Toronto's chief medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa reported 1,069 new COVID-19 cases in Toronto on Wednesday, and four new deaths. Dr. de Villa said Wednesday’s cases are a record high for the second day in a row.
Toronto's chief medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa reported 1,069 new COVID-19 cases in Toronto on Wednesday, and four new deaths. Dr. de Villa said Wednesday’s cases are a record high for the second day in a row.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
Santé Canada a approuvé le traitement d'entretien ONUREG de Bristol Myers Squibb Canada qui vise les patients en rémission d'une leucémie myéloïde aiguë. Il s'agit d'une première au pays pour ce type de traitement. ONUREG est un inhibiteur métabolique nucléosidique à prise orale qui agit en empêchant la croissance des cellules cancéreuses. Il s'incorpore dans les éléments constitutifs des cellules, interférant avec la production de nouvel ADN et de nouvel ARN. Ce mécanisme entraînerait la mort des cellules cancéreuses dans les cas de leucémie. Celui-ci peut être utilisé par des patients qui ont obtenu une rémission complète ou une rémission complète avec rétablissement hématologique incomplet après un traitement d'induction avec ou sans traitement de consolidation et qui ne sont pas admissibles à une greffe de cellules souches hématopoïétiques. «Bien que la majorité des patients atteints de leucémie myéloïde aiguë obtiennent une rémission complète avec une chimiothérapie intensive, de nombreux patients en rémission connaîtront une récidive de la maladie, surtout s'ils n'étaient pas éligibles à une greffe de cellules souches», a précisé le Dr Andre Schuh du Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, par voie de communiqué. Par ailleurs, la leucémie myéloïde aiguë est la forme la plus courante de leucémie aiguë chez l'adulte. On estime que 40 à 60 % des patients âgés de 60 ans et plus et que 60 à 80 % des patients âgés de moins de 60 ans obtiendront une rémission complète après une chimiothérapie d'induction. Toutefois, 50 % d'entre eux connaîtront une récidive dans l'année qui suit. En cas de récidive, la survie à long terme est de six mois en moyenne. Les résultats de l'étude d'approbation ont montré que la survie globale médiane était significativement plus longue avec ONUREG en comparaison avec le placebo.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer of health says British Columbia's decision to seek legal advice on limiting travel reinforces the message that it isn't the time to go on vacation across the country. Dr. Theresa Tam says stopping non-essential travel would be a difficult decision for the province, but it could reduce COVID-19 by cutting the number of contacts. Premier John Horgan said Thursday his government was seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel. Other provinces and territories, including those in Atlantic Canada, have required travellers to self-isolate upon arrival or get authorization to travel. Horgan said he and other premiers have made the case for Canadians to stay home during the pandemic, but people continue to travel. The issue has been discussed for months and it's time to determine if the government can act, Horgan added. B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Thursday that she's not sure if she has the authority to limit out-of-province travel nor was she considering such an order. "We do have requirements that people who come in to British Columbia must follow the rules in place here, and that is something that is continuing to be reinforced," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Sarah Kim began thinking differently about food after starting a zero-waste vegan food delivery service — one that she said made her starkly aware of the inequalities that exist in the Lower Mainland. “The more that I was involved in this business, the more I was seeing the injustices, so I started to question that and started learning more about food security and food systems,” she said. Now, she’s the food networks co-ordinator at the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks (VFN), a web of community groups working on promoting and advocating for food security across the city. Canada’s National Observer checked in with Kim about the importance of food networks and how they’ve pivoted throughout the pandemic. Why is it important to break networks down into neighbourhoods rather than having a blanket resource? I think the advantage of having different networks across the city is that they are hyper-localized, and they have the ability to be adaptable. Our neighbourhoods are actually quite different from each other based on demographics, so being able to have a network that’s able to cater to their needs is really important. With any type of food program we run, neighbours come together and build relationships. All of a sudden, they’re building friendships in their neighbourhood, (and) people can reach out if they are in need. The food networks are all about community development and using food as a vehicle for communities to connect. A recent VFN update talks about how seniors’ food security has specifically been impacted by COVID-19. Can you speak on that? It’s really hard for a lot of seniors to get out due to mobility or health issues. Through my work with seniors, I heard some were having difficulties accessing food. It was one of the main problems they faced during the pandemic. First, it was waiting in long lines in grocery stores. Then, it was trying to adapt to food delivery services and apps, which often cost money. On the flip side, I’ve seen organizations respond to that need. United Way has a program called Safe Seniors, and Collingwood Neighbourhood House has free grocery delivery for seniors, as well as phone calls and check-ins. I think seniors are having a harder time dealing with the pandemic — period. What’s something VFN has achieved recently that you’d like to highlight? Food access was not something that any of the food networks had done prior to the pandemic. Our food programs were more about community development: community kitchens; community lunches; gardening workshops. What I find really astounding is that when the pandemic started, all of the networks did a 180 and started running emergency food relief. None of these networks have the capacity to operate like a food bank, but all of a sudden, they’re doing it. And they continue to do it all these months later. On the topic of food banks, can you tell us about a response you were involved in when the Greater Vancouver Food Bank announced it would implement income means testing? They announced they would implement income means testing, which means you have to prove your income in order to access food. This was something that they were going to implement at the very beginning of April last year before the pandemic. I was part of a coalition that came together to meet, we started a petition. It’s pretty terrible that this was something they were going to implement — they thought people were abusing their system, but they’d just be creating barriers to people who need food. The pandemic hit mid-March, and then they realized they couldn’t implement it, but they haven’t said that they thought it was a bad idea or that it won’t happen in the future. COVID-19 has obviously changed the way we think about food security. Do you think there have been any permanent changes or shifts in Vancouver’s food system resulting from the pandemic? I don't see any permanent or positive shifts from a government level, and that's disappointing. Where I do see a positive shift, particularly when it comes to food security in Vancouver, is the connections that have been formed over this period. You're seeing a lot of new partnerships, a lot of new relationships, a lot of people working together. For me, I know a lot of those relationships will stick around. Something else I’ve noticed is a lot of social service organizations that didn’t have food programs before the pandemic hit, now do. All of a sudden, there are new players in these conversations. Whether that’s a permanent shift, I don’t know, but it’s fantastic that we're all talking about food security. It’s so important that there are more people thinking about it and understanding what it is. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Cloe Logan / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National ObserverCloe Logan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
VANCOUVER — A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has ruled that businessman Frank Giustra's lawsuit against Twitter Inc. over alleged "false and defamatory" tweets can proceed in the province. Giustra, the founder of Lionsgate Entertainment and CEO of the Fiore Group of Companies, filed a civil lawsuit in April 2019 alleging that Twitter published defamatory tweets about him and neglected or refused to remove many of the posts despite his repeated requests. Giustra says in a statement of claim that he sits on the Clinton Foundation board and the tweets escalated during the 2016 U.S. election, accusing him of being involved in "Pizzagate,'' a debunked child sex-trafficking conspiracy theory. Twitter filed an application in June 2019 asking the B.C. court to dismiss or stay Giustra's lawsuit or decline its jurisdiction in favour of the courts in California, where the company is headquartered. Justice Elliott Myers says in a decision posted online Friday that the court does have jurisdiction because Giustra has close ties to B.C. and tweets were published in the province and refer to B.C. None of the allegations has been proven in court and Twitter declined to comment on the ruling, which only concerns jurisdiction and does not assess the merits of the civil claim. Giustra says in a statement he hopes the lawsuit helps raise awareness of the real harm to society if social media platforms are not held responsible for the content published on their sites. "I believe that words do matter, and recent events have demonstrated that hate speech can incite violence with deadly consequences," he says. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan is reporting an increase of 386 COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Friday. The province said two deaths were in the 60 to 69 age group, one in the northeast and one in the southeast. Two others were in the 80+ age group, one in the Saskatoon zone and one in the southeast region. The new cases are in the following zones: Far northwest (46). Far north central (two). Far northeast (24). Northwest (45). North central (38). Northeast (36). Saskatoon (88). Central west (two). Central east (14). Regina (42). Southwest (one). South central (four). Southeast (30). Pending location (10). There were also four cases that were added to Saskatchewan's total due to out-of-province tests. The province said 210 people are in hospital, the most since the pandemic began. One hundred and seventy-five are receiving in-patient care while 35 are in the ICU. There are 4,010 known active cases in the province. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 320 or 26.4 per 100,000 people. The province said 3,455 tests were processed on Thursday. As of Friday, the province said 14,017 total vaccines have been administered in the province, with 2,032 doses given Thursday. Seniors aged 70 and up in Wakaw and Cudworth were getting vaccinated Friday, while seniors in Rostern and the surrounding area will have a clinic on Saturday. Vaccination clinics are also being held the north central region in Canwood, Shellbrook, Birch Hills, Debden, Blaine Lake, Candle Lake and Christopher Lake. CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Alongside Canada’s national flower, sport, symbol and bird, is a national animal that is often forgotten. Canada’s national horse, Le Cheval Canadien, is in danger of disappearing. An Uxbridge equestrian centre, however, is dedicated to the revival of this special breed. Hundreds of years ago, in about 1665, King Louis XIV of France began shipping mares and stallions, with bloodlines from the King’s Royal Stud, to Acadia and New France. These horses had great abilities to adapt to harsh climates (like Canada’s cold winters), rough terrains and were easily trained. They became known as the Canadian Horse, or Le Cheval Canadien. While the breed was well known to American colonists, it is rather rare today. After being used in the American Civil War and for breeding to diversify genetics in American stock, but its popularity in Canada waned. Despite this, however, and despite the fact that the horse was smaller in size and often thought of as the “Quebec pony,” the Canadian Horse was declared by the Parliament of Canada to be the National Horse of Canada in 1909. In 2018, Barb Malcom, owner and head coach of Churchill Chimes Equestrian Centre on Webb Rd., committed to doing her part to save the Canadian Horse. Alongside her riding school, Malcolm set up a sister company called Donalf Farms, specifically to breed the Canadian horses in an attempt to bring back the name and the breed. “I had worked as a professional for over 20 years and just happened to buy an unpapered Canadian gelding. He is one of the most darling horses I’ve ever had,” says Malcom. Very soon Malcom fell in love with the breed. “They are durable, willing, personable and versatile. I went from being a “crossbreed person” to being completely wowed by this purebred.” “It’s one thing for Canadians not to know Canada has a national horse, but for horse people not to know, it just shows how much the breed is in trouble,” says Malcom. If it weren’t for a pandemic, this year Malcom had plans to contact Heritage Canada and rally for government assistance in the fight for the Canadian Horse. “We would love to see federal support,” says Malcom. “It really is an altruistic endeavour, but they're worth it.” Malcolm dreams of one day having all the horses in her riding school be Canadian Horses. “They are so little known, but absolutely remarkable,” says Malcolm. For more information about the national horse of Canada, visit lechevalcanadien.com or find Malcom’s breeding farm at donalffarms.com Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
Now that a stay-at-home order has been issued by the provincial government, it’s a good time to refresh the memory on what outdoor activities can be done, and what safety protocols must be observed. As the community slogs its way through this second wave of increasing COVID-19 cases, the Uxbridge trail system, tobogganing hills and local ponds are filling up with people. But Mayor Dave Barton opened this week’s council meeting by reminding the community of the importance of social distancing when enjoying outdoor winter fun. “If you get to the toboggan hill and there are lots of people there, go home for a while and come back later when there are fewer people,” said Barton in his remarks. The trails are also busy spaces. Snow shoeing, cross country skiing, biking and hiking is enticing many visitors. Just this past Saturday, at least 100 cars lined Conc. 7, just south of Uxbridge, at the Durham Regional Forest trail entrances. While the air circulation and wide open space is comforting, healthcare experts remind the public that maintaining distance is still necessary. Dr. Carlye Jensen, from the Uxbridge Health Centre, points out that, while outdoor transmission is low, it is not zero. “Getting outside is a great way to relieve the pressures of lockdown. We have beautiful trails and wonderful streets to walk along. Just remember that when you are on these trails it is still important to keep your distance from those not within your bubble.” Dr. Jensen also notes that the new variant of the COVID-19 virus appears to be more easily transmitted, and that it’s not the time to let guards - or face masks - down. Dr. Jensen advises, “If you can't be six feet apart, then turn your face away, wear a mask or step off the path to allow safe space between you and others.” During its announcement on Tuesday, the provincial government recommended that everyone wear masks both indoors and out as much as possible. Tuesday’s announcement also outlined that police officers and provincial offences officers now have the authority to disperse crowds of more than five people who appear to not be from the same household, and to shut down the relevant location. For more on the current shutdown, visit https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59922/ontario-declares-second-provincial-emergency-to-address-covid-19-crisis-and-save-livesJustyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
Fear that the winter would bring a rash of renters being kicked out of their homes has abated with the provincial government’s decision to pause residential evictions. The emergency order to temporarily stop the enforcement of evictions was announced Thursday at the start of a provincial stay-at-home-order. It is meant to ensure people are not forced to leave their homes during the current state of emergency related to the persistent pandemic, unless there’s been illegal activity. “We’ve been calling for an eviction moratorium beyond just the enforcement for the duration of the pandemic,” said Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario spokesperson Bahar Shadpour. Housing is the primary defence against the spread of the virus, she said. “We’re definitely glad to see that there has been movement on this," said Shadpour. A ban on evictions introduced early on during the pandemic was lifted in August and in the following months, Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board resumed its operations in a virtual capacity. As it worked toward dealing with a backlog, there were concerns that many people would be forced out of their homes in the winter. Thursday’s order is not an outright ban. The Landlord and Tenant Board will continue to hear eviction applications and issue orders, but those orders won’t be enforced while the emergency order remains in place. The exception is in urgent situations, such as illegal activity. Enforcement can resume once the emergency order is lifted, and that could result in pressure on the local sheriff’s office to enforce the evictions. “When the 'pause' in enforcement of eviction orders is lifted, landlords may well find a delay in their ability to effect enforcement of eviction orders that have been made,” said Michael Hefferon, executive director of the Community Legal Clinic – Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, which helps tenants experiencing housing issues. The resulting delays in evictions will also put pressure on landlords in the Barrie area and Simcoe County, where rental housing is predominantly provided in non-purpose-built housing, such as condos and homes converted into apartments. That’s something Lisa Fox feared would happen. As a small landlord, she dispatched a letter to Premier Doug Ford on Wednesday urging him against stopping evictions. She had earlier protested in front of Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop’s Midland office. Fox and her husband are small landlords who purchased a four-plex in Orillia to help with retirement in the absence of pensions. But one tenant stopped paying rent in August and another stopped in October. The accumulating rental arrears now exceeds $15,000, said Fox, adding that she’s had to rely on a line of credit to pay the bills. Her applications to the Landlord Tenant Board have not been addressed, as the board deals with a pre-existing backlog compounded by its closure during the early part of the pandemic. “While the LTB (Landlord and Tenant Board) is still hearing cases, this 'perceived' good-news, bad-news scenario does not help the small landlords who are going bankrupt as they continue to house the freeloading professional tenant who knows the loopholes in our broken LTB system,” said Fox. “People are just not aware of how massive this issue actually is," she added. "For every diligent irresponsible tenant out there squatting, there is another responsible tenant who can’t find a home to live in.” Shadpour, from the tenants group, said there was a dramatic increase in the number of evictions ordered for the Central Ontario region, which includes Barrie, after board hearing resumed. In November, there were 764 cases, double the 376 cases heard in November 2019. Although, the pace slowed in December with 416 cases heard, above the 358 cases in December 2019. “Rents are so high that if they’re evicted, it is really difficult for them to find stable and secure housing,” Shadpour said. “Because of the current situation that we’re in, for both public health and safety of tenants and their family we’ve been calling for an eviction moratorium so that we can weather the storm and everyone has a place to shelter in.”Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested Friday and charged with trying to organize an armed response to pro-President Donald Trump protesters expected at the state capitol on Sunday, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced. Daniel Baker of Tallahassee was using social media to recruit people in a plot to create a circle around protesters and trap them in the Capitol, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent. The court document describes a series of threats of violence and a prediction of civil war. Baker is described as anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists and anti-police. "Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe in a news release. Baker was kicked out of the Army in 2007 after going AWOL before being deployed to Iraq. The affidavit said Baker was then homeless and largely unemployed for the following nine years, most of the time in Tallahassee. “REMEMBER THAT THE COPS WONT PROTECT US BECAUSE THE COPS AND KLAN GO HAND IN HAND!" Baker wrote on a Facebook event page he created, according to the affidavit. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!” The Associated Press
The U.S. Justice Department's top antitrust official said on Friday the administration will not scrap decades-old agreements with music licensing groups ASCAP and BMI that hold down costs for Spotify and others. The department's review of the matter had been closely watched since scrapping the 1941 consent agreements could upend the business of licensing music to online companies like Spotify and Pandora as well as movie companies, commercials, bars and restaurants. Without the decrees, companies of any size seeking to play music would have to negotiate rights in a chaotic transition while also facing the prospect of price hikes, said the MIC Coalition, whose members include the Brewers Association and National Restaurant Association.
Belle Phillips is not your ordinary student. The young woman not only decided to make the most out of her education, but also to help other Onkwehón:we students achieve their full potential. She knew that being part of Concordia University’s Indigenous Directions Leadership Council (IDLC) would support her in doing just that. Last fall, the 21-year-old Kahnawa’kehró:non was chosen to fill the only undergraduate seat on the IDLC. When Phillips received the email sent to all Onkwehón:we students, most undergrads would have brushed it off, but the position sparked something in her. “And what’s the worst in trying?” she said. Phillips started her one-year contract in October with IDCL. The organization’s goal is to morph the university into being a more inclusive and respectful environment for all Onkwehón:we. With community member Donna Kahérakwas Goodleaf, Phillips is now part of a proud line of six other Kanien’kehá:ka that previously sat on the council. And it certainly will not end there. She explained that some of her mandate’s responsibilities are to increase community engagement, to bring more support and educate the Concordia community about Onkwehón:we culture, language and issues. It’s all about Indigenizing Concordia. “For me, it means that Indigenous people feel like they have a place in such a big community,” said the second-year student. “There are so many students and groups that sometimes Indigenous students tend to feel like they don’t know where they fit.” Not knowing where to fit is something that Phillips experienced firsthand after she graduated from Kahnawake Survival School as a recipient of the Tionores Muriel Deer scholarship. When she started CEGEP at Champlain College, in St. Lambert, Phillips noticed the lack of representation. “It was me, my brother and his girlfriend and only a few others that represented the Indigenous population,” said Phillips. She said that back then, it felt like Onkwehón:we students weren’t even on the college’s radar. The group wanted more, something that resembled what Onkwehón:we resource centres provided at John Abbott College or Dawson College. They formed the Indigenous Student Ambassadors, to offer support to First Nations students. “Our goal was to decolonize the campus at Champlain,” said Phillips, “and within the first year of forming the group, we even got an official location.” Phillips grew up in Kahnawake and remembers always wanting to be involved with the culture and representation - but didn’t find her footing right away. “After high school, I went into nursing, but turned out I hated it,” said Phillips, who’s now pursuing her BA in Human Relations with a concentration in Community Development and a minor in First People Studies. For the past two years, she’s been working part-time at Tewatohnhi’saktha in Kahnawake as the Youth Programs assistant. The job, in addition to school and being part of IDLC is quite a challenge, acknowledged Phillips. However, she said she’s deeply committed to IDLC and hopes to make a real difference at Concordia. “I want to create a safe space for Indigenous students to be,” said Phillips. “I feel like there’s a taboo around Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education, and I really have an interest in developing courses and classes that incorporate Indigenous ways of learning.” Phillips still has a few semesters to go before graduating and sitting on the IDLC will surely allow her to reach her goals. firstname.lastname@example.orgVirginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
GENEVA — The World Health Organization's emergencies chief said Friday that the impact of new variants of COVID-19 in places like Britain, South Africa and Brazil remains to be seen, citing human behaviour for some recent rises in infection counts. “It’s just too easy to lay the blame on the variant and say, ‘It’s the virus that did it,’” Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters. “Well unfortunately, it’s also what we didn’t do that did it.” That was an allusion to holiday merrymaking and other social contacts plus loosening adherence -- in pockets -- to calls from public health officials for people to respect measures like physical distancing, regular hand hygiene and mask-wearing. Also Friday, the WHO's Emergencies Committee issued new recommendations that countries should not require proof of vaccination by incoming travellers amid the pandemic, saying decisions on international travel should be co-ordinated, limited in time, and based on both the risks and the science. “If you look at the recommendation made by the committee around vaccination for travellers, it says ‘at the present time,’” Ryan said. He pointed out that such recommendations noted that vaccines are still not widespread and that it remains unclear whether they prevent transmission between people. The recommendations came after the committee's first meeting in nearly three months. To little surprise, the panel agreed that the outbreak remains a global health emergency, nearly a year after it declared it as one. The advice comes as countries grapple with how to combat the new variants that have fanned concerns about an accelerated spread of the virus — and have prompted new lockdown measures in hard-hit places like Europe. The British government has banned travel from South America and Portugal -- a key gateway of flights from Brazil -- to try to keep the variant in Brazil from reaching Britain and derailing its vaccination program. The committee said it would encourage states “to implement co-ordinated, time-limited and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international travel.” It also called on vaccine manufacturers to make data about the products more available to the WHO, saying delays can affect its ability to provide emergency-use listings that could allow for “equitable vaccine access.” ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Au cours de la semaine, plus de 10 000 doses du vaccin contre la COVID-19 ont été administrées chaque jour en Ontario. Jeudi, 15 609 personnes ont roulé leur manche en Ontario pour recevoir le vaccin contre le coronavirus. En tout, 174 630 doses ont été distribuées. On compte actuellement 17 094 Ontariens pour qui la vaccination est maintenant complétée, ce qui signifie qu’ils ont reçu leurs deux doses nécessaires du vaccin. Près de 3000 nouveaux cas Au cours de la journée de jeudi, 2998 nouvelles infections à la COVID-19 ont été répertoriées en Ontario. Depuis le 25 janvier 2020, 231 308 cas du virus ont été enregistrés en province. La santé publique de l’Ontario déplore, dans son plus récent bilan, 100 décès liés au coronavirus. Toutefois, ce nombre anormalement élevé peut être en partie expliqué par une initiative de nettoyage de données au bureau de santé de Middlesex-London, qui a ajouté 46 décès survenus plus tôt durant la pandémie au rapport de la santé publique provinciale de vendredi. En tout, 5289 ont perdu la vie en raison de la COVID-19 en Ontario. Hospitalisations Actuellement, 1647 personnes atteintes de la COVID-19 sont hospitalisées en Ontario, dont 387 aux soins intensifs. Parmi ces patients, 280 nécessitent l’aide d’un respirateur pour rester en vie. Foyers de soins de longue durée En foyers de soins de longue durée (FSLD), 145 nouveaux cas du virus ont été dépistés jeudi chez les résidents, et 60 chez les membres du personnel. On déplore le décès de 22 résidents de ces établissements causés par la COVID-19, portant le bilan total des résidents de FSLD ayant perdu la vie à 3085 en Ontario. En tout, 10 employés de ces établissements sont décédés, dont deux ayant perdu la vie depuis le début de l’année 2021.Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Flying rocks. Burning tires. Acrid smoke. Haiti braced for a fresh round of widespread protests starting Friday, with opposition leaders demanding that President Jovenel Moïse step down next month, worried he is amassing too much power as he enters his second year of rule by decree. “The priority right now is to put in place another economic, social and political system,” André Michel, of the opposition coalition Democratic and Popular Sector, said by phone. “It is clear that Moïse is hanging on to power.” Hundreds of people in Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien, Jacmel, Saint-Marc and Gonaives marched in support of the opposition, with dozens of demonstrators briefly clashing with police in the capital although the protests remained largely peaceful. Opposition leaders are demanding Moïse’s resignation and legislative elections to restart a Parliament dissolved a year ago. They claim that Moïse’s five-year term is legally ending — that it began when former President Michel Martelly's term expired in February 2016. But Moïse maintains his term began when he actually took office in early 2017, an inauguration delayed by a chaotic election process that forced the appointment of a provisional president to serve during a year-long gap. Haiti's international backers have echoed some of the opposition’s concerns, calling for parliamentary elections as soon as possible. They were originally scheduled for October 2019 but were delayed by political gridlock and protests that paralyzed much of the country, forcing schools, businesses and several government offices to close for weeks at a time. Some in the international community also condemned several of Moïse's decrees. One of those limited the powers of a court that audits government contracts and had accused Moïse and other officials of embezzlement and fraud involving a Venezuelan program which provided cheap oil. Moïse and others have rejected those accusations. Moïse also decreed that acts such as robbery, arson and blocking public roads — a common ploy during protests — would be classed as terrorism and subject to heavy penalties. He also created an intelligence agency that answers only to the president. The Core Group, which includes officials from the United Nations, U.S., Canada and France, questioned those moves. “The decree creating the National Intelligence Agency gives the agents of this institution quasi-immunity, thus opening up the possibility of abuse," the group said in a recent statement. “These two presidential decrees, issued in areas that fall within the competence of a Parliament, do not seem to conform to certain fundamental principles of democracy, the rule of law, and the civil and political rights of citizens.” Moïse has dismissed such concerns and vowed to move forward at his own pace. In a New Year’s tweet, he called 2021 “a very important year for the future of the country.” He has called for a constitutional referendum in April followed by parliamentary and presidential elections in September, with runoffs scheduled for November. “There is no doubt elections will happen,” Foreign Minister Claude Joseph told The Associated Press, rejecting calls that Moïse step down in February. “Haiti cannot afford another transition. We need to let democracy work the way it should.” Joseph said Moïse remains open to dialogue and is ready to meet anytime with opposition leaders to solve the political stalemate. He also said the constitutional referendum won't give Moïse more power but said changes are needed to the 1987 document. “It is a source of instability. It does not have checks and balances. It gives extraordinary power to the Parliament that abuses this power over and over,” Joseph said. “It’s not the president’s own personal project. It’s a national project.” While officials haven't released details of the referendum, one of the members of the consulting committee, Louis Naud Pierre, told radio station Magik9 last week that proposals include creating a unicameral Parliament to replace the current Senate and Chamber of Deputies, extending parliamentary terms and giving Haitians who live abroad more power. The referendum and flurry of decrees are frustrating many Haitians, including Rose-Ducast Dupont, a mother of three who sells perfumes on the sidewalks of Delmas, a neighbourhood in the capital. “The political problems in my country have been dragging on for too long,” she said. “They are never able to find a solution for the nation. ... We are the ones suffering.” The nation of more than 11 million people has grown increasingly unstable under Moïse, who received more than 50% of the vote but with only 21% voter turnout. Haiti is still trying to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew that struck in 2016. Its economic, political and social woes have deepened, with gang violence resurging, inflation spiraling and food and fuel becoming more scarce at times in a country where 60% of the population makes less than $2 a day. “I don’t have a life,” said Jean-Marc François, who wants Moïse gone. “I don’t have any savings. I have three kids. I have to survive day by day with no guarantee that I’ll come home with bread to put on the table.” Some days he works in construction; others he does yardwork or disposes of garbage or moves boxes at warehouses, which sometimes pays 500 gourdes ($7) a day. François said he won't take part in the “circus act” of voting in the referendum or elections. “We’re talking about voting for a new president? A new constitution? Deputies and senators? They’re all going to be the same,” he said. “This is a country of corruption.” Moïse has faced numerous calls for resignation since taking office, with protests roiling Haiti since late 2017. The demonstrations have been fueled largely by demands for better living conditions and anger over crime, corruption allegations and price increases after the government ended fuel subsidies. The most violent protests occurred in 2019, with dozens killed, and some worry about even more violence as the opposition steps up its demands that Moïse resign amid fears that elections will be delayed once more. “Can the current status quo continue for another year?” said Jake Johnston, senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “Moïse can announce an electoral calendar ... but what signs are there that that’s going to actually happen?” ___ Associated Press writer Evens Sanon reported this story in Port-au-Prince and AP writer Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Evens Sanon And DáNica Coto, The Associated Press
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, said he is “disappointed” by the temporary delay in deliveries of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines, calling it a “bump in the road.” However, he said the government is still on target to receive four million doses of the vaccine by the end of March.
The worldwide coronavirus death toll surpassed 2 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as nations around the world are trying to procure multiple vaccines and detect new COVID-19 variants. It took nine months for the world to record the first 1 million deaths from the novel coronavirus but only three months to go from 1 million to 2 million deaths, illustrating an accelerating rate of fatalities. "Our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone ," United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said in a video statement.
“Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” - that’s the motto for the week as Ontario hits another COVID-19 milestone, reaching more than 5,000 deaths from the virus. In light of this statistic, new measures that the province has announced gives local by-law officers more authority to ensure the public complies with the new measures, as well as authority to ticket and fine those who don’t. On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the second state of emergency for the province, effective immediately, along with a mandatory stay-at-home order, commencing today (Thursday). These new restrictions require all Ontarians to stay at home unless going to grocery stores, pharmacies, or medical appointments. Further restrictions will be in place for workplaces. All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close by 8 p.m. Under the Reopening Ontario Act, both individuals and businesses that do not fall in line with these newly imposed measures could face fines and up to a year in jail, according to the Solicitor General. Uxbridge By-Law Services said Tuesday that enforcement of the measures continues to be a joint effort between municipal law enforcement officers, the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS), the Region of Durham Health Department, and various government of Ontario provincial offences officers. Kristina Bergeron, manager of Uxbridge By-Law Services, said that enforcement will be conducted both proactively and complaint based. “If residents have observed a violation, they are asked to report the violation to the Durham Regional Police Service non-emergency number at 905-579-1520 or submit a complaint online at www.drps.ca under Online Services - Community Concerns. DRPS is the main point of contact for complaints, and matters deemed required to be addressed by municipal law enforcement will be dispensed to us through DRPS,” said Bergeron. On Tuesday, the province also shared new modeling data showing the infection curve set to take a steep rise in the next few weeks. With a positivity rate of more than five percent in all age groups, a survey by the government showed that only a third of the population is actually following Public Health guidelines in a manner that will help to end the pandemic. Dr. Matthew Anderson, president and CEO of Ontario Health, fears that Ontarians are not afraid as they were in the first wave of the virus. “When you’re a bit younger, you feel a bit immortal. But we’re not. And we are seeing trends where people who are younger are getting COVID, and while the mortality rate may not be as high, we can certainly see continued morbidity for those people. So there’s really no one who should consider themselves immune until they are vaccinated.” Over the past four weeks there has been a 72 per cent increase in hospitalizations and a 61 per cent increase in ICU patients. Half of the province’s hospitals have run out of capacity and can no longer take patients for emergencies such as traumas from accidents, heart attacks or emergency surgeries. This type of ICU occupancy can compromise care across the province. As of Monday evening, another eight cases of the UK variant, V117, were found in Ontario. Dr. Anderson said that if this new strain spreads through community transmission, Ontario residents can expect to see the case curve rise close to vertical by the end of January. By Tuesday evening, more than 133,000 doses of the COVID vaccine had been administered in Ontario, with over 6,000 Ontarians fully vaccinated with a second dose. “We have hope on the horizon, it’s in sight, it's in reach,” said Ford. To get ‘herd immunity’, experts say approximately 60 to 70 per cent of the population will need to be vaccinated. A group of North Durham doctors and medical administrative staff are working to get the vaccination serum into the Uxbridge community and say that once it is here, the community will be informed. Uxbridge currently has 14 active cases with only one of those being hospitalized. According to the Durham Region Public Health website, both Reachview Village and Uxbridge Cottage Hospital still have outbreak status. For more, visit durham.ca/covidcasesJustyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
Alberta is easing restrictions on outdoor social gatherings, funerals and on businesses such as barbershops and tattoo studios. Starting Monday, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people but indoor gatherings are still banned. Funerals can now have 20 people in attendance, but receptions are still prohibited. Personal wellness services can reopen by appointment only. Businesses include hair and nail salons, aesthetics, reflexology, and piercing and tattoo shops. “If we continue to see case rates and hospitalizations and out ICU admissions continue to slow down and go down, we will continue to open things back up,” said Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “It’s that simple.” Shandro said Alberta's health authorities do not yet know when other COVID-19 measures will be lifted. However, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said more restrictions will be lifted if active cases continue dropping. "This first move is a test case," she said. "This is our opportunity to give Albertans a little bit more freedom and the ability to do a few more activities in a safe way." Hinshaw warned the easing of restrictions and shrinking number of new daily cases does not mean the crisis has been contained. Hospitalizations are still high and Alberta's health-care system is still strained, she said. "By easing some measures like outdoor gathering limits, we hope to support Albertans’ mental health, while still following other restrictions that are helping us reduce case numbers," said Hinshaw. Economic Minister Doug Schweitzer also announced that Alberta's small and medium business relaunch grant will include businesses that started between March 1 and Oct. 31. Businesses that have seen at least a 30 per cent drop in revenue because of COVID-19 could be eligible for up to $15,000. Applications open Feb. 4. email@example.com Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today