Dark clouds overhead, winds start to pick up in Southern Ontario.
Dark clouds overhead, winds start to pick up in Southern Ontario.
Josh Dueck knows the role of chef de mission for Canada's Paralympic team during these unparalleled times comes with huge and unique challenges.It's a big reason why the three-time Paralympic medallist wanted the job.The 39-year-old skier, who was the first person in history to perform a back flip on a sit-ski, was named Canada's chef de mission for the 2022 Beijing Paralympics on Wednesday, "There's a part of me that likes to get gritty and that wanted the challenge and wanted to be there to insulate and support the athletes the best that I can and I know it's going to be a bit of a turbulent ride," Dueck told The Canadian Press from his Vernon, B.C., home.The chef de mission, or "head of mission", acts as an ambassador for the entire team leading into and during the Games.Dueck admitted there was a brief moment of fear when he got the call, "Like oh, what have I done? "But the last couple of days, I've been like 'I know exactly what I've done, I signed up for a role that I'm meant to be in right now. It's already given me so much drive and renewed sense of purpose."Dueck, who broke his back in 2004 after overshooting a demonstration jump, captured silver in slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics, and then gold in combined and silver in downhill four years later in Sochi. He also won gold and silver at the 2014 Winter X Games, and appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" after the video of his historic back flip hit half a million views. COVID-19 has posed huge challenges for Canada's athletes training for both this summer's Paralympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. But athletes, Dueck pointed out, are built to face adversity. They do so countless times throughout their careers.Dueck likes to find inspiration in Terry Fox, "one of the greatest Canadian heroes of all time." He reads Ann Donegan Johnson's book on Fox called "The Value of Facing a Challenge" to his two kids."Our character is forged by the fires that we endure," he said. "What (Fox's) story really showcases so well is that these challenges forced stress and stress allows for growth, and sometimes in ways that we can't predict, and that we don't want. Like, I don't think anybody wants a pandemic," Dueck said. Canada was instrumental in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics being postponed a year due to COVID-19. Canada announced that neither team would compete if the Games were held this past summer. The International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee announced soon after that both Games would be pushed back a year.In the weeks that followed the cancellation, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees' message of togetherness amid the global pandemic was: We are all Team Canada. "(Sport) is a great tool to create hope for all Canadians," Dueck said. "And while I'm biased, I for sure believe that sport does create hope for humanity as a whole."Dueck was inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2019 and in his induction speech talked about how sport was a dress rehearsal for life, preparing him for "how challenging life can be."Since retiring in 2014, Dueck lost both parents and a sister. His mom died in the five-day window between what would have been her 50th wedding anniversary and the one-year anniversary of the death of Dueck's sister."That complete heartbreak. She was absolutely devastated," Dueck said."But my mother-in-law is so awesome, she said 'Oh my god Josh, do you know how proud your parents would be for this (chef de mission position)?'"That's where my excitement comes from, my parents saw how important sport was for me. And now I get to live it again. And I know this is not about me, but it's going to be a great thing. I'm pretty excited to dive into this wholeheartedly."The Beijing Paralympics are March 4-13, 2022. Catriona Le May Doan was recently named Canada's chef de mission for the Beijing Olympics.Stephanie Dixon, a 19-time Paralympic medallist in swimming, is Canada's chef de mission for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
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
Le Centre de ressources pour hommes Optimum annonce un partenariat avec le duo humoristique Nouveaux pères, afin de mieux faire connaître ses services et inciter davantage d’hommes dans la région du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean à demander l’aide dont ils ont besoin. Optimum espère avec ce nouveau partenariat fera rayonner davantage ses différents services offerts dans la région. Rappelons que l’on compte parmi ceux-ci le service Trajectoires, qui offre de l’entraide psychosociale, Maison Oxygène, qui propose de l’hébergement avec ou sans enfants pour les hommes, ainsi que Cran d’arrêt, qui aide les hommes à mettre un terme à leurs comportements violents ou impulsifs. Le duo d’humoristes de Dolbeau-Mistassini a été choisi puisqu’il rejoint un nombre important de parents dans la région. Samuel Tremblay et Maxime Pearson partagent sur les réseaux sociaux les anecdotes de leur quotidien depuis quelques années déjà pour valoriser le rôle des pères de la nouvelle génération. « Malheureusement, encore en 2020, trop peu d’hommes souffrant de détresse psychologique se tournent vers les services professionnels dont ils ont besoin. Nous croyons que les gars de Nouveaux pères — par leur approche humoristique et positive — contribuent à faire tomber les barrières. Nous sommes très fiers de pouvoir désormais les compter dans notre équipe », souligne Sébastien Ouellet, directeur général du Centre de ressources pour hommes Optimum, par voie de communiqué de presse. Samuel Tremblay et Maxime Pearson considèrent les services offerts par le Centre de ressources pour hommes Optimum comme essentiels, mais également méconnus et souhaitent les faire rayonner davantage. « Encore aujourd’hui, la demande d’aide chez les hommes représente un défi important. Avec ce partenariat, nous espérons convaincre davantage d’hommes à entrer en contact avec l’organisme. Les gars, ne traversez pas seuls les moments difficiles. Appelez ! », soutiennent les cofondateurs, dans un courriel envoyé au Quotidien. Les pères admettent que dès leur première discussion avec le directeur général de l’organisme, ils ont été témoins de l’importance que le Centre de ressources a dans la région. Ils sont fiers d’offrir un coup de main à cet organisme, et du même coup, avoir un impact positif sur leur communauté. Plusieurs actions de communication seront déployées, au cours des prochains mois, afin de faire la promotion des différents services reliés par Optimum. Une campagne de financement pour les différents services de l’organisme sera aussi organisée dès janvier.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
The Terrace RCMP have arrested Kenton David Fast Tuesday, Dec. 1, according to a media release. According to a Dec. 1 media release, police are were searching for Fast, who was unlawfully at large. Police said they could not share why Fast is at large. To report a crime, or have information regarding an ongoing investigation, call Terrace RCMP at (250) 638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
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
Whale sharks are aptly named because they are the biggest shark species in the ocean. They are the biggest fish, and they are second in size only to a few species of whale, which are all mammals. They are gentle giants that can reach lengths of almost 17m (55 feet) and have been estimated at a weight of up to 45,000kg (100,000lbs). Despite their enormity, they pose no threat to humans and they have no intent or ability to hurt one, unless somebody was foolish enough to swim too close to the gigantic tail. When threatened, they simply outswim their adversary, or dive too deep to be pursued. Their food consists almost exclusively of tiny fish, krill, plankton, and fish eggs. They have no teeth and are incapable of biting a person. Instead, they filter water over large combs, like whales, and then it passes out the gills as the food remains inside the mouth to be swallowed. These scuba divers are studying the whale sharks in the Galapagos Islands. The videographer has followed a large, pregnant female as she casually drifts past on the ocean current. A second female appears to the left, on a collision course with the first. Like a freight train in motion, the whale sharks are much too enormous to stop suddenly. The change in fin position and body position suggests that the first whale shark is slowing as much as possible. The second whale shark passes underneath and arcs up in what appears to be an intentional contact. She then wiggles and seems to enjoy a little back scratch on the underbelly of the first whale shark. This is a very rare sight and the seasoned scuba divers are clearly excited. We can hear underwater shouts and delighted laughter as they exchange shocked looks. The diver with the video camera turns it on himself to record his own wonder and disbelief. He tries to for an "OK" sign with his hand but the fact that he is holding a Covid mask (to be worn in preparation for his return to the dive boat) prevents him from doing so and he tries for "number 1" sign instead. Whale sharks are a wondrous sight to behold, even from a distance, but to be in the presence of one, or even two, when they are almost close enough to touch is a life changing experience.
If 2020 were a Christmas tree, it would be what BC Ferries has concocted on board its vessel that sails between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert.The corporation's conifer — and its peculiar decorations — lit up Twitter this week, after a rider snapped a photo of it.The tree is festooned with blown-up purple latex gloves that "almost look like turkeys in a way," according to Joshua Azizi, who captured the tree in all its glory. Notice, too, the ornaments featuring BC Ferries' now-infamous mandatory mask logo, which bears striking phallic imagery.Other decorations include poop emojis, a toilet plunger and and toilet paper rolls with creepy faces on it, because why not? The piece de resistance? A toilet seat in the place of a star."That toilet seat may act as a flotation device if needed," a user noted in response. In an email, BC Ferries said the tree was their attempt to shine a little light of humour."The crews recognized the toll the pandemic has taken on everyone," a spokesperson wrote.The company added that it continues to take the pandemic seriously, noting "the safety of our employees, customers and communities remains our priority."Azizi suspected the sapling would spark some joy."People seem to really like this darn Christmas tree," he said.
VIENNA — Austria will allow skiing to start on Dec. 24, but will limit the capacity of ski lifts and keep restaurants, bars and hotels largely closed until early January, officials said Wednesday. It also will require many people entering the country over the Christmas period to go into quarantine. Tough lockdown measures took effect Nov. 17 and are due to expire on Sunday. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said a limited curfew that has applied around the clock will be eased, and from Monday will apply only between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Schools will be reopened next week, except for older students, as will nonessential shops, museums, libraries and some other businesses. But restaurants will remain closed for all but takeout and deliveries, as will bars, and hotels will remain closed except to business travellers. Austria has been hard hit by the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe, though its infection rate has declined over recent weeks. It currently is recording 335 new infections per 100,000 residents over seven days, down from around 600 last month — but still more than twice as many as in neighbouring Germany, which is in a milder partial shutdown. Kurz said that progress over recent weeks, and the expectation of more before Christmas, allows “cautious” reopening steps. But he said the tourism and catering sectors won’t start reopening until Jan. 7. That will effectively mean that, over the holiday season, skiing is possible in most cases only on day trips for those Austrian residents who live fairly close to the Alps. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler said there will be mask-wearing and distancing requirements, and the capacity of cable cars will be limited. Kurz said that allowing skiing for locals but keeping the catering sector closed is “absolutely justified.” “Skiing is a sport that takes place in the open air, an individual sport, so epidemiologically it must be assessed differently from catering, where we know that there can time and again be infections,” he said. Kurz added that he, as a resident of eastern Austria, won't benefit but “for a large part of our population it will then be possible to go skiing at least for the day.” France and Germany, which has closed its ski resorts, are pushing for similar measures to be taken in other European countries, like Italy and Spain, for the Christmas season. Ski resorts are already open in neighbouring Switzerland, which has allowed skiing. Kurz rejected suggestions that Austria's limited reopening was a response to pressure from abroad. “We decide according to our infection situation, and our expectation is that we can push down our infections very, very strongly by Christmas,” he said. Austria also plans tougher border controls and quarantine rules in an effort to dissuade people from travelling abroad over the Christmas period. Austrian residents' summer trips to see relatives in the western Balkans, in particular, were blamed as a significant source of the resurgence of infections this fall. The quarantine rules will be imposed by mid-December and will apply “if you're coming from a country that exceeds a certain limit of infections,” Kurz said. He didn't specify that level. The requirement will be for new arrivals to go into quarantine for 10 days, which they can cut short by taking a test after five days, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. ___ Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak. ___ Geir Moulson reported from Berlin. Geir Moulson And Philipp Jenne, The Associated Press
A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
En date du 1er décembre, le député bloquiste de Bécancour–Nicolet–Saurel a bouclé 36 ans, deux mois et 27 jours aux Communes, battant de trois jours le record de Charles Marcil, l’élu de Bonaventure qui siégea jusqu’au 29 janvier 1937. L’indépendantiste qui se fait appeler amicalement «Doyen» par ses collègues est arrivé à la Chambre des communes en 1984 sous les couleurs du Parti progressiste-conservateur de Brian Mulroney. Avec l’échec de l’Accord du lac Meech en 1990, il change de fusil d’épaule pour cofonder le Bloc québécois, le parti politique créé à Sorel-Tracy en 1991. À 77 ans, Louis Plamondon s’apprête à briguer un douzième mandat. S’il est élu, il pourrait battre le record de longévité de cinq députés anglophones dont deux de 37 ans et trois autres de plus de 39 ans parmi lesquels le libéral Herb Gray. Ce dernier est le député qui a siégé le plus longtemps à la Chambre des communes avec au compteur une longévité de 39 ans, six mois et 30 jours. En tant que Doyen de la Chambre des communes, Louis Plamondon a régulièrement présidé la première session du parlement au lendemain des élections depuis 2008. Le secret de son ancienneté réside dans la proximité qu’il a longtemps développée avec les gens dans sa circonscription et aux assemblées parlementaires. Dans l’une de ses entrevues accordées au Courrier Sud pendant la pandémie, il s’est montré profondément affecté par les restrictions qui l’empêchent d’assister aux multiples évènements sportifs et culturels qui ont longtemps meublé son emploi du temps. M. Plamondon a plusieurs fois confié qu’il s’ennuyait des contacts humains et des activités auxquels il s’était habitué. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The Orangeville Public Library has followed the trend of finding creative solutions to Christmas in 2020, — new ways to bring their usual festive activities to children in the community. Beginning on Dec. 4, children young and old will be able to tune in every Friday and enjoy a recording of Santa reading around the fireplace. Videos will be posted to the Orangeville Public Library’s YouTube channel at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4, 11, 18, and on Christmas Day. Additionally, the library will extend the festive fun through holiday-themed story time craft kits for families to enjoy together at home. These kits will be available for pickup from the Mill Street branch beginning on Dec. 4, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Stories with Santa program has been a favourite at the library over the years, with one aspect of it being Santa’s annual gift of literacy. This facet of the festivities will not be forgotten with the virtual event. Beginning on Dec. 18, children will be able to pick up a wrapped picture book at the Mill Street Library. There is a limit of one book per child, and quantities are limited. Additional virtual programming is available online during the closures via the library’s YouTube channel. Notifications are available by subscribing to the channel. For more information visit www.orangevillelibrary.ca.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Lakefield resident Brant Dunford decided to paint a powerful image on a paddle because he wanted to contribute to the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project and to keep the conversation alive about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “The idea to paint this portrait came to me when I was doing another drawing on the paddle. I changed my mind, basically erased what I had and got inspired to do the portrait. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Dunford. The paddle depicts an Indigenous girl with a bloodied hand across her face. It’s a strong image that’s used to show the blood shed of Indigenous woman, while at the same time bringing awareness of MMIWG to the forefront. Dunford says the paddle was purchased at a local store. He says in order for him to paint the paddle he had to sand the surface. “From start to finish, it took me the better part of two days,” he says. Dunford, a father of two and the great-grandson of the late Chief Moses Marsden of Alderville First Nation, says he likes to paint as a hobby and says he has a lot of time to do other work. “During the pandemic I find myself doing more paintings,” he says. He said he has painted a few other paddles with different images and says he plans on doing another one to bring awareness to MMIWG. The auction to bid on the paddle began Dec 1 and continues to Dec. 3. Details about the auction are listed on the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project Facebook page. Stephanie Doughty, organizer, says the project is going strong. She expects there to be a large turnout to bid on the paddle as the art is very well done. She says there was a sneak peak on Nov. 15 where many posted comments on the beauty of the artwork and showed interest in bidding before the auction began.Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
RIO DE JANEIRO — A large gang of heavily armed bank robbers invaded the Brazilian city of Cameta just one day after a similar force struck another mid-sized city on the opposite side of the country, taking residents hostage as they looted a bank.Para state’s public security secretariat said in a statement Wednesday that more than 20 criminals with assault rifles attacked a branch of the state-run Bank of Brazil in the city in the Amazon region overnight.Neither the bank nor officials immediately said how much money might have been stolen.Video on social media showed a line of roughly a dozen hostages being led away from a square in Cameta, a city of 140,000 people, and shots ringing out in the night. Local media reported that a military police station was attacked, preventing officers from responding.“They drove around shooting at the police and at the houses. It was a horrible scene to see,” said Junior Gaia, who lives nearby, in an interview with television network Globo News. “We were all laid out on the floor, afraid they would invade the homes.”The co-ordinated attack came a day after a similar overnight robbery of a Bank of Brazil branch in Brazil's southern region. In the city of Criciuma, dozens of gunmen armed with assault rifles seized the city and took hostages as they used explosives to rob a bank.As in Cameta, they took actions to impede police response and fired shots into the air, apparently to scare people and keep them at home.The robberies took place at the start of December, when bank coffers are filled in anticipation of employees withdrawing their year-end bonuses, according to Cássio Thyone, a council member of the non-profit Brazilian Forum on Public Safety. Many Brazilians get an extra month’s salary paid out in December, known as the 13th salary.“It doesn't happen without planning,” Thyone told the Associated Press by phone. “It's another demonstration that everything is planned. They think of the location, and the timing.”Thyone added it isn't possible at this stage to say whether the two incidents might have been co-ordinated by the same group. Brazil’s powerful organized crime and drug trafficking rings have been suspected of involvement in such attacks in the past.Bank of Brazil said in a statement that it is collaborating with police investigations, and has yet to begin evaluating the structural damage to its branch. Images published by online media outlet G1 showed the facade blown open and shards of glass littering the ground.In Cameta, tactical forces as well as police from other areas were dispatched to reinforce the police. Authorities located the criminals’ abandoned truck and found explosive devices within it, according to the security secretariat.Two people were shot, including one hostage, a young man, who was killed. The other has been hospitalized with a leg wound.Cameta Mayor Waldoli Valente offered his condolences for the victim on Facebook.“Our city was always peaceful and I ask that everyone stay at home,” he posted about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.___Associated Press writer Marcelo Silva de Sousa contributed to this reportDavid Biller, The Associated Press
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
TORONTO — A coalition of about 50 retailers is calling on the Ontario government to lift COVID-19 restrictions for non-essential stores it claims is making things worse.In an open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott, the retailers argue that shutting down Toronto and Peel Region to restrict the virus's spread hasn't reduced the number of shoppers.Instead, consumers are funnelled into fewer, crowded stores and adjacent communities, which potentially creates greater health risk.The retailers say the current policy pushes more consumers to big-box and discount stores that remain open after being deemed essential, while thousands of small, independent and local stores are closed despite selling many of the same products.They say they have been forced to lay off workers instead of employing thousands of temporary people to handle the holiday sales rush.The business leaders are calling on the government to immediately open all retail stores in the province and impose a 25 per cent capacity limit on non-essential stores in lockdown regions."Large and small retailers need each other to create a vibrant retail ecosystem," said the letter signed by the heads of companies including Hudson's Bay, Canadian Tire, Birks and Ikea."Collectively, we are asking that you join with us in common cause and a shared commitment to keeping Ontario families safe and secure through this extraordinarily challenging period."The provincial government responded by noting the restrictions are aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians.Alexandra Hilkene, a spokeswoman for Elliott, said the government must limit opportunities for individuals to have close contact with others to help stop the spread of the virus.This includes allowing box stores to operate at half capacity."These necessary measures are being taken to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity, and protect the province's most vulnerable populations," Hilkene wrote in an email Tuesday."To be clear, moving regions into a lockdown is not a measure this government takes lightly. However, as we have seen around the world, lockdowns are a difficult but necessary step to stop the spread, safeguard the key services we rely on and protect our health system capacity."She noted that the Ontario government is now providing $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:CTC.A)The Canadian Press
The chief of the Shawanaga First Nation northwest of Parry Sound says two new businesses in his community will help spur economic growth and secure a better future for his people. Chief Wayne Pamajewon says a new service centre is set to open in the spring and the territory’s long-awaited cannabis store could possibly open later this month. The cannabis store is set to open behind the community’s existing gas bar. “Over the years, one of the shortfalls that we’ve always encountered is the shortage of revenues to be able to do the things that we want to do. We’ve always had to wait with our hands open. I think we’re going to change all of that now by building in the economic development for our community,” the chief said. The territory learned back in July 2019 that the Ontario Gaming Commission awarded it a licence to operate a cannabis retail store. It is one of eight First Nations in the province to receive a licence. Chief Pamajewon said that a lot of work has already taken place in order to get the store open. “We’ve hired a manager so we have a person that’s putting it together right now. The policies to govern this will have to be worked out,” said the chief. “The supply, we don’t know what that is yet, but I’m sure the individual that we have working for us will be working with his staff to put that together. We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen.” Chief Pamajewon said that at this point, he sees no reason why people who don’t live on the territory wouldn’t be able to shop at the store, despite COVID, as long as all the necessary precautions are taken. He said he expects the service centre to open in mid-May of next year. The foundation is laid, he said, and the fuel tanks are in the ground. He added they are working with a couple of companies to see which one will operate the service centre. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Dysart et al council has signed off on a memorandum of understanding that will allow the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association (HCSA) to operate on the local trail this winter season, providing the organization comes to a separate agreement with the principal landowners along the site. In what turned out to be a hearty debate amongst council members, a recorded vote saw a majority of the municipality’s elected officials approve the HCSA’s request to amend an existing agreement that will, essentially, transfer a portion of the off-season liability from the snowmobile club to the town should an accident occur. Ward 4 Coun. John Smith was the sole vote against the request. He pointed to issues that Dysart’s legal counsel and insurance provider had with the wording of the new agreement as the main reason he voted to turn the application down. “I’m not trying to prohibit snowmobiling, but as our solicitor has pointed out, and as our insurance company has pointed out, these proposed changes put forth by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, (and presented by local associations), are transferring risk from snowmobiling clubs to municipalities. That is liability from snowmobilers onto taxpayers,” Coun. Smith said. He continued, “For us to proceed with this when our solicitor has written us a letter, and our insurance company have written a letter expressing their concerns over the agreement, and for us to adopt our own casual interpretation of those risks … It’s a concern, for me, that we would appear to dismiss these risks so casually.” Earlier in the meeting, Jeff Iles, Dysart’s director of planning and land information, informed council that the town’s lawyer said it was “not inherently a negative thing” that the snowmobile association was looking to limit its responsibility in the event an injury or damages occur during the late spring, summer and early months of fall, when there’s no snow on the ground. Mayor Andrea Roberts said she understands completely why the snowmobile club would want to initiate such a change. “Why would the snowmobile club want to be responsible if somebody is trespassing on property, or a tree falls, or somebody is hiking on (the trail). I see why they’re asking for this change,” Mayor Roberts said. Coun. Smith did not concur with the mayor’s opinion, pointing to other municipalities and organizations, such as the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and the Grand River Conservation Authority, who have refused to sign off on their own snowmobile club’s requests. “I remain supportive of snowmobiling in general, but to take these risks on behalf of our taxpayers in the face of professional advice to the contrary… We’re being too casual about this. We need to better understand the potential consequences of putting in place an agreement like this prior to passing the motion that is before us.” While council voted in favour of the new agreement, they did include a clause that staff will continue to consult with legal representation and their insurance company on this file moving forward. It was suggested, by Ward 2 Coun. Larry Clarke, that the municipality simply up their liability coverage with their insurer to cover any potential lawsuit. “It may cost us a few extra dollars, but snowmobile associations bring huge amounts of business to this community, which is so important for our economic health,” Coun. Clarke stated. Although Dysart council signed off on the agreement, the HCSA will still need to negotiate an agreement with Fleming College before its members can use the trail. Should council, at a future date, decide it wants to go back on this agreement, it will need to provide 60 days written notice to both the HCSA and Fleming College.Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
Quebec hospitals usually see a rise in visits to the emergency room in early January, yet many across the province are already swamped.Doctors at some hospitals are urging Premier François Legault to cancel Christmas gatherings to avoid pushing the province's health-care system beyond its limits.Emergency rooms in several regions, including Montreal, Laval, Quebec City, the Laurentians and the Lanaudière, are operating well above capacity. About 30 percent of the province's ERs are operating at full capacity or far beyond that. Here are some examples, as of Wednesday morning: * Lakeshore General Hospital (Montreal): 142 per cent capacity. * Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital (Montreal): 141 percent capacity. * Cité de la Santé Hospital (Laval): 129 per cent capacity. * Pierre-Le Gardeur Hospital (Lanaudière): 158 per cent capacity. * Pierre-Boucher Hospital (Montérégie): 189 per cent capacity.The number of people in emergency rooms traditionally rises between December and January. Last year, Quebec was 113 per cent in December, and 123 per cent in January, according to data provided by Quebec's Health Ministry.In the view of Dr. François Marquis, the head of intensive care at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, many facilities are taking in more COVID-19 patients, and that is putting pressure on emergency rooms across the province."As a doctor that looks strictly at the physical health aspect, and that's very restricted [as a perspective], the answer is simple: nothing at Christmas, we see no one," said Marquis."The reason I make that distinction, there's also mental health and we need to see people."Quebec reported Tuesday more than 700 people in hospital due to COVID-19, an issue Legault alluded to when acknowledging he may need to scrap the province's holiday gathering plan.Dr. Vincent Bouchard-Dechêne, an internal medicine specialist at Notre-Dâme Hospital, doesn't see how hospitals can deal with an increase in COVID-19 patients after the holidays, while still providing service to people with other ailments."To limit gatherings during Christmas time, would be the best gift we could give ourselves," said Bouchard-Dechêne.For now, the province plans to allow up to two gatherings between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27, with a maximum of ten people in attendance and with no limit on the number of households those people would come from.Legault is expected to make a final decision by Dec. 11.Is nine days enough?The characteristics of COVID-19, including the time it takes for its symptoms to appear, make it difficult for trends to change much between now and Dec. 11, according to Dr. Matthew Oughton, a physician with the Jewish General Hospital's infectious diseases division. "That's really at the fine cutting edge of where anything that you would do today, you'd really see changes reflected in the numbers by Dec. 11," said Oughton. "I'm certainly not optimistic that we're going to be able to change course in such a short time."Oughton said it was a mistake for the premier to release the plan for gatherings first, and then tell Quebecers they would only be allowed if the number of cases, deaths and hospitalizations went down."[He should've] said, 'look, this is what's at stake, it's Christmas gatherings. In order for us to situate ourselves well, we need to get our numbers down," said Oughton."Rather than giving up the reward upfront, and then sort of threaten to take it away.A growing number out outbreaks in private seniors homes (RPAs) could also make the health-care system even more fragile during the holiday period. On Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé highlighted the situation in Quebec City, where a number of nurses have had to be deployed to 16 RPAs in an effort to contain the virus within those homes.Dubé admitted that taking staff away from hospitals is not ideal, but said the province has no choice but to offer help."What we need to is stop contacts in RPAs, to be certain that we don't have to transfer personnel that we currently don't have, to be very, very clear," Dubé said.
BURNABY, B.C. — The death of a teenager in Burnaby, B.C., is now being investigated as a homicide. A statement from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says the 18-year-old woman was found in a Burnaby home on Sunday. She was suffering from critical injuries and died in hospital. Sgt. Frank Jang with the homicide team says one man was arrested at the scene but has been released without charges as the investigation continues. Jang says the woman knew her attacker, the case is considered isolated and there is no risk to the public. He urges anyone with information to contact investigators. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
Dr. Alfonso Fasano of the Krembil Brain Institute at the Toronto Western Hospital explains how the Percept PC deep brain stimulation system works to help doctors keep an eye on patients' brains as they go about their lives.