Cats and dogs react to Kodi saying, "Hello?" Thanks to all the TikTok'rs who made duets to Kodi's video and agreed to this compilation!
Cats and dogs react to Kodi saying, "Hello?" Thanks to all the TikTok'rs who made duets to Kodi's video and agreed to this compilation!
WASHINGTON — Outgoing Attorney General William Barr's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the Russia probe ensures his successor won't have an easy transition.The move, which Barr detailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday, could lead to heated confirmation hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's nominee, who hasn't been announced. Senate Republicans will likely use that forum to extract a pledge from the pick to commit to an independent investigation.The pressure on the new attorney general is unlikely to ease once they take office. With the special counsel continuing to work during the early days of the Biden administration, it may be tough for the Justice Department's new leadership to launch investigations of President Donald Trump and his associates without seeming to be swayed by political considerations.Barr elevated U.S. Attorney John Durham to special counsel as Trump continues to propel his claims that the Russia investigation that shadowed his presidency was a “witch hunt.” It's the latest example of efforts by Trump officials to use the final days of his administration to essentially box Biden in by enacting new rules, regulations and orders designed to cement the president's legacy.But the manoeuvring over the special counsel is especially significant because it saddles Democrats with an investigation that they've derided as tainted. Now there's little the new administration can do about it.“From a political perspective, the move is so elegantly lethal that it would make Machiavelli green with envy,” Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.A special counsel can only be dismissed for cause. And as was the case during Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, such probes can sometimes stray from their origins.The Biden transition did not respond to a request for comment on the special counsel appointment.But Barr's decision could influence whom the president-elect puts forth as a nominee for attorney general. One leading candidate, Sally Yates, was already viewed skeptically by some Trump-aligned Republicans for her role in the early days of the Russia investigation. Her nomination could face even greater challenges because she's connected to some of the work that Durham is examining.As deputy attorney general, Yates signed off on the first two applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor communications of ex-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, a process that has been among the focuses of the Durham investigation.A Justice Department inspector general report found significant flaws and omissions in the four applications to the court, though it also found no evidence that Yates or any other senior Justice Department officials were aware of the problems.Some Democrats have privately expressed concerns – likely to deepen with Durham’s appointment as a special counsel – that nominating Yates would lead to a messy confirmation process that focuses on the Russia investigation, instead of focusing on reforms and shifting priorities at the Justice Department, people familiar with the matter have said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.Others potentially in the mix for the role include Lisa Monaco, a former homeland security adviser and senior Justice Department official in the Obama administration, and outgoing Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who famously prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a Birmingham church in the 1960s.The question for Biden, however, is how to balance top Cabinet picks as he attempts to fulfil his pledge for racial, ethnic and gender diversity. Many of Biden's leading nominees so far have been white, which could work against Yates, Monaco and Jones.Some Black Democrats are attempting to elevate former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is Black and led the Justice Department's civil rights division under President Bill Clinton, in discussions about potential attorneys general.Whoever emerges as the nominee will be pressed to demonstrate independence from the new White House after Biden campaigned on a pledge to depoliticize the Justice Department.That could be tough, however, if the future attorney general faces calls for new probes into the Trump administration. Some investigations into Trump have been frozen because of the immunity he enjoys as president. Others swirling around members of his family and associates have been simmering for years.On Tuesday, an unsealed court filing revealed an investigation into a potential plot to solicit political donations in exchange for the president using his pardon power.Barr, for his part, insisted that he was trying to keep politics out of the Durham probe, explaining that is why he delayed announcing the special counsel appointment until a month after the election.“With the election approaching, I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Muller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election,” Barr said in an interview with the AP on Tuesday.“I wanted to have the team, both Durham and his team understand that they be able to finish their work,” Barr said.Durham has already been a huge disappointment for Trump and his allies, and prompted a dispute with Barr over why things weren’t moving faster and why the investigation did not yield major prosecutions in the weeks before the election. The investigation wasn’t expected to result in many more criminal charges, and there has only been one so far — a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to a single charge.But the investigation is worth more politically than practically.A nearly 500-page inspector general report chronicled in great detail the errors and omissions FBI agents made in a series of applications to surveil Page. Declassified documents released by congressional Republicans have raised additional questions while not undercutting the overarching legitimacy of the Russia probe. And the facts of the one criminal case Durham has brought so far, against an FBI lawyer who admitted altering an email, were already mostly laid out in the watchdog report.There’s also been a degree of turmoil within Durham’s ranks as one of the team’s leaders, Nora Dannehy, resigned months ago, a significant departure given the active role she had played.___Miller reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Colleen Long in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
The Town of Deer Lake is set to begin gradually reopening some of its municipal buildings on Saturday, after taking its own initiative in closing them down due to a small cluster of COVID-19 cases.Those cases — including one in an elementary school — sprang up in the community over the last two weeks, prompting town officials to turn out the lights at several public facilities. The Hodder Memorial Recreation Centre will reopen to the public on Saturday. The town is reminding groups to review the safety measures previously established for arenas, outlined on the provincial government's COVID-19 website.The Deer Lake town office will resume operations on Monday.Businesses in Deer Lake that were asked to cease regular operations can now begin to reopen, based on their own unique protocols, according to a town media release."The cooperation and dedication of Deer Lake residents in controlling the spread of this virus in our community is truly remarkable," said Mayor Dean Ball in the media release."This virus has changed our daily lives significantly, [and] this surely hasn't been an easy time for anyone. I am confident that our united commitment and community spirit will carry us forward as we deal with the COVID-19 virus."On Wednesday Fitzgerald said public health is still keeping an eye on small clusters of COVID-19 cases located throughout the province — including Deer Lake. "Some people in Grand Bank have gotten through their isolation periods, but not everyone has. So we're still following up, and same for Deer Lake — we're only about half way through that," said Fitzgerald in Wednesday's live COVID-19 briefing."We're watching things closely. Anyone who was a close contact may go on to develop symptoms, so that's certainly something we're watching out for. But, by and large, we know what's happening there and we feel comfortable with where we are now."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
PASADENA, Calif. — It was a rare sight after Los Angeles County restaurants were restricted to takeout to reduce the spread of the coronavirus: tables and chairs set up outside the Pie 'N Burger shop in Pasadena.Owner Michael Osborn explained to two men who approached him Monday that the city famous for its Rose Parade had marched to its own beat and kept outdoor dining open.“God bless Pasadena!” the two exclaimed, placing their order and taking a seat at one of the sidewalk tables, Osborn recounted.Pasadena has become an island in the nation's most populous county, where a surge of COVID-19 cases last week led to a three-week end to outdoor dining and then a broader stay-home order that took effect Monday.The decision by Pasadena health authorities to buck Los Angeles County has been a relief to restaurateurs who have struggled to stay afloat amid closures, ever-changing rules and attempts to keep workers on the job and money in the till. Even Pasadena has made changes, mandating that only people in the same household can gather starting Wednesday, which applies to outdoor seating.“We’re not out of the woods yet, but every day that goes by is a blessing that we can keep the outdoor dining open,” Osborn said.Infections and hospitalizations in Los Angeles County have been rising sharply in the past few weeks, hitting an all-time high Tuesday of more than 7,500 new confirmed cases and the rate of positive tests rising to 12% from 7% a week ago.The county's health order, which only allows restaurants to prepare food to go, applies to about 10 million residents in the region except those in Pasadena or Long Beach — cities that have their own public health departments and can set their own rules.Long Beach, a city of about 460,000, also closed outdoor dining. It implemented a stay-home order Wednesday that mostly mirrors the county's: urging people to stay inside as much as possible, further restricting capacity in stores and banning all public and private gatherings except for protests and religious services.Closing dining at 31,000 county restaurants created a backlash among owners and some politicians who say there's no evidence eating outside is a big risk. Health officials counter that not wearing a mask while eating raises the threat of transmission.Owners argue it will force more people to gather indoors, where the virus is known to spread easier and no one is enforcing rules.A divided LA County Board of Supervisors rejected a measure Nov. 24 that would have kept outdoor dining open. The Los Angeles City Council passed an urgent resolution last week asking the county to rescind the order, and Beverly Hills took similar action Tuesday. Restaurants went to court to stop the restrictions, but a judge denied their request.Pasadena, a city of 140,000 at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, has mostly followed the county's lead during the pandemic.But the home of the Rose Bowl and California Institute of Technology decided to chart its own course last week. Because it's smaller and can more closely monitor its 600 restaurants, officials said they chose more aggressive enforcement.“We literally have seen COVID cases in a large percentage of businesses across the city,” Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. “To single out restaurants was unfair.”County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she couldn't predict whether Pasadena's decision would have an impact on the county's infection rate. Given the city's size, it may be able to ensure safety measures are followed, she said.But she noted that a lack of compliance was not the reason dining was shut down.“We are closing restaurants for outdoor dining for three weeks because people who are there are not able to wear their face coverings,” Ferrer said. “There’s much greater risk of transmission both to workers and to other people at your table and other people that are eating at the other tables.”Over the weekend, seven Pasadena restaurants were closed after inspectors found violations ranging from staff not wearing plastic shields over masks to seating people indoors, Derderian said. All had been approved to reopen after correcting errors.Inspectors also shut down a car show, broke up birthday parties and soccer matches in parks, and warned people exercising that they had to wear masks, she said.If the city doesn't stop outdoor dining altogether, it could be forced to do so by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who suggested Monday that a more “drastic” stay-home order could be in the works as the state tries to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.At Lucky Baldwins, a pub in Pasadena's Old Town, business picked up Monday around happy hour. A patio that was expanded into an alley was about half full, and servers wore masks and face shields.Anthony Angulo, who had driven from nearby Altadena to meet a friend, was glad he had an option to get a bite and some beers.“A lot of these business owners are struggling, and they don’t need to be hamstrung. They’re doing the best that they can,” he said. “Nobody is going inside standing shoulder to shoulder.”Owner Peggy Simonian said she was relieved Pasadena allowed two locations to stay open. She had to close a sister cafe in nearby Sierra Madre under the county order.“I feel stuck,” Simonian said. “I can’t move forward, can’t move backwards, can’t do anything. I can’t make this situation any better.”___Melley reported from Los Angeles.Brian Melley And Christopher Weber, The Associated Press
En ce début de décembre et à l’aube du début d’une nouvelle saison, les amateurs de sport de glisse de la Rive-Sud se sont littéralement rués vers les abonnements annuels, que ce soit à Ski Saint-Bruno, au Mont Sutton ou Bromont. Au mont Saint-Bruno, par exemple, seules quelques passes de semaine, de jour, sont encore disponibles. Plus de passes de soir, plus de passe sept jours ou même les passes pour les 60 ans et plus A Bromont, sept des huit passes de saison habituelles ne sont plus en vente. Seule les passes de soir sont encore disponibles. Au mont Sutton, quelques dizaines de passes de semaine, 5 jours sont encore en vente. Pour le reste, que ce soit les passes de saison, du lundi ou du vendredi, c’est terminé. Ne sachant pas comment se déroulerait la saison avec la pandémie de COVID-19, les stations ont choisi de vendre une quantité limitée d’abonnements et elles ne rendront disponibles que quelques billets journaliers. « C’est une question de choix d’entreprise. Si on vend trop d’abonnements, ce n’est pas mieux, on va être obligé de rembourser les gens », souligne Charles Désourdy, président de Bromont, qui espère que les premières pistes soient ouvertes à la mi-décembre. L’entreprise a mis de 10 à 15 % moins d’abonnements en vente, mais se garde l’option d’en vendre davantage une fois la saison bien lancée, selon le déroulement des activités. « On avait un bon rythme de prévente par rapport à l’an passé, mais avec la distanciation et les restrictions aux remontées mécaniques qui limitent nos capacités, on doit mettre fin à la vente d’abonnements pour se garder un peu de marge de manœuvre pour la saison, confie Jean-Michel Ryan, PDG de Mont-Sutton. Il faut commencer la saison correctement. Ensuite, on verra. » En principe, ces trois stations de ski la région devraient démarrer leur saison en fin de semaine prochaine. François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
Residents of a Lambton County township dealing with a massive outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars will be left on their own to fight the tree-destroying critters. Lambton Shores, located along Lake Huron, won’t spray private properties to control the pests next summer but has agreed to take “control measures” on some municipal land. Council voted unanimously to support a contentious gypsy moth action plan Tuesday night, adding a new recommendation that funds be included in the 2021 budget to undertake spraying on municipal land adjacent to private properties. “Where the people are going to spray theirs, we'll spray ours,” said Coun. Jeff Wilcox, who proposed the added recommendation. “It’s a good first step.” Other approved recommendations include creating a webpage to advise residents of resources to tackle gypsy moths, a $10,000 mail-drop to create awareness and not objecting to any spraying on private property. The gypsy moth citizens' action group, a coalition of some 4,000 residents across 12 subdivisions, lambasted the plan, arguing it doesn’t go far enough to protect the region’s trees and environment and calling it a “do-nothing approach.” They were pushing for the municipality to take the lead on a targeted aerial spray, as has been done in other municipalities, such as Sarnia and Pelham, and parts of Toronto and Hamilton. Romayne Smith-Fullerton, a group spokesperson, said their option wasn’t considered and felt the report wasn’t fully discussed at council. “The appearance of (our group) being heard wasn’t even met,” she said. “How many people need to speak up?” Wilcox called the added recommendation a compromise, adding staff will need to monitor how well this approach works next year and adjust for any future outbreaks. “It’s a tough situation . . . I can see why some people would be upset. They have every right to be,” he said. “We’re at least trying to get something done, and at least council now has acknowledged that we are responsible for our property.” The gypsy moth report was originally sent to council Nov. 10, but was deferred until Dec. 1 to receive more public feedback. More than 300 pages of correspondence were submitted to council, most advocating for more municipal involvement in tackling the outbreak. Smith-Fullerton was denied a presentation request to council, with officials citing COVID-19 safety protocols. Lambton Shores’ procedure bylaw disallows public presentations at electronic meetings. Tuesday night, councillors and staff met in person in Thedford. A written delegation was accepted, but not read aloud at the meeting. “I was honestly disappointed that they couldn’t come and speak,” Wilcox said. “I’m a firm believer that we need to listen to the people. In a democracy, you may not get your way, but you need to get your say.” Wilcox said he's submitted a motion for the next council meeting to consider amending the procedure bylaw to allow some form of public delegations at future meetings. In the months leading up to council’s report, many neighbourhoods already had been planning to spray their properties with a bacterium — bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki, referred to as Btk — but said that was their fallback approach. “That is what we are going to have to do because we have no choice,” Smith-Fullerton said. Gypsy moths are an invasive species, the larvae of which can cause rapid defoliation. An environmental assessment on the extent of the damage the insects caused this year was never ordered by the municipality. The 2020 outbreaks were most severe in the Port Franks, Deer Run and Pinery Provincial Park areas of Lambton Shores, a region that’s home to some rare ecosystems, such as oak savanna and pine barren. Many residents said beyond destroying trees, the moth larvae devastated their quality of life this summer, with the sheer volume of caterpillars making it impossible to be outdoors. “It’s like head lice in a public school. It spreads like wildfire,” Smith-Fullerton said. “Why are we not caring about this as a community?” MaxMartin@postmedia.com Twitter.com/MaxatLFPressMax Martin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press
ISLAMABAD — The U.S. envoy who brokered the ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban said Wednesday the two sides have overcome a three-month impasse and agreed on rules and procedures for the negotiations.The development is significant as it means the warring sides are getting closer to actually starting to negotiate the issues that could end decades of fighting in Afghanistan and determine the country's post-war future. But first they must decide on the agenda for the negotiations, which is the next step.In a series of tweets, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said there was a signed document and urged both the Taliban and the government to get down to the business of negotiating a “political roadmap and a cease-fire.”The three-page document lays out the rules and procedures for the negotiations, which are taking place in Qatar where the Taliban have long maintained a political office.Afghans “now expect rapid progress on a political roadmap and a ceasefire. We understand their desire and we support them,” Khalilzad tweeted.A cease-fire, rights of women and minorities, and constitutional amendments are expected to top the agenda. But the list is likely to be long and contentious, with issues such as safety guarantees for thousands of Taliban fighters who disarm, as well as for disbanding the heavily armed militias loyal to Kabul warlords, many of them allied either with the government or opposition politicians.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on Feb. 29 signed a Taliban-U.S. deal that paves the way for withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, welcomed the agreement.“As negotiations on a political roadmap and permanent ceasefire begin, we will also work hard with all sides in pursuit of a serious reduction of violence,” he said.Khalilzad’s announcement was not unexpected — last month, the Taliban said the rules and procedures were settled and the U.S. said last week it was all but wrapped up. But then the Afghan government said it had concerns with the some of the words in the preamble that set off accusations that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was holding up the deal. His spokesman denied this.There were no details about the document, but Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem said the two sides have appointed a committee to hammer out the agenda items.Since the Afghan-Taliban talks started in September, violence has spiked significantly. The Taliban have staged deadly attacks on Afghan forces while keeping their promise not to attack U.S. and NATO troops. The attacks have drawn a mighty retaliation by the Afghan air force, backed by U.S. warplanes. International rights groups have warned both sides to avoid inflicting civilian casualties.In Washington, U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military’s plan for reducing American troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500 by mid-January has been approved by the acting secretary of defence, Christopher Miller. Milley declined to discuss the plan beyond saying that the smaller U.S. force would operate from “a couple of larger bases,” along with several smaller ones, in order to continue its current missions of combatting extremist groups like al-Qaida and training and advising Afghan defence forces.Milley asserted that the U.S. has achieved “a modicum of success” in Afghanistan after more than 19 years of war, given that there has not been a repeat of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland. Noting that President Donald Trump made the decision to reduce the U.S. force to 2,500, Milley said, “What comes after that, that will be up to a new administration; we’ll find that out on the 20th of January and beyond.”In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the breakthrough on the Afghan-Taliban talks, amid uncertainty over the alliance's future in Afghanistan and urged for rapid progress on cease-fire and establishing a political road map.“You can discuss whether it is a big or a small step, but the important thing is that it’s the first step,” Stoltenberg said, after chairing a videoconference of NATO foreign ministers. “It’s the first time actually that the Taliban and the Afghan government are able to sign a document agreeing on the framework, the modalities, for negotiations addressing a long-term, peaceful solution.”NATO has roughly 11,000 troops in Afghanistan, but under the U.S.-Taliban deal, all foreign troops would leave the country by May 1 if conditions allow. Stoltenberg has said that NATO faces a “difficult dilemma” over what to do.A decision on its future in Afghanistan, where NATO has led international security efforts since 2003 in the hope of keeping extremist groups at bay, is expected to be made in February after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.The Taliban today control or hold sway over nearly half of Afghanistan and are at their strongest since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion toppled their regime over sheltering al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden.Many Afghans, particularly in larger urban areas fear a return of their repressive regime that harshly punished those who defied their strict Islamic edicts. Unlike when they ruled, the Taliban now say they will allow girls to go to school and women to work and hold public office, though they will not allow a woman to become president or a chief justice of Afghanistan's Supreme Court.___Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Ken Guggenheim in Washington, Tameem Akhgar in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this report.Kathy Gannon, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday struggled with whether to require new trials for potentially thousands of prisoners who were convicted by non-unanimous juries before the court barred the practice earlier this year.The high court ruled 6-3 in April that juries in state criminal trials must be unanimous to convict a defendant. Previously, Louisiana and Oregon as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico had allowed divided votes to result in convictions. In striking down the practice, the court said Louisiana and Oregon had originally adopted their rules for racially discriminatory reasons. Now, juries everywhere must vote unanimously to convict.But the Supreme Court's decision affected only future cases and cases in which the defendants were still appealing their convictions when the high court ruled. The question for the court now is whether the decision should be made retroactive. That would benefit prisoners convicted by non-unanimous juries whose cases were final before the court's ruling, but the states and federal government said it would also be incredibly burdensome.Several justices noted the very high bar past cases have set to making similar new rules retroactive while also suggesting this case might clear it. And the case did not seem to be one that would split the court along traditional liberal-conservative lines.“Why isn't unanimity basic?” Justice Stephen Breyer asked during arguments, which the court heard by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic.But Justice Samuel Alito expressed skepticism that the court should make this decision retroactive. He suggested the court has been hard pressed to find a similar case that should be made retroactive, comparing it to a “quest for an animal that was thought to have become extinct, like the Tasmanian tiger.”And Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted that the court has “a long line of cases ... where we have declined to apply a new rule retroactively” once cases have become final.Louisiana, Oregon and Puerto Rico could be forced to retry hundreds or thousands of people if the court’s decision were to be made retroactive, Louisiana has said. And several justices pressed the lawyers before them on how many people might need to be retried, with one lawyer saying it could be 1,000 to 1,600 in Louisiana alone.The Trump administration, for its part, has sided with the states and told the court that applying the decision retroactively would be “massively disruptive” in both Louisiana and Oregon and may mean “the release of violent offenders who cannot practically be retried.”The court's ruling in April produced an unusual lineup of justices, with liberals and conservatives on both sides of the decision. That’s because a key part of the case was whether to overrule a 1972 decision, and overturning precedent is a particularly charged issue on the court.This time around, it seemed votes could shift. Justice Elena Kagan, who was in dissent last time, siding against the inmate challenging a non-unanimous jury, seemed nonetheless sympathetic to the idea that the decision should be made retroactive, saying at one point: “How could it be that a rule like that does not have retroactive effect?”The case before the justices involves Louisiana prisoner Thedrick Edwards. A jury convicted Edwards of rape and multiple counts of armed robbery and kidnapping. The jury divided 10-2 on most of the robbery charges and 11-1 on the remaining charges. Edwards, who had confessed to police, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Edwards, who is Black, has argued among other things that prosecutors intentionally kept Black jurors off the case; the lone Black juror on the case voted to acquit him.Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and New Brunswick reported six as the stream of cases from ongoing outbreaks continued in both provinces. Health officials in Nova Scotia said 16 of the cases identified were in Halifax, including one at St. Margaret's Bay Elementary school that was reported late Tuesday. The other case was in the province's northern health zone and was related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The province's total number of active cases is 127. In New Brunswick, health officials reported six new cases of COVID-19. The Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Edmundston regions each had one case, while there were two in the Bathurst region. There are now 119 active cases in the province. During an online news conference Wednesday, Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill said St. Margaret's Bay Elementary was closed for cleaning and would remain closed on Thursday because of a scheduled professional development day. He said a decision on reopening would be made later this week. "That is yet to be determined because the investigation hasn't been completed," he said. Churchill also said it was likely that students at two schools in Cole Harbour that were closed after cases were identified last week would return to classes on Monday. The minister, who announced a further $14.3 million in funding to help support schools during the pandemic, was asked his thoughts on the fact there have only been five cases identified to date in the school system. He credited good guidance from the provincial public health department and said Nova Scotians have followed that advice. "I think our teachers, principals, support staff, our cleaners, our students should be proud," Churchill told reporters. "It seems at this point that the majority of people are doing their part to make a difference and protect people from the virus." Still, he said talks were ongoing about the possibility of extending the upcoming Christmas break if needed. The money announced for schools on Wednesday is from a federal fund announced in August, and Churchill said it would go toward a range of programs and initiatives to help keep schools safe. He said $3.8 million would be used to boost school water supplies through the purchase of 950 touch-free water-filling stations, while $2.7 million would be used to ensure maintenance and inspections of school ventilation systems. "This is above and beyond the (ventilation) assessments that have been done and the regular assessments," he said. "If any issues crop up, this funding will allow us to deploy resources very quickly to deal with any maintenance issues." Another $1.5 million would be used to purchase additional personal protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer for students and staff, while $4.1 million would go toward new online math and literacy programs. Money would also go toward school food programs, including $500,000 to meet increased demand for the existing school healthy eating program, and $1 million to support an emergency food fund that can be accessed if at-home learning is needed. The announcement followed one last month that will see $21.5 million in federal relief money used to purchase 32,000 new computers for students and to upgrade servers and Wi-Fi systems in schools. Meanwhile, one new case of COVID-19 was reported by Newfoundland and Labrador on Wednesday, bringing its number of active cases to 30. Health officials said the case was related to travel and involved a man between 20 and 39 years old in the eastern part of the province. In Prince Edward Island, the government announced that those with lower incomes can now get free face masks at all food bank locations across the province. The province said it had collaborated with the P.E.I. Association of Food Banks to distribute three-ply, non-medical reusable masks Since Nov. 20, non-medical masks or face coverings have been mandatory in all public spaces on the Island. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Organizations representing doctors and nurses in Quebec say they're increasingly worried as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb heading into what is normally one of the busiest times of the year for the province's hospitals.“In a normal year, there's a surge of activity at the beginning of January,” Dr. Hoang Duong, the president of Quebec's association of internal medicine specialists, said in a phone interview.“The first wave, it’s left its scars,” he added. “Our staff, nurses especially, are very tired.”Many nurses are on sick leave, Duong said, leaving the health-care system short-staffed. “We have to divert staff to take care of COVID patients, which makes even less staff available,” he said.The deteriorating situation in the province's hospitals was cited Tuesday by Premier Francois Legault as a factor that could force him to cancel a plan to allow multi-household gatherings over Christmas. On Wednesday, as the province reported more than 1,500 daily COVID-19 infections for the first time since the pandemic began, deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault announced measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.As of Friday, stores will have to adhere to new limits on the number of people allowed inside or risk fines of up to $6,000. The province says enforcement, including ensuring proper distancing and the wearing of masks, will fall to mall owners and store owners.Guilbault cited images of packed shops and malls as the reason behind the decision to regulate capacity as the busy holiday shopping season begins. She said the measures were necessary as the province reported a record 1,514 new COVID-19 cases and 43 additional deaths linked to the virus.The number of people in Quebec hospitals with COVID-19 rose by 21 Wednesday for a total of 740, including 99 in intensive care.Nathalie Levesque, the vice-president of Quebec’s largest nurses union, said Quebec already faced a shortage of nurses. With the pandemic, thousands of nurses are currently on medical leave or can’t work for preventive reasons. Levesque said she’s “very, very concerned” about the coming weeks, a period when hospital emergency rooms often see higher numbers of patients with colds, flu and stomach infections. Hospital emergency rooms in Quebec were already frequently over capacity, she said.Last week, she said, nurses in the Montreal area were asked to volunteer to work in other parts of the province that have been particularly affected by the pandemic. In some regions, private seniors residences have asked public health authorities to provide them with nurses to assist with COVID-19 outbreaks.Levesque said she’s worried this will leave some health-care facilities without enough staff, adding that she hopes administrators are being careful when they agree to transfer staff. Duong, who works at a hospital diabetes clinic, said nurses he works with have transferred to a new department dedicated to COVID-19. “I understand that, because we do have to take care of COVID patients," he said. "But that also means that diabetic patients, are not going to get, at least for now, the care that they usually do."Quebec hospitals still haven't recovered from the almost total cancellation of non-emergency surgeries and medical imaging during the first wave of the pandemic, the province's Health Department confirmed Wednesday."All hospitals in Quebec have been forced to delay surgeries," Robert Maranda, a department spokesman wrote in an email, adding that the waiting list is continuing to diminish.Dr. Matthew Oughton, who specializes in infectious diseases at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital, said there's "little resilience" in Quebec's health-care system. As the number of hospitalizations in a region rise, it reduces flexibility and the ability to provide services, putting more pressure on other hospitals.Duong said he was relieved to hear Quebec Premier Francois Legault say Tuesday that the province is rethinking its plan to allow gatherings of up to 10 people for four days around Christmas. As a doctor, he said, he wants every precaution taken to prevent the spread of the virus, though he understands that people want to get together this time of year."It's a hard choice to make," he said, adding that he believes public health authorities will make the right decision.Meanwhile, the Retail Council of Canada said it welcomed the province's new measures on store capacity, noting they were largely in line with its own recommendations to retailers.“We understand that the government must give itself the tools to intervene with certain less collaborative retailers," the council's Quebec representative Marc Fortin said in a statement. "The health and safety of employees and consumers remain the priority of our retailers."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.———This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.Jacob Serebrin and Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — The dramatic conclusion to “The Undoing,” HBO's whodunit starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman, proved how it's still possible to bring people together in today's fragmented television world.Three million people tuned in Sunday to find out who really killed the girlfriend of Grant's adulterous character in one of three showings on HBO and on the streaming service HBO Max, the Nielsen company said.That's likely to be a fraction of who eventually sees it, given how television is consumed today. The premiere of the six-episode series was seen by 1.4 million people the night it first aired, and by now has been seen by 9 million and counting.“It's a good example of how you can still have a water-cooler hit,” said Casey Bloys, HBO Programming president. “I will always point to good acting, writing and directing. It was a good story.”It was the most-watched night for HBO since the finale of “Big Little Lies” last year, which also featured Kidman and creator David E. Kelley.HBO also said it was the first time in network history that each episode of a series was seen by more people than the previous one, a powerful signal of how people were drawn into the mystery.“The Undoing” has generated more conversation on social media than any other new scripted television series this year, Nielsen said. Coupled with the streaming-only series “The Flight Attendant,” HBO Max had its biggest week since the service was launched.“The Undoing” was always designed as a limited series, but it attracted the type of interest that would make any television executive naturally wonder if the story could be extended in some way.“I don't know,” Bloys said. “I do think these things are lightning in a bottle. It could always be difficult to try that again.”But he pointed to the network's productive relationship with Kidman and Kelley.“We'll find something great to do,” he said. “Who knows what it will be?”In other ratings news, CNN finished November with its most-watched month in the network's 40-year history, showing growth in the aftermath of the election compared to rivals Fox News Channel and MSNBC.NBC was the top-rated broadcast network in prime time for Thanksgiving week, averaging 3.64 million viewers. CBS had 3.55 million, ABC had 2.4 million, Fox had 1.6 million, Ion Television had 930,000, Univision had 890,000 and Telemundo had 530,000.ESPN was the most-watched cable network, averaging 2.95 million viewers. Hallmark hit 2.53 million, Fox News Channel had 2 million, MSNBC had 1.59 million and CNN had 1.41 million.ABC's “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings race with an average of 9.5 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” had 8.8 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.3 million.For the week of Nov. 23-29, the 20 most-watched programs in prime time, their networks and viewerships:1\. NFL Football: Chicago at Green Bay, NBC, 16.48 million.2\. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 13.78 million.3\. “NFL Pregame” (Sunday), NBC, 13.32 million.4\. NFL Football: L.A. Rams at Tampa Bay, ESPN, 13.14 million.5\. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 11.42 million.6\. “NFL Post-Game” (Sunday), Fox, 11.11 million.7\. “Football Night in America” (Sunday, 7:55 p.m.) NBC, 10.78 million.8\. “NCIS,” CBS, 10.16 million.9\. “FBI,” CBS, 8.4 million.10\. “Football Night in America” (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.), NBC, 7.38 million.11\. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 7.08 million.12\. “The Voice” (Tuesday) NBC, 7.07 million.13\. “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 6.42 million.14\. “Monday Night Kickoff,” ESPN, 6.22 million.15\. “I Can See Your Voice,” Fox, 6.07 million.16\. “FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 5.66 million.17\. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.46 million.18\. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 4.9 million.19\. “Bull,” CBS, 4.68 million.20\. “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 4.49 million.David Bauder, The Associated Press
Jasper Municipal Council had a lengthy discussion at their Dec. 1 regular meeting about the options for utility fees in Jasper in 2021, including whether they wanted to set a flat consumption rate or change tiered. Mayor Richard Ireland said utility fees had been discussed at five meetings and it was time to move ahead and council directed administration to prepare a bylaw that includes a flat consumption rate. The bylaw will generate about $750,000 of additional revenue, and will include a base rate related to meter size. The first reading of the utility fees bylaw is scheduled for Dec. 15. Administration was also directed to bring suggestions to council in the new year, for moving to a tiered consumption rate for 2022. Support for sidewalk seating A majority of businesses surveyed in Jasper want patio seating to continue in the upcoming season, Pattie Pavlov, general manager, Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce told council at their regular meeting on Dec. 1, and a decision is needed soon. There's room for fine-tuning the program that ran last summer. Suggestions from respondents included adding additional bike parking, closing Patricia Street access on the 600 block to all vehicle traffic as far as TGP, and having businesses who want to participate pay all associated costs. But the general consensus among council members was to get matters moving so businesses can prepare for next year's season. Ireland said the program was put in place this year "to give businesses the opportunity to survive”. “In fact, it was spectacularly successful,” he said. There was discussion about needing more consultation with groups including Tourism Jasper and Community Futures as well as Parks Canada. Ireland said there needs to be individual business representation as well and pointed out the program is not limited to restaurants. Overall, council approved of something similar to the pilot program that ran in 2020. A subsequent program has to be reviewed by the Planning and Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) with Parks Canada. Council hopes okaying a similar program for 2021 will lead to quick approval from Parks Canada. They're scheduled to make a decision about extended seating and retail areas at their regular meeting on Dec. 15.Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the priority list for the first COVID-19 vaccines is being refined because there won't be enough doses available in the first round to cover the initial groups recommended.
NEW YORK — National lawmakers introduced a joint resolution Wednesday aimed at striking language from the U.S. Constitution that enshrines a form of slavery in America’s foundational documents.The resolution, spearheaded and supported by Democratic members of the House and Senate, would amend the 13th Amendment’s ban on chattel enslavement to expressly prohibit involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime. As ratified, the original amendment has permitted exploitation of labour by convicted felons for over 155 years since the abolition of slavery.The 13th Amendment “continued the process of a white power class gravely mistreating Black Americans, creating generations of poverty, the breakup of families and this wave of mass incarceration that we still wrestle with today,” Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon told The Associated Press ahead of the resolution's introduction.A House version is led by outgoing Rep. William Lacy Clay, of St. Louis, who said the amendment “seeks to finish the job that President (Abraham) Lincoln started.”It would “eliminate the dehumanizing and discriminatory forced labour of prisoners for profit that has been used to drive the over-incarceration of African Americans since the end of the Civil War,” Clay said.In the Senate, the resolution has Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland signed on as co-sponsors. “This change to the 13th Amendment will finally, fully rid our nation of a form of legalized slavery,” Van Hollen said in an emailed statement.constitutional amendments are rare and require approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate, as well as ratification by three-quarters of state legislatures. Should the proposal fail to move out of committee in the remaining weeks of the current Congress, Merkley said he hoped to revive it next year.The effort has been endorsed by more than a dozen human rights and social justice organizations, including The Sentencing Project, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and Color of Change.“It is long past time that Congress excise this language from the U.S. Constitution which should begin to put an end to the abusive practices derived from it,” said Laura Pitter, deputy director of the U.S. program at Human Rights Watch, which also endorsed the amendment.The proposed amendment comes nearly one month after voters in Nebraska and Utah approved initiatives amending their state constitutions to remove language that allows slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. In 2018, Colorado was among the first U.S. states to remove such language by ballot measure.Although nearly half of state constitutions do not mention human bondage or prison labour as punishment, just over 20 states still include such clauses in governing documents that date back to the 19th century abolition of slavery.In Merkley’s Oregon, voters in 2002 approved the elimination of constitutional language that prohibited Black Americans from living in the state unless they were enslaved.He said the movement toward a federal amendment is “kind of saying to the world, let’s not forget this big piece of injustice that’s sitting squarely in the middle of our Constitution, as we wrestle with criminal justice reform.”Many Americans will recognize modern-day prison labour as chain gangs deployed from prison facilities for agricultural and infrastructure work. The prevalence of prison labour has been largely accepted as a means for promoting rehabilitation, teaching trade skills and reducing idleness among prisoners.But the practice has a much darker history. Following the abolition of slavery, Southern states that lost the literal backbone of their economies began criminalizing formerly enslaved Black men and women for offences as petty as vagrancy or having unkempt children.This allowed legal re-enslavement of African Americans, who were no longer seen as sympathetic victims of inhumane bondage, said Michele Goodwin, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Irvine.“These people became criminals, and it became very difficult for many abolitionists to use the same kinds of emotional messaging about the humanity of these individuals,” Goodwin said.Today, incarcerated workers, many of them making pennies on the dollar, work in plants, manufacturing clothing, assembling furniture and even battling wildfires across the U.S., much of it to the benefit of large corporations, governments and communities where they’ve historically been unwelcome upon release.Researchers have estimated the minimum annual value of prison labour commodities at $2 billion, derived largely through a system of convict leasing that leaves these workers without the legal protections and benefits that Americans are otherwise entitled to.And while prison work is largely optional for the 2.2 million individuals incarcerated in the U.S., it’s a grave mistake to disassociate their labour from the original intent of the penal system, Goodwin said.“Your freedom has been taken away — that’s the punishment that society has assigned,” she said. “The punishment is not that you do slave work, that is unpaid labour or barely paid labour.”____Morrison is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.Aaron Morrison, The Associated Press
SÉCURITÉ. L’Opération Nez rouge s’adapte à la situation sanitaire actuelle et à ses impacts logistiques en offrant une campagne de sensibilisation numérique du 1er au 31 décembre sur le thème : Prenez les rennes de votre sécurité! «L’Opération Nez rouge fait partie du paysage du temps des Fêtes. Depuis 1984, des centaines de communautés se mobilisent pour leurs localités. Cette année, nous comptons sur vous pour perpétuer cette tradition de décisions éclairées. Planifiez vos déplacements en toute sécurité et devenez des porte-voix de l’Opération Nez rouge auprès de vos collègues, de vos amis, de vos parents. Ensemble, prenons les rennes de notre sécurité!», invite Jean-Marie De Koninck, président fondateur de l’Opération Nez rouge. La campagne de sensibilisation virtuelle sera jumelée à une campagne de dons. «Les dons amassés lors des raccompagnements permettent le développement de projets liés à la jeunesse et au sport amateur localement, et ce, depuis 1984. Dans le contexte sanitaire actuel, cette source de financement ne sera pas disponible cette année, mais l’Opération Nez rouge souhaite pouvoir continuer à soutenir ses maîtres d’œuvre. Une plateforme de dons en ligne, prenez-les-rennes.com… a donc été créée pour cette 37e édition», ajoute-t-on. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Saint-Tite – L'entreprise Albert Veillette & Fils pourrait entamer des procédures judiciaires contre la Ville de Baie-Comeau, elle qui se retrouve plongée dans une controverse impliquant son célèbre «Steak à Veillette», pendant que le maire de la municipalité de la Côte-Nord tenterait de protéger ses commerces locaux. Des commerçants de l'endroit ont dénoncé, lors d'une récente séance du conseil municipal, que l'institution mauricienne vienne leur faire concurrence de façon déloyale chez eux. Citant le fait qu'ils sont des payeurs de taxes, en opposition à Albert Veillette & Fils, ces commerçants ont demandé au maire de défendre leurs intérêts. Lorsqu'interpellé, Yves Montigny a répondu du tac au tac. «C'est un produit acheté dans une chaudière, qui a été attendri par une machine, qu'on doit cuire bien cuit comme une semelle de botte pour être sûr de ne pas s'empoisonner.» Des commentaires qui ont touché droit au cœur le copropriétaire de la boucherie de Saint-Tite, Gilles Veillette. «C'est inconcevable qu'un maire dise ça. C'est discriminatoire : il utilise son pouvoir pour avoir une influence sur le commercial. C'est tout à son honneur de vouloir protéger les commerces de Baie-Comeau, mais c'est la manière qui dérange», tranche-t-il. L'homme d'affaires se défend : la présence de l'entreprise à Baie-Comeau visait à effectuer la livraison de marchandise en ligne et non à faire de la sollicitation. «Ils ont un règlement avec lequel ils veulent nous obliger à aller livrer aux maisons. Avant, c'était l'inverse, ils ne voulaient pas qu'on aille aux portes. On ne fait pas de vente sur place, on fait juste de la livraison. C'est un non-sens que le maire décide de la façon dont on va livrer. Le maire utilise son pouvoir discrétionnaire. Notre présence peut déranger certains commerces, mais tout ce que je veux, c'est gagner ma vie», exprime M. Veillette. «C'est triste, parce que je n'aime pas être mêlé à ces tempêtes-là. On a du plaisir à faire notre travail. C'est sûr et certain qu'on va se défendre.» Le copropriétaire aurait tenté de joindre l'administration municipale, sans succès. «Je veux parler personnellement au maire. C'est un homme que je ne connais même pas. Si je n'ai pas de réponse de la Ville, on n'aura pas le choix d'y aller avec nos avocats. On étudie présentement quelles mesures seraient appropriées», confie-t-il. La Ville de Baie-Comeau n'a pas retourné nos appels. Toutefois, le porte-parole de la municipalité, Mathieu Pineault, a affirmé à TVA Nouvelles que les propos du maire avaient «peut-être été loin», mais qu'il était «normal qu'un maire encourage l'achat local» chez lui.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health officer says the priority list of people who will get vaccinated first against COVID-19 has to be refined because the initial six million doses set to arrive in the first batch will not be enough to cover them all. Health Canada is in the final stages of reviewing the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The regulator anticipates decisions on approving both before the end of December.Vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are also being studied, with no suggestion yet of when those reviews might be done. Canada has contracts for three more vaccines in late-stage clinical trials but has not starting rolling reviews on any of them yet.Dr. Theresa Tam said the variety of vaccines on Canada's docket and the expectation that several will eventually be approved "means we will have more flexibility as time goes on, and more and more vaccines come on board.""We're expecting that in the second quarter, depending on the approvals of the vaccines, we will have different amounts, but that is when the supply will become more and more plentiful," she said Wednesday in a virtual speech at the 2020 Canadian Immunization Conference.Most vaccine makers are just starting to ramp up production now. Initial production lots are much smaller, and are in high demand everywhere in the world.At the moment, Canada is on track to get four million doses from Pfizer and two million from Moderna between January and March. With both vaccines needing two doses to be effective, that's only enough to vaccinate three million people."So we have to do further refinements to these priority groups in order to know exactly how we're going to sequence the delivery of the vaccines," Tam said.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said having to pare down the list is a massive Liberal government failure."There is no clear plan who is going to receive the vaccine," he said Wednesday."The government has not provided these details."The National Advisory Committee on Immunization issued a preliminary priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine last month, with four subsets of people based on risk of serious illness or death, and risk of exposure or outbreaks.The list included older Canadians, those with pre-existing conditions like liver and heart disease or diabetes, and people who live in the same household as those people. Long-term care workers, people who live in Indigenous communities, and front-line essential workers such as first responders or grocery store employees are also included.But that list of people is far longer than three million. There are nearly seven million Canadians over the age of 65 alone. Provincial governments will ultimately decide their own priorities but the national list is intended to guide those decisions. Long-term care homes are widely expected to be the highest priority for both workers and residents. In the first wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Canada, more than eight in 10 people who died from COVID-19 were associated with long-term care.The tragedy has continued in the second wave, with outbreaks in hundreds of facilities countrywide, and more residents dying every day. Ontario reported 35 deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday and 22 of them were residents in long-term care.More than 400,000 Canadians live in a long-term care setting or a retirement residence, according to the 2016 Census by Statistics Canada.Approving the vaccines is only the first step in what Tam called one of "the most complex operations ever taken in public health." Getting it to provinces to administer and convincing Canadians to take it could prove to be even more difficult.Tam appealed to the medical experts in the audience to help combat growing rhetoric that COVID-19 vaccines aren't safe. From a petition sponsored by Conservative MP Derek Sloan that warns these vaccines are "effectively human experimentation," to a van driving around Ottawa with a digital display claiming the vaccine "will destroy your DNA" there is evidence of some campaigns to convince Canadians not to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it comes.Tam said disinformation campaigns are not new but "because of the social media and its internet age, we've got even more of a challenge on our hands than anyone else in tackling pandemics of the past." "So it is a significant aspect of the response that we have to deal with," she said.She said the Public Health Agency of Canada is developing a series of webinars about the vaccines, how the regulatory and approval process works, and how the different types of vaccines work, so medical professionals can become influencers in their communities.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Baytex Energy Corp. says its is budgeting for capital spending of between $225 million and $275 million next year, a reduction at the midpoint from what it expects to spend this year.The Calgary-based company says the budget will result in positive free cash flow and stable production in a US$40-to-$45-per-barrel West Texas Intermediate oil price environment.In recent third-quarter results, it estimated it would spend between $260 million and $290 million this year, about 50 per cent less than the original 2020 budget of $500 million to $575 million, reduced to cope with lower oil prices.Average annual production of 73,000 to 77,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day will trail this year's expected average output of 80,000 boe/d.CEO Ed LaFehr says the company has "re-set" its business in response to volatile crude oil markets during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting it expects 60 per cent of its production from Canada and 40 per cent from the United States in 2021."In 2021, we will benefit from our high-graded development opportunities as well as our continued drive to improve cost structure and capital efficiencies," he said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:BTE)The Canadian Press
OTTAWA, Kan. — The federal government is expected to introduce a bill Thursday aimed at ensuring the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.The bill is expected to echo a private member's bill passed by the House of Commons two years ago, during the last Parliament.That bill, introduced by former NDP MP Romeo Saganash, stalled in the Senate, where Conservative senators argued it could have unintended legal and economic consequences.It died when Parliament was dissolved for last fall's election.In the Liberal platform, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to reintroduce it as a government bill.Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the bill is of "immense real and symbolic value" to Indigenous people in Canada.It will set out a number of principles "as to what inherent rights Indigenous Peoples have and the federal government's corresponding responsibility, which will be difficult … to implement changes into their laws," Miller told a news conference Wednesday."Those principles are a guiding light into what is expected of us as human beings," he said.Once passed, Miller predicted there will be "an immense amount of work" to be done to harmonize federal laws with those principles.In particular, it will necessitate a lot of work to "get out from under the Indian Act and move towards self-determination."The UN's General Assembly passed the declaration in 2007. Canada initially voted against it but eventually endorsed it in 2010.The declaration affirms the rights of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination and to their language, culture and traditional lands. It also sets "minimum standards for the survival and well-being" of Indigenous Peoples.It also spells out the need for free, prior and informed consent from Indigenous Peoples on anything that infringes on their lands or rights.That provision proved particularly controversial among Conservative senators during debate on Saganash's bill. They expressed concern that it would mean giving Indigenous people a veto over natural resource developments.At the time, Justice Department officials assured senators that Saganash's bill would do nothing to alter Canada's legal framework. They said it would simply reinforce a long-standing principle that international standards can be used to interpret domestic laws.Saganash's bill consisted of just six clauses, one of which asserted that it would not diminish or extinguish existing constitutional or treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples.Among other things, Conservative senators wanted to amend that to specify that nothing in the bill would have the effect of increasing or expanding such rights.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is apologizing for using a photo of two men to promote World AIDS Day. The government posted the picture showing the men standing side by side with their heads touching on social media on Tuesday. An accompanying message said HIV infections were on the rise in Saskatchewan and encouraged people to get tested. Social media users condemned the government's use of a same-sex couple to talk about HIV as perpetuating the myth of AIDS being a "gay disease."Saskatchewan struggles with high rates of HIV. Many infections come from injection drug use. On Wednesday. the government removed the photo and apologized."Yesterday, in marking World AIDS Day, government of Saskatchewan social media pages used a photo that stigmatized HIV/AIDS and those that live with the disease. The photo has been deleted, and we unreservedly apologize," it said in a tweet Health Minister Paul Merriman said he found the message disappointing and planned to reach out to leaders in the LGBTQ community and those who work in harm reduction to personally apologize. "It was just the wrong image," he said."It does stigmatize to a certain extent but I really feel that ... HIV and AIDS cuts across all demographics, all sexual orientation. And again, it was disappointing to see that. It really was."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
Pat Daly was re-elected chairperson of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board at a meeting Tuesday evening, marking his 34th year as a Hamilton trustee. Daly has served on the HWCDSB since 1986 when he first filled the seat that his late father, Pat Daly Sr., left vacant after his sudden death the year prior. “I don’t know if I ever filled them — they were pretty big shoes. But I’ve always tried to do my best,” Daly previously said of his father. At a meeting Tuesday night, he addressed issues concerning leadership and equity in educational opportunity, indicating a focus on these issues as he enters his next term. “With the increased reality of virtual learning and the ever-increasing influence of technology, I believe we are living in an unprecedented time of challenge but equally, or more so, of opportunity to move forward with laser-like focus to create structures and allocate resources that most directly impact those areas that distinguish publicly funded Catholic schools,” he said. Daly has recommended a full review of the board’s leadership development program to ensure a continued recruitment and selection of “faith-filled visionary leaders,” as well as a re-imagining of administrative portfolios to “better align with current and future trends.” “As researchers have concluded, one of the goals of such restructuring would be to assist leaders to remain closer to the core of teaching and learning where they are most likely to make a difference to students,” he said. Daly was born and raised in Mount Hope. He attended Our Lady of the Assumption in Elfrida and later Bishop Ryan High School in Stoney Creek. “All of my years of school were in our system,” he told The Spectator in a 2014 profile. “I had outstanding principals, teachers and coaches right throughout.” Daly enrolled at McMaster University after graduation but only stayed a year, opting instead to return to his family’s construction company, where he stayed until the mid-1990s before taking over as the Catholic board’s chair. He has also served as president of the Ontario English Catholic Trustees’ Association. Jacob Lorinc, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator