last season with a hip injury and had an operation in July. “We’re just having to get a specialist’s opinion on it to formulate a plan for his recovery,” Rodgers said. Leicester is in third place in the Premier League and has been one of the surprises of the season. MANCHESTER UNITED-REAL SOCIEDAD (4-0) Edinson Cavani, Donny Van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba remain sidelined through injury for United, which is all but assured of progress after a big first-leg win in neutral territory in Turin. A shoulder issue prevents midfielder Hannibal Mejbri from making his first-team debut after a week that has seen fellow 18-year-old Amad Diallo — signed from Atalanta in January — and 17-year-old Shola Shoretire make their first starts in the senior side. “Hannibal was injured in the reserves, he’ll be out for a month,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has added 19-year-old Northern Ireland international Ethan Galbraith to United’s Europa League squad. “He was just coming into our squad. Unfortunately for him he’s out.” AJAX-LILLE (2-1) Even without two of its best players, Ajax is on the verge of eliminating the French league leader. Lille was heading for a win in the first leg before Ajax turned the game around with a penalty by Dusan Tadic in the 87th minute and a goal from Brian Brobbey in the 89th. Ajax is without striker Sebastien Haller after he was left off the squad list due to an administrative error. Goalkeeper André Onana was handed a 12-month doping ban this month after testing positive for a banned substance, something he blamed on a mix-up with his wife's medicine. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today. One case is in the Edmundston region in the northwest of the province and involves a staff member in their 70s at the Manoir Belle Vue long-term care home. That facility has reported more than 90 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. The other new case involves a person in their 50s in the Moncton region. There are now 64 active reported cases in the province and two people in hospital with the disease, including one in intensive care. New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,426 COVID-19 infections and 26 deaths linked to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Jean Delise/CBC - image credit) Seniors 80 and older living in several high-risk communities in Ottawa will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a pop-up clinic on March 5, councillors heard Wednesday morning. Older adults and all adult recipients of chronic home care living in Ledbury, Herongate, Emerald Woods, Sawmill Creek, Ridgemont and Riverview — communities with higher rates of the coronavirus — will be able to get their first vaccine shots late next week. The locations of the pop-up clinics will be announced on Monday, along with details about how people can book appointments. Ottawa's plan for targeted vaccination in high-risk communities will occur before the province rolls out its online booking system on March 15. The city's general manager of emergency and protective services, Anthony Di Monte — who also heads the local vaccination task force — laid out the plan for vaccinating everyone from essential workers to the general public on Wednesday. The province recently added those 80 and older to the first phase of people who get vaccinated. The second phase of the vaccination program is set to begin in April, and will include older adults starting with those aged 75 to 79. It will also include people living in shelters, frontline essential workers, education staff and people with high-risk chronic conditions. The general public will be vaccinated in phase three, which is supposed to start in August. Roll-out dependent on supply Vaccinations began in Ottawa on Dec. 15. By Feb. 5, all residents of the city's 28 long-term care homes had received their second doses of the vaccine. By Feb. 23, all residents of the 82 retirement homes in Ottawa had been offered their first vaccines. Older Indigenous adults have also been offered vaccines at clinics at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team. Di Monte was clear that the demand for the vaccine would initially be far greater than the supply. The four community clinics for residents 80 and older aren't expected to be open until late March. When the supply warrants, seven clinics across the city will operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, with the capacity to administer 10,976 doses per day.
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The RCMP say a crash on Highway 16 west of Prince George has killed a Metro Vancouver man and injured a 20-year-old Alberta resident. An RCMP statement says the collision happened Monday as the Alberta man in a westbound pickup was overtaking an empty logging truck. The passing lane ended before the pickup had finished its manoeuvre and police say it collided with an oncoming car. Police say the driver of the car, who was in his 40s, died a short time later in hospital. Officers in Prince George are leading the investigation and want to speak with the logging truck driver, who stopped to assist but left before talking with police. Investigators are also appealing for dashcam video from anyone on Highway 16 between Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof at around 5:30 p.m. Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) In addition to leading the province's fight against climate change, Quebec Environment Minister Benoit Charette is now being asked to lead the charge against racism. Premier François Legault's announcement Wednesday of the appointment of Charette, who is white, immediately drew scrutiny. But Charette was firm in his belief that being white should not disqualify him from the position, which was created following a recommendation from the anti-racism committee formed by the government last spring. "It's a mandate to fight racism, so someone's skin colour should not be the reason to exclude that person," Charette said, highlighting that he has deep ties with different communities in the province, and is sensitive to their struggles. Charette, whose wife is of Haitian origin, noted that he has lived in several countries, and his experiences abroad have convinced him that Quebec has the tools needed to fight racism, including its Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. "We can't deny that people from minority groups, and Indigenous people, are too often exposed to profiling, to disparities in how they are treated, notably in matters of housing, in matters of employment," said Charette. But he denied that racism in Quebec is systemic, even saying the use of the term can be detrimental. "What bothers me with the expression, there are many elements to this, it gives a false sense of security, [allowing some] to lay blame on others," he said. "If we base ourselves solely on a concept that is very vague, and not well defined, it takes away a bit of the responsibility that we have." Those remarks echoed past responses by the premier, whose repeated denials of systemic racism in Quebec have frustrated many in the province's Black and Indigenous communities. 'I think many communities, people of colour, have been very distrustful towards this government because of its systematic denial of systemic racism.' - Fo Niemi, Centre for Research Action on Race Relations Charette said he wants to work at implementing the 25 recommendations put forth by the committee, and promised significant progress between now and the end of the CAQ government's mandate. Some of the committee's other recommendations include creating a province-wide campaign to raise awareness about racism, as well as training for police and government employees. The new provincial role mirrors what was done in the City of Montreal, which appointed its first anti-racism commissioner last month. When he announced the recommendations of Quebec's taskforce against racism, Quebec Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant said he has been a victim of police racial profiling. 'He's the best person to fight against racism,' premier says Legault was also asked several times why the task of fighting racism in Quebec was given to Charette instead of the Black members of his cabinet, Nadine Girault and Lionel Carmant. Girault serves both as the province's minister of immigration and the minister of international relations. Carmant is the province's junior health minister, and oversees its youth protection agency. The two also co-chaired last spring's anti-racism committee. "It's not like they have nothing to do," the premier said, before praising the man who ultimately got the position. "I've known him for many years, and I know it's a very important subject for him, so I think, again, he's the best person to fight against racism." WATCH | Montreal's first anti-racism commissioner discusses the challenges ahead Local civil rights organizations greeted the appointment with trepidation. Fo Niemi, director of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations, said in an interview he was pleased to see the Legault government implement a recommendation from its committee. But he believes Charette is facing a significant hurdle of his own party's making. "I think many communities, people of colour, have been very distrustful towards this government because of its systematic denial of systemic racism," he said. That sentiment was echoed by Marisa Berry Méndez, a coordinator with Amnesty International. "To not acknowledge systemic racism not only will stand in his way in terms of taking action ... but also in terms of being seen as credible or legitimate by the communities that are impacted," Méndez said.
COVID vaccinations have begun at local lodges and all other seniors 75 and older can now book a COVID-19 vaccine shot, said Steve Madden, Grande Spirit general manager. Eligibility was expanded to everyone outside lodges born in 1946 or before as of Feb. 24, with availability based on supply. “We’re excited, and it’s good to see the supply catch up to the number of people waiting,” Madden said. He said Grande Spirit is aware of many relieved seniors and families. Seniors’ vaccinations began at Pioneer Lodge in Grande Prairie Wednesday morning, followed by Heritage Lodge and Wild Rose Manor later that day, he said. Vaccinations at Clairmont’s Lakeview facility will take place all today, Madden said. Amisk Court vaccinations are scheduled for March 3, and he said he is hopeful the supply will allow these immunizations to go forward. Residents will be contacted by their care teams, according to Alberta Health Services. All other seniors can book an appointment for a vaccine through AHS, by calling 811 or going to albertahealthservices.ca, though some early registrants Wednesday morning experienced system crashes due to heavy traffic. Beaverlodge resident Eleanor Lord said she began trying to book an appointment 8 a.m. Wednesday morning and at press time hadn’t succeeded. “The online system has crashed and 811 is continuously busy,” Lord said. She said they’ll keep trying, but she’s wondering if vaccines will run out. Family members can book a shot on behalf of seniors but must provide the senior’s Alberta Health Care number and date of birth, according to AHS. The continuation of the vaccine rollout adds seniors to a growing list of eligible recipients. Others include health-care workers in COVID-19 units and emergency departments. Vaccinations of elders began at Horse Lake First Nation this month, chief Ramona Horseman told Town & Country News last week. More than 29,000 long-term care residents have received two doses of vaccine to date, according to the Alberta government. The ongoing first phase of immunizations will be followed by a second possibly beginning in April, depending on vaccine supply. The vaccine will be offered to everyone 65 to 74, First Nations and Métis people 60 to 64, and supportive-living facility staff who haven’t already been immunized, according to the government. They will be followed by everyone 18 to 64 with “high-risk underlying health conditions,” then staff and residents of living facilities like homeless shelters, and then everyone 50 to 64 and indigenous people 35 to 49. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
SAN FRANCISCO — A new report from Uber Technologies Inc. says its Canadian drivers and couriers don't think they receive dependable earnings. The survey of 23,428 people earning money through the company's platform says only 31 per cent rated Uber as "good" for dependable earnings. About one quarter described it as "poor" and 43 per cent says they were just "OK." The survey was conducted by Uber and Qualtrics last October and was released after UberEats couriers complained that a change in the company's pay system resulted in their average earnings sliding from as much as $10 a trip before tips to as low as $3.99 during the pandemic. Drivers called for more transparency around how their fares are calculated, release of details on minimum earnings before accepting trips and lower commissions on long trips. Almost 20 per cent of Uber users griped about the quality of customer service, robotic responses and the long response time to get an issue resolved, while 17 per cent had concerns about the app's performance and its navigation and GPS system. Despite the issues raised, Uber says 80 per cent of those surveyed were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the company and 65 per cent think it has either done enough or gone above and beyond for workers during the pandemic. “What drivers want and care about matters, and we will use this feedback to help improve the experience on Uber for now and in the future," an Uber spokesperson said in an email. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A new report says too many federal inmates in isolation aren't getting a few hours a day out of their cells, pushing them into territory that could be described as inhuman treatment or even torture. Citing federal data, the report says nearly three in 10 prisoners in isolation units didn't have all or any of the four hours out of their cells they are supposed to get, for two weeks at a time. A further one in 10 were kept in excessive isolation for 16 days or longer, which by international laws and Canadian rulings constitutes cruel treatment. The findings suggest the federal prison system is falling well short of the guidelines the Liberals ushered in for "structured intervention units" designed to allow better access to programming and mental-health care for inmates who need to be kept apart from other prisoners. Prisoners transferred to the units are supposed to be allowed out of their cells for four hours each day, with two of those hours engaged in "meaningful human contact." The report by two criminologists says there needs to be better oversight of how the units are managed, adding the results show Canada commits "torture by another name." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
CALGARY — The CEO of Crescent Point Energy Corp. says the company is poised to benefit from rising oil prices after two years of transformation through selling assets, cutting debt and reducing costs. The Calgary-based company's move last week to buy producing light oil shale assets in Alberta for $900 million from Royal Dutch Shell reflects that confidence, Craig Bryksa said. "We have built an asset portfolio that is well-positioned to benefit from a rising price environment given our light oil weighting and high netbacks," he said on a Wednesday conference call with analysts to discuss the company's fourth-quarter results. "We expect to generate $375 (million) to $600 million of excess cash flow this year at US$50 to US$60 WTI (West Texas Intermediate) prices." The company plans to devote most of that cash flow to paying down debt, he said, adding that it will evaluate increasing returns to shareholders over time. Shell is to receive $700 million in cash and 50 million Crescent Point shares under the deal and will wind up owning an 8.6 per cent stake in Crescent Point if it closes as expected in April. The companies say the assets are producing around 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from more than 270 wells. About 57 per cent of production is condensate, highly valued as a diluent blended with oilsands bitumen to allow it to flow in a pipeline. Analysts said the company beat their fourth-quarter estimates on production and average selling prices although both measures fell compared with the same period in 2019. "CPG closed the chapter on a highly successful year in its business transformation toward becoming a more sustainable producer generating significant free cash flow, which should be complemented by the upcoming (Shell) acquisition," Desjardins analyst Chris MacCulloch wrote in a report. Crescent Point reported producing 111,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, about 90 per cent crude oil and petroleum liquids, in the fourth quarter, down from 145,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter of 2019. It attributed the drop to capital spending cuts enacted early in 2020 as oil prices fell. It's average realized fourth-quarter oil price was $49.40 per barrel, down from $65.27 in the year-earlier period. It reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $51 million or 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of $932 million or $1.73 per share in the same period of 2019. On Wednesday, it confirmed 2021 production guidance released with the Shell announcement last week of about 134,000 boe/d, as well as a 2021 capital budget of about $600 million (both assuming the deal is closed). That's up from Crescent Point's average output of 121,600 boe/d during 2020 and down from actual 2020 capital spending of $655 million. The company reported net debt of about $2.1 billion at year-end, paid down by over $615 million during the year. It said it also removed about $60 million in budgeted operating expenses in 2020. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:CPG) Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock urged Gulf states to step up next Monday when the world body seeks to avert a large-scale "man-made" famine in Yemen by raising $3.85 billion for humanitarian operations in the war-torn Arabian Peninsula country for 2021. The United Nations describes Yemen as the world's largest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the people in need.
TUCSON, Ariz. — It is now illegal in Tucson, Arizona, to enforce dress code or grooming policies that discriminate against hair texture and hairstyles in the workplace and public schools, officials said. The Tucson City Council voted Tuesday to adopt the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN Act, joining multiple cities across the country in passing the ordinance, the Arizona Daily Star reported. The ordinance has been part of a national campaign promoted by Dove, the National Urban League, Color Of Change and Western Center on Law and Poverty. It also prohibits workplace discrimination based on headdresses worn for cultural or religious reasons. “We want to be sure there are no barriers for people in the workplace and in schools,” said Annie Sykes, president of Tucson’s Black Women’s Task Force. “These barriers are usually rooted in discrimination and prejudice.” Sykes cited a study showing that Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair and 80% more likely to feel like they have to change their hair to fit in at work. “Your hair is your crown and it connects us to our culture and to our ancestry,” said Desiree Cook, a licensed hair stylist and founder of the local organization, I AM YOU 360. “So we ask that those crowns are honoured, whether it be in schools, in the community or the workplace.” The Tucson ordinance will be enforced through the human relations section of the city code and will apply to any facility or business with public accommodations, officials said. Violations can bring civil penalties. The Associated Press
(Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit) The Prince Edward Island government plans to set up collaborative structures for patient care that it refers to as "medical homes" and "medical neighbourhoods." In his state of the province address on Monday, Premier Dennis King said three Island communities will get the new structure this year, staffed by multi-disciplinary teams with electronic medical records a critical part of the initiative. The "home" is the family doctor, who will co-ordinate each patient's care, and the "neighbourhood" is an integrated team of other health-care providers, which could include nurse practitioners, diabetes nurse educators, and dietitians among others. The person's overall medical care will be documented and communicated through an electronic health record. Dr. Kristy Newson, president of the P.E.I. College of Family Physicians, said the family physician will be like the quarterback for your care, but an entire team of people could be working to improve your health. "The evolution of family medicine and the way we are training early career family physicians is in this team-based model, and the key is the communication between all the providers," she told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier on Wednesday. "So you have your own network of allied health-care professionals that you interact with on a daily basis. And they always have communication back to the physician as the centre of the medical home." National blueprint The P.E.I. college's site links to a College of Family Physicians of Canada document that calls the concept a blueprint "for the future of family practice in Canada." The document explains that the medical neighbourhood "includes the many realms of health care outside of primary care, such as referrals to other medical specialists, health care providers, hospitals, long-term care, and home care structures, or to broader social and community supports such as community-based mental health and addictions supports and other social services." The document goes on: "Similar networks have been formed across Canada and around the world with the goals of providing improvements to patient outcomes, safety, and experience; lower costs through reduced duplication of services; improved delivery of preventive services; and more evidence-based patient care." More from CBC P.E.I.
ANHCORAGE, Alaska — A highly transmissible coronavirus variant originally traced to Brazil has been discovered in Alaska. The variant was found in a specimen of an Anchorage resident who developed COVID-19 symptoms, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The person had no known travel history. It’s the sixth case of the variant found in five U.S. states, officials said. Dr. Joe McLaughlin, an epidemiologist with the state health department, said there is evidence to suggest the P.1 variant is more transmissible than the original virus and that its mutations also “appear to change the antigenic profile of the virus.” That means it can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated. It’s also troublesome that the person in the Alaska case has no known travel history. “That does make it more concerning,” he told the newspaper. “So we are trying to do a thorough epidemiological investigation to figure out where the person actually got infected from.” The person ate at an Anchorage restaurant with at least one other person in late January and didn’t wear a mask. The infected person developed symptoms four days later and tested positive on Feb. 8 There is at least one person who had close contact with the infected person. The state has had two cases of people with the coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom. “COVID is still circulating,” McLaughlin said, adding that more variant cases will likely be detected even as cases overall continue to decline. “We really want people to continue following all the mitigation strategies,” McLaughlin said. “There’s a reasonably high probability that the infection may have incurred while the person was eating at a restaurant with another person, so we just want to make sure people continue to stay within their social bubbles.” Alaska reported 58 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 55,560. The state has reported 287 deaths. Alaska has administered 232,811 doses of vaccine. Of those, 89,147 have been second doses. Alaska’s total population is about 731,000. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The Associated Press
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says allocating COVID-19 vaccine doses for Indigenous people in urban areas through the provinces is faster and more effective than delivery directed from Ottawa. He says he will be working with provinces and territories to ensure they prioritize Indigenous people in their immunization efforts, even as the National Association of Friendship Centres and other advocates call for more direct federal involvement.
Now entering its second year, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot in Sudbury is finding success, even amongst the challenges of COVID-19. And it’s a good thing, said Meredith Armstrong, manager of Tourism and Culture in Economic Development at the City of Greater Sudbury, because while Sudbury is one of the only Northern Ontario communities showing growth when it comes to population, a recent Northern Policy Institute (NPI) report shows that a focus on bringing people to the area is essential to maintaining economic standards in Sudbury. Basically, “we’re not going to have enough babies,” said Armstrong. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was created in 2020 as a three-year program to support and encourage newcomers to Canada to settle in rural areas and Northern Ontario, rather than in big cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, and is based on the applicant securing a job offer before they apply and at the moment, in mining or tourism. The program itself has an economic development focus, said Armstrong. “This is an economic immigration program,” she said. “It’s about having a job offer, within the two priority sectors, with an employer that understands the need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They understand the need to embrace employee settlement. They are not sponsors of the candidate, but they do play a role in helping them get their feet under them.” The newcomer candidates need to understand the community of Sudbury and demonstrate their intention to reside long-term in the city, to become a part of the fabric of Northern Ontario. They must also complete extensive paperwork, as well as numerous interviews, in-depth evaluations of the job offer and review by the selection committee. If the applicant is successful, they will be recommended to Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency. The two priority sectors determined at the beginning of the pilot are mining supply and service, as well as tourism. While one industry has suffered and will need to be rebuilt, mining has continued to have skilled positions available. Armstrong said Sudbury’s labour shortages in certain areas are longstanding. “I think it’s fair to say that we’ve always had labour market challenges, “she said. “We have a lot of jobs; we don’t have enough talent to go around.” Armstrong does acknowledge that some may question bringing in newcomers for employment when there are layoffs due to the pandemic. “I think that’s a legitimate question,” she said. But she noted the issue of the ratio of dependants and working age people will fall terribly out of balance without newcomers, and that remains an issue, post-pandemic. “We can’t do it without newcomers,” she said. “Immigrants really hit above their weight when it comes to giving back to communities, starting businesses and creating subsequent jobs.” Armstrong said while they did not reach their intended goal in the first year, they are quite pleased with their results. “2020 did hit the program pretty hard with some challenges and we didn't get all the way where we wanted to with our allotment for the first year,” she said. “But we were successful in recommending 11 wonderful candidates through the program. They're now on their way to pursuing permanent residency and settling in the community and they have families with them. So, you're looking at just under 25 new residents that come out of that endorsement.” And this year could be even better for the program. “We're certainly poised to hit a much higher number for 2021,” said Armstrong. “We've got some more resources in place to assist and we're really hitting the ground running with this year's allocation.” Armstrong said many of the applicants recommended for permanent residence are South Asian, owing to the number of international students who come to Sudbury to study and wish to stay here longer. Armstrong noted these applicants are usually successful not just because they have a job offer in a priority sector, but because they already know and enjoy life here in Sudbury. “And that really is the crux of the program, this is about retention in the community.” There are also many Francophone applicants, owing to Sudbury’s designation as one of 14 Welcoming Francophone Communities, described as an initiative “made by Francophones, for Francophones” to foster lasting ties between newcomers and members of the host community. “We work to collaborate with our Francophone settlement agency partners to ensure that we do have services to support people living and working in the process,” said Armstrong. “So, I think that's an area of focus.” But as the pilot is economically driven, the job offer is central. “More than anything, it comes down to the job offers,” said Armstrong. “It starts with an employer looking for the right person for an available job, and then that person really demonstrating that commitment to living in the community.” And while the RNIP does not act as a “matchmaker,” it does support employers as much as possible, said Armstrong. “We have seen that approach from some of the other communities participating in the pilot, but I think more and more, we're trying to equip employers with different ways to amplify when they're posting a position. Things like: where can they post it? Where can they find potential candidates? And I think as we go on, we will also have opportunities to connect employers with each other so that there's a bit of shared learning.” Armstrong said the pilot is successful so far, not just due to the work of the team and support from IRCC, but also from elected officials. She mentions Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, as well as the Greater Sudbury Local Immigration Partnership, who also offers information on allyship and anti-racism to make the city more welcoming to newcomers. “Now more than ever, it's a really excellent time to have those conversations,” said Armstrong. “In the meantime, we need to keep really supporting our entrepreneurs, because they're the ones creating the jobs. Making sure they know about the program and about the various tools available to support them as employers and as businesses.” You can find out more about the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot by visiting the IIRC website, or at InvestSudbury.ca. Jenny Lamothe is a Local Journalism Reporter at Sudbury.com, covering issues in the Black, immigrant and Francophone communities. She is also a freelance writer and voice actor. Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Lundi matin, la cloche de la pause sonne à l’école de l’Escale de Val-des-Sources. Emy Blanchet, qui a récemment perdu sa mère d’un cancer, se fait prendre la main par un ami. Il lui demande de se fermer les yeux. En les rouvrant, surprise : une quarantaine de camarades, touchés par son histoire, l’attendent et lui annoncent qu’ils ont amassé 800 $, qui seront donnés à la Fondation du CHUS et au CSSS des Sources. « Je pensais qu’il allait me donner du chocolat ou un petit cadeau! raconte Emy, le sourire dans la voix. Je sentais qu’il commençait à faire froid, on était dehors, je n’avais pas de manteau. Quand j’ai ouvert les yeux, j’ai vu tous mes amis qui me disaient “ surprise! ” Ils étaient là, ils m’applaudissaient. » Emy croyait d’abord à une blague. La finissante a ensuite vu une grande carte lui étant destinée. « Mon ami Émile avait la tâche de m’expliquer quel était le cadeau. Ils ont fait un grand carton pour expliquer qu’ensemble, ils avaient fait un don à la fondation de l’hôpital à la place de donner des fleurs », décrit-elle, visiblement reconnaissantes. À la genèse de l’histoire, Saule Marcoux voulait seulement acheter une fleur à son amie Emy pour la Saint-Valentin... et l’épauler dans son épreuve. « J’ai pensé que d’autres amis proches voulaient peut-être lui en acheter aussi. Je leur en ai parlé et on s’est dit que si on participait tous à ça, on allait pouvoir lui acheter un beau bouquet », décrit celle qui est également en cinquième secondaire. « Une fille du groupe nous a dit que la famille avait reçu énormément de fleurs lors des funérailles. Elle a proposé qu’on fasse un don pour les hôpitaux. Quelqu’un a amassé l’argent et l’a comptabilisé. On a finalement récolté 800 $ », explique Saule. « T’es belle, t’es forte, t’es capable » En plus du don, les amis d’Emy lui ont confectionné une carte géante. À gauche, des mots d’encouragement. À droite, quelques dizaines de photos qui représentent toute l’affection qu’ont les élèves pour la jeune femme de 16 ans. « T’es faite forte ma belle Emy », peut-on lire. « T’es belle, t’es forte, t’es capable », est-il aussi écrit sur l’affiche bleue. Et cette carte, Emy la conservera. « Je suis encore sous le choc, on dirait que je ne le réalise pas. [...] Ça reste, ça ne part pas comme des fleurs », se réjouit la finissante, profitant de l’entrevue pour remercier tous ses camarades. Les amis plus près d’Emy se sont montrés présents dès que l’annonce du cancer de sa mère est tombée. Ils étaient là à toutes les étapes, dit-elle. « Comme quand elle s’est fait opérer, ils m’ont fait un panier avec plein de cochonneries! lance la jeune femme en riant. Ils avaient acheté plein de chocolats et de bonbons pour me remonter le moral. Ils étaient toujours là pour me rassurer. Je sais que j’ai vraiment de bonnes amies. » Beaucoup d’argent Le montant d’argent amassé par les élèves de l’Escale a de quoi surprendre. Mais le nombre de donataires a aussi surpris Emy. « Je ne savais pas qu’autant de monde me supportait et était là pour moi. Je trouvais ça vraiment beau », confie-t-elle, la voix un peu tremblante. Saule a aussi été étonnée par le montant que ses collègues de classe et elle ont réussi à récolter. « Comme nous sommes des étudiants, certains ne travaillent pas. 800 $, c’est un gros montant. C’était vraiment fou de voir que tout le monde a pris de son temps et un peu d’argent pour faire du bien à Emy », exprime l’élève de Val-des-Sources, qui dit avoir réalisé que ses camarades étaient soudés. Contacté par La Tribune, le salon funéraire Fréchette a confirmé que 400 $ allaient être remis à la Fondation du CHUS et que le même montant allait être donné au CSSS des Sources dans les prochains jours. Tommy Brochu, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
“Speak, Okinawa,” by Elizabeth Miki Brina (Knopf) Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa” is a masterful memoir in which Brina examines the complex relationship she has with her interracial parents. Brina’s father, white and American, met her mother, who is from the island of Okinawa, while he was stationed there on a US military base. The two settled in the United States, where Brina’s mother spent decades feeling lonely and out of place. Brina grew up feeling close to her father and resenting her mother. Desperate to feel wholly American, she pushed her mother away, embarrassed of her accent and overall inability to truly assimilate. In this investigation of her childhood, Brina begins to see things differently. She looks at life from her mother’s perspective, and now, she starts to understand the depth of her pain, pain she endured from leaving behind all she knew and loved, and also the pain of calling occupied land home. “Speak, Okinawa” is both a mediation on Brina’s own family as well as a powerful history of the United States occupation of Okinawa, where it maintains a massive military presence to this day. Brina’s writing is crisp, captivating and profound. She is vulnerable, raw, and relatable, and her stories will no doubt cause readers to reflect on their relationships with their own parents. As educational as it is entertaining, “Speak, Okinawa” is well worth the read. —- Molly Sprayregen can be reached at her site. Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's auditor general is warning of a crisis in the nursing home sector if the government doesn't address the shortage of spaces. Kim Adair-MacPherson says the number of seniors in the province is expected to double by 2036 and there are currently almost 800 seniors waiting for a nursing home placement. She says it's unclear how the province plans to address the demand. Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch says 600 new nursing home beds will be opened over the next five years. He says the procedure the government uses to request proposals for new nursing homes has been streamlined, which he says should speed things up. Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents Rights, says the government should concentrate on helping seniors remain in their own homes instead of putting them into nursing residences. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Lea Storry/Twitter - image credit) If this week's big flash in the early morning sky has you itching to hunt for meteorites, you're not alone. But for Alberta's scientific community, space detritus has more value than being a stellar addition to your rock collection. At the University of Alberta, for example, researchers are using bits of space debris to figure out how to eventually handle parcels arriving on Earth from far, far away. "We're trying to advance curation techniques — that is, how do we handle this extra terrestrial material without contaminating it by the terrestrial environment," Patrick Hill, a planetary geologist at the U of A, told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM on Wednesday. "[That will] prepare us for sample-return missions such as Perseverence on Mars or Hayabusa 2 or OSIRIS-REx. And so that's our main interest. But meteorites provide us with a wealth of information about the history of the solar system and the geology of the solar system." Researchers are now checking images collected on an array of specialized cameras that document the night sky, looking for clues about the location of the fireball, which was reportedly seen in places like Jasper, Calgary and Saskatchewan. Those images will also offer insight into whether any fragments of the meteor survived the trip through the atmosphere to land on the ground, Hill said. "As long as it's captured by two or more of our cameras — because we know the GPS location of those cameras and the orientation in the night sky, we can, in essence, triangulate and the hone in on where this happened in Alberta," he said. Following the brilliant streak, captured on umpteen dashboard and doorbell cameras, the meteor enters what scientists call "the dark flight" of its freefall to the Earth's surface. Using speed and altitude data from the cameras, scientists will try to figure out what might have made it to the ground. "There's still some uncertainties in our models about powering down the exact location of where this happened and if any debris was formed. But if so, yes, it most likely would have fallen in Alberta," Hill added. For those who go hunting, Hill said a meteorite will be dark black or brown, with an eggshell-like outer layer, created during its fall through the sky. A 13-kilogram meteorite found in 2009 in Buzzard Coulee, Sask., approximately 40 kilometres from Lloydminster, Alta. The space rock was among 1,000 pieces collected from the Buzzard Coulee meteorite which fell Nov. 20, 2008, making it a Canadian record for number of fragments recovered from a single fall. Because nearly all meteorites contain iron, nickel or other metals, they will be fairly heavy for their size — and they should be magnetic, he said. As for size, Hill said it could vary between a couple of centimetres to a metre or more. A meteorite that falls on private property belongs to the landowner, while space debris that ends up on roads or public land falls under the finders-keepers principle, Hill said. But if you really want to know what you've found, you'll need to call in the experts. The U of A science faculty has a website titled Meteorites (and meteowrongs) to help guide people through the process. "Usually we work with the finder because the value of these meteorites comes from the classification," he said. "For example, they could be much more valuable, like lunar meteorites or Martian meteorites, where something hit Mars or the moon and that debris has been sent to Earth."
Long-term plans for industrial development between Sexsmith and the County of Grande Prairie may change slightly due to public feedback. Sexsmith council voted to make some changes to the draft Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) during its meeting last week. The changes would shift planned development to the northeast of current town boundaries south to the area closer to Viterra, said mayor Kate Potter. “We were really appreciative of the residents who said, ‘These are some concerns we see,’ and I think those were addressed,” Potter said. Potter noted the IDP is a long-term plan for a period of perhaps 50 to 100 years, and no development is imminent. Eighteen people attended two sessions in November to review the draft IDP and several questioned why certain lands were designated for industrial growth, said Rachel Wueschner, Sexsmith’s chief administrative officer. The area east and northeast of town boundaries was designated for industrial development under the draft IDP. Attendees suggested development be shifted closer to the Emerson Trail due to existing infrastructure there, including a high-grade road. Potter said while the eastern area may not currently have a through road, land access may be established over a long-term period. Attendees further suggested the current plans may negatively impact the landscape and agricultural lifestyle east of town. Potter said the land isn’t being re-designated at this time. Council did support moving some planned development, from two quarter-sections on the northeast of town borders to the Viterra area, partly because the northern area contains wetlands, Potter said. In accordance with feedback, council also voted to recognize a link between range roads 61 and 63 as a priority road. Range Road 63 runs west of Sexsmith and is entirely in the county, and improvements could make it easier for large trucks to transfer from Range Road 61 (a truck route) to 63, she said. The designation of a priority road means the county and town will communicate with each other regarding future plans for road improvements, she said. Following council’s changes, Potter said the matter will go back to negotiations between the town and county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News