His life flashed before his eyes when that smoke came out! Congratulations to you both! Credit to 'papa_norse'.
His life flashed before his eyes when that smoke came out! Congratulations to you both! Credit to 'papa_norse'.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams is accusing the City of St. John's of taking Christmas away from the residents of a subdivision he developed on the city's outskirts. Williams says that just as he did last year, he recently installed a 10-metre Christmas tree in the centre of a traffic roundabout in the Galway subdivision, which was developed by his company DewCor. But this year, he says the city took issue with the tree, requiring that he take out an insurance policy and asking him to keep it unlit due to traffic concerns. In a statement emailed Wednesday, city staff in the transportation engineering department say they're open to considering other locations for the tree in Galway that don't interfere with an intersection. Meanwhile, the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl has offered to give the tree a proper home with lights, and Williams says the tree will be delivered there within the next two days. "All's well that ends well," Williams said in an interview. "It's going to the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl, and to be quite honest with you, if Galway could be part of Mount Pearl, that would be my choice." In another statement emailed Wednesday, Kevin Breen, the St. John's city manager says the tree went up last year without a permit, and he reiterated that the issue is with the proposed location of the tree. "There is a concern with its illumination in the middle of a busy roundabout due to driver distraction," Breen said. Williams says he spent around $14,000 last year to install a permanent power source for the tree in the roundabout. He said the tree wasn't exactly inconspicuous last year — there was a tree-lighting ceremony with hot chocolate and carollers — and if the city had a problem about a permit or about traffic considerations, they had ample opportunity to make it known. He said the twinkling tree didn't cause any traffic accidents and pointed to the Christmas lights the city puts up along some its busiest streets each holiday season. Williams butted heads with the City St. John's a number of times during the development of the Galway subdivision. When asked if he felt the city's pushback about the tree was personal, he said he wasn't sure what to think. "I don't see any logical reason why they would do this. There's no common sense," he said. "Especially at this time of the year. It's mean-spirited." Williams said if Mount Pearl plans a lighting ceremony for the displaced Galway Christmas tree, he would be "delighted" to attend. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press
Downhill enthusiasts were out of the starting gate early as Castle Mountain Resort opened its doors this past weekend. The Huckleberry chair was operating Nov. 27 to 29 as part of the resort’s preview weekend. The opening marks the earliest that powder lovers have been able to visit the ski hill in over 10 years. With lockdowns and business closures an all-too-common aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the resort’s early opening is a welcomed positive achieved through co-operation between health officials and the Canada West Skiers Association. “It’s difficult to say there’s a bright spot in the middle of a terrible thing like a pandemic,” says Cole Fawcett, Castle Mountain Resort’s sales and marketing manager. “But in the ski industry, one of the bright spots of this whole thing is that the industry is closer than it’s ever been.” To ensure visitor safety at ski hills, individual resorts within the Association collaborated and received input from provincial health agencies to form a set of rules and guidelines for the 2020-2021 season. The result, continues Cole, is not only that safety measures will be consistent for ski resorts across Alberta and British Columbia but also the unity within the industry itself. “It’s been so heartwarming and wonderful that we’ve been working side by side with some resorts who we would consider to be some of our largest competitors,” he says. Safety measures at the hill essentially follow the public health recommendations for people to practise increased sanitization, physical distancing and wearing face coverings. Face coverings Face coverings are required at Castle Mountain when purchasing tickets, waiting in lift lines and riding the lift. Face coverings are also mandatory in outdoor areas where people may be gathering and while indoors. Visitors’ face coverings must be a solid piece of multi-layer fabric with a snug fit that fully covers the nose and mouth. Children five and under are the only exception to this requirement, though the ski hill also recommends they wear face coverings. Tickets and rentals For the 2020-21 season, no multi-day tickets are available. Only single-day tickets are offered, which can be purchased at www.skicastle.ca/tickets and on-site at the outdoor ticketing windows. The guest services area will be open only for people needing a season pass printed or replaced, as well as corporate ticket pickups, direct-to-lift upgrades and administration office inquiries. Currently, the ski hill does not anticipate needing to limit the number of daily ticket sales, though the number of guests will be monitored. Should public health restrictions increase in the future to limit visitors to the hill, season pass holders will have priority access.Rentals are still available through the Alpenland location at the resort. Visitors are encouraged to fill out their rental information before going to the hill online at https://bit.ly/RentAlpenland. Rentals can also be completed in person. Staff are available to help over the phone at 403-627-5389. Lodge Indoor spaces will be operating at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. A dedicated entrance and exit has been established in the lodge to help manage the flow of visitors. No foot traffic will be permitted into the lodge through the snow school entrance. A valid season pass or day ticket is required to access the upstairs portion of the lodge. Bags, boots and other personal items cannot be left in the day lodge. Visitors are asked to store their items and change into their ski or snowboard boots in their vehicles. The downstairs area of the lodge is reserved for Castle Mountain staff only. Additional weatherproof shelters have been set up outside for guests wishing to warm up and enjoy their own lunch. Simplified food and drink options will be offered at the cafeteria and T-Bar Pub in order to balance health guidelines with service speed and guest needs. For the safety of visitors and staff, it’s asked that all visits to the lodge be less than 30 minutes. Guests using the outdoor eating areas are also asked to be aware of time so others can use the space. Additional sanitizing measures are in place to clean high-touch areas both during operations and after hours. Hand-sanitizing stations will be added to several base area locations. Lifts, snow school and cat skiing Cohorts and families are asked to ride the lift together. Single or double riders will not be forced to ride with anyone outside their cohort. Lift queue configurations will also be slightly different to facilitate physical distancing. While most snow school programs will still be available, supervised lunches and childcare services will not be provided this season unless specifically offered through a program, such as Little Castle Club. Private family lessons have also been added as a program option. Castle’s Powder Stagecoach cat-skiing operation is also continuing this season with minor adjustments. Group sizes have been reduced to one group of up to 12 guests each day. As a result, cat skiing is now being offered five days per week. Staff will no longer sit in the passenger cabin to facilitate guest comfort. Face coverings are mandatory inside the stagecoach, with all guests receiving a complimentary two-layer neck tube. The stagecoach and avalanche equipment will be sanitized at the end of each day. Season goals The staff at Castle Mountain are excited about bringing skiers and snowboarders world-class runs in an enjoyable, safe experience. While business profitability is important, Cole says the season’s measure of success is going to be much different than years past. “The main measurement of success is going to be: did people enjoy themselves, did they do it safely, were our staff safe, [and] did they enjoy themselves as much as possible given the circumstances,” he says. Learning through the experience, he adds, is also an opportunity for the resort to improve operations. “We hope that we take some of the practices that we’ve implemented that maybe actually enhance the experience of our guests and continue them on an ongoing basis.” Additional information is available on the resort’s website, www.skicastle.ca. A special page dedicated to Covid-19 measures will be updated as needed at www.skicastle.ca/covid19. Visitors are also encouraged to call 403-627-5101.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
McNab/Braeside’s $10-million 2021 budget, set to be passed on Dec. 15, is still “very fluid,” according to township treasurer Kelly Coughlin. She cannot comment on whether taxpayers will pay more taxes in 2021. “I don’t want to give taxpayers the impression that there will be no increase. There are some items that need to be finalized in the coming weeks, that could change the numbers,” Coughlin said in a phone interview Dec. 1. Mayor Tom Peckett, however, said he is confident that there will be “almost no increase in money required from the taxpayers” in an interview Nov. 26. “There’s a little bit of tweaking but I fully expect (the 2021 budget) to be passed on Dec. 15,” he said. “It’s almost equal to last year’s budget.” The first draft of the township’s 2021 budget proposed a 9.59 per cent tax levy increase over this year, with a big chunk of spending set aside for the roads department. “Once it’s passed, we’ll explain how we got there. I can’t really quantify (it yet),” he said. The pandemic has impacted next year’s budget. Expediting the systems required to stream public meetings online will be part of expenses next year. The mayor talked about moving into a new township building in January this year, “getting the kinks out of (the building)” and tackling one of the priorities for council: being able to stream online. “It was always on council’s agenda to get it done. With COVID-19, it’s taking a bit longer than we would have liked to. It’s been a work in progress for us,” Peckett said. “That’s why it’s (included) in the budget. We’re getting there,” he said. He cannot disclose how much updating the systems will cost. Coughlin said that the biggest consequence that the pandemic had on the township’s budget is on recreation programs. “We have to reimagine our programming because of the restrictions on the number (of participants). It impacts indoor programming, and there will be an impact on the revenue side of the things,” she said. “Staff is trying to adjust the operating budgets. We still want to have money available to provide programming to the ratepayers. On the Dec. 15 budget, I will be providing a comprehensive report summarizing the key things included in the budget,” Coughlin added. The treasurer stressed that there have been changes since their last council meeting. “The overall budget is a little over $10 million, that’s what it currently is. That is subject to change. Everything will be finalized on Dec. 15,” she said. Asked if taxpayers can expect any surprises in the budget next year, the mayor said “not for me there isn’t (a surprise). It’s the same as usual, there’s always an increase in fuel cost and labour cost. It’s pretty well the usual.” A notice is posted on the township’s website about the upcoming meeting: “Notice is hereby given that the Council of the Township of McNab/Braeside intends to consider passing a Bylaw to adopt the 2021 Operating and Capital budgets in accordance with Section 290 of the Municipal Act, 2001 at the Regular Meeting of Council to be held on Dec. 15, 2021 at 7 p.m. at the Township Council Chambers, 2473 Russett Dr.”Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
Sherbrooke — Les affaires s’annoncent plutôt bien pour Agropol, cette jeune ferme urbaine établie au cœur de Sherbrooke. L’entreprise, qui avait au départ les restaurants comme principaux clients, a traversé toute une transformation depuis le premier confinement. « On était 100 % orienté vers les restaurants. On a perdu 60 clients d’un seul coup quand ils ont fermé », se souvient l’un des fondateurs, Samuel Sigouin, qui est âgé de 26 ans. Mais après un déménagement et un changement de marché cible, ses propriétaires veulent maintenant se spécialiser dans le prêt-à-manger gastronomique, en cuisinant notamment leurs propres pousses biologiques, leurs fines herbes et les champignons gourmets de la ferme Mycotrophe de Frelighsburg. Une approche de la terre à l’assiette qui, ils l’espèrent, les aidera à se démarquer dans le domaine de l’alimentation végétalienne. Déjà, cette réorientation les a préparés à survivre à la deuxième vague, alors que les salles à manger estriennes ont été fermées à nouveau le 12 novembre. « Il y a des producteurs urbains et des transformateurs urbains, mais vraiment d’intégrer notre production verticale à travers une gamme de produits prêt-à-manger qu’on veut rendre accessible partout au Québec, ça c’est une première fois que ça se voit », avance M. Sigouin, qui est diplômé en communications et marketing. Son partenaire, Marc-Antoine Larente, 28 ans a pour sa part apporté son bagage de biologiste à la production. Une nouvelle entente avec Horizon Nature, un important distributeur d’alimentation naturelle et biologique, vient également d’être conclue. « On est super heureux de participer à la transformation alimentaire de la province. On veut aller toucher Montréal, Québec, le Saguenay.... Aller remplir la province d’Agropol. On a vraiment l’impression qu’on a des produits et une façon de faire qui gagnent à être connus », ajoute M. Sigouin. Des bols et des boîtes Maintenant établie dans un local du 1060, rue Cherbourg depuis août dernier, l’entreprise, qui ne reposait que sur ses deux propriétaires à temps partiel il y a deux ans et demi, compte aujourd’hui huit travailleurs. Parmi ceux-ci, deux anciens chefs du milieu de la restauration sherbrookoise. Michael Cloutier Boutin et Reuben Bird signent les différents items du menu, comme des bols méditerranéens, des bols asiatiques, des salades, des wraps, et d’autres produits à base de protéines végétales. Ceux-ci, de même que les pousses et les champignons en vrac, sont en partie distribués chez plusieurs détaillants de la région, tandis que la clientèle peut aussi directement commander à l’avance en ligne et récupérer sur place à un moment convenu. Une nouvelle offre est même en route : les boîtes repas « Sans planche ni couteau », qui permettront une préparation rapide à partir d’ingrédients d’Agropol, ces derniers ayant été emballés dans des emballages réutilisables. « On est prêts à se faire connaître. On a un local intéressant et on veut que les gens viennent nous voir. L’avantage, avec ce qu’on fait, c’est qu’on peut rapidement augmenter la production en fonction de la demande », explique M. Sigouin, qui précise qu’avant le déménagement, les lieux n’étaient pas ouverts au public. Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
Nisga’a Nation declared a state of local emergency on Nov. 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases and an exposure in the Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School community. Six school aged children have tested positive for the virus. Other positive cases are linked to two family gatherings in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh). As of Dec. 2, Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) has confirmed 32 positive COVID-19 tests. “We are all in this together,” said Eva Clayton, Nisga’a Lisims president in a media release. “We must follow all provincial and Nisga’a health orders to ensure we stop further spread of this serious virus.” Until Dec. 10, entrance to Gitlaxt’aamiks will only be allowed from 8:00 a.m. to midnight — security personnel are monitoring the entrance to the village and patrolling the village from midnight to 7:00 a.m. According to a Nov. 26 Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government communique, family gatherings and house-parties are prohibited and all offices, churches, and the recreation centre are closed. Masks are mandatory in the village and visitors to Gitlaxt’aamiks are prohibited. The communique states that the majority of COVID-19 cases in the Nass Valley are in Gitlaxt’aamiks and that house parties continue to be a concern. READ MORE: Students at Nisga’a school test positive for COVID-19 “We are meeting regularly and undertaking comprehensive COVID-19 management action,” said Brandi Trudell-Davis, NVHA chief executive officer in the Nov. 26 release. “We look to our Nation, communities, families and individuals to actively take precautionary measures to stop the spread. We are all in this together and and it is the only way we will all get through this.” NVHA is working with the Northern Health Authority to monitor and trace COVID-19 cases.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
The public hearing for the proposed Grassy Mountain mine continued hearing witnesses’ evidence and cross-examination during the week of Nov. 3. The scheduled topic items included geology, damming safety, accidents and malfunctions, industrial waste and waste management, and effects on the environment like climate change. Dam right Much of the discussion focused on the mine’s four surge and four sedimentation ponds. Surge ponds capture water from precipitation that passes under the waste rock deposits that may be tainted with selenium. Sedimentation ponds collect water for treatment and removal of suspended solids, aided by coagulating agents called flocculants and letting particles naturally settle. Explaining the nature of the ponds, said Benga’s vice-president of external relations, Gary Houston, was important because many opponents of the mine point to the danger posed by tailings ponds. Tailings ponds typically hold toxic materials left over from industrial processes involving water. Benga would not be using tailings ponds because the mine would mechanically dewater during its processes. Most of the ponds point toward Blairmore Creek, though two sediment ponds are near Gold Creek. The pond locations are needed to catch water flow from the mine, thus minimizing the risk of erosion and landslide. Proposed dam designs for each pond have followed guidelines set by the Canadian Dam Association as well as Alberta Dam and Canal Safety Directive. After construction, the Alberta Energy Regulator would provide regular monitoring. Opponents of the proposed mine project, however, were concerned Benga had not studied the consequences of a pond failing nor completed an emergency response plan. Though the mining company said creating these plans was subject to the project’s approval, critics responded that understanding Benga’s disaster processes was integral to fully analyzing risks associated with the project. “How can this panel make an informed decision about the risk of your project having impacts on the environment in the context of these sedimentation and surge ponds if, in fact, you haven’t done that study yet and you haven’t presented that evidence at this hearing?” asked Mike Sawyer, legal counsel for the Timberwolf Wilderness Society. “How can we make that decision? Are we just supposed to trust you?” Mr. Sawyer also said the proposal lacked any assessment of how dam failure would affect populations of the westslope cutthroat trout, which contravened expectations set out by the Species at Risk Act. Particularly important information missing was data on how the fish would react to the flocculants and sedimentation in the ponds next to Gold Creek should a leak occur. Issues with dam failure, responded Mr. Houston, were easy to exaggerate since even opening a floodgate would be classified as dam failure. Any effect on the trout from a pond bursting, he continued, would be reversible and only an issue in the short term and would be accounted for in Benga’s planning. “There is a process in place for dealing with these risks and we’re going to abide by that process,” Mr. Houston said. Even with Benga’s assurances that the dam design would mitigate flood risk, expert witnesses asked to participate by the Government of Canada said the dam designs were based on an inaccurate model of how much the average annual precipitation would increase over time. Dr. Ann-Lise Norman, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Calgary, said the issue was the scale used in collecting precipitation data. Benga’s calculations relied on too large an area as scale: a 90-kilometre area was used when industry standard is 10 kilometres. Data collection from Sparwood and Pincher Creek, Dr. Norman continued, was at locations too low in elevation to accurately predict what amount of precipitation should be expected at the Grassy Mountain site. “Higher spatial resolution is critical,” she said. “It produces more accurate results, and I think Benga’s maximum precipitation for Grassy Mountain was based on too low an elevation.” Nothing earth-shaking On top of concerns the mine would be susceptible to storms and flooding, local residents and environmental groups said approving the project would increase the risk of grass and forest fires. The main fear expressed was that distributed layers of coal dust on vegetation in the area would create a volatile situation should a wildfire start. Additionally, critics said Benga had not adequately addressed the risks associated with coal seam fires or coal dust explosions in its environmental assessment. Coal dust, however, was not viewed by Benga as a major issue as minimal amounts of coal would be stored at the site and coal transportation would all be done in covered chutes. “The biggest source of dust will be the road dust,” Mr. Houston said. The company would also have its own fire-protective equipment and trained staff on-site. Worries daily blasting at the mine would contribute to seismic activity in the area were viewed as negligible. Dr. John Cassidy, an expert on seismic hazards from the University of Victoria, noted only 11 earthquakes had been registered within 50 kilometres of the mine site in the last 40 years. The largest quake in that time was measured at a magnitude of 3.2 on the Richter scale. 719 mining blasts had been registered in that same time frame, supporting Dr. Cassidy’s experience that industrial blasting had never been seen to affect seismic activity in an area. The potential for blasting to cause landslides, however, was acknowledged as a risk inherent in the Grassy Mountain area. Benga had put forward in its assessment mitigation measures like annual ground condition inspections — increased after major precipitation — and a ground-monitoring program. Natural Resources Canada had reviewed the measures and found them satisfactory. Although the effect of blasting on Turtle Mountain was not considered significant, Mr. Houston said no specific discussion with the Alberta Geological Survey had occurred in regard to monitoring the mountain. Benga was also unsure if the AGS was monitoring Turtle Mountain for seismic activity. Given the lack of experience Benga as a company had in mining operations, the MD of Ranchland, said lawyer Michael Niven, did not have confidence in the company’s procedures and capacity to respond to emergencies. The gap was one Benga was willing to bridge, said Mr. Houston. “We could talk about the drilling and blasting procedures and the safety measures put in place, the scientific methods for monitoring the blasts,” he said. “Those are all things we’re prepared to discuss if that’s a topic that the MD would like us to come and talk to them about.” To this point, Benga has not had any discussions with the MD of Ranchland concerning the project.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
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
CENTRE WELLINGTON – Centre Wellington council have approved adding $3.2 million in vehicle and equipment replacement to the 2021 draft budget. This will mainly be covered through reserves and only an additional $42,000 is needed to be increased in the tax supported budget, said deputy treasurer Mark Bradey at Tuesday's budget meeting. Vehicles that are proposed to be added next year include two ton-and-a-half trucks, a single axle dump truck and five pickup trucks across various departments. The vehicle replacement comes in at an estimated cost of $1.6 million with $27,000 needed from the tax-supported budget. To take advantage of costs, treasurer Dan Wilson put forward tender results on two of the pickup trucks for the fire department at a total of $90,000 all inclusive. Fire chief Brad Patton explained the two trucks were 14 and 18 years-old with over 60,000 km and 85,000 km respectively. In COVID times, councillor Bob Foster questioned if these vehicles could be extended for another year or two noting that mileage is relatively low. Patton said this is inline with other departments across the province who view trucks as a 10-year life cycle. “We’re already starting to have breakdowns on them … we can’t have these trucks failing going to calls,” Patton said, adding that he has had personal vehicles with much higher mileage. “Would I want those as an emergency first responder vehicle? Probably not.” On the overall ask for vehicles and equipment, councillor Neil Dunsmore praised town staff for prudent asset management as impact to taxes is relatively small compared to what they’re getting. He noted that finding a vehicle to defer would likely balance the tax impact to zero but didn’t think it should be an emergency service vehicle adding the two trucks to be replaced have had a good lifespan. “If we have a 10 year replacement policy, one is at 18 and one is at 14 (years), thank you for keeping them in the shape they’re in chief Patton but it’s time to replace them before we run into any problems,” Dunsmore said. Foster said the fire chief made a good case for replacing those trucks but put forward a motion to put a moratorium on replacing any other vehicles in 2021. He said he felt $1.6 million was too big an ask during a tough budget year and would like to see staff re-purpose vehicles in different departments. CAO Andy Goldie explained that they do re-purpose vehicles and are always looking for the best option whether that be trading-in, selling or sending it to a different department. This motion ultimately failed to pass however some councillors noted staff should show what they do with the vehicles and share good news on effective use of assets. Council later unanimously approved the vehicle and equipment replacements for 2021.Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
SHERBROOKE – Thanks to timely funding from the provincial government – including an $8,000 grant from Accessibility Nova Scotia earlier this month – a new wheelchair-accessible public garden is set to open by summer, years ahead of schedule, at Historic Sherbrooke Village. “We applied last year for the grant and were very pleased to be recognized,” said Dana O’Connell of the Historic Sherbrooke Village Development Society. “Our original expectations were to open in five or 10 years but, with the provincial stimulus package this summer and now with this grant, we’ve been able to move the goal post a lot closer. I can see the potential opening of the park in the spring.” In June, Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister and Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie MLA Lloyd Hines announced $994,000 in funding for Historic Sherbrooke Village to renovate its world-renowned heritage properties. Some of that money was earmarked to cover the final phases of the development society’s community park. With grants, donations and proceeds from its operations totaling $25,500, the Society completed Phase 1 of the project – including excavation, fencing, and site planning – last year. Phase 2, which was estimated at $39,000 – includes electrical, water hook-ups, landscaping, plaza, and pathways – was finished in mid-September. Phase 3, with a projected price tag of just under $91,000, involves: building raised flower beds; planting new trees; installing entrance gates, benches, picnic tables, and creating both a reading area and a rain garden. “We are in Phase 3,” O’Connell said, “so now we are accessorizing the park. We just contracted out the gazebo, and we just set the ground work for our two main entrance points.” O’Connell, a former serviceman in the Canadian Navy who semi-retired to Sherbrooke with his wife five years ago, spearheaded the rejuvenation because he thought the area needed a space for people – especially those who find getting around difficult – to congregate. “A nursing home is only, maybe, 300 yards away, so wheelchair accessibility is a must,” he says. “It gives people the opportunity to take their loved ones out to some place like this was one of the things that drove my interest and involvement from the start.” As for the spring, he said, “We are hoping that COVID restrictions will be somewhat relaxed and we’re able to have a barbecue for the community, a kind of celebration. All indications so far are that the community is just in awe and just waiting for the opening. It’s been a wonderful journey, seeing it from beginning to end.”Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
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.
Councillor Goelbel Absent, Councillor Watson Participated by Phone Discussion on Recent COVID-19 Restrictions Lead by CAO Bill Lewis, Council discussed the recently announced COVID-19 health restrictions. Here are some highlights as to how these restrictions affect Swan Hills: · There had been some confusion about when the restrictions would be in place, with some people in town thinking that all of the restrictions were effective on Nov 27. CAO Lewis clarified that the restrictions on social gatherings were effective immediately across the province. · Local non-profit organization board meetings are classified as work or mutual support groups and can continue going forward, as long as health measures such as social distancing are followed. · The town pool and arena are already following the guidelines for our area and can continue to operate going forward, but this will change if Swan Hills becomes an enhanced status area. The pool and arena cannot be privately rented at this time. · The Community Club is going to close until the New Year due to the ban on social gatherings. · Swan Hills is not under any provincial masking requirements at this time. · In regards to Lite Up, the direction from AHS is that Lite Up can proceed as planned but it is very important for people to remain in their vehicles when visiting Santa. If people come out of their vehicles and begin to crowd around Santa, the event must end immediately. Budget Review and Discussion Cao Bill Lewis gave an extremely thorough review of the proposed budget for 2021. The proposed budget will be very lean due to attempting to balance significant losses in revenue with increased costs in some areas of expenditures. After discussing these issues, Council voted to table approving the budget until the next Town Council meeting. The Grizzly Gazette will be able to report on the 2021 budget in greater detail once it has been finalized for the next Council meeting. CAO Report · A pre-project meeting with the Fire Chief, Forestry, and Blue ridge Lumber was held on Nov 24th regarding the Fire Guard project. · Staff worked on preparations for the modified Christmas Lite Up event. · A Tax Auction was held on Nov 17th. · Had a conference call with the Premier, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Minister of Finance, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding COVID-19 on Nov 18th. · Met with Sea Hawk Consulting (the group doing the Emergency Management Regional Audit). · Working on 2021 Budget preparation. · Working on the 5-year Capital Plan and 3-year operating plan. · Working on the new website upgrade. · Preparing for the strategic planning session with Community Futures Yellowhead East. · Working on the Municipality Accountability Program (MAP) Audit preparation. Operations and Infrastructure · The Flash Mixer at the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is still awaiting parts. · Waiting for the Reservoir Fire Water Pump motor replacement. Hoping to get a start date for this project for early December. · The sewage lift station pump that is currently out for service should be back in the first week of December. When it returns, the second pump will be sent out to be serviced as well. · There was a heater failure in the sewage lift station. A heater that had been salvaged from the PRV was repurposed for this application. · The roofing contractor has indicated that all repairs will be complete the week of Nov 23rd. · The Arena will be open for business on Nov 20th. · All of the Public Works and WTP procedures are currently being re-written and re-formatted as the previous versions were antiquated. · Public Works has been focusing on snow removal. · Public Works and WTP staff are in the process of qualification for Basic Emergency Management as well as Incident Command System 100. Should be completed by Jan 30th, 2021. · All safety training for Public Works staff is now up to date. Reports · Councillor Carol Webster reported on the first meeting of the regional Chamber of Commerce on Nov 13th. Representatives from Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt, Swan Hills, Edson, Fox Creek, and Barrhead attended. The discussions included helping Barrhead with the closure of ADLC and Swan Hills with the closure of the SHTC. Ways of providing benefits to the regional Chamber members were also discussed. The next meeting will be on Dec 4th. · Councillor Carol Webster reported that GROWTH Alberta held two executive meetings, on Nov 18th and Nov 24th. The GROWTH chairman will be resigning, meaning that a new chairman will need to be appointed. The Village of Wabamun has voted to dissolve their municipality and will become a Hamlet on January 1st, so this alliance will be losing a member. The next GROWTH Meeting will be on Nov 27th. · Councillor Carol Webster detailed Community Futures Yellowhead East’s (CFYE) meeting on Nov 19th, which focused on succession planning. One of CFYE’s members is approaching their eight-year term limit and will need to step down within the next year. · Councillor Elizabeth Krawiec reported having a promising Zoom meeting with a member of Community Futures that is very interested in helping Swan Hills with our Economic development. They hope to meet again soon. · Councillor Terry Kuyek reported on the Nov 18th school council meeting. With the impending closure of the ADLC threatening a major reorganization of staff, 44 teachers have chosen retirement rather than “bumping” their coworkers. The school council will move from monthly meetings to meeting every two months due to a lack of participation from the community. Jenny Kilpatrick – Life &Health; Coach – has offered support services for staff and parents feeling excessive strain and stress during these times.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
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
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
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Check out the majestic sunset over Quartzite, Arizona in this beautiful time lapse footage. Filmed with iPhone 11Pro.
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.MOVIES— Film history fans will get a meal out of David Fincher’s “Mank,” about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz who is masterfully played by Gary Oldman. Shot in gorgeous black and white, “Mank” transports you into the depression era studio system, Upton Sinclair’s bid for governor, William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies’s elegant parties and to that bungalow in Victorville where the first draft of the classic Orson Welles film was composed. Available on Netflix on Friday, “Mank” is one of the year’s very best films and both a tribute to and searing critique of Hollywood’s golden age. Amanda Seyfried, as Davies, is one of the great performances of the year.— Another film full of excellent performances is “Sound of Metal,” starring Riz Ahmed as a punk metal drummer who experiences sudden severe hearing loss. The film, which is captioned in English, dives into the world of the deaf community with Ruben (Ahmed) in a way you’ve never seen or heard before. It’s the directorial debut of Darius Marder (a writer on “The Place Beyond the Pines”), who assembled an crack team of sound mixers and editors to create a unique auditory experience to simulate what Ruben is going through as he loses his hearing entirely.— If $30 was a little steep for your tastes to rent the new live-action “Mulan,” it’ll finally be free for Disney+ subscribers Friday. From director Niki Caro, this adaptation of the Chinese folk tale about a young woman who disguises herself as a man and takes her father’s place in the army, is breathtakingly beautiful, from the stunning landscapes to the colorful costumes. Although it may fall short on the kind of intoxicating story magic that the Disney label signifies, it is worth a watch and may just inspire some curious young viewers to delve into more Asian cinema classics. Also, if you find yourself missing the songs and Eddie Murphy, the animated 1998 version is also available on the service.— AP Film Writer Lindsey BahrMUSIC— A house is not a home during the holiday season if Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is not blasting – daily! During a normal, non-pandemic year, Carey and her Christmas craziness would be on a holiday tour, bringing joy to fans and lambs in-person. Because live shows aren’t really a thing in 2020, she’s launching a holiday TV special on Apple TV+ on Friday. “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” will includes a mix of musical performances and dancing with amination. Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Tiffany Haddish, Misty Copeland and Carey’s 9-year-old twins, son Moroccan and daughter Monroe, will make special appearances.— Shawn Mendes released his debut album in 2015 and he’s dropping his fourth effort Friday. “Wonder” continues to showcase Mendes’ growth as a singer, songwriter and performer. The album features the singles “Wonder” and “Monster” with Justin Bieber, which debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot chart this week. Along with the album is the Netflix documentary called “Shawn Mendes: In Wonder,” which is available for streaming and follows Mendes’ rise and journey over the last few years.— Christmas came early when Carrie Underwood released her first holiday album in September, and on Thursday she’ll debut a musical TV special to accompany the album. On HBO Max’s “My Gift: A Christmas Special from Carrie Underwood” — conducted by award-winning musical director Rickey Minor — the country superstar is backed by a live orchestra, choir and her band. John Legend makes a special appearance and viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at Underwood’s 5-year-old son, Isaiah, recording his vocals for their version of “Little Drummer Boy.”— AP Music Editor Mesfin FekaduTELEVISION— “Selena: The Series” is described by Netflix as a coming-of-age drama that follows Selena Quintanilla from talented youngster to musical phenom, aided by her family. A breakthrough star in male-dominated Tejano music, the singer was just shy of her 24th birthday in 1995 when she was fatally shot by a former business associate. The two-part series debuts Friday with Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) as Selena and Gabriel Chavarria (“East Los Angeles’) and Ricardo Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”) among the cast members.— The 11th and final season of the Showtime dramady “Shameless” debuts 9 p.m. EST Sunday, weaving the pandemic, urban gentrification and personal pressures into the lives of the Gallaghers of Chicago’s South Side. Aging patriarch Frank (William H. Macy) is facing the toll of longtime alcohol and drug abuse, while and Ian and Mickey (Cameron Monaghan, Noel Fisher) struggle as newlyweds. Deb (Emma Kenney) stands ready to give her all to single motherhood and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) feels the same about his nascent law enforcement career.— Two respected veterans are behind “A Suitable Boy,” a limited series directed by filmmaker Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”) and written by Andrew Davies (“Pride and Prejudice,” “House of Cards”). An adaptation of Vikram Seth’s 1,300-plus page novel of the same name, the 1950s, India-set drama revolves around a university student who’s shaping her identity as the newly independent country does the same. The all-Indian lead cast includes Tabu (“The Namesake,” “Life of Pi”) and Tanya Maniktala. The series debuts Monday, Dec. 7, on Acorn TV.— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber___Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Barron Miles and Luc Brodeur-Jourdain will have added responsibilities with the Montreal Alouettes in 2021.The Alouettes promoted Miles to defensive co-ordinator and Brodeur-Jourdain was named offensive line coach Wednesday. Miles was appointed as the team's defensive backs coach and pass-game co-ordinator last winter and will remain in charge of the club's secondary.Bob Slowik had served as Montreal's defensive co-ordinator since 2019, but his contract wasn't renewed.Brodeur-Jourdain became Montreal's assistant offensive line coach in 2019 after playing 11 seasons with the team.Khari Jones remains Montreal's head coach and quarterback coach. The remainder of his staff includes Mickey Donovan (special teams, linebackers); Andre Bolduc (running backs, assistant head coach); Todd Howard (defensive line); Robert Gordon (receivers); Michael Lionello (offensive assistant) and Byron Archambault (special-teams assistant)."We are very happy to have been able to put together such a complete coaching staff, even though we have reduced our staff because of the new reality in the CFL," Jones said in a statement. "We have never stopped working and communicating, as we all look forward to the 2021 season and working with our players."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
HALIFAX – Boylston residents won’t be rocking Netflix around-the-clock anytime soon, but they and about 1,000 other rural residents of Antigonish and Guysborough counties are set for unexpected upgrades to high-speed Internet by 2023 – adding to communities announced by Develop Nova Scotia in September. “They’re getting new coverage as a result of scope expansions,” Braedon Clark, a Develop Nova Scotia official, told the The Journal in an email last week. “The number of homes and businesses to be connected is 1,342.” The upgrades now include: Southside Antigonish Harbour, Monks Head, Kenzieville (Keppoch Mountain, Addington Forks, Ohio, Hillcrest, Ashdale, Pinevale, South Salt Springs, Beech Hill), Fairmont, Pleasant Valley, Caledonia Mills (Lower Springfield, Roman Valley), Brierly Brook (James River), Mulgrave (Aulds Cove, Pirate Harbour, Middle Melford, Hadleyville), and Guysborough (Boylston, North Riverside, Manchester, Glenkeen). Other rural communities scheduled for scope expansion along the Eastern Shore include: Musquodoboit Harbour (Lower West Jeddore, Quinlan Dr., Ostrea Lake Rd., Anderson Rd., Innis Cove, West Petpeswick), Lake Charlotte (Clam Bay, Upper Lakeville, Ship Harbour, DeBaies Cove, Southwest Cove, Little Harbour, Clam Harbour, Clam Bay), Goffs (Old Guysborough Rd., Devon), and Chezzetcook (Lawrencetown, Leslie Rd.). The new $24-million initiative through the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust (with an additional $9 million from other levels of government and the private sector) will connect 6,700 homes and businesses across the province with high-speed Internet at speeds higher than Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) targets by late 2023. “These scope expansions will reduce the number of remaining unserved or underserved homes and businesses by over half,” said a Develop Nova Scotia press release on Nov. 23. “Preparatory and engineering work will begin immediately on the contract extensions.” It’s not clear whether the scope expansions are part of a planned connection program or an ad hoc response to areas overlooked during the second round of high-speed rural Internet enhancements in the fall. “They (the communities) were identified as still needing connection after our Round 2 announcement in September,” Clark said. According to Develop Nova Scotia, since the first round began in February, more than 21,000 of a targeted 81,500 homes and businesses now have networks in place to provide new or improved high-speed Internet. It also says projects are being completed about 50 per cent faster than industry standards. So far, the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust, other levels of government and the private sector have invested about $263 million the initiative with a goal of hooking up 97 per cent of rural communities in the province with high-speed Internet by summer 2022.Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Fondée à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Herwood inc., de Windsor, est une entreprise familiale de fabrication de palettes de bois à la tête de laquelle quatre générations se sont succédé. Savoir-faire, vision et valeurs humaines fortes ont permis à l’organisation de prospérer depuis 75 ans. Rencontre avec le président, Jason Wheeler, 47 ans, petit-fils du fondateur Henry Wheeler. Joueur essentiel dans l’économie, Herwood inc. n’a pas connu de creux de vague en raison de la Covid-19. « Nous avons été épargnés, car l’utilisation des palettes par nos clients est très variée, explique-t-il. En effet, ils évoluent dans le domaine des entreprises pharmaceutiques, industrielles, de l’alimentation, de la fabrication et du transport. Nous offrons également un programme complet de recyclage permettant d’éviter à de nombreuses usines la difficile et dispendieuse tâche de disposer de leurs palettes de bois. Après les avoir récupérées, nous les transformons pour qu’elles soient recyclées dans la production de biomasse, de granules de chauffage, etc. C’est bon pour les entreprises cherchant à désencombrer leur entrepôt autant que pour l’environnement ! » La relève… Même si l’entreprise ne connaît pas de crise, elle éprouve du mal à attirer des travailleurs. « Bon an mal an, une cinquantaine d’employés œuvrent ici, explique M. Wheeler. On produit entre 13 000 et 15 000 palettes par jour, soit 3,5 millions et plus chaque année. Et la difficulté de recruter est bien réelle, se désole-t-il. Le transport en région, ça a toujours été compliqué. Par exemple, beaucoup de gens paient un loyer à Sherbrooke, mais n’ont pas de voiture. Ils devraient s’installer ici, et pour le même prix, devenir propriétaires ! Il faudrait que la MRC et la ville travaillent sur un modèle Habiter et Travailler à Windsor. » « Certaines compagnies vont jusqu’à créer leur propre service d’autobus pour véhiculer leurs employés, poursuit-il. Ici, avec le développement du parc industriel, les travailleurs sont en demande. Il faut trouver des solutions… Et créer de la sociabilité chez nos jeunes. À force de vivre derrière leur écran, ils sont anxieux et un peu déconnectés de la réalité. C’est dommage, car notre entreprise à beaucoup à offrir ! » Espérons que la relève sera présente pour poursuivre la belle histoire de Herwood inc. facebook.com/hwpherwood herwood.ca/frMireille Fréjeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal L'Étincelle
Scientists say a year in which almost 200 tundra lakes drained away could point to what's in store for Canada's North.Between 2017 and 2018, 192 lakes in northwest Alaska lost at least a quarter of their area as the permafrost that held them melted. Canada has plenty of the same kind of landscape and can likely expect the same effects, said Claude Duguay, a University of Waterloo researcher and co-author of a new paper in the journal Cryosphere."It's pretty widespread," he said.Duguay and his colleagues examined some of the countless small, shallow lakes that dot the tundra of Alaska's Seward Peninsula. Many have been stable for millennia while others wax and wane depending on the stability of the permafrost that blocks water from draining both underneath and along the shoreline.During the winter of 2017 and into the summer 2018, the entire region experienced unusually warm temperatures and exceptionally heavy precipitation consistent with what climate change models predict across the Arctic. "These conditions are basically projections of what may be happening in the future," said Duguay.Warmer than usual — air temperatures that year averaged 0 C — and insulated by a thick blanket of snow, much of the permafrost that ringed the shores and sealed the bottoms melted away. In a single year, nearly 1,200 hectares of lake disappeared. That's more than 10 times the usual rate of change and twice the drainage of the previously worst year, 2005-06. Similar lakes sitting on similar geology are easy to find in Canada, Duguay said. They cover the Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories, the Old Crow flats in Yukon and the Hudson Bay lowlands in Manitoba and Ontario. "Some of those regions are already showing similar trends," said Duguay, who added that Canada hasn't yet experienced anything like what happened in Alaska, but it could be coming."The process could accelerate," said Duguay. "That's what we've been seeing. There's been temperature increases of four degrees in the winter. Higher temperature and more snowfall will lead to these types of winters." The Northwest Territories has long been experiencing the effects of melting permafrost: sinking buildings, heaving roads and cracking airstrips. In 2015, a lake in the N.W.T. fell off a cliff when the permafrost holding it up melted. Losing lakes affects how people get around and use the landscape, Duguay said. And as well as being a clear sign of climate change, draining lakes also contribute to it. Permafrost is full of carbon from undecomposed plant material. Melting permafrost exposes that material, which generates both carbon dioxide and methane, the two main greenhouse gases.Canada's vast stretches of tundra hold millions of tonnes of such material, said Duguay."The draining of these lakes will lead to the remobilization of carbon." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.— Follow @row1960 on TwitterBob Weber, The Canadian Press