Tomlin the cat crawls inside a terrarium on top of a shelf in typical cat fashion. Too funny!
Tomlin the cat crawls inside a terrarium on top of a shelf in typical cat fashion. Too funny!
Ottawa will not license any Indigenous "moderate livelihood" fishery in Atlantic Canada unless it operates within the commercial season, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Wednesday, siding with a key demand from the region's commercial fishing industry, while angering Indigenous leaders. The statement is a major development in the dispute over treaty rights-based fishing that sparked violence last fall when the Sipekne'katik band launched its own self-regulated 'moderate livelihood' lobster fishery. The fishery in St. Marys Bay in southwest Nova Scotia took place outside the commercial season, angering other fishermen who said it was both unfair and bad for conservation. "Seasons ensure that stocks are harvested sustainably and they are necessary for an orderly, predictable, and well-managed fishery," Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement, confirming a CBC News report earlier in the day. "In effort-based fisheries such as lobster, seasons are part of the overall management structure that conserves the resource, ensures there isn't overfishing, and distributes economic benefits across Atlantic Canada." WATCH | The history of the Mi'kmaw fishery: DFO indicated a willingness to discuss other details with affected First Nation communities. But Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack urged Mi'kmaw bands in Atlantic Canada to reject the federal government's position and told reporters his First Nation will continue to operate its fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021. "They're trying to divide and conquer and throw a carrot to a band or two and have them sign and just hurt everybody's case. So I hope that no other communities do sign. They don't take that low hanging fruit," he said. Sack restated his position that the treaty right was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada's Marshall decision, and accused DFO of trying to divide and conquer the Mi'kmaq. In 1999, the court affirmed the Mi'kmaw treaty right to fish in pursuit of a "moderate livelihood," but under federal government regulations for conservation. Ottawa spent half a billion dollars integrating Indigenous bands into the commercial fishery through licence buy-backs and training, but it never defined "moderate livelihood." Jordan cited part of the Marshall ruling to justify her authority. She noted the Supreme Court said "treaty rights are subject to regulation provided such regulation is shown by the Crown to be justified on conservation or other grounds of public importance." "That is what we are implementing," Jordan said in her statement. The department is offering Indigenous fishermen in Nova Scotia a pathway to sell lobster harvested in a moderate livelihood fishery. Right now, that catch does not have DFO's stamp of approval. Without authorization, they can't legally sell their catch to licenced buyers, such as lobster pounds and processors. Bands that accept DFO's position will receive a moderate livelihood licence that will allow them to sell the catch in 2021. Under provincial rules, only fish products harvested under federal commercial licences can be purchased by shore processors. The federal government "will balance additional First Nations access through already available licences and a willing buyer-willing seller approach, protecting our stocks and preserving the industry for generations to come," Jordan's statement said. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack, right, halted talks with the federal Fisheries Department in December after reaching an impasse.(Paul Withers/CBC) The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs called the government's conditions "unacceptable" and condemned them as part of a "colonial approach" to the rights-based fishery recognized by the Supreme Court. "DFO continues to dictate and impose their rules on a fishery that is outside of their scope and mandate," said Chief Gerald Toney, the assembly's fisheries lead, in a statement. The right to a livelihood fishery isn't, and shouldn't be, driven by industry or the federal government, he said. "It is something that needs to come from the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. Imposing restrictions independently, without input of the Mi'kmaq, on our implementation of Rights is an approach that must stop." Mi'kmaw leaders and some academics have insisted the fishery in St. Marys Bay poses no risk to stocks because it is too small. It's a claim the commercial industry rejects. One organization representing commercial fishermen said the DFO has made public what it had been telling the industry in private. "This position needs to come from them and they need to come out publicly, more often," said Martin Mallet, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen's Union. Mallet said commercial fishermen expect the DFO to enforce its rules if bands operate out of season, including pulling traps and "potentially arresting individuals that are not keeping up with the law." A group representing harvesters in southwestern Nova Scotia said the government's position "can provide certainty" for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen. "However, lasting and consistent enforcement that is fair to all harvesters will be critical," the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance said in a statement. The ambiguity over moderate livelihood led to violence last year when several bands launched self-regulated lobster fisheries — all taking place outside of commercial lobster seasons. In October, two facilities storing Mi'kmaw catches were vandalized, including one that was later burned to the ground. Indigenous harvesters also said hundreds of their traps were pulled by non-Indigenous commercial fishermen. After tensions abated, the DFO pulled hundreds of Mi'kmaw traps out of the water, many bearing band moderate livelihood tags. On Wednesday, the DFO returned to Sipekne'katik more than 200 traps it had seized last fall. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack, shown in October, said Wednesday his band will continue to operate its moderate livelihood fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021.(Pat Callaghan/CBC) When defending the self-regulated fisheries, the Mi'kmaq point to the huge number of commercial traps in the water compared to those from bands. The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, which represents shore buyers, said that is misleading. Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster said he accepts the treaty right but maintains the fisheries must take place within commercial seasons. "The lobster biomass is extremely vulnerable during certain months of the year, most particularly late July, August, September, October, when lobsters are going through their annual molt," said Lamont. "They're literally hungrier than normal. They've taken on a new shell. They are far more readily embraced into a trap." He said hauling lobster at that time is short-sighted. "By the same token, they are of far lesser quality. They tend to be soft and medium shell. It's not a premium product." Commercial lobster fishing season varies across Nova Scotia, in part to maintain a steady supply to the market, and to protect stocks when they are vulnerable. MORE TOP STORIES
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Laurentian Bank Financial Group beat expectations as it reported a first-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago even as its provision for credit losses edged higher. The Montreal-based bank says it earned $44.8 million or 96 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan. 31, up from a profit of $32.2 million or 68 cents per diluted share a year ago. Revenue totalled $247.4 million, up from $238.7 million in the year earlier quarter. The provision for credit losses totalled $16.8 million for the quarter up from $14.9 million a year earlier, due to a rise in allowances on impaired commercial loans. On an adjusted basis, Laurentian says it earned $1.03 per diluted share for its most recent quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 79 cents per diluted share a year earlier. The average analyst estimate had been for an adjusted profit of 74 cents per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. "Our results were driven by a strong performance in capital market activities, the resumption of growth in commercial banking and our strong cost discipline," Laurentian chief executive Rania Llewellyn said in a statement. "We will take the experiences of the past year to propel us forward, as we renew our leadership team and create an organization that is agile, efficient and above all customer centric." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:LB) The Canadian Press
In Chatham-Kent, about 6,000 people have received a COVID-19 shot, according to Dr. David Colby, the medical officer of health. Vaccines have already been rolled out at high-risk seniors' homes, and health-care workers started receiving shots at a clinic that opened late last month. Chatham-Kent is now moving to vaccinate seniors 80 and older who live in the community. It began on Saturday, and Colby thinks first doses can be finished within a week or two. About 2,500 people were vaccinated at clinics on the weekend and Monday. The intention is to go "full steam ahead" and make sure the vaccine supply is used quickly, he said. "We've got enough vaccine to keep our clinic going, so we'll just keep on with that," he said in an interview with CBC Radio's Windsor Morning. "And if we run out before our next shipment, well that just means we've been very good at getting it into people's arms." Dr. David Colby is the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent.(CK Public Health/YouTube) The vaccination roll-out for 80-plus seniors comes at a time when case counts in the municipality have plummeted. There were 13 active COVID-19 cases, as of Tuesday. No COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, and an outbreak at the Fairfield Park long-term care home in Wallaceburg involving 100 cases has been resolved. The numbers have been so low in recent weeks that Colby said last week it was possible for Chatham-Kent to drop multiple steps on the province's colour-coded pandemic framework. However, it was only moved from the red zone to orange on Monday. Colby said the decision is understandable, given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 variants of concern. "We don't want to be too different than our neighbours," he said in reference to other municipalities in the region. "We've been trying to send a general message that we're still having a problem with COVID, despite all the optimism about the vaccine rollout. But people really need to stay home and stay safe and avoid crowds."
Jon Stanfield has about 300,000 medical gowns to help in the battle against COVID-19, but they're sitting unused in his Nova Scotia factory after the federal government decided to stop buying personal protective equipment from his company. Last spring, Stanfield's Ltd. of Truro quickly retrained its staff and retooled its factory at the start of the pandemic and pumped out PPE for front-line workers. That $27.9-million contract ended in October and Stanfield bid for a second contract. "The message from government was that they're going to invest in domestic capacity to make PPE across the country," Stanfield told CBC News on Tuesday. The company paid its PPE workers $1.8 million to keep them employed from October to last week. They produced a few hundred thousand isolation gowns, which are used to protect against the transfer of microorganisms and body fluids. The company thought since Ottawa said it wanted to build domestic capacity for manufacturing PPE, it would give some of 2021's work to Stanfield's, as well. Stanfield's posted this photo of the gowns to social media last month. (Stanfield's) "We're probably the oldest manufacturer of apparel in the country, we have 300,000 square feet, we have training, we bought equipment, we retooled the factory to participate in round two," said Stanfield. "I thought we'd have a level of it. I didn't think it would be zero." But the government accepted different bids, leaving Stanfield's out in the cold. The company laid off 150 workers last week. It still employs about 225 people in its regular clothing business. "This is just disappointing because I think our people — who put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into round one — also thought that we would have a level of work. Because this is what we do." 'We are no longer facing a PPE shortage' Stanfield disputed a Feb. 26 Facebook post by Liberal MP Lenore Zann, who said her government "invested $27.9 million into the initiative in order to enable Stanfield's to switch their factory from making underwear to creating disposable gowns for front-line workers." "They invested zero dollars," said Stanfield. "We negotiated a contract to make gowns for the federal government." Money from the contract went into training and paying workers as well as buying equipment, fabrics and other items to start making PPE. Stanfield said his company did apply for funding to retool the factory, but was rejected. Zann, whose riding of Cumberland-Colchester includes Truro, said Tuesday that she'd spoken to the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the trade union confirmed what Stanfield said: the government did not pay his, or any other company, to retool to produce PPE. "Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Canadian businesses across the country have come forward to offer their services and pitch in to provide life-saving equipment ... at a time of great need," Zann told CBC News. "Because of their efforts, we are no longer facing a PPE shortage." Zann said the government is now taking the time to use competitive bids "while continuing to focus on Canadian-made supplies." She said all nine contracts went to Canadian manufacturers. Stanfield said even part of an order — say for one or two million gowns — would have been enough to keep people working. Now, he's talking to provincial health-care providers to see if they want to work with his company to ensure a domestic supply of PPE. He said if Canada wants to have a domestic capability to make PPE, it should look to companies like his, which has made apparel for 150 years and will continue making it deep into the future. "So Canada wouldn't get into the position that we were in last spring," he said. "Because it's not a matter of if, but probably when, it occurs again." MORE TOP STORIES
ZURICH (Reuters) - "Stop Extremism!" urges a red billboard in a quiet village outside Zurich above an image of a scowling woman wearing a black headscarf and face veil. The billboard is part of a campaign by the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP) to ban face coverings in public and which will be voted on in a binding national referendum on Sunday.
YANGON, Myanmar — Authorities in Myanmar have charged Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw and five other members of the media with violating a public order law that could see them imprisoned for up to three years, a lawyer said Tuesday. The six were arrested while covering protests against the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The group includes journalists for Myanmar Now, Myanmar Photo Agency, 7Day News, Zee Kwet online news and a freelancer. Lawyer Tin Zar Oo, who represents Thein Zaw, said the six have been charged under a law that punishes anyone who causes fear among the public, knowingly spreads false news, or agitates directly or indirectly for a criminal offence against a government employee. The law was amended by the junta last month to broaden its scope and increase the maximum prison term from two years. AP’s Thein Zaw, 32, was taken into custody on Saturday morning in Yangon, the country’s largest city. He is reported to be held in Insein Prison in northern Yangon, notorious for housing political prisoners under previous military regimes. According to the lawyer, Thein Zaw was remanded into custody by a court and can be held until March 12 without another hearing or further action. The AP has called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution," Ian Phillips, AP vice-president for international news, said after the arrest. "AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw.” The Committee to Protect Journalists joined that call. “Myanmar authorities must release all journalists being held behind bars and stop threatening and harassing reporters for merely doing their jobs of covering anti-coup street protests,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Myanmar must not return to the past dark ages where military rulers jailed journalists to stifle and censor news reporting.” Thein Zaw was arrested as police charged toward protesters gathered at an intersection in Yangon that has become a meeting point for demonstrators. Authorities escalated their crackdown on the protesters this past weekend, carrying out mass arrests and using lethal force. The U.N. Human Rights offices said it believes at least 18 people were shot dead Sunday in several cities when security forces opened fire on demonstrating crowds. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule. In December 2017, two journalists working for the Reuters news agency were arrested while working on a story about Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. They were accused of illegally possessing official documents, although they argued that they were framed because of official opposition to their reporting. Although their case attracted international attention, they were convicted the following year and were sentenced to seven years behind bars. They were freed in 2019 in a mass presidential pardon. The Associated Press
The Nasdaq ended sharply lower on Wednesday after investors sold high-flying technology shares and pivoted to sectors viewed as more likely to benefit from an economic recovery on the back of fiscal stimulus and vaccination programs. Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc dropped more than 2%, weighing more than any other stocks on the S&P 500. The S&P 500 financial and industrial sector indexes reached intra-day record highs.
FORT FRANCES — A 25-year-old Emo, Ont., resident has been charged following an investigation into a possible impaired driver last month. Rainy River District OPP located a driver believed to be impaired on Highway 613 in the Warsaw Road area on Feb. 26 shortly after 5 p.m., according to a news release issued on Monday, March 1. The driver was arrested for impaired operation of a conveyance by a drug. During the investigation, officers also located and seized 20 grams of suspected fentanyl. Jesse Loveday, 25, was also charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking. His driver’s licence was also suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. Loveday is scheduled to appear in court on March 22. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
GUYSBOROUGH – International Women’s Day (IWD) is Monday, March 8. This global day of celebration honours the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and promotes gender parity. In Guysborough County, there are many women to celebrate – from small business owners, front-line workers, women in trades, to stay-at-home mothers and many more. In this year of pandemic, one line of work most parents have come to appreciate, perhaps more than ever, is the role of educator. This year The Journal is highlighting the women leading the team at Chedabucto Education Centre /Guysborough Academy (CECGA): Principal Barbara Avery and Vice Principle Tera Dorrington. What follows is an online interview with Avery and Dorrington discussing their careers and the importance of female role models. Journal: What is your position and how long have you been in that position? Avery: I have been in administration at CECGA for a little over eight years, six of those as a Principal. I grew up and attended school here in Guysborough and feel very fortunate to have been able to return and give back to this school community. Dorrington: My current position at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy is Vice Principal. I have been in this role for almost six years. My first two years in this position was at SAERC in Port Hawkesbury, and I was here at CECGA for almost four years. I am grateful to be able to return to my old school and community. Journal: Who were your role models in the field of education – and in life in general? Avery: As I look back and reflect on my educational journey, there are many people who supported me along the way. First and foremost were my parents. They taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance and to take pride in everything I did – no matter how big or small – and to always believe in myself. They were strong believers that our experiences help shape who we become so I was always actively involved both in school and community. I was also blessed with many great teachers and administrators throughout my public education who lent a hand in inspiring me to be an educator myself. When I was a student there were not as many women in secondary education, but those who were made a big impact. I was fortunate to have women role models as teachers and administrators and now as colleagues. I also feel that the male teachers and administrators I had also encouraged me in my pursuit in the Math and Science field and continue to feel supported by my male colleagues. Dorrington: I am surrounded by so many positive and inspiring people, which granted me many role models. I am lucky to work beside such an amazing and dedicated principal every day. Barbara is full of knowledge. If I ever need advice or guidance, she is my ‘right-hand woman.’ There are also some hard working, successful men and women who work behind the scenes at the senior administration level and, as busy as they are, they always find time to mentor and support me. I have so many colleagues with such a wealth of expertise and experience and they inspire me each day. During my time at StFX, I had two professors who encouraged and inspired me. Dr. Agnes Calliste and Dr. Ottilia Chareka were both such positive influences. Although they have both passed away, I often reflect on their words of encouragement and the life lessons they taught me. I even dedicated my mEd thesis to Ottilia! I can’t forget my parents. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their sacrifices, encouragement and ongoing support. They taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance and resilience. Journal: What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you see women in those roles? Or in the role you currently hold? Dorrington: When I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved playing school with my dolls and mini chalkboard. In high school, I had Angela MacKeen as an English teacher (who also happens to be Barbara’s sister). Angela always seemed to be having so much fun as she taught English, especially Shakespeare, that I decided I wanted to be an English teacher too! In my grade 12 year, Elizabeth Teasdale was the principal, but there were only three female high school teachers that I can recall. Journal: Ms. Dorrington, how has being a mother impacted your career trajectory? Dorrington: Being a mother has impacted my career trajectory in a positive way. It pushes me to reach my goals. I have two daughters who are watching and learning from me. I am modelling the value of the importance of hard work. As I continue my own education, I hope that it shows them that there will always be new things to learn. I want them to know that their possibilities are endless and grow up be strong and independent women. I hope that I am a role model for them. Journal: What impact do you think it has on students and colleagues to see two women in the top positions at the school? Dorrington: I think that having two females in our role, shows promise. It shows that success can be achieved regardless of your gender, race or the community you’re from. It shows that barriers can be broken. I hope it encourages them to achieve their own dreams, no matter what they are. It’s not about being at the top, it’s about doing something that you love. Journal: Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing top level positions in your field? Dorrington: The advice I would give to women considering pursuing top level positions in our field would be to remember that a school would not be successful without the teachers, TAs, guidance counsellors, support staff and students. Treat them well. Also, make sure you eat a good breakfast, get plenty of rest and wear comfy shoes. It is a rewarding job. Like all professions, make sure it is something that you love, and it won’t feel like work. Journal: How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you? Dorrington: It is very important for women to lift one another up, and we need to raise our children to do the same. As women, we need to clap and cheer for each other. We need to empower each other. Take advantage of programs such as Techsploration and get involved in your community. A message I would send out to young women about pursing their careers is to set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there. Work hard and never give up. Don’t compare yourself to others, embrace your own strengths. Most importantly, always look a challenge in the eye and give it a wink. Avery: I am pleased to see advancements being made in public education since I attended in supporting and providing women the opportunity to explore under-represented careers by offering programs such as Techsploration in schools. The Techsploration program helps to inspire women to explore careers in Science, Trades, Engineering and Technology; through engagement with female role models, students learn about these careers while participating in hands-on workshops. Journal: This year’s IWD campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge; could you comment on that? Dorrington: In regard to this year’s IWD theme, let’s remember that challenge means change. As we are raising our daughters to be strong and independent women, we also need to raise our sons to be allies as we strive for a world of inclusion and equality. Journal: On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers? Avery: My message to all students is not to be scared to be a self-promoter; celebrate your successes and make your own way in this world by following your passion. Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
THE LATEST: Health officials announced 542 new cases and seven more deaths on Wednesday. To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are now 246 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 64 in intensive care. There are currently 4,652 active cases of coronavirus in the province. 200 cases of variants of concern have been identified. So far, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 86,616 of those being second doses. Another 542 cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths from the disease have been confirmed in B.C., health officials announced Wednesday. The latest numbers show a steady rise in the rolling seven-day average of new cases and the number of patients in hospital over the last two weeks. Right now, 246 people are in hospital with COVID-19 including 64 in intensive care. To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 out of 81,909 confirmed cases. There are now 4,652 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. Since the province's vaccination program began late in 2020, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 86,616 second doses. The numbers come as Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has endorsed B.C.'s plan to space out first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines by 16 weeks in order to reach more people. In Wednesday's written statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they were pleased with the endorsement. "Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, through the available COVID-19 vaccines. With a single primer dose, these vaccines are helping to stop outbreaks and reduce serious illness and death," they said. B.C. now expects every eligible adult who wants a vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of July. The plan is to space out doses by four months. Wednesday's update also included another 18 confirmed cases of variants of concern, bringing B.C.'s total to date to 200. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 7:30 p.m. PT Tuesday, Canada had reported 872,747 cases of COVID-19, with 30,252 cases considered active. A total of 22,045 people have died. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Police in Moose Jaw have arrested two people and are searching for a third in connection with an attempted murder. Last Friday, police were told about an assault on Stadacona Street West, but could not find a victim or any suspects. Some time later, police located a man with serious head injuries who was taken to hospital. The man has since been released and sent home. Police returned to the scene on Stadacona Street with a search warrant and found some evidence. Now, two people have been charged with attempted murder in the crime, as well as robbery and possession of crystal meth. The accused made their first court appearance in Moose Jaw provincial court Tuesday morning. Police are searching for a third suspect, also wanted for attempted murder and robbery.
Orban announced the decision in a letter to the chairman of the EPP, Manfred Weber, on Wednesday, making good on his threat to leave the grouping over changes to its rules.View on euronews
For 17 years, trucker Colin Birch has been hitting the highways to collect used cooking oil from restaurants. He works for Vancouver-based renderer West Coast Reduction Ltd, which processes the grease into a material to make renewable diesel, a clean-burning road fuel. Birch is caught between soaring demand for the fuel - driven by U.S. and Canadian government incentives - and scarce cooking oil supplies, because fewer people are eating out during the coronavirus pandemic.
The union that represents cargo ship crews in Canada says its members are in desperate need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Seafarers International Union of Canada says that is because of the potential danger of an outbreak onboard a vessel and a shortage of workers to replace crew members who get sick. There is limited space to physically distance on a ship and there are few medical resources on a vessel to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak should it occur. "We don't want to interrupt the vaccinations right now of those front-line workers and our elderly that are absolutely in dire need, but we're in dire need as well," said union president Jim Given. The union represents seafarers who work inside Canada and abroad. Jim Given is president of the Seafarers International Union of Canada. (Submitted by Seafarers International Union of Canada) Given wants his crews to be given the vaccine after health-care workers and seniors get their shots. Many seafarers spend three months aboard ship, with one month off, but some crews spend up to nine months on a vessel. Some workers have stayed on board even longer during the pandemic. There have only been a handful of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships so far, and one seafarer has died as a result, said Given. He's worried that could get worse if his members aren't vaccinated soon. It's incredibly difficult to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak on a ship, according to Desai Shan, an assistant professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been studying COVID-19's impact on seafarers. "They are extremely vulnerable in this pandemic," she said. "Considering they are important, and also vulnerable …seafarers getting priority for the vaccine is a fair request. "The medical resources and support seafarers would get on board are far, far limited compared to land-based working environments." Athaide waves to seafarers onboard bulk carriers in B.C.(Ben Nelms/CBC) Shan said countries like China and Singapore have already started vaccinating their seafarers because they recognize the importance of keeping their supply chains moving. "We carry most of the goods people use everyday, whether it be the raw materials to make the product or the product itself. We carry about 90 per cent of everything you touch and see everyday," said Given. A seafarer's job is so important it is considered essential. Given said the union wants to sit down with provincial and federal officials to come up with a plan to get its members vaccinated soon. Each individual province and territory decides how it will roll out its vaccinations. No province or territory has given seafarers priority, said Given. The CMA CGM Libra is the largest container ship ever to stop in Halifax. The vessel holds approximately 11,400 shipping containers.(Port of Halifax) Nova Scotia has taken an age-based approach. "We recognize there is interest from Nova Scotians who want to be prioritized to receive the vaccine, but we know the single biggest risk to COVID-19 patients is age," Marla MacInnis, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia's Department of Health, said in an email. She said eventually all Nova Scotians who want to get vaccinated will have the opportunity. Transport Canada had no comment on whether seafarers should be prioritized for vaccination. But spokesperson Sau Sau Liu said in an email that "Canada remains a strong advocate for the safety and welfare of seafarers and maritime workers." A truck passes by some of the many containers that it tows on a daily basis at Vancouver's port.(David Horemans/CBC) Liu said Transport Canada officials participate on a national seafarers' welfare board that advises the federal government on issues related to the well-being of seafarers. Given said that's not good enough. "It spreads so quickly and if we end up in a situation where we do get outbreaks on these ships the other aspect of it is there is nobody to replace the people to get the cargo moving again," he said. There is a shortage of seafarers in Canada right now, and with few people to replace them if they get sick, that could mean huge delays in the movement of goods and a slowdown in the Canadian economy, said Given. There are about 30,000 people across Canada employed as seafarers who directly or indirectly support 260,000 jobs and put $36 billion into the Canadian economy, he said. Many seafarers spend three months at a time on cargo ships like this one, but some can spend nine months aboard a vessel. That time onboard ship has been stretched out even further for some during the pandemic. (Steve Farmer/Port of Halifax) The country can't afford a slow down in the shipping industry, he said, especially with the busy season set to start in the spring when the Great Lakes thaw and ship traffic picks up. "We've got to find a way to get seafarers vaccinated so they have the mobility and the safety to do their jobs," said Given. MORE TOP STORIES
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising coronavirus infections, hoping to encourage the country’s dwindling number of Christians who were violently persecuted during the Islamic State's insurgency while seeking to boost ties with the Shiite Muslim world. Security is a concern for the March 5-8 visit, given the continued presence of rogue Shiite militias and fresh rocket attacks. Francis, who relishes plunging into crowds and zipping around in his popemobile, is expected to travel in an armoured car with a sizeable security detail. The Vatican hopes the measures will have the dual effect of protecting the pope while discouraging contagion-inducing crowds. Francis’ visit is the culmination of two decades of efforts to bring a pope to the birthplace of Abraham, the prophet central to Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, after St. John Paul II was prevented from going in 1999. “We can't disappoint this people a second time," Francis said Wednesday in urging prayers for the trip. The trip will give Francis — and the world — a close-up look at the devastation wrought by the 2014-2017 IS reign, which destroyed hundreds of Christian-owned homes and churches in the north, and sent tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities fleeing. The trip will include a private meeting with Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a revered figure in Iraq and beyond. ___ WHAT'S THE VIRUS SITUATION IN IRAQ? Iraq is currently seeing a resurgence of infections, with daily new cases nearing the height of its first wave. For months, Francis has eschewed even small, socially distanced public audiences at the Vatican, raising questions about why he would expose Iraqis to the risk of possible infection. Francis, the Vatican delegation and travelling media have been vaccinated, but few ordinary Iraqis have been given shots. The Vatican has defended the visit, insisting that it has been designed to limit crowds and that health measures will be enforced. But even then, 10,000 tickets have been prepared for the pope's final event, an outdoor Mass at a stadium in Irbil. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the important thing is that Iraqis will be able to watch Francis on TV and “know that the pope is there for them, bringing a message that it is possible to hope even in situations that are most complicated.” He acknowledged there might be consequences to the visit, but said the Vatican measured the risks against the need for Iraqis to feel the pope's “act of love." ___ HOW WILL CHRISTIANS REACT TO POPE'S INTERFAITH MESSAGE? Before IS seized vast swaths of northern Iraq, the Rev. Karam Shamasha ministered to 1,450 families in his hometown of Telskuf, 20 miles (about 30 kilometres) north of Mosul. Today, the families of his Chaldean Catholic parish number 500, evidence of the massive exodus of Christians who fled the extremists and never returned. Shamasha says Francis will be welcomed by those who stayed, even though his message of interfaith harmony is sometimes difficult for Iraqi Christians to hear. They faced decades of discrimination and envy by the Muslim majority well before IS. “The first ones who came to rob our houses were our (Muslim) neighbours,” Shamasha told reporters ahead of the trip. Even before IS, when a Christian family built a new house, Muslim neighbours would sometime say “‘Good, good, because you’re building a house for us’ because they know or believe that in the end, Christians will disappear from this land and the houses will be theirs," he said. Francis is going to Iraq precisely to encourage these Christians to persevere and remain, and to emphasize that they have an important role to play in rebuilding Iraq. Iraqi Christians were believed to number around 1.4 million in 2003. Today there are about 250,000 left. Arriving in Baghdad, Francis will meet with priests, seminarians and nuns in the same cathedral where Islamic militants in 2010 slaughtered 58 people in what was the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. On Francis’ final full day in Iraq, he will pray in a Mosul square surrounded by four destroyed churches, and visit another church in the Christian city of Qaraqosh that has been rebuilt in a sign of hope for Christianity's future there. ___ WHY WILL FRANCIS MEET WITH GRAND AYATOLLAH? One of the highlights of the trip is Francis’ meeting with al-Sistani, the grand ayatollah whose 2014 fatwah calling on able-bodied men to fight IS swelled the ranks of Shiite militias that helped defeat the group. Francis has spent years trying to forge improved relations with Muslims. He signed a historic document on human fraternity in 2019 with a prominent Sunni leader, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni learning in Cairo. There are no plans to add the 91-year-old al-Sistani's signature to the document. But the fact that the meeting is happening at all is enormously significant, said Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame. “It’s hard not to see this as accompanying his relationship with Ahmed el-Tayeb,” Reynolds said, noting al-Sistani's place as a revered figure of religious, political and intellectual influence in Iraq and beyond. “I think there would be a lot for them to speak about," he said. ___ WHAT ARE THE SECURITY CONCERNS? Security concerns were an issue well before twin suicide bombings claimed by IS ripped through a Baghdad market Jan. 21, killing at least 32 people. They have only increased after a spate of recent rocket attacks, including at least 10 Wednesday, resumed targeting the American presence in the country, attacks the U.S. has blamed on Shiite militias. Those same groups, strengthened after al-Sistani’s fatwa, are accused of terrorizing Christians and preventing them from returning home. Iraqi government and religious officials are concerned these militias could carry out rocket attacks in Baghdad or elsewhere to show their displeasure over al-Sistani’s meeting with Francis. Asked if this 33rd foreign visit was Francis' riskiest, Bruni replied diplomatically. “I wouldn’t get into a competition of riskiest journeys, but I would say this is certainly one of the most interesting.” Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s governing party pulled out of its conservative group in the European Union’s legislature on Wednesday following years of conflict over the rule of law and European values. The right-wing Fidesz party has held a two-thirds majority in Hungary’s parliament almost uninterrupted since 2010. It left the European People’s Party over the latter’s adoption on Wednesday of new procedures allowing for entire parties to be excluded from the group rather than just individual lawmakers. Fidesz officials, including Hungary’s prime minister and head of the party, Viktor Orban, had argued that the rule changes were “tailor-made” to sanction Fidesz, and threatened over the weekend to pull out of the EPP if the rules passed. The EPP backed the rule changes with an overwhelming majority: 148 in favour, 28 against and four abstentions. In a letter Wednesday to Manfred Weber, chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Orban announced Fidesz’s decision to leave the group. “The amendments to the rules of the EPP Group are clearly a hostile move against Fidesz and our voters ... This is anti-democratic, unjust and unacceptable. Therefore, the governing body of Fidesz has decided to leave the EPP Group immediately,” Orban wrote. Orban said the rule changes deprived Hungarian voters of their democratic rights and that Fidesz lawmakers would continue to represent Hungary in the European Parliament. A spokesman for the EPP Group, Pedro Lopez de Pablo, told The Associated Press that Orban pulling his party out of the EPP was “his own personal decision,” and that the group would not comment. Fidesz’s decision to leave the group could be the final note in a series of longstanding clashes with the EPP, the largest political family in Europe. The group suspended Fidesz’s membership in 2019 over concerns that it was eroding the rule of law in Hungary, engaging in anti-Brussels rhetoric and attacking the EPP leadership. In a tweet, Hungary’s minister for family affairs and a Fidesz vice-president, Katalin Novak, confirmed Fidesz’s decision to leave the EPP Group. “We will not let our MEPs be silenced or limited in their capacity to represent our voters. Tackling the pandemic and saving lives remains our number one priority,” Novak wrote. Justin Spike, The Associated Press
Britain is more than doubling to 100 pounds ($139.75) the limit on contactless payments made with debit or credit cards, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, as COVID-19 accelerates a shift to electronic payments from cash. The finance ministry said that while legally in force from Wednesday, the changes to limits from the current ceiling of 45 pounds will not happen in practice immediately, as firms will need to make the necessary systems changes. The banking industry is due to implement the new 100 pound limit later this year, it said.
Music's ability to connect us, even if only virtually, is on display in the latest film project by Vicki Van Chau in collaboration with the Calgary Chinese Orchestra. Van Chau is co-director and editor for a new documentary and music video called Off to the Races. The film features interviews and a music collaboration of 72 musicians playing a classic Chinese erhu song, Horse Race. The erhu is a Chinese violin. The idea to produce the 12-minute doc came from Jiajia Li, the artistic director of the Calgary Chinese Orchestra and a flutist. Vicki Van Chau is the co-director and editor of the film.(Kai Sunderland) Li wanted to do something to honour the Lunar New Year despite restrictions on the ability to gather. Van Chau and Li connected in November and opened up the call for submissions from artists playing the song on their instruments. Li chose the song, which was composed in the 1960s, for its upbeat and hopeful theme. And because it's less than three minutes long, it would be easy for submitting musicians to learn and record in time. There were so many submissions that the music producer, Warren Tse, wrote an intro and interlude so that more musicians could be included in the final performance. Erhus, pipas, fiddles, pianos and other instruments are played alongside each other in the video featuring 72 submission from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Singapore, the United States and China. The video was released via YouTube on Feb. 14. With files from Huyana Cyprien and the Calgary Eyeopener.
Parler, a social media app popular among right-wing groups, filed a new lawsuit accusing Amazon.com Inc of trying to destroy its business following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. The lawsuit seeking a variety of damages, including triple damages for anticompetitive conduct, was filed in Washington state court on Tuesday, two weeks after Parler returned online following a monthlong absence. Parler went dark when Amazon suspended its web-hosting services following the Capitol attack, saying Parler had failed to effectively moderate violent content on its website.