After a big game from Tony Pollard, Liz Loza and Matt Harmon discuss Ezekiel Elliott's future with the Cowboys.
Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
After a big game from Tony Pollard, Liz Loza and Matt Harmon discuss Ezekiel Elliott's future with the Cowboys.
Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
While Ontario and Quebec are the epicentres of COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada, people in First Nations are being hit the hardest in Western Canada, where they make up half the number of hospitalizations in some provinces. The rising curve is alarming federal officials, who urged the provinces during a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday to continue prioritizing Indigenous populations as they roll out vaccines. "So what we're saying to Canadians, to Indigenous Peoples, is now is not the time to let down your guard," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said. "This is not the time to ease public health restrictions." As of Jan. 19, Indigenous Services Canada was reporting 5,571 active cases on reserves — most of them in Prairie provinces: British Columbia: 580 Alberta: 1,312 Saskatchewan: 1,196 Manitoba: 2,241 Ontario: 93 Quebec: 144 Atlantic: 5 Indigenous Services Canada has reported 13,873 confirmed COVID-19 cases on reserves since last March. More than 90 per cent are in Western Canada: British Columbia: 1,348 Alberta: 4,459 Saskatchewan: 3,525 Manitoba: 3,643 Ontario: 428 Quebec: 462 Atlantic: 8 First Nation leaders and health experts say there are several reasons why infections are increasing in First Nations in Western Canada, including overcrowding, gatherings, people letting their guard down, relaxed restrictions and people driving in and out of communities with road access for goods and work. Lack of housing With COVID-19 caseloads rising all across Canada, the pandemic is emerging in places where it wasn't before, said Dr. Anna Banerji, an infectious disease specialist at Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. "It's quite concerning that COVID is starting to break into these communities," Banerji said. "They've held the forts for so long." Banerji researched respiratory infections in Inuit communities for over two decades. She said the main risk factors facing First Nations are poor access to health care services, underlying ailments, food insecurity, poverty and overcrowding. Banerji said she fears that when people get sick in First Nations, they can't find places to self-isolate. Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, 628 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, said his community needs 600 more houses. "When you have people living under one roof, anywhere from six to as high as 14 members living under one roof on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, you can see how quickly that spread can happen," Sinclair said. "We're second-class citizens living in Third World conditions in a first world country." Opaskwayak Cree Nation has had success in preventing and controlling outbreaks by enforcing curfews and monitoring who enters and leaves the community with border patrols paid for by Indigenous Services Canada. The highest funding requests the department has seen for the Indigenous Community Support Fund — which was created to help communities fight COVID-19 — have been for perimeter security, said Valerie Gideon, associate deputy minister of Indigenous Services. Close to 350 First Nations across the country have closed their borders to non-essential travel, she added. But even with the added layer of security in some places, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says 50 per cent of all active COVID cases in Manitoba are First Nations members. Call for stricter provincial measures Relaxed provincial measures are also being blamed for the rise in First Nations cases. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan is calling on the province to close bars and liquor establishments. "We believe alcohol in the bars is a contributing factor," said FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt, who recently recovered from COVID-19. "When you're on alcohol, you're more likely to lose your inhibitions, share drinks and not keep those social distance practices in practices and in check." Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs' Organization in Manitoba is urging the provincial and federal governments to enforce tougher rules to limit travel. Daniels said he thinks caseloads are rising because of people going back and forth from First Nations to urban areas. "I think until COVID is completely wiped out, they should be taking the strongest approach possible," Daniels said. Daniels said nearly 80 per cent of the 34 Anishnaabe and Dakota communities he represents are trying to control the spread of COVID-19. Concern for loss of elders Dr. Shannon McDonald, acting chief medical officer at the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia, said there isn't enough rapid testing available to test everyone who needs to travel to B.C. First Nations, and some tests can't detect infections in their first few days. "It only takes one person to come in and spend time with people in the community," McDonald said. McDonald fears the pandemic could take a particularly heavy toll on First Nations communties. "I always worry about our elders," McDonald said. "Our elders are our knowledge-keepers, our language holders and they are the human libraries, culturally. So communities are very sensitive to that, but individuals who are choosing not to adhere to public health advice are putting those individuals at risk and I really worry about that." Lawrence Latender, a member of Dauphin River First Nation, has felt first-hand the impact of COVID-19 during an outbreak in his community 250 kilometres north of Winnipeg. He recently lost seven neighbours and friends to the virus, including two aunts and an uncle. "I don't know if I had time to really grieve because it's one thing after the other," Latender said. "It's like you're focused on one death and then you're, well ... 'OK now I got to focus on this one. Ok, this one is gone, now I got to focus on this one.'" Letander, his wife and two young sons also tested positive, but have since recovered. Indigenous Services Canada says that, so far, there have been 120 COVID-19 deaths in First Nations. But with 169 Indigenous communities now administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and more doses on the way, there's hope the chain of transmission will break.
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines late Wednesday, overcoming Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member. It's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president’s administration. On Thursday, the new Senate majority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he hoped Biden's nominees for the departments of Defence, Homeland Security, State and Treasury could also be swiftly confirmed. “To leave these seats vacant does a disservice to America,” Schumer said at the Capitol. Schumer introduced all six new Democratic senators — the “majority makers” — who he said represent an “expanding Democratic majority." Four are from the West and two from the South. They are a diverse group bringing several firsts to the Senate, along with Schumer's rise as the first Jewish majority leader of the Senate. The three who joined on Wednesday — Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California — took the oath of office from Kamala Harris, a former California senator who is first woman to be vice-president, and the first Black woman and Asian-American to hold that office. Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, is the first Black senator from Georgia. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, is Jewish and also the now youngest member of the Senate, at 33. They won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans, to lock the majority for Democrats. Padilla, a the son of immigrants from Mexico, becomes his state's first Latino senator, tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. They join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee, Alejandro Mayorkas, over Biden's proposed immigration changes. McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. At her first White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. ___ This story has been updated to correct that Sen. Tom Cotton represents Arkansas, not Oklahoma. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's provincial health officer and health minister say the province's COVID-19 case count is "trending in the right direction."Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say public restrictions will ease if the number of COVID-19 cases continue to drop.The province reported 500 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.There have been a total of 62,412 cases since the pandemic began and there are 4,345 active cases.There have also been 14 new deaths, bringing to 1,104 the number of COVID-19 related fatalities since March. Henry and Dix say in a joint statement that 98,125 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.Dix told a news conference on Tuesday that the province was still on track to begin administering second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
A federally-funded environmental monitoring institute could be in Fort Chipewyan’s future as the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) pushes for a local research hub. In late December, Parks Canada announced $59.9 million during the next three years to fund conservation efforts in Wood Buffalo National Park. MCFN expects some funding to support the creation of the Delta Institute, an environmental research and monitoring group that leadership has been planning for more than three years. “This place could really be an example of how Indigenous knowledge and Western science could work together,” said Melody Lepine, director of government and industry relations for MCFN. “It’s about collaboration and showing that we want to protect our delta.” Fort Chipewyan is home to the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the largest freshwater inland river delta in North America. Lepine said the delta attracts scientists and researchers from all over the world. The Delta Institute would be based in Fort Chipewyan and have smaller field stations across the delta. This would give scientists visiting the community a home base for research trips. Youth and elders could also be brought to field stations for educational trips. Lepine hopes this will make it easier for Fort Chipewyan residents to learn about monitoring and research projects in the Peace-Athabasca Delta. Scientists and researchers will often come to Fort Chipewyan to study the delta, but won’t always share their findings locally, said Lepine. The Delta Institute requires scientists and researchers to collaborate with community knowledge holders in their studies. This would help preserve research for future generations. “They collect their data and they often go back to their academic world,” said Lepine. “What was that study about? How can we use those results in protecting and managing the delta?” Much of the research Fort Chipewyan’s leaders want to preserve include interviews with elders and knowledge holders. For MCFN, preserving Indigenous cultural knowledge is as important as studying Western science. “We are going to make sure those worldviews are balanced,” said Lepine. “Strong preservations of knowledge can be shared to manage very complex issues such as managing ecosystem health, conservation and wildlife management.” Since 2014, MCFN and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee have asked the federal government to help reverse the deterioration of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, which has seen water levels drop for years. The Delta Institute has not yet been approved, but Lepine said Parks Canada is enthusiastic about the project and potential roles in conservation efforts. “The Cree, Dene and Métis people were in that delta long before it became a World Heritage Site and long before it became a national park,” she said. “The institute would be an important instrument to reflect the sacredness of this place.” firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
A Kelowna, B.C., man is questioning why the ski trip he booked with several friends in Ontario to Sun Peaks Resort is being allowed to go ahead as pandemic numbers soar in other provinces and with the B.C. government advising that people avoid all non-essential travel into and within the province. Mark Wenn, a recent Ontario transplant to B.C., said for the past five years he and his wife have booked a ski holiday with a group of friends from Ontario to a different ski resort each year. Last fall, the group chose Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops for its March 2021 trip and made the booking with SkiCan, a travel agency in Ontario, Wenn said. Fast forward to 2021, with the situation with COVID-19 drastically changed since last September. Sun Peaks advises on its website that guests should "follow government recommendations and avoid non-essential travel within B.C. at this time." This month, Wenn reached out to the travel agency to see if he could cancel the booking. "With the travel restrictions and what is happening in Ontario with all the ski hills being shut down and trying to do the right thing, obviously, we don't want to travel to Sun Peaks. We want to remain in our bubble," he said. Wenn found out from the travel agent the trip was still going ahead as planned, and he and his wife would lose their deposits of $500 each, if they backed out, he said. More concerning than losing the deposit, Wenn said, is the issue of the travel agency sending people from Ontario to B.C. "It should be shut down," he said. "The message should be that there is no inter-provincial travel and there is no non-essential travel." The B.C. government strongly discourages non-essential travel both inter-provincially and from one region to another within the province. Last week, Premier John Horgan said the government was getting legal advice to determine whether an inter-provincial travel ban would be doable or even constitutional. 'It just doesn't make sense' Wenn said he thinks travel agencies and ski resorts have a moral duty to ensure their clients abide by the government's directives not to travel for a ski vacation at this time. "But yet, I can join a ski group ... leaving from Toronto with 20 other people and be welcomed at Sun Peaks in March? It just does not make sense," he said. Wenn said about half of his Ontario friends have also decided they won't be going on the ski holiday to B.C. The owner of SkiCan, Karen Nasmith, told CBC news her company warned its customers about the risks of booking a holiday during the pandemic and recommended they purchase travel insurance. She defended withholding deposits as a way to defray the cost of the work her staff does when arranging ski holidays. Nasmith said after bookings are made, the tickets belong to the clients and it is up to each individual whether they still choose to travel or not. 'We rely on people to make the right decision' Sun Peaks resort chief marketing officer Aidan Kelly said the company is advising people to follow provincial health guidelines, including avoiding non-essential travel — a message Sun Peaks displays prominently on its website. "At the end of the day, we rely on people to make the right decision based on their own circumstances," he said. Sun Peaks has not taken the measures that Kelowna's Big White Resort has to keep people off the ski hill by proactively cancelling all out-of-region overnight bookings. "People have been cancelling on their own," Kelly said, adding he estimates 95 per cent of out-of-region guests have decided to follow the travel restriction and cancel or postpone their ski trips. With files from CBC's Daybreak Kamloops and Jenifer Norwell
Two salmon farming operations have applied to the Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver for a judicial review of a decision made by Fisheries Minster Bernadette Jordan to phase out fish farms on B.C.'s Discovery Islands. The decision, released on Dec. 17, 2020, states all 19 farms have to be free of fish by June 30, 2022, when their renewed 18-month licences expire and that no new fish can be brought in. At the time, Jordan said her decision was a result of consultations she had with seven First Nations: the Homalco, Klahoose, K'ómoks, Kwaikah, Tla'amin, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum. "We heard overwhelmingly from First Nations in the area that they do not want these fish farms there," she said. "They feel that they should have a say in their territorial waters, and I absolutely agree with them." Mowi Canada West, and Cermaq Canada, both salmon farming operators in the area located near Campbell River, have applied for the judicial review. In its statement, Mowi Canada West said the decision was "made without consultation of the industry, one week before Christmas." It also outlined the consequences of the decision, including the loss of almost a third of its business, the culling of several million young fish currently in hatcheries and significant job losses in coastal communities. In a statement, Cermaq Canada said it too would have to make labour cuts and put a significant number of fish at risk. It added, however, that its request focuses only on the conduct of DFO and the minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and that it "respects the opinions and the rights of the First Nations in the Discovery Islands region."
WASHINGTON — The White House says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will speak with newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday. Press secretary Jen Psaki says Trudeau will be the first foreign leader to speak with Biden since his inauguration. The two have a lot to talk about: hours after his inauguration, Biden signed an executive order effectively cancelling the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline expansion. In a statement, Trudeau says he's disappointed in the decision, but appreciates Biden's commitment to climate change — a sign Ottawa isn't going to push hard on trying to reverse the decision. He says workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and across Canada will always have the federal government's support. Trudeau cheered some of Biden's other Day 1 decisions, including rejoining the Paris climate accord, blocking oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and renewing ties with the World Health Organization. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
Canada Basketball president and CEO Glen Grunwald says he was blindsided by sanctions levied against the program on Wednesday. The International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, fined the Canadian governing body for the sport up to $227,138 and threatened to dock Canada's national team a point in the standings after it chose not to attend a FIBA AmeriCup qualifier in November on the advice of medical experts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We're going to try and be positive," Grunwald told CBC Sports. "We're going to appeal this because we do think it's unfair and wrong. But we'll play by the rules as they're dictated. And I hope FIBA can be bigger than what they've been here instead of, you know, trying to be strong arming teams to violate public health protocols." The third and final stage of AmeriCup qualifying is scheduled to be held Feb. 18-22, with Canada's group — including Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands — playing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. WATCH | CBC Sports' Vivek Jacob, Jevon Shepherd break down FIBA decision: The games have no bearing on qualification for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. However, failing to qualify for the AmeriCup would end Canada's Paris 2024 Olympic bid. Even after missing two games, Canada could still clinch its AmeriCup spot with two wins in February. One victory would still open the door, while two straight losses spells the worst-case scenario. 'I didn't expect this' In November, Canada Basketball said it was working with FIBA to reschedule the games it would miss. Grunwald said progress was made on that front in the interim. Just two months later, the 62-year-old former Toronto Raptors executive says the program was surprised by its punishment. "I didn't expect this, actually," Grunwald said. "So then for this to come out of the blue, when I had been advised earlier that if we were not participating because of medical reasons, it would not be any penalties. So, again, very disappointed and a bit disillusioned with the approach." CBC Sports contacted FIBA, asking a number of questions including how it came to the ruling, what the criteria for the ruling was, as well as if Canada Basketball was made aware of the decision prior to making it public. "As proceedings are in progress, FIBA, unfortunately, cannot make any comment on the matter," it said. In its statement on Wednesday, FIBA said that Canada would only be fined half the amount and would not lose a point if it attends the February tournament. If not, those sanctions would remain in place. "It is kind of a threat. We're working really hard and our medical staff has been awesome," Grunwald said. "One of the great things about the Canadian sport community is we're all working together in this very difficult time." Exploring more testing, longer quarantine Head coach Nick Nurse agreed with Grunwald's sentiments about FIBA's sanctions. "I back the decision [not to play] by Canada Basketball," he said. "It was all about player safety for us. And we just didn't feel like we could execute it and keep our players as safe as we wanted to at that point, which I think is understandable. "We look forward to getting playing hopefully in February and getting on to the Olympic qualifier and going from there." Grunwald said Canada Basketball is hopeful to participate in that February window and is working with health experts to stiffen protocols from what they were in November. Those measures could include more frequent testing, verification of those tests and longer quarantine periods. The program is working with lawyers to sort out the next step in the appeals process. An official appeal must be filed within the next 14 days. "Ideally, we will win the appeal, and we won't have to pay it, but if we do have to pay it, I would hope that FIBA contributes that money to COVID-19 front-line workers and other people that are working in this area where they really do need support instead of pocketing the cash," Grunwald said. Canada currently sits 1-1 after splitting a pair with the Dominican in February 2020. Games against Cuba and the Virgin Islands had been scheduled for November, with the same opponents set for February 2021. The top three teams in each group qualify for the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup. WATCH | Vivek Jacob of CBC Sports breaks down Raptors' outlook: 'Dangerous precedent' set by ruling, says COC Canada Basketball said in a release Wednesday that not only would its participation have directly contradicted the mandates of the federal government "but also the directive of our chief medical officer and other medical professionals throughout Canada's sport system, including those with Canada Basketball, Sport Canada, Own The Podium, the Return to Sport Task Force, and the Canadian Olympic Committee." As for the COC, CEO and secretary general David Shoemaker said the organization is "extremely disappointed with this ruling." "Canada Basketball should not face punitive sanctions for prioritizing the health and safety of its athletes, coaches and staff during a pandemic of this magnitude." Shoemaker went on to say the COC is very concerned with the decision. "It sets a dangerous precedent and sends the wrong message to sport organizations while the world remains locked in a battle with COVID-19," Shoemaker said to CBC Sports. "In essence, FIBA is saying that Canada Basketball should have sent its team into harm's way, notwithstanding clear medical and public health advice." Shoemaker said the ruling could also negatively impact Canada Basketball's finances, which, he said, were "already decimated by COVID-19." That could have lasting consequences for its operational capacity and "funding for programs that grow the game of basketball across Canada." Shoemaker said the COC continues to stand by Canada Basketball's decision not to travel to the November qualifier in the midst of a pandemic.
Central Mountain Air announced Tuesday it is suspending flights between Fort Nelson, B.C., and the northern hub of Prince George, leaving the small northeastern community with no flight services for at least three months. The Smithers-based airline said flights between Fort Nelson — a municipality of over 3,000 people — and Prince George will not run from Feb. 3 to May 3, at the earliest. Travellers from the Northern Rockies town will need to drive four hours to the nearest airport in Fort St. John, B.C., or continue for a nine-hour drive to Prince George. Central Mountain Air also suspended flights between Prince George and Kamloops in the souther Interior from Feb. 3 to Apr. 5. "Devastating declines in travel and extended provincial health advisories against non-essential travel have necessitated a significant scaling back of our scheduled operations for the foreseeable future," wrote Central Mountain Air CEO Bob Cummings in a statement. Cummings said it's a hard decision to cut back services for remote communities. "I feel horrible," he said to CBC News. "The air transportation link for medical treatment, keeping a base level of the economy going for the resource industry, as well as cargo, medical supplies, mail … these are crucial links for these communities." Fort Nelson Mayor Gary Foster says the flight suspension is particularly challenging for people seeking medical services out of town, as well as medical professionals coming to provide services to the small community. "They would have to spend a day driving [from the airport in Fort St. John or Prince George] to the Northern Rockies and driving a day out," he said. "Plus they would have a rental car. They would have to pay for the length of time they're here in Fort Nelson." Last Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the new federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to make regional airlines a priority along with supporting regional economic development. Foster says federal and provincial governments should step in to support regional airlines like Central Mountain Air amid the economic woes during the pandemic, but he's not optimistic other Canadian airlines are able to fill in the gap to provide services to Fort Nelson. "I think they're all running for cover and they are worried about just staying afloat until the end of this pandemic," he said. Both Air Canada and WestJet have also slashed services because of plummeting demand due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Starting Saturday, Air Canada will cut all its flights from two other B.C. destinations: Prince Rupert on the North Coast and Kamloops.
International students who are on a co-op work term don't have to wait for their permit to begin their job placements, according to a new policy released earlier this week by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Students can start working while their applications for their co-op work permit are being processed. This is a special permit that allows international students to complete all work components related to their academic degree, including co-op terms, internships, and practicum. It is a separate permit that students have to apply for, in addition to their study permit, with which students are authorized to complete non-academic-related work. Amy Braye, the manager of the International Education Centre at Mount Saint Vincent University, said students are now allowed to use the regular work hours allocation from their study permit for their co-op experience while they wait for approval for the special work permit. "Basically the regular work and the co-op work were always separate. And the government has said, listen, we're going to allow that students can use their regular work allotment for their co-op experience, if they want to, and if they can," said Braye. The new policy applies to students who are studying remotely in their home country as well. "In the past, if a student didn't have their co-op work permit, and they said, 'I'm living in China, but Nova Scotia Power wants to hire me, they are OK if I telecommute. Is that acceptable?' We would have advised that no, it's not acceptable," Braye said. But with the new policy, the answer is yes, she said. However, according to IRCC's website, it requires approval from both the institution and the employer. "Ultimately both the employer and the co-op program must be in agreement that the specific opportunity is suitable for remote work from outside of Canada and that the employer can support the student in their learning appropriately," said Janet Bryson, associate director of media relations and issues management at Dalhousie University. A standard study permit only grants students 20 hours per week of off-campus work experience. Students may work full-time off campus during an academic break. "It's still good for students. It means that they can work right towards their co-op, whereas before, they were just barred from working towards their co-op," Braye said. "It doesn't solve all of the problems, because they have to meet the co-op hours that they need." Lu Xu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle Herald
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Parks Canada issued a statement Wednesday that it is willing to meet with members of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation community who have put up a blockade to stop construction to replace the Burleigh Falls Dam. On Jan. 13, members of the first nation community established a blockade, putting a halt to the repair work being done to the dam — which is owned by Parks Canada — because no consultation was made with the nearby community prior to the start of construction. According to Parks Canada’s statement written by David Britton, director of Ontario Waterways, the dam at Lock 28 of the Trent-Severn Waterway is one dam in a chain of dams and an integral part of the water management structure of central Ontario. “Engineering inspections in recent years have identified the declining condition of the Burleigh Falls Dam. A significant void at the base of the dam undermines the dam’s structural integrity, and is cause for concern regarding both public safety, and the protection of properties and species, including an important Walleye fishery,” Britton wrote. “Concrete strength inspections have showed deterioration beyond what is deemed acceptable. These factors indicate that the dam is at or nearing the end of its useful life, and requires a major intervention. Parks Canada is proceeding with a full replacement of the dam, following the current phase of construction that will first stabilize the existing dam.” The protesters have said they do not dispute that the dam needs to be replaced but they wanted to be consulted before the construction began. Britton said the federal government is committed to working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationships with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, collaboration and partnership. “Parks Canada has offered to meet with the Kawartha Nishnawbe on the Burleigh Falls Dam replacement project both in 2016 and more recently to understand their concerns regarding the potential impacts of the project. Parks Canada remains available to do so and hopes to connect in a meaningful way through this process,” Britton wrote. Parks Canada has met with Curve Lake First Nation and the other Williams Treaties First Nations on the first phase of the project and has arranged mitigation measures, including on-site monitors, to address their concerns, Britton added. “Parks Canada continues to meet with Curve Lake First Nation and the other Williams Treaties First Nations on the upcoming phases of work for the Burleigh Falls dam replacement project and are working together to develop fisheries monitoring and mitigation plans,” he wrote. Originally the Trent-Severn Waterway had planned to rehabilitate the dam, but could not find a contractor that could do the work, so a decision was made to replace the dam. Parks Canada plans to complete the work by 2024. Kawartha Nishnawbe members could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.com Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is calling for the federal government to impose economic sanctions against the United States in response to newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden's "gut punch" decision to tear up the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline expansion. "As friends and allies of the United States, we are deeply disturbed that one of President Biden's first actions in office has been to rescind the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline border crossing. This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies," Kenney said at a news conference late Wednesday. "Sadly, it is an insult directed at the United States' most important ally and trading partner on Day 1 of a new administration." Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn't consult with Canada first before acting but saved his strongest criticisms for federal Liberals, whose statements in response to Biden's actions Kenny characterized as too accepting. "If the U.S. government refuses to open the door to a constructive and respectful dialogue about these issues, then it is clear that the government of Canada must impose meaningful trade and economic sanctions in response to defend our country's economic interests," he said. The lack of a strong response sets a precedent that could allow other members of Biden's government to call for other "retroactive" permit revocations for existing pipelines, Kenney said. Part of Keystone XL has been built but it is not complete, nor is it operating. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disappointment at the news on Wednesday. "While we welcome the president's commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the president’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL," he said in a brief statement that outlined previous efforts to make a case for the project to the incoming administration. Biden's first phone call with a foreign leader will be with Trudeau, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, noting that she expected the Keystone decision would be among matters under discussion. Earlier in the day, TC Energy said Biden's action overturns extensive regulatory reviews that found the pipeline would transport needed energy in an environmentally responsible way and bolster North American energy security. The Calgary-based company also warned the move would lead to the layoffs of thousands of union workers and comes despite the company's commitments to use renewable energy to power the pipeline and forge equity partnerships with Indigenous communities. The Biden decision was condemned by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "This action is killing thousands of Canadian and American jobs at a time when both economies badly need private investment," said CEO Tim McMillan in a statement. Meanwhile, environmental groups applauded Biden's move. "Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clear indication that climate action is a priority for the White House," said Dale Marshall, national climate program manager for Canada's Environmental Defence. "We should take heed when the biggest customer for Canada’s oil kills a pipeline that is already under construction. The Keystone XL pipeline never made sense for either the U.S. or Canada." Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said it's "incredibly troubling" that TC Energy has suspended work on Keystone XL. Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole called the cancellation of the permit "devastating." "We need to get as many people back to work, in every part of Canada, in every sector, as quickly as possible. The loss of this important project only makes that harder," O'Toole said. The Business Council of Canada and the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada said in news releases they are disappointed. “Pulling the plug on a major project, hours after taking office, is a rocky starting point for resetting Canada/U.S. relations,” said PCAC president Paul de Jong. The association, whose member companies employ thousands of Alberta and B.C. construction workers, said the pipeline would have generated as many as 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada and the United States. "Canadian oil will be an important source of North American energy for decades to come, and will play a critical role as Canada and the United States work together to transition to a low-carbon economy," said Goldy Hyder, CEO of the Business Council of Canada. TC Energy approved spending US$8 billion in the spring of 2020 to complete Keystone XL after the Alberta government agreed to invest about US$1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) as equity and guarantee a US$4.2-billion project loan. Kenney has said the province has about $1 billion at risk if the project is killed. The 1,947-kilometre pipeline is designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. From there it would connect with the company's existing facilities to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast — one of the world's biggest oil refining hubs. TC Energy announced a plan Sunday for the Keystone XL project to achieve net-zero emissions by spurring an investment of over US$1.7 billion in communities along the Keystone XL footprint to create about 1.6 gigawatts of renewable electric capacity. The Calgary-based company has also struck a deal with four labour unions to build the pipeline and has an agreement in place with five Indigenous tribes to take an ownership stake. Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion, including across the Canada-U.S. border, and construction has begun on pump stations in Alberta and several U.S. states. TC Energy said it will stop capitalizing costs, including interest during construction, effective Wednesday, and will evaluate the carrying value of its investment in the pipeline, net of project recoveries. It says this will likely result in "substantive" mostly non-cash writedowns in its first-quarter financial results. The company remains committed to growing earnings and dividends through its investments in critical energy infrastructure even without Keystone XL, said Francois Poirier, who took over as TC Energy CEO at the beginning of the year. “Our base business continues to perform very well and, aside from Keystone XL, we are advancing $25 billion of secured capital projects along with a robust portfolio of other similarly high-quality opportunities under development,” Poirier said in a statement. Biden was vice-president in 2015 when Barack Obama rejected Keystone XL for fear it would worsen climate change. Then-U.S. president Trump approved it again in March 2019. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP) Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — An unprecedented impeachment hearing failed to keep TV viewers from settling back into familiar, escapist habits last week. NFL and college football and sturdy drama franchises including the “Chicago” shows on NBC and the “NCIS” group on CBS were among the week's ratings winners, according to Nielsen figures out Wednesday. The second impeachment of now-former President Donald Trump drew viewers to news shows, but not in the numbers that tuned in the prior week to bear witness to rioting inside the U.S. Capitol and gave CNN get its biggest single-day audience ever. CNN had last Wednesday's most-watched impeachment hearing coverage and again claimed the weekly lead among cable news channels. CBS' news magazine “60 Minutes,” which included reports on the Capitol attack and security measures for President Joe Biden's inauguration, was the week's top non-sports broadcast despite competition from a NFL divisional playoff game. That contest, between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints was the week's No. 1 program. It helped make Fox the most-watched network with an average 9.1 million viewers, followed by NBC with 6.4 million. CBS had 4.1 million, ABC had 3.5 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1 million and Ion Television had 940,000. ESPN was the most-watched cable network in prime-time, averaging 3.2 million for the week. CNN had 3.1 million, MSNBC had 2.7 million and HGTV had 1.1 million. ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening news ratings contest, averaging 10.3 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.3 million. For the week of Jan. 11-17, the 20 most-watched programs in prime time, their networks and viewership: 1. NFC Playoff: Tampa Bay at New Orleans, Fox, 35.5 million. 2. NFL Playoff: Baltimore at Buffalo, NBC, 26.2 million. 3. College football championship: Ohio State at Alabama, ESPN, 18.5 million. 4. NFL Pregame, NBC, 18.3 million. 5. NFC Postgame, Fox, 18 million. 6. College football pregame, ESPN, 12.8 million. 7. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.57 million. 8. “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” ABC. 7.8 million. 9. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 7.6 million. 10. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.3 million. 11. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 6.6 million. 12. “Great North,” Fox, 6.1 million. 13. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 5.6 million. 14. “Magnum P.I.,” CBS, 5.5 million. 15. “This Is Us,” NBC, 5.46 million. 16. “The Chase,” ABC, 5.45 million. 17. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.2 million. 18. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 5.1 million. 19. “MacGyver,” CBS, 5 million. 20. “The Price is Right,” CBS, 4.9 million. Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Brooks RCMP say a fire at a grain elevator on Wednesday sent three workers to hospital. According to a release, RCMP responded at 1:34 p.m. to a fire at a grain elevator west of Brooks, near the JBS meat plant at Range Road 150 and Highway 1. The Brooks Fire Department, EMS and Fortis also responded to the incident. RCMP said three workers were transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and asked the public to avoid the area. The fire department has remained on scene for fire suppression efforts. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety will be investigating the fire with Brooks RCMP.
The province’s police watchdog has cleared a Peel police officer of criminal wrongdoing in the shooting death of Jamal Derek Francique Jr. a year ago as his family says they plan to launch an independent investigation. In a Wednesday news release, Special Investigations Unit (SIU) director Joseph Martino said there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the Peel Regional Police officer committed a criminal offence when he shot and killed Francique as he tried to evade police during an attempt to arrest him. The officer fired several shots at the car Francique was driving “to ward off what he believed was an imminent risk to his life,” Martino wrote in his report on the case. “The subject officer had cause to believe that Francique was determined to escape police apprehension regardless of the risk to the health and safety of officers on foot” as he drove his Acura within metres of them, the report said. According to the report, one of several witness officers jumped out of the way of the car, saying she feared for her life. In a news conference responding to the decision, Knia Singh, the family’s lawyer, said he will be launching an independent investigation and analysis of the findings, calling the SIU biased toward police. “The family has been greatly affected by this report confirming the inability to rely on the SIU to hold police accountable,” Singh said, adding that report had inconsistencies that show the “SIU is not conducting thorough, accurate investigations.” Francique’s father Derek Francique, who had been waiting more than a year for answers on his son’s death, said the decision is another example of police and the SIU failing the families of victims. “This report has left my family in further disbelief in the SIU and the police force,” Francique said in a statement. “We will show that the police and the SIU unit have consistently let down communities and families. Our family will get justice for Jamal.” Francique Jr. was shot at around 7:44 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2020, after members of the Peel police street crime unit went to the area near Southampton Drive and Aquinas Avenue in Mississauga to arrest him for breach of conditions related to a drug investigation. The SIU said Francique had visited his girlfriend in the days before the shooting, breaching a court order. The officers found him in a blue Acura TSX and, when officers approached the vehicle, he drove at them, the report said. The subject officer fired several shots at the windshield of the vehicle, hitting Francique in the head. He died in hospital three days later. According to the report, the location of the bullet holes in the Acura — three in the driver’s side of the front windshield and one just in front of the sunroof — suggest it was moving in the officers’ direction throughout the gunfire, the report says. In his conclusion, Martino wrote that while he accepted the subject officer had the option to withdraw from the situation, he had only moments to make a decision in a highly fraught situation. “The officer’s decision may not have been the only one available in the moment, but neither was it unreasonable,” Martino wrote. To that, Singh said all other options but lethal force should have been used. In a statement, Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah called Francique’s death a tragedy that all involved wish could have been averted. “Family and loved ones are left behind with questions and the officers involved are forced to deal with the realities of the stress these outcomes cause,” he said. Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
MENDON, N.Y. — Three National Guard members on a training flight were killed Wednesday when their helicopter crashed in a farmer's field in western New York. The craft, a UH-60 Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter, crashed around 6:30 p.m. in Mendon, New York, a rural town south of Rochester, officials said. The circumstances were under investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration said it would take part. Photos of the crash scene posted by local news media showed the aircraft wreckage burning on a snow-covered field. The helicopter flew out of the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport, and was assigned to C Company of the 1st Battalion, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion, according to Eric Durr, public affairs director of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said flags on state buildings would be lowered to half-staff on Thursday to pay tribute to the troops. “National Guard members are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honourable heroes," he said in a statement. Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said at a news conference that witnesses who called 911 reported hearing the sounds of an engine sputtering and said the aircraft was flying very low. There were no survivors of the crash, he said. Baxter called the three guard members who perished “great Americans.” “Keep them in your minds and your prayers,” he said. The Associated Press
BEIJING — The U.S.'s accusation of genocide against China touches on a hot-button human rights issue between China and the West. In one of his final acts as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo declared Tuesday that China’s policies against Muslims in its Xinjiang region constitute “crimes against humanity” and “genocide.” The same day, British lawmakers narrowly rejected a proposal aimed at China that would have barred trade deals with any country deemed to be committing genocide. The far western region of Xinjiang is home to the predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic group. China denies human rights violations and says its actions in Xinjiang are necessary to counter a separatist and terrorist threat. ___ WHY IS CHINA ACCUSED OF GENOCIDE? Pompeo cited forced birth control among Uighurs, which an Associated Press investigation documented last year, and forced labour, which has been linked by AP reporting to products imported to the U.S., including clothing, cameras and computer monitors. “I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state,” Pompeo said in a written statement, using an alternative spelling for Uighurs. ___ WHAT IS CHINA'S RESPONSE? China strongly defends its human rights record and policies in Xinjiang, saying its constitution and laws treat all citizens equally. It denies imposing coercive birth control measures or forced labour, saying those behind the allegations are lying in an effort to smear China’s reputation and impede its development. Xu Guixiang, a deputy spokesperson for the Xinjiang branch of the ruling Communist Party, told reporters last week that birth control decisions were made of the person’s own free will and that “no organization or individual can interfere.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Wednesday called Pompeo a “doomsday clown” and said his designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely “a piece of wastepaper.” ___ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The genocide designation does not trigger any immediate repercussions, but requires the U.S. to take it into account in formulating policy toward China. It puts pressure on President Joe Biden to maintain a tough line against China. He and members of his national security team have expressed support for such a designation in the past. Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice to be secretary of state, said Tuesday that the Trump administration was right to take a tougher stance on China, but that it had approached the matter poorly by alienating U.S. allies and not fully standing up for human rights elsewhere. ___ HOW WILL CHINA RESPOND? China may wish to avoid an early skirmish with the Biden administration, saving its invective for Pompeo and calibrating its response based on the possibility of tensions easing now after they flared under Donald Trump. As with most sensitive issues, China has heavily restricted foreign media access to Xinjiang and sought to limit any domestic discussion to official pronouncements. Still, the “parting shot" from the Trump administration will likely further stress the relationship in the near term, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China. He said the already slim chances of reducing China-U.S. tensions have been further limited in the coming weeks and months. ___ WHAT HAPPENED IN LONDON? Lawmakers rejected by a 319-308 vote an amendment to a post-Brexit trade bill that would have forced the British government to revoke bilateral trade agreements with a country if the High Court of England found that it had perpetrated genocide. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last week called the amendment “well-meaning” but ineffective and counter productive. A significant number of rebel Conservatives backed the proposal, as did Jewish, Muslim and Christian community leaders. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to continue facing vocal calls within his Conservative party for a stronger and more coherent policy on China over its alleged rights abuses and violations of international norms. The Associated Press
One of the wonders of the world was illuminated Wednesday night in tribute to a larger-than-life businessman from Six Nations of the Grand River. Niagara Falls glowed blue and green between 6 and 11 p.m. in honour of Ken Hill, a multimillionaire cigarette magnate who died Monday of undisclosed causes at his Miami home. He was 62. The falls are usually illuminated to celebrate days of significance and draw attention to worthy causes. Hill joins Canadian prime ministers, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela and basketball superstar Kobe Bryant on the short list of individuals to be memorialized with a light show. In their application to the Niagara Falls Illumination Board for this rare tribute, Hill’s family described him as “legendary, both on and off Six Nations” as the co-founder of cigarette manufacturer Grand River Enterprises, among dozens of business interests that employed thousands of people. Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati remembered Hill as “a strong advocate for Indigenous rights (and) a generous philanthropist.” Hill’s Jukasa Studios sponsored the 2020 Niagara Music Awards last October. “Kenny’s appreciation and love for music inspired him to build a world-class studio and sanctuary for artists and musicians to call home and produce lasting pieces of musical history,” the Ohsweken studio said in a statement. “Kenny was always excited to meet new artists and was delighted to come into the studio and listen to what was being created. He had an undeniable presence that was felt from the moment he walked into a room. That presence will be sadly missed.” Global superstars Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler and Snoop Dogg recorded at Jukasa, and Canadian indie rockers July Talk recorded their Juno Award-winning sophomore album, Touch, on the reserve in 2016. Webster actor Emmanuel Lewis was a fixture at the studio. “You were and still are a legend with the heart the size of a grizzly bear,” Stevie Salas, guitarist and executive producer of music documentary “RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” said of Hill on social media. In a video tribute posted on Monday, rapper Fat Joe said he and Hill had met for lunch in Florida the week before his death. “Kenny Hill is one of the sweetest, most humble people I ever met in my life. He is a gentle giant,” the five-time Grammy nominee said. “Six Nations, Ontario, Canada, my heart goes out to you.” Six Nations councillors extended their condolences to the Hill family, including Elected Chief Mark Hill, who is Ken Hill’s nephew. Ken Hill served three terms on Six Nations Elected Council from January 1986 to December 1991. “Always maintaining Six Nations as his home, Mr. Hill built portions of his industry at the very same corner where he grew up and lived,” read the statement from council. “His ventures also gave back in the form of education and employment opportunities through the local Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Hill and his family while they try to deal with their devastating loss.” According to its website, the Dreamcatcher Foundation provides funding to Indigenous recipients involved in education, sports, health care and the arts, with a particular focus on developing future Indigenous leaders by supporting youth and families in need. Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt told the Sachem that Hill’s loss would be felt far and wide. “It’s hard to fathom and perhaps appreciate the depth and reach he’s had in different communities, and employing so many different people and then helping so many families,” Hewitt said. While Hill enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, he demonstrated his generosity by quietly paying off medical bills for those in need and sending three jet airplanes packed with relief aid to the hurricane-stricken Bahamas in 2019. “Ken Hill was well known across both sides of the border and around the world. He was an advocate for Indigenous rights as well very helpful on and off the reservation,” his family’s statement to the Niagara Parks Commission read. “He along with his best friend Jerry (Montour, co-founder of GRE) worked to help so many people around the world. He will always be loved and surely missed by all.” Sports were a passion for Hill, who sponsored lacrosse, hockey and fast-pitch teams, and co-owned Jukasa Motor Speedway near Nelles Corners. Lacrosse organizations across Canada expressed their condolences, with the Six Nations Snipers saying that Hill’s “impact on lacrosse has been felt locally and across the globe.” Hill assumed control of the Six Nations Chiefs in 1993, after the death of his brother Erlind. The Chiefs promptly won three straight Mann Cups, adding three more national titles in the 2010s. “Words cannot describe the sadness and disbelief that the team is in over the passing of our owner and leader Ken (KR) Hill,” said Chiefs presidents and general manager Duane Jacobs. “Ken was like an older brother to me. He did so much for me and my family. He allowed me to run this team and is directly responsible for all the championships we’ve won. The players were treated well and all he ever wanted in return was championships.” Hill ran the Brantford Golden Eagles junior B hockey team in early 1990s, and at the time of his death owned the junior B Caledonia ProFit Corvairs, sponsored by his Caledonia health club. “Kenny wasn’t just an owner. He was a friend to all players, staff, volunteers and fans,” the Corvairs said in a statement. “Kenny gave his all to make sure everyone was treated respectfully and set up to succeed both on and off the ice. He wanted to create something the community could always be proud of.” Hill also sponsored the world-renowned Hill United Chiefs fast-pitch team and, with Montour, co-owned MontHill Golf and Country Club, south of Caledonia. The business mogul earned millions of dollars tax-free annually, according to court filings, and his life was not without controversy. As an exporter of cigarettes to clients worldwide — including as the exclusive supplier of the German army — Hill and Montour fought legal battles over taxation and licensing, and defended charges of trafficking contraband tobacco in the United States. As a result, Hill’s relationship with Ottawa over the years was not always harmonious. But after his death, federal international trade minister Mary Ng offered her condolences to the family. “I am saddened by the new of Ken Hill’s passing — a community leader, prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory” Ng tweeted. In recent years Hill was involved in a contentious child and spousal support dispute with one of his former partners. Earlier in the pandemic, he made the news after allegedly hosting a large party at his Six Nations mansion in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions. J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
Traditional helper Elaine Kicknosway wants to make sure no more First Nations children belong to “this era of child welfare.” “We have these different labels which are placed upon us as children: neglected, abandoned; in that light of knowing our mothers or community would not raise us,” she said. “I was born in that era.” Kicknosway, of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, was one of four people – two Elders and two youth – who spoke Jan. 19 at the Assembly of First Nations’ first of five virtual conferences on First Nations Child and Family Services and Self-Determination. Kicknosway was joined by Knowledge Keeper Edmond Sackaney and youths Erickson Owen and Cheyenne Mandamin to talk about what they lost growing up away from their families and communities. They spoke of the changes they would like to see in the family and child welfare system as First Nations move forward in implementing C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. Kicknosway said First Nations children were removed from their homes through policies for Indian residential schools, day schools, the Sixties Scoop and child welfare. She referred to this as an “era of when it was blacked-out time”. Taken children were not always told that they were First Nations or what communities they came from. Kicknosway is a Sixties Scoop survivor, having grown up in several foster homes, all of them non-Indigenous. She managed to find her way home with help from an understanding foster family, but no help from the system. “There’s always that ongoing, ‘Oh, you were in child welfare’ or ‘You’re a foster kid’ … all these different labels…. It’s not our shame; we were just kids. It’s not our families’ shame; they were struggling. It’s not our grandparents’ shame,” she said. Bill C-92 recognizes Indigenous peoples' jurisdiction over child and family services as part of their right to self-governance. The federal law came into force Jan. 1, 2020. “We want no Indigenous children in care. We want no Indigenous children in stranger foster care. That should be achievable in five years,” said Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, law professor at the University of British Columbia, who also spoke at the virtual forum. However, one year after the act has became law, only one First Nation has had their childcare law come into effect. As of Jan. 8, Wabaseemoong Independent Nations controls its own child welfare under Anishinaabe law. Indigenous Services Canada Minister Marc Miller told viewers that as of Dec. 23, 2020, there were 26 confirmed Indigenous governing bodies representing 64 Indigenous groups and communities who had submitted notice of requests to exercise jurisdiction under the act. Those 26 Indigenous governing bodies have received nearly $12 million in capacity-building funding, he said. Miller pointed out that $542 million over five years had been announced by his government to support communities at various stages of capacity building. That funding does not include infrastructure development, such as new offices to house child and welfare services. The funding committed by the government, said AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart, who is the social development portfolio holder, has clearly “missed the mark.” The AFN has called for $3.5 billion over five years to do the necessary work. “In many cases First Nations are building from the ground up. We need to establish new laws and reinvigorate traditional laws after years of colonialism, after years of our laws being outlawed and banished altogether through federal and provincial law,” said Hart. “It’s time that Canada steps up and funds First Nations based on actual needs in a way that allows for planning and stability so that First Nations can make this transition in a good way.” Turpel-Lafond agreed. “At some point we’re going to have to get Canada to step up, support us … making sure we have funding to bring these principles to life and to make sure that anytime a First Nations child’s life is being considered somewhere that these principals are there,” she said. The legislation is strong, though, she said, putting the best interest of the child at the centre. Turpel-Lafond said that everything First Nations need to move forward on implementing their own laws and in decision-making and enforcing their jurisdiction over their children and families can be found within this legislation. The legislation gives First Nations and provinces one year to put into place a coordinating agreement, although that timeframe may be extended, she said, due to complications presented through measures to control the coronavirus pandemic. Whatever the timeframe, though, if that undertaking is unsuccessful, First Nation law takes precedent. However, Turpel-Lafond admitted, some provinces are having difficulty letting go of their authority. “I do monitor court decisions in the first year and I look at how there are still big decisions being made about the placement of First Nations kids and they’re not taking into account the federal law adequately. That’s not what we would like to see,” she said. Miler agreed that some provinces were more willing than others to “undertake that discussion.” He said the federal government would do the necessary work with the provinces for the shift in authority. “We’re trying to achieve major change. It’s not on our shoulders completely. Systems need to change and they were very slow to change.… We are shifting, but we need to make sure these shifts are meaningful and they continue at a good pace,” said Turpel-Lafond. Windspeaker.com By Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com