Canada's health officials spoke about the recent change in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the time between two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and how that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy in Canada.
LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool’s woeful home form is developing into a full-blown crisis after Chelsea’s 1-0 victory on Thursday inflicted a fifth straight league loss at Anfield on the Premier League champions — the worst run in the club’s 128-year history. With Liverpool's title defence already over, this was billed as a battle for a Champions League place and Mason Mount’s 42nd-minute goal lifted Chelsea back into the top four. Chelsea’s previous win at Anfield, in 2014, effectively ended the title hopes of Brendan Rodgers’ side. This one was a blow to Liverpool’s chances of a top-four finish under Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s side is four points adrift of Chelsea and with Everton and West Ham also ahead. Liverpool has now gone more than 10 hours without a goal from open play at Anfield. The hosts failed to register an effort on target until the 85th minute and Georginio Wijnaldum’s weak header was never going to beat Edouard Mendy. They have taken one point from the last 21 on offer at home since Christmas and scored just two goals, one of which was a penalty. None of Liverpool's established front three — Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino — impressed but the sight of Salah, the Premier League’s leading scorer, being substituted just past the hour mark was baffling. The Egypt international certainly thought so as he sat shaking his head, having been replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chelsea, by contrast, looked full of threat with Timo Werner — a player Liverpool was interested in but decided it could not afford last summer — a constant problem. Despite one goal in his previous 17 league outings, he caused problems with his movement, drifting out to the left then popping into the middle to give Fabinho a real headache on his return to the side. The Brazil midfielder, replacing Nat Phillips after he became the latest centre back to pick up an injury, was partnering Ozan Kabak in Liverpool’s 15th different central-defensive starting partnership in 27 league matches. Faced with a statistic like that, it is perhaps understandable why there was a lack of cohesion at the back and Werner should really have profited. He fired one early shot over and then failed to lift his effort over Alisson Becker, back in goal after the death of his father in Brazil last week. Even when Werner did beat Alisson, VAR ruled the Germany international’s arm had been offside 20 yards earlier in the build-up. Liverpool’s one chance fell to Mane but Salah’s first-time ball over the top got caught under his feet and Mane missed his shot with only Mendy to beat. Chelsea was still controlling the game and caught Liverpool on the counterattack when N’Golo Kante quickly sent a loose ball out to the left wing, from where Mount cut inside to beat Alisson having been given far too much time to pick his spot. All five of Mount’s league goals have come away from home. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel spent the first five minutes of the second half screaming at his players to press harder and play higher up the pitch but Liverpool’s players were equally vocal when Firmino’s cross hit the raised arm of Kante from close range. No penalty was awarded. Andy Robertson cleared off the line from Hakim Ziyech after Alisson parried Ben Chilwell’s shot as Chelsea continued to look more dangerous. Klopp’s attempt to change the direction of the game saw him send on Diogo Jota for his first appearance in three months, along with Oxlade-Chamberlain. Jota’s first touch was a half-chance from a deep cross but he was not sharp enough to take it. Werner, meanwhile, was doing everything but score as Alisson’s leg saved another shot as he bore down on goal. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has found the combination of a pilot with limited experience, and deteriorating weather conditions, were the cause of an airplane crash in November 2019 that claimed the lives of seven people. The Piper PA-32-260 crashed into a field between Highway 401 and Creekford Road, in the west end of Kingston, shortly after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 while attempting an temporary stopover at Kingston airport due to weather conditions. According to the release from the TSB, the incident highlights some of the risks of flying at night under visual flight rules (VFR), particularly when weather conditions are poor and over areas with little lighting. Visual flight rules refers to flying an aircraft without the use of electronic instrumentation, as opposed to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), which is typically used to fly at night or in inclement weather and requires additional pilot training and certification. "While the aircraft departed during daylight hours, the majority of the flight was to take place during the hours of darkness," the TSB stated in the release. "As the weather deteriorated throughout the flight and the aircraft neared the Kingston Airport, Ontario, the pilot contacted the Kingston flight service station and stated his intention to land there. Shortly after, the aircraft struck terrain approximately 3.5 nautical miles north of Kingston Airport. All seven occupants were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed." The crash took the lives of a family of five from Texas, and a Toronto area couple. The investigation found that the pilot departed Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport when the weather conditions for the intended flight were below the limits required for a night VFR flight. The TSB said that the flight was planned over some areas that had very little cultural lighting, leading to the pilot having little or no visual reference to the surface during portions of the flight. "Cultural lighting is concentrated lighting around areas such as towns and cities," they said. "Given the pilot’s limited flying experience, it is likely that he did not recognize the hazards associated with a night VFR flight into poor weather conditions," TSB continued. "While approaching the Kingston Airport, the pilot likely lost visual reference to the surface, became spatially disoriented, and lost control of the aircraft." Read the full report here. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has continued to send stunning images of the red planet back to Earth. In this moment, an incredible shot of the Sun from the Martian surface was captured. Credit to "NASA/JPL-Caltech".
This column is an opinion from Max Fawcett, a freelance writer and the former editor of Alberta Oil magazine. (CBC) Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but apparently they're not desperate enough yet in Alberta for our political leaders to seriously consider a sales tax. Never mind that the United Conservative Party's government's latest budget contained a nearly $20-billion deficit, one that will add to a rapidly growing pile of provincial debt that's expected to hit $115 billion by the end of the next fiscal year. No, rather than taking the advice of virtually every economist and fiscal expert in the province — including the Business Council of Alberta, which isn't exactly a pro-tax organization — and prepare Albertans to finally pay for the services they receive, Premier Jason Kenney doubled down on the status quo. "The last thing Albertans need in this time of economic uncertainty is new taxes," he tweeted. But, of course, Albertans haven't embraced new taxes during times of relative economic certainty, either. And therein lies the rub: Albertans have grown accustomed to running up a tab that was paid off using their province's oil and gas royalty revenues. Hard choices But those revenues started drying up years ago, back when Stephen Harper was prime minister and Jim Prentice was premier. As the BCA's recent report suggests, it's time for all of us to look in the collective mirror and make some hard choices. "A well-run, high-tax, high-spend government can function well and generate economic growth and prosperity," it says. "The same is true of a low-tax, low-spend government. We cannot, however, sustainably run a high-spend, low-tax government in the province. This option was available for a period of time when resource revenues were high, but it would be inadvisable — to say nothing of fiscally imprudent — to count on such an approach succeeding in the future." In fairness to Kenney, it's not like the official opposition is saying anything different when it comes to the idea of a sales tax. Indeed, NDP Leader Rachel Notley even said she agreed with the premier that now wasn't the time to introduce a provincial sales tax. The irony here is that while they may share the same opposition to a PST in public, in private they almost certainly share a belief that new revenue measures of some sort are necessary. Jason Kenny was a Canadian Alliance Party MP when this photo was taken in 2001, the same year he spoke in favour of studying the merits of proportional representation systems.(Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press) So how can they build a bridge between those two positions before the bond markets come calling for Alberta the way they did in the 1990s for the federal government? The best way might be with something that's nearly as unpopular as a sales tax in Alberta: electoral reform. That's an idea that both Kenney and Notley have endorsed, albeit at points in their career where it would have more obviously aided their partisan interests. Back in 2001, Kenney — then a Canadian Alliance MP — spoke in favour of an NDP motion for a special all-party committee to study the merits of proportional systems, noting that "in the last two elections respectively, the Liberal Party earned 38 per cent and 41 per cent of the popular vote, which was far short of majority. Yet, with roughly 60 per cent of Canadians opposing its program, it managed to completely monopolize political power in the country." Notley's NDP, meanwhile, had proportional representation as a policy plank in its platform in the 2012 election, only to remove it in early 2015 when it became clear the governing Tories might actually lose. Once in power, the Notley NDP showed no real interest in changing the electoral system that helped give them a majority of the seats with a minority of the votes. As ever, if there's one thing that's universally true in Canadian politics, it's that a party's fondness for electoral reform is inversely correlated to its proximity to power. But while proportional representation may be poison to most governments hoping to wield power, Alberta's situation may be uniquely suited to it. After all, it might allow the province to finally cut the Gordian knot that Ralph Klein helped tie around the government's hands a generation ago when it comes to fiscal policy. Beneficial outcomes No party wants to be seen campaigning for a sales tax, and it seems vanishingly unlikely that one could form a government by doing so. But if, in the near future, an election was conducted under a system of proportional representation, it stands to reason that an explicitly (and perhaps exclusively) pro-PST party could attract somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent of the vote. That would have two beneficial outcomes, as far as the province's fiscal framework is concerned. First, it would force the major parties to take the issue more seriously. And second, if the election produced a legislature without a party holding more than 50 per cent of the seats, as proportional systems tend to (and as the 2015 election would have), it could give the PST Party the ability to play kingmaker — for a very specific price. That, in turn, would give their potential governing partner, whoever it might be, the political cover they need to do what needs doing. First things first, though. In order to conduct an election using a proportional system, you need a government that's willing to implement it in the first place. When Brian Mason led the NDP in the 2012 election, proportional representation was part of the party platform. When it became clear the party might win in 2015 under Rachel Notley, it was removed.(Jason Franson/The Canadian Press) It's highly unlikely that Kenney would do that as premier, given that it would risk fragmenting the coalition that he came back to Alberta in order to build. But while Alberta's NDP shied away from proportional representation when it became clear it had a chance to win in 2015, perhaps this time could be different. It's an idea that aligns with the party's own values and beliefs, and its implementation could help break the hammer-lock that conservatives tend to have on Alberta politics by helping the NDP attract votes in the one place it needs them most: Calgary. In order to form a government in 2023, the Notley NDP needs to do at least as well in Calgary as it did in 2015, if not better. And what better way to appeal to former Progressive Conservative voters in the city than with the prospect of being able to vote for Progressive Conservative candidates in the future? A legacy to match Lougheed's Under a system of proportional representation, PCs could theoretically reconstitute a more moderate conservative party, one that wouldn't face the obstacles that stand in its way under a first-past-the-post system. For those who oppose the choices the UCP has made but remain wary of the ones the NDP might make themselves, the promise of electoral reform could be just what they need to take the leap. And while endorsing and implementing electoral reform might mean the Alberta NDP never forms another majority government again, it could allow Notley to leave a legacy that matches Peter Lougheed's — one that's much bigger than just a sales tax: the creation of a political system that's more responsive to Alberta's needs, more attuned to its preferences, and more able to represent the diversity of ideas and people that the province contains. That's an Alberta advantage worth bragging about. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please read our FAQ. More great reads from the Road Ahead:
One of Canada's top public health officials sought to reassure Canadians today that a recommendation from a federal vaccine advisory committee to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses is a sound one. Yesterday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months due to limited supplies. Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said the advice is based on real-world data that shows doing so would lead to more people being protected from COVID-19 in a shorter time period. "This recommendation is based on clinical trial reports and emerging real-world evidence from around the world. Data shows that several weeks after being administered, first doses of vaccines provide highly effective protection against symptomatic disease, hospitalization and death," Njoo told a technical briefing today. Confusion over conflicting advice Njoo's comments appeared to be addressing the confusion created by the fact that NACI's recommendation conflicts with those issued by Health Canada when it granted regulatory approvals for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines. Regulatory documents provided by Health Canada upon approval of each vaccine state that the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech should be taken three weeks after the first, the second Moderna shot should come four weeks after the first, and the second AstraZeneca dose should be delivered between four and 12 weeks after the first. All of those recommendations are in line with the product monograph provided by the manufacturers. Adding to the confusion, NACI recommended on Monday against giving the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to people 65 and older, although Health Canada has authorized it for use in adults of all ages. But Njoo said the discrepancies can be explained by the fact that Health Canada is a regulator and NACI is an advisory body made up of medical experts. "You have likely noticed that NACI's recommendations are sometimes different, possibly broader or narrower than the conditions of vaccine use that Health Canada has authorized. As the regulator, Health Canada authorizes each vaccine for use in Canada according to factors based on clinical trial evidence, whereas NACI bases its guidance on the available and evolving evidence in a real-world context, including the availability of other vaccines," Njoo said. "What we expect is that NACI recommendations will complement — not mirror — those of Health Canada." WATCH: Njoo comments on NACI recommendation to delay second COVID-19 vaccine doses The issue burst into the open on Monday when B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Some medical experts questioned that decision. Canada's chief science adviser, Mona Nemer, said doing so without proper clinical trials amounts to a "population level experiment." Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., told the Washington Post that the science doesn't support delaying a second dose for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. He said there isn't enough evidence to determine how much protection is provided by one dose of those vaccines, and how long it lasts. Despite those warnings, several provinces followed Henry's lead and even more have indicated they intend to stretch the dosage interval. While it appeared to some at the time that Henry was moving faster than the science, Njoo said that NACI's experts briefed provincial medical officers of health over the weekend on the results of their analysis before releasing their recommendations publicly. NACI concluded that stretching the dosing interval to four months would allow up to 80 per cent of Canadians over the age of 16 to receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June, without compromising vaccine effectiveness. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. As for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Njoo said it is safe and that evidence shows it provides protection against very serious disease and death in people of all ages. He said Health Canada has a rigorous scientific review process and only approves vaccines that meet high standards for safety, efficacy and quality. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said expert advice will continue to change as more data becomes available from ongoing mass vaccination campaigns, and she urged provinces and territories to consider recommendations and evidence from both bodies when making decisions about their vaccine strategies. "The messaging would be simpler if we had one set of data and we had one message and it never changed, but that's not what science does," said Sharma. Decision on Johnson and Johnson imminent At today's briefing, health officials also indicated that a regulatory decision on whether to approve Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is expected soon. "The review of the Johnson & Johnson submission is going very well, it's progressing, and we're expecting to have that completed and a decision in the next few days. I would say in the next seven days or so," said Sharma. The company has said its vaccine is 66 per cent effective at preventing moderate to severe illness in a global clinical trial, and much more effective — 85 per cent — against the most serious symptoms. Canada has agreed to purchase up to 38 million doses if it is approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in that country last Saturday. The approval of a fourth vaccine would give a significant boost to Canada's vaccine rollout. Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is widely seen as one of the easiest to administer because it requires only one dose and can be stored for long periods of time at regular refrigerator temperatures. Njoo said additional vaccines, coupled with the NACI recommendation on dosage intervals, could allow Canada to meet the goal of inoculating all adults who want a vaccine "several weeks" before the current target date of the end of September. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's COVID-19 vaccine logistics, said that while more vaccines would be good news, the current target remains the end of September.
People returning to the Northwest Territories will now be able to isolate in Norman Wells and Fort Simpson, says the territorial government. Premier Caroline Cochrane and Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, made the announcement during a news conference on Thursday. The changes come into effect at 5 p.m. Previously, anyone arriving in the N.W.T. had to self-isolate for 14 days in Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik or Yellowknife, with few exceptions. The self-isolation rules differ for essential workers. "Allowing the residents of Fort Simpson and … Norman Wells to safely isolate in their home communities will address some of the challenges that come with self-isolation," Cochrane said, adding that this includes having better access to family and isolating in a more familiar setting. "We've been in this for over a year and people are past COVID fatigue, they're COVID exhausted. So being able to open it up will help improve it with mental health issues we are seeing across the Northwest Territories." Missed the update? Watch it here: Kandola says the territory had been reviewing exemption requests over the months since the travel restrictions were in place, and many came from those two communities. They also got correspondence from leaders there. Kandola says the territory was, in part, waiting for wastewater surveillance to be added to Norman Wells and for the second dose clinics to roll out, which are set to be complete by end of day Thursday, before changing isolation rules. She added both communities have adequate medical resources to support potential COVID-19 patients, including the stabilization of any severe cases, pending transport to another centre. Cochrane says there are local enforcement officers in each community to ensure people comply with self-isolation rules. Restrictions could be further eased later in Spring There were three active COVID-19 cases and 66 recovered as of Thursday. These numbers include cases in residents and non-residents. Kandola says the territory is still in phase 2 of its Emerging Wisely plan, but that it could move to phase 3 in late spring. She says that depends on vaccination uptake and if it's safe to do so. So far, 44 per cent of the territory's adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. The territory's goal is to get at least 75 per cent of the adult population vaccinated. "We won't get to phase 3 all at once," she said, "and maybe it's not happening as quickly as some would like, but we are getting there."
A nearly $4 million investment into Newmarket-Aurora will help victims of human trafficking access the services and supports they need to recover. On Friday, Jill Dunlop, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, announced an infusion of $3.8 million over the next five years to two Newmarket-based organizations: BridgeNorth and Cedar Centre. Their community-based programs will help the organizations create two new programs “to provide more young victims and survivors of human trafficking in York Region with access to the supports they need.” “These new programs will help more people who have experienced sexual exploitation heal and rebuild their lives,” said Minister Dunlop in a statement following the virtual announcement. “Victims and survivors of human trafficking need specialized, trauma-informed supports to help them recover. Providing more dedicated services for children and youth will help address critical needs in this Region.” With their share of the pot, BridgeNorth will provide a survivor-led peer mentoring and day program for children and youth, providing supports from early intervention through to stabilization, transition and reintegration. Cedar Centre will provide trauma-specific, rapid-response therapy to help children and youth who have experienced sexual exploitation. “Our government has made it a priority to end human trafficking and protect our most vulnerable from this terrible crime,” said Newmarket-Aurora MPP Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier of Ontario and Minister of Health. “We are proud that this investment will create new critical programs in Newmarket to provide victims and survivors of human trafficking with the help they deserve and support their recovery.” Last week’s announcement is part of Ontario’s $46 million investment to increase supports, with a special emphasis on survivor-led programming. “Voices of survivors and those with lived experiences are being heard,” says Cassandra Diamond, Survivor and Founder of BridgeNorth. “For years, we have been asking to have peer-led services, and today, because of our government’s strong and wise leadership, it is a reality.” Added Alison Peck, Executive Director of Cedar Centre: “We are very excited by this opportunity and humbled by the trust in us to work in partnership with the government to provide this critically-needed service for children and youth who are at risk of, or have experienced human trafficking in York Region.” More than 70 per cent of known human trafficking victims identified by police Ontario-wide are under the age of 25 and 28 per cent are under the age of 18, according to the Ministry. Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
The redevelopment of the Aurora United Church site at Tyler and Temperance Streets for a new place of worship and a seniors’ residence hit a temporary setback last year after residents expressed concerns on how the vibrations resulting from construction might impact their heritage homes. Although a vibration study was commissioned shortly thereafter, Councillor Rachel Gilliland believes such studies should be part and parcel of all infill development plans coming forward in the future. This was a driving force behind the motion she brought to the Council table last week stating that consideration be given to including policies that would mandate vibration studies as part of the pre-consultation process for intensification projects within the Aurora Promenade area. “This was spawned by a project that began at Temperance and Tyler, one of the new infill projects that is close to heritage homes, and part of our Promenade and Major Transit Station Area (MTSA),” said Councillor Gilliland. “The project did start with good intentions, but was halted due to some vibrations caused by the construction, but I should note that a vibration study has since been requested prior to commencing. “We don’t have any policies in place to ensure vibration studies are requested…which essentially means in order to submit an application package, the vibration study will also need to be submitted. With an expected amount of infill development, and intensification projects continue [to be] located in this MTSA where many heritage homes are located, it only makes sense to add this extra step.” Prior to presenting her motion, Councillor Gilliland said she spoke with staff “who agreed this would be an added benefit” and Council members agreed. David Waters, Director of Planning for the Town of Aurora, noted that existing policies on vibration studies typically surround the impact on those living in the development itself rather than “within a certain catchment area outside of the development.” “The way policies are written, it does allow for sufficient flexibility to request for vibration studies for any type of development,” said Mr. Waters. What [this motion] will do is put some emphasis on when we review policies of the Official Plan in general to focus on that specific issue and to highlight it being an issue that needs some refinement in policies. It is updating the policies, making them current, and putting a bit of a spotlight on heritage areas within the Downtown Area. “We also have the Building Bylaw as well, which also has a clause in it that allows the Chief Building Official to request a vibration study as part of a building permit application. We have exercised that clause as part of the Amica and United Church development because it wasn’t asked for before through the planning process.” But some Council members questioned whether the request for vibration studies in the above-mentioned areas went far enough. “We’re going to expect a lot of infill development and it is not only in areas with heritage homes, but we do have homes that are, especially in our Stable Neighbourhoods and surrounding areas, that are getting a little long in the tooth,” said Councillor Wendy Gaertner. Also looking for something more was Mayor Tom Mrakas, who said although he supported the motion on the table vibration studies should be in force Aurora-wide. “We’re very protective of our heritage homes in our heritage district, but I think vibrations through any project is vibrations regardless of where it is in the Town,” he said. “We’re going to have condominiums probably built along Leslie, so we’re not going to afford the same opportunities from a vibration perspective for the homes that are adjacent to those projects that are going to be happening. They would be left out. I think it should be a Town-wide policy if we’re going to do it.” Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
RALEIGH, N.C. — A Trump may be on the ballot next year — but not Donald Trump. The former president's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is eyeing the North Carolina Senate seat being vacated by Republican Richard Burr. While many in the state are skeptical she will move forward, an entrance into the race would set up a crucial test of whether Donald Trump's popularity among Republicans, which remains massive more than a month after leaving office, can translate to others. The answer to that question has implications that extend far beyond Lara Trump's political future. If Donald Trump can prove that he can help other Republicans win office, his self-appointed status as leader of the party would be validated. Losses, however, would remind Republicans of his vulnerabilities. For now, Republicans say the only thing that is certain is that Lara Trump would easily dispatch rivals in a GOP primary. “If Lara were to get in the race, I think she would command widespread and immediate attention across the state,” said Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina GOP, who has said his goal going forward is “making sure that we keep all of the Trump voters that came in during the last election and convert them into reliable Republican voters.” Donald Trump fancies himself as a kingmaker in GOP politics, but his record is mixed. Under his leadership, Republicans lost control of the House in 2018. When he was on the ballot again last year, Republicans mounted a strong performance in congressional races, coming much closer than expected to retaking the House. But the GOP lost two Georgia Senate seats — and the majority — in January despite a last minute campaign push from Trump. The 38-year-old Lara Trump is married to the former president's son, Eric. A former television producer, she has never held public office and declined to comment for this story. While many in North Carolina privately doubt Lara Trump will ultimately seek the Senate seat, she's being encouraged by South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who has warned the party against abandoning the former president. She is still considering a run for the Senate seat, according to two people who have spoken with her recently and requested anonymity to discuss private conversations. While she would need to move her young family to the state, the Wilmington, North Carolina native, is deeply familiar with the state and its voters after campaigning there extensively in 2016 and 2020, according to one of the people. She was a key surrogate for her father-in-law and named her second child Carolina. She also likes the idea of being the next Trump to run for something, even as a test to her father-in-law mounting a comeback in 2024, the other said. The former president's daughter, Ivanka, recently said she wouldn't challenge Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and his son, Donald Trump, Jr., is believed to be uninterested in seeking office himself. For Trump loyalists, there would be a certain satisfaction in a family member succeeding Burr, who was one of just seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict the former president in an impeachment trial for inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. “Stay tuned,” she said last week in an interview on Fox News Channel, adding that she was keeping the option “open.” If she opted for a run, Lara Trump would have to contend with a rapidly changing state. While Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden in North Carolina last year, his margin — 1.3 percentage points — shrank in half from 2016. That's driven by a politically active Black population and an influx of voters into areas like Charlotte and the Raleigh suburbs. Earning their votes will be crucial given doubts that anyone besides the former president will be able to turn out the waves of largely rural, new voters Trump attracted both in 2016 and 2020. “Without Trump on the ballot, Republicans have a turnout issue they have to address. However, without Trump on the ballot, Democrats have a turnout issue they have to address,” said Paul Shumaker, a longtime Republican consultant in the state, referring to the energy Trump inspired on the left. So far, the Senate race has just one declared GOP candidate: Mark Walker, a former congressman and pastor. He represents the bind Republicans in North Carolina find themselves in. In an interview, Walker was eager to note he met with Trump “many times” in the Oval Office and recounted how the former president encouraged him to run in 2019 when he was mulling a campaign for Sen. Thom Tillis’s seat. He insisted Donald Trump remains a powerful force in politics. “I don’t think that’s any question at this point, if you pay attention to the political lens, that the Republican political party goes through Donald Trump in terms of his influence on the party as whole,” Walker said. Still, Walker noted the need for Republicans to attract a broader swath of voters beyond Trump's core base. “We want President Trump’s support. We want Mitch McConnell’s support. We want Democrats to support us because we have a message that resonates,” he said. “I truly believe that there’s a space to be able to do both, to be that conservative champion but also be that bridge-builder.” Walker’s team tried to secure a meeting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend while Walker was visiting the state for the Conservative Political Action Conference, where both men spoke. But the two men didn't connect. Trump’s team has been “tapping the brakes a little bit” on rolling out endorsements as they work to develop a framework for choosing candidates, a spokesman said. ___ Colvin reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report from New York. Jill Colvin And Bryan Anderson, The Associated Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five new COVID-19 cases today, four of which are in the eastern health region that includes St. John's. Health officials say the four cases in the eastern region involve people between the ages of 40 and 69; three involve close contacts of prior cases while the fourth is related to domestic travel. Officials say the fifth case is located in the western health region, involves a person between the ages of 20 and 39 and is related to international travel. Eight people are in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care. Officials say they are still investigating the source of an infection involving a health-care worker at a hospital in the rural town of St. Anthony, located on the Northern Peninsula. Newfoundland and Labrador has 121 active reported COVID-19 infections. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre seeks to help bridge the gaps between people with its first-ever online exhibition launched Feb. 27. Titled “Connection,” the show presents submissions from its members, featuring a wide array of mediums. Besides a physical gallery still viewable at the centre under additional public protocols, it is also available on the centre’s website, with a guided virtual tour. Curator Laurie Jones said she learned about the format from the Ontario Society of Artists and it was a way to improve access. “Not everybody’s comfortable yet with being around, especially in public spaces,” Jones said. The exhibition is an annual salon show, drawing from local talent, Jones said. The pandemic prompted the move to an online addition – and the theme for the show itself. “It came up out of my own cravings for connections and missing people,” Jones said. “In many ways, we’re looking for alternate ways to connect.” Artist Rosanna Dewey’s exhibition piece depicts one of those ways. It is an oil painting entitled “Zoom Room” depicting a call on the online meeting platform. She said the show’s theme was poignant. “It’s so hard to be connected,” Dewey said. “It really made me think about what was going on and what my connections were.” She said she had some skepticism about the online concept but found it turned out appealing. “You want to be able to get up close to the artwork and you get more of a sense of the piece,” Dewey said. “But I found that people were still interested. People still needed to go and experience art, even if it was through a Zoom format.” Arts and Crafts Festival on pause But the community will miss one big way to connect with art in the summer. The Haliburton Art and Craft Festival – the gallery’s flagship event and fundraiser – is cancelled for the second straight year due to the pandemic, Jones said. She said it would be too logistically challenging to ensure safety amidst the pandemic. “We don’t want to introduce any risk to our volunteers or staff or vendors or patrons,” Jones said. “Maintaining sanitary conditions would be impossible.” Jones said the centre needs to decide early to inform artists and give them time to plan. She said there might be alternate programming, but that is being worked out. For now, the Rails End is still putting on exhibitions and bringing arts to the community. “We’re not trying to sell anything. We’re trying to provide an experience,” Jones said. “Hopefully, they feel the connection with the creative arts.” “Connection” runs until April 17 and is available at the centre itself or railsendgallery.com. Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander
A Prince County man opted to go to trial on disturbance and weapons charges. Adam Joseph Pitre, 43, pleaded not guilty in Summerside provincial court recently to charges of causing a disturbance and possession of a weapon - a knife - for a dangerous purpose. The charges stem from an incident on Sept. 13. Pitre then failed to appear in court on Nov. 18 resulting in a third charge, to which he also pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled for April 30. A Prince County man was high on methamphetamines when officers pulled him over back in June. Colin Alexander McAssey, 24, pleaded guilty in Summerside provincial court recently to possession of illegal drugs and driving while impaired. In Rosebank on June 10, RCMP saw a pickup truck driving on the shoulder of the road for several kilometres. Officers pulled the vehicle over and found McAsssey at the wheel, he was shaking and sweating. The officer asked if he was on any medications and McAssey said he wasn’t. McAssey passed a roadside screening test for alcohol and officers asked him to perform a field sobriety test, which he failed. He was then arrested for impaired driving. While under caution, he told officers he had consumed methamphetamine. Officers seized three grams of crystal meth as well as pills and paraphernalia at the scene. A blood test was sent to the national lab and came back positive for methamphetamines. McAssey had no previous record and hasn’t used drugs since the incident back in June. For driving impaired, Judge Krista MacKay sentenced McAssey to three days in custody and a $1,500 fine. For possession of meth, he was sentenced to one day, to be served concurrently as well as $100 in victim surcharges. McAssey must also pay $450 in victim surcharges and will be under a driving prohibition for 12 months. A Wellington woman told Summerside provincial court recently that she drove drunk because there were no taxis to get her home. Annik Vaillancourt, 36, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath sample after police arrested her for impaired operation of a vehicle. At 1:25 a.m. on Dec. 5, police on patrol in New Annan saw a vehicle travelling very slowly in a 90 km/hr zone. The vehicle weaved into the shoulder and then across the centre line several times. Officers then pulled over the vehicle and found Vaillancourt at the wheel. She appeared intoxicated and the officer could smell alcohol. Vaillancourt, who is a francophone, became resistant when officers tried to get a breath sample, saying she didn’t understand what was going on. Officers tried to find someone to communicate with her in French, and got someone on the phone from New Brunswick, but Vaillancourt continued to resist providing a sample. Police kept her in custody overnight. Judge Krista MacKay sentenced her to one day in custody which was served the night of the offence. Vaillancourt was also fined $2,000. She’ll be prohibited from driving for 12 months and must pay $600 in victim surcharges. A Charlottetown man under a driving prohibition was fined after officers discovered him behind the wheel. Derrick Kasirye, 24, pleaded guilty in Summerside provincial court recently to driving while prohibited. On Nov. 21, Kasirye drove into the checkpoint at the Confederation Bridge. He had no identification on him, but officers were able to determine who he was and that he was under a driving ban from Oct. 13. Judge Krista Mackay fined Kasirye $1,000 and handed down a further one-year driving prohibition. He must also pay $300 in victim surcharges. Alison Jenkins, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Journal-Pioneer
County council agreed to support a movement for improvements at long-term care (LTC) homes, though disagreed with local advocates’ desire to end for-profit homes. Council voted to write a letter of support for the Haliburton-CKL (City of Kawartha Lakes) Long-Term Care Coalition. The advocacy group is joining with others across the province to push for improvements, including amending the Canada Health Act to include LTC, guaranteeing four hours of direct care per day for residents, stronger enforcement and a culture change. Councillors spoke in favour of those ideas. But the coalition’s desire to end private LTC did not garner support and was specifically excluded in the resolution. “The first four points that you have, I think, are a bold initiative and a great start,” Coun. Brent Devolin said. “The supply going forward, will public initiatives alone be enough to look after all of us?” Coalition co-chair, Bonnie Roe, cited the Ontario Health Coalition, a province-wide organization also calling for the end to for-profit long-term care. Its May 2020 analysis found COVID-19 deaths in homes with outbreaks were higher in private (nine per cent) versus non-profit (5.25 per cent) or publicly-owned (3.62 per cent). The Canadian military also released a report about terrible conditions at homes it intervened in last May, which prompted the province to start an independent commission. Four of those homes were privately-owned. “There are some for-profits that are excellent, but generally speaking, they do not follow the standards,” Roe said. “People are asking, ‘why are there private profits attached to us as a society caring for our elders’?” co-chair, Mike Perry, said. “Why was that ever seen as a profit-making venture?” Warden Liz Danielsen said the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus has identified LTC as a priority. But she added the caucus is not yet in favour of ending private facilities. Coun. Carol Moffatt said she can attest to the challenges of eldercare and there is a drastic need for better support for health workers. “More people to do the job,” Moffatt said. “We also maybe need to be careful of what you wish for in terms of potential downloading. How do we all as a province push for the changes that are required, without it going off the cliff and then landing in the laps of municipalities for increased costs?” Perry thanked council for the support. “There’s so much common room and so much common ground for this moving forward,” he said. “That’s where we find hope in all this tragedy recently." Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander
WASHINGTON — A key Senate committee on Thursday approved the nomination of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be interior secretary, clearing the way for a Senate vote that is likely to make her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Haaland's nomination, 11-9, sending it to the Senate floor. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the lone Republican to support Haaland, who won unanimous backing from committee Democrats. Murkowski, a former chair of the committee, said she had “some real misgivings” about Haaland, because of her support for policies that Murkowski said could impede Alaska's reliance on oil and other fossil fuels. But the senator said she would place her “trust” in Haaland's word that she would work with her and other Alaskans to support the state. Her vote comes with a warning, Murkowski added: She expects Haaland “will be true to her word” to help Alaska. Haaland was not in the committee room, but Murkowski addressed her directly, saying, "I will hold you to your commitments.'' “Quite honestly,'' Murkowski added, ”we need you to be a success.'' Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Maria Cantwell of Washington state both called the committee vote historic, and both said they were disappointed at the anti-Haaland rhetoric used by several Republicans. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the panel's top Republican, and other GOP senators have repeatedly called Haaland's views “radical” and extreme. Heinrich said two interior secretaries nominated by former President Donald Trump could be called “radical” for their support of expanded drilling and other resource extraction, but he never used that word to describe them. Under the leadership of Cantwell and Murkowski, the energy panel has been bipartisan and productive in recent years, Heinrich said, adding that he hopes that tradition continues. The committee vote follows an announcement Wednesday by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she will support Haaland in the full Senate. Her vote, along with Murkowski's, makes Haaland’s confirmation by the Senate nearly certain. The panel's chairman, Sen. Joe Manchin, announced his support for Haaland last week. Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, said Thursday that he does not agree with Haaland on a variety of issues, including the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but was impressed by the strong endorsement by Alaska Rep. Don Young, a conservative Republican who is the longest-serving member of the House and has forged a strong working relationship with the liberal Haaland. As a former governor, Manchin also said he knows how important it is for a president to have his “team on board” in the Cabinet. “It is long past time to give a Native American woman a seat at the Cabinet table,'' he said. Interior oversees the nation’s public lands and waters and leads relations with nearly 600 federally recognized tribes. Barrasso, who has led opposition to Haaland, said her hostility to fracking, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other issues made her unfit to serve in a position in which she will oversee energy development on vast swaths of federal lands, mostly in the West, as well as offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Barrasso said a moratorium imposed by Biden on oil and gas leases on federal lands “is taking a sledgehammer to Western states’ economies.? The moratorium, which Haaland supports, could cost thousands of jobs in West, Barrasso said. Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A corrections officer is suing a New Mexico county over a requirement that first responders and other employees be vaccinated, setting up another legal fight during a pandemic that is testing local and federal public health laws. Isaac Legaretta says in a complaint filed Feb. 26 in federal court that a directive forcing Dona Ana County employees to take vaccines that are not yet fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration violates federal law. Legaretta is facing termination for declining a vaccination. His attorney, N. Ana Garner, is seeking an injunction to keep the county from firing or disciplining the officer before a ruling is issued. The attorney said that while she's not aware of a similar lawsuit in the U.S., she would be surprised if there was none. The complaint centres on the FDA’s authorization of the vaccines for emergency use, noting that the clinical trials, which officials will rely on to ultimately decide whether to license vaccines, are still underway. It could take two years to collect adequate data to determine safety and effectiveness, the complaint said. The complaint cites guidance from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including statements made by federal health officials during a public meeting last year in which they said vaccines under emergency use authorizations may not be mandated. The complaint also argues that federal law preempts state laws or local requirements such as Dona Ana County's vaccination directive. “Defendants’ failure to comply with the federal law clearly is an obstacle to the purpose of the federal law, which is to allow people to not be compelled to take an unapproved drug or vaccine,” the complaint states. Dona Ana County Attorney Nelson Goodin said the county stands behind its policy. He pointed to guidance from the FDA that gives deference to state and local laws when it comes to vaccinations as well as federal employment guidelines that say employers can require vaccines with exceptions for religious or medical reasons. Goodin said a handful of waivers have been issued for county employees but most have been vaccinated. Dona Ana County is among the few spots in New Mexico considered high-risk as spread rates and new per-capita cases continue to be above targets set by the state Health Department. Goodin also pointed to lawsuits that have been filed in New Mexico and elsewhere over prison conditions amid the pandemic. “We're doing our best to protect the inmates in our facility, we’re doing our best to protect the employees who work in that facility and coworkers as well,” he said. “That’s the driving force — provide a safe workplace and safety for inmates who don’t have the choice to go home and quarantine.” New Mexico health officials said Tuesday they were not aware of any other counties or municipal governments that were requiring first responders or other employees to be vaccinated at this point. Top officials with the state's largest health care providers also said since the vaccination campaign began months ago that they would not force their workers to get the shots given the emergency use status. None of the vaccine makers with emergency authorization in the U.S. has applied for full approval yet. Employers have been contacting attorneys and human resources consultants as they try to figure out how to handle vaccinations. The complaint notes that despite a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the ability of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws, the court has decided many critical cases over the decades that recognize limits on governmental power and expand the reach of the Bill of Rights. If the county were to fire Legaretta for refusing to take a vaccine, the complaint argues that would be a violation of his rights and run counter to those previous rulings. Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
The dining room in Katie Rioux's Quebec City restaurant has been closed since the fall, and she expected her business would remain a takeout-only operation for weeks to come, if not longer. On Wednesday, though, the owner of Café Krieghoff received some unexpected good news. Premier François Legault announced he was scaling back health restrictions in several regions, allowing Rioux and countless other restaurant owners to serve customers sitting inside for the first time in five months. "Honestly, we could not have gotten better news than this," said Rioux, who also promised to do her part to ensure Quebec City does not go back to being a red zone. "As restaurant owners, we will do everything we can. I think the population is also on our side." Café Krieghoff owner Katie Rioux can't wait to serve sitting customers at her Quebec City restaurant for the first time in five months. (Radio-Canada) However, some public health experts say the Quebec government's decision to roll back restrictions to this extent is too hasty. Following March break, the Quebec City region will be joined by the Eastern Townships, Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec and Chaudières-Appalaches as the latest to be downgraded from red to orange zones. In these regions, gyms and show venues will be allowed to reopen, houses of worship will be able to take in as many as 100 people at a time. The government is also dropping the requirement that all primary school students must wear a medical grade mask. The nightly curfew remains, but will kick in at 9:30 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. "I would have preferred to wait until at least one week after the holiday week, because then we would be able to see the impact of the vacation on the increase of cases everywhere in Quebec," said Dr. Cécile Tremblay, a microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal. "We know that people from Montreal travel to other regions, and we won't know the result of that until two weeks from now." The race between variants and vaccines Legault's announcement came a day after Health Minister Christian Dubé and Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda held a news conference of their own, during which they warned Quebecers about the growing spread of coronavirus variants. "The ocean is calm at the moment ... but underneath there are sharks," Arruda said, "and I'll tell you what those sharks are: they're the variants." The decision to remove restrictions in places outside of the greater Montreal area seems to reflect data showing that variants are gaining more ground in Montreal than elsewhere in the province. On Wednesday, Legault said spikes in cases and hospitalizations were expected in and around Montreal, and those projections played a major role in the government's most recent announcement. But Prativa Baral, an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the province is squandering a golden opportunity to deal a crushing blow to the virus. Seniors arrive for their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) With more and more Quebecers set to get vaccinated, Baral says the government should focus on its inoculation campaign while limiting contacts as much as possible, in an effort to keep the spread of variants under control. "For us to be loosening restrictions now, is too premature. We don't want to be reactive, we want to be proactive for once," Baral said. "At this point, it's more of a virus versus vaccine race, and we really want to make sure that we're pushing the vaccine segment to win, as opposed the variant segment." The province's latest projections for the spread COVID-19 appear to reinforce the importance of winning that race. According to the mathematical modelling published by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) on Thursday, lowering the province's collective guard could provoke a rapid spike in new infections that could reach between 3,000 and 4,000 cases per day. It also seems possible, perhaps even likely given the presence of infectious variants, that Quebec will experience a third wave. Sticking with the low-socialization and low-contact measures that were in place from January and February might not entirely prevent another peak this spring in terms of daily infections, but it could keep hospitalization numbers and fatalities low. Marc Brisson, the director of the Université Laval mathematical modelling group that conducts the INSPQ's COVID-19 forecasts, said the model doesn't account for the government's latest announcement, but does include increased inter-regional travel and social contacts from March break. "If we can accelerate vaccination ... and follow public health guidelines, then at that point our model is saying we could stay at a number of cases that would be relatively stable. However, if vaccination slows down and there's more contact, then a third wave is predicted," he said. There is some good news in the projections, however. The model supports the government's contention that there are two distinct epidemiological realities in Quebec: greater Montreal, and the rest of the province. The fact there is lower community spread outside the province's largest urban agglomeration means it's less likely the variant strains will spread. "The race is how many vulnerable people we can protect with vaccination and ... can that variant infect the most vulnerable among us?" he said. The key, Brisson concluded, is continued adherence to public health measures, which "would buy time for the vaccine to take its effect."
SAN FRANCISCO — Financial technology company Square, Inc. said Thursday that it has reached an agreement to acquire majority ownership of Tidal, the music streaming service partly owned by Jay-Z. Under the deal, Square will pay $297 million in cash and stock for Tidal, Jay-Z will be named to Square's board of directors, and he and other artists who currently own shares in Tidal will remain stakeholders. Tidal will operate as a distinct entity alongside the point-of-sale hardware and software offerings of San Francisco-based Square, the payments company founded by CEO Jack Dorsey, who is also co-founder and chief executive of Twitter. Tidal has presented itself as the artist-friendly alternative to other music streamers, and Square says it will take that phenomenon further for musicians just as it has for businesses with its financial systems. “It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” Dorsey said in the statement announcing the deal. . Jay-Z said in the statement that the “partnership will be a game-changer for many.” I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!" The Associated Press
This column is an opinion piece from Deborah Yedlin, a long-time CBC Calgary contributor who has worked as a columnist for both the Calgary Herald and the Globe and Mail and is the chancellor of the University of Calgary. The climate change dialogue continued in earnest Wednesday at the annual CERAWeek conference hosted by IHS Markit, with comments made by UN special envoy for climate action and finance Mark Carney, offering an optimistic perspective on the future of the oil and gas industry that is grounded in its past. Carney, who is also vice-chair of Brookfield Asset Management, said the sector has reinvented itself many times. It's easy to forget that, but it's more relevant than ever. In Canada, work in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin morphed from one that was homogenous — conventional oil and natural gas — to one that is now dominated by the oilsands and natural gas produced from tight formations. The United States has experienced a similar change, shifting from conventional production to the short-cycle shale phenomenon in both oil and natural gas. In both cases, technology changed the game. UN special envoy for climate action and finance Mark Carney says the oil and gas sector has reinvented itself many times.(Kirsty Wigglesworth/The Associated Press) And now technology will play a leading role in decreasing the carbon footprint of the sector, but it's going to need more policy support, clarity from regulators and assurances for the financial markets that the transition to a low-carbon economy is not going to strand assets. Carney's session — which included the International Energy Agency's executive director, Fatih Birol, and Thomas Gottstein, chief executive of Credit Suisse — took a macro view of the transition, which is critical because too often we get stuck within our own narrow lenses rather than opting for the wide-angle option. Think for a moment on this comment from Birol: that carbon emissions don't have a passport and that the bulk of emissions continue to be generated in emerging countries and that's where investment is needed. "All the voices are coming from the advanced economies … the international financial architecture needs to accelerate the flow of investment to those (emerging) countries … it's one of the blind spots in the climate debate," said Birol. Among the bigger unknowns are how the transition will be financed, the coordination by regulators in terms of climate-risk disclosure, the size and structure of the carbon offset market and carbon pricing. These questions — adequately addressed and striking the right balance — will contribute to predictability and transparency for companies, investors and regulators, and support the transition. As things stand today, there is much that needs to be determined. How prescriptive do policies need to be? What happens to existing infrastructure, such as coal-fired plants in India and China that still have years of useful life, or natural gas pipelines that have been transporting hydrocarbons? Is it a seamless shift to shipping hydrogen? 'All the voices are coming from the advanced economies … the international financial architecture needs to accelerate the flow of investment to those (emerging) countries … it's one of the blind spots in the climate debate,' said Fatih Birol, executive director International Energy Agency.(Pat Sullivan/Associated Press) While financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, which has committed $300 billion US to sustainable finance over the next 10 years, see themselves as playing a critical role, they face uncertainty in the context of consistency of disclosure, reporting regulations, industry standards and regulatory oversight. As pointed out by both Gottstein and Allison Herren Lee, the acting head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who spoke on Monday, there needs to be international alignment on rules and regulations and reporting requirements related to climate disclosure in order to understand both financial and systemic risk. The disclosure, said Herren Lee, must be reliable, standardized, relevant and comparable because the complexity of climate risk makes it difficult to build models using standard tools. Without that consistency of metrics, it's difficult for institutions to allocate and deploy capital, not to mention the challenge of financial markets to properly price risk. Finding consensus on all these issues will be a challenge, but clearly one that must be addressed if financial institutions and markets are going to support companies and governments engaged in addressing climate change and meeting net-zero targets. Another missing link is the importance of a robust and transparent carbon offset market. As Carney points out, the goal is to decrease absolute emissions, but there is a point where that has been achieved and an offset market can close the gap. What could that look like? And how big does it need to be? The size of the current market for offsets, said Carney, is $350 million per year, the price per tonne is inconsistently set and it's very fragmented. He estimates the size should be between $50 billion and $100 billion, which could reduce emissions by 21 gigatonnes by 2030, and be linked to carbon capture and storage and sustainable fuel production in order to generate carbon credits. Much like any exchange, the market is liquid, has spot and forward contracts, and is linked to verification of carbon credits and supply. Success in decreasing global emissions will depend on establishing common policies that set both steps and direction for achieving climate goals and emissions targets, while respecting inherent differences in countries and regions around the world. But it will also come from the energy sector's ability to reinvent itself, as it has done throughout history, and continue to be the engine that powers the global economy. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please read our FAQ.
HALIFAX — A compensation agreement has been reached between Glen Assoun and the Nova Scotia and federal governments for his wrongful conviction and the almost 17 years he spent in prison. Nova Scotia Justice Minister Randy Delorey said today the recently signed deal is confidential, and Assoun's lawyers Sean MacDonald and Phil Campbell said the amount of the settlement and its details are not being released. Assoun's lawyers, however, praised the two levels of government for the settlement, and Campbell said federal Justice Minister David Lametti had done all that can be expected. Campbell says he hopes the deal serves as an example for similar cases in the future. Assoun lived under strict parole conditions for nearly five years after he was released from prison, before a Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruling in March 2019 reversed his 1999 conviction for the murder of Brenda Way in Halifax. The 1995 killing has never been solved. Assoun suffered mental illness in prison, and he said he was diagnosed with a heart condition that required the insertion of stents — small mesh tubes that are placed in a narrowed coronary artery. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press