A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
A large number of Victoria residents looking to become patients at a new primary care clinic were disappointed Monday when the clinic's website crashed, preventing them from applying. Health Care on Yates opened in late September and is one of a handful of new clinics in the province staffed by nurse practitioners. The clinic has been slowly enrolling new patients in batches, taking applications online, in person and over the phone on the first Tuesday of every month."I was on the website at 8 a.m., and then at 8:01, everything went '503 Error-Service Unavailable,'" said Amber Marie Goss.Goss has fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that causes pain and fatigue. She's been looking for a primary health-care provider for three years and was excited at the potential of applying to the Yates clinic, but her hopes were quickly dashed."It crashed so quickly," she said. "Maybe they should get a ticketing company to do it for them because a clinic website isn't built for this kind of traffic."The next intake day isn't until Jan. 5. Even then, there won't be a guarantee patients get accepted.First-come, first-served doesn't work, says patientVem Stevens is another resident who was unable to apply because of the website crash. They are a non-binary transgender person and said finding health care that is safe is a challenge."It's definitely a danger for me to just walk into a walk-in clinic ... The way in which people treat non-binary people, it's very difficult to just go talk to a stranger about it," Stevens told CBC.Stevens said they're disappointed with the first-come, first-served application process at Health Care on Yates, and the clinic should consider screening applications based on need.In a written statement, officials from the Ministry of Health said the clinic was not prepared for the large demand for its services and will be rethinking how it takes on new patients in the future.In a post on its website, Health Care on Yates apologized for the crash and said it managed to enrol nearly 100 new patients who showed up in person.
La famille Maurice ne chôme pas ! À la barre d’Élevage M. Maurice à Val-Joli, elle exploite une ferme avicole de 10 300 poules pondeuses. Pour des œufs de consommation blancs de spécialité « poules en liberté ». C’est la première entreprise de production d’œufs dans le Val-Saint-François. Tania, 35 ans, et Martin, 40 ans, sont aussi les parents de trois jeunes enfants. Martin Maurice a grandi sur la ferme laitière de son père à Saint-Claude. Puis, après beaucoup de préparation, il a démarré son entreprise en 2017 avec l’aide de Tania, sa conjointe, qui s’occupe du côté administratif. « Nos bâtiments à la fine pointe de la technologie sont dotés de système de caméras, de réglage des ventilateurs à partir de la maison, etc., on voit tout ce qui se passe, explique-t-il. On abrite un cheptel avicole qui grossit d’année en année. Nous sommes certifiés pour en accueillir 18 000. » En cage, au sol ou en plein air? Les poules qui évoluent en liberté, élevées dans un système de volières, circulent dans des poulaillers à aires ouvertes équipés de nids et de perchoirs. « Pour moi, c’était un critère essentiel, précise Tania. Le contact avec elles est bonifié. Ça impressionne quelquefois nos enfants qui font le train avec nous chaque jour ! Voir autant d’animaux autour de soi, quand on est petit, c’est impression-nant ! » Leur catégorie se situe juste avant celle des œufs biologiques. Cette dernière exige que les poules soient libres d’aller à l’extérieur et qu’elles soient nourries de grains biologiques. Membre du mouvement coopératif Nutri-Œuf, un des plus gros joueurs canadiens, les jeunes entrepreneurs écoulent entièrement leur production sans accuser de perte. « Cela dit, nous sommes un marché de proximité et on aime vendre directement de la ferme, confie Tania. Notre kiosque libre-service est ouvert 7 jours sur 7. Et depuis la Covid, celui-ci se porte bien ! » Chaque défi n’est-il pas une occasion d’enrichir un savoir-faire? Pour ce couple de producteurs partis de zéro pour en arriver à une telle entreprise, cela va de soi. C’est plutôt une bonne nouvelle pour les consommateurs et les animaux! facebook.com/elevagemmauriceœuf.ca/producteurs/les-fermes/elevage-m-maurice-incMireille Fréjeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal L'Étincelle
La microbrasserie gaspésienne Pit Caribou s’est illustrée à l’international, ses bières décrochant cinq prix au Brussels Beer Challenge, l’un des concours brassicoles les plus prestigieux de la planète. L’entreprise de l’Anse-à-Beaufils, près de Percé, peut se targuer de vendre parmi les meilleures bières du monde. Les microbrasseries ont remporté cinq prix au prestigieux concours Brussels Beer Challenge, où près de 1800 bières étaient inscrites. Il s’agit de la troisième participation au concours pour Pit Caribou, qui avait remporté respectivement un et trois prix lors de ses dernières participations. «On ne s’attendait vraiment pas à ça. Sur un maximum de six bières, on a remporté cinq prix. C’est fou raide», se réjouit le copropriétaire, Jean-François Nélisse. La Gaspésienne no 13, la Blonde du pêcheur, la Gose du Barachois et la Bonne Aventure se retrouvent sur la première marche du podium, toutes récipiendaires de médailles d’or. La Gaspésienne no 13, une bière noire «robuste à la texture crémeuse» en est à sa septième récompense internationale. La Conqueror, une IPA, a de son côté remporté la médaille de bronze. «Ça a été une surprise, surtout pour la Blonde du pêcheur. Normalement, c’est une bière d’été limitée pour la Maison du Pêcheur de Percé. On l’a mise en bouteille pour la première fois cette année pour aider les commerçants locaux. On savait qu’elle était bonne, mais c’était la première fois qu’on la comparait au niveau international», explique M. Nelisse Augmentation de la capacité Au cours des derniers mois, la microbrasserie gaspésienne, qui a aussi pignon sur rue à Montréal, a considérablement augmenté sa capacité de production afin de répondre à la demande. Les brasseurs ont produit près de 30% de bière de plus que l’année dernière, et les propriétaires comptent bien continuer à augmenter le volume de bière produit au cours des prochains mois. «On a reçu quatre nouveaux fermenteurs cet été, ce qui nous permet de produire 300 000 litres de plus par année. C’est non-négligeable et ça va nous permettre de développer de nouveaux marchés», note M. Nélisse. Au cours de la saison estivale, la brasserie Pit-Caribou emploie près d’une quarantaine d’employés dans ses succursales de Percé et de L’Anse-à-Beaufils, en plus d'environ 25 personnes dans son usine de production. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
Following the province’s daily COVID Measures update on Dec 1, 2020, Big Lakes County has been upgraded to Enhanced Status. As the Towns of Swan Hills and High Prairie are within Big Lakes County; both communities have also been upgraded to Enhanced Status. This means, effective immediately and until at least December 15th, the following protocols must be followed along with all previous COVID social distancing measures. The following measures went into effect across Alberta on Nov 24, 2020: • No indoor social gatherings in any setting • Outdoor gatherings have a maximum attendance of 10 • Weddings and funeral services have a maximum attendance of 10, with no receptions permitted • No festivals or events • Working from home should be considered, where possible • Grades 7-12 will be doing at-home learning between November 30, 2020 to January 11, 2021 • ECS-Grade 6 at-home learning after break until January 11, 2021 The following measures for Enhanced Status regions now also apply to Swan Hills: • Places of worship must operate at one-third capacity with mandatory masking in place • Restricted access to some businesses and facilities Swan Hills currently has one active case of COVID-19. Detailed information about the restrictions to some businesses and facilities can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
A Saint John housing group has jumped into the city's red hot market for apartment buildings to preserve some lower- cost units for renters.But Rehabitat Inc. warns more has to be done by government to protect tenants and keep neighbourhoods affordable for all groups."Diversity is absolutely essential to a healthy community," said Kit Hickey, executive director of Rehabitat."There is room for all of us."Rehabitat, a private non-profit organization, owns and manages affordable housing units in Saint John.Two weeks ago the organization responded to an apartment building buying spree underway in the city by both local and national investors by stepping into the market itself and snapping up a 12-unit building in the Saint John neighbourhood of Millidgeville.Group pays 54% above property's assessed valueThe group had to pay $780,000 for the building on Lauder Court to compete with prices private buyers have been paying, 54 per cent above the property's assessed value.But Hickey said it had to be done."We thought that it was important that we do our absolute best to acquire the building," said Hickey "We've become increasingly concerned about the lack of affordable housing for the modest income population. We, as others have seen in the recent headlines, [see] properties being purchased, renovated and the rents increasing exponentially." Properties have been in high demand all over New Brunswick this year and that has been driving up prices, especially since late spring. According to provincial government tax records $1.28 billion worth of real-estate sold in the province in June, July and August this year.That's $250 million more than the same three months last year and 36 per cent above what the province had been projecting.Investors buying across CanadaIncluded in that shopping frenzy were more than 100 apartment buildings purchased by investors from across the country. Often prices that buyers paid were substantially above "market value," as set by provincial government property assessors.That has not been a problem for some tenants who have experienced a seamless change in ownership so far.But others haven't been so lucky.Earlier this fall, Moncton's William Morissette was given notice of a 61 per cent rent hike at his apartment.He received a letter on Oct. 1 letting him know his rent would be going up by $460 a month starting Jan. 1.Others, like tenants at 332 Sherbrooke St. in Saint John, were given notice to vacate by new owners by the end of January so renovations on their apartments could be carried out and ultimately rents increased.Province wants to prevent 'ripple' in economy The province has expressed concern about landlords forcing renters to move out during the current surge in COVID-19 cases in southern New Brunswick but has been reluctant to ban the practice and disturb the flow of investment."We want to make sure we don't cause any ripple within the economy or within the whole housing market," Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch said last week about why the province would not temporarily ban the eviction of tenants during the pandemic.All three opposition parties have been pushing against that position.But Hickey believes much more effort is needed on the larger problem of maintaining affordable housing in neighbourhoods, where real-estate prices and rents have been escalating "Many families are facing economic evictions," said Hickey. She said new housing units coming on the market are priced well-above the affordability range for modest income individuals or families."The options are very limited for modest income households."
A former reeve says an error at the polls affected the results of the Rural Municipality of Dundurn's election last month. Trevor Reid, who said he lost his own seat "fair and square," alleged polling staff wrongly turned voters away on Nov. 9. He said that may mean the difference in two divisions, which were decided by one and seven votes. Those results could have changed "if people weren't denied their right to vote on election day," he said. Residents couldn't vote because they failed to offer proof of address or a land description, Reid said, adding that proof of identity and a completed voter declaration form are all that's required. Reeve Jay Olyniuk said polling staff only turned away voters who lacked proper identification. He said candidates are free to challenge the results if they wish, but none have done so. He said the results reflected the will of the RM's voters. "Voters did come out in strong numbers, showing ... they wanted a change. They got the change that they wanted." The Local Government Elections Act says if a voter's identification doesn't have evidence of residency in a municipality, "but is, in the opinion of the deputy returning officer, consistent with information relating to the person that appears on the voters list or voter’s registration form, the person’s residence is established for the purposes of voting." In a prepared statement, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities said it was unaware of the concerns, but noted poor weather conditions during last month's elections may have kept voters away from polls. The RM of Dundurn is about 32 kilometres south of Saskatoon. Deputy Reeve Fred Baran, who wasn't up for election, said elections staff asked him for a land location so he could vote. He presented his property titles on his phone, but wasn't happy about it. He worries the requirement could have discouraged others from voting, he said. "Had I not found that ... on my phone, I would have gone home and I wouldn't have come back to the polls." When the matter came before council last Thursday, he said he was the only member to vote for challenging the election results. He said the meeting minutes will be released in coming weeks, but declined to comment on the council's discussions. Travis Libke, who lost his division's election by a single vote, said he is weighing a legal challenge. However, he worries some of the legal costs are prohibitive and may prevent him from pursuing the matter. He said he raised the issue with Olyniuk and wanted council to apologize. "When somebody's denied the right to vote and they live here, in my opinion, that's just wrong."Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
NEW YORK — Chuck Rosenberg makes no secret of his admiration for Robert Mueller. Keep that in mind, along with the format of Rosenberg's podcast “The Oath,” now that NBC announced Wednesday that the former special counsel who looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election has given an extensive interview that debuts next week. Mueller, the ex-FBI director, rarely speaks publicly and has been virtually silent about his special counsel experience since testifying before Congress in July 2019. In two separate podcast episodes, each nearly an hour, Mueller doesn't talk about his work as special counsel. He isn't even asked. “There are some questions that you simply don't have to ask,” said Rosenberg, who worked for Mueller as an FBI counsel. “I knew he wouldn't talk about it and I had really no intention of asking about it.” He took Mueller at his word that he wouldn't talk about his work as counsel after his testimony. Mueller made an exception in September, pushing back after one of his former prosecutors suggested in a book that the counsel's team wasn't aggressive enough. Rosenberg's stance is consistent with the format of “The Oath,” in which present and former government officials who have taken an oath to protect the Constitution are interviewed about their lives and careers, while steering clear of current events and political controversies. Rosenberg, also a former federal prosecutor, has taken the oath nine times. He's been an analyst and podcast host for NBC News since quitting as acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2017, after President Donald Trump suggested to law enforcement officers that they “don't be too nice” to suspects in custody. Even in an era of suspicion about the “deep state,” or perhaps because of it, there has clearly been a public taste for “The Oath.” The Mueller interview leads its fourth season. The show has been in the Top 200 of the Apple Podcasts charts for more than a year, said Andy Bowers, co-founder of the podcast hosting company Megaphone. Rosenberg's extensive experience helps with access, so his guest list is consistently interesting, said Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare blog. He's also unapologetically earnest, as are many of his guests, at a time of cynicism. “That's the winning formula on ‘The Oath,’ a serious person talking to serious people about public service at a time when people really want to remember what public service is supposed to be," Wittes said. The Mueller interview is a bookend to Rosenberg's two-parter with Mueller's successor as FBI director, James Comey, in the podcast's first season. The voluble Comey is a contrast to Mueller, who's quite comfortable with short answers. “I did OK,” Mueller said when Rosenberg was trying to draw him out about commendations he received during training with the Marines. Did you like law school? “Not particularly,” Mueller said. “Jim is a natural storyteller, so in some ways it is easier (to interview him),” Rosenberg said. “Bob also has a lot of stories to tell, you just have to let him tell them in his own way. I found that compelling — two very different styles, as our listeners will notice, but I think two men of substance.” Although there was talk after his congressional testimony that Mueller, now 76, had lost some sharpness with age, Rosenberg said “he seemed fine to me.” When coaxed, Mueller is most interesting in the first podcast talking about his experience in Vietnam. He volunteered for the Marines after a teammate on his Princeton lacrosse team was killed there, and commanded a unit that was — he found out later — essentially used as bait to draw out the North Vietnamese army. The experience inspired a lifetime of public service, primarily because Mueller was grateful to have survived. It's the type of service that's hard for the cynical to fathom. In another episode this season, Rosenberg speaks to Heather “Lucky” Penney, a former fighter pilot given the assignment on Sept. 11, 2001 of stopping United Airlines Flight 93 as it was bound for the U.S. Capitol. Since there was no time to arm the jet, her only choice was to ram the airliner; she was effectively sent on a suicide mission. Instead, the plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers. In the Mueller interview, Rosenberg said he relished the opportunity to get to know someone he knew only as a boss. “There's a bit of a Marine Corps officer outer shell,” he said. “He can be a little bit intimidating. But underneath all of that, he is a remarkably kind and humble and civil man. Coming up in the ranks of the Department of Justice, Bob Mueller is an icon. Everybody that I worked with knew of him and admired him, but often from a distance.” David Bauder, The Associated Press
ST. MARY’S – Stricter provincewide measures to protect people during the second wave of COVID-19 won’t derail at least some public displays of holiday cheer in St. Mary’s this year, say municipal officials. Plans are still afoot for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s Department of Community Development and Recreation’s annual carolling and fireworks event, though director Mallory Fraser says that could change at the last minute. “We will be monitoring the situation as it develops, and make a final decision closer to the date,” she says. For now, the event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Dec. 19, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy’s parking lot, followed by fireworks and hot chocolate at the Sherbrooke Ball Field. To ensure safety, carollers must register and maintain socially safe distances from each other – and each other’s respective bubbles – before heading through Historic Sherbrooke Village. Something new this year is the Holiday Light Extravaganza. Between Dec 1 and 15, St. Mary’s residents, after filling out an entry form, may submit photos of their home seasonal displays to the community and recreation department’s Facebook Page. Voting will begin on Dec. 10, and the winner will be announced before Christmas. “The Holiday Light Extravaganza will go ahead no matter what,” Fraser says. “This is something that people can do without having to worry about social distancing.” Chief Administrative Officer Marvin MacDonald is not expecting trouble despite the worsening infection rate elsewhere in the province. “We haven’t relaxed our protocols here at the office,” he says. “We were going to look into opening the fitness centre at the school, but we’ve just put that back on hold until the new year.” As for the Recplex, he says it is operating for hockey and curling. “When we made the decision to open the rink, it was always based on the idea that if COVID heated up again, we would see how it played out. We’re going to keep the protocols we have in place. If the situation gets worse, we are either going to tighten the protocols, or close some facilities down. But, right now, we are just watching and monitoring.” MacDonald confirmed that the municipality has not reported any cases since the pandemic hit the province earlier this year. Last week, the provincial government introduced newer, tighter controls on public gatherings to staunch an increase in the rate of infection mostly in the Halifax area. “We must immediately change course on COVID-19. The virus is circulating rapidly in Halifax, and we must stop its spread across the province,” Premier Stephen McNeil says in a Nov. 24 news release. The new regulations in the capital include: limiting public gatherings to five people (or up to the number of immediate family members of a household); requiring masks in common areas of multi-unit residential buildings; restricting restaurants to take-out service; limiting the number of customers and employees of retail outlets to 25 per cent of their normal capacity; and suspending organized sporting, recreational, cultural and religious gatherings. On Nov. 29, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 125, up from 119 at the end of last week.Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
The proposal to have the former Capital Pointe site be a temporary parking lot for one year has been approved.Regina's new city council voted 6-5 in favour of the proposal. A developer has said it is interested in purchasing the land if it had approval to use it as a parking lot for a one-year term.The city is owed $2.8 million from the property. Councillors Landon Mohl, Jason Mancinelli, Terina Shaw, John Findura and Lori Bresciani voted in favour, along with Mayor Sandra Masters. "I feel that I need to put a little bit of a trust going forward," Findura said. "I would like to see it move forward, get out of that hole." Councillors Andrew Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Cheryl Stadnichuk, Shanon Zachidniak and Daniel LeBlanc voted against the proposal."I think it's a mistake, frankly," Stevens said. "There was such promise with that corner. It really fell short and went from a hole to a buried hole now to a parking lot. And I'm not sure what's worse from a planning perspective. There was absolutely no reason to approve this." Masters said that the city is not in the business of commercial real estate development."I have a bigger fear that if we don't provide what assistance we can in terms of facilitating a sale, that we end up ... we can end up with possession of it for years," Masters said. It was the first time the new council was together. It approved a new meeting schedule and will now meet twice a month instead of once a month. Councillor Lori Bresciani is in her second term. She said from her view, the first meeting went smoothly."Of course, there's the procedural things that take a little bit of time. But I thought overall it was very, very well done," Bresciani said. "Mayor Masters did a great job and actually all of councillors spoke. So I think, again, very inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's what we want."New wellness committee, no more mandatory written statements for delegatesCity council also created a new community wellness committee. The committee will discuss housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addiction, discrimination and other social determinants of health and crime. Masters said this is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the city needs to support those combating the increasing number of overdoses. "The city needs to continue to support the services that are providing the [naloxone] kits and arriving on scene for the overdoses," Masters said. She said the city also needs to build relationships with different levels of government for funding initiatives. Masters said a safe consumption site is one of the options the committee could look into. She said she's interested in hearing from Prairie Harm Reduction about the one in Saskatoon."As well as looking at other best practices in other communities for the success stories that they've had or perhaps mistakes that have been made or learned lessons," she said. Stevens said the creation of the committee is symbolic right now and hopes it shows commitment to these issues. "I think what's really exciting about this new council and mayor is that everybody's talking about addictions, social determinants of health and community well-being," Stevens said.Also during the meeting, city council debated the mandatory written statements that previously had to be provided by people hoping to address the councillors.Councillor Stevens brought forward an amendment and said he has worked with people with intellectual disability who have trouble with the written requirement. People did not have to read their written statement verbatim. The idea passed with only Councillor Shaw opposed. Now people wanting to speak to the council will need to tell city administration in advance and will be encouraged to provide a written submission so the city administration can prepare answers, but the written submission is not a requirement. Both the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee were cut, with their responsibilities transferred to the executive committee. The community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee also merged into a new operations and community services committee.
The images of Mississauga in years to come are stunning. The city’s waterfront has been opened up to the public and painted with modern architecture, while the wasteland of parking lots around Square One has spawned gleaming glass towers that rise to the sky. Hurontario Street boasts a sleek and modern LRT, while Dundas Street has its own rapid transit corridor shuttling residents from east to west and back again. The air is clean and Mississauga has become a destination for everyone. Those renderings of Mississauga in the next ten to twenty years are exhilerating, inspiring and creative, but they’re relatively easy to conjure. A talented graphic designer and an urban planner with half an imagination can easily create the beautiful mockups, specifically designed to draw pre-construction down payments and other investments into the projects. In the short term, there is a huge obstacle to this vision. Years of underinvestment in rapidly aging infrastructure have taken their toll and the city faces a laundry list of urgent problems it must tackle before it can really embrace its future. Nowhere is this neglect more apparent than the fire service. At $122 million, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) makes up 22 percent of the City’s net 2021 operating budget. The service is proposing a modest increase of two percent in its operating budget, driven largely by labour adjustments in its union contracts, which are already set. Despite its status as the single greatest expense Mississauga taxpayers bear, the service is woefully below its required response times and has buildings in a desperate state of repair. Difficulties as a result of COVID-19 mean education and enforcement plans designed to reduce call outs and offset terrible response times have also been delayed. Figures included in the 2021 budget refer to 2019, the last year for which a complete dataset is available. In 2019, the number of fires the City responded to grew, after falling slightly in 2018. Last year, there were 167 residential fires and 384 in buildings of all kinds. According to staff, a comparison of data from 2018 and 2019 shows a significant increase of 19 percent in unintentional fires related to mechanical or electrical failures. The risk of hard-to-fight fires will only increase in the years to come. Already, the city is home to 340 buildings exceeding a height of 18 metres, a point at which they are deemed “high risk” by firefighters. With massive high-rise projects on the planning horizon, such as Oxford Property’s 37-tower Square One development, that number is going to go up with every passing year. A risk assessment completed by MFES found industrial fires were another key worry for the city. Only 1.9 percent of property in Mississauga is industrial, yet 12 percent of fire loss takes place in these settings. “This is significantly higher than the provincial average and higher than expected given the actual number of industrial occupancies,” the budget says. Even with the increase in fires, the number of calls attended by the service was down in 2019. An unlabeled chart in the budget document shows calls significantly below 2018 levels, after years of consistent increases. Mississauga Fire’s central and well-documented failing is its response time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets a target for the first vehicle to arrive at a fire within 384 seconds of a call coming in 90 percent of the time. To achieve this, the standard target is 240 seconds (four minutes) for travel time. For years, Mississauga has failed to hit this target. In 2019, the department admitted defeat and asked council to lower its target to 240 seconds 75 percent of the time instead of 90. On its internal metrics, MFES does better, but on both fronts 2019 saw travel times barely improved from the previous year and concerningly far from their targets. Mississauga’s plan to close the gap is two-fold. The first pillar is a capital program to add six stations over 12 years. The first of these was opened in 2019, with strategic locations identified to attempt to reduce callout times by targeting underserved areas and reducing how long trucks spend in traffic. The service’s 10-year capital plan includes $7.9 million to construct Fire Station 123 by 2023 and a further $14.9 million to build Station 124 by the same deadline. Further funds after 2023 will be set aside for Fire Stations 125, 126, 127 and 128. The Public Safety Reserve levy, designed to raise funds to buy land and build these new stations, was collected in 2020. For 2021, the City has put it on hold “to assist in managing the 2021 tax impact,” but says it will not have an effect on construction. A delay in acquiring land for Station 124 means the costs will fall into the 2022 budget instead. As The Pointer has previously reported in a three part investigation, the City’s problems go beyond its need for new infrastructure. Fourteen of Mississauga’s 21 fire stations are more than 20 years old and some are in desperate condition. Three cannot be upgraded to meet standards and will need to be rebuilt from scratch, while City documents also show at least nine stations have asbestos in them. The internal audit that informed The Pointer’s reporting estimated $31.4 million to get the 14 stations up to standard, excluding the cost of rebuilding the three unfixable stations. No money has been put into the 2021 budget for these projects, with promises to get to them eventually. The 10-year capital plan suggests funds will be put aside to renovate Fire Station 102, 108 and 115. However, Fire Station 108 is the only building included in the City’s damning audit slated for repair from 2022 onwards. Chief Nancy Macdonald-Duncan told The Pointer a plan to repair the other stations featured in the audit would be presented to council in January 2021. The move means funds can’t be set aside until at least 2022, when the City is already predicting a significant tax hike. “The plan is to return to Council in January on this topic,” Macdonald-Duncan told The Pointer by email. “The Fire Building Condition Audit study was completed in 2019, and with the disruption of COVID-19 in 2020, it was difficult to integrate the study’s recommendations into the capital plan in time for the budget presentation. This is still a work in progress.” The Pointer's Forgotten Fire Series: The second part of Mississauga Fire and Emergency’s plan is to increase targeted enforcement and education. The service hopes improved public awareness and safety can reduce the number of callouts, freeing up trucks and reducing response times as a result. This need for education and inspections is glaringly obvious. Data from the past four years show 62 percent of all fire calls are to locations that do not have a working fire alarm, despite it being a legal requirement to own one. Two elements are slated to make this change: a proactive fire inspection program and a public education program. The education program proposes 2 full time staff members for the 2022 budget, but does not draw on the 2021 finances. The proactive inspection element is set to hire seven staff in 2022 and have 13 in 2023. The Interim Chief says, while budget savings are a welcome bonus, the pandemic means the two programs would be difficult to deliver even if funds were flowing more freely. “COVID-19 closures and precautions did not allow for a normal public education program nor for the full implementation of proactive inspections,” she said. “Public education traditionally involves attending and hosting public events, meetings etc. Proactive inspections were difficult to conduct when businesses were closed or in the interest of limiting exposure between inspectors and the public. So this program would have been deferred or greatly reduced due to COVID19 anyway; the hiring deferral did help the City with its deficit situation, but the delays made sense from a program standpoint as well.” As strong as the pandemic justification may be, it doesn’t avoid the reality of the situation facing Mississauga fire. Response times remain well below their targets, fire stations are in desperate need of repair and inspections can’t yet take place. The plan? Wait until next year. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you.Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
The chief of the Shawanaga First Nation northwest of Parry Sound says two new businesses in his community will help spur economic growth and secure a better future for his people. Chief Wayne Pamajewon says a new service centre is set to open in the spring and the territory’s long-awaited cannabis store could possibly open later this month. The cannabis store is set to open behind the community’s existing gas bar. “Over the years, one of the shortfalls that we’ve always encountered is the shortage of revenues to be able to do the things that we want to do. We’ve always had to wait with our hands open. I think we’re going to change all of that now by building in the economic development for our community,” the chief said. The territory learned back in July 2019 that the Ontario Gaming Commission awarded it a licence to operate a cannabis retail store. It is one of eight First Nations in the province to receive a licence. Chief Pamajewon said that a lot of work has already taken place in order to get the store open. “We’ve hired a manager so we have a person that’s putting it together right now. The policies to govern this will have to be worked out,” said the chief. “The supply, we don’t know what that is yet, but I’m sure the individual that we have working for us will be working with his staff to put that together. We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen.” Chief Pamajewon said that at this point, he sees no reason why people who don’t live on the territory wouldn’t be able to shop at the store, despite COVID, as long as all the necessary precautions are taken. He said he expects the service centre to open in mid-May of next year. The foundation is laid, he said, and the fuel tanks are in the ground. He added they are working with a couple of companies to see which one will operate the service centre. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Two men who spent time at the Edmonton Convention Centre say it's a dangerous place to be. The facility has been operating as a shelter since late October. At times, more than 300 people have been staying at the facility that's being run by four organizations that work with homeless people. "No one feels safe there," Peter Noivo told CBC News. "There was constant fighting and screaming. It's a very bad place to be. " After spending four nights at ECC a couple of weeks ago, Noivo, 52, moved to a hotel with his partner. They're hoping to get into an apartment soon. He vows to never return to the convention centre shelter. Noivo said he concerned about widespread drug use inside the 24/7 facility, even though there is a safe consumption site. "When it gets to injection hour, you can't use the washroom," Noivo said. "There's needles all over. It's normal to get into a washroom and see blood and syringes on the floor." Ben Young agreed. He was staying at the convention centre for the past week and a half, but just tested positive for COVID-19 and he was transferred to a hotel to isolate. Young, 29, was alarmed by conditions at the shelter. He's been documenting his observations for the past two weeks on Reddit. "Something needs to change because people are dying, people are overdosing, people are getting sick," Young said. "If a light isn't shown on this, it's just going to get worse and worse and worse." Young said overdoses were a regular occurrence at the facility and said he personally administered Narcan three times. He also said he saw three people die inside the shelter. "Well, the first one that I saw was an older lady who I talked with a few nights," Young said. "When I walked into the food hall, she was on her back, dead, black in the face dead." He said nurses managed to revive the woman, but he found out she died later in hospital. "I freaked out the first few times," he said. "Now I see someone overdose, it's become regular. At one point there were five overdoses in seven minutes." When asked for comment the City of Edmonton referred CBC to contact one of the organizations operating the shelter. A spokesperson for the Boyle Street Community Services confirmed the overdose situation inside the convention centre mirrors what's happening in the inner city. Elliott Tanti said an overdose prevention site (OPS) wasn't in the original plan for the facility, but was opened after the first couple of weeks. "Certainly there were concerns in the first two weeks when we didn't have the OPS around the number of overdoses taking place in the building because there simply wasn't a safe place for people to go," Tanti said. "Since the OPS has opened, we've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of overdoses on site outside of the OPS and it's had a major impact." Tanti said security staff regularly check washrooms and there is a specialized team devoted to emergency overdose response on hand during the day and through the evening until 11 p.m. Outbreak at ECC Alberta Health Services confirmed there are 60 active COVID-19 cases at the convention centre linked to the current outbreak. Young is convinced he would not have contracted the virus if he had been staying somewhere other than ECC. His case has not been officially traced to the facility. "I would be shocked if everyone in that building didn't have it at one point or right now," Young said. "It's completely unsafe there. It's horrible." Young shared a picture of overflowing garbage cans inside the facility. He claimed he never saw any surfaces being sanitized. "There's no cleaning," Young said. "We take care of the cleaning ourselves. Like I mop, I clean the bathroom. I sanitize everything." Tanti disagreed with Young's assessment. "We had very stringent cleaning and hygiene standards when it first started, but we've increased the number of cleaning in public spaces to ensure the safety of the people that we serve," Tanti said. "Since the start, we've been conducting electrostatic decontamination every 24 hours of all the public shelter spaces." Tanti added that anytime that someone tests positive, the area they were in is also immediately decontaminated. "We're taking hygiene of the facility very seriously and working quite closely with our partners at the convention centre janitorial staff to make sure that the space is safe," Tanti said. Young believes there's a strong need for a 24/7 homeless shelter in the city and he applauded the work of the staff who are trying to help. But he thinks ECC needs to make dramatic changes in order to be safe for everyone who stays there. "We're struggling in the shadows out here," Young said. "We need help. We need a lot of help and we're not getting it.".
TORONTO — Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has agreed to sell its interests in the RiverStone Europe insurance business to a fund managed by CVC Capital Partners.Fairfax says it will receive US$750 million for its stake on Riverstone Europe, once the deal closes, and it is entitled to up to an additional US$235.7 million after closing.The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has also agreed to sell its entire stake in RiverStone Europe as part of the deal.RiverStone Europe managing director Luke Tanzer will remain in his role and Nick Bentley, CEO of the RiverStone Group, will continue to serve on the board of RiverStone Europe once the deal closes, Fairfax said in a statement.CVC is making the acquisition through its Strategic Opportunities Fund II.The deal is contingent on approval by regulatory agencies and is expected to close in early 2021.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:FFH)The Canadian Press
NAIROBI, Kenya — In a breakthrough a month after deadly conflict cut off Ethiopia’s Tigray region from the world, the United Nations on Wednesday said it and the Ethiopian government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access, at least for areas under federal government control after the prime minister’s declaration of victory over the weekend.This will allow the first food, medicines and other aid into the region of 6 million people that has seen rising hunger during the fighting between the federal and Tigray regional governments. Each regards the other as illegal in a power struggle that has been months in the making.For weeks, the U.N. and others have pleaded for access amid reports of supplies running desperately low for millions of people. A U.N. humanitarian spokesman, Saviano Abreu, said the first mission to carry out a needs assessment would begin Wednesday.“We are of course working to make sure assistance will be provided in the whole region and for every single person who needs it,” he said. The U.N. and partners are committed to engaging with “all parties to the conflict" to ensure that aid to Tigray and the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions is “strictly based on needs."Ethiopia’s government did not immediately comment.For weeks, aid-laden trucks have been blocked at Tigray’s borders, and the U.N. and other humanitarian groups were increasingly anxious to reach Tigray as hunger grows and hospitals run out of basic supplies like gloves and body bags.“We literally have staff reaching out to us to say they have no food for their children,” one humanitarian worker told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.“We have been urging, waiting, begging for access,” another aid official, Jan Egeland with the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the AP. “We're ready to go tomorrow. ... It has been heartbreaking to be forced to wait."More than 1 million people in Tigray are now thought to be displaced, including over 45,000 who have fled into a remote area of neighbouring Sudan. Humanitarians have struggled to feed them as they set up a crisis response from scratch.Communications and transport links remain almost completely severed to Tigray, and the fugitive leader of the defiant regional government this week told the AP that fighting continues despite Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's declaration of victory.It remains almost impossible to verify either side’s claims as the conflict threatens to destabilize both the country and the entire Horn of Africa.“It is critically important to get objective information as to what is going on,” the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, told the BBC. “The active military phase is basically over. I’m not saying the fighting is over. So at this point, the humanitarian phase is the most important one.”Nagy added that “now the danger is this evolving into a long-term insurgency." He also disagreed with Ethiopia's description of the conflict as a “law enforcement operation” to arrest the Tigray leaders, saying that “it was obviously a military operation.” The fighting between two heavily armed forces has seen airstrikes, rocket attacks and tanks.For weeks, the U.N. and others have been increasingly insistent on the need to reach some 600,000 people in Tigray who already were dependent on food aid even before the conflict.Now those needs have exploded, but Abiy has resisted international pressure for dialogue and de-escalation, saying his government will not “negotiate our sovereignty.” His government regards the Tigray regional government, which dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for more than a quarter-century, as illegitimate after months of growing friction as he sought to centralize power.Amid the warring sides’ claims and counter-claims, one thing is clear: Civilians have suffered.The U.N. says food has run out for the nearly 100,000 refugees from Eritrea whose camps close to the Tigray border with Eritrea have been in the line of fire as the fighting swept through. Reports that some refugees have been killed or abducted, if true, “would be major violations of international norms,” the U.N. refugee chief said over the weekend in an urgent appeal to Abiy.These are “extremely vulnerable people” who fled persecution in Eritrea, Egeland said. “It’s been extremely frustrating to lose access and communication.”With infrastructure there and elsewhere in Tigray damaged, the U.N. has said some people are now drinking untreated water, increasing the risk of diseases.In the largest hospital in the Tigray capital, Mekele, staff had to suspend other activities to focus on treating the large number of wounded from the conflict, the International Committee for the Red Cross said.The ICRC, the rare organization to travel inside the Tigray region and its borderlands, has reported coming across abandoned communities and camps of displaced people.No one knows the true toll of the fighting. Human rights and humanitarian groups have reported several hundred people killed, including civilians, but many more are feared.Inside Tigray, and among the majority ethnic Tigrayan refugees in Sudan, people are exhausted.“The world hasn’t seen anything like this year. I have never seen anything like this,” said one refugee who gave his name as Danyo, standing on the edge of a river that people on Tuesday were crossing to seek safety.“When Dr. Abiy came, we saw him as a good thing,” he said. “Our hopes were fulfilled, because his talk in the beginning was as sweet as honey, but now the honey has gone sour.”___Fay Abuelgasim in Hamdayet, Sudan, contributed.Cara Anna, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Native American tribes and advocates are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims.They also have assailed the network and the show's producers for failing to respond to their complaints, which they first made known in a Nov. 17 letter. On Tuesday, the makers of “Big Sky” broke their silence.“After meaningful conversations with representatives of the Indigenous community, our eyes have been opened to the outsized number of Native American and Indigenous women who go missing and are murdered each year, a sad and shocking fact," the executive producers said in a statement to The Associated Press.“We are grateful for this education and are working with Indigenous groups to help bring attention to this important issue,” according to the statement. The producers include David E. Kelley ("Big Little Lies," “The Undoing”) and novelist C.J. Box, whose 2013 book “The Highway” was adapted for the series.Created by Kelley, “Big Sky” stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury as private detectives searching for two white sisters on a road trip who go missing and turn out to be part of a pattern of abductions.With a disproportionate number of American Indians among Montana’s missing and murdered girls and women, the fictional approach represents “at best, cultural insensitivity, and at worst, appropriation,” said the signers, including the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council that represents all of Montana’s tribal nations.“I’m not at all surprised that they’re doing this because Hollywood’s been appropriating our trauma and our lived experience for years and years and years,” said Georgina Lightning, an actor and longtime activist. “And we’ve always cried about it. We’ve always called it out. But nobody ever cared. Nobody ever listened and nobody cared.”In the November letter, ABC was asked to consider adding an on-screen message steering viewers to information about the entrenched peril facing Indigenous women in North America. They cited “Somebody's Daughter,” a documentary detailing the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls crisis, as it's known to those fighting the scourge.“This is such an easy fix for ABC to make,” the film's director, Rain, said in a statement. “Indigenous leaders are reaching out to ally and inform, to open a dialogue. They’re not asking for ‘Big Sky’ to be taken off the air,” he said, but instead be used to inform.When no response was forthcoming, the coalition took its effort public and enlisted support from other tribal organizations, including Canada’s Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association.“Two-thirds of this country doesn’t even know that Native Americans still exist," said Tom Rodgers, president of the Global Indigenous Council and a co-signer of the letter to ABC. “We thought, what a teachable moment.”In response to the producers' statement, a skeptical Rodgers said Tuesday he hadn't heard from anyone connected with the show and called for further details, including which Indigenous partners were being consulted.While more than 5,000 Indigenous women were reported missing in 2016 in the U.S., reporting by The Associated Press has shown the number is difficult to determine because some cases go unreported, others aren’t well-documented, and a comprehensive government database to track the cases is lacking.Advocates, including some lawmakers representing Native Americans, also link the long-standing problem to inadequate resources, indifference and a jurisdictional maze. The rise of the MeToo movement helped give the issue political heft, but Hollywood has lagged in paying heed.While Lightning said she was “a little bit shocked” when she saw a Native American tragedy mirrored in a story but without Native American characters, her years working in Los Angeles meant she wasn’t surprised. Now living in Alberta, she’s in the Canadian miniseries “Trickster,” about a dysfunctional Native family.“There's such resistance” to change in Hollywood, she said. "When you’re used to being one of the good old boys... there's no way they think they’re going to have to conform to the rest of society. It’s such an arrogance.”Native Americans are used to being routinely ignored by American popular culture, registering barely a blip on TV as they're usually seen on only one or two shows, such as Paramount Network's “Yellowstone.” A University of California, Los Angeles, study released this year found that Indigenous actors were cast in six of 1,816 broadcast and cable series roles for the 2018-19 season.But being slighted on the crucial issue raised by “Big Sky” is too bitter a pill to accept, said Rodgers, a Blackfeet Nation member whose Global Indigenous Council, an advocacy group for Indigenous peoples worldwide, helped organize the outreach to ABC.“The one thing we won’t be anymore is ignored. We’re not going to be made invisible, we will not be erased," he said.____Lynn Elber can be reached at email@example.com and is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.___This story has been corrected to use the accurate pronoun for filmmaker Rain.Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Transit users won't be able to use a credit card or debit card at fare gates for a second day as TransLink investigates suspicious activity on its online network.The transit authority said Wednesday morning that some of its online services are still down after it disabled them Tuesday "out of an abundance of caution."It said "suspicious network activity" affected some of its information technology systems Tuesday morning. Riders also won't be able to use their credit or debit card at Compass Card vending machines during the outage.TransLink says riders can still use cash at vending machines and will have staff on site to help customers with trouble buying fares. The transit provider says stored value may take longer than usual to load onto a Compass Card. It has also disabled its Trip Planner tool and says riders can use Google Trip Planner in the meantime."We apologize to our customers for this inconvenience," the company said in a statement. TransLink says all other transit services are operating regularly.
Whale sharks are aptly named because they are the biggest shark species in the ocean. They are the biggest fish, and they are second in size only to a few species of whale, which are all mammals. They are gentle giants that can reach lengths of almost 17m (55 feet) and have been estimated at a weight of up to 45,000kg (100,000lbs). Despite their enormity, they pose no threat to humans and they have no intent or ability to hurt one, unless somebody was foolish enough to swim too close to the gigantic tail. When threatened, they simply outswim their adversary, or dive too deep to be pursued. Their food consists almost exclusively of tiny fish, krill, plankton, and fish eggs. They have no teeth and are incapable of biting a person. Instead, they filter water over large combs, like whales, and then it passes out the gills as the food remains inside the mouth to be swallowed. These scuba divers are studying the whale sharks in the Galapagos Islands. The videographer has followed a large, pregnant female as she casually drifts past on the ocean current. A second female appears to the left, on a collision course with the first. Like a freight train in motion, the whale sharks are much too enormous to stop suddenly. The change in fin position and body position suggests that the first whale shark is slowing as much as possible. The second whale shark passes underneath and arcs up in what appears to be an intentional contact. She then wiggles and seems to enjoy a little back scratch on the underbelly of the first whale shark. This is a very rare sight and the seasoned scuba divers are clearly excited. We can hear underwater shouts and delighted laughter as they exchange shocked looks. The diver with the video camera turns it on himself to record his own wonder and disbelief. He tries to for an "OK" sign with his hand but the fact that he is holding a Covid mask (to be worn in preparation for his return to the dive boat) prevents him from doing so and he tries for "number 1" sign instead. Whale sharks are a wondrous sight to behold, even from a distance, but to be in the presence of one, or even two, when they are almost close enough to touch is a life changing experience.
OHSWEKEN, Ont. — Provincial police are assisting Six Nations Police Service with a homicide investigation on Six Nations territory just east of Brantford. Six Nations police say the shooting on a driveway in front of a home was reported Tuesday evening. A 27-year-old man died of a gunshot wound. Provincial police say two suspects who were known to the victim left before police arrived, and Six Nations police say there is no apparent danger to the public. An autopsy has been ordered and will be conducted in Toronto. Investigators ask anyone with information about the shooting to contact them. This report by The Canadian Press was first reported Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
Le psychologue sportif, auteur et conférencier de renommée internationale, Sylvain Guimond, rencontrera virtuellement, ce mercredi, à 18h, les étudiants innus du collégial et universitaire afin de les motiver à ne pas abandonner en cette période difficile de pandémie. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Macotenord.com Par le biais de sa conférence, Sylvain Guimond partagera ses trucs et de précieux conseils qui aideront les étudiants à persévérer. "La motivation, c’est l’énergie intérieure qui nous pousse à agir, en créant tes ressorts et en brisant tes freins", mentionne M. Guimond Docteur en psychologie du sport, Sylvain Guimond est conscient que les étudiants doivent parfois jongler avec leurs études, le sport, le travail et les amis, d'où l'importance de comprendre que la clé du succès et d’être bien dans sa tête. Ce professionnel souvent invité à des émissions de télévision souligne que pendant l'actuelle crise sanitaire sans précédent, chaque moment mis à notre disposition doit-être utilisé de façon positive. "Que ce soit pour travailler notre force mentale, mettre à jour nos objectifs ou prendre conscience du chemin que l’on a fait, cette année sera charnière pour plusieurs personnes." Or, des recherches ont démontré que le manque de motivation des étudiants a des répercussions directes sur le décrochage scolaire. Taux alarmant de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones Organisée par le département de l'Éducation du Conseil de Uashat-Maliotenam, cette conférence tombe à point alors que le taux de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones est alarmant. Les statistiques sont ahurissantes: plus d'un élève autochtone sur deux vivants sur les réserves abandonne les études secondaires. Le taux de décrochage est aussi inquiétant pour les autochtones qui vivent à l'extérieur des réserves. Plus de 40% de ces autochtones ne terminent pas leurs études secondaires. Dans le reste de la population canadienne, le taux de décrochage oscille autour de moins de 10%. La conférence Web du Dr Guimond offre des pistes concrètes et des stratégies à mettre en place pour motiver les diplômés de demain. De plus, les concepts développés dans la conférence s’appliquent à de nombreuses sphères de la vie. Anxiété et stress Une planète au ralentie par une pandémie occasionne beaucoup de stress et d'anxiété dans notre quotidien et les étudiants n'y échappent pas. Coauteur du livre, avec Johanne Lévesque, Anxiété sois mon invitée, Sylvain Guimond explique simplement et sans préjugés, comment naviguer entre stress, peurs, frayeurs, anxiété, angoisses, phobies... et les maîtriser. "Car être anxieux n’est pas une condamnation, et bien que l’anxiété puisse handicaper une vie, elle apporte aussi une énergie qui peut être un formidable moteur pour nous pousser à nous dépasser." Sylvain Guimond s’exprime de façon claire et imagée et propose des solutions simples aux questions parfois complexes. Il a travaillé avec plus de 1000 athlètes d’élite, dont le célèbre golfeur Tiger Woods. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord