These people had some special visitors on their sledding hill today. So cool!
These people had some special visitors on their sledding hill today. So cool!
Emma Corrin just won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Princess Diana.
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
TURIN, Italy — Álvaro Morata made a scoring return to set Juventus on its way to a 3-0 win over Spezia on Tuesday and boost its faltering title defence. Fellow substitute Federico Bernardeschi set up Morata moments after they had both come off the bench. Bernardeschi then provided another assist for Federico Chiesa, nine minutes later. Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the match late on with his 20th goal of the season. He is the first player in Europe's top five leagues to reach that figure for the 12th successive season. Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved a stoppage-time penalty from Andrey Galabinov after Emmanuel Gyasi had been tripped by Merih Demiral. Juventus moved up to third, seven points below league leader Inter Milan and three below AC Milan. Spezia remained seven points above the relegation zone. Juventus needed a win to boost its bid for a record-extending 10th consecutive Serie A title, after drawing 1-1 at Hellas Verona last weekend. It was still without Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Juan Cuadrado, Arthur and Paulo Dybala, who were all injured, but Morata recovered enough from sickness for a place on the bench. Spezia looked the more dangerous side in the first half, although Ronaldo hit the post three minutes from halftime. Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo made a double change in the 61st minute, bringing on Morata and Bernardeschi for Weston McKennie and Gianluca Frabotta. That had an immediate effect as Bernardeschi ran onto a ball over the top and rolled across from the left for Morata to tap in at the near post, with his first touch of the match. The goal was initially ruled out for offside on Bernardeschi but awarded on video review. Juventus doubled its lead following another Bernardeschi cross from the left. Chiesa’s initial shot was brilliantly parried by Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel from close range, but the Juventus forward fired home the rebound. Spezia was still seeking a way back into the match but Ronaldo dashed the visitor's faint hopes when he drilled in a through ball from Rodrigo Bentancur, a minute from time. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Spin Master Corp. recorded meteoric growth in its digital games business in the latest quarter as users of its Toca Life World app filmed themselves playing the game and shared the videos on social media, the company’s co-CEO said Tuesday. “There was a crazy amount of people that were actually filming themselves playing in the game and then uploading it to TikTok, and that exposure of the game really started to increase the amount of users,” Ronnen Harary told investors during a conference call. “When you have that many people seeing the product, playing with the product and telling their friends, there's a multiplier effect.” The Canadian toymaker’s digital games revenue increased by more than 400 per cent to $31.8 million in its fourth quarter, driven by the Toca Life World platform. The app, developed by Spin Master's Swedish app studio Toca Boca, lets players imagine stories for characters in the virtual game, including kids, babies, elders and creatures, and drag the characters around the screen with their finger and make them do activities. While it's free to download the app, Spin Master makes money through the in-game purchases and upgrades. The stronger digital games revenue, also driven in part by its Sago Mini kids app subscription user base, was revealed as the company said its revenue grew 3.6 per cent compared with a year ago for the three months ended Dec. 31. The Toronto-based company said revenue for the quarter was US$490.6 million, up from US$473.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Spin Master's shares surged to a 52-week high and were up over 24 per cent, or $7.01, at $36.07 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Yet its quarterly results also showed a decline in net sales to $434.3 million, from $441.6 million a year earlier. Mark Segal, Spin Master's chief financial officer, explained that the sales slump was in part due to retailers pulling promotions forward earlier in the fall as well as the company's decision to limit domestic inventory. "This affected our ability to fulfil some late-season replenishment and e-commerce orders, especially on hot items," he told analysts. "While this meant we did not maximize our sales, the position we took allowed us to achieve our best sell-through and cleanest retail and Spin Master inventory levels in many years." Meanwhile, the company will be releasing its feature-length Paw Patrol movie in August, expanding the reach of the company's popular kids entertainment franchise and opening up a new revenue stream. "In terms of increasing our output, you will see more films coming from Spin Master in the future and I think that gives us a whole new way to actually entertain kids," Harary told analysts. "It's really important for everybody to understand that we're actually producing the film, we didn't license the film out ... and take a royalty on it," he said. "Our team internally in Toronto produced the film, we hired the writers, we hired the directors, we did the whole casting with all that amazing voice talent." It's unclear whether there will be a theatrical release for the movie or a combination of theatrical and video on demand, Harary said. Meanwhile, although classic toys and game were a safe choice in 2020, he said consumers will "shift to newness" post-pandemic, he said. The company is preparing for this shift with a robust pipeline of new product development and the goal of greenlighting one to two new properties a year, Harary said. Harary and Anton Rabie, co-founders of the children's entertainment company, will step down from their co-chief executive roles next year. Max Rangel was appointed global president in January and adds the chief executive role to his title in April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:TOY) Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the decision to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccine by four months is based on scientific evidence combined with real-world data from the province’s immunization campaign that began in late December.
NEW YORK — Human remains of early New Yorkers that were discovered during construction in and around Washington Square Park were reinterred inside the park on Tuesday, New York City officials announced. The remains, uncovered during construction between 2008 and 2017, were reburied with assistance from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission and Brooklyn's historic Green-Wood Cemetery, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. "Today we honour these individuals and acknowledge Washington Square Park’s history as a final resting place for thousands of early New Yorkers,” Silver said. “We are so grateful to our colleagues at Green-Wood Cemetery and the Landmarks Preservation Commission for their expertise and guidance on this important project.” Sarah Carroll, chair of the landmarks panel, thanked the Parks Department "for ensuring that archaeology was appropriately completed, and the human remains were respectfully treated throughout the process.” Washington Square Park in Manhattan's Greenwich Village neighbourhood was constructed in the 1850s at the site of a former potter’s field. Thousands of people were buried there between 1797 and 1825, officials said. The partial remains that were reinterred on Tuesday were placed in a wooden box and buried in a planting bed with an engraved paving stone marking the spot, Parks Department officials said. Because the remains were fragmentary, forensic analysis did not yield details about the individuals, the officials said. The Associated Press
The Rotary Clubs of Kingston and area are providing a volunteer schedule for the local COVID-19 immunization clinic at the INVISTA centre. There are four Rotary clubs and two Rotaract clubs in Kingston, and members from all six clubs are assisting this effort. “Rotarians have been assisting Kingstonians for 100 years in many areas, particularly support to youth, seniors, and the underprivileged,” said Mike Moore, local Rotarian. “COVID has presented an entirely new challenge for Kingston. So, Rotarians and Rotaractors have responded by donating significant sums of money to the Food Bank, have helped deliver food to needy families, produced and distributed masks to disadvantaged families, and will be helping KFL&A Public Health in perhaps the most positive, impactful event of our lifetime, vaccinating our residents.” The mass vaccination clinic at the INVISTA center is operational, currently only serving those who are healthcare workers in the highest or very high priority categories, and will stay in line with the provincial directive for immunization priority. It is expected that this location will immunize up to 3,000 people per day when the vaccine supply is stable. Moore said that deciding to provide this service came naturally for Rotarians. “It was an easy decision,” he shared. “The number of Rotarians and Rotaractors who expressed a desire to help out was impressive and heart-warming. I initially advised KFL&A Public Health that we could cover one of the volunteer positions, but after checking the pulse of Rotarians, I realized that we could cover two, which takes 42 volunteers committing to a three-hour shift every week. Even with that level of commitment, I still have a long list of spares.” The Rotary Club volunteers will work as screeners and ushers to keep the clinic running smoothly. About the Rotary Club: Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service in our communities and worldwide. There are four such clubs in Kingston totaling about 150 members. Their focus is on youth, seniors, and the under-privileged. As such, they support organizations like the Kingston Food Bank, Food Sharing Project, Salvation Army, RKY Kids Camp, Boys and Girls Club, Pathways for Education, and many others. Legacy projects include Rotary Park, Rotary Hall at Fairmount Home, a boardwalk at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, and lately a sizeable financial donation to the Kingston Hospice Centre. Internationally, Rotary’s biggest project is work wide the W.H.O. to help eliminate polio from our planet. Besides contributing financially, they also participate in hands-on projects. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
Which Canadian political party has the best interests of Black people at heart?
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is loosening many restrictions on stores, gyms, restaurants and household gatherings as its COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop. Starting Friday, maximum capacity at stores and restaurants will increase to 50 per cent from 25, although restaurants will still have to ensure that only members of the same household sit together. Indoor religious services will be able to run at 25 per cent capacity or 100 people — whichever is lower — up from 10 per cent. Licensed establishments will be able to reopen their video lottery terminals. People who want to hold gatherings in their home will have more options. Currently, people are allowed to designate up to two people from different households as visitors. On Friday, people will be able to choose between that option or designating one entire household to visit, in essence, creating two-home bubbles. Outdoors, a limit on public gatherings will jump to 10 people from five. "Manitoba's case numbers and test positivity rates continue to trend in the right direction," Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer, said Tuesday. "That's why we're able to begin to look at other options to cautiously reopen services in Manitoba." The Opposition said the government should expand the two-households rule to restaurants. "I wonder why a grandparent couldn't sit with their grandkids at a restaurant, if, in fact, they are part of that same (two-) household bubble," NDP Leader Wab Kinew said. Health officials reported two additional COVID-19 deaths and 64 new cases Tuesday. However, eight cases from unspecified dates were removed due to data corrections for a net increase of 56. The percentage of people testing positive, which peaked near 13 per cent in the fall, was down to four per cent. Roussin said COVID-19 variants remain a concern. One new case involving a variant first seen in the United Kingdom was reported Tuesday, as were two cases involving a variant that first surfaced in South Africa. The looser rules to take effect Friday will also allow fitness facilities to restart group classes, although masks will be required. Casinos, bingo halls, theatres and concert venues must remain closed. "These changes, once again, are cautious changes to ensure we continue to protect and safeguard Manitoba lives," Premier Brian Pallister said. He also announced another round of grants to businesses and charities that have had to scale back due to public-health measures. Like the previous two rounds, the new one will offer each business up to $5,000 to make up for some lost revenue. The loosening of some restrictions is not a sign that life is returning to normal, Roussin said. People must remain cautious, wear a mask and stay home if they are ill. "We are getting closer ... but we still have more work to do." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
GRANT APPLICATION Southgate will use the Grant Match service for a downtown revitalization project on Proton Street North through the Canada Health Community Initiative grant. It’s believed to be a better fit than the previously considered Rural Economic Development grant. This new grant opportunity is aimed at creating and adapting public spaces and programming to respond to needs from COVID-19. Project types include outdoor event and meeting spaces are one of the three areas, along with trails/transit and community digital projects. If successful, the company is paid 10 percent of the grant money. There are two intakes for the grant program and the plan would be to re-apply if rejected the first time, adapting the proposal based on what is successful in the first round. PUBLIC WORKS The furnace in the former Credit Union at the Holstein Depot stopped working and required replacement. Dromore Municipal Drain has been relocated in the area of the Dromore Park for lot creation, with work paid for by the property owner. Tree removal and brushing is starting on township right-of-ways. Residents will be given notice of work in their areas as road closures may be required. Council conveyed that they had received messages of appreciation about the increase to the amount of sidewalks being cleared in Dundalk this winter. Residents in those areas are reminded they can no longer leave collection bins for pickup on the sidewalk. PLANNING A zoning bylaw and site plan were updated because of a change in size of a planned shop since the original application was granted in 2019 to S. and V. Brubacher on Southgate Rd. 10. Construction is planned for this coming year. A site plan was approved for Port Welding on Southgate Side Road 73, who also owns land to the north and west of the property. The zoning for the powder coating and metal shop was approved in 2019. The site plan outlines measures to reduce effects on neighbouring parties such as tree planting for buffer. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
Briefs coming from the Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council meeting held February 23. Approval of Comfort Centre MOU After more than a year of meetings and consultations between the fire departments, council and Emergency Management Office (EMO) staff, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Respecting the Use of Community Facilities as a Municipal Comfort Centre or Municipal Shelter during an Emergency has passed through council, with some amendments. Incorporating amendments requested by fire chiefs, the MOU will be reviewed on an annual basis by the council. A further amendment stipulates that in cases where a reasonable cost of providing the services exceeds the daily rate, a facility owner may submit original receipts for consideration of reimbursement by the municipality. Hurricane Dorian in 2019 sparked demand for a new MOU to be drafted to set guidelines for a fire department or other community group that may wish to host a comfort centre or municipal shelter during an emergency. The MOU also specified what the municipality will cover for expenses for these groups, when called upon to open by the emergency management coordinator, Brian Hatt, and his committee. Noise bylaw RQM staff are now tasked with amending RQM Bylaw 7, Pertaining to Certain Noises, a document passed in 1997. Among several updates suggested was to designate 11 a.m. until 7 a.m. as quiet time, instead of the 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. time currently in place. Another suggestion was to give the bylaw officer the ability to begin taking decibel readings of the noise levels. RQM Mayor Darlene Norman said that noise complaints had not been an issue until a couple of years ago and a few people started calling in with complaints from one area of the municipality. No deadline was given RQM staff to come back with an amended document. Council hires consultants RQM council approved the hiring of Catalyst Consulting Engineers of Halifax to design a new council chamber audio-video layout, request for proposals and oversee the implementation of the project. Cost for this part of the project will be $10,000 including expenses, plus HST. Money will come from the unfunded liability category in the 2020-21 operating budget. Qualifying income for tax exemption The qualifying income to receive a property tax exemption was increased to $24,624 for 2021-22, up from the previous year’s level of $24,576. During the 2020-21 fiscal year, 254 people applied and received the exemption, which will remain at $250. A total of $75,000 has been put aside for the 2021-22 tax year, enough to help 300 qualified applicants. Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
After nearly 40 years in business Wa-Su-Wek Limited of Brooklyn is diversifying to make ends meet. The company, owned by the Zone 9 Native Council of Nova Scotia, will soon be adding storage units to its menu of offerings. Wa-Su-Wek began 39 years ago by offering floristry services and wreath making at its location at 85 Hillside Road, the former Brooklyn School. It’s now one of the few wreath-frame makers, if not the only one, in the province. The Wa-Su-Wek building has also been the home of the Brooklyn Post Office for more than 10 years. This latest development is designed to create more of a steady income during the “off-season.” “We’re trying to generate more revenue. We do the wreath thing, which is mostly seasonal at Christmastime,” said Shannon Jollimore, office clerk and spokesperson for the group. “With the storage units, as long as people pay their bills, we know that we will have money coming in, and that will get us through the slow season.” She said there is a need for units along the South Shore and estimates that there is a two-or three-month waiting list to get one. The hope is to have at least four units ready for occupancy by April 1, and another 10 units within a year-and-a-half. All the units will be located within the main building and each will be 2.4 metres by 3.7 metres in size. The cost to rent a unit is expected to be $125 plus tax per month. Customers will be able to access the units during regular business hours — 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — or after hours by appointment. Meanwhile Wa-Su-Wek’s main focus is its wreath-ring sales, which centre around Christmas and extend across the country. Customers can order singularly or in bulk. According to Jollimore, last year the company sold more than 200,000 units. She suggested that was somewhat higher than normal and due to the fact that more people were staying home amid the pandemic and wanted to make their own decorations. Wa-Su-Wek also is extending its framing product line for more of a year-round offering. The Brooklyn company, which employs one full-time employee and seasonal workers in the summer and Christmas months, recently added tomato cages and funeral saddles to its items for sale. Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
SALEM, Mass. — A second panel from American artist Jacob Lawrence's sweeping series “Struggle: From the History of the American People" that has been hidden from public view for decades has been located, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts announced Tuesday. Officially entitled “Immigrants admitted from all countries: 1820 to 1840 — 115,773,” the painting known as panel 28 had not been seen in public since 1960 and was known only through a black-and-white reproduction. “We are thrilled to share news of this important discovery, especially at a time when Americans are actively engaged with democracy,” Lydia Gordon, the museum's associate curator said in a statement. The Salem-based Peabody Essex Museum organized the exhibit. The painting will now join nearly 30 of the Black artist’s other works painted in the 1950s for the last two stops of a national tour in Seattle and Washington, D.C., museum officials said. The 30-piece series remains incomplete, as the whereabouts of three panels remain a mystery, the museum said. The 12-inch-by-16-inch (30.5-centimetre-by-40.5-centimetre) panel was found in a New York City apartment, like another painting in the series, panel 16, that was rediscovered in a different home in October. The owner, who wants to remain anonymous, inherited the panel 28 from family, who — like the figures depicted — were immigrants. The egg tempera on hardboard piece in vivid reds and yellows depicts two women in shawls clutching babies, one of them nursing, as well as a man wearing a wide-brimmed hat and holding a flower pot containing a single red rose, America's national flower. The subjects have oversized hands, symbolizing what it meant to arrive only with what could be carried, the museum said. It was inspired by a table of immigration statistics published in Richard B. Morris’s Encyclopedia of American History. “Lawrence created this body of work during the modern civil rights era to interpret pivotal moments in the American Revolution and early decades of the republic as ongoing struggles," Gordon said. The panel has undergone some restoration work and will join the exhibit, “Struggle: From the History of the American People,” starting Friday at the Seattle Art Museum through May 23, and at then at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. from June 26 until Sept. 19. It is the first time in more than 60 years the pieces are being shown together. Museum officials hope that the discovery of panels 28 and 16 — which depicts Shays’ Rebellion, the 1786–87 tax revolt in western Massachusetts, leads to the discovery of the three panels that remain missing. The Associated Press
POTLOTEK – Eight-year-old Linden Lafford from Potlotek First Nation is an energetic, soft-spoken boy with a shy smile and a playful demeanour. Just over a week ago, he was having fun bowling with his family at Lanes at Membertou when he took a break to make a solo trip to the washroom. “When I went to the boys’ washroom there was a man with a boy and they said, ‘Go to the girls’ washroom, you look like a girl’ and they said ‘Your long hair is ugly.’” Linden says he didn’t respond and left the washroom as quickly as he could. He says the comments made him feel sad. His mother, Mary Lafford, says she could tell right away that something was wrong by the way Linden was acting but he wouldn’t talk about it at first. They finished bowling and went to visit some friends, where he was still uncharacteristically quiet. Then they went home. That’s when she noticed him go into the washroom and lock the door. “I saw that he had something in his hands so I asked him to open the door and he put the scissors down so I was like, ‘what are you doing?’…and I kept asking him, ‘what happened today?’ And then he was a mess when he told us about that man and that boy in the washroom.” Linden says he was thinking about cutting his hair that day before his mother came in. “I was trying hard not to lose my mind," Mary Lafford said, "because I was like, ‘That’s not right what that man did to him,' and I told (Linden), I said, ‘You should have told us because (Lanes at Membertou staff) would have done something right away and we would have said something.'” Lafford took to Facebook with a post detailing the incident and a photo of Linden wearing his long black hair loose down past his shoulders. To her surprise, the post received more than 2,000 reactions and most of those people sent them private messages, some including photos of their own long hair. “We’re getting messages from people in Wisconsin, Texas, California, Missouri, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Ontario, all different tribes and that was really cool. One of the ones that really hit our feelings was an elder that posted on Facebook a picture of his braid and was like, ‘No one picks on a little boy with a braid’ and ‘We stand in solidarity with Linden.' I got teary-eyed and was like, ‘Oh my God.’” That elder was Stephen Christmas of Eskasoni. He had long hair as a young man but, because of the name calling and bullying he endured, wore it short for much of his life. He’s been growing it long again for four years now, since the young sons of his close friend, Andre Desjardins, were being bullied about their long hair. Desjardins remembers that time well. “They’d had long hair since they were babies. We never cut their hair when they were born and they were bullied, they were called girls. It was really bad, it was really intense. They went through so much, it was all the time," he says. Desjardins, who is originally from Quebec but has lived in Eskasoni for almost 20 years, says he gave his sons the option to cut their hair a few years ago and they both jumped at the chance. “I remember how sad it was in the car on the way home, thinking about everything that had happened and what we had to do to stop it, to cut their hair and discontinue following tradition, just to appease other people’s sensitivity toward boys with long hair.” Since then, Desjardin’s youngest son, now 12, has grown his hair long again and Stephen Christmas has a braid that goes halfway down his back. “I was going to cut it a few weeks ago because it was getting too hard to manage. I couldn’t clean it anymore because I was getting too old,” Christmas says. But then he saw Mary Lafford’s post on Facebook. “As elders, we need to teach our children not to be shy of who they are so that’s the purpose of why I grew my hair and now, with Linden’s story, I said, ‘I can’t cut my hair, I won’t cut my hair … I have to show that young man that he’s not alone in this anymore. I’m here, I’ll be here beside him.'” Linden now has new friends from all across Turtle Island. They call and text each other and Facetime to show off their long hair and braids. His mother says he’s learned that long hair is a symbol of strength and a source of pride in First Nations’ cultures. “It was the coolest thing that I was not even expecting … so now he’s got a big huge support team and we were reading all the cool messages that said, ‘don’t be scared,’ and ‘don’t be sad,’ and ‘you’re a little warrior, a little L’nu boy, be proud of who you are,’ and he’s getting more and more excited with each one.” Lafford says Lanes at Membertou contacted her soon after she made her original post. Richard Paul, Membertou’s chief operating officer, issued this comment to the Cape Breton Post: "We were disheartened last week to learn about the hurtful comments made to Linden Lafford while spending time at our facility. At Lanes at Membertou, we do not condone the attitude or actions of the individual who made these remarks — he was a patron visiting our facility at the time. Lanes at Membertou is continually committed to a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. We have been in touch with the Lafford family and will be welcoming them back for a fun experience, for Linden and his friends this weekend." Linden now has words of wisdom for other young Mi’kmaq boys experiencing the same thing he went through. “I would say, ‘it’s ok, I have long hair and I got bullied too sometimes and they are L’nus and they are beautiful and boys can have long hair and it’s ok,’” he says. Is he still thinking about cutting his hair? “No. I might be growing it for like 40 years.” Ardelle Reynolds, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cape Breton Post
VICTORIA — British Columbia's chief coroner says deadlier street drugs are behind another grim milestone in the province's overdose crisis as a record was set for the number of deaths in January. The BC Coroners Service says 165 people died from suspected overdoses in January, the largest number of lives lost due to illicit drugs in the first month of a calendar year. It says the deaths come amid a rise in drug toxicity, with almost one in five of the deaths involving extreme levels of fentanyl concentration — the largest number recorded to date. There were 14 deaths in which carfentanil was detected, the largest monthly figure involving the more lethal analogue of fentanyl since May 2019. More people died from illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia last year than in any year before. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says more than twice the number of people died in January 2021 compared with January 2020 and the drug toxicity shows a need for swift action. “The findings suggest that the already unstable drug supply in B.C. is becoming even deadlier, underscoring the urgent need for supervised consumption options, prescribing for safe supply, and accessible treatment and recovery services," she says in the statement. The report also notes recent increases in the presence of unprescribed benzodiazepines and its analogues, including etizolam. Since July 2020, etizolam has been identified in nearly one-third of illicit drug toxicity deaths where expedited testing was performed. In January, benzodiazepines and its analogues were detected in nearly half of all samples tested. The addition of etizolam to fentanyl increases the likelihood of overdose due to the combined respiratory depressant effects, the coroners service says. It says increased drug toxicity was responsible for an average of 5.3 lives lost each day in January. Premier John Horgan and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart have written letters to the federal government asking for an exemption that would allow for the decriminalization of drug possession for personal use. Sheila Malcolmson, the minister of mental health and addictions, says in a statement that the pandemic has pushed people further into isolation, compounding the effects of stigma that drives people to use drugs alone. She says B.C. is working to add more treatment and recovery options, more services and supports, and to work with the federal government on decriminalization. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
City officials are warning residents to avoid contact with raccoons after an uptick in reported raccoon-related injuries. Between January 2020 and February 2021, Toronto Public Health saw a 62 per cent increase in reports of people bitten or scratched by raccoons compared to the two-year average between the years 2018 and 2019. Toronto Animal Services also received more service requests for sick and injured raccoons, the city said in a news release. In 2020, there were 13,712 requests compared to 4,172 requests in 2019. "This may be because residents are home more than usual or spending more time exercising outside in their neighbourhoods, thus encountering more raccoons in the city," Toronto Public Health said in a release. Brad Gates, the owner and president of AAA Gates' Wildlife Control, says his company received more calls in 2020 with residents spending more time at home. "If they were out of the house, they wouldn't hear the animal moving about during the daytime, but during COVID-19 they were hearing the animals at all times," he said. Gates said reports of other wild animals, such as coyotes and foxes, have also increased as more people see them in their backyards or parks. "Our call volume for non-service requests is through the roof," he said. "Prior to this past year they weren't around to see it and they didn't think to call." 'Homeowners should keep a safe distance' Raccoons can be infected with feline distemper, which affects their coordination and eyesight. "Those calls have certainly been up for us, people seeing animals during the day that have been acting peculiar," Gates said. He added that distemper can cause raccoons to become less afraid of people. In late stages of the disease, raccoons begin to stagger and can get blinded by a crusting over their eyes. "They're getting into situations they wouldn't normally get into." He said raccoons don't usually attack humans. "It's extremely rare that a raccoon without any provoking would come near a person or attack a person," he said. Gates said it could happen, though, if a homeowner tries to deal with a sick or injured raccoon on their own and put "their fingers somewhere they shouldn't." "Like with any wild animal, homeowners should keep a safe distance." Rabies is very rare but can be fatal if it is left untreated. Toronto Public Health said that residents should not pet or feed wild raccoons, and that anyone who has been bitten, scratched or exposed to a wild raccoon should see a health provider immediately to be assessed. There have been no reports of wildlife with rabies in Toronto since 1997, according to Toronto Public Health.
NEW YORK — When Eddie Murphy made the original “Coming to America,” he was, almost indisputably, the funniest man in America. Murphy was at the very height of his fame, coming off “Beverly Hills Cop II” and the stand-up special “Raw.” They were heady times. Arsenio Hall, Murphy’s longtime friend and co-star in “Coming to America,” remembers them sneaking out during the shoot to a Hollywood nightclub while still dressed as Prince Akeem and his loyal aide Semmi. “We were insane,” says Hall. The ’80s, Murphy says, are “all a blur.” “I was so young, all this stuff was happening. You take everything for granted when you’re young, how successful I was,” Murphy says, speaking by Zoom with a shelf of award statuettes behind him. “Now I take nothing for granted and appreciate everything.” Thirty-three years after “Coming to America,” Murphy and Hall have returned to Zamunda. The sequel, originally planned to hit theatres last year, was sold due of the pandemic by Paramount Pictures to Amazon, where it will begin streaming Friday. It’s an unlikely coda to a blockbuster comedy, one that belongs so completely to the late ’80s that even the sequel tries to keep some of that era’s spirit. (A few notable R&B and hip-hop groups make cameos.) “Coming 2 America,” directed by Craig Brewer, reverses the fish-out-water plot to bring Queens to Zamunda after Akeem learns he fathered a son (Jermaine Fowler) on his first visit to New York. Some elements have been updated. There’s a plot of female empowerment; KiKi Layne plays Akeem’s daughter. At the barbershop, where Murphy and Hall also reprise their characters, the conversation bounces from Teslas to transgender people. “We had a draft where they had on MAGA hats and they were Republicans,” says Murphy. “It was funny but it was like, eh, let’s not even go there.” Instead, Murphy and his collaborators — including writers Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield and Kenya Barris — felt the core appeal of “Coming to America” lies in its fairy tale premise. “This is the only movie I’ve ever done that had a cult following,” says Murphy. “We had totally forgot about ‘Coming to America.’ Then this movie took on this life in the culture. It became like a cult movie. Lines from the movie became catchphrases. People do the mic drop now. The very first mic drop is Randy Watson from ‘Coming to America.’” “Coming to America” has indeed played a unique role in culture since 1988. Real-life McDowell's fast-food restaurants — the McDonald's knockoff from the movie — have briefly popped up in Los Angeles and Chicago. Beyoncé and Jay-Z once dressed up as characters from the film for Halloween. But the John Landis-directed movie was also a massive success on release. It was the second-highest grossing film domestically in 1988 with $128.2 million in tickets sold — nearly double what “Die Hard” made that year. Globally, it grossed $288.8 million, or more than $630 million adjusted for inflation. To Murphy, that’s the movie’s legacy. “‘Coming to America’ is the first movie in the history of the movies that had an all-Black cast that travelled all around the world,” says Murphy. “They don’t give a s--- about Selma and Martin Luther King and civil injustice, whatever our story is in America. They don’t give a s--- about that around the world. “It’s not about being Black. It’s about love and family and tradition and doing the right thing,” Murphy adds. “If ‘Black Panther’ was about the hood, people wouldn’t have seen ‘Black Panther’ all around the world.” The connections between “Coming to America” and “Black Panther” — both rare depictions of Black royalty and a mythic Africa — are many. Before making “Black Panther,” Murphy has said Ryan Coogler approached him about a “Coming to America” sequel. During production on “Black Panther,” Lupita Nyong’o (once not a fan of “Coming to America” for its cliched depiction of Africans) and other cast members threw a “Coming to America” birthday party. Ruth E. Carter designed the costumes of both “Black Panther” and “Coming 2 America.” Both were shot in Atlanta. “I’ve had people say, ‘Now Zamunda isn’t a real place, right?’” says Brewer. “And I say, ‘No, it’s definitely a real place. I believe it’s just northeast of Wakanda.’” The script for “Coming 2 America” was worked on for four years but shooting started quickly. Murphy first suggested Brewer direct “Coming 2 America” during a dinner with John Singleton after a test screening of “My Name Is Dolemite,” the Rudy Ray Moore biopic that helped spur a revival for the 59-year-old Murphy. “‘Coming to America’ was one of my favourite movies as a teenager,” says Brewer, speaking from his home in Memphis, Tenn. “I couldn't help but just say ‘Yes!’ immediately. Then it became clear to me that this is going to go, like, now.” “Coming 2 America” also rekindles the great comedic chemistry between Murphy and Hall. Murphy estimates the close friends have seen each other two or three times a week for 40 years. But they went decades before talking about a sequel. “All of a sudden I’m reading this script that I love and I realize this movie that we thought we never were going to do a sequel to, we’re about to head to Atlanta — which is America’s Africa,” says Hall. The shoot took place on the Tyler Perry Studio sound stages, with Rick Ross’ nearby mansion serving as the Zamunda palace. The movie reunites most of the original cast — including James Earl Jones, John Amos and Shari Headley — and brings in many others, too, including Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan. Hall, who had been doing stand-up with Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, sensed everyone wanted in. “One day in the dressing room, Dave is like, ‘I heard ya’ll are doing ‘Coming to America 2.’ I said, ‘Yeah, man.’ He said, ‘I want to be in that,’” recalls Hall. (A scheduling conflict interfered and the versatile Hall, who has four roles in the movie, ended up playing the witch doctor part Chappelle might have.) Some things have changed with time. This “Coming to America" is rated PG-13. Murphy was just 27 when he made “Coming to America.” Now, he has 10 children and a grandchild. His daughter, Bella, has a small role in the film. “He joked about it on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ about him versus Cosby and who’s America’s favourite dad now. But there’s something to that,” says Brewer. “If you’re ever around Eddie and his kids — and now his grandchild — you see that he’s truly a man who loves his family and does not need the public’s constant validation and appreciation to know who he is.” Family life figures prominently in Murphy’s newer stand-up material. A long-awaited return to performing in 2020 had been his intention before the pandemic hit. Those plans haven’t been cancelled; when live performance returns, Murphy says, “then we’ll do stand-up.” Until then, Murphy, a proud homebody, has found himself back where he started. “I had gotten off the couch to go to work. I said, ‘OK, let me get off this couch I’ve been on for eight years. Let me go do some work,’” Murphy says. “And we were rolling. We did everything we set out to do. The big thing was going back to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ We was on a high. ‘Coming 2 America’ was in the can. Then the whole world fell apart.” “I was all ready to go,” Murphy says, grinning, “and then I had to go sit back on the couch.” ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
On the day another restrictive lockdown was enforced, seniors lined up in blizzard-like conditions to receive a very important poke in their arms By midnight Feb. 28, New Tecumseth had joined much of Simcoe County in hunkering down against an outbreak of the virulent B117 U.K. variant of the COVID-19 virus. At council, New Tecumseth’s chief administrative officer Blaine Parkin laid out some of the restrictions, including restaurants must open only for curbside and takeout service, residents are to limit all inside gatherings to household members only, and all township centres, museums, the library and town hall are shuttered. On the flip side, it was also the day more than 360 seniors walked through the Alliston Memorial Arena doors to receive their first dose of the vaccination that rolled out in 34 regions across the province Monday. For an update on vaccinations and lockdown requirements, visit https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/COVID-19 or call 705-721-7520. Park lands — To build on a swamp or on a hill; that was the question asked by Robert Schickedanz at New Tecumseth’s town council meeting Monday night. Schickedanz’s Walton South Simcoe Residential Development has plans to build a new subdivision adjacent to the West County subdivision in Beeton. Schickedanz suggests parkland set aside for the initial West Country community have a two-metre slope that would not benefit from playground equipment. A small group of residents attended an earlier township committee of the whole meeting to protest movement of the park to a nearby plot of land. Council sent the decision back to staff to review the park, currently zoned environmentally protected and agricultural. No conflict of interest determined — Deputy Mayor Richard Norcross was found not to be in contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act Monday. New Tecumseth’s Integrity Commissioner John Mascarin investigated a report that Norcross should have declared a pecuniary interest on a draft ministerial zoning order permitting a new subdivision, as well as in an application made by a second developer last October. The conflict arose from a concern that Norcross’ wife Robin is employed as a sales representative for several new homes, that could or had been built by the developers. Mascarin’s report determined Robin had not sold any new homes and only resells homes in the New Tecumseth area. In his report, Mascarin noted, “It is our view that a reasonable elector, having been fully apprised of all the circumstances, would conclude that the deputy mayor’s deemed interest of an indirect nature would not be likely to influence his action … and (it) would be expressly exempted from the requirements Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.” Council received the report with no further action required. Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
The First People’s Cultural Council (FPCC) has received a grant in the amount of $4 million to help First Nations in BC create or revamp cultural heritage projects in their communities. Of 104 proposals submitted to FPCC in total, they selected 11 that will receive funding of up to $400,000 each. All projects needed to be “shovel-ready” which means construction will start right away. Funding is for three-years beginning this March. “As we all continue to move forward together towards meaningful equitable partnerships, our goal is that Indigenous peoples will be recognized as the rightful authority over their cultural heritage with access to sustained funding to carry out this work,” said Karen Aird, Heritage Program Manager for FPCC. “We know there is tremendous need and opportunity from First Nations to revitalize their Indigenous cultural heritage, while also creating jobs and boosting the economy of our province at the same time,” she said. One of the projects receiving funding is the Fort Nelson First Nation’s Chalo Traditional Trades and Cultural Education Centre, which will receive $400,000. “A lot of the traditional language and culture practices are still alive and well in the community, but not as prominent as have been in other generations,” said Lana Lowe, director of lands, resources and Treaty rights for the Nation. “This project is a really big piece of it because we need a place to bring meat and hides, and a place central on reserve where people can come and see the work in progress and possibly join in if they feel like it,” she said. According to Lowe, something like a museum would have been a “non-Dene” way of sharing culture. Their project includes a “trading post,” instead, where community members can display and even sell (if they choose to) “furs and hides and baskets and moccasins” they make, she said. “I think that’s really, really important because that trading piece will help support the re-establishment of our traditional economy that supported our families for generations,” said Lowe. The existing Chalo adult trade centre will see major upgrades to turn it into this new cultural education centre. The upgrades are: “It provides support where people can go out on the land to hunt, to fish, to collect medicines, and do all those things… And process meat and materials that come off the land, and turn it into something really beautiful,” said Lowe. And they’re considering naming the facility after a beloved Elder in the community who recently passed away; a traditional language teacher of more than 20 years, she said. But the vote on that has yet to happen. The FPCC funding is called the Indigenous Cultural Heritage Infrastructure Grant (ICHIG) which comes through the Unique Heritage Infrastructure (UHI) stream from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Sixteen million dollars was given to Heritage BC under the same stream, which First Nations—including the communities and organizations that received funding through FPCC’s ICIHG—can also apply for, according to Aird. FPCC would have needed more than $45 million in total to fund all the projects they received proposals for, she said. But this is a good start, she added. “Investing in these heritage and cultural projects supports Indigenous efforts to maintain and share their culture across B.C.,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Projects like these are especially important as they celebrate aspects of culture that make us different while bringing us together as British Columbians. They also provide economic opportunities for First Nations communities,” said Conroy. The other successful ICHIG applicants were: The UHI falls under the larger $100 million the province set aside for the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), and is largely intended to help with recovery from the impact of COVID-19. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/cerip Windspeaker.com By Andrea Smith, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com