This Belgian Tervueren is so excited for a walk that he literally cannot stop chewing on the leash. Too funny!
This Belgian Tervueren is so excited for a walk that he literally cannot stop chewing on the leash. Too funny!
WASHINGTON — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. It's the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. “I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there," Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate agent who posted a photo on Twitter of herself flashing a peace sign next to a broken Capitol window, told a Dallas-Fort Worth TV station. Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man photographed on the dais in the Senate who was shirtless and wore face paint and a furry hat with horns, has similarly pointed a finger at Trump. Chansley called the FBI the day after the insurrection and told agents he travelled “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021,” authorities wrote in court papers. Chanley’s lawyer unsuccessfully lobbied for a pardon for his client before Trump's term ended, saying Chansley “felt like he was answering the call of our president.” Authorities say that while up on the dais in the Senate chamber, Chansley wrote a threatening note to then-Vice-President Mike Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” Trump is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office. The charge this time is “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” His impeachment lawyer, Butch Bowers, did not respond to call for comment. Opening arguments in the trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the storming of the Capitol say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on. For weeks, Trump rallied his supporters against the election outcome and urged them to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to rage against Biden's win. Trump spoke to the crowd near the White House shortly before they marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” Later he said: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told supporters to walk to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically” make your voices heard. Trump has taken no responsibility for his part in fomenting the violence, saying days after the attack: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” Unlike a criminal trial, where there are strict rules about what is and isn’t evidence, the Senate can consider anything it wishes. And if they can show that Trump’s words made a real impact, all the better, and scholars expect it in the trial. "Bringing in those people's statements is part of proving that it would be at a minimum reasonable for a rational person to expect that if you said and did the things that Trump said and did, then they would be understood in precisely the way these people understood them," said Frank Bowman, a constitutional law expert and law professor at University of Missouri. A retired firefighter from Pennsylvania told a friend that that he travelled to Washington with a group of people and the group listened to Trump's speech and then “followed the President’s instructions” and went to the Capitol, an agent wrote in court papers. That man, Robert Sanford, is accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol Police officers. Another man, Robert Bauer of Kentucky, told FBI agents that “he marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so,” authorities wrote. His cousin, Edward Hemenway, from Virginia, told the FBI that he and Bauer headed toward the Capitol after Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue." More than 130 people as of Friday were facing federal charges; prosecutors have promised that more cases — and more serious charges — are coming. Most of those arrested so far are accused of crimes like unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors this week filed conspiracy charges against three self-described members of a paramilitary group who authorities say plotted the attack. A special group of prosecutors is examining whether to bring sedition charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison, against any of the rioters. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to convict. And while many Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky— have condemned Trump's words, it remains unclear how many would vote to convict him. “While the statements of those people kind of bolsters the House manager's case, I think that President Trump has benefited from a Republican Party that has not been willing to look at evidence,” said Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law who testified before the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's first impeachment hearings in 2019. “They stood by him for the entire first impeachment proceeding, thinking that the phone call with the president of the Ukraine was perfect and I’m sure they will think that was a perfect speech too. There is nothing yet to suggest that they would think otherwise," Gerhardt said. ____ Richer reported from Boston. Alanna Durkin Richer And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
Canada's ambassador to the United States says there's no chance of President Joe Biden walking back his decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline — so she's turning her attention to other pressing bilateral issues. "It's obviously very disappointing for Albertans and people in Saskatchewan who are already in a difficult situation," Kirsten Hillman said in an interview airing Saturday on CBC's The House. "But I think that we need to now focus on moving forward with this administration, and there are so many ways in which we are going to be aligned with them to our mutual interest that I'm eager to to get going on that." Biden vowed during last year's presidential campaign to rescind Donald Trump's permit for Keystone XL, which would have linked Alberta's oilsands with refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And he did, making it one of the first executive orders he issued within hours of taking office on Wednesday. While the move was applauded by progressives in his Democratic Party and in Canada, it struck a heavy blow in Alberta. TC energy, the company building the pipeline, halted construction and laid off a thousand workers. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney lashed out this week at both Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accusing the federal government of abandoning the oil and gas sector. He released a letter to Trudeau on Friday calling on the federal government to retaliate by imposing economic sanctions on the United States or by demanding compensation for TC Energy and his government — which invested billions of provincial taxpayers' dollars into the project. The premier even took his case to Fox News on Friday. "It's very frustrating that one of the first acts of the new president was, I think, to disrespect America's closest friend and ally, Canada, and to kill good-paying union jobs on both sides of the border and ultimately to make the United States more dependent on foreign oil imports from OPEC dictatorships," Kenney told the Fox audience. "We don't understand it." Hillman didn't comment directly on Kenney's demands, insisting instead that Canada remains the "best partner" for helping Americans meet their energy needs. "But we have to recognize that the Biden administration has put fighting climate change at the centre of their agenda," she said. "Not only their domestic agenda but their international agenda." Goodbye, Keystone — hello 'Buy American' Keystone's abrupt death isn't the only recent challenge to a Canada-U.S. relationship that's been severely tested over the past four years by Donald Trump. Many Canadians see Biden as not only a more reliable partner but as a friend to this country. Some of his policies suggest otherwise. Hillman said she's already spoken to the White House about another Biden campaign promise — this one to restore "Buy American" requirements for major government contracts, a move that could freeze Canadian companies out of U.S. government work. "Less than an hour after the end of the inauguration ceremony, we were in touch with top-level advisers in the White House and discussed many things," she said. "Among them was Buy America." Biden is proposing a massive, $400 billion infrastructure program that would award contracts exclusively to U.S. companies. As big as that program is, it will be dwarfed by another Biden proposal — to invest $2 trillion in clean technologies and infrastructure. Hillman said such protectionist measures are not new. In the past, Congress has imposed restrictions to limit or exclude foreign companies from bidding on infrastructure projects, or from supplying U.S. companies that do. Canada has successfully negotiated exemptions to such policies before — most recently through the 2010 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement, which gave companies in this country access to stimulus projects funded under the U.S. Recovery Act. No link between Keystone and carve-out, says Hillman Hillman was asked in The House interview if the federal government's muted response to the Keystone decision is tied to its hopes for getting a carve-out for Canadian businesses under Biden's Buy American policy. She said there's no connection. "Our job here is to work with the administration to demonstrate to them, factually, that as they pursue their domestic goals, the highly integrated supply chains that we have with the United States are essential to protect and preserve for their economic recovery objectives," she said. "I'm optimistic that we are going to be able to have meaningful conversations with them around how they can meet their policy objectives while also being sure that we protect our mutually supportive supply chains." Hillman said she sees other opportunities for cross-border cooperation in the Biden administration's decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord and the president's vow to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada's hopes for a green tech boom Biden has nominated former secretary of state John Kerry as his special presidential envoy for the climate — a new cabinet-level position intended to underscore Biden's personal commitment to addressing climate change. "That provides a lot of opportunities for green tech, for Canadian clean energy, for working together on emission standards, for innovation in our automotive industry," Hillman said. The Trudeau government is trying to position Canada as a global leader in green technology fields. It introduced legislation requiring Canada to become a net-zero emitter by mid century and last month unveiled this country's first national strategy to develop hydrogen as a fuel source. That's the long game, of course. For now, the Trudeau government must also deal with the challenge here at home: preventing the fate of Keystone XL from becoming the dominant issue in Canada-U.S. relations that it was the last time a Democrat was in the Oval Office — and Joe Biden was his vice president.
If any silver lining can be found in turning nine years old at a time when birthday parties are illegal, it’s in the Milne-Karn family’s fridge — an abundance of leftovers from a four-storey Funfetti cake. Heather Milne and Luanne Karn surprised their daughter with a gigantic gateau decorated in pink, purple and orange fondant flowers Tuesday to celebrate the special occasion sans friends and group party games. Since the first COVID-19 lockdown, Anna Milne-Karn has expressed concern about the pandemic interfering with the celebration. “This is going to screw up my birthday party,” she told her mothers about 10 months ago. Since then, Anna has attended Zoom and park celebrations for her friends’ birthdays, and accepted the postponement of her party until summer. The plan is to meet friends at Kildonan Park and have a pool party there, she says, adding that despite the change in plans, she still welcomed her birthday this year — “because I get cake!” Sharing treats at school, however, isn’t currently permitted. Public-health directives also ban indoor singing, silencing schoolchildren who would typically belt out Happy Birthday to honour a classmate. In music class, Anna has been working on percussion with Boomwhackers — colour-coded hollow plastic tubes that produce different tones — and learning Do, Re, Mi and the rest of the tonal scale by humming the sounds aloud with her peers. “I am amazed at what teachers do to find a compromise,” Karn says. When given the choice to learn remotely or have Anna return to school after the holidays, the Milne-Karns stuck to their regular routine. The constant change in her class, which has expanded to two rooms and collapsed again as other families have opted in and out of remote learning, has been confusing for Anna, Milne says. She adds that it’s difficult for the third-grader to understand why some of her friends are in school and others are not. A total of 3,433 students between kindergarten and Grade 6, approximately 21 per cent of the K-6 student population in the Winnipeg School Division, enrolled in the two-week distance-learning option to start the new year. It was mandated for the province’s Grade 7-12 students. The Ecole Laura Secord family made the decision after taking into account daily COVID-19 case counts had started to drop, Anna’s ability to socialize at school, and Milne’s hectic work as a university professor preparing and delivering remote lessons. “It’s hard to work when there’s a kid in the house. The energy changes,” Milne says. Even though Anna enjoyed playing Harry Potter-themed Clue with her mothers and going on walks with their new puppy throughout the break, she welcomed the return. She is a big fan of her teacher, her teacher’s five stuffed sloth toys and art class, in which she is currently tracing, drawing and painting landscapes. In other subjects, all of which are taught in French, she is studying fractions, changing seasons and world geography. Anna has also been setting goals for herself as part of the school’s home-reading program. Her mothers share in their belief that Anna wouldn’t be thriving as much in French immersion this year were she doing it remotely. Neither Karn nor Milne speaks French. A self-declared perfectionist, Milne says she felt like she was “failing as a parent” because she couldn’t help Anna at all with her French schoolwork. One of the things the mothers miss most about pre-pandemic schooling days is the ability to visit the school and meet Anna’s teacher in person. In autumn, a video-call replaced the typical introductory conversation that happens on meet-the-teacher night at Laura Secord. “There’s something about seeing other kids and seeing other families and being in the building,” Karn says. “You get a better handle of what’s going on.” Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Statistic after statistic points to the debilitating state of commerce in Canada. But what exactly do all those pandemic-fuelled business closures mean for cities like Winnipeg, Vancouver or Toronto? Data released this week by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business shows the situation is dire. More than one in six businesses — at least 239,000 across Canada and 5,601 in Manitoba — are at the risk of permanently disappearing because of COVID-19, or have already closed. Economists, public policy stakeholders and municipal planners are split on how exactly this will affect the future of downtown cores and surrounding areas. In interviews with the Free Press, experts described how jarring shifts in local economies will cause hypercompetition in some sectors, while others might completely disappear. It could also cause fewer jobs overall, less walkable areas, limited shopping options, and a rapid loss of the “biz village” concept, they said, along with severe population declines. If there’s one thing they can all agree on, however, it’s that Canadians cities will likely never look the same again. And if governments plan on bringing things back to a sustainable “new normal,” analysts believe preparation for it should begin as soon as possible. “I think there’s an implicit assumption that we’re in a sort of snow globe right now and that everything’s suspended so that one day soon we’ll all go back to normal,” said Vass Bednar, a policy expert who’s held several public and private sector leadership roles, including at Airbnb and Queen’s Park in Toronto. “Those assumptions are almost certainly wrong,” she said. “The fact is, everyone will quickly notice how different things already are when they go on a walk around their cities to see not just closed signs, but also the larger store or restaurant signs taken off to indicate permanent closures for so many of their favourite places. And it will only get more severe.” CFIB’s latest figures suggest that at least 58,000 businesses have already permanently closed their doors following pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions in 2020. Based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and Jan. 16, the organization now says a mid-range of at least 181,000 small business owners are also considering to close down or declare bankruptcy on top of last year’s numbers, adding up to 239,000 in total. But should things remain unchanged, by the end of this year, closures could rise up to 280,117 across Canada. In Manitoba, that’s roughly 6,645 storefronts — with even the lowest estimates suggesting at least six per cent (5,601 businesses) will be lost. That means more than 2.4 million people will likely be out of work — a staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs, or just about one in seven of all employment in Canada. “They’re all very scary figures,” said Jonathan Alward, Prairies director for CFIB. “I really, truly hope we’re wrong on this. But it just doesn’t seem like we are, at least not right now. “In an ordinary time, businesses would never want to be rescued with help from the government. But right now, I think creating pathways for safe openings by tax breaks, subsidies and other strategies to provide easier access is just as important for communities themselves than the business owners.” Fletcher Baragar is an economics professor at the University of Manitoba who’s extensively researched how bankruptcies and bailouts affect societies and communities. He said he’s never seen more closures than this past year — not during the 2008-09 financial crisis, or even in his studies of recessions that occurred before the turn of the millennium. “It’s a common thing to see exits and entries all the time in the market — healthy changes are the whole point of an entrepreneurial marketplace,” said Baragar. “But when that business change happens so rapidly, it certainly affects everything else... and it’s incredibly uneven in the type of areas and sectors it affects when some benefit from it and others die out of it.” Hospitality and arts are two of the hardest-hit sectors, CFIB data indicates, with 33 per cent and 28 per cent of businesses in those sectors expected to close up shop. In the retail sector, it’s 15 per cent of companies. At the other end of the spectrum, agriculture and natural resources are the lowest-impacted of any sector — still, with six per cent of businesses expected to close. Next is construction, at nine per cent, and manufacturing, at 12 per cent. Provincial breakdowns show Newfoundland and Labrador will see the most severe impact, with a high-end estimate of 28 per cent of all businesses to close. That’s followed by Alberta at 25 per cent and Ontario at 24. Manitoba is right in the middle at 18 per cent, and Nova Scotia is least-impacted at 14 per cent. That’s why business owners have begun to ask themselves tough questions, said Baragar, about whether it’s even worth opening up when they’re allowed to and if it’s something they can afford financially. “Of the ones remaining, I think there’s going to be a lot more consolidation and amalgamation internationally and from one side of the country to the next,” he said. “And that means fewer buying and service options for quite literally everything — restaurants, clothing, you name it.” Sylvain Charlebois, a leading supply chain expert, said these shifts will also cause city demographics themselves to change. Pointing to recent Starbucks coffee shop closures, he said food companies are making note of this, and will “always go where the money is” — which he doesn’t believe is in urban centres anymore. “Of course, the cost of city dwelling is a cruel barrier anyway,” said Charlebois, who’s a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “More than that, there’s other reasons that are also important. When businesses close in areas where they were supposed to be forming villages or walkable communities, it impacts the kind of people that want to live in those cities and how much they actually spend. It’s a cycle.” Loren Remillard, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, said that’s something he’s already seen with Osborne Village in Winnipeg before, when storefronts began to abruptly shut down a few years ago. “We realized during that time, just how much businesses are more than businesses for livable communities — they’re really the fabric of what binds them together,” he said. “You couldn’t have Little Italy or Little India or even Sage Creek without the actual biz village concept thriving for those ethnographic neighbourhoods.” Remillard said a continuous push is being made to get larger companies to headquarter in Winnipeg, “so that if and when acquisitions or mergers happen during devastating economic periods, we risk little when their main office is here.” But as a policy expert, Bednar believes messaging from government has been a crucial part of what makes the future for urban business so frazzled. “It was so much easier just to tell everyone to move online and give them some subsidies to string along,” she said. “Eventually, when this is finally over, what happens when we’re offline again? Can you actually market or promote tourism if you don’t have physical stores? It might be time to start changing how we’re thinking and talking about these things.” Temur Durrani, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
PHOENIX — A Las Vegas-based tour bus heading to the Grand Canyon rolled over in northwestern Arizona on Friday, killing one person and critically injuring two others, authorities said. A spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office said the cause of the Friday afternoon wreck was not yet known, but a fire official who responded said speed appeared to be a factor. No other vehicles were involved. “It was a heavily damaged bus. He slid down the road quite a ways, so there was a lot of wreckage,” said Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District Chief Tim Bonney. “Just to put it in perspective, on a scale of zero to 10, an eight.” None of the passengers was ejected from the vehicle but they were all in shock, Bonney said. “A lot of them were saying the bus driver was driving at a high rate of speed,” he said. A photo from the sheriff's office showed the bus on its side on a road that curves through Joshua trees with no snow or rain in the remote area. There were 48 people on the bus, including the driver, authorities said. After the crash, 44 people were sent to Kingman Regional Medical Center, including two flown by medical helicopter, spokeswoman Teri Williams said. All the others were treated for minor injuries, she said. Two people were critically injured, said Mohave County sheriff's spokeswoman Anita Mortensen. The bus was heading to Grand Canyon West, about 2 1/2 hours from Las Vegas and outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. The tourist destination sits on the Hualapai reservation and is best known for the Skywalk, a glass bridge that juts out 70 feet (21 metres) from the canyon walls and gives visitors a view of the Colorado River 4,000 feet (1,219 metres) below. Before the pandemic, about 1 million people a year visited Grand Canyon West, mostly through tours booked out of Las Vegas. The Hualapai reservation includes 108 miles (174 kilometres) of the Grand Canyon’s western rim. In addition to the Skywalk, the tribe has helicopter tours on its land, horseback rides, a historic guano mine and a one-day whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River. Rafters who are on trips through the Grand Canyon also can get on and off the river on the reservation. In a statement issued late Friday, the Hualapai Tribe and its businesses said they were saddened by the rollover and that safety is the highest priority for guests, employees and vendors. “As a people, our hearts go out to those so deeply affected,” the statement read. “We wish speedy recoveries to those requiring medical attention.” National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said he didn't immediately have more details about the crash. The agency doesn't send investigators to all bus crashes. Other, deadly crashes have happened before in the area. Four Chinese nationals died in 2016 when their van collided with a Dallas Cowboys staff bus headed to a preseason promotional stop in Las Vegas. In 2009, a tour bus carrying Chinese nationals overturned on U.S. 93 near the Hoover Dam, killing several people and injuring others. The group was returning from a Grand Canyon trip. Federal investigators cited driver inattention as the probable cause of that crash. The bus driver was attempting to fix a problem with airflow through his door before the crash and became distracted, then veered off the road and overcorrected before crossing a median and overturning. Most of the passengers were ejected. ___ Fonseca reported from Flagstaff. Associated Press reporters Ken Ritter and Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas, Terry Tang in Phoenix and AP/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps member Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada, contributed. Jacques Billeaud And Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press
New Brunswick’s only fertility clinic, and one of only two in the Maritimes, has had to cancel dozens of appointments with hopeful parents since the onset of the red phase of pandemic restrictions. The decision is part of the clinic's operational plan, the director of Moncton's Conceptia says, but patients are struggling with the emotional letdown. “It’s already a time full of frustration, anxiety and sadness,” said Heather Bandy of Moncton, who was to start treatment this week when her appointment was cancelled. Bandy said she and her husband have struggled with infertility issues for months. “It’s an emotional rollercoaster.” Renee and Lucas Smith of Shemogue have also had their share of heartbreak. After difficulty conceiving, the couple became pregnant, but in November, Renee had a stillbirth, losing their son at 22 weeks. Now, they were ready to try again. Renee said she was scheduled to begin another round of treatment on Jan. 25, but learned new appointments were no longer being booked and many existing appointments are being cancelled. Through social media groups of parents struggling with fertility, she learned she was far from alone. Craig Ferguson, the clinic’s director, confirmed that the clinic has suspended many services and is seeing just three to five patients a day. The clinic had to create a COVID-19 operational plan and provided this to the Vitalité Health Network, he said. The clinic is operating with a goal of 25 per cent capacity while in red, he said, noting the decision was made partially because they are within a hospital building and are attempting to be “good neighbours.” He added that the clinic is small and it is also an attempt to protect its own staff. “If one of our employees got COVID, we would have to close completely,” he said. Bandy said many affected patients who regularly interact through a group on social media began contacting their MLAs as it became clear the clinic was cancelling appointments, hopeful they could advocate on their behalf and trigger a change. They were told the clinic was just following government rules. While Conceptia, a not-for-profit clinic, is housed within the Dr.-Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, is not run by Vitalité or the Department of Public Health. Both Vitalité and Public Health directed all questions about the decision to the clinic. Lucas Smith said the latest turn is heartbreaking. “It keeps us up at night. I’m sure they know how sad this is for all of us,” he said. “The thing that surprises me is the hospital is the safest place,” he said, noting the extensive protocols. “If Tim Hortons is open, surely Conceptia should be [fully] open," he said. "People can make their own coffee, but some of us can’t make our own babies.” The patients are willing to do whatever they can to keep it open, Lucas Smith said, whether that's paying more for more PPE or longer hours to space people out. To have 15 patients a day instead of five would mean 15 people actively on their way to starting a family, he said. Ferguson said the clinic understands the devastation many are feeling. They also recognize that the reduction in services not only impacts New Brunswickers but others in the region, including patients from Prince Edward Island, who have been even further restricted from services over the last month as the island has no clinic of its own. When asked to respond to questions from couples and women who note that clinics in hotspots across the country have continued to serve at a higher capacity even in areas of near lockdowns, he said the clinic was small, however they aren’t ruling out a shift. “We do assess capacity every week and adapt,” he said. “Every possibility is on the table.” Bandy said the decision is disappointing, but she is holding onto hope that change is on their radar. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
WASHINGTON — It's a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause. Members of the ex-presidents club pose together for pictures. They smile and pat each other on the back while milling around historic events, or sit somberly side by side at VIP funerals. They take on special projects together. They rarely criticize one another and tend to offer even fewer harsh words about their White House successors. Like so many other presidential traditions, however, this is one Trump seems likely to flout. Now that he's left office, it's hard to see him embracing the stately, exclusive club of living former presidents. “He kind of laughed at the very notion that he would be accepted in the presidents club,” said Kate Andersen Brower, who interviewed Trump in 2019 for her book “Team of Five: The Presidents’ Club in the Age of Trump." “He was like, ‘I don’t think I’ll be accepted.'” It's equally clear that the club's other members don't much want him — at least for now. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton recorded a three-minute video from Arlington National Cemetery after President Joe Biden's inauguration this week, praising peaceful presidential succession as a core of American democracy. The segment included no mention of Trump by name, but stood as a stark rebuke of his behaviour since losing November's election. “I think the fact that the three of us are standing here, talking about a peaceful transfer of power, speaks to the institutional integrity of our country,” Bush said. Obama called inaugurations “a reminder that we can have fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other’s common humanity, and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us." Trump spent months making baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him through fraud and eventually helped incite a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He left the White House without attending Biden’s swearing-in, the first president to skip his successor's inauguration in 152 years. Obama, Bush and Clinton recorded their video after accompanying Biden to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider following the inauguration. They also taped a video urging Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Only 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, who has limited his public events because of the pandemic, and Trump, who had already flown to post-presidential life in Florida, weren't there. Jeffrey Engel, founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said Trump isn't a good fit for the ex-presidents club "because he’s temperamentally different.” “People within the club historically have been respected by ensuing presidents. Even Richard Nixon was respected by Bill Clinton and by Ronald Reagan and so on, for his foreign policy," Engel said. "I’m not sure I see a whole lot of people calling up Trump for his strategic advice.” Former presidents are occasionally called upon for big tasks. George H.W. Bush and Clinton teamed up in 2005 to launch a campaign urging Americans to help the victims of the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami. When Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast, Bush, father of the then-current president George W. Bush, called on Clinton to boost Katrina fundraising relief efforts. When the elder Bush died in 2018, Clinton wrote, “His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life," high praise considering this was the man he ousted from the White House after a bruising 1992 campaign — making Bush the only one-term president of the last three decades except for Trump. Obama tapped Clinton and the younger President Bush to boost fundraising efforts for Haiti after its devastating 2010 earthquake. George W. Bush also became good friends with former first lady Michelle Obama, and cameras caught him slipping a cough drop to her as they sat together at Arizona Sen. John McCain’s funeral. Usually presidents extend the same respect to their predecessors while still in office, regardless of party. In 1971, three years before he resigned in disgrace, Richard Nixon went to Texas to participate in the dedication of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidential library. When Nixon’s library was completed in 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush attended with former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Trump's break with tradition began even before his presidency did. After his election win in November 2016, Obama hosted Trump at the White House promising to “do everything we can to help you succeed.” Trump responded, “I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future” — but that never happened. Instead, Trump falsely accused Obama of having wiretapped him and spent four years savaging his predecessor's record. Current and former presidents sometimes loathed each other, and criticizing their successors isn’t unheard of. Carter criticized the policies of the Republican administrations that followed his, Obama chided Trump while campaigning for Biden and also criticized George W. Bush’s policies — though Obama was usually careful not to name his predecessor. Theodore Roosevelt tried to unseat his successor, fellow Republican William Howard Taft, by founding his own “Bull Moose” party and running for president again against him. Still, presidential reverence for former presidents dates back even further. The nation’s second president, John Adams, was concerned enough about tarnishing the legacy of his predecessor that he retained George Washington’s Cabinet appointments. Trump may have time to build his relationship with his predecessors. He told Brower that he “could see himself becoming friendly with Bill Clinton again," noting that the pair used to golf together. But the odds of becoming the traditional president in retirement that he never was while in office remain long. “I think Trump has taken it too far," Brower said. "I don’t think that these former presidents will welcome him at any point.” Will Weissert And Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Some of the country's most remote communities are getting access to the Moderna vaccine. Limited resources for these areas means it's critical to get people vaccinated fast. Challenges on the ground though are not just logistical — there's also the matter of convincing people vaccines are safe.
In nature’s classroom, bundled up around a hole drilled into the frozen Red River, the roles of student and teacher flip. Last weekend, the Parenteaus set out for what would prove to be a successful ice-fishing trip in Selkirk — not because they caught any channel catfish nor walleye, but because Carter Parenteau, 9, beamed as he taught his mother how to angle. “Out there, you don’t even think about all the worries of being in a pandemic. That’s probably the best part for me, and for Carter, too,” Anna Parenteau says, recalling the family field trip. Sunday marked Anna’s first time ice fishing so Carter showed her the lines; the fourth grader explained that because they were using frozen minnows, she needed to jiggle her rod to lure fish to the bait. “It’s his element, when he’s out on the land,” she says. The ability to connect and reflect on what it means to be Anishinaabe has proven to be one of the only constants for the Parenteaus this year, as COVID-19 continues to pause outings to school, ceremonies and swimming lessons. It feels good to be able to uphold treaty rights and observe how the land is ever-changing, says Jason Parenteau, an experienced ice-fisher, who has been organizing cultural activities for Anna and their two sons all year. The family braced for pandemic pivots in early autumn, but had always planned to ensure Ojibwe lessons were at the forefront of Carter and 17-year-old Josiah’s education. Their cousins, the Kennedys and Patricks were also involved, until the recent breakup of their home-school bubble, owing to the second COVID-19 wave. The families are uneasy about the prospect of returning to school — let alone their original 2020-21 academic setup. They have learned first-hand how painful it is to lose a loved one during a pandemic and be unable to attend a funeral, community feast and gather around a drum. Three relatives from Roseau River First Nation died after contracting the virus. In recent days, Anna’s father, an elder and traditional wellness worker in Roseau River, received his first vaccine dose. While she says she’s excited for him, safe family gatherings are still a long way off. Anna, Jason and cousin Dawnis Kennedy, however, are also hesitant about the vaccine rollout, citing the government’s history of non-consensual experiments and forced sterilization on Indigenous people. Kennedy says she had hoped the families were being overprotective when they mapped out a home-school plan last summer and expected a vaccine would bring normalcy. Now, she is unsure what it will take for her to feel safe about Kenny, a third grader, returning to Ojibwe Immersion at Isaac Brock School. In September, the boys called their home-school bubble “fake school.” The nickname later evolved to “our school.” Kenny and Carter, who would have been in a Grade 3-4 split class together if they were in school, connected with their teacher and classmates on video calls during the optional two-week remote-learning period after the holiday break. Their families’ shared priority is staying connected to Ojibwe programming at Isaac Brock, so they have opted for home-school lessons and check-ins with Ojibwe teachers rather than fully participating in the Winnipeg School Division’s virtual English program, thus far. Kennedy’s son has been asking about when they can return to “our school” again. She doesn’t know the answer, but she says she looks forward to the day they can gather again. Learning on the land affects the boys’ self-esteem and how they carry themselves, she says — for the better. Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Le peintre matanais Philippe Giroux a eu le plaisir de découvrir vendredi dernier et en l’espace de quelques minutes qu’il avait été récompensé à deux reprises par des concours de grand envergure pour la même œuvre, nommée Autoportrait d’un peintre-pêcheur. M. Giroux a remporté un prix du Mondial Art Academia, un concours annuel des professionnels de l’art prenant place en France. Il s’est vu remettre la médaille d’or dans la catégorie réunissant les ambassadeurs du concours « Le choix du Mondial Art Academia ». Au moment de la publication de l’article mettant en portrait Philippe Giroux en décembre, le peintre attendait avec impatience les résultats du concours. Étant une grande organisation, plus de 27 pays y sont représentés et près de 500 artistes soumettent leurs œuvres. Remporter une médaille dans une catégorie par le jury européen est donc un moment fort de sa carrière. La même journée, M. Giroux a reçu le premier prix du concours de The Marketer Magazine, un magazine canadien consacré au marketing, à l’art visuel et à l’art performance. La compétition a été forte au Marketer, car il y eut plus de 260 participations et presque 1000 toiles soumises. Philippe Giroux admet qu’il a éclaté en sanglots à la réception de ces deux récompenses. « Être artiste et avoir de la difficulté au début, ce n’est pas un monde facile. Il y a beaucoup de monde qui ne nous croit pas. On te dit, « trouve-toi une vraie job » ou on te critique, autant par des amis que dans la famille. Des fois, les gens ont l’impression que tu n’avances pas. C’est donc l’aboutissement de mon acharnement sur 40 ans », a expliqué avec émotion Giroux. L’artiste a proclamé la bonne nouvelle sur ses réseaux sociaux la fin de semaine dernière et depuis a reçu une forte reconnaissance de son travail, des félicitations « qui ont fait du bien ». La juge chez The Marketer Magazine lui a d’ailleurs signé une lettre personnalisée, qu’il dit avoir particulièrement appréciée. Il attend à présent la suite. Avec ces deux nouvelles récompenses reçues coup sur coup, cela fera trois prix pour lesquels Philippe Giroux est récompensé en moins d’un an. « On récolte les fruits de nos efforts », conclut-il.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
TORONTO — The Maple Leafs needed all hands on deck without two-thirds of their top line. Minus both Auston Matthews and Joe Thornton, Toronto didn't miss a beat Friday. John Tavares scored the winner on a third-period power play and Frederik Andersen was stellar in making 30 saves as the Leafs picked up a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Adam Brooks, with his first in the NHL, Jimmy Vesey, and Mitch Marner, into an empty net, had the other goals for Toronto (4-2-0), which went 2 for 2 with the man advantage. William Nylander added a pair of assists, while Marner chipped in with one of his own. "A great effort by the group," said Vesey, whose team lost 3-1 to the Oilers on Wednesday. "No Auston, no (Thornton). Guys came in and stepped up. "It was a gutsy effort. We didn't like our game the other night. It was good we didn't have to wait to play those guys again." Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said before the game Matthews is day-to-day with upper-body soreness, while Thornton will miss at least four weeks after fracturing a rib. "We've got to play a little bit differently," Keefe said. "The group's really got to recognize the importance of every shift and how important it is to stay with the structure, stay with the plan. I thought we did that really well." Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl replied for Edmonton (2-4-0), which got 25 stops from Mikko Koskinen. "A good offensive team, you give them a little sniff, they're going to figure it out," McDavid said. "We made one too many mistakes." Down 2-1 through two periods, the Oilers got even 50 seconds into the third when McDavid, who grew up just north of Toronto in Newmarket, Ont., scored his second-ever goal at Scotiabank Arena when he deftly tipped Ethan Bear's point shot past Andersen for his fourth of the campaign. The Leafs got a power play midway through the period when Toronto's new top line of Tavares, Marner and Zach Hyman started buzzing, with the latter forcing Koskinen to stretch for a great save. But the Edmonton goalie could do nothing on the Tavares winner — his fourth overall and second in as many games — at 11:46 on a redirection of Marner's shots after making another terrific stop on Toronto's captain moments earlier. Andersen shut the door from there before Marner iced it with his fourth into an empty net as Toronto held on for its fourth victory in six outings to open the abbreviated 56-game schedule. "To get a good, hard-fought win like that you need the whole group," Tavares said. "We got a good bounce-back." Most of the talk heading into the Leafs-Oilers showdown was about two offensive juggernauts, but there was very little room at 5 on 5 with all that star power mostly neutralized. "You get very familiar with your opponent, tendencies, adjustments that are being made game to game," said Tavares of a season featuring division-only play. "Things might be a little tighter than people expected. "There's a lot of respect on both sides knowing the capabilities." With the Leafs missing Matthews and Thornton, Keefe went back to 12 forwards and six defenceman after dressing an extra blue-liner the last two games. Brooks, Pierre Engvall and Alexander Barabanov drew in up front, while Mikko Lehtonen was scratched on the back end. The Leafs got a power play early in the second, but Oilers grabbed a 1-0 lead at 5:12 when Kailer Yamamoto threw the puck in front where Draisaitl fished it out of Nylander's skates and jammed home his second of the season. But Toronto got that one back on the same man advantage 43 seconds later when Jason Spezza fired a puck into the slot that glanced off Brooks and in for the Winnipeg native's first NHL goal in his eighth appearance. "That was the first game I've played in like 330 days or something like that, so it's been a long time," said the 24-year-old, who was part of Toronto's taxi squad before Friday. "It's nice to get that bounce, and nice for it to come from a guy like Jason Spezza. "A great moment I'll remember forever." Andersen then made a good stop outwaiting Jesse Puljujarvi on a break before Toronto pushed in front at 11:16 when Alexander Kerfoot intercepted an Adam Larsson pass behind Edmonton's net and quickly fed Nylander, who in turn patiently found Vesey to bury his second. "Those have been hard to come by," Keefe said of scoring at 5 on 5. "It was good to get one." Friday's opening 20 minutes weren't nearly as tight-checking as Wednesday's chess match, with a couple of chances at either end. Yamamoto, who was credited with the opening goal two nights earlier after the Leafs flubbed the puck into their own net, forced a good stop out of Andersen less than 30 seconds in. Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds then had an opportunity denied by Koskinen from the slot. Edmonton's Zack Kassian took a pass off the rush from McDavid that Andersen just got a piece of with the shaft of his stick. McDavid had another rebound effort denied by Andersen before Simmonds saw his redirection smothered by Koskinen. "Our best guys led us," Keefe said. "Just a real good team win — which we knew going in it was going to have to be." Notes: Toronto placed Thornton on long-term injured reserve, where he joined rookie winger Nick Roberston (knee). ... Edmonton activated winger James Neal, who was previously on the NHL's list of unavailable players due to COVID-19, off injured reserve for his first action of the season. ... The Oilers now head to Winnipeg for two against the Jets beginning Sunday before hosting the Leafs for another two-game set starting Thursday. ... Toronto opens a four-game Alberta road trip Sunday in Calgary against the Flames. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
A First Nations leader on Vancouver Island has launched an online campaign against racism toward his community amid COVID-19 — with an artistic twist. Stuart Pagaduan, elected councillor of Cowichan Tribes and artist, created a raised fist image the same day North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring denounced what he calls fear-based racist comments directed at the First Nations community that's been hit by the highly infectious disease. "[The] colours represent the people of the world," Pagaduan told Gregor Craigie, host of CBC's On The Island, with the colours of the fingers representing different cultures in his poster entitled I Stand With Cowichan Tribes. "Judging a person does not define who they are … It defines who you are," the artwork reads. "It [the poster] should inspire unity, and it should inspire you to take part in what's happening, not only in Cowichan but [also] … what's happening in your part of the world," Pagaduan said. The Cowichan Tribes, located on Vancouver Island between Victoria and Nanaimo, B.C., was the target of online vitriol as the number of COVID-19 cases climbed all last week. A Cowichan Tribes member was also denied service by a local dentist earlier this month due to COVID-19 fears. The First Nation has stopped publicly sharing its COVID-19 case numbers after racist comments were posted online. Pagaduan says his poster has received more than 100 supportive comments since it was posted Jan. 11, from people of different cultural backgrounds. "It [the poster's popularity] just goes to show you that the relationships that we create in the community are huge," he said. "They're our friends and they definitely do stand with us." The shelter-in-place order for Cowichan Tribes has been extended to Feb. 5. About 600 members have already received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more vaccines are set to arrive in the community. Pagaduan says he's hopeful. "We will overcome this [pandemic] eventually." Tap the link below to hear Stuart Pagaduan's interview On The Island:
The new president of the United States described his inauguration on Wednesday as a moment to move forward. But moving forward properly requires a reckoning with the past. In Joe Biden's case, that reckoning came for the Keystone XL pipeline. The project's fate seemed to be sealed years ago, but it haunts us still. And now, with strident words from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney about a trade war, it could haunt Canadian politics indefinitely. Or, Canadian leaders could decide that it's time for them to move forward, too. The executive order that rescinded Keystone XL's permit on Wednesday states that "the United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership in order to achieve a significant increase in global climate action and put the world on a sustainable climate pathway." If that sounds familiar, it's because President Barack Obama said almost the same thing when he blocked Keystone in November 2015. "America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change," Obama said. "And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership." John Kerry — secretary of state in 2015 and now Biden's climate envoy — put an even finer point on the significance of Keystone in his own statement at the time. "The United States cannot ask other nations to make tough choices to address climate change if we are unwilling to make them ourselves," he said. A pipeline that became a referendum In his remarks, Obama argued that the practical value of the pipeline had been wildly overstated — by both sides. Keystone XL, he said, would be neither "a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others." But the economic arguments in favour of the pipeline could not overcome the profound symbolic value assigned to it by environmental groups and climate-focused voters. On its own, Keystone wouldn't spell the difference between a green future and a "climate disaster." But the pipeline became a referendum on the U.S. government's commitment to combating climate change — a tangible thing on which American activists could focus their energies. Trump, who actively sought to undermine attempts to fight climate change, revived the project. But the political frame that was placed around Keystone XL in 2015 never went away, while legal challenges to the project continued. By the fall of 2019, most of the major Democratic candidates for the presidency had pledged to rescind Trump's order on their first day in office. Last May, Biden insisted that he would kill the pipeline. After Biden's victory in the presidential election, the Eurasia Group said that rescinding the permit was a "table stake" for the Democratic president and that backing away would risk "raising the ire of activists, their committed followers, and — importantly — the left wing of the Democratic party in Congress." "Rescinding KXL would be one area the Biden administration could act [on] and deliver a win to a key political constituency with no congressional interference," the global consulting firm said. Bill McKibben, one of the activists who led the campaign against Keystone, wrote in the New Yorker on Thursday that he was grateful for Biden's decision and never doubted that the new president would follow through. "Even today," he wrote, "Keystone is far too closely identified with climate carelessness for a Democratic president to be able to waver." So the second death of Keystone shouldn't have surprised anyone. It might have seemed rude of Biden to not wait a day or two to allow Canadian officials to make a fuller presentation on the pipeline's behalf, but that only would have delayed the inevitable. The lingering costs of climate inaction Perhaps Biden thought he was doing his neighbours a favour by ripping the Band-Aid off quickly. What might have happened to Keystone XL had Canada and the United States taken more aggressive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the years leading up to Obama's decision? It's an intriguing hypothetical. Keystone may have paid the price ultimately for decades of global inaction on climate change. In the here and now, any debate about Keystone will have to consider whether its additional capacity is even needed at this point. In the meantime, Premier Kenney wants Justin Trudeau's government to impose trade sanctions on the United States if Biden refuses to revisit his decision. Stephen Harper could be ungracious in his defence of Keystone — he famously said that approving it was a "no brainer" — but his government doesn't seem to have ever publicly threatened to impose sanctions if Obama rejected it. Nor does it appear anyone called for sanctions when Obama officially killed the project shortly after the Trudeau government came to office. Sanctions out of spite? This idea of reprisals seems to have originated recently with Jack Mintz, a Canadian economist, who also conceded that imposing tariffs could be akin to "cutting off our own nose to spite our face." Notably, Erin O'Toole's federal Conservatives have not joined the premier in calling for sanctions. Kenney — whose government is polling poorly and whose party is being out-fundraised by the opposition — is spoiling for a fight. He has seized on the fact that federal officials did not respond to Biden's decision in particularly strong terms — and the Liberals may not have struck the right tone for those listening in the Prairies. WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says Ottawa 'folded' on Keystone XL But before launching a trade war against this country's closest ally and its new leader, one should consider the potential results and opportunity costs. Would a trade war convince President Biden to brave the wrath of his supporters and reverse a campaign promise? Or would a renewed fight over Keystone XL simply consume political and diplomatic capital that could be put toward other things? Kenney has said sanctions might discourage the Biden administration from intervening against two other contested pipelines that originate in Alberta — Line 5 and Line 3. Writing in the New Yorker, McKibben did identify Line 3 as a target. But there's also a decent chance that sanctions would only inflame existing tensions around those projects. Threats and futility In May, 2015 — nearly six years ago — former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson wrote that it was time for the Canada-U.S. relationship to move on from Keystone XL. Robertson argued that there were too many other important things to talk about. Six years later, that list of important things includes fostering collaboration on clean energy, fending off 'Buy American' policies and combating China's aggression. Still, Kenney warned that if the Trudeau government does not do more to defend Keystone, "that will only force us to go further in our fight for a fair deal in the federation." But if the battle for Keystone was effectively lost more than five years ago, should the federal government's willingness to keep fighting it have any bearing on Alberta's relationship with the rest of the country? The death of Keystone XL will have a real impact on those Albertans whose jobs depended on it. There are real anxieties and questions that need to be addressed, not least by the federal government. But the question now is whether fighting over Keystone will do anything to address those concerns — or whether it's time to put that political energy toward other purposes.
Sharon Lee-Flynn, 43, says she suffers from a spinal cord injury of more than twenty years and, with impaired pulmonary and cardiovascular systems, she's "more at risk than a 60-year-old." That's why the B.C. resident says she doesn't understand the province's COVID-19 vaccination plan announced Friday which mainly prioritizes people by age, leaving Lee-Flynn to wait at least another six months before she can be vaccinated. Lee-Flynn is one of a large group of vulnerable people who say they should be further up the new vaccination line. The list also includes teachers, first-responders and grocery store workers who are no longer being given higher priority based on their jobs. Instead, provincial officials announced that, after health-care staff, Phase 2 of the plan will allow seniors over 80 and Indigenous seniors over 65 to be vaccinated starting in February. Next will be Phase 3 in April which includes seniors 60 to 79. This leaves Lee-Flynn in Phase 4 starting in July when people from 18 to 59 will finally have the chance to be vaccinated. "It really seems like patients with true medical compromise have been overlooked in the 'ethical framework' put forth," said Lee-Flynn, adding that she's had "a very limited, house-arrest type of life" since last March to avoid risking her health. Henry says schedule could move quicker if more vaccines approved Premier John Horgan said Friday that he's received a pile of mail "a couple of inches thick" from advocates asking for higher priority for certain people. "All of the arguments were very compelling … but the science is pretty clear: age is the dominant determinant factor on severe illness and death." Both Horgan and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said other at-risk people could be vaccinated sooner than scheduled if more vaccines are approved by Health Canada. Russ Grabb, 63, from North Vancouver, says while he's been diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of leukemia and is severely immunocompromised, he's prepared to wait the three-to-five months it will for this vaccine rollout because it is still faster than most. "For us to be getting any kind of vaccination within 10 months to a year is a miracle," he said, adding that he's in "really good hands" with his doctors and his family in the meantime. First-responders should be prioritized, says firefighters association Gord Ditchburn, president of the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association, says while he's happy the plan is finally out, he's disappointed that firefighters, along with other first responders have been bumped down to Phases 3 and 4, under the new plan. "Our members right across this province are exposed every day while interacting with the public in unknown environments… [This] puts firefighters at risk every day to picking up this virus," he said. Similarly, Stephanie Smith, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, told CBC's On The Coast Friday that she's concerned about "thousands of front-line essential workers" who are at high risk of exposure to the virus every day. "For us, it's a question of clarity," said Smith. "We represent members in corrections, shelters, supportive housing, child care... When with their turn be?" Teachers union wants enhanced protections Meanwhile, Teri Mooring, president of the B.C. Teachers' Federation, said that she understands many teachers are stressed at not being prioritized, and called for the government to "take immediate action" to improve safety measures in schools, if this continues to be the case. "We must have a mandatory mask mandate, we must have better physical distancing measures, and we must have ventilation upgrades in our classrooms," her statement reads. Horgan said the long-term goal is still to have everyone in the province who wants a vaccination to have it by the end of September.
Two Onion Lake, Sask., residents were arrested after an Alberta RCMP officer was injured following a police pursuit. Police arrested Michael Patrick Hill, 23, and a 21-year-old woman, whom they didn’t identify. Both were wanted on outstanding warrants. The incident started in Vermillion, about 60 kilometres east of Lloydminster, after a suspect allegedly pointed a gun at a person at about 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2021. RCMP say the suspects involved fled Vermillion in a black SUV, which police located about an hour later near Edmonton. According to police, at about 3:30 p.m., two RCMP cruisers spotted the vehicle driving south in the northbound lane on Highway 21 south of Fort Saskatchewan near Township Road 542. An RCMP vehicle pursuing the black SUV went in the ditch and rolled near Range Road 540. A second RCMP vehicle was able to stop the SUV near Township Road 534. One RCMP officer was taken to hospital, treated for minor injuries and released. Strathcona County RCMP and Fort Saskatchewan RCMP assisted Vermillion RCMP in the pursuit. Hill was charged with assault with a weapon, dangerous operation of a vehicle, flight from a peace officer, pointing a firearm, operation of a motor vehicle while prohibited, possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and failing to comply with conditions. Hill was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in Sherwood Park Provincial Court on Jan. 27. The woman was charged with theft of a vehicle. She was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear in Sherwood Park Provincial Court on March 17. email@example.com Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords News - Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Seule femme noire au conseil d’administration de l’Ordre des infirmières du Québec, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa défend un système de santé à échelle humaine. Derrière ses traits tirés et une fatigue manifeste, elle raconte son histoire d’une voix assurée. « J’ai grandi avec des personnes qui étaient toujours en train d’aider les autres, pas parce que c’est leur job, mais parce que c’est leur façon d’être. » Née en République démocratique du Congo d’« une famille pauvre », la jeune Gracia a trois ans lorsqu’elle immigre en banlieue de Québec. Au sortir de son adolescence, un besoin de « justice sociale » la tiraille entre le droit et les sciences infirmières. « C’est important de me lever chaque matin et de pas avoir à me dire: qu’est-ce que je fais là? Chaque matin, je me lève et je suis certaine que je suis utile quelque part. » C’est en méditant sur ses origines qu’elle se destine au métier d’infirmière. « J’ai réalisé que c’est une chance pour moi d’être au Québec. C’est une chance, parce que ça aurait pu être ma cousine qui se retrouve ici et moi, j’aurais pu rester en République démocratique du Congo. Ça aurait pu être moi qui meurs en train d’accoucher parce qu’on a pas un système de santé fonctionnel. J’ai rapidement réalisé que c’était un privilège pour moi d’être ici, et que je n’ai pas le droit à l’erreur. » Et elle fait bon usage de son privilège. Après un baccalauréat à l’Université Laval, elle décroche une maitrise en administration publique. Ensuite, elle multiplie les implications sociales, jusqu’à entrer au conseil d’administration de l’ordre des infirmières en 2018. Sa victoire suscite beaucoup d’enthousiasme auprès de plusieurs infirmiers et infirmières de la diversité. «Je pense que beaucoup de ces personnes-là s’imaginaient que ça ne valait même pas la peine d’essayer d’y aller, parce que c’était rare d’avoir une Noire. Je pense que ça, c’est un gros gain.» Elle se dit bien consciente du rôle de modèle qu’elle peut inspirer parmi les quelque 76 000 membres de son ordre. « Peu importe la personne, de quelle diversité elle peut être, quand on est à une table, c’est toujours une pression de se dire qu’on représente tout le monde de notre catégorie. C’est d’abord une fierté et une responsabilité pour moi. » Une autre vision de la santé Comme administratrice sur l’île de Montréal, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa déconstruit les stéréotypes en santé. « C’est important de savoir que notre façon de voir la santé, ce n’est pas la seule. Ce n’est pas juste une question de savoir si je suis en face d’un Haïtien ou d’un Chinois. Chaque humain a une façon de vivre la santé. [...] Je le sais que ma façon de voir la vie, ce n’est pas la seule, parce que je suis minoritaire et je suis habitué de composer avec ça. Mais, quand on est majoritaire, des fois, il faut nous le rappeler. » Il faut « être l’écoute », insiste-t-elle, « regarder les signes sociaux » et être sensible aux gestes et paroles qui pourraient nuire aux patients. Elle prend pour exemple le décès tragique de Joyce Echaquan, qui a secoué le Québec l’an dernier. « La prochaine étape, c’est de s’assurer d’avoir des groupes et des discussions entre des personnes d’origines autochtones et la profession infirmière. Le racisme, c’est un enjeu de protection du public. » Critique des réformes centralisatrices, elle cherche aussi à décloisonner l’organisation des soins. « Il y a beaucoup d’énergie mise dans les hôpitaux, alors qu’il y a énormément de besoins dans la communauté. Le soutien à domicile, la collaboration avec les organismes communautaires, les réseaux de la protection de la jeunesse, toutes les résidences intermédiaires : il y a énormément de choses qui se passent sur le territoire à l’extérieur de l’hôpital. Mais beaucoup d’argent et d’énergie sont mis dans l’hôpital. Si on mettait de l’argent et de l’énergie à l’extérieur, il n’y aurait pas autant de gens qui se rendraient à l’hôpital. » L’importance accordée aux médecins pèserait lourd dans cette tendance « hospitalo-centriste », plaide-t-elle. « C’est beaucoup à l’hôpital qu’ils se font de l’argent. » Or, « enlevez les infirmières et le système n’existe pas. C’est difficile pour la profession de prouver ce que je viens de dire. C’est lié au fait qu’on est une profession historiquement féminine et ce qu’on fait, c’est tenu pour acquis. » Son mandat à l’ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec se termine en 2024. D’ici là, elle espère pouvoir redessiner la profession au-delà de la COVID-19. Et aussi, prendre un peu de repos.Jean-Louis Bordeleau, journaliste à l'Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
Two COVID-19 cases reported in Nova Scotia in December are now linked to the United Kingdom and South African variants of the virus, the province announced Friday. Nova Scotia has been sending samples of positive tests, on a case-by-case basis, to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The national lab sequences the genetic material of the virus to determine what variant the case is associated with. In a live briefing Friday, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said the two samples were sent to the lab at the end of December. The two variants are concerning because they may spread more easily between people, with a possibility that the U.K. variant is associated with higher mortality. "The variants don't require us to do anything different in Nova Scotia," said Strang. "They're just a reminder of how we need to stay strong and vigilant in doing what we're already doing." The two cases were in the central health zone, which includes Halifax and surrounding areas, and are associated with travel outside Canada. Strang said there’s no evidence of community spread related to the cases. The person who had the U.K. variant was in self-isolation and had no contact with others. The person with the South African variant spread the virus to household members. Strang said it’s possible the household members also had the South African variant. The samples can’t be sent to Winnipeg for confirmation because they don’t contain a high enough number of virus particles for sequencing to work. Contacts of the household members were tested when the cases were first reported in December, with none testing positive. Strang said Nova Scotia is working closely with the national lab to further investigate the two cases. According to a news release, all positive samples from the first wave were sent to the lab for sequencing and none of them was determined to be of the U.K. or South African variant. Samples are submitted every two weeks for variant identification. All positive cases associated with travel outside Canada are sent to the lab. Public Health also considers cases involving a large number of contact testing positive or a very short incubation period. Nova Scotia is currently waiting for the national lab to complete identification of 20 to 30 samples, said Strang. Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday – two cases in the western zone and one in the central zone, all related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. A positive case in the northern zone is a close contact of a previously reported case. One of the cases in the western zone is a student at Acadia University in Wolfville. The student had completed the required 14-day self-isolation and was attending classes when they got COVID-19 symptoms. The student tested positive shortly afterward and is self-isolating again. Strang said investigation shows that the student got COVID-19 before coming to Nova Scotia. Public Health is arranging testing for close contacts and anyone who might have been exposed to the virus at the classes the person attended. After Pfizer announced world-wide delays to vaccine shipment last Friday, Strang confirmed Nova Scotia will not be receiving any Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines next week. Strang said the delay is “short-term” and won’t affect Nova Scotia’s 90-day vaccine plan. “Everything we are hearing through our federal colleagues is that Pfizer remains committed to making up these remaining doses later in this first quarter of 2021.” In addition to the scheduled number of Moderna vaccine doses, the province will get a small number of Pfizer-BioNTech doses in early February. As of Jan. 21, 10,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 2,705 Nova Scotians have received their second dose. At the briefing, Premier Stephen McNeil announced that most public health restrictions, such as gathering limits and capacities for retail stores and gyms, will be extended until at least Feb. 7. Team and non-team sports can resume as of Monday, Jan. 25 without spectators. Residents of adult service centres and regional rehabilitation centres can go out into the community for work and volunteering also starting Monday. Nebal Snan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle Herald
WASHINGTON — It's taken only days for Democrats gauging how far President Joe Biden's bold immigration proposal can go in Congress to acknowledge that if anything emerges, it will likely be significantly more modest. As they brace to tackle a politically flammable issue that's resisted major congressional action since the 1980s, Democrats are using words like “aspirational” to describe Biden's plan and “herculean” to express the effort they'll need to prevail. A similar message came from the White House Friday when press secretary Jen Psaki said the new administration hopes Biden's plan will be “the base" of immigration discussions in Congress. Democrats' cautious tones underscored the fragile road they face on a paramount issue for their minority voters, progressives and activists. Even long-time immigration proponents advocating an all-out fight concede they may have to settle for less than total victory. Paving a path to citizenship for all 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally — the centerpiece of Biden's plan — is “the stake at the summit of the mountain,” Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice, said in an interview. “If there are ways to advance toward that summit by building victories and momentum, we’re going to look at them.” The citizenship process in Biden's plan would take as little as three years for some people, eight years for others. The proposal would make it easier for certain workers to stay in the U.S. temporarily or permanently, provide development aid to Central American nations in hopes of reducing immigration and move toward bolstering border screening technology. No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois said in an interview this week that the likeliest package to emerge would create a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers. They are immigrants who’ve lived in the U.S. most of their lives after being brought here illegally as children. Over 600,000 of them have temporary permission to live in the U.S. under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Former President Barack Obama created that program administratively and Durbin and others would like to see it enacted into law. Durbin, who called Biden's plan “aspirational,” said he hoped for other elements as well, such as more visas for agricultural and other workers. “We understand the political reality of a 50-50 Senate, that any changes in immigration will require co-operation between the parties,” said Durbin, who is on track to become Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. He said legislation produced by the Senate likely “will not reach the same levels” as Biden’s proposal. The Senate is split evenly between the two parties, with Vice-President Kamala Harris tipping the chamber in Democrats’ favour with her tie-breaking vote. Even so, major legislation requires 60 votes to overcome filibusters, or endless procedural delays, in order to pass. That means 10 Republicans would have to join all 50 Democrats to enact an immigration measure, a tall order. “Passing immigration reform through the Senate, particularly, is a herculean task,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who will also play a lead role in the battle. Many Republicans agree with Durbin's assessment. “I think the space in a 50-50 Senate will be some kind of DACA deal,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who’s worked with Democrats on past immigration efforts. “I just think comprehensive immigration is going to be a tough sale given this environment.” Illustrating the detailed bargaining ahead, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who’s sought earlier immigration compromises, praised parts of the bill but said she wants more visas for foreign workers her state's tourism industry uses heavily. Democrats' hurdles are formidable. They have razor-thin majorities in a House and Senate where Republican support for easing immigration restrictions is usually scant. Acrid partisan relationships were intensified further by former President Donald Trump's clamourous tenure. Biden will have to spend plenty of political capital and time on earlier, higher priority bills battling the pandemic and bolstering the economy, leaving his future clout uncertain. In addition, Democrats will have to resolve important tactical differences. Sharry said immigration groups prefer Democrats to push for as strong a bill as possible without making any concessions to Republicans on issues like boosting border security spending. He said hopes for a bipartisan breakthrough are “a fool’s errand” because the GOP has largely opposed expending citizenship opportunities for so long. But prevailing without GOP votes would mean virtual unanimity among congressional Democrats, a huge challenge. It would also mean Democrats would have to either eliminate the Senate filibuster, which they may not have the votes to do, or figure out other procedural routes around the 60-vote hurdle. “I'm going to start negotiating" with Republicans, said Durbin. He said a bipartisan bill would be far better “if we can do it" because it would improve the chances for passage. Democrats already face attacks from Republicans, eyeing next year's elections, on an issue that helped helped power Trump's 2016 victory by fortifying his support from many white voters. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Biden’s bill would “prioritize help for illegal immigrants and not our fellow citizens.” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP campaign arm, said the measure would hurt “hard-working Americans and the millions of immigrants working their way through the legal immigration process." Democrats say such allegations are false but say it's difficult to compose clear, sound-bite responses on what is a complex issue. Instead, it requires having “an adult conversation” with voters, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said in an interview. “Yeah, this is about people but it's about the economy" as well, said Spanberger, a moderate from a district where farms and technology firms hire many immigrants. “In central Virginia, we rely on immigration. And you may not like that, but we do." Alan Fram, The Associated Press
Friday's Games NHL Toronto 4 Edmonton 2 Pittsburgh 4 N.Y. Rangers 3 (SO) Washington 4 Buffalo 3 (SO) Chicago 4 Detroit 1 Minnesota 4 San Jose 1 Dallas 7 Nashville 0 Arizona 5 Vegas 2 Colorado 3 Anaheim 2 (OT) --- NBA Toronto 101 Miami 81 Chicago 123 Charlotte 110 Houston 103 Detroit 102 Indiana 120 Orlando 118 (OT) Cleveland 125 Brooklyn 113 Philadelphia 122 Boston 110 Atlanta 116 Minnesota 98 Dallas 122 San Antonio 117 L.A. Clippers 120 Oklahoma City 106 Denver 130 Phoenix 126 (OT) Sacramento 103 New York 94 Washington at Milwaukee -- postponed Memphis at Portland -- postponed --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Who is in charge of the vaccine rollout in Manitoba — that’s a question many nurses in the province are asking, including in the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) region. The region put out an internal call for COVID vaccine program support intake for PMH employees only, about a month ago. “As more COVID-19 vaccine is delivered in the coming weeks, teams of people will be needed throughout our region to make this historic immunization campaign a success,” PHM states. One nurse, who spoke with The Brandon Sun on condition of anonymity, said, initially, the process was simple. The application is through the workplace intranet. The application asks all the basic questions, how the applicant is willing to help, employee number and EFT (equivalency to full-time). The nurse is a casual nurse and their friends are also casual and part-time, because they are retired. “We all applied and nobody has heard anything from Prairie Mountain Health,” they said. Another nurse, in a PMH community, was offered the same job by two different people for different wages. “She applied to be an immunizer. When you’re a nurse, there’s a pay scale, right? Depending on your experience. She’s a very experienced nurse, but she’s at the top of her pay scale, but she got offered a lower pay, and then a higher pay, but by two different people. And, then, she was offered training. Well, she’s already a trained nurse. She doesn’t need training to immunize,” said the anonymous nurse. The Sun asked PMH to explain the system, including who is in charge of hiring. The spokesperson asked that question be turned over to provincial communications. “The recruitment team for immunization clinics has been led by the province with the support of Shared Health and regional health authorities. We’ve already got more than 1,700 people in place to do this work, which includes 1,100 new hires,” said the provincial spokesperson. “As more vaccine supply arrives, we’re going to be in a good place to have additional staff or independent contractors hired, trained and ready to provide vaccines, when and where they are needed.” As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, earlier this week, the province hired a private Canadian company, the David Aplin Group, to assist it in recruiting staff for its vaccination clinics. A spokeswoman said the contract was tendered in December and signed this month. But the spokesperson who replied to the Sun’s questions stated the David Alpin Group has been brought on board to support the recruitment of people from outside the health system, such as dentists, veterinarians, as well as individuals who don’t currently hold an EFT position within Shared Health. “Shared Health continues to support the application process for those who hold an EFT within the organization and will remain the employer of record for all those hired to support this initiative,” stated the spokesperson. In times of war — and many politicians and others refer to this time in history as the war against COVID-19 — nurses are on the frontlines. They do it all. Yet, the province has not turned to its nurses, who are experts at leading and setting up vaccination clinics. And, further, they are expected to accept the chaos created by the provincial government’s inability to put together a timely and transparent plan. Darlene Jackson is president of the 12,000 member Manitoba Nurses Union, and a nurse for 40 years in the province. Jackson said part of the problem is the provincial government hasn’t completed its transformation of health care in Manitoba. What was known as Manitoba Health became regionalized in the 90s, moving away from a centralized health authority. Shared Health came to be as a procurement entity, so the regions could get better prices on equipment and supplies. She said it looks like the province is headed back to centralization, with Shared Health as the hub. “It’s been very unclear when we’re going to get there, because we’re sort of in flux right now. We haven’t quite transitioned to Shared Health. It looks like we’re on our way there, but it’s happening in bits and pieces,” said Jackson. “So that’s part of the frustration — we haven’t finished this transformation that the government started about four-and-a-half years ago. There really hasn’t been a really good plan rolled out that anyone in this province, other than Shared Health and the government, knows. We’re not sure what’s happening.” Amid that confusion, the pandemic hit. The Pallister government said Monday it had hired a COVID-19 immunization director, a position it advertised two weeks prior, the Winnipeg Free Press reported Thursday. The CBC reported Friday afternoon the person who will be in charge of provincial immunization clinics has been seconded from Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries. Asked what she would do if she were in charge, Jackson said her first action would be to bring the individuals in the province who are the experts to the table. “Not one frontline public health nurse has been asked their opinions. And, I’m telling you, they’re in a line waiting to help. One thing I’ll say about nurses is they never bring an issue without bringing a solution to it,” she said. “It seems to be the same with almost everything that’s happening in this province right now. They’re not utilizing the individuals that are right on the ground and can bring solutions that are very basic, very every day, and don’t cost a lot of money.” The Sun also turned to the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba. “We work closely with the Community Health Nurses of Manitoba, a nursing specialty group that represents nurses working in public health, community health and homecare settings. We consulted with them for input and are able to make the following comments,” stated executive director Dr. Cheryl Cusack by email. “We have heard from public health nurses, who have previously been responsible for planning and implementing immunization programs and clinics, that they want to contribute but have not been engaged.” The association has also heard from retired nurses that have expressed interest in helping that they haven’t heard back from government or Shared Health — and that’s throughout the COVID response. “We continue to encourage the government to build capacity within the existing provincial health system and utilize the knowledge, skill and expertise of nurses in healthcare planning and decisions,” Cusack said. When Premier Brian Pallister visited Brandon Jan. 13, he erroneously called the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba a union, disparaging them in the process. “This isn’t the time for union agitation. This is not the time for that. It’s not helpful,” he said. Jackson, who is president of the actual union, said she’s not interested in “agitating,” but the government is not listening. She wants to make every effort to collaborate with the government, and has had two recent meetings with Pallister’s new health minister, Heather Stefanson. “I spend a lot of time bringing issues forward on behalf of nurses and they just feel like they have so many solutions and so many ways to help and they’re not been listened to,” she said. “We want to help. We don’t want to agitate. We want to help. That’s what we want to do. We want to ensure that Manitobans are afforded the best possible health care and we want every Manitoban to be vaccinated,” said Jackson. She said she’s heard from many nurses who have said the same things to her as they did responding to a survey Cusack ran for the members of the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba. “The pandemic is killing them. They are overworked. Their workload is ridiculous. They are fearful of patient safety,” said Jackson, adding it doesn’t matter who brings the message. “The message from nurses in this province is very clear. This pandemic is bringing us down. The plans were not rolled out. The game is changing so often that nurses really are confused.” The anonymous nurse who spoke with the Sun repeated: Who’s in charge? “I know everyone is blaming Pallister, but he doesn’t have a hot clue what’s going on in (Prairie Mountain Health) because it’s all been delegated out. When they’re blaming Pallister and (Dr. Brent) Roussin … they don’t have a clue what’s going on out here. They’ve delegated out to people who they believe to be competent. I don’t know that they are. I don’t know who they are,” they said. “Common sense has taken a vacation.” Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun