LANSING, Mich. — President Donald Trump did not ask Michigan Republican lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election during a meeting at the White House, a legislative leader said Sunday, a day before canvassers plan to meet about whether to certify Joe Biden's 154,000-vote victory in the battleground state.House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven GOP legislators who met with Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his longshot efforts to block Biden's win.“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn't happen,” he told Fox News of the highly unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed, except to say the delegation asked for additional federal aid to help Michigan's coronavirus response.Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 results — including Biden's 2.8-percentage point victory — be certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Democrats and two Republicans. The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state's largest and home to Detroit.Staff for the state elections bureau said that claimed irregularities, even if verified, would not significantly affect the outcome. The Michigan Democratic Party said the total number of Detroit votes implicated by imbalanced precincts — where the number of ballots does not equal the number of names on the pollbook — is at most 450, or “0.029% of the margin” separating Biden from Trump.“The certification process must not be manipulated to serve as some sort of retroactive referendum on the expressed will of the voters. That is simply not how democracy works,” chairwoman Lavora Barnes wrote to the board on Sunday.If the board does not confirm the results and the Michigan Supreme Court does not subsequently order it to do so, Chatfield said “now we have a constitutional crisis." He and other Republicans, however, have indicated that they would not undermine the voters' will.“Michigan election law clearly requires that the state’s electors must be those nominated by the party that received the most votes — not the Legislature,” says a stock email House Republicans are sending in response to people who contact their offices.Experts on Michigan election law have said the state board's authority is limited in scope and that it must certify the results now that all 83 counties have reported theirs to the state. There is concern, though, because Trump personally called the two Republicans on Wayne County's board last week and they said a day later that they were rescinding their previous vote — following an earlier deadlock — but it was too late.Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican who met with Trump, suggested in a Sunday tweet that the state canvassers might “take the full time allowed by law to perform their duties" instead of voting Monday and said “it's inappropriate for anyone to exert pressure on them."The deadline is Dec. 13, but that is five days after the federal “safe harbour” date — when Congress cannot challenge any electors named by that date in accordance with state law.There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed that there were no serious irregularities.The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election.Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan's current longest-serving member of Congress, told CNN on Sunday that “the voters spoke" and the state had no razor-thin presidential race.“No one has come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse,” he said. He called the request to delay the certification “out of bounds.”The trip to the White House has come under heavy scrutiny. The lawmakers stayed at the luxury Trump International Hotel, and two of them were photographed with expensive drinks at the hotel bar after the meeting.Spokespeople for Shirkey and Chatfield said the legislators covered their expenses and that no taxpayer money was used. However, they did not say if the men paid for the trip themselves or if it was paid for in some other way such as by them tapping into their non-profit “administrative” accounts that can accept contributions from corporate or other donors.Finding out about who runs such lawmaker-connected organizations, who donates to them and what the money is spent on can be extremely difficult, according to a 2016 joint investigation by MLive and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Such accounts can be used to reimburse legislators for travel.___Follow David Eggert: https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00David Eggert, The Associated Press
BAIE-COMEAU, Que. — Brandon Frattaroli scored twice while Nathael Roy scored the shootout-winning goal as the Baie-Comeau Drakkar vanquished the Val-d'Or Foreurs 3-2 in Baie-Comeau on Sunday afternoon.Frattaroli scored his first of the game in the second period, before scoring the game-tying goal with 10:01 to play in the third. Jacob Gaucher and Marshall Lessard scored for the Foreurs.Roy and Julien Hebert scored in the shootout for Baie-Comeau. Justin Ducharme scored in the shootout for Val-d'Or.Olivier Ciarlo turned aside 31 shots for Baie-Comeau. William Blackburn saved 16 shots for Val-d'Or. Val-d'Or outshot Baie-Comeau 33-18. The Drakkar (4-8-0) went 1-for-2 on the power play. The Foreurs (7-1-4) went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.ARMADA 4 VOLTIGEURS 1BOISBRIAND -- The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 4-1 in Blainville-Boisbriand on Sunday evening. Luke Henman, Alexis Gendron, Yaroslav Likhachev and Zachary Roy also scored for the Armada.HUSKIES 3 OCÉANIC 2RIMOUSKI -- The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Rimouski Océanic 3-2 in Rimouski on Sunday afternoon. Xavier Bouchard scored the game winning goal for the Huskies at 13:26 of the third period.OLYMPIQUES 3 SAGUENÉENS 2 (OT)CHICOUTIMI -- The Gatineau Olympiques beat the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 3-2 in overtime in Chicoutimi on Sunday afternoon. Samuel Savoie scored the game winning goal for the Olympiques at 2:44 of overtime.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Health officials in B.C. say the latest restrictions meant to slow COVID-19 infections will put on hold popular holiday events across the province.On Thursday, the officials brought in sweeping new measures meant to slow the rate of infections.They included the suspension of all indoor and outdoor community and social events until Dec. 7, even if they're under 50 people.That means holiday-themed events like Vancouver's Bright Nights in Stanley Park and VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights will not be able to go ahead until at least Dec. 7.On Friday the Vancouver Park Board initially said it was seeking clarification about what the new orders meant for its events.On Sunday, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that the two events, and other similar ones, would fall under the new order.'Very unfortunate'"These are great events, all of them and they (like many others) have worked hard to meet the test of the orders pre-last Thursday," he said in a message to CBC News."It is very unfortunate. Obviously, the provincial health officer will be reviewing the impact on COVID-19 over the next two weeks."Dix said the new orders are needed now, despite the consequences for holiday events."Alas, there are many many gatherings that are beloved and affected."A Park Board spokesperson said on Sunday that anyone who had already purchased tickets to either event would be able to apply for a refund.Bright Nights in Stanley Park was scheduled to run from Nov. 26 to Jan. 1, while VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights was set to begin on Nov. 27 and run until Jan. 3.
The Dukling, a traditional Chinese junk boat frequently spotted around Hong Kong's picturesque Victoria Harbour, has readjusted its tour routes to survive the coronavirus pandemic, now mainly catering to locals. Its 12 staff serve mainly foreign tourists looking to see Hong Kong's glitzy skyline from a different angle. "This disease has had a massive impact on the entire planet and Hong Kong is really dependent on trade and tourism,” said Li, seated in the wooden boat.
JANESVILLE, Wis. — U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a statement from the Republican lawmaker, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district.The congressman said he began experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend and contacted his health care provider while at home in Janesville, Wisconsin.Steil said he spent all of last week working in Washington, D.C.“Following CDC guidelines, I am immediately quarantining and will continue serving the people of Southeast Wisconsin from my home in Janesville,” he said.Steil was first elected in 2018 and held on to his seat in November for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, which includes Kenosha and Racine counties and portions of Milwaukee, Rock, Walworth and Waukesha counties.The Associated Press
CALGARY — The Alberta Liberal Party says its leader, David Khan, is stepping down.A news release from the party on Sunday evening says Khan is accepting a new job in law.It says the party's board of directors will meet shortly to decide on its next steps.Khan failed to win a seat in Calgary Mountain-View in the April 2019 vote, an election in which the Liberals failed to win any seats.A lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and land-claims litigation, Khan won the party's leadership in 2017.The Liberals were once the province's official Opposition, but after a high of 32 seats in 1993, the party suffered from ups and downs until it fell to third-party status in the legislature in 2012 and elected only one member in 2015.“During my time as Alberta Liberal Leader, we were powerful advocates on significant issues including regulating Political Action Committees, remediating orphan wells, eliminating school segregation rooms, and addressing the 'red alerts' crisis with EMS," Khan said in the news release."We pushed the provincial government to take action on these matters of concern to Albertans. We also raised awareness and grew support for Universal Basic Income, and the necessity of a sales tax. I was proud to advance these forward-thinking ideas to improve the lives of Albertans."The party thanked Khan, noting in the news release he "developed bold new policies, modernized party operations and recruited a new generation of young Albertans to the Alberta Liberal Party."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
With more and more parts of the country imposing restrictions and implementing lockdowns to try and stop the second wave of COVID-19, small business owners are worried about surviving the economic crisis even as a new aid program launches Nov. 23. Grace Ke reports.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tim Melia stopped all three of San Jose's shootout attempts and Sporting Kansas City converted all of its tries to beat the Earthquakes on Sunday after they finished overtime tied at 3 in the Western Conference semifinals.Top-seeded Sporting advanced to face play No. 4 Minnesota or No. 5 Colorado.Gianluca Busio scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give Sporting Kansas City a 3-2 lead, but Chris Wondolowski scored about six minutes later, heading home a high cross to the far post by Cristian Espinoza to force extra time. It was just the second career playoff goal for Wondolowski, who has an MLS-record 166 goals in the regular season.In the shootout, Johnny Russell opened the tiebreaker with a goal, Melia stopped Oswaldo Alanís, and Ilie Sánchez connected for Sporting. Jackson Yueill was stopped, Khiry Shelton scored, and Melia stopped Espinoza to end it.Melia is 6-0 in shootouts. The 34-year old goalkeeper went into the match allowing goals on just 54% (14 of 26) of the penalty kicks he’s faced, the lowest percentage in MLS history.Kansas City's Roger Espinoza opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Carlos Fierro answered in the 22nd, and Shea Salinas scored in the 34th minute to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead.Sánchez put away a corner kick by Busio in the 47th minute. It was the 10th goal off a corner kick by Sporting Kansas City this season, most in MLS.The Associated Press
« Tu es né avec une vocation, un don, alors utilise-le » est la signification du mot kinoamazihin. C’est aussi le nom d’une série de formations sur mesure qui a été élaborée par l’organisme Minwashin, en collaboration avec le Conseil de la culture de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (CCAT), pour répondre aux besoins spécifiques des six stations de radio communautaire de la Nation Anicinabe de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Sur ces six stations de radio, trois sont situées au Témiscamingue : la plus jeune est la station Drumbeat, CKFF – 104.1 à Kebaowek, qui existe depuis la fin mars 2020. Celle de la communauté de Long Point First Nation, la station CFWR – 93.5, existe depuis environ 25 ans et The Coyote, CHNT – 92.3 de Timiskaming First Nation, soulignait récemment son 20e anniversaire. Amélie Brassard, agente de développement culturel pour l’organisme Minwashin, explique : « Chaque station a sa propre couleur. Certaines ont des gens qui y travaillent à temps plein, créent du contenu, sont disponibles et impliqués dans leur communauté. » D’autres stations font face à certaines contraintes et de manière temporaire, ne diffusent que de la musique. C’est pourquoi Minwashin a tenu, en janvier 2020, une rencontre avec les radios de la Nation Anicinabe pour apprendre à mieux connaître les spécialités, les forces et les faiblesses de chacune. L’organisme, dont le rôle est d’offrir ses services liés à la culture aux artistes, aux communautés et aux organisations des Premières Nations, a ensuite déposé une demande de financement pour la concrétisation d’une formation. « Minwashin s’est associé au CCAT, car ils ont l’expertise et beaucoup de contacts pour développer des formations sur mesure. Enfin, on a rencontré les conférenciers et expliqué notre démarche et nos besoins spécifiques », décrit Amélie Brassard. Les formations se font sous forme de conférences Zoom. « Au début, on devait faire Kinoamazihin en présentiel mais, COVID oblige, on a dû changer nos plans moins de deux semaines avant l’événement. Une journée complète en conférence Zoom, c’est difficile et ardu. On a donc décidé de le faire en trois sessions les 28 octobre et 4 novembre derniers, ainsi que le 18 novembre prochain. Cela nous permet d’inclure une formation supplémentaire à notre programme initial. Je crois que nous sommes très gagnants », se réjouit madame Brassard. Les participants, animateurs et administrateurs des radios communautaires anicinabek, sont satisfaits également et leurs commentaires sont très positifs. « Ça répond à leurs besoins, souligne l’agente de développement. Pour le moment, on a couvert les programmes de financement, les entrevues, les rôles et les responsabilités d’un conseil d’administration, ainsi qu’une réflexion pour un outil publicitaire. Aussi, habituellement, pour les rencontres radio, ce sont les animateurs et le directeur qui sont invités donc, c’était intéressant pour les administrateurs d’être présents puisque certains aspects de la formation les touchaient directement. Aussi, c’est toujours plaisant de discuter avec les pairs. » Les six stations anicinabek travaillent déjà de concert sur certains projets mais, comme l’explique madame Brassard, « chaque radio a son horaire à gérer dans le quotidien et ça demande de l’énergie d’organiser des rencontres ». Kinoamazihin comprend donc des moments de réflexion dirigés vers le futur, où on cherche à organiser les différentes stations en un regroupement efficace, sans pour autant enlever la couleur locale de chacune, leur défi étant de créer du contenu pour toute la nation Anicinabe, qui sera diffusé à travers toutes les stations de radio. Un grand projet commun est d’ailleurs en développement et devrait voir le jour en janvier 2021. « Depuis la dernière communication avec les signaux de fumée sur notre territoire, nous avons perdu beaucoup de notre culture, de notre langue. Aujourd’hui, les signaux de fumée se sont transformés en ondes radio et les stations de radio anicinabek seront essentielles dans le processus de garder notre langue et notre culture vivante », a mentionné Richard Kistabish, le président de Minwashin. En effet, ces stations sont des vecteurs d’informations de leurs communautés et on ne peut que se réjouir de les voir se mobiliser ainsi pour faire rayonner la Nation Anicinabe partout sur le territoire.Marjorie Gélinas, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
Le 24 octobre dernier, le restaurant 28 on the Lake de New Liskeard, anciennement connu sous le nom de Rooster’s Bar and Grill, recevait le chansonnier Simon Rivard. Pour souligner le mois de l’Oktoberfest, le propriétaire tentait une nouvelle formule, soit un spectacle en plein après-midi mettant en vedette un artiste bien connu dans le nord de l’Ontario. Originaire d’Earlton, habitant maintenant à Temiskaming Shores, Simon Rivard est un véritable passionné de musique depuis sa tendre enfance. La COVID-19 l’ayant tenu loin de la scène pendant quelques mois, c’est avec beaucoup de fébrilité et d’excitation qu’il retournait enfin devant un public, une dose d’énergie et d’adrénaline qui lui avait particulièrement manqué. Le spectacle au 28 on the Lake qui devait se dérouler de 14 h à 16 h s’est finalement poursuivi un peu plus longtemps que prévu. « Une fois parti, j’ai vraiment de la misère à arrêter… j’ai joué jusqu’à 5 h. » Pour gagner son public, le chanteur et musicien emploie la même recette depuis longtemps et celle-ci est infaillible. « Mon objectif, quand je fais un spectacle, c’est d’aller chercher la foule. Je commence toujours tranquillement. Peu importe que ce soit une noce, un festival, un restaurant, un party privé, je commence doucement parce que le monde n’est pas encore réchauffé. Au restaurant, j’ai donc commencé lentement. Après la première heure, j’avais réussi à embarquer le public. Dans le restaurant, ça tapait des mains, ça chantait avec moi. Plus le spectacle avançait, plus le monde embarquait. Là, à 4 h, c’était le temps d’arrêter, mais rendu là, il fallait que je continue et le propriétaire du restaurant était bien correct avec ça. » L’artiste, qui s’accompagne à la guitare, chante de tous les genres, tant en français qu’en anglais. Il passe du country au rock, de la musique pop à la chanson plus folklorique. Son style varié permet de rejoindre un vaste public. Simon Rivard sera de retour au 28 on the Lake les samedis 14 et 28 novembre de 14 h à 16 h. Son parcours La musique fait partie de l’ADN de la famille Rivard et ce, depuis plusieurs générations. « Ma passion vient de mes parents. Ils ont toujours été intéressés par la musique francophone. Ils écoutaient Claude Barzotti, Francis Cabrel, Diane Dufresne, Offenbach. Dans nos partys de famille, ç’a toujours été des chansons à répondre. » En 2e année, il chante pour la première fois devant un public, invité par Sœur Lucille à chanter à l’église, le dimanche matin. En 7e année, son talent n’est plus un secret pour personne; on lui confie le Minuit Chrétien lors d’un spectacle d’école présenté en soirée devant la communauté. Ensuite, il délaisse la musique quelque temps pour se consacrer aux sports. La passion refait surface en 11eannée alors qu’il est sélectionné pour faire partie du Spectacle Apollo de l’École secondaire Sainte-Marie de New Liskeard. « C’est là que j’ai développé mon talent et mes connaissances comme les techniques de chant, les vocalises, les respirations, la voix, la mise en scène, comment aller chercher un auditoire. On faisait 15-20 spectacles en tournée. Le processus des auditions, le fait d’être sélectionné, ça m’a apporté plus de confiance en moi. » En 1997, Simon participe au concours Ontario Pop dans le cadre du Festival franco-ontarien à Ottawa. Finaliste d’abord, il gagne ensuite dans la catégorie « interprète », ce qui lui permet d’offrir une performance devant 3 000 personnes. Il partage la scène avec le pianiste François Cousineau et le chanteur Claude Dubois qui était le porte-parole de cette édition du festival. Gagner ce concours lui permettait de se rendre directement à la demi-finale du Festival international de la chanson de Granby. « Quand j’ai reçu mon dossier d’informations avec le formulaire d’inscription, j’étais dans ma chambre, à Earlton, dans mon village de fermiers. L’été, je faisais les foins. Je ne pensais pas à la grosse scène. En juillet, je devais envoyer mon inscription pour le festival qui est en septembre. Quand j’ai regardé ça et que j’ai vu le nom de tous les artistes qui avaient déjà leur nom de scène, j’ai paniqué. Moi, je suis Simon Rivard, d’Earlton. Je m’en vais à l’Université Laurentienne en éducation physique. J’ai eu « la chienne » et j’ai décidé de ne pas y aller. Au lieu de foncer, j’ai reculé. » Longtemps, il fut rongé par les regrets. Aujourd’hui, son regard est tout autre. Maintenant père de trois enfants, il est conscient qu’il aurait peut-être passé à côté d’une vie de famille dans laquelle il est parfaitement épanoui s’il avait opté pour la musique à temps plein et à grande échelle. Malgré son désistement au festival, la musique a toujours continué à faire partie de son univers. Il donne plusieurs spectacles par année; parfois en solo, d’autres fois avec sa femme et ses enfants et bien souvent avec Claude Lapointe, un ami de Timmins avec qui il partage la scène une quinzaine de fois par année. La musique, il est fier de la léguer en héritage à ses enfants. « Mon plus vieux joue de la guitare, ma fille joue du piano et du ukulélé en plus de chanter et mon plus jeune joue de la batterie et il chante. Mon épouse chante et joue du piano elle aussi. C’est familial, notre affaire. Et c’est fou tout ce que ça apporte comme joie, comme bonheur, quand on crée de la musique ensemble. » Après ses journées de travail, ce directeur adjoint d’une école secondaire est bien content de retrouver sa guitare et son garage pour partager sa musique. Il est donc possible de voir quelques-unes de ses prestations sur sa page Facebook.Dominique Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that students at Dawson College not be forced to do in-person exams at the end of term.Most of the school's end-of-term tests will be done online, but a handful of science programs have decided to schedule on-site exams.The student union has come out in opposition to the plan, saying it puts students at risk, especially as COVID-19 cases in Montreal continue to rise."It is in a red zone, we cannot possibly go in school in the centre of this pandemic," said Kevin Contant-Holowatyj, chair of the Dawson Student Union.The union released a statement saying that student health should come first."Finals are already a stressful time for students, and we believe that having to be in a room with other students can augment the stress to many of the student population. While we understand that some students and faculty may be concerned with academic integrity, this cannot outweigh in any way the risk of contracting the virus," reads the statement.The petition, which has a goal of 2,500, had more than 2,100 virtual signatures as of Sunday evening.Dawson students also circulated a petition asking for online exams in the summer term, which only garnered 500 signatures.For its part, Dawson said the decision to hold some exams in-person was made to protect academic integrity, and was done in consultation with public health experts.It said the decision could be revisited if new health concerns come to light.
FRASERVILLE — A Fraserville resident has made it to the quarter-finals of a global baking contest. Michelle Laroche was nominated by a friend for The Greatest Baker competition, which was established and is hosted by Jen Barney, a two-time Food Network baking champion and the owner of Meringue Bakery and Cafe. From a field of 324 bakers, only 16 could advance to the quarter-finals and Laroche was one of the 16 to do so on Friday. Laroche said her mom knew she advanced to the quarter-finals before she did. “My mom is over the moon. She called me this morning and she said, ‘You did it, you did it, you did it,’” Laroche said. She said there’s the option of one daily free vote, or the option of unlimited paid votes, and there were people she didn’t know who bought votes for her. “It was so insane to see. As a contestant, every time a vote was purchased you could see. So, I was blown away by some of the amounts of money people were spending on me,” she said. The competition is based solely on work that contestants have already done. In the nearly 50 photos Laroche displays on her profile, they exemplify cake work she’s done throughout her career as a baker, ranging from a cake shaped like a Doritos bag, to a cake with an Eiffel Tower on it. Laroche, who owns From Scratch With Love, said she never thought she would make it this far in the competition. “I went through some of the profiles on there and …. wow. So, I’m pretty excited. There’s some amazing competition out there,” she said. Laroche said she’s received so much support from the community, along with friends and family. The contest’s grand prize for the first-place winner is $10,000, a year’s supply of Stuffed Puffs and the chance to be featured in Bake from Scratch Magazine. “I plan to put a deposit on our own home so we can stop renting. I have four children and if I got that, that would be a house,” she said. To keep up with the contest, visit greatestbaker.com.Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kevin Molino scored two goals, Robin Lod added another and Minnesota United beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Sunday night for the first playoff victory in franchise history.Fourth-seeded Minnesota, unbeaten in its last nine games, will play top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in the conference semifinals. Sporting beat San Jose in a shootout earlier Sunday.Molino rolled a left-footer from the top of the area inside to post to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.Dayne St. Clair, a 23-year old in his first playoff appearance, had six saves for Minnesota.Lod ran onto a long through ball from Emanuel Reynoso at the top of the area, cut back to evade a defender and flicked in a left-footed side-netter to make it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Jan Gregus tapped a cross to a charging Molino who chipped it over sliding goalkeeper William Yarbrough to cap the scoring in the 79th.Molino also scored twice in Minnesota's 3-0 win over Dallas in the regular-season finale.Colorado had won three in a row heading into the playoffs.The Associated Press
A Calgary bank's efforts to implement a "new digital experience" has left a significant number of its members frustrated and angry — some of whom are threatening to leave the financial institution altogether.Last weekend, First Calgary Financial told members it would begin upgrading its systems to enhance its digital products and upgrade security. But some users, like Calgary resident Christy Thompson, said the changes meant she was unable to pay her bills and send e-transfers. Receiving an error message while using First Calgary products, Thompson called the number provided but quickly ran into trouble."I've called that number every single day multiple times a day for four days now," she said. "I hold for up to an hour, hour and a half, then a message comes on and says they're having system issues and they're unable to take my call, then it hangs up on you."Thompson said she has banked with First Calgary since she was nine years old, but she and her husband now plan to move all their banking investments and mortgage to another bank.System upgradesThe bank had its own digital platform initially, but as part of its merger with Connect First Credit Union — the larger brand that includes First Calgary, among other credit unions — it moved to consolidate its digital platforms.While the institution said the majority of its members are successfully using the new platform, it also acknowledged that "many have experienced frustrations.""There were moments where [the upgrade] did overwhelm some of our systems, and certainly our contact centre was taxed to the max," said Wellington Holbrook, chief operating officer of Connect First Credit Union."The vast majority have signed on well and are enjoying the new experience, but some have had some struggles, and unfortunately have had those bad experiences."Holbrook said he couldn't say exactly how many client accounts had been affected, but said he expected those with issues that still remain would be resolved in the coming days."We're on the good side of this challenge, for sure," he said. "We'll go out of our way to make sure there's no impacts they need to be concerned about."E-transfers in limboCandice Yaholnitsky, who lives in Cold Lake, has had a bank account with First Calgary since she was around five years old.She said she became concerned after she sent a "significant" e-transfer to her husband that has been stuck in limbo since Nov. 17."My biggest concern was not being able to communicate with anybody," Yaholnitsky said. "For five days, all the phone calls would get to an answering service, and then the call would be dropped."Yaholnitsky and her husband became concerned as the days passed without communication, worrying that their money had been lost."He's been in overdraft and paying overdraft since Monday. Now we have concerns because our mortgage comes out on Tuesday — thankfully, we haven't had any other bills but if we did, we'd have NSF charges," she said. "And that's not typically what we have on our record."This year has been hard enough as it is with everything else that's gone on, so to have to deal with this on top of it has been quite stressful."Yaholnitsky said she was finally contacted by a customer service representative on Saturday, who told her the situation was being looked into.Thompson said her efforts to resolve her issues through customer service have largely been fruitless."Every point that I've tried to receive some kind of support or answer, no one picks up the phone. The tellers [at the branch] don't know how to help you," she said. "I understand it's not their fault, and I don't want to sit there and take it out on them."But we were not told this was going to be an issue."COO says one struggle is too manyHolbrook said the company was working to rectify customer issues as soon as they became aware, adding that more than 25,000 members are already successfully using the new platform."Any member having a struggle is too many, as far as we're concerned," he said. "The vast majority of the time we're able to quickly rectify issues."In the end, Holbrook said he thinks the new digital platform will serve to upgrade what members have been used to."We're pretty excited. A lot of our members have been asking us to bring them the most modern digital experience," he said. "And this past weekend, we did implement a very significant banking system upgrade which does just that."
Moose in Jasper Park will have to find their salt elsewhere.
The Archbishop of Vancouver says he is "baffled" by the province's recent decision to suspend in-person worship while keeping restaurants and gyms open.J. Michael Miller said in a Sunday morning homily that "the restrictions placed on banning congregations, even limited ones, from attending Holy Mass are, of course, a matter of grave concern to us both as Catholics and as citizens of British Columbia."On Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie suspended all in-person faith-related gatherings in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.Worshippers have been told not to attend services at their gurdwara, synagogue, church, mosque or temple.Churches remain open for prayer, adoration and individual confession. Church basements can also be used for other purposes, like Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, which Miller said in his address that he is thankful for.But he called it "puzzling" that even limited prayer services are suspended, when he said none of B.C.'s 78 parishes have been the source of a community outbreak."Certainly we must pray that the situation will soon change, so that we can return to Mass with a congregation, even if reduced in number," he said."We all want to protect the health of British Columbians, but that burden should not — must not — fall unjustifiably or unequally on communities of faith."Health officials in B.C. confirmed another 516 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 10 more deaths. Masks are now mandatory in indoor retail and public spaces. That includes malls, grocery stores, liquor stores, community centres, municipal buildings, libraries, common areas in hotels and restaurants and bars when not seated at a table.
Public health officials in Ottawa confirmed another 33 cases of COVID-19 cases on Sunday, but the number of active cases continues to decline.The city's active case count has dropped by 34 since yesterday, down to 365. The number of active cases also declined by 13 in Saturday's report from Ottawa Public Health (OPH).There are now 160 fewer confirmed active cases in the nation's capital than there were this time last week. Sunday's report from OPH brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic to 8,172. Of those, 7,441 cases are considered resolved.The majority of Sunday's cases are people over 30. No new deaths were recorded in the nation's capital, keeping the city's death toll at 366.There are 29 people hospitalized with the virus, with two in intensive care. There are also 28 active outbreaks at city institutions like long-term care facilities and child-care centres.The reports from OPH don't necessarily reflect how many people tested positive for COVID-19 on the day the statistics are made public; rather, they indicate the number of new cases OPH is notified of as of 2 p.m. the previous day Outaouais reports 1 new deathAcross the river in western Quebec, health officials reported one new death Sunday and confirmed 47 new cases.The Outaouais has seen 3,287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 71 deaths since the start of the pandemic.Meanwhile, Ontario reported 1,534 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, along with 14 new deaths. The province's death toll now sits at 3,486.
It's been a record year at Canada Post — since the start of the year, postal service employees have processed almost one million packages in Quebec alone. The 955,000 packages represent a 50 per cent increase from the 650,000 envelopes and packages delivered in 2019."It's unheard of," said Karl Baillargeon, a letter carrier and union spokesperson. "These are volumes we've never dealt with."Letter carrier Marie-Ève Trudel is bracing for a demanding few weeks to cap off what has been a demanding year."We know we're going to work hard over the holidays. They're going to be busy days," she said.Canada Post is hiring 4,000 extra staff across Canada — including 210 in the Montreal area and 140 in Quebec City — to help with the period between Black Friday and Christmas.John Hamilton, a spokesperson for Canada Post, said that while the holidays are always the busiest time of year for package delivery, the pandemic has spiked an increase all year long.He echoed the agency's warning earlier this year to get Christmas presents in the mail sooner rather than later to avoid delays."We know how it important it is to deliver Canadians' online shopping and get it under the tree on time," Hamilton said.He said during the early stages of the pandemic and first months of confinement, many people were staying at home and doing more online shopping than usual.He also attributes some of the growth to smaller businesses who have been experimenting with online sales for the first time.Overall though, the growth is emblematic of a larger trend, wherein more and more people get their goods delivered right to their door."It was just a few years ago we delivered a million parcels in a single day during the holiday season. That was a record and we celebrated that and we were all very excited. Now that's a slow day," he said, saying Canada Post sometimes delivers twice that many packages in a single day.
TRANSPORT. Le ministère des Transports avise les usagers de la route qu'ils devront faire preuve de prudence au cours des prochaines heures alors que les conditions routières pourraient se dégrader rapidement dans plusieurs régions du Québec. Selon les plus récentes prévisions météorologiques, jusqu'à 20 centimètres de neige et de la pluie verglaçante sont attendus. Dans ce contexte, le Ministère invite les usagers de la route à consulter le www.quebec511.info pour connaître l'état des routes, incluant les conditions de la chaussée, la visibilité ainsi que les entraves et les fermetures de routes en vigueur. Cette année, le Ministère prévoit investir plus de 350 M$ en entretien pour un réseau de 31 000 kilomètres de routes à déneiger. En période hivernale, 1 660 camions sont affectés à l'entretien du réseau du Ministère. De ce nombre, plus de 260 sont des camions opérés par le Ministère et 1 400 le sont par les prestataires de services, les municipalités et les communautés autochtones. Également, notons qu’en 2019-2020, le Ministère a utilisé plus de 800 000 tonnes de sels de déglaçage provenant des Mines Seleine des Îles-de-la-Madeleine et plus de 1 000 000 de tonnes d'abrasifs sur les routes sous sa responsabilité. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Saskatchewan announced 236 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 2,683.Of the new cases, 82 are in Saskatoon, 52 in Regina and 24 in the north central region of the province.17 of the cases are in the north west zone of the province, with 13 in the south west. The central west, south central and north east zones of the province all have nine cases.The far north west reported eight new cases, the south east reported six while the far north east and the central east both reported two new cases. The far north central part of the province reported one new case of COVID-19.Two cases are pending residence information.Hospitalizations are now at a record high with 99 people receiving care. 80 people in in-paitent care and 19 people in the ICU.Ninety more people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered people to 3,757There are now 6,473 total reported cases of COVID-19 in the province.The province said the seven-day average of daily cases increased to 211, with 17.4 new cases per 100,000 population.It said that daily cases numbers are expected to fluctuate as a result of factors such as weather-related and logistical delays in lab specimens reaching the testing centre.