Data from Environics Analytics shows the number of shoppers visiting Ontario shopping centres surged in the days ahead of the provincewide lockdown. Shallima Maharaj reports.
Data from Environics Analytics shows the number of shoppers visiting Ontario shopping centres surged in the days ahead of the provincewide lockdown. Shallima Maharaj reports.
BRUCE COUNTY – Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce medical officer of health, addressed Bruce County council on Jan. 14 with an update on the COVID-19 situation including vaccinations. Arra said the most recent projections locally indicate the surge in cases over the holidays is over, and numbers are heading back to where they were, “with four to six or seven” cases per day reported. The surge had been expected, due to holiday gatherings. The situation across the province is completely different, Arra said. It shows a gradual but steady increase that does not corelate to the holidays or current lockdown, and is presently about 3,000 per day. “Fifty per cent of hospital ICUs are at capacity,” he said, adding that this is expected to continue for four to six weeks. As for the vaccine, “Today (Jan. 14) we received 200 doses.” Another 800 doses are expected to arrive the last week of January. Both are going to the long-term care sector, said Arra. That includes residents, staff and essential caregivers. The priority in the province, he said, has been “hot spots” – which Grey-Bruce definitely is not. County Coun. Anne Eadie, mayor of Kincardine, asked if it is true the general public probably will not be vaccinated until April or May. Arra confirmed it, stating the province plans to vaccinate in three phases, with the first phase, for the most vulnerable, completed by March, the second phase for essential workers following that, and the third phase being everyone else. “It’s estimated phases two and three will not be completed,” he said, and will end when the pandemic ends, when herd immunity is achieved. County Coun. Robert Buckle, mayor of South Bruce, asked if the vaccination will provide lifetime immunity. Arra answered that no one knows the answer to that one yet. At present, it seems likely the vaccine will be “somewhere between the flu and measles,” and will last between one and three years, rather like pertussis. County Coun. Luke Charbonneau asked when the vaccine “will be in arms” and why the stay-at-home order was needed in Grey-Bruce. The answer for the first part was easy – immediately, or as soon as is practical. The second part was more complicated. Strict lockdowns have proved effective in other jurisdictions, such as Australia and France. While the numbers in Grey-Bruce remain relatively low compared to the rest of the province, meaning a lockdown wouldn’t have been needed here “if we were an island.” However, the fact is we are not an island. Arra said others would have come to our area, bringing COVID-19 with them. Before the lockdown, hockey teams from outside the area were beginning to rent ice time here. Arra responded to a question from Warden Janice Jackson, mayor of South Bruce Peninsula, by saying it’s the Pfizer vaccine (the one that must be stored at extremely cold temperatures) that’s coming to Grey-Bruce, and all of it will be used as soon as possible, since more is coming by the time the second dose needs to be administered. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
Russia said on Friday that TikTok had deleted some of what it called illegal posts promoting weekend protests aimed at securing the release of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. It has also opened a criminal case into Navalny's supporters. Posts promoting Navalny and protests planned for Saturday have been viewed more than 300 million times on TikTok, the Chinese-owned video sharing app, since he was jailed this week after flying back to Russia for the first time since being poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent.
A Nepean retirement home where 10 people have died from COVID-19 is the first in the city to begin vaccinating residents and staff against the illness, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says. "As part of Phase 1 of the COVID vaccine rollout in Ottawa, Valley Stream Retirement Home was identified as a high-risk retirement home and the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was made available and administered to staff, essential caregivers and residents on Jan. 17," OPH confirmed Thursday. OPH finished administering the first vaccine doses to residents in long-term care homes in mid-January, but Valley Stream is the first high-risk retirement home to be offered the same opportunity. At a news conference on Wednesday, Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte said that while second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be delayed for some, one high-risk retirement home and one "congregate home with older adults" would still have a chance to receive first doses of the vaccine. In total, 51 of Valley Stream's 134 residents have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began on Jan. 2. Thirteen of those cases are now considered resolved. Another 27 staff members have also tested positive, 10 of which are now resolved. Jennifer Rose's 80-year-old father Richard Currie lives at Valley Stream, but has tested negative so far. "I'm obviously grateful and thankful that they're getting vaccines, and [with] my dad still testing negative, I'm happy he's getting that protection," Rose said, adding she's sympathetic to families that haven't been so lucky. "I just find it's so hard for the families that did lose somebody to this," she said. "They were close to being able to get that vaccine. It's just heartbreaking that it was almost within their grasp." Cleaning protocols enhanced Revera, which owns numerous long-term care facilities in Ontario and across North America, said it's working closely with OPH to maintain proper protocols and limit the spread of the virus at Valley Stream. "We are doing enhanced cleaning at Valley Stream, frequently disinfecting high touch surfaces like handrails and doors, common areas and staff rooms," the company's chief medical officer, Dr. Rhonda Collins, wrote. Collins said all residents are being monitored and tested if they show symptoms, while staff are screened at the beginning and end of their shifts. Visits are restricted to essential caregivers, as well as essential visits for palliative residents. "We recognize how difficult these measures are for residents and their families, and we appreciate their patience and understanding as we put these precautions in place for the safety of our residents," Collins wrote. According to OPH, the recent delay of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine "did not impact the administration of vaccines at Valley Stream." Earl Brown, professor emeritus of virology at the University of Ottawa, said while it's important to administer the second dose within a specific period of time after the first shot, giving more vulnerable people a single dose may prove the best option — as long as that second dose isn't too far behind. "It really comes down to maximizing your benefit," Brown said. "So numbers-wise, it generally has tended to favour spreading out the first dose and getting the second dose in somewhat of a timely manner. " But while the two vaccines both report higher than 90 per cent effectiveness in stopping the virus, Brown said it's believed they're less effective for older people. "I think the unknowns loom larger with this group."
TORONTO — After a 10-month investigation, a task force commissioned by the Ontario government has issued a range of sweeping recommendations to reform the province's securities regulator. The Capital Markets Modernization Task Force's 70 recommendations include major governance changes to Ontario Securities Commission, such as establishing an adjudicative body within the OSC to rule on alleged securities act violations. The task force also recommends expanding the agency's mandate to augment its regulatory function, and changing its name to the Ontario Capital Markets Authority. The task force was commissioned in 2019 by Ontario's finance minister, with the goal of encouraging growth and competition in the province's capital markets. In the report, the task force decried the lack of new securities issuers in Ontario, which they warned could lead to fewer head offices and fewer investment growth opportunities in the province. Over the course of its investigation, the task force met with more than 110 different stakeholders as it was developing its recommendations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Nova Scotia announced four new cases of COVID-19 Friday, along with the revelation that two previous cases were found to be variants of the virus. The four new cases include one in the central health zone related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, one in the northern zone who is a close contact of another case, and two in the western zone, both related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. One of the western zone cases is a student at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., who tested positive after completing their 14-day self-isolation. They are self-isolating again, but they did attend class Jan. 18-20 and Nova Scotia Health has begun contact tracing. There are 22 active cases in the province. During a news briefing Friday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the province detected the variants in cases that were reported in December. He said the two cases were related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and the individuals self-isolated. After further testing, one was found to have had the U.K. variant, while the other had the South African variant. Both cases are now resolved, McNeil said. "I know this may come as a worry, it's our first exposure to this variant, but it is not unexpected," said McNeil. "It is yet another reason why we continue to maintain our ... restrictions." Cases being investigated further Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said neither of those two cases resulted in community spread, but the person with the South African variant did infect other members of their household. Strang said there was no spread beyond that. Strang said the amount of virus in the household's testing samples were low and they were unable to send their samples for sequencing. So while it's likely they had the variant as well, it hasn't been confirmed. "We know that significant work is happening internationally to better understand the implications of these variants, and we are working closely with the lab to investigate further both of those cases and whether anything more needs to happen," he said. Some restrictions eased McNeil said almost all of the province's public health restrictions will be in place until at least Feb. 7, but some restrictions in sports, arts and culture will be eased starting Monday. Sports teams will be able to play games, but with limited travel and limited spectators, and there can be no games or tournaments involving teams that would not regularly play against each other. Art and theatre performances can take place without an audience, he said. The province will also allow residents of adult service centres and regional rehabilitation centres to start volunteering and working in the community again. "We are lifting only these restrictions because it's important to the mental and physical health of all those involved," said McNeil. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment delayed Strang said another shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived this week and has already been distributed at the Valley Regional Hospital and Cape Breton Regional Hospital. There will be no shipments next week, and the province is expected to get "limited amounts" of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as the "usual" shipment of the Moderna vaccine, in the first week of February. Strang said the delays for the Pfizer vaccine won't alter the current timeline to have most Nova Scotians vaccinated by September's end. "Every indication we have from Pfizer is that this is very short term. And even within the next 90 days, we're anticipating that what they aren't able to deliver in the next two weeks, they'll make that up, that amount, in February and March." Nova Scotia has administered 10,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 2,705 second doses, as of Thursday. Updates on vaccine administration across the country can be found here. Focus on testing university students Strang also mentioned he has received some questions about why the student at Acadia University tested positive after completing their 14-day quarantine and attending classes. "No one measure is perfect," Strang said. "In this case, he became infectious toward the very end of his quarantine period. The fact he was out and about doesn't mean he didn't comply with what he was required to do." He said the student sought testing as soon as they developed symptoms following their self-isolation. Strang said the province will refocus its efforts on pop-up testing in university communities as the number of students returning from outside of Nova Scotia after the holidays dwindles. Late Friday, Nova Scotia's health authority said it would hold a pop-up testing clinic in Wolfville this weekend because of the high number of people who want to get tested. Drop-in testing will be available at the Acadia Festival Theatre on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Truro school remains closed On Thursday, a new case of COVID-19 was announced at École acadienne de Truro, a pre-primary to Grade 12 school. The province said the person did not attend Thursday and is self-isolating. The Department of Health and Wellness said the school closed at noon to begin deep cleaning, contact tracing and any necessary testing. Close contacts of the case will be notified. École acadienne de Truro will move classes online until at least the start of the next week, with an update to be provided to families on Tuesday, Jan. 26, about a possible reopening on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Strang said Friday that the case was related to a close contact of another case. 'Very good news' about Marine Atlantic ferry After a crew member of Marine Atlantic tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Strang said 60 crew members have been tested and only one case — in Newfoundland and Labrador — has been detected, which Strang said is "very good news." "It gives us some comfort that the public, who would have been less likely to be exposed … it's lower risk that we're going to see further cases from this ferry," he said. Still, the province is asking anyone who was on the MV Blue Puttees, a ferry that runs between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., on the following dates and times should be tested as a precaution. Anyone exposed to the virus on this ferry may develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 30, 2021. Atlantic Canada case numbers MORE TOP STORIES
OTTAWA — A new third-party advocacy group is launching an ad campaign aimed at ensuring Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole never becomes prime minister.The Protecting Canada Project will start airing today its first 30-second ad, in English and French, on television and online.The ad predicts that an O'Toole government would cut funding for health care, even as the country struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic.The tag line concludes that O'Toole and the Conservatives "are hazardous to your health — at the worst possible time."Group spokesman Ian Wayne, who formerly worked for NDP leaders Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair, says Protecting Canada was formed by Canadians "with diverse political experience" and a common goal of ensuring the Conservatives don't win the next election. How an O'Toole-led Conservative government would tackle the massive national debt and deficit created by pandemic spending will be a key question for the party in the next campaign. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
(ANNews) – The COVID-19 vaccination supply coming to Canada has changed and at least in the short term, it will be much less than was originally planned. Minister of Health Tyler Shandro issued a statement on the latest changes in the amount of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine coming to Canada, saying “I am extremely concerned by the announcement that Pfizer is even further decreasing the amount of COVID-19 vaccine coming to Canada from its factory in Belgium, with no doses expected to arrive next week and further anticipated reductions in the two weeks following.” Alberta’s Health Minister continued by announcing that the focus will be shifted to delivering second doses for those who have already been vaccinated. Elderly people in long-term care homes and healthcare workers who have been administered their first dose are the province’s main priority. First time dose appointments for healthcare workers are postponed as well as some second dose appointments. Shandro then went on to mention that province may not be able to vaccinate elderly people in the general population or Elders living within First Nations territory. “A sharp decrease in vaccines coming to Alberta may also further delay our plans to expand vaccination to all seniors over the age of 75 in the community and individuals over the age of 65 in First Nations communities and Metis Settlements around the province.” “Alberta has the capacity to deliver about 50,000 doses per week and rapidly expand distribution, but we lack supply. Whether we like it or not, Canadian provinces are dependent on the Government of Canada for vaccine supply. We continue to advocate to our federal partners to increase the supply of vaccine as soon as possible,” said Minister Shandro. Meanwhile in Ottawa, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the Federal Government is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19. “This is a particularly acute issue and challenge when we’re talking about the deployment of the vaccine,” Miller told a news conference Wednesday Jan 20, in Ottawa. Concerned that Ottawa is not able to vaccinate its Indigenous population living off-reserve, Miller said, “We need participation of the provinces to ensure that needles get into the arms of people that are the most vulnerable.” “The role of the federal government, in my mind, is to offer our assets, offer our co-operation, our resources, our logistical capacities.” In response to the announcements, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations said that they are dissatisfied with “the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan proposed for our respective Nations without Free, Prior and Informed Consent. “There has been a failure to align resources consistent with the Famine and Pestilence Clause, the Medicine Chest, and the Treaty Right to Health." “Until the past week, our Nations were not informed that Health Canada had engaged Alberta Health Services to determine our vaccine requirements. In the past few months, Canada announced publicly on several occasions that Treaty First Nations were a priority and that vaccines would be provided. First Nations are at a greater risk of exposure due to a number of factors including, overcrowded homes with multi-generational families, lack of housing, remoteness, poverty, and distances to health care facilities and providers,” said the Confederacy in a statement. Also responding to the announcement is Chief Tony Alexis, who issued a statement condemning the vaccination roll-out happening in Alberta, “Meanwhile in Alberta under Minister Shandro’s watch, First Nations communities are seeing case numbers rapidly rise, while the rest of the Alberta covid numbers decline.” “The rate of infections, hospitalizations and ICU admissions for First Nations is increasing at an alarming rate compared to the rest of Alberta. The situation is dire for our people. In my community of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, over 5 per cent of the population has COVID-19 and numbers rise daily.” Alberta Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Marlene Poitras added, “First Nations communities are reaching a breaking point with new cases of COVID-19. When considering the data provided by Alberta Health, we see hospitalization rates of 4.3 for Alberta in general and 7.1 for First Nations living in Alberta. These disparities are un acceptable. There was some hope that access to a vaccine would help us. However, given recent decisions of the Provincial Government, which lacked meaningful First Nations involvement, trust and commitment to partnership continues to be in question. “I’m calling upon the Provincial Government to ensure First Nations leadership are at the decision making tables…to ensure that all First Nations communities are protected from the ravages of COVID-19. “How many times must it be said that Sovereign First Nations must be involved in the decisions that affect them?” The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout prioritize people who live and work in long-term care homes, people over the age of 80, front-line health workers, and adults in Indigenous communities where an outbreak can be particularly harmful and hard to manage. Indigenous Services Canada said there have been 89 COVID-19 cases, including 15 deaths, in nine long-term care homes on reserves located in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The number of COVID-19 active cases in First Nations communities reached an all-time high this week with 5,571 reported cases as of Tuesday Jan. 19 Jacob Cardinl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
COVID-19 case counts are declining in Windsor-Essex, but there's still a long way to go, according to the local health unit. Dr. Wajid Ahmed of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit presented the latest epidemiological statistics in a briefing on Friday morning. "As much as I'd like to be happy about [declining cases] ... you know how quickly things can change. We did very well in September-October and then it quickly changed," said Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health. Windsor-Essex saw decreases in the weekly case rate, the presence of the virus in wastewater and test positivity, according to the newest weekly data. For the week ending on Jan. 16, the positivity rate for COVID-19 tests was 8.7 per cent. That's a significant drop from the previous week's percentage of 11.7. But Windsor-Essex remains one of the regions most deeply impacted by the virus in Ontario. The most recent weekly case rate of just below 300 people per 100,000 residents is about twice the provincial average. And the overall case rate is the second worst in the province, behind only Peel region in the Greater Toronto Area. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 is continuing to grow locally. The health unit announced the deaths of eight more residents on Friday, bringing the total number of lives lost to virus to 288. The health unit also announced 99 newly diagnosed cases of the virus. There are currently 1,990 cases of COVID-19 currently active throughout the region, a key figure that has fallen sharply in recent days. Just a week ago, there were more than 2,700 active cases. 1 new hospital outbreak Of the 99 new COVID-19 cases announced Friday, 11 are connected to outbreaks, 11 are close contacts of confirmed cases, one was community acquired while the rest remain under investigation. There are 50 active outbreaks spread across all sectors. A new outbreak was declared on a unit of Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, the second area of the hospital to become an affected by outbreak in the last week. According to the hospital, the outbreak is on 2S in the Dr. Y. Emara Centre for Healthy Aging and Mobility and two patients have tested positive. It has been linked to the other outbreak on 3N, which was declared on Jan. 18. Four other outbreaks are active at Windsor Regional Hospital's two campuses. Two community settings, both locations of Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario, remain in outbreak. Outbreaks were active at 23 workplaces: Eight in Leamington's agricultural sector. Five in Kingsville's agricultural sector. Three in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector. One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. One in Kingsville's health care and social assistance sector. One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. One in a retail setting in Windsor One in a retail setting in Essex. One in a retail setting in Lakeshore One in a transportation and warehousing setting in Windsor There are 19 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with two resident cases and one staff case. Regency Park in Windsor with seven resident cases and five staff cases. Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case. Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with six resident cases and two staff cases. Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases. Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 37 resident cases and six staff cases. Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases. Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 36 resident cases and six staff cases. Leamington Mennonite Home with one resident case and seven staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 65 resident and 17 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 13 resident cases and eight staff cases. Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 46 resident cases and 26 staff cases. Sun Parlor Home in Leamington with two resident cases and 12 staff cases. Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 62 staff cases. The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 29 resident cases and 16 staff cases. Extendicare Tecumseh, with 90 resident cases and 57 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 99 resident and 61 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 163 resident cases and 133 staff cases. Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 60 resident cases and 30 staff cases. COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia Sarnia-Lambton is reporting two new deaths on Frioday, along with six new cases of the virus. Thirty-five people in the region have died from COVID-19 and there have been 1,736 cases overall. Chatham-Kent saw 15 new cases, bringing its total to 1,061.
France has one of western Europe's highest rates of distrust in modern-day vaccines. On Unreported Europe we take a look at why, what anti-vaxxers have to say and what can bring sceptics rounds. View on euronews
With COVID-19 cases on the decrease at Sugar Cane, Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) leaders are looking to reopen government offices next week. WLFN acting emergency operations centre (EOC) director Aaron Mannella said 23 WLFN members have been considered to be free of the disease since their EOC was activated Jan. 8. “That’s something our EOC is incredibly happy about and incredibly excited about, and we’re looking forward to those recovery numbers to improve,” he said in a Jan. 21 community Facebook update. As of 4 p.m. Jan. 21, Mannella said there had been 38 confirmed cases within WLFN membership. The EOC continues to operate at level two, with EOC staff remaining focused on supporting members with groceries and supplies, mental health resources and traditional medicines. Since its activation, Manella said groceries and supplies had been delivered to 55 homes. He said staff has responded to an additional 34 calls for general support and information through the WLFN COVID-19 support line. In conjunction with EOC staff, Borland Creek Logging has also delivered 23 loads of firewood. Mannella said chief and council had provided approval Jan. 21 for a gradual reopening plan for government offices, Little Chiefs Daycare, Little Chiefs Primary School and recreation programming and after-school support at Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium. WLFN government offices in Sugar Cane and Williams Lake will be staffed but remain closed to the public as of Monday, Jan. 25. Little Chiefs Daycare will also open that day. Little Chiefs Primary School and recreation programming will not reopen until Monday, Feb. 1. “Keep in mind this is a concept,” Mannella said. “Obviously, our council, our leadership is going to continue to adapt anything that changes.” Next week, vaccines are expected to be available to WLFN elders via appointment through Three Corners Health Services Society. Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
Pendant que la neige tombait à gros flocons samedi dernier, j’ai déniché quelques trésors cachés sur le site web de l’Office national du film, onf.ca. Pour vous, j’ai fait une sélection des meilleurs courts-métrages mettant en vedette la neige, l’hiver et nos paysages nordiques. Idéal pour une soirée de couvre-feu, faute d’aller jouer dehors. Découvrez l’homme derrière la légende qui a sillonné les Laurentides pendant des décennies et qui en a tracé les plus importants sentiers. Ce portrait, réalisé pour le centenaire d’Herman Smith-Johannsen, révèle un explorateur infatigable, sa résilience et son humour. Le documentaire trace des parallèles entre sa Norvège natale et ses Laurentides d’adoption, et nous fait voyager dans le temps. Dans une scène, on le voit racontant ses souvenirs dans une voiture, cigare en bouche, pendant que des paysages enneigés défilent par la fenêtre. En noir et blanc, ce court-métrage offre un regard d’ensemble du ski au Canada, de Banff aux Laurentides. On y retrouve l’enthousiasme des premières neiges, la leçon de ski, le remonte-pente pour les « moins vaillants » (dit le narrateur), et la vue magnifique une fois arrivé au sommet. Somme toute, le sport a bien peu changé, 73 ans plus tard. Une journée à la patinoire, présentée par Gilles Carle, le célèbre cinéaste québécois dans ses débuts. La musique de Claude Léveillée anime même ce court-métrage sans paroles. En bottes ou en patins, on y découvre le simple plaisir de patiner, de glisser et de jouer sur la glace. Pourquoi ne pas jouer une amicale partie de hockey, avant de se déhancher sur la glace au rythme de la musique de l’heure : le rock ‘n’ roll! Suivez ces deux Inuits (appelés Esquimaux dans le film) alors qu’ils bâtissent un iglou pour la nuit, pendant que le narrateur vous explique comment faire. Vous n’aurez besoin que d’un couteau à neige… et de neige. Les Inuits peuvent prendre aussi peu que 40 minutes ou aussi longtemps que 2 jours pour construire leur iglou, selon leurs besoins. Mon préféré. Suivez l’artiste Alexander Young Jackson dans la création de ses paysages uniques. Jackson est membre du Groupe des sept, un rassemblement de paysagistes canadiens qui ont révolutionné l’art durant les années 1920. Pour faire ses ébauches, Jackson part en expédition dans la nature automnale de l’Ontario, au Lac Grace, puis dans les collines enneigées de Saint-Tite-des-Caps, juste au nord de l’Île d’Orléans. On le voit en canot, faire du portage et même escalader les parois rocheuses du bouclier canadien, tout pour trouver le parfait paysage.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
BROCKTON – Jennifer Stephens, general manager, did a presentation on the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority’s 2021 budget at the Jan. 12 meeting of Brockton council. This year’s budget shows a 1.6 per cent increase over last year, representing a dollar amount of $27,570. Brockton will be paying an additional $2,546. She stated the goal of the SVCA over the past few months has been to focus on the mandated programs and services outlined in the Conservation Authorities Act. Stephens outlined some of those programs including flood forecasting and warning. The goal is to “keep people away from the water, and keep the water away from people.” This is accomplished through a variety of measures including physical structures such as dams and channel work. SCVA is also involved in stewardship activities, environmental planning and regulations, conservation education, forestry, and non-revenue parks and property management throughout the watershed. To help identify priorities over the next five years, the SVCA is undertaking a strategic planning exercise. It will involve extensive consultation with the public, municipalities and other partners. The plan will incorporate recent changes to the Conservation Authorities Act through Bill 229. Council asked a number of questions, including about changes that have a direct impact on Brockton. Coun. James Lang mentioned two staff members who had played an important role in promoting tourism in the Greenock Swamp. Stephens responded by saying the business of the SVCA is to “protect natural spaces and conduct our mandated programs” through the entire watershed. Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak addressed plans to conduct needed maintenance work in the SVCA’s parks and said he was pleased at the direction that’s been put in place by Stephens. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
JACKSON, Miss. — A leader of the Brexit movement and newly appointed government trade adviser in the United Kingdom is now the head of a conservative think-tank in the American South. Douglas Carswell, 49, started working this month as the new CEO and president of Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Carswell, a libertarian and former member of Britain’s governing Conservative Party, was a member of Parliament for 12 years and a co-founder of Vote Leave, the campaign that pushed the Brexit referendum in 2016. Carswell said his home country was his primary focus as the U.K. negotiated terms of its recently finalized split from the European Union. However, he said he has had a growing interest in working in the U.S. “I think the fight for freedom in America is the most important battle for freedom in the world, because America is the exceptional country in the world,” Carswell told The Associated Press. Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who left office a year ago, has developed a work relationship with Brexit leader Nigel Farage, and Bryant attended a 2019 event for the lobbying group World4Brexit. Carswell said he has never met Bryant. Carswell clashed with more populist Farage after being the first of only two U.K. Independence Party candidates ever elected to Parliament. Farage ran unsuccessfully more than half a dozen times. Carswell's 2014 election victory gave political momentum to the party and the Brexit cause. He left the U.K. Independence Party in 2017, later stepping down from Parliament. After Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, many of the figures who led the campaign have moved on to new ventures. Farage became a radio talk-show host and Donald Trump’s main British supporter, once even attending and speaking at a 2016 Trump campaign event in Mississippi. Others have been appointed to the House of Lords by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government. It’s common for former British lawmakers of all political stripes to seek think-tank or academic posts in the U.S. — a career move that can often bring prestige back home. In an email introducing his new position in Mississippi, Carswell said he believes freedom in the U.S. is “under attack” from a “radical New Left.” “If liberty is extinguished, the United States will become just another over-regulated, over-taxed, debt-ridden country, presided over by remote officials,” he said. “That would be a catastrophe for the whole world.” Carswell said he thinks school choice can give low-income Mississippi families more opportunities. He said he will push policies to make the state more competitive in attracting new businesses and allowing existing ones to grow. “Businesses that are traditionally located in hubs like New York, or Chicago or California, quite a few of those businesses are moving away from high tax and regulation regimes to Texas, Florida or Tennessee,” he said. “Why not Mississippi?” The Mississippi Center for Public Policy lobbies for lower taxes, fewer government regulations and free-market approaches to health care. Carswell said he admires that people’s freedoms in the U.S. are defined in federal and state constitutions. “In America, if your local mayor wakes up one morning and decides to take away your fundamental freedoms, you can take the politicians to court under the Constitution, you can enforce your rights as an individual,” he said. It allows “ordinary folk to live their lives free from the arbitrary whim of government,” Carswell said. “It’s only when you don’t have that that you realize quite how precious it is,” he said. “It really is the secret of American success.” Carswell plans to live in Jackson with his family but is not leaving U.K. politics. In November, he was appointed to a three-year term as a nonexecutive director of Britain’s Department for International Trade. Liz Truss, the U.K.’s secretary of state for international trade, said Carswell will work at “striking free trade agreements in markets around the world, operating our own trading system after the transition period, boosting exports and investment across the UK, and championing free trade and shaping global trading rules.” ___ Associated Press reporter Jill Lawless contributed from London. ___ Leah Willingham is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Leah Willingham, The Associated Press
Le Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux (CISSS) des Laurentides fait de la campagne de vaccination contre la COVID-19 sa priorité, dès maintenant et pour les mois à venir. Pour ce faire, Mme Caroline Chantal sera directrice responsable du dossier de la vaccination et travaillera en collaboration avec Dre Danielle Auger, médecin-conseil à la Direction de santé publique. Elles seront supportées par un comité stratégique formé de représentants des différentes directions du CISSS des Laurentides. Cette nouvelle structure de coordination sera centrale aux efforts du CISSS, qui met déjà tout en œuvre pour être prêt à débuter la campagne de vaccination aussitôt qu’il recevra les premières doses. L’équipe de Mme Chantal sera responsable d’assurer le bon fonctionnement de la campagne et de relever les nombreux défis intrinsèques à une opération de cette envergure. « Avec tous les enjeux engendrés par la COVID-19, mettre fin à la propagation du virus est une priorité incontournable pour nous et la campagne de vaccination est notre priorité organisationnelle. Même si plusieurs orientations en lien avec le déroulement de la campagne de vaccination restent à confirmer, nous sommes déjà en action. Ainsi, lorsque viendra le moment de débuter la vaccination, nous serons efficaces dès le départ, tout en maintenant les efforts pour offrir des soins et services de qualité à la population », a laissé savoir Mme Rosemonde Landry, présidente-directrice générale du CISSS des Laurentides, par voie de communiqué. Mme Landry a aussi affirmé que la vaccination devrait commencer dans les Laurentides d’ici la fin du mois. La priorité sera donnée aux résidents des CHSLD et des ressources intermédiaires et de type familial (RI-RTF), ainsi qu’aux travailleurs de la santé qui sont en contact avec eux. Mme Landry rappelle que les Laurentiens doivent continuer de respecter les mesures sanitaires en place. « Continuez vos efforts pour vous protéger et pour protéger les plus vulnérables! » Ailleurs au Québec, la vaccination est commencée! En date du 18 décembre, 2 582 Québécois avaient déjà reçu une première dose du vaccin de Pfizer-BioNTech. Ce vaccin requiert une seconde dose, trois semaines plus tard, pour être pleinement efficace. Radio-Canada a par ailleurs ajouté à ses tableaux interactifs le nombre de doses de vaccin administrées, aux côtés des infections, des rétablis, des morts, des hospitalisations et des tests de dépistage. Durant une conférence de presse le 15 décembre, Justin Trudeau a annoncé que le Canada devrait recevoir 168 000 doses du vaccin de Moderna, dans les jours suivant son approbation par Santé Canada. 200 000 doses supplémentaires du vaccin de Pfizer-BioNTech arriveront aussi au pays durant la semaine du 21 décembre. Le Canada aura donc reçu 417 000 doses de vaccin avant la fin de l’année 2020.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Friday he wanted it known that he had no plans to commit suicide in prison, as he issued a message of support to his followers on the eve of protests the authorities say are illegal. Navalny was detained on Sunday after flying home for the first time since being poisoned with what the West says was a military-grade nerve agent that Navalny says was applied to his underpants by state security agents. The 44-year-old lawyer, in a Moscow prison pending the outcome of four legal matters he describes as trumped up, accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering his attempted murder.
Kingston’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said he is confident that students and schools in the region are in a good position to safely resume in-class learning on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. “We [continue] to have one of the lowest rates of illness in the province,” Dr. Moore said on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. “Our rates are lower than many of the northern health units, whose schools opened right after the new year.” Kingston-area students have been out of class since Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. The Ministry of Education delayed their return to class following the winter break, originally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, as COVID-19 cases spiked across Ontario. Ontario has been under a Provincewide Shutdown since Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 and a stay-at-home order since Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Cases in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health region have steadily declined during that time, with only 10 active cases of COVID-19 currently confirmed in the region. Ontario parents were told a decision on whether students could return to in-person class on Monday would be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 20 2021. Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, drew negative social media attention when, late Wednesday afternoon, he tweeted an announcement about gas tax funding in Ontario’s York region, but made no indication of a decision on schools. His statement regarding the reopening of schools was eventually posted at 8 p.m., after the news had already been broken by national outlets who had received a copy. The statement revealed that seven eastern Ontario Public Health regions would be resuming online learning, and that virtual learning would continue elsewhere. Meanwhile, Dr. Moore said he had been anticipating that KFL&A Public Health region would get the green light. He said he had discussed the topic in his weekly conversation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. “I was absolutely comfortable, given that our cases are four cases per 100 thousand per week, very comfortable to say that our schools are opening,” he said. Dr. Moore noted that students and staff will need to follow some additional Public Health measures when they return to in-class learning. “There’s mandatory masking now, even in the school yard, when you can’t physically distance,” he said. Previously children were allowed to play mask-free outdoors on school property. “Also, extra precautions to limit the number of high school students outdoors, congregating. That has to follow the Reopening Ontario Act: five or less are allowed to gather at any one time.” He reminded parents to send extra masks given the weather, as they can anticipate masks will get wet. “The masks don’t work well when wet,” he cautioned. “We’re confident that schools will continue to follow best practices. We’re sending out an information package to them that can be sent to parents, and working on a joint communication.” In the meantime, he asked that any students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and students who have travelled outside the region or had visitors from outside the region, get tested now. The COVID-19 assessment centre is open seven days per week, and results are typically returned in under 48 hours. “We’re ready, locally, and we’ve been in a very good position for the last 10 to 14 days. We’ll monitor the situation very closely,” he said. Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
Un gin biologique sera très bientôt produit directement à Val-des-Sources. L’entreprise Birster s’est installée dans le parc industriel et pourrait commencer la distribution dans quelques semaines à peine. « On est sur les derniers milles, assure Guillaume Birster, vice-président de l’entreprise qu’il dirige avec son frère. On fait des produits biologiques et le processus est plus long. Les bouteilles et les étiquettes s’en viennent. Il faut aussi attendre les analyses en laboratoire de la SAQ. Pour notre premier lot, ce sera en février et on pense plus au mois de mars avant qu’il se retrouve sur les tablettes. » La Distillerie Birster, nommée ainsi en l’honneur du père de Guillaume décédé il y a deux ans, proposera un gin avec une touche « florale ». « On parle d’un gin assez classique qui se mélange bien en cocktail, explique Guillaume Birster. On explore avec la racine de l’orpin rose. On travaille aussi avec la canneberge du Québec. » L’entreprise s’inscrit dans la volonté de la région de se diversifier au niveau économique. « Pour l’instant, notre plan est de rentrer dans les SAQ et ensuite ce sera à nous de vendre notre produit aux succursales, mentionne M. Birster. Éventuellement, c’est dans nos plans de vendre au lieu de production, mais la contrainte c’est qu’on doit le vendre au même prix que la SAQ. » Engouement Depuis une vingtaine d’années, la popularité du gin a explosé en raison notamment de son utilisation pour de nombreux cocktails. Plus de 90 gins sont produits au Québec aujourd’hui. « Il y a vraiment un engouement, confirme Guillaume Birster. La raison pour laquelle on fait beaucoup de gin au Québec, c’est parce que c’est un produit qu’on peut sortir rapidement. Pour le rhum, les lois canadiennes demandent une maturation d’au moins un an, donc il n’y a pas beaucoup de compagnies qui peuvent attendre un an avant de vendre une première bouteille. » C’est d’ailleurs dans les plans d’avenir de l’entreprise de Val-des-Sources de produire un rhum. « On veut développer un rhum de mélasse 100 % biologique, ajoute-t-il. On essaie de le travailler un peu comme les rhums jamaïcains avec des notes de bananes et d’ananas. On travaille là-dessus. » Simon Roberge, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
La pandémie et la pénurie de main-d’œuvre ont eu raison d’un autre commerce de la région. La quincaillerie Tremblay-Laroche, établie depuis plus de 25 ans à Saint-Gédéon, ne rouvrira après avoir fermé ses portes le printemps dernier, faute de personnel. Le bâtiment situé au 223, rue de Quen, a été mis en vente. Le personnel restant et l’inventaire ont été transférés à la succursale de Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, qui elle aussi vit des heures difficiles en ce qui a trait au personnel. « Malheureusement, on est obligé de fermer la succursale. Deux employés sont partis pendant la première vague de COVID le printemps dernier pour d’autres magasins et on n’a pas été capable de les remplacer », explique le propriétaire, Marc Tremblay. Pénurie de main-d’œuvre Marc Tremblay s’explique mal le fait que malgré un taux de chômage élevé, il soit si difficile de combler des postes aux deux succursales. En deux ans, même les ouvertures de poste pour le magasin de Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix n’ont pas pris preneurs. « On a de la misère à combler malgré le fait qu’on dise qu’il y a beaucoup de personnes qui ne travaillent pas. Je ne comprends pas grand-chose là-dedans. Avec toutes les annonces qu’on a faites, on n’est pas capable de combler les besoins. On a essayé de toutes les manières. On a fait des parutions Facebook et ici au magasin et on ne réussit pas… », déplore-t-il Année mouvementée L’été dernier, les Québécois se sont adonnés aux travaux de rénovation. L’équipe de plus en plus restreinte du groupe Tremblay-Laroche a été mise à rude épreuve. « L’équipe a dû mettre les bouchées doubles. Avec deux personnes en moins, ça paraît. On a comblé le stock de Métabetchouan avec l’inventaire du magasin de Saint-Gédéon. Ça n’a pas été une année rose », ajoute Marc Tremblay. Questionné à savoir si une lueur d’espoir régnait toujours pour le magasin de Saint-Gédéon, le propriétaire a affirmé qu’il concentrait dorénavant ses efforts sur le magasin de Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix. « On ne se fait pas d’illusions. On a mis le bâtiment à vendre », souligne-t-il. En novembre 2019, le groupe Tremblay-Laroche, alors affilié à BMR, avait quitté cette bannière pour joindre le groupe Castle en raison de désaccords. « BMR nous imposait des choses qu’on ne voulait pas. On ne se sentait plus chef dans notre propre magasin. Ils nous laissent acheter et faire ce qu’on veut », avait expliqué à l’époque Marc Tremblay. Plus d’un an plus tard, il se dit « très satisfait » de ce changement.Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
HURON COUNTY – Huron County will host the annual Ontario West Coast Tourism Summit this year, virtually. The free, two-day event will concentrate on the tourism landscape pre- and post-COVID and rural tourism’s advantages. Tourism industry expert William Bakker of Destination Think will speak on Jan. 25 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Destination Think works with the most innovative tourism boards in the world, according to their website. They create vision, solve business challenges, and “execute brilliant, integrated campaigns.” His presentation will include tourism market trends focusing on the tourism landscape, pre-COVID, and post-COVID. Attendees will hear about destinations that are “re-imagining themselves with a goal of re-building, with both the economy and environment in mind,” according to a press release from Huron County. A facilitated breakout session will follow, which will focus on how Huron County’s tourism sector can work together towards a successful recovery from COVID-19. The second day of the summit will be held on Jan. 26, from 9 – 11:30 a.m. Director and Master Experience Crafter Chris Hughes, from BC Hughes, a tourism, management, and marketing company will share the advantages of rural tourism and how operators can use this advantage to match shifting tourism trends. Hughes will discuss the key elements needed to develop effective touring routes. He will also share how operators can adjust their own tourism experiences to become part of a regionally themed touring route. “The County remains dedicated to working collaboratively and supporting our vibrant tourism sector,” Warden Glen McNeil said in the press release. “Specifically, I want to thank the industry for the resiliency and innovation they have shown over the past year. Huron County tourism, and all of those that support it, are essential to the vitality of our county.” Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
CBC News gains access to a unique inoculation site in the U.K., where vulnerable groups are being prioritized.