Looks like Samo refuses to leave!
Looks like Samo refuses to leave!
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
People wanting to catch a CTrain at one underground station on the Green Line downtown may have to head to the middle of the street to get to the platform. The picture on the city's website shows the public entranceway to the future Seventh Avenue underground station as being in the middle of Second Street S.W. The city says it's merely a conceptual rendering. But according to one city councillor, it's an idea that the city could use if it can't negotiate access to the underground station through nearby buildings. Coun. Druh Farrell said the future station will be an incredibly important one. It's where the Green Line will intersect with the existing Red and Blue lines which run on the surface of Seventh Avenue downtown. "I'm not all that fussed with the quality of the design of the entryway exactly. That can change," said Farrell. "This is purely conceptual but they're looking at ways to connect these important lines together." Talks continue She said there are plenty of negotiations ongoing between the city and downtown building owners about underground connection with Green Line stations. In the space where the picture shows the station entrance, today there are four northbound vehicle lanes. According to the city, the rendering shows that a single lane would remain for vehicle traffic on Second Street. Farrell said that shouldn't be a huge concern, as it's the east-west avenues downtown which see high traffic volumes in the core. "Not all of our streets are well used. A lot of the streets in the downtown actually have fairly low traffic volumes. It's more the avenues." Highly visible The head of the LRT on the Green Foundation, Jeff Binks, expressed surprise at the picture. "Part of the benefit of the underground alignment was to try and minimize the impact on vehicle traffic," said Binks. But he said one advantage this kind of station entrance has over those in neighbouring buildings is it would be highly visible. "The one plus to seeing this rendering is they seemed to listen to that part of the feedback they got from Calgarians. It's a nice looking rendering," Binks said. "It is a station that looks like it will be very easy for them to find and deliver them directly to that train platform below, which is what Calgarians have said they wanted." The city said station integration with neighbouring properties is a primary objective for the underground portion of the Green Line and it is actively pursuing station entrances in existing or future developments. But the Green Line team said if that can't be achieved, then entryway options in the road right-of-way will be considered. Procurement paused Construction on the $5.5 billion Green Line is tentatively slated to start later this year. However, procurement work on the southeast portion of the line was paused in December while the city and the United Conservative government discuss provincial concerns about the city's plan for the project. Design and technical assessment work is continuing on the second portion of the line, which includes a 2.3-kilometre tunnel downtown. So far, more than $600 million in federal, provincial and city money has been spent in the past several years on preparations for construction. That spending covered things such as enabling works, planning and land acquisition for the city's next LRT line.
THE LATEST: Health officials have called off their regular Thursday briefing to hold a Friday-morning news conference instead. 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths were reported Thursday afternoon. There are currently 4,450 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. 309 people are in hospital, with 68 in the ICU. 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. There is new community cluster in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, but six have been declared over. On Thursday, B.C. health officials announced 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 309 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care. Hospitalizations are now at their lowest level since Nov. 28 A total of 1,119 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Henry and Dix said a new community cluster has been detected in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, and six outbreaks have been declared over. So far, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. Health officials cancelled their regular COVID-19 briefing Thursday as they prepared to update the province's strategy for immunization against the virus, and the daily update was provided in a written statement instead. Henry and Dix will join a news conference Friday with Premier John Horgan and Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization rollout. The four are expected to comment on the next steps in the immunization program that has been complicated by a hiccup in vaccine supply from Pfizer-BioNTech. Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Canada had reported 724,670 cases of COVID-19, and 18,462 total deaths. A total of 68,413 cases are considered active. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Researchers have said around 52,000 deaths in Europe could be prevented each year if emissions are cut to WHO guidelines. View on euronews
A 42-year-old woman has been fined under the Saskatchewan Public Health Act for breaching COVID-19 public health orders last week. Just after 6 a.m. on Jan. 14, Regina police said they received a complaint of a woman, who had tested positive for the virus, not obeying her isolation order and inviting guests into her home. When officers arrived at the woman's house in the 800 block of Elphinstone Street, police said they found another person there, who was asked to leave. After confirming the 42-year-old was COVID-positive and her isolation order was valid, police, in consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, fined her on Wednesday. Regina police said this is the 11th such ticket they have issued in the city.
ORANGEVILLE, Ont. — A senior staff member at an Ontario hospital has retired after a relative was vaccinated against COVID-19 at a clinic intended for health-care workers. Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ont., has apologized for what it’s calling an isolated incident on Jan. 14. The centre won’t name the individual beyond the title “staff director,” citing privacy reasons. The CEO says the employee's relative was at the hospital for another reason and was vaccinated during a break in scheduled appointments. Kim Delahunt calls it one person's “failure in sound decision-making,” and that health-care leaders must be held to a higher standard. Delahunt says the individual decided to retire after the incident, adding that the hospital is “deeply sorry.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. home construction jumped 5.8% in December to 1.67 million units, ending a strong year for home building. The better-than-expected gain followed an increase of 9.8% in November, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Housing has been one of the star performers this year even as the overall economy has been wracked by the coronavirus. Record-low mortgage rates and the desire of many people to move to larger homes during the extended stay-at-home period has fueled demand. For December, construction of single-family homes increased 12%. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
TC Energy Corp will eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs in coming weeks and halt work on the Keystone XL oil pipeline after U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the project's presidential permit, the company said in an email to employees. Biden's decision to cancel the permit is seen as the project's death knell, after more than a decade of legal battles and shifting fortunes based on who held office in the White House. "I believe this will send a concerning signal to infrastructure developers that resonates far beyond our project and will stifle innovation for a practical transition towards sustainable energy," said KXL President Richard Prior in the email, sent on Wednesday and seen by Reuters.
LONDON — Britain’s Glastonbury music festival has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic for the second year in a row. Organizers Michael Eavis and Emily Eavis said Thursday that “In spite of our efforts to move heaven & earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year.” “We are so sorry to let you all down,” they said in a statement. They said everyone who had put down a deposit on tickets for the 2020 festival, which also was cancelled, would be able to attend in 2022. The festival has been held almost annually since 1970, drawing up to 150,000 people to the Eavis’ Worthy Farm in southwest England. Last year’s 50th anniversary event, which had been due to feature Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the Pet Shop Boys and Paul McCartney, was cancelled in March as the virus began to sweep the U.K. Father and daughter Michael and Emily Eavis thanked fans “for your incredible continued support and let’s look forward to better times ahead.” The Associated Press
While Municipalities of Saskatchewan President Gordon Barnhart remains out of province on vacation, members of the organization said they are still in the dark about his plans to return. Barnhart did comment on his vacation to Hawaii with his wife for a Jan. 19 story written by Gary Horseman, a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with the Four-Town Journal. The Journal covers Saltcoats, the town where Barnhart is the mayor. “For the last nine years, Naomi and I have spent Christmas and January in Maui. This year, with COVID-19, we took extra precautions to ensure that our health and the health of those around us would be safe,” Barnhart told the Journal. “Before leaving for our vacation, I discussed with the Saltcoats council and administration how we could keep in contact while away. While in Maui, we both have been keeping up with work by email and phone, FaceTime and Zoom. As mayor of Saltcoats, I am in touch with councillors and administration on a daily basis. Arrangements have been made for me to fulfill my administrative duties by distance and I have been able to chair council meetings by Zoom. I take my role as mayor very seriously and believe I have been able to fulfill my duties to the best of my ability while still taking a holiday with my wife,” Barnhart continued. The fact that Barnhart has been taking precautions while travelling is great, said Naicam Mayor Rodger Hayward, Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s vice-president of towns, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that elected officials like Barnhart should be taking public health orders to not travel seriously. “As municipal leaders, we have a duty to lead by example, following all public health measures, orders and advisories. The premier has asked everyone to not do unnecessary travel and especially out-of-country travel,” he said. In Barnhart’s comments to the Four-Town Journal, he really didn’t address that key issue, Hayward said. While Municipalities of Saskatchewan is busy preparing for their upcoming virtual convention, Hayward said he is sure the president’s travel will be part of the conversation. “It'll be a little different because it's a virtual convention and it’s our very first one, so we'll see how it goes. But I'm sure it'll be a topic there. The office of president and the rest of the executive is up for election this year, as well.” Barnhart has not been in contact with Hayward as of Jan. 20. Hayward said he was in contact with only one other board member of Municipalities of Saskatchewan to give the same information that was given to the Four-Town Journal. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Timmins' Indigenous Advisory Committee is moving ahead with taking Indigenous relations training. At the virtual committee meeting Wednesday, members voted in favour of taking training offered by Bob Joseph, the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act and the founder of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. The committee’s interim chair Kristin Murray said it’s more of a self-guided training that can be entered in groups of up to 30 people and that can be completed at an individual pace. The previously suggested training, The San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Training Program, was off the table because some elements of the training weren’t always offered, Murray said. “Not all of our staff could jump on board and get that training at once, which was the downside,” said Murray. During the committee’s last meeting in December, members agreed to take a training program before deciding whether they want to recommend the training for city employees. “There’s racism in the city. Even before we do all this training ourselves, we have to try get out there and try to educate the public,” committee member Irene Camillo said during Wednesday’s meeting. Stacey Vincent Cress of Waubetek Business Development Corporation, who attended the meeting as a guest, said taking online training shouldn’t be “a tick box exercise”. “Something is better than nothing," he said. "However, if we’re going to have some Indigenous awareness and competency training … if you’re going to train 500 members of the community plus the committee, plus the general population, you need to be able to sit and speak with some people on some of the issues that you can’t get from a computer program.” Murray noted the discussions about taking the training have been going on for two years, and there has also been a discussion about taking localized training. “But that’s going to take time. By the time we put these things together, it will be years, it will be after our term as a committee,” she said. “Some of these training opportunities are not click-through, you have to be able to engage.” If approved by council, this will be the first cultural awareness training for city employees since the Ontario Human Rights Commission's visit to Timmins in 2018. Murray said the hope would be to have the members complete the training by the next committee meeting in March. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Hugo Paiz says he's gotten the run around, been laughed at, and spent countless hours worrying about his finances, during his nearly year-long dispute with Enmax over his January, 2020 bill which saw his electricity charges spike from a typical $80 per month to $1,527.28. Paiz says he, his wife and his daughter tried calling and emailing Enmax repeatedly to try to convince them it made a mistake — only to be continually pressured to pay up. Then this week Paiz's daughter reached out to CBC News in desperation and within about a day of CBC intervening, the company admitted it made a mistake. Now, Paiz hopes his story will help others avoid the same anxiety and stress he and his family experienced for months. "For me, coronavirus, it wasn't that bad the whole year, it was worse what they've been doing to me because you can see the papers, message and letters doing everything they can to make me to pay the bills, which I never use," said Hugo Paiz, 61, from his home in southeast Calgary. His daughter broke down in tears talking about the toll the ordeal has taken on her parents. "It's been tough because it's weighed on them, you know. My dad doesn't want to cry, my mother doesn't want to cry, but I can tell they're hurting," said Talia Paiz, Hugo's daughter. Enmax told CBC News their investigation discovered the meter was being misread and the family had been overcharged. "This was a case of human error by one of our readers of the meter, and it was due to the age and the weathering visual condition, condition of the front of Mr. Paiz's meter," said Corry Poole, vice-president of customer service at Enmax. But Paiz's daughter says while the company's acknowledgement brings relief, it doesn't take away what her mother and father went through trying to resolve the billing error. "Their words will never, ever fix what was already said to him and the mistreatment they did him," said Talia Paiz. 'No one would listen' Hugo Paiz lives with his wife and their 18-year-old son in a duplex in Penbrooke Meadows in southeast Calgary. Originally from Guatemala, he's been renting the same home for 13 years after moving from Toronto. The couple both work — he at a bottling facility, she at a potato chip manufacturing plant, while their son goes to school. They have four other children, including Talia, who live on their own. Hugo says he remembers opening his Enmax bill last year and going into shock when he read the total — a whopping $2044.95. "I almost fall with a heart attack the day I see the bill," said Paiz. He says he immediately went line by line to figure out why his bill was so high when he noticed a charge of more than $1,500 for his electricity. His bill includes gas, electricity, water, wastewater, storm water as well as garbage and recycling fees. He says he called Enmax representatives to explain that there was no way the three of them could have used that much electricity in one month. He says his family keeps a tight budget and are cognizant of turning lights off. The only extra draw they have on their electricity, he says, is a fish tank. But instead of any real solutions, he says he got patched from person to person. Paiz says one representative told him to hire an electrician to locate the problem, and so his landlord did. CBC News spoke to the landlord and the electrician. The electrician says he inspected the home and didn't find any problems, but says he did notice the meter reading on Paiz's bill didn't match what he was reading — rather it was much higher. The electrician then wrote a letter on Paiz's behalf to give to Enmax — which was shared with CBC News — but Paiz's daughter says Enmax said it didn't want to see it. "The first thing I got was laugh, someone started laughing and saying that because it was a third party and everything they weren't going to accept it," said Talia Paiz. "It's just no one would listen." Enmax calls it a 'learning opportunity' In the meantime, the company continued to request the money. Paiz ended up paying an extra $160 on his bills for three months for a total of $480. The family was also forced to pay a $425 deposit. The family says it kept asking Enmax to come to their house and check their meter to see if there was something wrong with it, but nobody did. However, after being contacted by CBC News, Enmax sent someone to check the meter and discovered the problem. The meter was working fine, but it had weathered and was being misread by the meter reader. Enmax then swapped the meter for a digital one. CBC News asked Enmax about the Paiz family's allegations of being mistreated over the phone. With respect to the laughter and the refusal to take the electrician's letter which said it appeared the meter was being misread, Poole, the vice-president of customer service at Enmax, says it's unfortunate the person refused it because any information is helpful in an investigation. "It was a complex issue. I can see when I review the account that many people were involved in trying to resolve this for the customer, but it certainly took too long and much longer than what we strive for and so we're using this as a learning opportunity here at Enmax," she said. 'Should have been fixed in a week' Hugo Paiz says the company has now apologized for the way he was treated and told him this problem "should have been resolved in a week" based on an initial email the family sent that contained a photo of their electricity meter after they got the bill. At the time, the company's email response said the photo only backed up the company's claims, but Poole now says it appears the company representative didn't take a close enough look at the photo to see that the meter had been weathered and had obscured dials. "Unfortunately, that is one of our learning opportunities there around the visual inspection of ... the photo of the meter when it comes in and what to look for and that's definitely something we've learned from here," said Poole. The company has also told Paiz it is working on resolving the bill and refunding both the overpayment and the deposit with interest. Paiz hopes the company does learn from his situation and creates a better system for customers who are disputing an overcharge so they are not forced to either go to the media or to court. "Start investigating the cases right away, don't let the people suffer years and years, months and months before they start putting any attention," said Paiz. For those who are having trouble with their utility bill there is another option. People can contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate. It issued the following statement in regards to this story: If Albertans have exhausted all known avenues to resolve a dispute with their electricity or natural gas provider, the mediation officers from Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) are available to contact the utility provider to advocate on the consumer's behalf. Mediation officers are knowledgeable about utility regulations, including terms and conditions, and can help steer the focus of a dispute toward problem solving. Mediation outcomes vary depending on the nature of the complaint, but can result in identifying and correcting previously unknown issues, establishing payment arrangements, or reducing incorrect billing. UCA Mediation services are available to small business, farm and residential utility consumers. Interpretation services are also available. Albertans with questions or concerns about their utility bill can contact the UCA at 310-4822 or visit ucahelps.alberta.ca for more information about the resources and services they provide.
More than a week into the work stoppage at the Burleigh Falls dam project, Parks Canada has issued a statement regarding the land defenders and their rights to the land within their treaty territory. “The Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationships with Indigenous Peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, collaboration, and partnership,” says David Britton, director of Ontario waterways. Kawartha Nishnawbe land defenders in Burleigh Falls blocked work on the dam project on Jan. 13 after they say they were not consulted about the project. Parks Canada did consult with Curve Lake First Nation in previous meetings, and recently at a Jan 6, 2021 online virtual meeting stated the organization did consult with Kawartha Nishnawbe in 2016. “Parks Canada has offered to meet with Kawartha Nishnawbe,” adds Britton. “Not to my knowledge has there been any consultation with Kawartha Nishnawbe in 2016 regarding the replacement of the dam,” said Nodin Webb, spokesperson for Kawartha Nishnawbe. He went on to say Parks Canada is falsely claiming they consulted with the community as a whole in 2016. “I also do not believe Parks Canada is respecting us, if anything, they’ve ignored us,” adds Webb. Parks Canada says they remain available and hope to connect in a meaningful way through this process. “Parks Canada continues to meet with Curve Lake First Nation and other Williams Treaty First Nations on the upcoming phases of work for the Burleigh Falls dam replacement project and are working together to develop fisheries monitoring and mitigation plans,” says Britton. “We are fully aware of the litigation in court and we will not comment on the issue at this time. The part of the court litigation lies with Crown Indigenous Relations Services Canada,” added Britton. Curve Lake Chief Emily Whetung issued an official statement on the blockade. “Many of our members harvest in or near Burleigh Falls Dam area, and our goal through our consultation process with Parks Canada has been to protect the impacts on the species that our members harvest,” says Chief Whetung. The statement also says while Curve Lake First Nation recognizes the complicated history of the Kawartha Nishnawbe, their relationship to the land at Burleigh Falls, and their assertion with the Federal Government and Curve Lake respect that they have an independent perspective. “The Burleigh Falls Dam is located within the recognized pre-confederation and Williams Treaties Territory and we feel a responsibility to protect the environment and species in the area as the reconstruction project moves forward.” Parks Canada says there are do not know the full cost of the stoppage, but did say there is no impact on the spawning season. Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
MADRID — A regional election in Catalonia, initially set for next month, remains up in the air after a court took a preliminary decision Thursday against a 3-month delay ordered by the northeastern Spanish region’s government due to the surge of COVID-19. The Catalonia High Court said that, pending a final decision on the matter before Feb. 8, the election should preventively be kept for Feb. 14 instead of pushing it back to May 30. The court said arguments for its initial decision would be published Friday. The timing leaves little choice to half a dozen political parties divided along the lines of left and right, but also between support or opposition for the region's independence, other than to begin preparations for the vote. The regional Catalan government, in the hands of a separatist coalition, had argued that a delay was needed as the peak of hospital admissions in the current surge in infections would be reached just days before the planned election date. All political parties in the regional vote had agreed to the postponement except for the regional Socialists, whose candidate has the best chances of winning the vote in mid-February according to a Thursday poll by CIS, Spain’s official polling institute. The leading candidate is Salvador Illa, currently serving as the country’s health minister and in charge of the pandemic response. His candidacy was announced in late December. Catalonia's Socialist Party, which is the regional chapter of the main partner in the national ruling centre-left coalition, has not been in power in Catalonia since 2006. The CIS poll predicted the Socialists could win up to 35 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament, above the possible 33 lawmakers projected for the Republican Left pro-independence party. Illa was the preferred choice as regional chief for 22% of those quizzed, twice the popularity of his nearest competitor, Laura Borràs, of the pro-independence Together for Catalonia party, which is currently in power with the Republican Left. The centre quizzed 4,106 people by telephone between Jan. 2 and Jan-15. The poll has a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points. As elsewhere in Spain, virus contagion has surged sharply in recent weeks in the powerful northeastern region, whose capital is Barcelona. With 2,844 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Thursday — 621 of them in intensive care — regional authorities expect ICUs to reach a maximum expanded capacity of 900 beds occupied by coronavirus patients in the coming weeks. The region’s political situation is still heavily dominated by the jailing in 2019 of nine political figures for their role in a secession push two years earlier. The separatist movement, which is supported by roughly half the region’s 7.5 million residents, wants to create a republic in the wealthy northeast corner of Spain. Aritz Parra And CiaráN Giles, The Associated Press
The Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) have identified the victims of a double homicide in Fort Erie as two young women from Windsor and Toronto. Police say the victims are Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor, and Christina Crooks, 18, of Toronto. The information came hours after officers revealed more details about the incidents that led up to a double homicide in a Fort Erie home on the Niagara Parkway. NRPS say a group of people, some who don't live in the Niagara region, were at the home on Jan. 18. The home was a short-term rental. Someone fired a gun, and people left the house before officers arrived. Police found the two dead women in the home and say both had "obvious trauma to their bodies." Detectives are trying to identify anyone who was at the home, but the investigation is still in its infancy. Despite this, they don't believe there's an immediate threat to public safety. Police say, as they look for evidence, they will search the Niagara River with dive teams, resulting in closures between Black Creek Road and Switch Road. Police expect a presence in the area for days. "Homicide detectives are appealing to anyone who may reside or have a business in the area of the scene that has security cameras, doorbell cameras or dashboard cameras to contact them. They may have captured something that could assist the investigation," reads a release from police. Police find takeout food order at the scene Detectives said on Thursday afternoon they found a takeout food order at the scene. Inside a grey, plastic bag with "923" written on it was a white Styrofoam container with a cheeseburger, fries, chicken wings, celery, carrots and blue cheese dip. The bag also contained five ketchup packets from the brand, Sunspun. Police are looking to identify what restaurant the order came from. Detectives say they believe it was ordered on Monday, Jan. 18 or in the early morning hours of Jan. 19.
On Tuesday night, on the eve of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Mania Darbani’s mother called her from Iran. She was ecstatic that Biden would soon repeal the Trump administration’s so-called "Muslim ban" that barred people from a number of mostly Muslim-majority nations, including Iran, from coming to the United States. "It means I can get to you very soon," Maryam Taghdissi Jani, who is applying for an immigrant visa, told Darbani, a 36-year-old receptionist who lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
The Liberal bus rolled into Grand Falls-Windsor on Wednesday as the leadup to the 2021 provincial election kept moving. In the shadow of that bus and flanked by Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans candidate Debbie Ball and Exploits candidate Rodney Mercer, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey unveiled another part of the Liberal party’s campaign platform. In particular, the Liberals pledged to provide feminine hygiene products in schools at no cost. “There is good evidence that young women will miss school because they don’t have access to feminine care products,” said Furey. “One in seven Canadian young women, or non-binary individuals, will miss school because they do not have access to feminine care products. “That is simply not good enough and this Liberal government intends to make sure that is not a barrier to young women and non-binary individuals from reaching their full potential. That is the commitment we’ve made today.” Before making the announcement, the Liberals consulted with local women’s organizations, and hope this will alleviate the access problems that exist around these products. The move to provide free feminine hygiene products was a part of a larger commitment to work with various community groups, educators and students to improve the health curriculum in the province. Furey said the cost of having these products available in schools would be found within the health-care budget. “The cost will be found within the health-care budget, but the cost of not having them is young women and non-binary individuals missing school is far greater than the cost accrued to the system for this,” he said. Terri Lynn Burry said Wednesday's announcement is an important one for young women in the province. “I think it is amazing and I think it should be done,” said Burry, program director for the Youth 2000 Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. “We would definitely look at it for the centre.” In her work, Burry is often asked for hygiene products by the girls and families who use the centre. There are times when families can’t afford them and instead go without them, and that’s why the centre has products on hand, she said. Burry said it can be embarrassing for girls to ask for products if they don’t have any on hand, and they often find it difficult. “It is something that should be readily available. It is something that is a necessity and if it was readily available there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to it sometimes, especially for young children,” she said. “It is new to them and it is embarrassing for some of them.” During the stop, the premier was asked about some health-care issues that pertain to residents in central Newfoundland. Namely, he was questioned about where his government stands with issues such as returning 24-hour emergency services to the hospital in Botwood, as well as supporting the Lionel Kelland Hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor. In both instances, he maintained the government is working toward solutions for both. “We’re aware of the issues and we’re committed to building on the commitments of the past,” said Furey. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Summerside's sewage treatment plant is back in compliance following what city officials describe as a "glitch," which pumped higher than normal levels of effluent into the city's harbour for more than three weeks. Bruce MacDougall, the councillor responsible for the water and sewer utilities, says staff noticed the higher than acceptable levels last month. He said federal and provincial officials were immediately notified and the shellfish fishery in the harbour was shut down. "Late December, we had a little glitch in the system and whenever staff noticed it they notified the provincial and federal officials," MacDougall said in an interview with CBC News. "We do testing every day and that's how we noticed it. So once we noticed the higher readings, we had to put an action together to bring those readings down." 'It wasn't raw discharge' The problem was noticed Dec. 13. The levels did not return to normal until Jan. 6. City officials say these events are rare ever since it invested more than $19 million into upgrades at the plant in 2008. The last time something like this happened was more than 10 years ago, the city said. Morley Foy, an engineer with the Department of Environment, said operational issues created the higher than normal levels. He said the sewage was still being treated but the amount of solids being released into the harbour was higher than normal. "It wasn't raw discharge by any means, but it was above the limits," said Foy. "The UV system that's in place, the ultraviolet light that does the portion of the treatment for the disinfection was able to manage those high levels, and throughout the whole period when the facility was not working the way it should have been working, it was still performing very well for bacteria reduction." 'Changes to processing plants' Foy said there was "very little impact" to the harbour. "The time of year was very fortunate for this event in the sense that there was no recreational activity taking place within the harbour nor was there any fishing activities taking place within the harbour," said Foy. Despite that, a shellfish closure was ordered Dec. 14. A spokesperson with the federal Department of Fisheries said, "Signs were installed and the fishing industry was notified. No fishing activity was taking place in the area at that time. "The area will remain closed until the beginning of the spring fishing season." Greg Gaudet, Summerside's director of municipal services, said the city began work immediately to correct the problem. But he said the fix took some time. 'Back into the safe zone' "It usually takes about a 10- to 12-day time period, you got to realize all that liquid … has to work its way through the whole process of the plant," said Gaudet. "What we believe may have happened, there may have been some changes to processing plants in Summerside in December, they may have had some shutdowns, in which case they weren't putting out any biological oxygen demand into the sewer system, which gave our system that we had fine-tuned a little burp. "Basically, it upset the process." Gaudet said they plan to improve communications between the city and its biggest sewage customers. "When they change their operations, we have to change ours." The Summerside sewage treatment plant not only treats sewage from the city, it also treats waste from people's homes throughout Prince County. When somebody has their private sewage tank cleaned, that waste ends up at the Summerside plant. MacDougall said these events are rare and the city works hard to ensure they don't happen. "Everything has been brought back into the safe zone," MacDougall told city councillors during a meeting on Monday night. "We've got the all clear now." More from CBC P.E.I.
The Town of Gander wants to hear from you. More precisely, the central Newfoundland town wants to hear from people around the region about their connection to the Gander International Airport and its importance to how they live or conduct business. Last week, Air Canada announced it will drop its remaining flights out of the Gander International Airport, along with flights out of Labrador and some out of St. John’s. The announcement followed the announcement of two previously cancelled routes last summer. The most recent cancelled flights are scheduled to end on Jan. 23. “This is a critical issue,” said Gander Mayor Percy Farwell. “The inability to get in and out of the area … has a great impact on your success.” With that in mind, the town is asking people in the region to submit their stories about how important the airport is to their lives and their families. The town hopes that putting human faces on the issue will put further pressure on the federal and provincial governments to quickly come up with a solution to the problem. “These impacts are personal,” said Farwell, noting the closure will affect several sectors. “People should be telling their stories, and governments need to be aware of it.” In a news release Tuesday, the town said Canada is the only G7 country that has failed to recognize the importance of air links and connectivity. The federal government has yet to offer federal aid to the airline sector. Businesses and health care will also be affected by the decision. ‘’As you can see, all sectors of business are affected by this suspension of services, causing major concerns for our chamber and the business communities we represent,” Sheldon Handcock, chair of the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a prepared statement. “We urge the federal government to provide support and a fair deal to the struggling national airlines.” While it may be a while before the effects are felt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the areas that will get squeezed by the lack of air travel to central Newfoundland is the tourism industry. The Gander airport represents a critical link between those businesses and their customers. People can’t make plans to visit the province if there is no access to a great deal of it. “We need flights in and out of this province,” said Deborah Bourden, the co-owner of the Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites in Twillingate. “What is the good to have people who want to come here if they can’t get here. “That is absolutely critical to our industry.” Farwell said the effort to collect testimonials is just the first step of a larger communication effort being undertaken in the central region of the province. That will involve a small number of stakeholders in the region and allow them to co-ordinate a collective message. Farwell also said it will be an issue raised when political hopefuls make their way to Gander on the campaign trail in the coming days and weeks. “There are a lot of factors to be considered,” he said. “It's all about co-ordinated advocacy.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Central Ontario can expect heavy snow and winter weather that could make driving hazardous on Thursday. Environment Canada has issued snow squall watches for the Dufferin, Barrie, Muskoka, and Bruce County areas. The weather agency says lake effect squalls are expected to develop in the afternoon, with up to 15 centimetres expected before the evening. Squalls can quickly reduce visibility and drivers are warned to be cautious or postpone trips. Winter weather advisories are also in effect for areas around Haliburton, Peterborough and Algonquin Provincial Park due to expected heavy snow or squalls. In the north, Environment Canada is advising of heavy snow and strong winds around Sault Ste. Marie, with 15 to 25 centimetres expected today. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press