This pup was loving the winter wonderland that is Hunts Point, Nova Scotia.
This pup was loving the winter wonderland that is Hunts Point, Nova Scotia.
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 The Egypt international certainly thought so as he sat shaking his head, having been replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.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
1. “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (HarperOne) 2. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press) 3. “Believe IT” by Jamie Kem Lima (Gallery Books) 4. “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Griffin) 5. “I Love You to the Moon and Back” by Amelia Hepworth (Tiger Tales) 6. “A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury) 7. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss (Random House) 8. “The Kaiser's Web” by Steve Berry (Minotaur) 9. “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney (Candlewick) 10. “Kingdom of Shadow and Light” by Karen Marie Moning (Dell) 11. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss (Random House) 12. “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” by Bill Gates (Knopf) 13. “Bridgerton: The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn (Avon) 14. “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers) 15. “Dr. Seuss's ABC” by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers) 16. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch (Firefly Books) 17. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss (Random House) 18. “Bridgerton: The Viscount Who Loved Me” by Julia Quinn (Avon) 19. “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman (Random House Books for Young Readers) 20. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig (Viking) 21. “The Pegan Diet” by Mark Hyman (Little, Brown Spark) 22. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (Avery) 23. “Keep Sharp” by Sanjay Gupta (Simon & Schuster) 24. “Think Again” by Adam Grant (Viking) 25. “Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder” by Joanne Fluke (Kensington) The Associated Press
The Sun Peaks Pharmacy will remain closed for the remainder of the week, but curbside and delivery service is available after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Clancy O’Malley, owner of the pharmacy, said the plan is to continue operating in this fashion until staff is able to safely return to work in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. “At this point, I’m planning on keeping it as delivery only and curbside pickup until the other staff is able to safely return to work, as per Interior Health [guidelines],” said O’Malley. Last week, The Sun Peaks Pharmacy informed the community of a positive COVID-19 case involving one of its staff members. The individual was likely positive with the virus as far back as Feb. 16 or 17, 2021. Another staff member, who was a close contact, is now self-isolating as well as a precaution, said O’Malley. O’Malley said that he was not in close contact with the staff. “Thankfully, I haven’t really been working up here much, so I didn’t have any close contact with them,” he explained. O’Malley is now filling orders himself. He added that the public can purchase off-the-shelf items as well. Dr. Shane Barclay of the Sun Peaks Health Centre informed the community 33 COVID tests were conducted on Friday, Feb. 26 resulting in zero positive cases. “This is very encouraging,” stated Barclay in the public letter. “We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the community aware of any developments. Thanks to everyone for your continuing vigilance and safety measures.” The possibility of transmission between the staff members and the public is thought to be low, as precautions, such as mask-wearing, were in place. COVID testing is available in both Sun Peaks and Kamloops. More information on testing and information on booking a test can be found here. To voice any concerns or inquire about orders, you can contact O’Malley directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (778) 996-4245. Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.
It's the little touches that help to make a place feel more like home, and while the Out of the Cold Warming Centre isn't a permanent home for any of its visitors, it is proof that little things can still make a big difference. The warming centre has recently come into possession of a pair of guitars for those who visit to make use of. The idea itself came from Out of the Cold's Dave Ashworth, who is also a prominent local musician, and he put out the call on social media to help make the idea a reality. "I started here last November," Ashworth explained. "What really happened was one of the staff said 'hey, one of the guests that comes in plays guitar.' He was going to bring down his guitar that he has at home, and I was going to bring mine whatever night this guest came in, and I thought it would be nice to have something here a little more permanently, so that's when I thought I'd use the power of social media and put it out there, and it works. People have a genuine desire, I think, to help out or donate whatever they might have." Once the call went out, there were a few false starts and missed connections, but eventually Ashworth managed to secure one acoustic and one electric guitar for those visiting the warming centre to play, which he said are comforts to people who might not otherwise have an instrument to play on. "It's a universal language," he said. "Music is good in good times and in bad times." The call for instruments must have struck a chord with people in the community, as Ashworth noted there were plenty of people offering to make donations in one form or another, either of instruments or of monetary donations that could be put towards musical accessories like wall hangers for the guitars. "Businesses helped out too and gave us some discounts on strings," Ashworth said. "A number of people donated. I had one guy, and this was kind of unique, but he was on the Borderland Musicians and Enthusiasts Facebook page, and he offered to send an acoustic guitar. I started talking to him and asked if he was from here, and he said 'No, I'm from Saskatchewan, I'm living out north of Red Deer right now.' He was willing to send it, but we started considering shipping costs and the length of time we're going to be open [this season] so I thought for this year we're good." So far Ashworth said there have been a handful of occasions where guests have played songs together, with others lending their voices or picking up a tambourine to play along. But the instruments are also there for solo use, allowing anyone at the warming centre to pick up a guitar and keep themselves company. "Even in the last week we had a new guest come in and he grabbed it the first night and wanted to play it," he said. "He got it in the morning too. It's nice to see. If it wasn't here then you might not even know some of these people have a musical background. It's been very laid back." The Out of the Cold Warming Centre might be full up on instruments right now, but Ashworth says as the program continues there's always a chance it could grow in some way. He also added that the centre could still do with a donation of another guitar strap and a small practice amp for their electric guitar, should anyone still be looking to help support the initiative. Still, Ashworth said he's grateful to all of those who did reach out to him with offers of instruments or other donations to help provide a little bit of music and a creative outlet to those in need. "I think you want to provide any opportunity you can to dive into things they might not normally have access to," he explained. "Maybe for various reasons they don't have a guitar at home, or don't have any instruments, and this is an option for them to come in and use. We encourage all the guests to just relax and treat it like your home, be respectful and we'll be respectful in return. They seem to enjoy it. Like I said earlier, music is a feel good thing. The feedback has been really good so far." Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today. Three of the cases are in the Edmundston region, while the Moncton and Miramichi regions each have one new case. There are now 36 active cases in the province and three patients are hospitalized, including two in intensive care. A recently reported presumptive case of a variant in the Miramichi region has been confirmed by Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory to be the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom. Mass testing clinics have been set up in the Miramichi area to determine if there has been any further spread of the virus. Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 1,443 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 28 COVID-19-related deaths, This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Breaking with other Southern GOP governors, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey extended her state’s mask order for another month Thursday but said the requirement will end for good in April. The move came a day after President Joe Biden slammed the governors of Texas and Mississippi for deciding to lift their mask mandates, saying their actions reflect “Neanderthal thinking.” Ivey has faced political pressure to lift the mask order like her Republican counterparts but said she will follow the recommendations of medical officials and keep the mandate that was set to expire Friday in place until April 9. “We need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and lift other restrictions. Folks, we are not there yet, but goodness knows we’re getting closer," Ivey said at a news conference. The governor called masks “one of our greatest tools” in preventing the virus’ spread but emphasized that she will not extend the mask order further, saying it will become a matter of personal responsibility when the mandate ends. “Even when we lift the mask order, I will continue to wear my mask while I’m around others and strongly urge my fellow citizens to use common sense and do the same,” Ivey said. Medical officials welcomed Ivey’s decision after urging an extension, arguing that easing restrictions before more people were vaccinated could reverse recent improvements. Alabama’s rolling seven-day average of daily cases has dropped from 3,000 in early January to below 1,000 and hospitalizations are at their lowest point since summer. “This is very good news. This gives us a month to vaccinate more people and to get a better handle on the role of the UK variant,” said Dr. Don Williamson, the former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association. So far only about 13% of Alabama’s 4.9 million people have received one dose of vaccine, according to state numbers. State Health Officer Scott Harris said vaccine supplies are increasing and if the state can get a cumulative total of 1.75 million shots delivered by early April, that would be a “terrific place to be.” Harris said about 500,000 people in the state have tested positive for the virus and there are likely others who had it but didn’t know. “We are striving to reach this herd immunity point at some point,” Harris said. Dr. Ellen Eaton, who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said schools and organizations serving people who’ve yet to receive a vaccine will need to “carefully consider how to proceed” once the order ends. “For many, continuing masking will be necessary, such as in schools and colleges. But leadership in these spaces needs time to think through the health and policy implications of recommending masks in the absence of a mandate,” she said. Ivey faced backlash on social media for her decision, with some users sharing the phone number to the governor’s office and asking callers to voice opposition to the rule. And the Alabama Senate approved a resolution Wednesday evening urging Ivey to end the mask mandate. Republican Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth also asked Ivey to end the mask requirement, which he has opposed all along, saying individuals can make decisions for themselves and follow safety rules until vaccinations and immunity levels are sufficient. “But we can do all of these things without a Big Brother-style government mandate looming over us,” Ainsworth said in a statement. The governor did lift some restrictions on how many people can sit as a restaurant table, but tables are still required to be 6 feet (2 metres) apart or have a partition. The order also allowed senior citizens to resume some activities and hospitals to increase the number of visitors patients can have from one to two ___ Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak. Kim Chandler, The Associated Press
Health experts are concerned the general public may be focusing on the wrong figures when analyzing the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. And they worry that will lead to unnecessary hesitancy at a time when Canada's inoculation rollout needs to ramp up. The recently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and the shot by Johnson & Johnson that could be next in line for authorization, showed 62 and 72 per cent efficacy in preventing COVID-19 infections in their respective clinical trials. Compared to the 95 per cent effectiveness of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, it seems like a glaring difference. But experts stress that when it comes to preventing COVID hospitalization or death, data from trials showed all four vaccines were perfect. "Those are the outcomes that Canadians ought to be focused on, because that's really what we care about preventing," said Charles Weijer, a bioethicist at Western University. Weijer says he understands why the public is gravitating towards those figures, since we're used to efficacy in terms of treatments for disease. A cancer treatment that's 95 per cent effective would be preferable to one that's 60 or 70 per cent, he said, but vaccines and other public health interventions need to be analyzed differently. Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist in Mississauga, Ont., says efficacy in a trial is calculated by comparing the number of people who got COVID after receiving a vaccine to the number of those who got it after being given a placebo. Many of those who did become infected after getting a vaccine in the trials experienced mild illness, according to the data, which Chakrabarti says isn't a big concern. Getting hung up on the wrong figures can be problematic, he adds, if it leads to a perception that the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are inferior. "When you look at deaths and hospitalization, it doesn't matter if it was Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna, it was freaking amazing" Chakrabarti said. "Thousands of participants in the treatment arm of the trials, and not a single person died, not a single person was hospitalized." Chakrabarti says the timing of the trials may have impacted efficacy, with Pfizer and Moderna testing its product when the COVID burden was relatively lower in parts of the world. Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, meanwhile, had their trials later when circulation was increasing, and more transmissible variants were spreading at a rapid pace. While that could mean the efficacy of mRNA vaccines in preventing infection is lower than 95 per cent, Chakrabarti says it doesn't change the zero hospitalizations and deaths shown in their trials. Those will be the key numbers going forward, he says. While case numbers may continue to increase through Canada's vaccine rollout, restrictions could lift as deaths and hospitalizations drop. "Right now we have three tools that prevent death and hospitalization that can help us get out of this situation," Chakrabarti said. "So my message is just get whichever vaccine you can get first." Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said this week that it didn't recommend the AstraZeneca jab for those over the age of 65, arguing the trials didn't offer enough efficacy evidence in that age group. Health Canada said days earlier that real-world data suggests the shot is effective in older populations. France and Germany, which didn't initially recommend AstraZeneca for seniors, have since reversed that decision. Weijer says while the messaging with AstraZeneca may have taken a step back this week, there's opportunity moving forward to present other vaccines in terms of the metrics that matter most. Weijer says the ease of a single-dose vaccine like Johnson & Johnson's could be "hugely important" for Canada's vaccine rollout. But people need to be willing to take it. "If individuals are thinking, 'Well, I'm gonna hold out for a vaccine that I perceive to be better,' that's a mistake," Weijer said. "The key is getting all of us vaccinated as quickly as possible." Chakrabarti anticipates some will dismiss the AstraZeneca jab, adding that those responsible for administering the vaccine need to set up Plan Bs to make sure doses aren't wasted. While he's concerned the "well has been poisoned" around AstraZeneca, Chakrabarti says it's up to public health messaging experts to reverse that going forward. "If we put these vaccines on a level playing field and look at the same important metrics, they are all performing the same," he said. "That's what the messaging should be." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
A Brampton man has been charged with the first-degree murder of his estranged girlfriend more than seven months after he allegedly shot and killed her, then shot himself. Peel Regional Police on Wednesday confirmed Darnell Reid, 27, has been formally charged in the killing of Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman after spending several months in hospital in critical condition. Henderson-Bellman’s mother told the Star she learned of the charges this week. “I waited so long but it still hit me hard. It kicked me in the gut,” Michelle Jones said. “I just hope he doesn’t get to walk like all the other times that he walked.” Police notified Jones that Reid, who was hospitalized in critical condition following the July 28 shooting, had improved enough for police to inform him that he was being charged. Jones said police told her that Reid is now awake and able to talk. Family members told the Star that the two were in a rocky on-and-off-again relationship when Henderson-Bellman, 25, was fatally shot. Court records obtained by the Star show Reid had been charged three times for violating court orders not to be in contact with Henderson-Bellman in the year leading up to her death. At the time of the shooting, he was on bail following an unrelated arrest on charges of possessing an illegal firearm. “He had a no-contact order, so he was not supposed to be around her,” Henderson-Bellman’s mother told the Star shortly after her death. “She still wasn’t protected.” Reid’s lawyer, Gavin Holder, declined to comment on the case. On Wednesday, Reid was also charged with possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm, and two counts of failing to comply with release order. Peel police Const. Heather Cannon said Reid is being held under police guard in hospital remand. Police found Henderson-Bellman dead in a Brampton home at Fairglen Avenue and Deerpark Crescent at about 2:30 p.m. on July 28. Reid was also found in the home suffering from gunshot wounds. In the days following the shooting, Peel Region police chief Nishan Duraiappah lashed out at what he called a “complete failure of our justice system.” “This represents a tragic outcome for a young person who carried a bright future,” Duraiappah said in a statement. “In this incident, the sadness I feel for the victim and her family is mixed with frustration for a complete failure of our justice system to protect her . . . The family and police struggled to keep her safe.” Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him on email: email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
Lorsqu’on s’intéresse à l’histoire et à la politique, on finit par croire qu’on en connaît tous les grands personnages. Mais il arrive que certains d’entre eux nous échappent, et on les découvre alors avec une curiosité renouvelée. Pour moi, ce fut le cas avec Solange Chaput-Rolland. Écrit avec l’aide de Mario Fauteux. J’ai grandi à Prévost. Durant mon adolescence et ma vingtaine, j’ai passé un nombre incalculable d’heures à discuter avec un ami, aussi de Prévost (allô Philippe!), de politique canadienne. Notre sujet préféré était probablement cette époque tumultueuse du référendum de 1980, du rapatriement de la Constitution et de l’accord du lac Meech (et son échec). Nous avons appris à connaître ses principaux acteurs : Trudeau père, Lévesque, Bourassa, Mulroney, Charest, et j’en passe. Nous avons même lu les mémoires de quelques-uns d’entre eux! Mais jamais le nom de Solange Chaput-Rolland n’est apparu dans nos discussions. Jusqu’à tout récemment, je ne savais même pas qu’elle avait existé. Née en 1919 à Montréal et décédée en 2001 à Sainte-Marguerite-Estérel, Solange Chaput-Rolland a eu une influence non seulement ici, dans les Laurentides, mais à l’échelle nationale, pancanadienne, à une époque charnière du pays. Comme journaliste émérite, elle écrit des éditoriaux dès les années 1940. Marc Laurendeau la décrit même comme une pionnière du journalisme d’opinion. En 1955, elle fonde le magazine mensuel Point de vue, dans lequel écriront Judith Jasmin et Pierre Bourgault, entre autres. Elle participera à plusieurs journaux, à plusieurs émissions de radio et de télé, tout au long de sa carrière. À sa mort, elle avait publié 25 livres. À la suite de l’élection du Parti québécois en 1976, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, alors premier ministre du Canada, forme la Commission Pépin-Robarts sur l’unité canadienne en 1977. Chaput-Rolland en sera membre et parcourra le pays pendant 2 ans. Dans ses recommandations, le rapport final propose un fédéralisme asymétrique avec le Québec, pour sauver la confédération, ainsi qu’une réduction du pouvoir fédéral au profit des provinces. Les positions de Chaput-Rolland auront une influence importante dans sa rédaction. À l’invitation du chef libéral Claude Ryan, Chaput-Rolland se présentera comme candidate dans la circonscription de Prévost aux élections partielles de 1979. Elle siégera à l’Assemblée nationale jusqu’en 1981, où elle sera défaite par le péquiste Robert Dean. Elle militera activement pour le camp du Non, et sera même conférencière aux rassemblements des Yvettes : un mouvement populaire de femmes opposées à l’indépendance. Brian Mulroney la nommera sénatrice en 1988 et elle siégera à la Chambre haute jusqu’à sa retraite, en 1994. Vous savez comment j’ai découvert Solange Chaput-Rolland? Parce qu’elle était l’épouse d’André Rolland, fils de Jean Rolland, celui qui gérait la papeterie de Mont-Rolland, à Sainte-Adèle. Mais ce sera probablement la dernière chose que je mentionnerai, lorsque je l’inviterai dans mes prochains débats politiques entre amis. « J’ai été déçue parce que la femme n’y a pas encore une place reconnue… Acceptée de la population, oui… Mais à l’intérieur du caucus, c’est plus difficile; à l’intérieur de l’Assemblée nationale, c’est infernal. J’ai les mêmes déceptions que Lise Payette à cause des mêmes choses. Les hommes sont très lents à prendre des décisions, en règle générale. La femme les prend vite. Elle ne les prend peut-être pas mieux que les hommes, mais sa vie de femme, sa vie de mère, sa vie de femme d’intérieur fait que tous les jours elle doit prendre une décision. » Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Canada's premiers are demanding that Ottawa immediately give them an extra $28 billion for health care this year, with a promise of at least a five-per-cent hike in the annual transfer payment each year thereafter.
Un incendie majeur a fait rage à Saint-Sauveur vendredi dernier, 26 février. Les bureaux de Remax et la boutique Lolë, situés à l’angle de la rue Principale et de l’avenue Lafleur, ont été la proie des flammes. 40 pompiers ont été nécessaires pour éteindre le feu, dont 3 équipes venues de Sainte-Adèle, de Morin-Heights et de Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs pour prêter main forte à l’équipe de Saint-Sauveur. L’enquête sur l’origine de l’incendie a été immédiatement transférée à la Sûreté du Québec. Impossible de dire si on suspecte une origine criminelle pour le moment. Gérald Plante, directeur du Service des incendies de la Ville de Saint-Sauveur, a toutefois noté que la rapidité de l’incendie et l’embrasement généralisé du bâtiment lorsque les pompiers sont arrivés sur les lieux étaient inhabituels. Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
A Montreal man who filed a complaint with Quebec's Human Rights Commission alleging racial profiling by Montreal police says the commission's investigation into the incident was flawed and incomplete. Brian Mann and his girlfriend Tayana Jacques each received $444 tickets for excessive noise and were charged with obstruction of justice after an incident on St-Laurent Boulevard in April 2018. The couple filed a complaint with the commission and, in a decision in January, the commission concluded there was no evidence of profiling. Mann told reporters at an online news conference Thursday the decision was "completely bogus." "It was a complete sham. If you look at what they wrote in the actual report, it doesn't mention anything that we submitted to them, any of the facts," Mann said. He said the commission never interviewed him or Jacques about the incident, or other any other eyewitnesses who came forward. He also said commission investigators never watched a cellphone video that captured part of the incident. The written decision from the commission only makes reference to a single police report as the basis for its conclusion. "It was swept under the rug, taking one police officer's report and blanketing over a whole, very complicated situation," Mann said. Jacques died in an accident in 2019 but Mann is continuing the fight. 'Talking too loudly' Mann and Jacques were walking on St-Laurent on a Saturday morning to get breakfast. They said they were chatting and laughing when two police officers pulled up beside them. The officers told them they were "talking too loudly" and disturbing the peace. Mann said that Jacques was then handcuffed and searched. He said when he questioned why officers were doing that, more officers arrived, threw him to the ground and pepper-sprayed him. The Human Rights Commission said Mann and Jacques refused to identify themselves to officers and that Mann was "aggressive" and resisted arrest. Tayana Jacques, Mann's girlfriend at the time of the incident, passed away after an accident in 2019. Mann said Jacques was determined to proceed with the Human Rights complaint because she believed she and Mann had done nothing wrong.(Verity Stevenson/CBC) The decision also said officers concluded that Mann and Jacques were intoxicated. The eyewitness cellphone video that Mann submitted to the commission doesn't show the lead-up to the arrest, but it does show six officers subduing Mann and throwing him to the ground. Commission accepts police version of events Mann and Jacques alleged that officers overreacted because Jacques was Black, and that Mann was a victim of discrimination by association. The commission disagreed. "The evidence shows the officers had a valid reason to intervene with the suspect (Mann)," the decision said. "The actions of the officers toward the suspect in the pursuit of their intervention, in particular the use of force, were linked, according to the evidence gathered, with his refusal to collaborate, his strong resistance and his aggressiveness," the report says. Although the commission accepted at face value the police contention that Mann was behaving aggressively, that allegation was never tested in court. All charges against Mann and Jacques were eventually dropped. Mann said Thursday that prosecutors tried to make a deal with Jacques before she died, offering to drop the obstruction of justice charge if she'd agree to pay the fine for excessive noise. He said she refused because she believed she and Mann had done nothing wrong. Rushed investigation? Fo Niemi, director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, which assisted Mann with his complaint, said he's worried the commission rushed its investigation. Niemi said the Human Rights Tribunal, which adjudicates cases when recommendations made by the commission aren't followed, has recently thrown out several complaints because of unreasonable delays. Niemi thinks those tossed complaints may have affected the investigation into Mann and Jacques's case. "We're concerned that because of the delays, the commission is fast-tracking its investigation to the point of intentionally omitting evidence that was brought to its attention," Niemi said. Judicial review only recourse Niemi wrote to the head of the Human Rights Commission asking that the commission take another look at Mann's case. The commission responded with a letter explaining that there's no appeal process for its decisions and that Mann's only recourse would be to seek a judicial review of the decision in Quebec Superior Court. Niemi noted that legal fees for such a review can be high but Mann insisted he wants to go ahead with it. "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to have this case reopened or reheard," Mann said. Brian Mann speaks to reporters via Zoom Thursday. Mann said the Human Rights Commission's decision tarnishes his reputation because it leaves the impression that he did something wrong.(CBC News) "I'll find the money, it's not a problem. Who cares about money? This is about what's right and what's wrong," he said, noting that it's what Jacques wanted before she died. Mann said he's also concerned the commission's decision leaves the impression that he did something wrong, despite all charges against him being dropped. "It tarnishes my reputation, it makes me feel like I'm not protected by the Human Rights Commission, which is mandated to review things like this," Mann said. Commission insists investigation 'rigorous, impartial' A spokesperson for the commission told CBC in an email that it couldn't comment on the case because of confidentiality. "We can state however that the Commission's investigative work is done rigorously and impartially, in accordance with our guidelines," the email said. The guidelines include collecting all relevant information necessary to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the dispute to court. The guidelines also state that the decision on whether the evidence is sufficient is a "discretionary administrative decision." For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
VANCOUVER — Results of a study led by Metro Vancouver's transit operator reveal copper on high-touch surfaces is lethal to bacteria. A statement from TransLink says the findings of the industry-leading trial show copper products kill up to 99.9 per cent of all bacteria within one hour of surface contact. As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TransLink was the first transit agency in North America to test copper on high-touch surfaces. The pilot study was launched after unrelated studies showed copper is both durable and effective at killing germs. Phase 1 of the pilot, which was fully funded by mining firm Teck Resources, began last November and continued for five weeks on surfaces of two buses and two SkyTrain cars. A second phase will begin in the coming months using a larger sample to verify the results, testing copper over a longer period on more transit vehicles, and focusing tests on the most effective products identified from Phase 1. TransLink interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo says they are excited to find out more about the impact of copper on viruses such as the ones that cause COVID-19. "This research could help us, other transit agencies, and anyone with surfaces in shared public spaces keep high-touch areas as clean as possible,” she says in the statement. The project stems from a partnership between TransLink, Teck, Vancouver Coastal Health, the University of British Columbia and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Teck funded the initial phase as part of its Copper & Health program and the company will also support Phase 2. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
LONDON — Banksy appears to have thrown his support behind a campaign to turn a former prison in the English town of Reading into an arts venue, a town spokesman said on Thursday, after the street artist confirmed that artwork that appeared on a red brick wall of the prison was of his making. The elusive artist confirmed the picture was his when he posted a video of him creating it on his Instagram account. The monochrome picture shows a man escaping using a rope made of paper from a typewriter. It appeared Monday outside Reading Prison, famous as the location where writer Oscar Wilde served two years for “gross indecency” in the 1890s. The prison closed in 2013, and campaigners want it turned into an arts venue. Britain’s Ministry of Justice, which owns the building, is due to decide mid-March on its future. In his Instagram video, Banksy is shown stealthily stenciling and spraying paint to create the artwork, titled “Create Escape.” The footage is juxtaposed with an episode of a traditional art instruction video called “The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.” The campaign to turn the former prison into an arts venue has won the backing of actors including Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Kenneth Branagh. A spokesman for Reading Borough Council said it was “thrilled that Banksy appears to have thrown his support behind the council’s desire to transform the vacant Reading Gaol into a beacon of arts, heritage and culture with this piece of artwork he has aptly called ‘Create Escape’.” “The Council is pushing the Ministry of Justice, who own the site, to make suitable arrangements to protect the image,” the authority said. The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivered her first Supreme Court majority opinion Thursday, ruling against an environmental group that had sought access to government records. President Donald Trump's third nominee wrote for a 7-2 court that certain draft documents do not have to be disclosed under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The case was the first one Barrett heard after joining the court in late October, and it took four months for the 11-page opinion to be released. Two liberal justices, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented. It is something of a tradition for new justices to be assigned a case in which the court is unanimous for their first opinion, but it doesn't always happen. Both of Trump's other nominees, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, wrote unanimous first opinions. Sotomayor also got a unanimous opinion for her first assignment, but President Barack Obama's other nominee, Justice Elena Kagan, was assigned a first opinion where the court divided 8-1. The opinion Barrett wrote involved the environmental group the Sierra Club, which sued seeking access to federal government documents involving certain structures used to cool industrial equipment and their potential harm to endangered wildlife. Barrett began by explaining that FOIA makes “records available to the public upon request, unless those records fall within one of nine exemptions.” Those exemptions include “documents generated during an agency’s deliberations about a policy, as opposed to documents that embody or explain a policy that the agency adopts.” Barrett said the documents the Sierra Club was seeking were draft documents that did not need to be disclosed. And she dismissed concerns the group had raised that ruling against it would encourage officials to “stamp every document ‘draft’” to avoid disclosing them. Barrett said that if “evidence establishes that an agency has hidden a functionally final decision in draft form” then it won’t be protected from disclosure requirements. Barrett's predecessor on the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, liked to recount that she was assigned a “miserable” case involving a federal law about pensions for her first opinion, a case on which the court had divided 6-3. She said that though she and the court's first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, were on different sides of the case, when she announced the opinion in court, O'Connor passed her a note that said: “This is your first opinion for the Court, it is a fine one, I look forward to many more.” Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the justices are not currently announcing their decisions in the courtroom but only posting them online. Barrett's opinion Thursday was not the first writing the public has seen from her as a justice. Last month, she wrote a paragraph-long concurring opinion in a case in which the justices told the state of California that it can’t bar indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic, but could maintain a ban on singing and chanting indoors. Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press
(Note: This report of the Minutes for the January 13, 2021 council meeting for the RM of Hoodoo No. 401 was written with the approval of Reeve Derreck Kolla, without any corrections that may have been made at the February 12, 2021 meeting, as the adopted minutes were not yet available. Any corrections will be noted and published in the next edition of the Wakaw Recorder.) The regular meeting of the RM of Hoodoo No. 401 was held on January 13, 2021 with the following in attendance: Reeve Derreck Kolla, Councillors Hal Diederichs, Eugene Jungwirth, Reg Wedewer, Donavin Reding, Bruce Cron and Don Gabel along with Administrator Joan Corneil. Councillor Wedewer attended via telephone. Deputy Reeve Reding called the meeting to order at 8:21 am and Cllr. Diederichs moved the adoption of the agenda as presented. Crd. Cllr. Jungwirth then moved that the December 9, 2020 Regular Meeting minutes be approved as corrected. As there were no Notices of Proclamations, presentations, public hearings, or delegations to present to Council the meeting moved forward to Communications. A letter was received in December from Saskatchewan Municipal Hail Insurance detailing the number of claims within the municipality. Cllr. Wedewer moved that it be received and filed Crd. *Garth Burkart entered Chambers at 10:05 am prior to the Foreman’s Report. The Foreman’s report detailed the jobs the foreman had been working on in the month of December and asked for council’s direction going forward. Cllr. Jungwirth moved that the Foreman’s report for December be accepted. Crd. Cllr. Wedewer moved that the Foreman is authorized to order a liner for the lagoon, start the sludge removal using BTI Trucking for sludge removal, stockpiling rocks (for road construction project) and road maintenance, and order Thibault’s culvert. Crd. The Administrator then presented her report after which Cllr. Cron moved that the report from the Administrator for December 9, 2020 to January 13, 2021 be accepted. Crd. Cllr. Gabel moved that the invoice received from the Rural Municipal Administrators Association in the amount of $400.00 be paid and that amount to be included in the budget. Crd. The Financial reports presented by Fay Stewart included the December 2020 bank reconciliation and bank statement, December 2020 financial summary and a detailed report, as well as the list of accounts for approval as of January 13th, 2021. Cllr. Diederichs moved that the CFO report be accepted as presented. Crd. Cllr. Diederichs also moved that the Financial Statements and Bank reconciliation for December 31, 2020 be approved. Crd. *Reeve Kolla entered the Chambers at 10:23 am and resumed the Chair. Cllr. Diederichs moved to approve the following Lists of Accounts with cheques #27821 – 27894 totalling $791,406.81. Crd. Cllr. Gabel further moved that the payment to the Town of Cudwsorth for shared fire costs in the amount of $2,844.37 be paid. Crd. Cllr. Cron moved the SaskWater Logs and Reports for the months of September, October and November 2020 were received and filed. Crd. A motion was made by Reeve Kolla that Council move to Committee of the Whole-in camera at 11:15 am to discuss land, legal, labour and/or strategic planning according to the Municipalities Act Section 120. Crd. *Council recessed for lunch at 12:10 pm and reconvened at 1:13 pm. A motion was made by Reeve Kolla the Council reconvene to Regular Council meeting at 1:22 pm. Crd. Clr. Reding moved that Madsine Madsen be paid for overtime hours worked in the period 2016 to 2018 inclusive in the amount of eight thousand five hundred and twenty-three dollars and fifty-three cents ($8,523.53) less deductions. Crd. The Reeve and Councillors forum followed with the discussion of length of meetings and remuneration (Cllr. Gabel), gravel and RM of St Louis (Cllr. Jungwirth), T4 slip error (Cllr. Reding), and interest from the RM of Aberdeen regarding the purchase of equipment (Reeve Kolla). Items under Unfinished Business were next addressed by council, the first being the appointment of a Pest Control Officer. Cllr. Wedewer moved that council authorizes administration to advertise for a new joint pest control officer for the RM of Hoodoo & RM of Three Lakes for 2021. Crd. The next item related to a previous motion made by council pertaining to the Road Maintenance Agreement with the RM of St. Louis. The RM of St. Louis wrote back rejecting councils request for an increase in the fees paid in the Agreement. Cllr. Jungwirth moved that the correspondence be received and filed. Crd. SGI has opened a grant program called the Provincial Traffic Safety Fund Grant. The program provides funding for digital solar speed signs, Cllr. Deiderichs moved that administration is authorized to apply to SGI for a grant to cover the cost of digital solar speed signs and that the CAO is authorized to sign the agreement if approved by SGI and order the sign(s). Crd. Cllr. Diederichs moved that the following list of Committee Appointments be approved for the Standing Committees: (Reeve is ex-officio on all Standing Committees) Budget: Cllrs. Reding and Gable; Human Resources: Cllrs. Jungwirth and Redewer; OH&S: Cllrs. Diederichs and Cron; Road Committee: Cllrs. Wedewer and Jungwirth; Fire Committee: Cllrs. Diederichs and Wedewer; and to the Outside Boards and Committees Carrot River Valley Watershed Authority: Cllr. Gable alternate Cllr. Cron; Cudworth Community Health Council: Reeve Kolla and CAO; Cudworth Recreation Board: Reeve Kolla; Lakeview Pioneer Lodge: Cllr. Gable; North Central Transportation Planning Committee: Cllr. Cron; REACT: Cllr. Diederichs; St. Michael’s Haven: Cllrs. Diederichs and Wedewer; Wakaw Community Health Council: Cllr. Cron and CAO; Wakaw Regional Park: Cllrs. Cron and Reding; Wakaw Lake Stewardship Group: Cllr. Cron and Madsine Madsen; Wakaw Recreation Board: Cllr. Gable. Crd. Cllr. Cron moved that the quotes received for cyber liability insurance be referred to budget. Crd. The final old business to be dealt with was a request from a ratepayer to waive the tax enforcement charge levied against their 2019 tax arrears, Cllr. Gable moved that the request be received and filed. Crd. The next agenda item was New Business and the first new business presented related to the regular Council meeting dates. Cllr. Wedewer moved that administration be directed to post the Regular Council Meeting dates of the RM of Hoodoo No. 401 as the second Wednesday of each month commencing January 1, 2021 except for the months of May and September, those months to be at the call of the Reeve. Crd. Next Cllr. Jungwirth made a motion relating to the subdivision application for the south half of Section 20-42-26 W2. Cllr. Jungwirth moved that administration is directed to respond to Government Relations – Community Planning that the proposed subdivision of S ½ Sec. 20-42-26 W2M that the intended use Agricultural is not in conflict with surrounding land uses, that there are no RM facilities that will be affected by the subdivision and that a servicing agreement will be required for the construction of the Service road that connects parcels D, F, and G and that the RM is in favour of the subdivision. Crd. The 2021 firefighter appointments for the Hoodoo/Wakaw Fire: Ray Beaumann - Chief, Albert Venne – Deputy Chief, Jeff Kohle – Captain, Brandon Piche – Captain, Terry Oleksyn, Dennet Boschman, Josh Haussecker, Gilbert Maraboto, Rob Michayluk, Jayden Rudichuk, Gregory Frie, Jackson Skoworodko, Cullen Giesbrecht, Tyler Skoworodko (Junior), Darryl Giesbrecht, Matthew Stan, and Steve Tarnowski; Hoodoo/Cudworth Fire: Dar LaRiviere – Chief, Brent Koenning – Deputy Chief, Dallas Baumann – Captain, Dallas Leuschen – Lieutenant, Aaron Hadland, Amanda Sosnowski – First Responder, Amy Loeffelholz – Firefighter/First Responder, Anna-Marie Baumann – First Responder, Anthony Malach, Robin Leuschen – Firefighter/First Responder, Jelmer Wiersma, Clayton Lingel, Jesse Medernach – Firefighter/First Responder, John Eckel – Firefighter/First Responder, Kolby Leuschen, Kreig Lieffers, Kris Lieffers, Marissa Parker, Patrick Miazga, Karis Leuschen (Junior), Robin Leuschen – Firefighter/First Responder, Sheldon Doetzel. Crd. Cllr. Gabel moved that fire agreements fee schedules and wages be received and filed. Crd. Concerning the 2021 Hamlet allocation for the 2021 Municipal Levy, Cllr. Cron moved that Council authorizes the 2021 Hamlet allocation to be set at 40% for the 2021 Municipal Levy for Balone Beach Hamlet and Cudsaskwa Beach Hamlet. Crd. The Declaration of Eligibility must be submitted by January 31, 2021 and Cllr. Reding moved that Council confirms that the RM of Hoodoo No. 401 meets the eligibility requirements to receive the municipal sharing grants and authorizes the Administrator to sign the Declaration of Eligibility and submit to the Ministry of Government Relations. Crd. The next item on the agenda was the approval of the application of a new septic hauler. Cllr. Cron moved that Todd Briens operating under Water Security permit for Bruce MacDougall be given temporary permission for one month to haul septic to RM of Hoodoo lagoons pending approval of Water Security Agency-permission will be and annual renewal, and that the Reeve is authorized to sign the documents related to obtaining Water Security approval. Crd. Cllr. Redding moved that a resolution be sent to SARM for consideration at the 2021 Annual SARM meeting regarding an amendment to the Planning and Development Act or a Ministerial resolution to exempt Rural Municipalities from being required to receive Ministerial Approval when making changes to their Zoning Bylaws. Crd. In that Madsine Madsen is in the process of stepping down from her duties with the RM, Cllr. Wedewer moved that the Reeve and CAO are authorized to sign the resolution regarding the MasterCard agreement through Conexus Credit Union and that the card issued to Madsine Madsen be discontinued and a new one issued in the name of Fay Stewart, that card to have a limit of $5000. Crd. Cllr. Jungwirth moved that the Employee Bonds and Insurance Report be acknowledged. Crd. With the annual SARM membership fee be due in February, Cllr. Diederichs moved that Council authorizes administration to prepare the cheque to pay for annual SARM membership fees for 2021. Crd. Another annual necessity is the maintenance and re-certification of the RM weigh scale, Cllr. Gabel moved that Council authorizes administration to engage Industrial Scale to come and perform the annual maintenance and re-certification on the RM weigh scale. Crd. In 2020 the RM of Hoodoo applied for grant money to have the RM office renovated and an addition attached. Cllr. Cron moved that Council authorizes administration to contact CADvantage Design Ltd. To proceed with preparing a building plan for the office renovation and addition. Crd. On March 22, 2021 the RM of Hoodoo’s permit to operate a waterworks will expire and a new one is required to be executed before the expiration of the current one, in order for the water stations to remain operational. Cllr. Reding moved that Council authorizes administration to contact Water Security Agency and inform them there are no objections or lack of it to the terms and conditions of the draft permit to operate a waterworks. Crd. A request was received by the administration to lease or purchase one of the lagoon buildings, Cllr. Wedewer moved that the request be received and filed. Crd. The date for the next meeting is January 15, 2021 at 9 am and again at 9:30 am. Reeve Kolla moved the meeting be adjourned at 4:42 pm. Crd. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
A first-of-its-kind grassroots networking event has a youth social agency in Kamloops confident it has the ear of government, with a summary report forthcoming. Staff from A Way Home Kamloops Society, who have experienced homelessness in their youth, pitched solutions for ending youth homelessness to provincial government representatives and service providers recently at a virtual conference they organized. Aging out of foster care, substance use, mental health, cultural supports, LGBTQ2S+ experiences, education and employment were up for discussion via Zoom meetings. “If even this only plants the seed for change, that’s incredible because there’s still more to come,” said Kira Cheeseborough said, peer navigator for A Way Home Kamloops. A two-day summit with provincial representatives — as originally planned prior to the pandemic — is still expected to take place sometime in the near future, when COVID-19 restrictions ease. At the virtual event, A Way Home Kamloops youth advisors stressed the need to ensure no youth ages out of foster care before safe, appropriate housing and after-care supports are available as a key solution to ending youth homelessness. Another recommendation was to create a provincial plan. “If we can prevent youth from experiencing homelessness, it doesn’t become a pathway to adult homelessness,” Cheeseborough said. The three-hour virtual event drew 57 attendees, with representatives from BC Housing, the Attorney General’s office, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, including Minister Mitzi Dean, and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, including Minister Sheila Malcolmson. Cheeseborough said a report of key findings and feedback from attendees will be made public in mid-March. Minister Dean said the MCFD is working to improve services and supports for those who are transitioning from government care, noting input from youth and young adults will play a key role in shaping those services. “Hearing directly from young people is critical to better understanding how we can meet their unique needs and I am grateful to everyone who shared their story,” Dean said. Youth Advisor Mel Hedch told KTW she is happy they were able to have the ear of key decision-makers in the field as it means they have a greater chance of improving the situations of homeless youth in B.C. “It was so exciting to have them and I look forward to, in the future, the different summit and conference we’ll have, where we’ll be expanding so much than we already have,” Hedch said. Last year, A Way Home Kamloops organized what was to be a localized event, dubbed the Light The Way Youth Homelessness Conference, but it was expanded in scope to include provincial representatives — something Cheeseborough credits to the work of the organization’s late executive director, Katherine McParland. The event, however, was delayed last summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, which is why the virtual Youth Homelessness Preliminary Summit proceeded this year. “The preliminary summit was an opportunity for the youth advisors to be celebrated in their resiliency and strength, not only through COVID, but in the tragic passing of Katherine McParland. She was an incredible leader,” Cheeseborough said. McParland, 33, died suddenly in Kamloops on Dec. 5, 2020. Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week
LONDON — British police said Thursday that they will not launch a criminal investigation into the journalist Martin Bashir over his 1995 interview with Princess Diana. The Metropolitan Police force said “no further action will be taken” over allegations Bashir used illegal subterfuge to get the interview. Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has alleged that Bashir used false documents, including fake bank statements, and other dishonest tactics to convince Diana to agree to the interview. Police Commander Alex Murray said detectives had “carefully assessed” the allegations and sought advice from lawyers. “Following this detailed assessment and in view of the advice we received, we have determined that it is not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into these allegations,” he said. “No further action will be taken. “In this matter, as in any other, should any significant new evidence come to light we will assess it," he added. The BBC has begun its own investigation, led by a retired judge, into the circumstances surrounding the program. The interview, in which Diana famously said “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles — was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy. Diana divorced from Charles in 1996 and died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was pursued by paparazzi. Charles married Camilla, now the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. The Associated Press
From spring through fall, it’s not unusual to find Beck Aurell swinging from limb to limb through the crowns of Island oak, maple or poplar trees. Gear similar to a rock climber’s holds her safely in the tree and she carries a pruning saw or chainsaw at her side. “I might be the only female bodied climbing arborist on PEI,” Beck said, explaining that arborists are tree workers with specialized skills and certifications. They typically focus on managing and taking care of trees in residential areas. She was most recently employed with Laird Tree Care out of Cardigan. While Beck identifies as gender non-binary she is perceived by most as female and is comfortable with she/her or they/them pronouns. This puts her at odds with the majority of people she has worked with in Canada and around the world. Beck loves outdoor, hands-on work and any day she can help preserve the life of a tree is a good day in her opinion. She said making her way into a male dominated field of work wasn’t particularly easy but there were a few things that lifted her up into the treetops. “My dad was very helpful,” she said. Beck’s father owns an arborist business in New Brunswick and encouraged her to challenge herself by climbing in her teens. “It was something fun we did together and he never questioned if I could do it.” While the average arborist seems to be a tall bulky or lean guy, Beck has found smart techniques and tools tend to level the playing field. With a 5 foot 2 inch tall female body, she is stronger than some might expect. Beck said sometimes customers meet her with surprised comments like “Oh, are you doing the work?” or “Where’s the foreman?” when she is the team lead for the day. “It might be hard to believe, but it doesn’t actually take a 6-foot bulky man to transport logs from point A to B, to work hard all day, or to do the work we do efficiently,” she said. Luckily most customers meet her with supportive comments. “Customers that are older women especially seem supportive, I think it might be because they’ve seen so much change over the years.” Beck said local queer and some feminist communities have been a tremendous source of support and their ideas have helped her the whole way through. “Queer communities tend to share the idea, if it feels right for you, break gender expectations without fear or embarrassment, with pride,” she said. “They’ve really showed me there are different ways to be a person that don’t fit specific gender roles.” Beyond that, seeing female arborists in the industry when she worked in Sweden or at events (like women’s arborist skills camps in the US or in iternational arborist climbing competitions) reassured her that she could succeed in this line of work. Co-workers who have welcomed her into group environments and given her the opportunity to do what she is capable of without underestimating her abilities have also played a helpful part. “Most of my co-workers have been great,” Beck said. “Most don’t think twice about having me on the crew and working together, especially once they see I am capable and reliable.” “This means a lot because sometimes it takes a minute for some of the guys to settle with the idea that I’ll be climbing and working on the same level or even as a leader with them. “Sometimes when a crew shows up on a job they’re not expecting a blonde woman in her 20s to be the foreman and there seems to be a bit of an ego thing that can go on. “Sometimes there is some pushback but for the most part, it’s no problem.” Beck said her crew on PEI has been an excellent and fun team to work with. She has some advice for anyone considering a field of work that may seem unusual for their gender. “Don’t be afraid to break expectations and don’t underestimate yourself,” she said. “And if you can’t find anyone supportive, give me a call.” Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic