One-third of Ontario's long-term care homes are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks. More than 200 of the province's 626 long-term care homes are grappling with the virus. One of those hardest hit is Tendercare Living Centre. Morganne Campbell reports.
One-third of Ontario's long-term care homes are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks. More than 200 of the province's 626 long-term care homes are grappling with the virus. One of those hardest hit is Tendercare Living Centre. Morganne Campbell reports.
In announcing a planned phone call on Friday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the White House's intended message was clear: Traditional allies are back in favour while despots, dictators and the killers of dissenters are on the outs. The way press secretary Jen Psaki announced the scheduled call with Trudeau was revealing, as it came in response to a question that had nothing at all to do with Canada's prime minister. She was asked about Vladimir Putin. Specifically, she was asked when Biden would speak with the Russian leader. Psaki replied that it wasn't an immediate priority. "[Biden's] first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau," she said. "I would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it's important to rebuild those relationships." U.S. plans to investigate Russia Psaki elaborated on Putin in a separate news conference where she described Russia as "reckless" and "adversarial." She said Biden has tasked the intelligence community with reporting on a variety of alleged Russian transgressions: cyberattacks on U.S. companies, interference in U.S. politics, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Russian-paid bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Yet the goal of rebalancing relationships away from rivals toward like-minded countries has been tested already. Some Canadians, notably Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, want trade retaliation against the U.S. following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day 1 of the new administration. The decision undermines Canada's No. 1 export to the United States: oil. WATCH | The National's report on Keystone XL: Biden's foreign policy ambitions will keep being tested as international relationships undergo unwieldy twists on any given issue due to practical and political considerations. Here is what we already know about the Biden administration's approach to other countries after its first couple of days in office. The moves so far The administration will release a report on suspected Saudi government involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an issue the last administration showed little interest in pursuing. It is also threatening to cancel support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is willing to consider new NATO expansion on Russia's doorstep, into Georgia, and in fact is staunchly supportive of the international military alliance. And Biden has rejoined previous alliances the U.S. was either scheduled to exit (the World Health Organization) or had already left (the Paris climate accord). These activities are intended to signal a dramatic change in foreign policy from Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, who frequently bashed the leaders of democracies and international institutions while simultaneously cultivating friendly relationships with non-democratic leaders in the Middle East, Russia and North Korea. There will be contradictions in Biden's approach — as there were in Trump's. For example, while Trump often had kind words for dictators, he also sanctioned their countries on occasion, including Russia and China. Also, don't count on an ambitious foreign policy from Biden. Early on, the new administration will be busy juggling domestic crises, said Edward Alden, an expert on Canada-U.S. relations. "I think we are going to see an approach to alliances that looks a lot like [Barack] Obama's — engaged, respectful, but not overly ambitious," said Alden, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. "The United States has enormous problems at home, and those are going to take priority for some time." Alden said he does expect some new international initiatives, such as more active co-operation on global vaccine distribution. Biden wants changes on Canada-U.S. pandemic travel On COVID-19, Biden also wants to immediately connect with Canada and Mexico to establish new rules within 14 days for pandemic-related travel safety measures. Alden also expects an attempt to rework and revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, and establish greater co-ordination with other countries in confronting China. For example, Biden has proposed a summit of democracies where countries can share ideas for countering autocracies. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his confirmation hearing this week that the last administration had a point in reorienting policy toward Beijing. "President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Blinken said. "The basic principle was the right one, and I think that's actually helpful to our foreign policy." He got into a testy exchange at that hearing with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Republican who favours a hands-off approach on foreign affairs. When Blinken said he was open to expanding NATO membership to Russia's neighbour Georgia, Paul called that a recipe for war with Russia. Blinken argued the opposite is true. After years of Russian incursions in non-NATO Georgia and Ukraine, recent evidence suggests Russia is most belligerent with countries outside NATO's shield, he said. Keystone XL: The early irritant Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss new travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion that would run south from Alberta to Nebraska. So far, Trudeau has shown little desire to escalate the pipeline issue. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, on the other hand, has demanded retaliatory action, and some trade experts say potential legal avenues do exist. WATCH | Kenny on the fate of Keystone XL: But they're skeptical they will achieve much. Eric Miller of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consulting firm specializing in trade and government affairs, said the best that pipeline-backers can hope for is to sue the U.S. government for financial compensation for the cancelled project. He said the Alberta government and the project's developer, TC Energy, can try suing under the investor-state dispute chapter in the old NAFTA, which will remain in effect for two more years for existing investments. "[But] nothing is going to force the Biden administration to deliver the permit," Miller said. "One has to be clear that there is no world in which Joe Biden [retreats on this]." Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he doubts complaints from Canada will make a difference. He said the most politically effective argument for the pipeline would come from Americans — from the companies and unions that would have serviced the project. The Ohio-based lawyer said challenges under U.S. laws, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, could potentially work, but he cautioned: "They're high hurdles."
COVID-19. Les plus récentes données sur l'évolution de la COVID-19, au Québec, font état de 1 624 nouveaux cas pour la journée d'hier, pour un nombre total de 248 860 personnes infectées. Parmi celles-ci, 221 327 sont rétablies. Elles font également état de 66 nouveaux décès, mais le nombre total de décès s'élève à 9 273 en raison du retrait de 1 décès pour lequel l'enquête a démontré qu'il n'était pas attribuable à la COVID-19. De ces 66 décès, 22 sont survenus dans les 24 dernières heures, 39 entre le 14 et le 19 janvier, 4 avant le 14 janvier et 1 à une date inconnue. Le nombre total d'hospitalisations a diminué de 14 par rapport à la veille, avec un cumul de 1 453. Parmi celles-ci, le nombre de personnes se trouvant aux soins intensifs est resté stable, pour un total actuel de 216. Les prélèvements réalisés le 19 janvier s'élèvent à 32 845, pour un total de 5 533 972. Toujours le 19 janvier, 10 207 doses de vaccin ont été administrées, pour un total de 174 260. Au cours des 7 derniers jours (depuis le 13 janvier), ce sont 66 895 personnes qui ont été vaccinées, pour une moyenne quotidienne de 9 556 personnes vaccinées.Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WARSAW, Poland — Poland hired Paulo Sousa as its national team coach Thursday to replace the fired Jerzy Brzeczek. The appointment was announced by Polish soccer federation president Zbigniew Boniek, three days after Brzeczek was surprisingly dismissed despite leading the team to the 2020 European Championship, which was delayed to this summer. The 50-year-old Sousa, a former Portugal international, has previously coached clubs including Basel and Fiorentina. He takes over a Poland team that includes Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, FIFA's world player of the year for 2020, but has just two months to prepare for the start of World Cup qualifying. His assistants will be fellow Portuguese Manuel Julio Cordeiro da Silva and Spaniard Victor Manuel Sanchez Llado. Poland will face Spain, Slovakia and Sweden at Euro 2020 in a group being played in Dublin and Bilbao, Spain. In World Cup qualifying, Poland was drawn into a six-team group that includes England and Hungary. Boniek said the decision to fire Brzeczek was a “very difficult” one but that he didn't expect the team to improve without a coaching change. ____ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Avec les confinements, nous pouvons nous attendre à une augmentation de notre facture énergétique d’environ 30 %.
Though the position of school settlement worker — someone who guides and supports students and their families who are new to Canada as they familiarize themselves with their new home — is not a new one in Southern Ontario, it is new to the North. In July, 2020, Tibila Sandiwidi took on the role of “Travailleur d’établissement dans les écoles” (school settlement worker) for the two Francophone school boards (Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon and Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario ) in Sudbury through his position with Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury. In addition to degrees in early childhood education, political science, applied research and social work, Sandiwidi is a newcomer to Sudbury himself, arriving in Sudbury in 2003 from Burkina Faso, West Africa. In his role as settlement worker, Sandiwidi aids parents and children new to Sudbury from beyond Canada’s borders, as well as the educators that have called Sudbury home for years – perhaps their whole lives. The role itself is financed through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) and co-ordinated through the Centre de santé, where Francophone newcomers to Sudbury can find most of the guidance and resources they need to succeed in their new home. It is about ensuring that parents and students can become a part of their school community by helping them understand how the education system works, the curriculum they will be learning, the interactions between parent and educator, and how to make the most of them, as well as helping with the cultural aspects of Canada that those who have lived here their whole lives may take for granted. “Everything is new,” said Sandiwidi. “To the parents, to the children, everything is new. So, you have parents who are learning new things, but they are supposed to teach their children, who are also learning new things.” It is a challenge, to say the least. For as much as it is of the utmost importance to make sure a child is succeeding in school in their new home country, it is also important they understand cultural traditions here – for instance, Halloween. The event features the simple and oft-repeated question: ‘What are you going out as?’ If you have not heard that line all your life, that’s a pretty vague question. “When you celebrate Halloween, if you ask them about Halloween activities when they have never been in them, have never done them before, it’s hard for them. Even for a newcomer parent to understand how to dress the kids with a Halloween costume or do activities like trick-or-treating, or even activities at the school.” Sandiwidi not only ensures that educators understand the need to offer more information or background on these events for any students in their class, but he also ensures that parents can understand the requirements as well, so that students can enjoy the fun and never have to feel as though they are on the outside. They can participate as if they had been ‘trick-or-treating’ all their lives. It also helps with cultural differences in behaviour; for example, looking someone in the eyes. There are many cultures that consider looking anyone older than you in the eyes while they are speaking, rather than casting them down at the ground, is considered a sign of disrespect – challenging your elders in a way that is disrespectful and rude. Eurocentric traditions would have you meet an elder’s gaze. The phrase ‘look me in the eyes when I am speaking to you,’ may be a familiar one here among parents and teachers, but not so in other countries. This results in a child that doesn’t know whether to choose up or down. And it’s something that Sandiwidi can help with as well. He also works to offer intercultural training workshops, supports schools with their registration efforts and acts as an ambassador for Francophone schools in Greater Sudbury. Of course, like everything in the world, the pandemic has changed how Sandiwidi is working. It is much more virtual and Sandiwidi says that though “it is hard to build trust when someone has never met you in person,” he continues to work within the limitations to assist parents, students and educators in their learning and development. He says that while online learning has presented even more challenges, not to mention a focus on achieving what’s possible under the circumstances rather than moving ahead with goals, the program is going strong and his interactions with newcomers are proving everyday that he can make a difference in their lives. If you would like more information on the program, visit SanteSudbury.ca. Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
TUNIS, Tunisia — The Tunisian president has denied claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks this week while trying to calm youths after days of unrest. Kais Saied's statement was in response to allegations by the Conference of European Rabbis that he accused Jews of being responsible “for the instability of the country." The CER statement, issued Tuesday, said such talk “constitutes an immediate threat for the physical and moral integrity of Tunisian Jewish Citizens.” The organization asked the head of state to retract his words. The statement, relayed by some Israeli media, caused an uproar, forcing Saied to address the allegations, which his office firmly denied. In a statement Wednesday night, his office denounced the “propagation of false information,” saying it amounted to “calumny.” Saied visited M’nihla-Ettadhamon, outside the capital Tunis, on Tuesday to speak directly with youths after a spate of vandalism and looting in several towns. The Tunisian president, wearing a mask, was not always fully audible in the recording posted by his office of his encounter with the youths. The groundswell of anger grew out of economic and social ills and failed promises of opportunities that flowed from Tunisia’s revolution 10 years ago, The unrest began amid a four-day lockdown that started Jan. 14 — the day Tunisia marked its revolution. “The president mentioned no religion and there was no reasonable motive to deal with the question of religion in the context of protests,” his office's statement said. It said the president spoke with the chief rabbi of Tunisia, Haim Bittan, to reassure him that Tunisian Jews enjoy “the solicitude and protection of the Tunisian state, like all other citizens.” Saied also used the occasion to underscore his fervent defence of Palestinians' rights “to their land,” referring to Israeli-occupied territory, while saying that position is not linked to religious freedom. There are an estimated 1,500 Jews in Tunisia, mainly on the island of Djerba. The Associated Press
A natural day-use recreation area near Evergreen Park will be enhanced to better accommodate pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists and equestrians. County of Grande Prairie council approved a management plan for the 99-acre area, christened Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area, during its regular meeting last week. “Over the past year, people have been outdoors, recreating more,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. “This (provides) another opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our natural backyards.” Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area is located northeast of Evergreen Park and north of the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS). It is also near approximately a half-dozen residences in Pine Valley South subdivision to the south, she said. Local people sometimes refer to the area as the “dog park” before the county named it Evergreen Ridge due to its proximity to Evergreen Park, according to administration. The area is Crown land and is leased to the county under a 2018 agreement with Alberta Environment. The natural trail network and sandy dunes are already used by pedestrians and dog-owners and PARDS members use trails as well, Beaupre said. The county means to maintain Evergreen Ridge as a “low-impact” recreational resource. It is not, said Beaupre, part of Evergreen Park. Alberta Environment and Parks requested a management plan be developed. Beaupre added a plan can prevent conflicts between responsible users and others using the area for unpermitted fires or illegal dumping. According to county communications, the plan as approved by council proposes infrastructure improvements to begin this spring. The improvements include new signage and the addition of an information kiosk, as well as fencing around the area’s eastern boundary. The kiosk will be unstaffed and will include more signage, and the information may include trail directions, Beaupre said. The signage may also provide information about local animal species, as well as communicate pets must be kept on leashes, according to the plan. Local wildlife includes mule deer, elk, moose, black bears, coyotes and smaller mammals, but due to heavy human use large animals aren’t common in the area, according to administration. The parking lot is mainly sand, and the county may grade it and perhaps add a culvert as part of the improvements, according to the plan. Funds of under $5,000 for Evergreen Ridge in the 2021 budget are expected, according to county parks and recreation. Evergreen Ridge does not allow overnight stays, off-highway vehicles or unleashed pets, according to the county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
This column is an opinion from journalist and political commentator Jen Gerson. Dear Alberta Conservatives: Now that U.S. President Joe Biden has followed through on his promise to cancel the Keystone XL permit, I have to ask you all a simple question: How is this working? I'm not trying to be mean about it. I understand why this province elected the UCP with historic turnout in 2019. I get the appeal of that campaign, the lure of nostalgia that it evoked. It was a tempting fantasy, one in which Rachel Notley allied with Justin Trudeau, and Alberta's noble oil industry was beleaguered by a gaggle of environmentalists and socialists, who were conspiring to bring the province down. I also understand why so many bought into the claim that by electing a conservative government, we could just make all of these problems go away; that Alberta would return to the glory days of 2014, or 2005, or 1994. Or 1973. The 2019 campaign promised tax cuts that would bring the jobs back; fiscal discipline; fair deal panels that would put Ottawa in its place and highlight this province's growing, muscular sense of its own independence. A white knight returns Kenney promised to rescind the job-killing-carbon-tax. He promised to be a premier who would win the province glory, a white knight and returning prodigal son who would finally fight for Alberta. He promised "war rooms" and inquiries that would finally unearth Alberta's nefarious enemies. Somehow, this was all going to work wonders for pipeline capacity — which is why it made sense to invest $1.5 billion in taxpayer money in Keystone XL. Whoops. Almost two years into this mandate, I have to ask: How has it been going? Is this working? From the cheap seats, things don't look great. I've been trying to come up with one single solitary win since that election, and I can't find it. It looks to me like the UCP spun a fantasy in 2019 that it now can't make real. And, yeah, this province has been hard hit by COVID-19, but I thought I was being generous by putting that file to the side for a moment. WATCH | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney reacts to Keystone decision: The jobs haven't come back. Alberta had a competitive corporate tax rate before the UCP was elected. It was always doubtful that cutting the rate even more was going to make a difference. Our public finances are in shambles. A tax hike is inevitable. Kenney did kill Notley's carbon tax — and then replaced it with another, less effective one. Meanwhile, this province's court challenge of the federal carbon tax is unlikely to hold up. Kenney's "war room" is an international joke led by a PC-party loyalist who didn't get elected in 2019. And that inquiry into foreign funding — dogged at the outset with reports that its commissioner, Steve Allan, awarded a sole-source $905,000 contract to the law firm in which his own son was a partner, because, of course — has already devolved into a series of delays and controversies. A clown show The latest, that the inquiry spent $100,000 to commission reports from several external groups, including a U.S. firm called Energy in Depth, which is affiliated with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and a paper from Calgary-based political scientist Barry Cooper, whose contribution was entitled: "Background Report on Changes in the Organization and Ideology of Philanthropic Foundations with a Focus on Environmental Issues as Reflected in Contemporary Social Science Research." Meanwhile, Greenpeace, which has already been publicly excoriated by the Allan inquiry as "a new breed of zealots less interested in saving Planet Earth than in destroying the capitalist system," has yet to be contacted to provide any evidence at all. (In fact, Greenpeace has already issued a legal warning to the inquiry.) It should be noted here that we've spent an estimated $3.5 million on this clown show. Put aside for a moment, dear Conservatives, the question of whether you think anything the inquiry is "investigating" is true. Instead, ask yourselves this question: whom is this inquiry going to convince? Is anyone under the impression that a report informed by Cooper and the climate change denial group Friends of Science is going to turn the tide for Alberta? What's the theory, here? Were we going to FedEx the Oval Office a final report that prompts Joe Biden into an epiphany on climate change? Or is it possible — just maybe — that doubling down on climate change skeptics and conspiracy theories paints a worse picture of Alberta and her priorities than anything the environmentalists themselves have concocted to date? How hard does Greenpeace really need to work to make Alberta look like a cartoonishly villainous backwater right now? In November, Premier Kenney starred in a podcast in which he criticized Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — Biden's campaign co-chair — over their attempts to decommission a segment of Enbridge's Line 5. Kenney noted that those fighting to cut off Alberta's oil and gas exports were "brain dead." Kenney also said: "We thought it was essential to send a message to the interest groups trying to block us, that resistance is futile, that Alberta is determined to take control of our own destiny." Again, I ask: How is this working? Delusions of self-importance For the record, I think Alberta has been treated unfairly and hypocritically; we clearly have been the target of international and national campaigns to obstruct oilsands development. That's not in dispute. Ironically, many of those campaigns began to abate in 2015 when Notley introduced an aggressive carbon tax policy that demonstrated Alberta was taking climate change seriously. And these anti-oilsands actors aren't the cause of all of our problems. The price of oil is down everywhere, and we're now producing a commodity that is extracted in abundance within the United States thanks to the fracking boom. Further, global concern about climate change means more banks and major companies are disinvesting in a jurisdiction that goes full ride-or-die on coal and petroleum extraction. Something needs saying here, and there's no way to say it kindly. Boom times and wealth have conditioned Albertans to believe that we matter a lot more than we do. Money gave this province delusions of self-importance that is reflected in a premier whose bombastic bar-brawl banter is increasingly revealed as short-man bluster. We're the guy who gets drunk and picks a fight but can't actually land a punch. I don't mean to be too mordant about all of this. I love Alberta, and I still think we have a lot going for us. We're good people, we work hard, and we pull together in a crisis. But we're a landlocked jurisdiction of four million on the high plain that happens to enjoy large oil and gas reserves that are costly and emissions-intensive to produce. By population, that puts us somewhere between Oklahoma and Oregon, and all the less important to a United States that is effectively energy independent. In other words: we don't matter to these people. We don't matter to Joe Biden, who would happily torch our entire provincial economy if it bought him two weeks of peace from his own restive left flank. And what's Canada going to do about it, exactly? Issue a letter of protest? Proclaim tariffs and boycotts that will hurt us more than it will hurt the U.S.? Oh wait, Kenney implied that we should do exactly that on Wednesday, or Alberta would "go further in our fight for a fair deal in the federation." On and on it goes. This is the same obstinate attitude that led to the cringey display Kenney offered us in a press conference earlier this week. It included an appeal — just short of a demand — to Justin Trudeau to advocate more fiercely on behalf of the Keystone XL. By the feds' own account, Trudeau has attempted to make the case for Keystone XL, and even brought it up in his first phone call with Biden, to the prime minister's credit. But let's reflect on the idea that Trudeau has any special motivation to help Kenney out, here — Kenney, the man who has spent the last three years winning Alberta's heart by drawing blood from Trudeau's. Hey, maybe Kenney could reach out to some international oil and gas players. The very ones led by the CEOs he denounced for supporting the carbon tax in 2019. Get the head of Royal Dutch Shell on the line. I'm sure he's waiting for Alberta's call. Limitless self-aggrandizement The thing that continually baffles me about the UCP is its combination of limitless self-aggrandizement coupled with its incredible parochialism. You see this in who the government selects to head its pet projects. You see it in the habit of tripling down on ideologically derived solutions to complicated problems. You see it in the lack of original thinking; hell, their platform was practically cribbed from the Reform Party. Even the fair deal panel is just a rehash of ideas that were largely rejected as cost-ineffective in 2003. This party acts like it's run by a bunch of jocks in a secret fraternity at a second-rate school who suddenly realize that nobody who matters knows their names. They're kings of the small campus. Oil means nothing if nobody buys it. The only lever we have — the only real lever we've ever had — is vested in the relationships we maintain with the nations, provinces, interests and people around us. And, yes, that includes relationships with people who disagree with us: Ottawa, environmentalists and NGOs. So, hey, all you Free Alberta types, here's some good news for you: Kenney is teaching us all what it really means to stand alone. How is it working? This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please readour FAQ.
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
A massage therapist convicted of sexually assaulting his client during a massage in The Blue Mountains should go to jail for nine months, the Crown attorney suggested during a virtual sentence hearing Wednesday. But the defence lawyer asked for house arrest of up to 18 months, instead. Nathaniel Porter-Gowan, 40, was earlier convicted in an Owen Sound court of sexually assaulting the woman during a massage on May 25, 2019, while the woman was on a girls’ weekend. Reading from her victim impact statement, Crown attorney Glenn Brotherston said she has had trouble coping with various facets of her life in the intervening 20 months. She also feared repercussions after he had taken her personal contact information. “Since the event, I have been unable to receive any type of care from male providers,” he read. “I have spent the last 606 days working on recovery.” She wrote that she’s afraid to be by herself in the house or walk the dog alone and that the massage therapist robbed her of her enjoyment of her first year of marriage. Brotherston said an aggravating factor is that Porter-Gowan was in a position of trust as a massage therapist during the event. “It occurred at the hands of someone who is a licensed health-care practitioner,” said the prosecutor, adding that incarceration should be followed by two years of probation. “A real jail sentence is called for.” But defence attorney Nadia Klein said Porter-Gowan has no record and instead suggested a conditional sentence with house arrest. “Everything suggests this was a one-off occurrence in the life of Mr. Porter-Gowan,” she said. She said the father of two has been very active in his children’s lives and the community, but has been ostracized as a result of the charge. He can no longer work as a massage therapist and had trouble finding work, at one point going to the Meaford food bank, where he previously volunteered, for help. He was later able to find a job as a waiter. Going to jail would impact his children, she told the court. And he feared he would lose contact with one of the children who he co-parents. Klein said there was also concern over any possible future COVID-19 outbreaks at the Central North Correctional Centre, although the latest word the court had was that there were no positive cases at the Penetanguishene jail. Justice Julia A. Morneau, of the Ontario Court of Justice, reserved her decision on sentencing and the case returns to court Jan. 28 to set a date. Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
TIRANA, Albania — Albania on Thursday expelled a Russian diplomat for allegedly not respecting the country’s virus lockdown rules. An Albanian foreign ministry statement declared Alexey Krivosheev “person non grata,” asking him to leave the country within 72 hours. The ministry said that since April last year there were continuous violations from the diplomat. It said Albanian authorities first contacted the ambassador but the diplomat still persisted in breaking pandemic restrictions. “A repeated challenging of the protective rules and steps on the pandemic, and disregarding of the concern of the Albanian state institutions related to that, cannot be justified and tolerated any more,” the statement said. The ministry did not provide details on the alleged violations, or give the post of the diplomat. Albania has set an overnight curfew, mandatory use of masks indoor and outdoors and social distancing. “We hope that such a decision ... at such a very challenging time for the globe, will be well understood from the Russian side as a necessary step to protect the health and security" of everyone in Albania, the ministry statement added. Albania resumed diplomatic ties with Moscow in 1991, 30 years after the country's then-communist regime severed previously close relations with Russia. The Associated Press
HALIFAX — A new study says the number of seniors in Atlantic Canada will increase by 32 per cent over the next 20 years, putting added pressure on the region's health-care system and labour market. The study released Thursday by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says the most rapid growth will be among older seniors. Policy analyst Fred Bergman said the number of Atlantic Canadians aged 75 and older will double by 2040. The independent think-tank says these changes in demographic patterns will have significant implications for the region's economy. Atlantic Canada's population is already the oldest in Canada. By 2040, there will be three seniors for every two young people in the region, the council says. "We estimate Atlantic health care costs will rise by 27 per cent by 2040 simply due to the population aging." Bergman said in a statement, adding that the region will need an additional 25,000 beds in nursing or seniors homes. This so-called grey tsunami, which refers to the large wave of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age, is also having a profound impact on the labour market, the study says. In 1990, there were 20 young workers entering the job market for every ten retirees. Thirty years later, there are just seven, and APEC does not expect that number to change any time soon. The region's primary industries — agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and oil and gas — have the oldest workforce in the region. Meanwhile, the working-age population — those between 25 and 64 — has fallen by almost 50,000 in the past 10 years. During that time, the number of seniors has surpassed the number of people under the age of 19 for the first time. Buried in the latest statistics, however, is some uplifting news: retirees today have 44 per cent more disposable income than seniors just 20 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. As well, the region's charities and non-profit organizations are sure to benefit from the fact that seniors, on average, serve as community volunteers for over 200 hours every year, which is 50 per cent more than the rest of the population. And there will be opportunities for businesses that take advantage of the trends outlined in the report, APEC says. "Seniors will be a growth sector," the report says. "Senior homes, assisted living, and care workers will be in demand, as well as personal services to help those aging at home. Products and services that cater to or are adapted for an aging population will be in demand." The new numbers will not come as a shock to the region's politicians and business leaders, who have been receiving similar reports for years. In 2014, for example, the Nova Scotia government was handed a report from a panel of experts who warned the province was doomed to endure an extended period of decline unless population and economic trends were reversed. The report, written by a five-member panel led by then Acadia University president Ray Ivany, predicted that by 2036, the province could expect to have 100,000 fewer working-age people than it did in 2010. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, as an inspiration for her career. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first Black major-party candidate to run for U.S. president. Pearls had a strong fashion showing, in line with a social media campaign that had inauguration watchers donning strands in support and celebration of Harris. Nobody in attendance did them quite like Jennifer Lopez — from earrings to bracelets — as she sang “This Land is Your Land" in head-to-toe white Chanel. Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, wore a pearl necklace owned by Chisholm herself. It was a gift from Chisholm's goddaughter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am,” Lee, who is Black, posted on Twitter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice-President Harris is.” The pearls Harris wore, by Wilfredo Rosado, were also a symbol of unity with her sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American Greek-letter sorority, said Rachel Torgerson, fashion features director for Cosmopolitan. The sorority's founders are referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.” Every new member receives a badge adorned with 20 pearls. Harris attended Howard University, one of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities. “There’s no doubt that every part of her look today celebrates who she is, where she came from and where she hopes to lead the country. Every piece was carefully considered and packed with meaning,” Torgerson said. Like Harris, Rosado is the child of immigrants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew fashion praise on social media for his cozy, comfortable inauguration wear: His signature beige parka and a pair of knit patterned mittens. The look earned him his own inauguration Bobblehead to mark his viral fashion moment. It's now on pre-sale for $25 at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store. Jill Biden wore an ocean blue wool tweed coat over a dress by American designer Alexandra O’Neill of the Markarian label. The new first lady's matching coat and dress included a velvet collar and cuffs on the coat, and a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt on the dress. The neckline of the dress is embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals. The same crystals adorn the coat. The outfit was handcrafted in New York City. Aides said Harris was dressed in Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Both are Black designers, Rogers from Louisiana and Hudson from South Carolina. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, wore a Ralph Lauren suit. Michelle Obama, a fashion icon, drew praise from fans on social media for her belted pantsuit in plum, also by Hudson. Joe Biden wore a navy blue suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren. It was a change from Brooks Brothers, the oldest U.S. clothier at 202. The brand has outfitted 41 of the 46 American presidents, including Barack Obama during his inauguration in 2009. Brooks Brothers fell on hard financial times last year, when it filed for bankruptcy reorganization and announced a planned sale. Ralph Lauren has a history of nonpartisan dressing, including moments with Michelle Obama and outgoing first lady Melania Trump. Joe Biden wore Polo shirts, emblazoned with the label’s pony and polo player logo, to take both of his COVID-19 vaccinations on television. Véronique Hyland, fashion features director for Elle magazine, noted the wins for young American designers. “They chose a diverse group of talents — Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill and Jonathan Cohen — to be a part of this historic moment," she said. “It made for a meaningful statement at this particular time, when all small businesses, including fashion businesses, are in need of support and spotlighting.” Harris’ choice to wear pieces by Black designers “felt particularly significant in light of her triply historic title as the first female, Black and Asian American vice-president of our country,” Hyland added. As for the colour purple, it was a symbol of unity and bipartisanship. Republican Red and Democratic blue make purple. “If there’s a message to be taken from today’s inauguration fashion, it’s that those who attended are signalling faith in unity and bipartisanship, as well as restoring truth and trust,” Torgerson said. Hillary Clinton confirmed she wore “purple with a purpose,” telling The Associated Press: “I want to just send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together.” Lady Gaga went for red and let her pin do the talking. She sang the national anthem in a lavish custom Schiaparelli gown designed by Daniel Roseberry with a full red skirt and a navy coat adorned with a humongous gold dove holding an olive branch. Garth Brooks went another way: country. He performed “Amazing Grace” holding his black cowboy hat and dressed in blue denim jeans paired with a black suit jacket and shirt. Another inauguration fashion star on Twitter was Nikolas Ajagu, the husband of Harris' niece, Meena Harris. Sharp-eyed sneakerheads noted his ultra-rare and pricey Air Dior Jordan 1 shoes. The Dior 1s, a collaboration between Dior and Jordan, debuted last year and retail for $2,000. They're reportedly going for up to $7,000 on some sneaker resell sites. Harris' stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, schooled some of the older folks in her embellished Shetland Miu Miu coat in a pied de poule pattern with a large brown button at the neck and a pointed collar. “To put it quite plainly, over the last four years we’ve been starved for fashion choices from the White House that are thoughtful and intentional for the sake of the greater good," said Nikki Ogunnaike, digital director for Harper’s Bazaar. ____ This story was first published on January 20, 2021. It was updated on January 21, 2021, to correct the fact that Meena Harris is Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, not her sister. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
A Calgary father who killed his daughter when he rolled his Jeep while drunk wants his conviction overturned or at least a lighter sentence. Michael Shaun Bomford was convicted of drunk driving causing death and bodily harm, as well as dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm. In September, Bomford was handed a 5½-year sentence for his crimes. In a notice filed with the Alberta Court of Appeal this week, Bomford asked the province's top court to overturn his conviction and either substitute an acquittal or order a new trial. If he is turned down, he wants a lesser sentence because he says the one imposed "was excessive and unreasonable in the circumstances." On Oct. 18, 2016, Bomford's Jeep Liberty was travelling west on McKnight Boulevard between 68th Street and 52nd Street N.E. when it went out of control, fishtailing in the far right lane. Meghan Bomford, 17, died after she was thrown from her father's Jeep. Meghan's best friend, Kelsey Nelson, was also thrown from the vehicle. She survived but suffered a serious brain injury. A number of Good Samaritans stopped to help, including an off-duty firefighter, a paramedic and an ER nurse. Family members credit them with saving Nelson's life. At the time of the crash, Bomford's blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Accident reconstructionists were able to show the Jeep was travelling more than 30 km/h above the speed limit when the father lost control. Bomford had picked up his daughter and her friend so the girls could go to the police station to get criminal background checks done that would allow them to become junior ringette coaches. While they were en route to the police station, Meghan was texting with her mother. The text messages were important evidence for the prosecution because they showed Bomford was behind the wheel, not Meghan, as defence suggested. But in his notice of appeal, Bomford indicated he will argue the text messages should not have been admitted as evidence. After Bomford was convicted and sentenced, Meghan's family said that with the court process over, they'd finally be able to properly grieve their loss.
Vital, critical, indispensable, crucial and necessary … all words the Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is using to describe the province’s current stay-at-home order. “People ask the question, is it necessary? We're doing really well in Grey-Bruce. Yes, we're doing really well, but it is very necessary,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall event hosted by Bruce Power on Wednesday evening. “The Premier said it best, you can look at the regulations and all the complexity of it. But it is simple – just stay home,” Arra said. “When you do this, just remember it's painful but it is saving lives.” Arra is asking the public to look at the current order in a positive light, as it has alleviated the concern of individuals travelling into Grey County from other high-risk, red-zone areas. He said in December the health unit had placed a lot of focus on how individuals from neighbouring communities that were experiencing high COVID case numbers had been moving into the county. “All that planning and communication was not necessary anymore when the province issued the lockdown. It has definitely balanced that equation that would be increasing the risk in our area,” he said. According to Arra, case numbers in recent weeks have remained relatively favourable, despite the health unit seeing a surge in cases following the holidays. “I'm very proud of the community, proud to be part of this community, that the surge was not larger than what it was over the past few weeks,” Arra said, adding that the case numbers have now begun to taper down. “The past week has been averaging around three or four cases per day, which is a success,” he said. As of Jan. 20, there have been 657 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Grey and Bruce counties. Currently, there are 30 active cases and two individuals being hospitalized. According to Arra, early December is believed to have been the peak of the second wave of COVID in Grey-Bruce. However, Arra is asking the public to remain cognizant that the province has been seeing a large number of cases reported every day since the holiday. “We've seen 3,000 cases per day and they're going to translate into higher admission to the hospital, to the ICU, and unfortunately, in deaths,” he said. “People might say, well, in Grey-Bruce we have only two cases in the hospital. But, again, we're not on an island. And our [healthcare] system is built to support universality.” He explained that as the provincial healthcare system continues to be strained, the impacts will trickle down to other regions, adding that the province has already begun transferring patients between hospitals. “We need all of us to stay this course until the vaccine is in enough arms to make this pandemic nonexistent,” he said. “This is not going to end tomorrow. It's going to end in a few weeks and a few months and we need to stay the course.” Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Commentators across the political spectrum spread anti-Islamic rhetoric, insisting that Islam is intrinsically violent and that Muslims are terrorists. But studies show these claims are unfounded.
You can pass through Penville and not real-ize the area was once a thriving village that was settled by early pioneers in the 1830s. The area has no real reminders of a village that would have had all the amenities needed to keep a small town viable at the time. It was located at what is now the 5th Line and 19th Sideroad of New Tecumseth. There are now several houses surrounding the site but almost all are of a relatively recent design. Penville was founded in the 1830s when the area was unpopulated and wild.With no real roads leading into the region, settlers would have had a tough life arriving, probably by ox cart, and building their fi rst home from the materials on the land. The Penfield, Ausman, and Dale families are recorded as being the first to arrive in the area and they began clearing the land for farming operations. They were all Scottish immigrants.Presumably, the Penfield family lent its name to create the village on a map. The village attracted more settlers to the area.So many arrived that a Town Hall was built in 1858 at a cost of $450.00 with the fi rst Reeve being recorded as Robert Cross. Black’s Methodist Church was built in 1850 and a cemetery established in 1858. There is no record of a tavern in the area, however almost every new town in Ontario had at least one local watering hole, and some had several, so most likely some enterprising entrepreneur set up some kind of hotel or tavern in the town. By 1871, the town had grown to a thriving village of 130 souls. By early Ontario standards, that was a sizable population for a pio-neer settlement. Most likely the town would have had a blacksmith, cabinet maker, and a saw mill, which were pretty much standard business in pioneer towns at the time. Like many small towns in Central Ontario, Penville reached its peak in the late 1800s. Over time, residents began to leave to search for more opportunities in other places. By the time the twentieth century arrived, the village was all but abandoned. The church was still standing as late as the mid 1950s, but by that time hadn’t had servic-es in decades and was being used as a granary. The church was demolished sometime in the 50s although the cemetery remains.There are 18 recorded interments in the cemetery, with the last person buried in 1933. After the demolition of the church, the remaining headstones were grouped together in a cairn in the middle of the property. It has been suggested that many of the graves in the cemetery were moved to other cemeteries in the area in the late part of the 19th century, however there is no offi cial record of that. Penville had a good start; however, like many small early settlements, it faded into history as residents moved on to fi nd their fortunes elsewhere. Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday lamented “wasted years” under the Trump administration to slow climate change and urged faster work to curb fossil fuel emissions. Kerry spoke remotely to an Italian business conference in his first international climate address under President Joe Biden. Biden, in his first hours in office Wednesday, signed an executive order returning the United States to the Paris climate accord. It reversed the withdrawal by President Donald Trump, who ridiculed the science of human-caused climate change. Biden's administration is getting back into the battle to cut climate-damaging coal, gas and oil emissions with “humility, because we know that the federal government of the United States, until yesterday, walked away from the table for four wasted years when we could’ve been helping to meet the challenge,” Kerry told the European forum in his prepared remarks. Biden's order starts a roughly 30-day process of getting the United States back into the nearly 200-country U.N. climate treaty. Countries in the accord commit to setting goals to cut climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions and to monitor and report their emissions. Biden has put Kerry, secretary of state under President Barack Obama, in charge of climate and national security issues. Kerry's words marked a 180-degree turn from the Trump administration on climate change. Trump withdrew from accords with U.S. allies and questioned scientific consensus that oil, gas and coal pollutants are too blame for the warming climate, and are contributing to worsening natural disasters. Biden on Wednesday signed other orders undoing dozens of Trump actions that had targeted earlier efforts to curb emissions from industry and transport and that had promoted new oil and gas drilling and production. Kerry said Biden had “with a few strokes of his pen began to restore domestic environmental leadership.” Preventing the worst of global warming would require $1 trillion in annual investment globally through 2030, Kerry told Thursday's gathering — moving five times faster than currently to phase out dirty-burning coal, 22 times faster to electric vehicles, and six times faster to ramp up solar, wind and other renewable power. Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press