Dude the Alaskan Malamute is so patient as little girl gathers play kitchen food to “serve” to him for lunch.
Dude the Alaskan Malamute is so patient as little girl gathers play kitchen food to “serve” to him for lunch.
SCUGOG: Scugog councillors have decided not to send their 2021 cost of living wage increase back to the municipality, opposing a motion intended to lessen the tax impact on the community. At a meeting on Monday, November 23rd, Regional Councillor Wilma Wotten made a motion to have “council members support the donation of their 2021 cost of living wage increase back to the municipality to reduce the 2021 tax impact for Scugog Township.” The motion noted how the COVID-19 pandemic “continues to negatively impact economic realities for residents, businesses, non-profit organizations and charities.” Councillor Wotten explained why she decided to go this route instead of recommending a wage freeze. “I feel firmly we would be moving backwards if we were to do a full freeze. Originally I thought it would be good to donate it to a charity of choice, but I think it is better to donate it back to the township, so it can go into our revenue,” she said, adding this money would go towards all taxpayers in Scugog, rather than one charity. Ward 4 Councillor Deborah Kiezebrink supported Councillor Wotten’s motion. “I really appreciate Councillor Wotten’s heart and her thoughts. These have been extremely difficult and painful times for so many people. It’s hard because the services the township has to provide cost more. We’re all affected by this,” she said. But, the majority of councillors rejected the motion. “I’m one of those people who [doesn’t] have a problem donating back, but I’d like to donate back to the community by donating the money to the food bank. These are lean times for all of us, and especially for food banks and especially here in Scugog,” Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown said. Ward 3 Councillor Angus Ross said this motion does not do enough to help the community. “I support council giving back to the community 100 per cent, but I don’t support this motion because I don’t believe it actually gives back to the community. I think it is a gesture, and that’s fine and I think [there are] times for gestures, how be it though I don’t think this is time for one,” he said. Scugog finance staff estimated the collective wage increase to be about $4,128. Councillor Wotten stated it would be improper for one councillor to decide what one charity these combined funds should be donated to. “How do we choose which one is more important?” she said. Councillor Wotten’s motion failed four to two. Councillors were instead encouraged to give back to charities of their choice. “I know this year I have stepped up my contributions to different organizations, especially in town, and I would just encourage everyone to do the same,” Mayor Bobbie Drew said.Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper
Quebec is tightening the health guidelines for stores and malls for the holiday shopping season in an attempt to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault said Wednesday she wants Quebecers to be able to shop for loved ones in a safe environment.The measures include: * A maximum capacity of customers based on floor space available to customers. The capacity must be displayed at the front of the store or shopping mall. * Signs about distancing rules to ensure compliance while shopping and waiting in line. * Clear markings so that shoppers can more easily navigate the store.Guilbault acknowledged that many shopping venues already have these measures in place. But she said those that don't risk being fined up to $6,000 or closed altogether.She said police and workplace safety inspectors would increase their presence in shopping districts during the holiday period.The province reported a record 1,514 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic, along with 43 deaths.Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said earlier this week that shopping malls have not been a major driver of COVID-19 outbreaks but he said stricter guidelines would ensure that remains the case.
A former reeve says an error at the polls affected the results of the Rural Municipality of Dundurn's election last month. Trevor Reid, who said he lost his own seat "fair and square," alleged polling staff wrongly turned voters away on Nov. 9. He said that may mean the difference in two divisions, which were decided by one and seven votes. Those results could have changed "if people weren't denied their right to vote on election day," he said. Residents couldn't vote because they failed to offer proof of address or a land description, Reid said, adding that proof of identity and a completed voter declaration form are all that's required. Reeve Jay Olyniuk said polling staff only turned away voters who lacked proper identification. He said candidates are free to challenge the results if they wish, but none have done so. He said the results reflected the will of the RM's voters. "Voters did come out in strong numbers, showing ... they wanted a change. They got the change that they wanted." The Local Government Elections Act says if a voter's identification doesn't have evidence of residency in a municipality, "but is, in the opinion of the deputy returning officer, consistent with information relating to the person that appears on the voters list or voter’s registration form, the person’s residence is established for the purposes of voting." In a prepared statement, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities said it was unaware of the concerns, but noted poor weather conditions during last month's elections may have kept voters away from polls. The RM of Dundurn is about 32 kilometres south of Saskatoon. Deputy Reeve Fred Baran, who wasn't up for election, said elections staff asked him for a land location so he could vote. He presented his property titles on his phone, but wasn't happy about it. He worries the requirement could have discouraged others from voting, he said. "Had I not found that ... on my phone, I would have gone home and I wouldn't have come back to the polls." When the matter came before council last Thursday, he said he was the only member to vote for challenging the election results. He said the meeting minutes will be released in coming weeks, but declined to comment on the council's discussions. Travis Libke, who lost his division's election by a single vote, said he is weighing a legal challenge. However, he worries some of the legal costs are prohibitive and may prevent him from pursuing the matter. He said he raised the issue with Olyniuk and wanted council to apologize. "When somebody's denied the right to vote and they live here, in my opinion, that's just wrong."Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
LOS ANGELES — Native American tribes and advocates are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims.They also have assailed the network and the show's producers for failing to respond to their complaints, which they first made known in a Nov. 17 letter. On Tuesday, the makers of “Big Sky” broke their silence.“After meaningful conversations with representatives of the Indigenous community, our eyes have been opened to the outsized number of Native American and Indigenous women who go missing and are murdered each year, a sad and shocking fact," the executive producers said in a statement to The Associated Press.“We are grateful for this education and are working with Indigenous groups to help bring attention to this important issue,” according to the statement. The producers include David E. Kelley ("Big Little Lies," “The Undoing”) and novelist C.J. Box, whose 2013 book “The Highway” was adapted for the series.Created by Kelley, “Big Sky” stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury as private detectives searching for two white sisters on a road trip who go missing and turn out to be part of a pattern of abductions.With a disproportionate number of American Indians among Montana’s missing and murdered girls and women, the fictional approach represents “at best, cultural insensitivity, and at worst, appropriation,” said the signers, including the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council that represents all of Montana’s tribal nations.“I’m not at all surprised that they’re doing this because Hollywood’s been appropriating our trauma and our lived experience for years and years and years,” said Georgina Lightning, an actor and longtime activist. “And we’ve always cried about it. We’ve always called it out. But nobody ever cared. Nobody ever listened and nobody cared.”In the November letter, ABC was asked to consider adding an on-screen message steering viewers to information about the entrenched peril facing Indigenous women in North America. They cited “Somebody's Daughter,” a documentary detailing the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls crisis, as it's known to those fighting the scourge.“This is such an easy fix for ABC to make,” the film's director, Rain, said in a statement. “Indigenous leaders are reaching out to ally and inform, to open a dialogue. They’re not asking for ‘Big Sky’ to be taken off the air,” he said, but instead be used to inform.When no response was forthcoming, the coalition took its effort public and enlisted support from other tribal organizations, including Canada’s Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association.“Two-thirds of this country doesn’t even know that Native Americans still exist," said Tom Rodgers, president of the Global Indigenous Council and a co-signer of the letter to ABC. “We thought, what a teachable moment.”In response to the producers' statement, a skeptical Rodgers said Tuesday he hadn't heard from anyone connected with the show and called for further details, including which Indigenous partners were being consulted.While more than 5,000 Indigenous women were reported missing in 2016 in the U.S., reporting by The Associated Press has shown the number is difficult to determine because some cases go unreported, others aren’t well-documented, and a comprehensive government database to track the cases is lacking.Advocates, including some lawmakers representing Native Americans, also link the long-standing problem to inadequate resources, indifference and a jurisdictional maze. The rise of the MeToo movement helped give the issue political heft, but Hollywood has lagged in paying heed.While Lightning said she was “a little bit shocked” when she saw a Native American tragedy mirrored in a story but without Native American characters, her years working in Los Angeles meant she wasn’t surprised. Now living in Alberta, she’s in the Canadian miniseries “Trickster,” about a dysfunctional Native family.“There's such resistance” to change in Hollywood, she said. "When you’re used to being one of the good old boys... there's no way they think they’re going to have to conform to the rest of society. It’s such an arrogance.”Native Americans are used to being routinely ignored by American popular culture, registering barely a blip on TV as they're usually seen on only one or two shows, such as Paramount Network's “Yellowstone.” A University of California, Los Angeles, study released this year found that Indigenous actors were cast in six of 1,816 broadcast and cable series roles for the 2018-19 season.But being slighted on the crucial issue raised by “Big Sky” is too bitter a pill to accept, said Rodgers, a Blackfeet Nation member whose Global Indigenous Council, an advocacy group for Indigenous peoples worldwide, helped organize the outreach to ABC.“The one thing we won’t be anymore is ignored. We’re not going to be made invisible, we will not be erased," he said.____Lynn Elber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.___This story has been corrected to use the accurate pronoun for filmmaker Rain.Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
EARLTON – Skaters will have to lace up elsewhere in Earlton this year. Armstrong Township council agreed to not have ice installed this winter at the Earlton Recreation Centre. Options were discussed and the decision was agreed upon at council’s regular meeting November 25. Mayor Jean Marc Boileau asked council what they wanted to do in terms of having the ice installed or not. He commented that the town could create an outdoor ice rink outside of the Recreation Centre, but users still would need to come inside the building to put on their skates or use the washrooms. “We have washrooms here but then you also have the gym-goers on the other side,” he said. Issues also were raised that if the ice was installed, the town would have to monitor the number of users in the change rooms and building to remain in line with COVID-19 protocols. Councillor Kevin Léveillé noted that Earlton’s winter festival isn’t happening this winter and Boileau said that École catholique Assomption had told him that its students wouldn’t be skating at the arena this school year. Councillor Michèle Rivard commented that the Englehart and Area Community Arena Complex has its ice installed and that if Earlton didn’t put its ice in that “it sucks that we wouldn’t have ours open, but at least the kids could still do public skating and they would have to go there.” Councillor Matt Golcic said that he didn’t feel Earlton’s arena numbers were all that high anyway and wondered what they were last season. Boileau responded that the arena had about 342 users last winter and part of those numbers were children who would come over with the school, but also that it didn’t happen very often. “Last year was a bad year,” he noted. “I don’t know why.” Council then asked acting public works foreman Caleb Fotheringham what his thoughts were on having ice installed or not so that they could come to a consensus on a decision. Fotheringham said that with no school users or other events happening this winter that he would recommend that the town doesn’t have ice this year at the arena. “If you want to have ice, I’m sure we can make it work, but I would recommend (that we have) no ice.” Council agreed and approved a motion for an ice-free arena this season.Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker
Discovery+ will be available on Jan. 4 in the United States where it will include 55,000 episodes from channels in the Discovery portfolio, which include HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet. The service will be free for up to 12 months for new and existing Verizon customers, depending on their plan. People who aren’t eligible for the free trial can subscribe to the service for $4.99 per month with ads, or $6.99 per month ad-free.
Waterloo Region council will vote Dec. 2 on whether to get rid of the five child-care centres it operates. Parents and advocates say the move would harm quality of care and leave hundreds of children in the lurch. Tania Gonzalez said her son Marcus has been well cared for since going to Christopher Children's Centre in Cambridge in mid-2019, when he was an infant. Caretakers at the centre recognized when Marcus was behind on his speech and made her aware of it. Marcus started talking around March, said Gonzalez, just before the province declared a state of emergency and closed all child-care centres. When Marcus returned to Christopher in July, they “lost all the progress,” Gonzalez said. “Not for lack of trying at home, but again, we ... don't specialize in children's development,” she said, adding, since returning to Christopher, Marcus is using easily up to 50 words. “It's not just a daycare. It's not just a babysitter. It's a whole system looking out for my kids.” Tania Resendes said her kids Leo, three, and Matteo, one, really love seeing their teachers at Christopher. Matteo, who has hearing loss, could only speak around three words when he started out and saw a “significant difference” within a month of being at the centre, using over 12 words. Resendes said parents should have “options,” and believes it would be hard to find care of the same calibre in a private daycare system, especially for children with special needs. She said she has tried calling around to child-care centres, but it has been hard to find available spots during the pandemic, when child-care centres are operating at a around 70 per cent capacity. “The prospect of closing or off-loading child-care centres during a pandemic is absolutely shameful,” Carolyn Ferns, policy co-ordinator at the Ontario Coalition of Better Child Care (OCBCC) stated in a media release. “The regionally-operated child-care centres play an important role in the child-care system in the Region of Waterloo. “High-quality, public child-care centres are a benchmark for decent wages, pensions, and benefits for educators who are predominantly women.” With the closures, the region would lose around $2.2 million in fees from parents and would free up $4.3 million in provincial financing earmarked for child care, a consultation review found. Closure would also, it found, require the region to immediately shell out up to $6.4 million in severance pay as the region is projected to be $25 million in the red. CUPE Local 1883, which represents workers in each of the five child-care centres, said the move would leave parents, caretakers and the children in the cold. “Hundreds of working families in the region are already at their breaking point during this brutal pandemic,” says Noelle Fletcher, president of the local. “Losing public child-care spaces due to closures or off-loading them to the community will result in a destabilization of care. “Many parents and caregivers may have to quit their jobs and rely on unlicensed, private care with exorbitant fees or be placed on lengthy wait lists in community-based centres.” Staff recommend eliminating Cambridge Children’s Centre, Kitchener’s Edith MacIntosh Children’s Centre, Kinsmen Children’s Centre and Christopher Children’s Centre, both in Cambridge, by mid-2021. Elmira Children’s Centre is recommended to be closed at a future date. As a result, around 250 children would lose support and 62 full-time staff would be permanently laid off. In 2015, council voted against the closure of all five centres amid public pressure. This time, Resendes said, parents were given too little time to prepare. “From the moment that we found out to when it's going to vote, we've been given three weeks to try and advocate, do our research ... and figure out exactly what's going on.” The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and will be livestreamed. Call 519-575-4400 to leave feedback.Swikar Oli, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cambridge Times
Israel received its most advanced warship on Wednesday, describing the German-made vessel dubbed "Shield" as a bulwark for vulnerable Mediterranean gas rigs as tensions with Tehran soar over the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. The Saar-6 corvette that docked in Haifa port, and three of the same model to follow next year, will bring to 15 the number of missile boats deployed by an Israeli navy which, while small, carries out missions as far away as the Red Sea and the Gulf. Israel also wants to protect off-shore natural gas fields close to Lebanon, an old foe with which it has held so far fruitless U.S.-mediated maritime border talks.
Rotaract Haliburton Highlands is organizing a special festive scavenger hunt for local youth over the Christmas period. Starting this Saturday (Dec. 5), participants will have to scour the downtown area for hidden clues to complete the challenge. In total, 12 local businesses have signed up to play a part in the community scavenger hunt. Speaking to the Echo, Rotaract member Vivian Collings said the local club wanted to “do something a little special” this holiday season to help spread the Christmas cheer and put smiles on people’s faces. “We’re going to be handing out activity sheets at the Rotary Drive-Thru Christmas Party this weekend that explain what businesses participants will need to go to, and will also include Haliburton trivia and a colouring page,” Collings said. “As a group, we’re going to go around town and put up pictures of Christmas characters in the windows of participating businesses. Kids will then have to write down what character they find in which business.” Participants that successfully complete all three stages will be entered into a draw with a chance to win a prize. “We’ll have prizes for different ages groups,” Vivian said. “Right now, we have some outdoor games and activities, we have a kite, and some craft kits. Then we’ll also have some stuffed animals for younger children as well.” Rotaract is still a relatively new concept here in Haliburton. The local group was launched in January, and received their official charter from Rotary International in February. At present, the club boasts around 35 members. Rotaract Haliburton Highlands has close ties with the Rotary Club of Haliburton. As Vivian explains, “Rotaract is basically Rotary, just for younger adults.” The club is made up of individuals between the ages of 18 and 30, although allowances are made on a case-by-case basis for people who want to join, but are outside of that age bracket. “We formed the group because we wanted to help out our community in any way that is needed,” Collings said. “There’s a big social component too – being able to build more connections with other people in our age group. We found there’s a big gap between high-school age people in our community and Rotarians – there really wasn’t any other group in town [servicing] people our age, so we started one.” There are currently 10,698 registered Rotaract clubs in 180 countries. The local scavenger hunt is being offered at no cost to anyone wanting to participate. Activity kits will be handed out at the Rotary Drive-Thru Christmas Party this Saturday, and will be available for pick-up at Century 21, located at 191 Highland St. To be eligible for a prize, completed activity sheets should be dropped off at Century 21, or emailed to email@example.com.Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
Clasine van Adrichem had been enjoying her time with friends knitting mini-scarves for the plush toys of Mr. PG, the mascot of Prince George, B.C., which were to be given away during the World Women's Curling Championship in the city in March.But when the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, so were her weekly gatherings with her pals. As the province reopened in the summer, van Adrichem came up with a bigger project to reconnect with her friends: to make a gigantic scarf for the eight metre-tall Mr. PG statue itself.Van Adrichem and nine other women — ranging in age from 67 to 92 — congregated weekly in Prince George's Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park to weave the 13-metre long accessory for the city's landmark, which celebrated its 60th birthday in May.On Monday, Mr. PG finally got to put it on. Each member of the team knitted two to three squares, with a total of 25 making up the final scarf. The squares are different colours that represent local organizations and sports teams."Each square probably took close to 10 hours," van Adrichem told Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North. The weekly knitting sessions in the park were a lifesaver for Sally McLean, who felt isolated at home and didn't get much social support for the first three months of the pandemic."We talked about the weather, and we talked about each other's families and how everybody was doing," McLean said. "We just supported one another in that way as we continued to knit."The women normally make mittens, toques, scarves and sweaters for families in need and give much of their time to support local charities. Van Adrichem hopes Mr. PG's scarf will serve as a reminder to Prince George residents about the importance of giving."There are so many here in the city who need support," she said. "We hope that people will be generous and provide people with something they really need, whether it be food or clothing, at this time of year."Members of the public now have a chance to own a human-size replica of Mr. PG's scarf hand-knitted by van Adrichem, McLean and their teammates. To be in the running, the City of Prince George is encouraging people to comment on its social media channels, stating which nonprofit organizations they've donated to, by Dec. 21.Tap the link below to listen to Clasine van Adrichem and Sally McLean's interview on Daybreak North:Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
An interesting product checks all the right boxes. The environmentally friendly Stojo collapsible containers could become your next go-to portable cup or water bottle. The containers open and fold like an accordion and are perfect for travellers or when you’re on the go and have no place for that large 16-ounce refillable cup. When collapsed, they become a leak-proof disc. They’re made of strong, food grade silicone, polypropylene or recyclable plastic. They’re free of BPAs, BPSs and phthalates. What’s more is these go-anywhere companions are dishwasher safe and can hold anything that fits – hot or cold, literally from fruits to nuts! The Stojo products were designed by New York dads, who were always on the go. They wanted to create the first ultra-portable, leak-proof reusable cup. It really does live up to the company motto: “have fun with less.” Stojo, like many people today, are on a mission to end aspects of our disposable culture. The environmental benefits are impressive. The company estimates that one Stojo product annually saves 23 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, 281 gallons of water and 16 pounds of solid waste. The cups range from 8 to a whopping 24 ounces, and $12 to $25. The bottle comes in a standard 20-ounce size. For more, visit https://stojo.co/ Mark Pavilons, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, King Weekly Sentinel
ENHYPEN, “BORDER : DAY ONE” (Belift Lab)With a speed and preparedness that would put to shame the world’s largest corporations, K-pop entertainment agencies continue to perfect the formula for success, launching multiple hit songs and albums with multiple acts.Next up is septet ENHYPEN. Following their participation in the 2020 reality TV show “I-LAND,” BELIFT LAB — a joint venture between BTS’ management BIG HIT and CJ ENM — is launching them into the stratosphere with a six-track debut album called “BORDER : DAY ONE.”The album introduces the seven-member group to the world with lyrics expressing anticipation, longing and the desire to connect. “Given-Taken” is a harp pop dramatic fantasy constructed around a hip-hop beat and “Let Me In (20 CUBE)” brings in a sexy, slow reggae rhythm wrapped around a captivating electric guitar.“10 Months” feeds a confident piano crescendo into a sort of a reverb pop and underwater effects and “Flicker” follows a dreamy drum bass infused with the charisma of a rake watching his next mark. “Intro : Walk the Line" and “Outro : Cross the Line" are mainly creative exercises meant to bookmark and flesh out the high concept release.It’s clear some sort of alchemy is turning voices and faces into gold overnight. Perhaps lucky No. 7 is real after all.Cristina Jaleru, The Associated Press
The minister in charge of Saskatchewan jails says the province is unable to release prisoners from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell says the government is doing all it can to protect the inmates and staff at the jail.In the past 10 days, the number of staff and inmates testing positive for COVID-19 at the centre has gone from zero to 142.A variety of people, advocacy groups and support groups are calling for the targeted release of inmates from the centre. According to the government, such decisions would be made by Public Prosecutions.In the spring, Public Prosecutions moved to reduce the numbers in the province's jails. It instructed prosecutors to review all new arrests with an eye to keeping non-violent accused out of jail. Both orders were a response to fears about the COVID-19 coronavirus getting into the jail system."As new arrests come in, they will be assessed with the COVID-19 situation and the situation in the correctional centres in mind," assistant deputy attorney general Anthony Gerein said in March."But we will also be assessing people who are currently on remand to determine whether or not there should be any change to their status."On Tuesday, Christine Tell defended the government's role and said it doesn't know how the virus got into the jail. "We do quarantine everyone that comes into the facility. Why it came into the facility with all the precautions, I can't answer that," she said.She said the jail has been taking precautions to slow the spread, including mandatory masking, no longer charging inmates for soap and banning visitors.NDP MLA Nicole Sarauer said the province's handling and response should cost Tell her cabinet position.Tell said the government will not review how COVID-19 was able to get into the facility. Sarauer said that is not good enough."This is a minister who shouldn't be a minister anymore," Sarauer said.
A Saskatoon man accused of robbing numerous businesses, residences and vehicles across central Saskatchewan was re-arrested. Cody Kemick, 37, failed to appear in court in October and was arrested and remanded in custody. At a bail hearing on Nov. 27 he was granted bail but he remains in custody because he hasn’t paid the bail for his release yet. Kemick and Chantal Dubois, 40, were arrested after police raided his Saskatoon home May 2. Police say that between Feb. 4 and April 26, 2020, they received numerous reports of break, enter and thefts across central Saskatchewan. Several police agencies worked together and Kemick was identified as the suspect. At Kemick’s home, police found computer equipment allegedly stolen from Western Wireless in Unity on April 18, 2020. They also located what they believe to be stolen tools, computers, electronic devices, ammunition, cheques, salon products, lottery tickets and clothes from businesses, residences and vehicles in Saskatoon, Unity, Lucky Lake, Dinsmore, Rosetown, Kerrobert, Aberdeen, Humboldt, Milden, and Conquest. Kemick was charged with three counts of break and enter, 10 counts of possession of stolen property, theft and mischief. Dubois was charged with break and enter, and seven counts of possession of stolen property. Dubois had also previously failed to appear in court and a warrant to hold was issued until Nov. 25. On that day a lawyer appeared on her behalf and the warrant was vacated. Dubois is now scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Dec. 16 to elect how she wants to be tried. Kemick is scheduled to appear next in Saskatoon Provincial Court Dec. 17, also to elect how he wants to be tried. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
A last-minute show of generosity by the Town of Penetanguishene will help out the Penetang Junior C Kings. The decision came out of Coun. George Vadeboncoeur’s persistence in finding a way to help out the team. That is why he came back to council at a recent meeting to propose that the Kings be offered a reduced ice-time rate. “We should charge the minor hockey rate that would end up saving the Penetang Kings about $1,900 in terms of their ice rates for the season,” said Vadeboncoeur, addressing council. “In the director's report, it was identified that three of the five teams that responded to the survey charged their junior C teams' minor hockey fees.” He said the Kings represented a great community asset, and that was why it was important to him that council support this move. “It is an important pastime in Penetanguishene and there's a lot of history with the Kings,” he said. “The town did receive a safe restart grant, so I think if we have a shortfall of revenue in the arena, some of that funding from the higher levels of government can be used to cover that deficit.” Jim Brown, president, Junior C Kings, said he was very pleased with the gesture. “This will definitely help out the bank account at the end of the day,” he said, adding, the team spends up to $25,000 per season for ice rentals. “I have to admit I was a little bit in shock to hear the great news. A very big thank you to the Town of Penetang. This will definitely help with the lost revenue from sponsors and fans, as we are a break even club at the end of the day.” Coun. Debbie Levy said she was in support of the motion, but wanted a clarification. “I think you did mention at the end of your motion that this is for 2021 as a COVID measure, or is this something you'd like to see ongoing?” she asked Vadeboncoeur. He elaborated that this request was just for this season. Mayor Doug Leroux said he could see the community value in the presence of the Kings. “The Kings have been with us for many many years,” he said. “They've been with us a long time and they bring a lot of entertainment and good to the community. I have no issue supporting this.” Sherry Desjardin, director of recreation and community services, wrote in an email that the rates for minor hockey for the 2020/2021 season are $128.26 per 50-minute session and will increase to $132.75 for 2021/2022.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Foodshare Toronto executive director Paul Taylor shares insight on the pandemic’s impact on food insecurity and how Torontonians can help.
Shawn Mendes, “Wonder” (Island) On his 14-track fourth album, Shawn Mendes is airy, grand, intense and rapturous. It is the sound of a man totally and hopelessly in love. Adoration is baked into “Wonder,” from the almost religious-sounding title track as Mendes sings “I wonder what it’s like to be loved by you," to the last song, where, with a voice shaking with emotion, he sings over acoustic guitar: ”I can’t imagine what a world would be without you." The album's cover captures Mendes ecstatic, floating in waves. Though she is mentioned only once — in the liner notes, thanked right after his family — it's not hard to find the source of this ardour: Mendes’ longtime romantic and quarantine partner, singer Camila Cabello. Whatever happens to this couple in the future, she has inspired a hopelessly romantic set. “Teach Me How to Love” flirts with ’80s disco (with Anderson .Paak on drums) and “305” (the area code to Cabello's Miami) is a candy-colored piece of '60s doo-wop in which Mendes sings to his lover, “If there’s a door to heaven, baby you’re the key.” The lovers are finding a new home to share in “24 Hours” — “It’s a little soon but I wanna come home to you,” he sings. Mendes' falsetto soars with pure glee atop a pillow of strings on the standout “Look Up at the Stars” (where Mendes sings “the universe is ours” in a Coldplay “Yellow” way) and “Always Been You” is both soaring and triumphant. This is music you’d hear in a mall in heaven. The only tune that veers out of the love zone is Mendes’ duet with Justin Bieber, “Monster,” an outstanding moody banger about how early fame messes with you, sung by a rising heartthrob singer-songwriter and an established one. In-demand producer Kid Harpoon, who took Harry Stiles to new heights on “Fine Line,” is all over this gooey album. There's little of the urgency Mendes has shown before — no “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” or ”In My Blood" — and “Wonder” is sometimes hard to take during extended plays — especially its pointless intro — but to find fault with it is to find fault with love itself. ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Council for the MD of Pincher Creek held a public hearing for the new utilities bylaw, Bylaw 1320-20, on Nov. 24. Some MD residents attended the hearing physically distanced in council chambers, while others tuned in online. With a water treatment plant set to be built at Beaver Mines and water lines out to Castle Mountain Resort constructed, the bylaw is a necessary step forward as development begins. The bylaw regulates the terms, conditions and rates for water, wastewater and solid-waste services provided by the MD. Currently, solid-waste removal is provided by the MD for residents in Lundbreck and Beaver Mines, and water distribution will be made available to anyone living along the line currently being completed from Cowley to Castle. Two types of utility rates will be implemented: base rates and consumption rates. The rates cover long-term and short-term needs. Base-rate receipts will be held in reserve for future capital replacement costs. Consumption rates will cover service costs associated with utility delivery, including operational maintenance and repair. “This is a legacy project for council and administration that will live long after us,” said chief administrative officer Troy MacCulloch. “It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it. We’re glad to be at this point and look forward to turning the taps on.” No opposition or issues were voiced by those attending the hearing. Second and third readings of the bylaw will occur during the Dec. 8 council meeting. A draft version of the bylaw can be viewed at https:// bit.ly/MDutility. Leaving it in the dust Revisions to the MD’s dust-suppression policy were approved. Policy C-PW-009 now gives public works the flexibility to choose between three dust suppressants: lignosulfonate, MG-30 (magnesium) and calcium chloride. Residents looking to have dust suppression done on roads near their property outside the MD schedule will be required to have an approved service provider complete a hold-harmless agreement before work is completed. MD council also rescinded Policy C-AES-006, an old project-funding policy that aimed to support local conservation efforts and sustainable development projects. Initially approved in 2007 and revised in 2014, the policy had since been underutilized and replaced by other funding options provided by the MD. Fisher Bridge repairs A recent engineer site investigation at Fisher Bridge (NW-26-7-2-W5) revealed the concrete segment supporting the pony truss bearing pad was unstable. The bridge was closed in October as monitoring showed the concrete segment had moved significantly and could fall. Director of operations Aaron Benson presented two options to council. The first was simply to close the bridge, as alternative routes to Crowsnest Trail exist, and the second was to repair the concrete at a cost of $120,000. Council decided to repair the bridge, and it is anticipated the work will extend the bridge’s lifespan another 20 years. Odds and ends Correspondence was received from the Village of Cowley requesting that its public works foreman spend time at the Cowley-Lundbreck regional water plant. Working in the plant will help fulfil required hours for his Level II certification. Council agreed to the arrangement. On a separate water topic, council approved $195,000 for an aeration system for the lagoon in Lundbreck. Unpleasant odours had become a regular feature of the lagoon, particularly with the spring thaw. The smell is caused by dead bacteria in the lagoon. Disturbing the water through the aeration system will replenish oxygen levels in the water, thus keeping more bacteria alive and reducing the smell. Reeve Brian Hammond was also assigned to attend a scheduled tour of the Pincher Creek hospital with Health Minister Tyler Shandro. The site visit is an opportunity to highlight the hospital’s unique setup that supports rural health care, which Reeve Hammond hopes the minister will consider and preserve when making provincial health policies. “Every community is not the same,” the reeve said. “Some of the unique features of individual communities are very beneficial to the system as a whole.” The tour will take place Jan. 7. Next meeting MD of Pincher Creek council will hold its next regular meeting online Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m. The virtual meeting link is available at www. mdpinchercreek.ab.ca and online agenda packages are available at https://bit.ly/MDcouncil. Since the MD office will be closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 4, the Dec. 22 council meeting is cancelled.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
A former Barrie surgeon has given up his licence to practise medicine and has promised his regulatory body to never apply to register as a physician ever again, anywhere. The agreement arose following a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) disciplinary hearing last week. “The agreement to never reapply for registration… is the maximum level of punishment available in this situation,” said CPSO communications advisor Josh McLarnon. The college had earlier launched investigations into Dr. Emad M. Guirguis and his now-defunct Lakeview Surgery Centre on Dunlop Street following complaints. He was found to perform cosmetic surgery that was outside his scope of practice as a physician, not having the proper training and certification. He also engaged in unprofessional conduct through online advertising and communications with a specific patient. In addition to the practice ban, he was ordered to pay $6,000. “Dr. Guirguis has been brought forward to the discipline committee on a number of occasions,” McLarnon added. An investigation was first launched in 2015 resulting in a caution three years later. Another caution was later issued relating to his compliance of the first issue. In one complaint, Guirguis tried to perform bariatric revision gastric band surgery, but decided not to complete the surgery because he encountered extensive scar tissue from previous surgeries. According to documents from the college’s compliance and monitoring department, he perforated the patient’s bowel during the surgery, resulting in ongoing complications. The complainant said he did not communicate or follow up with her after the surgery or provide a refund of her fee. “The committee... was of the view that the respondent’s pre-operative assessment was insufficient,” the decision of the inquiries, complaints and reports committee found. In another report, an independent assessor concluded: “Dr. Guirguis did not meet the standard of practice of the profession in some of the cases reviewed; his knowledge was adequate but basic; his surgical skills were adequate for his limited scope of practice; his judgment was not always adequate, mostly because the brief documentation does not allow a full understanding of his train of thought and exposes omissions or incomplete assessments; and in the reviewed cases his clinical practice, behaviour, or conduct had the potential to expose one patient to harm.” Other assessors, it added, found broad deficiencies in Dr. Guirguis’s practice. In a report from Dec. 14, 2018, Guirguis was cautioned about not providing a full explanation of a procedure to a patient and ensuring the patient had full clarity about what was going to be done following a complaint to the college about the outcome of a cosmetic surgical procedure. According to CPSO documents, Guirguis agreed he has engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. He was ultimately found to have committed an act of professional misconduct. Dr. Guirguis’s certificate of registration expired Sept. 4, 2020. In addition to the clinic, Guirguis was also once a staff general surgeon at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Guirguis did not respond to requests for comment, but according to his Facebook page he is studying for his master's degree in theological studies at Tyndale University College and Seminary.Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
PHOENIX — COVID-19-related hospitalizations continue to climb in Arizona as the state on Wednesday reported more than 3,800 additional known cases and a statewide organization representing physicians warned that the state's health care system could be overwhelmed.COVID-19 hospitalizations reached 2,699 as of Tuesday, up more than 100 from Monday and included 642 patients in intensive care unit beds. COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona peaked around 3,500 during the state's summer surge.Health experts have said holiday travel and gatherings are expected to produce additional new cases and related hospitalizations over the next few weeks.“The increase in cases has a genuine potential to overwhelm the health care system in Arizona," the Arizona Medical Association said in a statement, citing deep concern for hospital capacity and medical staffing.“Other states have begun to implement restrictions that include curfews, restaurant closures, and more severe preventive strategies. Arizona is nearing this critical point, with discussions of further action being taken to address the current surge," the AMA statement said.According to the state Department of Health Service's coronavirus dashboard, 10% of all hospital acute-care beds and 10% of ICU beds remained available.The dashboard reported 3,840 additional confirmed cases and 52 more deaths, increasing the state's totals to 340,979 cases and 6,739 deaths.The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.A day after reporting only 822 additional cases, Arizona on Tuesday reported 10,322 additional cases but officials said that the record daily increase was inflated by reporting delays over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend.The seven-day rolling average of daily new confirmed cases in Arizona rose over the past two weeks from 2,395 new cases per day on Nov. 17 to 4,324 per day on Tuesday, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.The rolling averages of daily deaths rose from 17.1 to 24.6 and the rolling average of the COVID-19 testing positivity rate increased from 15.9% to 22.9%.The Tucson City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to establish a mandatory nightly curfew for three weeks beginning Friday in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.___AP reporter Walter Berry contributed.Paul Davenport, The Associated Press