Dapple the 7-week-old dachshund sees herself in the mirror for the first time. What follows is simply adorable!
Dapple the 7-week-old dachshund sees herself in the mirror for the first time. What follows is simply adorable!
Canada added a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to its pandemic-fighting arsenal on Friday, approving Johnson & Johnson's product a week after it was authorized in the United States. That gives Canada four distinct vaccines — along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca — and it adds flexibility to the country's plan to immunize the majority of its residents by September. Health Canada includes a fifth vaccine, Covishield, which is a separate brand name for doses of the AstraZeneca product made at the Serum Institute of India. The U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use on Feb. 27. Canada has already secured 10 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through previous negotiations with the company, with the option to buy another 28 million. The 10 million pre-purchased doses will be delivered before September, but they're not expected to start flowing into Canada until at least April. Here's what we know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT? Johnson & Johnson announced promising results from its Phase 3 clinical trials at the end of January, suggesting its vaccine reduced severe COVID-19 disease by 85 per cent, and prevented 100 per cent of COVID-related hospitalization or death. The vaccine had a 72 per cent efficacy in preventing COVID infections after 28 days in the company's U.S. trials. The efficacy dropped to 66 per cent when averaging in results from other global trials, including a South African study that factored in more transmissible variants of the COVID virus. An FDA report last month said the vaccine was 64 per cent effective in preventing infection in South Africa about a month after the vaccines were administered. Pfizer and Moderna showed 95 per cent efficacy in their respective trials, but those were both tested against previous dominant strains of the virus and didn't account for the variants that have popped up since. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca also had zero hospitalizations and deaths in their trials. The FDA report said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was similarly effective across age, race and people with comorbidities. The agency added that effectiveness appeared to be lower (42.3 per cent after one month) in people over 60 with comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS VACCINE? The potential ease of distribution offered by a one-and-done shot, and its ability to be stored in a regular fridge are among its biggest strengths. Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all require two doses. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine can be stored in a regular fridge for up to three months, the company says. Pfizer's vaccine initially required ultra-cold storage temperatures between -60 C and -80 C, though Health Canada said this week it could be stored in a regular freezer for up to 14 days. Moderna's vaccine can also be stored at regular freezer temperatures while AstraZeneca can be stored in a fridge. WHAT KIND OF VACCINE TECHNOLOGY IS USED? Unlike the mRNA technology used in Pfizer and Moderna's products, Johnson & Johnson is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine similar to AstraZeneca's. That means it uses a different harmless virus, which can't copy itself, as a vector to give our cells the instructions they need to make the coronavirus's spike protein. The immune system recognizes the protein and makes antibodies, which then allow us to fend off attack from the same virus if exposed in the future. WERE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS NOTED? No specific safety concerns were identified in participants of the trials, regardless of age, race and comorbidities. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said in a press conference Friday that almost 20 per cent of participants in the Johnson & Johnson trials were 65 years of age and older, and "no differences in safety or efficacy were seen compared to the younger groups." The FDA said the most common reported side effects were headache and fatigue, followed by muscle aches, nausea and fever. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab's picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a half-hour test spin within Jezero Crater, site of an ancient, long-vanished lake bed and river delta on Mars. Taking directions from mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 meters (13.1 feet) forward, turned about 150 degrees to its left and then drove backward another 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).
A local performing arts theatre is looking to raise money to keep the lights on, doors open, and music live. The Mary Webb Centre for the Arts, located in the Village of Highgate, is a century-old round church with near-perfect acoustics. On any given night, music performers would play in front of sold-out crowds. The shows would engage and inspire performing and visual arts in partnership with the local community within a historic and architecturally significant heritage venue. Originally built as a Methodist Church in 1898, the Mary Webb Centre has always conquered adversity. From having the building burning down in 1917, to being rebuilt in 1918, to current-day challenges of furnaces no longer working, replacing a roof, stage and windows were redone, the centre has always found a way to keep the lights on. In April, the Mary Webb Centre for the Arts Board closed the doors and effectively stopped all programs taking place there. This includes scheduled performances by the WSO 14 Piece String Orchestra, Danny Michel, Paul Anthony and his CASH tribute, “Talent at the Webb,” and the Hotel California tribute to the Eagles and the Jim Cuddy Band (of Blue Rodeo fame). The last event at the MWC was one year ago, on March 7, when Rant Maggie Rant performed to a full house, back when most were still wondering if COVID-19 was something to be concerned about. However, with no visitors since then, there has been no revenue from shows, community events or the art gallery. With the shutdown of the live entertainment industry and without the revenue from concerts and art sales, the Mary Webb Centre’s budget has quickly become a challenging one to balance. “Numerous applications have been submitted to various government grants, but oddly and frustratingly, there seem to be no programs that a not-for-profit without paid staff can access,” said the centre’s Music Director and Chair of the Board of Directors, Peter Garapick. Nearly a year into a global pandemic, the Mary Webb Centre for the Arts is launching a collaborative campaign, Weave a Webb of Support, where everyone can help out a little to make a big difference. Weave a Webb of Support aims to familiarise donors with the centre’s ongoing expenses, even when the doors are closed. “The Mary Webb Centre for the Arts is very grateful for the community’s incredible support throughout the past year,” said Garapick. “The Mary Webb Centre is fully appreciative of these kind and gracious offerings. Thank you.” The Weave a Webb of Support campaign summarizes the 18 monthly and annual expenses and displays the cost per month for each. Supporters may choose an expense and the number of months for which they would like to pay. In total, there are 18 expenses and 12 months in a year, meaning 216 opportunities for donors to help pay the annual $30,000 a year worth of bills. Donors can make a contribution via cheque, eTransfer or in-person with cash. Those interested in donating are encouraged to visit www.marywebbcentre.ca for more information. Donations over $20 merit a tax receipt. In the meantime, during the past several months, many volunteers have spent several mornings working on the grounds of the centre. Together, they have trimmed all the dead and low lying branches on the trees in the back, cleaned up all of the brush around the trees and put it all through a chipper, spreading all the resulting material around the plants and rocks in the rock gardens at the front and sides of the centre. “Once restrictions are lifted, these volunteers will be ready to keep the centre as virus-free as possible so we can hopefully get back to what they do best, run concerts, morning and afternoon programs and other special events,” said Garapick. Garapick added at its recent meeting, the Marketing Committee has put forth many exciting ideas for the future. “We will let you know all the details as soon as we can. And of course, our wonderful art gallery is anxiously waiting to have in-person visitors, but everyone can virtually visit it now through our on-line marketplace on the Webb Site,” said Garapick. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
VICTORIA — Tax changes targeting sugary drinks and e-commerce services based outside of B.C. will come into effect on April 1 after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The B.C. government says the changes include the elimination of the provincial sales tax exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. The tax will apply to all beverages dispensed through soda fountains or similar equipment, along with all beverages dispensed through vending machines. The government says the move is supported by health professionals. The second tax change will apply to those selling digital software and telecommunication services, who will be required to collect the PST on sales to B.C. customers if they have revenue in the province of more than $10,000. All Canadian sellers of vapour products, such as vape pens, will be required to register to collect the sales tax on all online or mail-order sales to B.C. customers as part of the new measure. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — A judge has ruled that an Alberta pastor will remain in jail until his trial this spring because religious beliefs are not above public health orders. James Coates with GraceLife Church, west of Edmonton, has been in jail for more than two weeks and was appealing his bail conditions. Coates is charged with violating Alberta's Public Health Act and with breaking a promise to abide by conditions of his bail release, which is covered under the Criminal Code. GraceLife Church has been holding services that officials say break public-health orders on attendance, masking and distancing. Queen's Bench Justice Peter Michalyshyn said in his decision Friday that public health laws remain valid and the pastor will stay in jail for eight more weeks until his trial begins in May. "The law that Mr. Coates clearly intends not to be bound by remains valid and enforceable against him. Mr. Coates's strongly held religious beliefs and convictions do not overcome those valid and enforceable laws," Michalyshyn said. Coates has said his religious convictions mean he cannot abide by a bail condition that he not conduct services. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor and said in a news release that it was disappointed with the judge's decision. "Pastor Coates is a peaceful Christian minister," said centre president John Carpay. "He should never have been required to violate his conscience and effectively stop pastoring his church as a condition to be released. Charter freedoms do not disappear because the government declares regular church services to be outlawed while allowing hundreds of people to fill their local Walmarts." Coates's lawyer, James Kitchen, told the judge on Thursday that a determination on whether Coates's charter rights are being violated should be made before he is jailed. "We are putting the cart before the horse, doing things backwards. This is a matter of deep, deep personal conscience and personal beliefs. He is compelled to obey the God he loves ... as are his congregants." The public-health prosecutor, who asked the court to address her only by her title because she is concerned for her safety, argued that the pastor's release is a danger to the public. The judge noted that Coates did not want the publication ban that is normally imposed on bail hearings. The church has continued to hold weekend services, even though Coates is in custody. Many gathered for a service last Sunday, as RCMP and Alberta Health Services monitored the situation. "Observations were again made that the church held a service beyond the designated capacity,'' the Mounties said in a news release. In an affidavit, Coates's wife Erin Coates told the judge that since he was taken into custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre, he has lost weight and can't sit for too long because of pain in his neck. "The days since February 16 have been very stressful for our two sons, aged 11 and 18," she said. "Many congregants of GraceLife rely on James for counselling regarding marriages and personal problems such as addictions. I have observed that many children at GraceLife Church are heartbroken that James is in jail. They are confused and concerned about him." More than 50 people were gathered outside the Edmonton courthouse on Thursday and prayed for Coates. Some held a banner that read #freejamescoates. The judge noted that dozens of others had tuned into the bail hearing online as well. Police fined the church $1,200 in December and a closure order was issued in January. Coates had been addressing the province's health restrictions in his sermons. He told worshippers that governments exist as instruments of God and there should be unfettered freedom of worship. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. --- This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press
It may have been short of participants, but truly the best pilots came out last weekend, for the first annual Cardboard Sled contest in Kanesatake. Panzer Wagon and Sweet Victory, two homemade cardboard vehicles, competed for the grand prize of $250 on Saturday, February 27. With a name like Sweet Victory, community member Tanner Etienne said he was 90 percent sure that he was going to win. And whether it was a premonition or just luck, the 12-year-old boy came in first against Kanehsata’kehró:non Sage and Nation Harrington. “I think I’m ready to go pro, I’m definitely the best out there,” said Etienne during his victory speech, after he congratulated his opponents. For Etienne, becoming a professional only took him a day of construction, some green spray paint and a Home Depot box. While they suffered some engine trouble during their hill run, the Harringtons’ green two-seater sled was a little bit more sophisticated, compared to the winning box. “We decided to make a Jeep at first, but it turned into something else,” explained the siblings. The Harringtons received $150 for second place, while the third prize was handed to the media outlet APTN. Journalist Jeff Dorn donated the $75 toward the Tsi Ronterihwanónhnha ne Kanien’kéha Language and Cultural Center. Co-organizer Al Harrington said that this year, he invited different media outlets to take part in the contest, as a way to strengthen the relationship between the community and the media. He explained that while the community has had bad experiences with the media’s tendency to focus on negative stories, this was the opportunity to share something positive. “Not all journalists and media are bad,” said Harrington. APTN was selected as the contest’s judge by default as they were the only media who responded with their own personalized cardboard sled. APTN journalist Sylvie Ambroise arrived in Kanesatake thinking she was taking part in a team activity, only to discover that she was the test pilot. “They told me there was a race and that we would all compete,” she said. “But then I realized I’m the one representing them all!” The APTN mobile’s Innu name, Ka Tshepennte Mishkumit, meaning fast on ice, could have dangerously competed against Etienne’s cardboard sled. Right before the competition, Dorn, the engineer behind the APTN sled, shared its secret tool and wondered how safe it was. “Lots and lots of tapes,” said Dorn with a laugh. “It may be fast, it might not be... We will see.” The lack of participants didn’t keep the smiles off everyone’s face during the event. All enjoyed hot chocolates and snacks sponsored by the Medicine Box, who also donated the monetary prizes. By the end of the afternoon, participants around the bonfire were secretly dreaming of their potential international bobsleigh careers while planning for their future vehicle creations. email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Mourners left flowers and hockey sticks outside the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ont., on Friday. The city is mourning Walter Gretzky, a fixture in the community, who died Thursday at age 82.
CORNWALL – As the provincial government moves to the second phase of its vaccination plan, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will open six mass vaccination centres to administer doses. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the EOHU said that centres will open in Winchester, Cornwall, Alexandria, Casselman, Rockland, and Hawkesbury. These will not be the only mass-immunization sites for the region, but they are the ones to start. He identified the Cornwall Civic Centre as the Cornwall location, the other centres will be in arenas as well due to physical spacing requirements. He did not give a timeline on when those centres would open. Roumeliotis said there will also be mobile clinics for vaccination for those who cannot attend a clinic. "Next month will be increased acceleration of vaccine output," he said. "This does not take into account AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines." The EOHU is already scheduling vaccination appointments for people 80 years old or older (born 1941 or earlier) and is sending out automated robocalls to inform eligible people of instructions on how to book an appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted. The provincial Phase Two vaccination plan will vaccinate: older adults between 60 and 79 years of age; individuals with specific health conditions and some primary caregivers; people who work or live in congregant living centres; people who live in so-called "hot spots" where there are high rates of death, hospitalization, or transmission; and certain workers who are unable to work from home. Ontario is launching an online booking tool around March 15th for scheduling vaccinations. While vaccination plans continue to ramp up, so have COVID-19 infection numbers in the region. Active infection numbers have increased from 108 on February 26th to 164 as of March 5th. Overall there have been 2,870 people who have contracted the Novel Coronavirus since the pandemic was declared one year ago. In South Dundas, there is one active case, North Dundas has two active cases, and South Stormont has 27 active cases. The City of Cornwall (53) accounts for nearly one-third of all active cases of COVID-19 in the region. So far only four people have been identified as having COVID-19 variants, three linked to an outbreak last week at the St. Albert Cheese Cooperative in St. Albert, the fourth case was in Akwesasne. Of the six long-term care home facilities currently in a declared outbreak, only the Woodland Villa in Long Sault involves residents who have tested positive. The other five facilities in declared outbreak have only employees who have tested positive. All residents of LTC homes who wanted a vaccine have now received both doses, and all residents of retirement homes have receive at least one dose. Isolated COVID-19 cases have been detected in 11 schools. Each of the 11 have one staff member or one student who tested positive. These include Morrisburg Public School in Morrisburg, Rothwell-Osnabruck School in Ingleside, and North Stormont Public School in Berwick. No outbreaks have been declared in those schools. The region remains in the Orange-Restrict zone with a rolling seven-day average of infections per 100,000 people of 32.1, and the reproductive rate is 1.15. Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader
Dans le cadre de son Forum de concertation annuel, le Regroupement lavallois pour la réussite éducative (RLPRE) a abordé les thèmes du bien-être collectif et de la réussite éducative dans le contexte de la pandémie. Au total, 72 partenaires de divers horizons ont participé à l'événement virtuel qui a eu lieu le 15 février. Ceux-ci ont eu la chance d'assister à des conférences et des ateliers d'échanges. L'objectif était d'outiller et d'alimenter les acteurs et intervenants de la région face aux défis engendrés par la crise sanitaire. Voici des présentations qui ont été offertes aux participants : Roxane de la Sablonnière, professeure au Laboratoire sur les changements sociaux et l’identité du Département de psychologie de l’Université de Montréal, était l'une des invitées. Elle a présenté une enquête qu’elle mène depuis près d’un an auprès de 3617 Canadiens. Les résultats du sondage démontrent que les changements sociaux occasionnés par la pandémie ont déclenché une crise bien réelle sur le plan de la santé mentale et que les jeunes sont les plus touchés. Ceux-ci en ressentent les effets de manière plus prononcée car ils sont en période de construction identitaire et sont coupés des contacts sociaux qui leur permettraient, en temps normal, de créer des liens d’appartenance et de se définir comme individu. Outre l’âge, les autres facteurs qui influencent le niveau de bien-être sont le genre, la parentalité, l’emploi et l’ethnicité. Pour contrer les effets de la pandémie sur le bien-être, la chercheure recommande d’inclure les jeunes dans la recherche de solutions, soulignant qu’une approche collective est de mise pour répondre à un problème collectif de cette envergure. Pour accéder à la présentation complète, cliquez ici. De son côté, Nadia Rousseau, directrice du Réseau de recherche et de valorisation de la recherche sur le bien-être et la réussite en contexte de diversité de l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, a présenté une enquête qu’elle mène auprès de jeunes Canadiens francophones âgés de 14 à 18 ans dans le contexte de la pandémie. Les résultats l’amènent à souligner l’importance de s’intéresser à la voix des jeunes. Être à leur écoute contribuerait entre autres à améliorer leur expérience académique, à augmenter leur engagement et leur motivation scolaires. Parmi les autres facteurs qui favorisent une expérience d’apprentissage positive en temps de pandémie, elle a souligné entre autres l’importance d’une bonne relation enseignant-élève, tant aux niveaux académiques qu’affectif, des relations de qualité avec les amis et un soutien adéquat (matériel et organisationnel) à l’apprentissage à distance. Pour accéder à la présentation complète, cliquez ici. À son tour, Johanne Mc Millan, directrice du RLPRE, a présenté les résultats d’un sondage Léger mené pour le Réseau québécois pour la réussite éducative dans le cadre duquel 401 parents des régions de Laval et de Montréal ont été questionnés sur leur perception de la motivation de leur jeune en temps de pandémie. Parmi les facteurs qui gardent leurs jeunes motivés envers leurs études, les parents sondés ont identifié le soutien et l’encouragement de leur famille (25%), suivi de la relation avec leurs amis (23%), ainsi que l’atteinte d’un but spécifique (19%), comme le bulletin scolaire ou un examen d’admission par exemple. Parmi les défis qui nuisent à la motivation de leur jeune, les parents ont identifié le manque de relations sociales (28%), suivi des difficultés liées à l’apprentissage à distance (18%), des impacts des mesures sanitaires sur la santé mentale (14%) et de l’interruption des activités parascolaires (14%). À la suite des présentations, des ateliers en sous-groupes virtuels ont permis aux participants du Forum d’échanger au sujet des impacts de la pandémie observés au sein des différents groupes d’âges et de mettre en commun les initiatives et les stratégies gagnantes qui ont été développées dans les divers milieux. Le Forum virtuel a également servi à donner le coup d’envoi à l’édition lavalloise des Journées de la persévérance scolaire. Sous le thème «Un moment. Pour eux.» et à l’aide d’un message vidéo de la part de Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, porte-parole de la campagne, les partenaires ont été invités à prendre un moment pour reconnaître le chemin parcouru depuis le début de la pandémie et de féliciter les jeunes et les adultes de leur résilience, de leur adaptation et de leur persévérance face aux nombreux défis rencontrés. Cette année, la vidéo promotionnelle de la campagne nationale a été une source de fierté régionale, mettant en vedette des élèves et des membres de l’équipe de l’école secondaire Saint-Maxime à Laval. Durant la semaine thématique, 14 événements virtuels, 17 ateliers à la carte et une multitude d’activités et d’outils téléchargeables ont été offerts gratuitement aux écoles, aux organisations et aux familles lavalloises. Les partenaires de la campagne estiment avoir touché plus de 50 000 jeunes, 30 000 parents et 5000 enseignants et intervenants par le biais des activités organisées dans leur milieu. Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Kim Kardashian on Friday called out those who bully and body- shame others, recalling her embarrassment when she was attacked for gaining 60 pounds during her first pregnancy. In an Instagram stories posting, Kardashian detailed how she had been compared to a killer whale during the later stages of her pregnancy in 2013, and how her figure was contrasted unfavorably to Prince William's wife Kate, who was also pregnant at the time. The cosmetics businesswoman and social media star said she was reminded of those months while watching a recent documentary about Britney Spears, tracing the meteoric rise of the pop star and the media coverage of her mental health breakdown in 2007.
Coursera offers courses such as machine learning, cloud computing and language learning, with its platform used by more than 3,700 colleges and universities, according to the company's website. It launched "Coursera for Campus" in response to the pandemic to help educational institutions offer courses to stuck-at-home students. Online learning platforms also benefited as retrenched employees took online courses to rotate into new careers.
A warrant has been issued for a man accused of violating New Brunswick's COVID-19 emergency order by failing to self-isolate last year. Tristan Gregory Baillie, 24, of Moncton faces charges of failing to comply with New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Act as well as criminal charges of mischief, failing to appear in court, obstructing a police officer, and uttering death threats. He was scheduled to enter pleas during an appearance in Moncton provincial court on Friday morning, but he wasn't present when his name was called. Provincial court Judge Paul Duffie issued a warrant for his arrest. It's alleged that on April 5 last year in Aulac, Baillie provided a false name and address to a peace officer stationed at a provincial border checkpoint. Baillie then allegedly failed to self-isolate for 14 days after entering the province. The other charges allege that on July 21 last year he damaged a 2010 Buick Enclave belonging to another person and uttered a death threat to that person. He also failed to appear in court on Sept. 4, leading to another charge.
The provincial government has appointed former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders as a special adviser to help oversee the redevelopment of Ontario Place. In a news release issued Friday, Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said Saunders's intimate knowledge of the diverse communities in Toronto — and across Ontario — will bring "important perspectives" to the project. "Mr. Saunders will provide guidance and expert advice ... while working closely with the City of Toronto and Indigenous communities, as well as stakeholders and businesses involved in the redevelopment project," the province said in the release. The release says Saunders's senior-level experience in a major organization, and experience in large-scale "transformation change management," will allow him to effectively advise MacLeod and Premier Doug Ford as they make decisions about the future of the 155-acre plot of land. Saunders announced his resignation from the Toronto Police Service on June 8 of last year, and officially stepped down on July 31. In December 2020, he was also appointed to Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force. What Ontario Place looked like in the fall of 2019.(Michael Wilson/CBC) Announcement about Ontario Place expected this spring The province accepted bids in 2019 for who would transform Ontario Place into a "year-round" destination. While the provincial government remains tight-lipped about the future of the site, MacLeod has confirmed that the vision does not include casinos or condos, the land will not be sold and the key heritage and recreational features of the site will remain. In Friday's release, MacLeod said the province will be sharing more news in the spring about plans for the redevelopment. "The 50th anniversary of Ontario Place is the perfect time to provide the people of Ontario with a preview of the tremendous plans for the site's future," she said.
Some Northwest Territories residents have gone nearly a year without easy access to dental services since visits were suspended when the pandemic started. MLA for Nunakput Jackie Jacobson on Wednesday told the territory's Legislative Assembly it has been impossible for some of his constituents to see a dentist since last March. He said communities like Uluhaktok, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour normally get two visits a year from dental teams, both of which were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. “People are needing dental assistance and there’s nothing happening,” said Jacobson. “They go to the health centre, they are given Tylenol or penicillin to help them with the pain. We need to get this sorted out.” Dental visits to six N.W.T. communities – Fort Simpson, Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, Sambaa K’e, Norman Wells and Aklavik – restarted in December. Private dentistry clinics in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith and Inuvik have kept services open throughout most of the pandemic. All non-urgent dental travel to smaller communities, however, was suspended by the federal government in March. In communities where dental services remain unavailable, federal agency Indigenous Services Canada supports travel for Non-Insured Health Benefits clients to receive services elsewhere. Julie Green, the N.W.T.'s health minister, said responsibility for restarting dental services in Nunakput communities lies with Indigenous Services Canada. The minister said a working group established to address concerns about dental services had devised a plan to fix "a number of issues, including safety concerns that went beyond COVID-19." “Where facilities were not meeting infection control and ventilation requirements, work could not be done in those facilities,” she said. “This is not a long-term ban on dental services in these communities, but it's my understanding that teams are now working through potential solutions.” Green said the six communities to have so far resumed services were part of the plan's first phase. Those communities have upgraded health centre facilities that meet air exchange and infection control requirements, she said. Phase two will see seven more communities' facilities reviewed by the end of June. The minister said Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok will be part of that assessment. “The residents of Ulukhaktok are going to wait longer for dental services to resume, but that is not because of a lack of money. It's because we want them to receive those services safely.” Green said. Lesa Semmler, the MLA for Inuvik Twin Lakes, told Green residents didn't always find it easy to follow the process for accessing dental services elsewhere. Semmler described the "really stringent travel criteria" set out by the Non-Insured Health Benefits program, and Green said she would raise that concern with the federal government. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Santé Canada a homologué le vaccin contre la COVID-19 de Janssen, une filiale pharmaceutique de Johnson & Johnson. Il s'agit du quatrième vaccin contre ce virus à être approuvé au pays dans les dernières semaines. Il est toutefois le premier qui peut être administré en une seule dose. Au total, 10 millions de doses du vaccin devraient être livrées au Canada d'ici la fin du mois de septembre. Celui-ci peut être réfrigéré pour l'entreposage et le transport à des températures variant de 2˚ à 8˚ C pour une période d'au moins trois mois, ce qui facilitera sa distribution dans tout le pays. Pour le moment, ce vaccin à base de vecteurs viraux a été homologué pour les personnes âgées de 18 ans et plus. L'usage du vaccin de Johnson & Johnson avait été autorisé par l'Agence américaine des médicaments plus tôt samedi dernier. Rappelons que les formes vaccinales déjà approuvées par Santé Canada sont celles de Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna et AstraZeneca. Au cours d'un point de presse tenu vendredi, le premier ministre Justin Trudeau a aussi annoncé que Pfizer devancera la livraison de 3,5 millions de doses qui étaient prévues pour l'été. 1,5 million de doses supplémentaires seront livrées dès le mois de mars, puis ce sera un million pour les mois d'avril et mai. Cela permet d'augmenter à huit millions le nombre de doses de vaccins qui auront été reçus au pays d'ici la fin du mois. Avec un bilan de 25 074 personnes testées positives à la COVID-19, Laval a connu une hausse de 107 cas en 24 heures. Le total de décès demeure stable à 871 depuis le début de la pandémie. Le CISSS de Laval cumule également 23 442 guérisons, ce qui signifie qu’il y a désormais 761 cas actifs (+29) confirmés sur le territoire lavallois. Parmi les personnes touchées, 27 sont hospitalisées, dont 9 aux soins intensifs. 23 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Quatre résidence privée pour aînés (RPA) de Laval sont présentement touchées par la COVID-19. Voici la liste complète de celles-ci : Au Québec, le bilan est maintenant de 291 175 cas et 10 455 décès. Au total, 617 personnes sont toujours hospitalisées, dont 111 aux soins intensifs. Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
VANCOUVER — Dentists, teachers and bus drivers are among the essential workers who hope to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in British Columbia, as a provincial committee determines who should be prioritized for the shot. BC Teachers' Federation president Teri Mooring says her members should be included in the plan expected to be released by the B.C. Immunization Committee by March 18. Mooring says teachers have put in the second-highest number of COVID-19-related claims to WorkSafeBC, behind only health-care workers, and have faced difficult conditions in schools with some of the most lax mask policies in Canada. The BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely, they work in very close proximity to the mouth and often use aerosol-generating procedures. Balbir Mann, president of Unifor Local 111, which represents Metro Vancouver bus drivers, says his members should receive the vaccine because passengers come very close when they enter and exit the bus. BC Trucking Association president Dave Earle, meanwhile, says he represents both long-haul truckers and local drivers who return home every night, so he wants to hear from the province about where the COVID-19 hot spots are in the transportation system. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Two elephants at the centre of a controversial sale between African Lion Safari and a Texas zoo will not be moving to the United States. A spokesperson for the Fort Worth Zoo said this week that the permit to import Emily and Nellie from Canada was withdrawn last year "following an internal decision" from management, and "those two elephants" would not be imported. Will Anderson, elephant campaign coordinator with In Defense of Animals, a California-based animal rights organization, said they're thrilled to hear that Fort Worth Zoo has cancelled its purchase of these endangered Asian elephants. "[The cancellation] has incredible ramifications for elephants in the wild and in captivity, because there's a price on their heads now as zoos compete with each other to get more elephants," he said. "This is just huge news." According to the Fort Worth Zoo permit for application, the planned sale price was $2 million, plus a $200,000 bonus if Emily produced a calf, as long as it lived for more than 60 days. The zoo didn't clarify whether the COVID-19 pandemic had any effect on their decision. Sale would have separated mothers, daughters In Defence of Animals criticised the planned sale of Emily and Nellie in its recent ranking of African Lion Safari as the worst zoo in North America for elephants. It also listed Fort Worth Zoo in the number two spot. The 750-acre park in Hamilton, Ont., did not address requests for comment on the ranking or the sale. On its website, the park says it's "dedicated to the conservation of declining wildlife species" and "home to over 1,000 exotic birds and animals." There are several game reserves, the site says, where mixed species roam. The sale would have separated 15-year-old Emily from her daughter Gigi, and eight-year-old Nellie from her mother, Natasha. Strong family bonds are at the core of elephants' large social networks, said Catherine Doyle, the director of science, research and advocacy at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Those between related females are especially deep ones. Mourning their own In nature, she said, female elephants stay with their mothers for life. "Separation of a mother from her offspring certainly would be traumatic for both of them," she said, noting elephants are highly intelligent, have emotions, and even mourn their dead. Nellie —now eight, but pictured above as a calf — was called the first "all-Canadian" elephant by the zoo because her parents were both born at the park. () PAWS runs a sanctuary park in California, which is home to the last Toronto zoo elephants. Julie Woodyer, who is a campaigns director with Zoocheck Canada, worked to get them there. She said accredited zoos, including African Lion Safari and Fort Worth Zoo, aren't supposed to engage in activity that makes elephants a commodity, especially at such a high price that encourages people to round up and sell them. While it's not perfect, elephants in North America belong in sanctuaries like PAWS, Woodyer said. Though the zoos say they're involved in conservation efforts, she calls the breeding programs an attempt at "green-washing" and says they're rooted in replenishing zoo populations. Legislation prohibiting keeping apes and elephants in captivity There is no plan to return these elephants to the wild, she said, and breeding them in captivity compromises their health. Woodyer said Canada is far too cold, meaning elephants spend the winter indoors, standing on hard material that damages their joints and feet. "Keeping elephants in captivity in Canada causes them to die early," she said. If passed, the Jane Goodall Act — introduced by Manitoba Senator Murray Sinclair, backed by primatologist Jane Goodall — would prevent harm by keeping great apes and elephants in captivity in Canada, she said. It's following legislation passed on whales and dolphins. The bill would ban new captivity of great apes and elephants, except in certain instances, and imports of elephant ivory and hunting trophies. Other advocacy groups, like Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Toronto who petitioned the sale, are also relieved. Better to leave them in Hamilton But co-founder Janine Cavin says change is still needed. "The ultimate goal would be to relocate all the captive elephants to a sanctuary where they can have the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe, cruelty-free environment," she said. "But until then, it is best that the two elephants remain at the African Lion Safari given the larger space compared to the size that would have been provided by the Fort Worth Zoo." Doyle said the sanctuary is still a captive situation, but one that can provide elephants with a more natural life. They forage all day long and decide who they're going to socialize with each day. "Ultimately elephants belong where they live. They belong in the wild," she said. CBC News also asked Fort Worth Zoo if it's importing any other elephants from African Lion Safari instead of Emily and Nellie, but did not receive a response. Elephant 'ghosts' Being an elephant advocate, Anderson said, includes working against the trust you build as a child with zoos. Digging into the animals' lives has been "gut-wrenching" and "heart-breaking," he said, because it reveals the number of transfers and elephant experiences in captivity. Anderson said elephants in the United States zoos have recently been dying, and he worries it will result in more imports from Asia and Africa. He called elephants in captivity "ghosts." Doyle said elephants live about 60 to 70 years in the wild. In captivity, their life span is nowhere near that, he said, even without being subject to poaching, drought, or proper nutrition. "Zoos do not keep elephants captive to save elephants in the wild," Anderson said. "In a matter of fact, it's detrimental." Anderson hopes the zoo's cancelled sale will encourage it to see that elephants herds in North America is just an "insane idea."
Not only did Leo Valiquette, 51, have to deal with the stressful news in Feb. 2020 that he had cancer, he was also facing potential out-of-pocket costs of $17,000 per month for targeted gene therapy. “My initial thought was, do I have to mortgage my house? Do crowdfunding? Twelve months of treatment is over $200,000 … (I) don’t have private health care to cover costs,” said Valiquette, a former Ottawa-area journalist. He discovered a lump under his left arm on Dec. 2019, and after “not feeling great for a month,” had a consultation with his doctor. After a biopsy was performed, it was determined that he had metastatic melanoma, a type of skin cancer. A cancer diagnosis for an Ontario resident has a significantly higher price tag and out-of-pocket expenses than residents of other provinces such as British Columbia or Alberta. “In British Columbia or Alberta, (if you were) prescribed take-home cancer medications, it would be 100 per cent covered. In Ontario, it’s not,” said Stephen Piazza, manager of advocacy for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). There’s a double standard system in Ontario that needs to be addressed, according to Valiquette. “If you’re totally covered under OHIP for treatment in a hospital setting, but not covered if it’s in a plastic pill bottle at home, why is that?” He advocates for change and added that “we should be glad that people can manage their condition, recover (at home) and don’t have to be in the hospital.” Currently a self-employed marketing consultant who lives near Smiths Falls, Valiquette also considered undergoing immunotherapy treatment (mainly because it was covered by OHIP), even though his oncologist said gene therapy would be the best treatment for his type of cancer. It was after Valiquette reached out to the cancer centre that he found out he had options. “I only knew vaguely about the Trillium Drug Program — I thought it was for seniors. Turns out anyone can be covered as long as it’s four per cent of your (after-tax) household income,” he explained. Some of the qualifications for the Trillium Drug Program include not being enrolled in Ontario Works or the Ontario Drug Benefit program and not having an insurance plan that pays 100 per cent of prescriptions, according to the Ontario.ca website. Valiquette also found out the medications he needed — Mekinist and Tafinlar — could be covered by the drug manufacturer. “The drug maker (Novartis) that pioneered and produced these drugs has a program you can apply to and have the deductible covered.” With Trillium’s drug plan and Novartis’ help, Valiquette ended up paying nothing for his 12-month targeted gene therapy, which ends May 15. “Every cent of the $17,000 monthly drug cost is covered. Other people would definitely have different stories than mine,” Valiquette said. Some side effects of his medication include fever and “brain fog”. He had lymphedema — swelling of his left arm--from surgeries to remove his lymph nodes. He said he feels grateful that he remains functional during the treatment. “In my case I’ve gotten off relatively easy, and I’ve continued to work and make a living,” he said. Taking the time to see what’s available, researching options and asking questions are some of the advice Valiquette gave to people diagnosed with cancer, when faced with expensive, new or experimental at-home medications. “There are different options depending on your cancer diagnosis,” he said. Valiquette cautioned that “if you see something not right or abnormal, get it looked at right away. Cancer is a chameleon: it comes in many sizes and forms.” For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-help-high-prescription-drug-costs or https://www.cancer.ca/en/?region=on Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
Le bilan lavallois pointe désormais à 761 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela représente une hausse de 29 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Il s'agit aussi d'une augmentation de huit cas actifs par rapport au bilan de la semaine dernière. Ces nouveaux cas actifs s'expliquent par l'ajout de 107 nouveaux cas confirmés au bilan en date du 4 mars. Ils portent le total lavallois à 25 074 cas confirmés depuis le début de la pandémie. Le nombre de décès demeure stable à 871. Parmi les personnes porteuses du virus, 27 sont hospitalisées, dont 9 aux soins intensifs. Le CISSS de Laval confirme que 23 employés de son réseau sont présentement absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. [caption id="attachment_68326" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bilan total des cas confirmés sur le territoire de Laval en date du vendredi 5 mars. (Photo 2M.Media)[/caption] Malgré cette augmentation des cas actifs, seuls trois secteurs ont connu une hausse lors des dernières 24 heures. Chomedey (+8) et Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides (+29) sont les deux plus touchés. Ce dernier présente d'ailleurs le pire bilan lavallois, que ce soit en chiffres absolus (222 cas actifs) ou en taux d'infection (277 cas actifs par 100 000 habitants). Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose est le troisième secteur en augmentation avec cinq nouvelles personnes porteuses du virus sur son territoire. De leur côté, Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac et Vimont/Auteuil voient leur bilan respectif réduire de cinq et un cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (-6) connait quant à lui la plus forte diminution. Il est aussi le secteur de l'île Jésus qui se porte le mieux avec 65 cas actifs et un taux d'infection de 103 cas actifs par 100 000 habitants. [caption id="attachment_68327" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bilan des cas actifs sur le territoire de Laval en date du vendredi 5 mars. (Photo 2M.Media)[/caption] *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 37 cas jusqu’ici, dont 2 actifs.Le bilan lavallois pointe désormais à 761 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela représente une hausse de 29 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Il s'agit aussi d'une augmentation de huit cas actifs par rapport au bilan de la semaine dernière. Ces nouveaux cas actifs s'expliquent par l'ajout de 107 nouveaux cas confirmés au bilan en date du 4 mars. Ils portent le total lavallois à 25 074 cas confirmés depuis le début de la pandémie. Le nombre de décès demeure stable à 871. Parmi les personnes porteuses du virus, 27 sont hospitalisées, dont 9 aux soins intensifs. Le CISSS de Laval confirme que 23 employés de son réseau sont présentement absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Malgré cette augmentation des cas actifs, seuls trois secteurs ont connu une hausse lors des dernières 24 heures. Chomedey (+8) et Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides (+29) sont les deux plus touchés. Ce dernier présente d'ailleurs le pire bilan lavallois, que ce soit en chiffres absolus (222 cas actifs) ou en taux d'infection (277 cas actifs par 100 000 habitants). Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose est le troisième secteur en augmentation avec cinq nouvelles personnes porteuses du virus sur son territoire. De leur côté, Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac et Vimont/Auteuil voient leur bilan respectif réduire de cinq et un cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (-6) connait quant à lui la plus forte diminution. Il est aussi le secteur de l'île Jésus qui se porte le mieux avec 65 cas actifs et un taux d'infection de 103 cas actifs par 100 000 habitants. *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 37 cas jusqu’ici, dont 2 actifs. Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
THUNDER BAY — Two hunters have been fined a total of $10,000 for hunting violations for an incident in October 2019 in northwestern Ontario. According to a news release issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Friday, March 5, the moose poaching incident occurred near Long Legged Lake. The ministry said one of their conservation officers observed one of the hunters, Jason Riel, shoot a cow moose from a motorboat which was operated by the other hunter, John Stabler, 50 kilometres west of Ear Falls. Further investigation revealed that the two individuals did not have immediate and reliable means of communication with the tag holder in their party. Riel, of Douro-Dummer, pleaded guilty and was fined $3,500 for hunting moose without a licence and $3,000 for discharging a firearm from a motorboat. He was also suspended from hunting in Ontario for four years. His case was heard in Red Lake court on Nov. 25, 2020. Stabler of Lakefield pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000 for hunting moose without a licence and $1,500 for discharging a firearm from a motorboat. He was also suspended from hunting in Ontario for two years. His case was heard in Red Lake on Feb. 10, 2021. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source