This Golden Retriever is really happy that she is going to play fetch, so she's spinning happily non-stop. So much excitement!
This Golden Retriever is really happy that she is going to play fetch, so she's spinning happily non-stop. So much excitement!
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
Marketing students at Burnett secondary are giving back to their community. Inspired by the sacrifices and generosity of frontline workers, they were tasked with contributing through three goals: reinforcing the government’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, starting a non-profit fundraiser to give back to frontline organizations and workers, and developing a project to create or revitalize community spirit. “Normally the marketing classes would run a school store as part of their experiential learning experience, but with COVID it just wasn’t possible,” says marketing teacher Chris Lee. “As an alternative, I changed this component to be more of a social non-profit pop-up venture format.” The students developed a mechanical hand sanitizer that uses a gravity-enabled foot pump. A virtual social gathering focused on a pre-recorded talent show as well as an online gaming tournament aimed at bringing people together. “In terms of the actual concepts regarding sales and marketing, the students really go through the entire gambit,” says Lee. “They learn to develop, source, cost, market, sell and provide customer feedback wherever applicable.” They also raised funds for the Richmond Hospital and Vancouver Covenant House through several initiatives. Student-designed Burnett clothing and tote bags were sold online, as well as a “pandemic kit” including masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The last fundraising item was glass poster art, which was inspired by an online trend fusing art with music. Customized pieces of glass art capture favourite songs or artists designed to look like a Spotify music player. “All of these projects really focus on experiential, hands-on learning,” says Lee. “Given our limited time with the students in this new 10-week quarter system, the projects were designed to be like a pressure cooker, where basic entrepreneurial and marketing skills would be developed in a very short period of time. It is my personal belief that such an environment challenges students to learn in a very active way, while reinforcing what they’ve learned in class lessons.”Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. says it was exploring the future of its Toronto stadium before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the virus has caused it to put those plans on hold."Prior to the pandemic, we were exploring options for the stadium but through this year our primary focus has been keeping our customers connected and keeping our employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time," said the telecommunications company's spokesperson Andrew Garas in a statement to The Canadian Press.His remarks come after the Globe and Mail reported Friday that Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., were looking to tear down the stadium as part of a larger development project. The two companies would build a new stadium half the size on the southern part of the current site and use the remaining land for residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space, the Globe said, citing unnamed sources.Brookfield declined to comment on the matter. The Globe also reported that Rogers and Brookfield were exploring the possibility of building a stadium along the waterfront if the development plan falls through on a slice of land called Quayside, where Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs once hoped to construct a tech-savvy neighbourhood."The news this morning was the first Waterfront Toronto has heard of the Quayside site as a potential new home for the Blue Jays," said Andrew Tumilty, a spokesperson for Waterfront Toronto, the agency overseeing the development of the city's lakefront.Such a plan would need "extensive scrutiny" and require the organization to consider existing, approved precinct plans, as well as the size and shape of the site, he said in an email.The Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome, opened in 1989 and seats more than 53,000.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX: RCI. B, TSX: BAM)The Canadian Press
Une étude émise par le cabinet de recrutement Robert Half démontre que les appels vidéo peuvent épuiser les travailleurs en ce contexte de pandémie de la COVID-19. 44 % des répondants ont affirmé qu'ils ont éprouvé de la fatigue liée à ceux-ci. On note aussi que 15 % d'entre eux trouvaient ces appels épuisants et inefficaces, préférant communiquer par d'autres moyens, que ce soit le téléphone ou les courriels. Deux éléments précis des réunions virtuelles sont moins appréciés par les personnes sondées : les problèmes techniques (33 %) et le trop grand nombre de participants (19 %) qui résulte en plusieurs personnes parlant en même temps. Par ailleurs, 22 % des professionnels interrogés croient que l'attrait de commodité et de la nouveauté des vidéoconférences s'est atténué au cours des huit derniers mois. «Les appels vidéo demandent souvent plus d'énergie que d'autres moyens de communication, comme les appels téléphoniques ou les courriels, note David King, président de district principal de Robert Half au Canada, par voie de communiqué. Comme de nombreux employés gèrent déjà d'importantes charges de travail, s'en tenir au nombre nécessaire de réunions de la sorte peut aider à réduire la fatigue liée à celles-ci, et à augmenter le temps de concentration des employés.» Notons que 72 % des répondants ont déclaré participer à des réunions virtuelles, jugeant passer 24 % de chaque journée de travail devant la caméra. Avec un bilan de 11 163 personnes testées positives à la COVID-19, Laval a connu une hausse de 80 cas en 24 heures. Le total de décès depuis le début de la pandémie demeure stable à 725. Le CISSS de Laval cumule également 9836 guérisons, ce qui signifie qu’il y a désormais 602 cas actifs confirmés (+62) sur le territoire lavallois. Parmi les personnes touchées, 28 sont hospitalisées, dont 5 aux soins intensifs. 19 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Six résidences privées pour aînés (RPA) de Laval sont présentement touchées par la COVID-19. Voici la liste complète de celles-ci : Par ailleurs, le Jardin des Saules a été placé dans la catégorie des RPA en situation critique en raison du taux d'infection. Au Québec, le bilan est maintenant de 138 163 cas et 6984 décès. Au total, 669 personnes sont toujours hospitalisées, dont 90 aux soins intensifs.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit La capitale fédérale compte 55 nouvelles infections à la COVID-19, vendredi. Jeudi, Santé publique Ottawa (SPO) rapportait pour la première fois depuis la mi-septembre qu’Ottawa était passée sous la barre des 300 cas actifs. Toutefois, ce nombre a presque été atteint à nouveau au cours de la dernière journée, puisque le dernier bilan des autorités sanitaires fait état de 293 cas actifs du coronavirus connus à Ottawa. Des Ottaviens qui sont atteints du virus, 21 sont actuellement à l’hôpital, dont trois qui sont à l’unité des soins intensifs. SPO rapporte un décès survenu dans la capitale, jeudi. Selon le bilan quotidien de SPO publié vendredi, 21 éclosions sont actuellement en cours dans des établissements de soins de la santé, sept dans les services de garde d’enfants et établissements éducatifs, et deux au sein de la communauté. COVID-19: un lourd bilan pour finir la semaine, en Ontario La santé publique a fait état d’un nombre record de 1 855 cas de COVID-19, vendredi. Le bilan total depuis le début de la pandémie grimpe donc à un peu plus de 111 000 infections en Ontario. La moyenne sur sept jours atteint donc un nouveau sommet de 1 489 cas quotidiens, soit 72 par semaine par tranche de 100 000 habitants. La province déplore également le décès de 20 Ontariens aux mains du coronavirus. En tout, 3 267 personnes atteintes de la COVID-19 ont perdu la vie en Ontario, dont 2 283 résidents de foyers de soins de longue durée et huit employés de ces établissements. Au cours de la dernière journée, la province a enregistré un autre record important: 58 000 tests complétés en une journée. Jeudi, le Groupe pour le concensus en matière de modélisation et de conseils scientifiques a fait le point sur les projections relatives à la COVID-19 en Ontario. Les experts ont constaté que les « indicateurs clés de la pandémie se stabilisent dans certaines régions, mais les répercussions de la pandémie varient encore beaucoup d'une région à l'autre ». Par ailleurs, ils ont aussi fait savoir que la mortalité des résidents des foyers de soins de longue durée continue d’augmenter, tout comme le taux d’occupation des unités de soins intensifs. Quel que soit le scénario, il y aura 200 patients aux soins intensifs en décembre, prévoient-ils. Jeudi, 541 personnes ayant contracté le virus étaient hospitalisées, dont 151 patients aux soins intensifs. Parmi ceux-ci, 101 étaient sous respirateur. Le Groupe d’experts a aussi noté qu’il est difficile de déterminer s’il existe actuellement un revirement dans la croissance des cas. Le taux de guérison en province était de 84,8 % selon le dernier bilan de la santé publique. Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean will be one of the first regions in the province to get rapid COVID-19 tests, as part of new efforts to get the coronavirus under control in the hard-hit region.Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said Friday he expects the tests to be available by the middle of December.Like other provinces, Quebec has been slow to deploy rapid tests as it figures out how to best use them.Arruda described them as another "tool" in the fight against the pandemic."They must be used in the right way," he said at a news conference in Saguenay, explaining that rapid tests could be used to do a screening of the broader population.Arruda said the situation in Saguenay is "very fragile," but said "there is hope." He once again urged the public to follow the guidelines: hand-washing, distancing and limiting contacts."Please count the number of people you have had contact with in a day, and reduce that number."The tone of the news conference was slightly more upbeat than a week earlier, when local health officials warned the situation was nearing a tipping point.The number of new cases has hovered between 100 and 200 a day, below some of the daily counts seen last week.Andrée Laforest, Quebec's minister responsible for the region, who was also at the news conference, said the situation appears to be improving but that the health network is still strained. Nurses and doctors have sounded the alarm that the pandemic has made staffing difficult in the region, particularly in Chicoutimi.
Alberta reported 1,227 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths Friday. That brings the number of active cases to a record 14,217. Today is the final day of in-school classes for junior and senior high students in Alberta, and the waiting has begun to see what impact the government's new measures will have, if any, on the COVID-19 outbreak in the province. For the next three weeks, Grade 7 to 12 classrooms will remain empty. Indoor social gatherings are banned, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and access to some businesses will be restricted, while masks will be mandatory at indoor workplaces in Edmonton and Calgary. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, asked Albertans Friday to cut back on their in-person interactions with others. "I want to be clear, for the next few weeks every one of us needs to dramatically reduce the amount of contact we have with people outside our own household," Hinshaw said at a news conference. "This weekend, I am asking all Albertans to embrace this challenge. "The decisions each of us make this weekend will help determine whether cases fall or rise in the weeks ahead. So please be wise, be safe and let's all look out for each other." Province to enforce restrictions As the province moves forward with the new restrictions, Hinshaw asked Albertans to cooperate with health-care workers, business people and anyone else enforcing the rules. "I know that the restrictions currently placed on all of us are difficult, but they are not the fault of law enforcement or inspectors who are simply trying to enforce what is in place and to help stop the spread," she said. "I urge Albertans to exercise patience and kindness in the days ahead. If a line is a bit longer than usual or an employee asks you to follow a new policy that is in place, please do not take your frustrations out on these workers. "These new restrictions and measures create extra work and pressures for staff, owners and operators." Kaycee Madu, Alberta's minister of justice and solicitor general, said the province is ready to enforce the new rules. "My expectation is that those who are in violation of the measures that we have put in place would have to be held accountable," Madu said at the news conference. "I think you are going to see a heightened level of enforcement in those cases where there are individuals who are blatantly not compliant with the health measures." Up to 700 additional peace officers will help police and other law enforcement officers administer the new rules, Madu said. 10-day wait Hinshaw says it will be 10 to 14 days before we see if the new measures can dent surging COVID-19 case numbers. Until then, the numbers seem destined to soar as they have through November. On Thursday, the number of active cases in Alberta broke 14,000 while the number of dead broke 500. Public health critics and the most vocal of the province's doctors fear the government waited too long to act. They point to the number of people in hospital and in ICU, which Hinshaw herself sees as key metrics in the battle. Almost everyday those numbers set new records. On Friday, there were 405 people in hospital, 86 of them in ICU. Critics also claim the restrictions do not go far enough, saying if we have to wait 10 days to know for sure, it may be too late to get the disease under control. The active cases in Alberta breaks down among regions as: Edmonton zone: 6,614 cases Calgary zone: 5,164 cases Central zone: 950 cases North zone: 769 cases South zone: 634 cases Unknown: 86 cases The new deaths bring the total to 519. They include: A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Rosealta Lodge in the Central zone. He died Nov. 16. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Manor Village Varsity in the Calgary zone. She died Nov. 17. A man in his 60s in the South zone who died Tuesday. A woman in her 80s in the Edmonton zone who died Tuesday. A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at Laurel Heights Retirement Residence in the Edmonton zone. He died Wednesday. A woman in her 90s in the Edmonton zone who died Wednesday. A woman in her 70s in the South zone who died Thursday. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Extendicare Eaux Claires in the Edmonton zone. She died Thursday. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Revera Bow-Crest in the Calgary zone. He died Thursday.
TORONTO — An angry Premier Doug Ford lashed out on Friday at anti-lockdown protesters outside his home, accusing them of intimidating nearby residents and saying their actions wouldn't sway him.His neighbours, Ford said in offering them a sincere apology for getting caught up in the situation, make no government decisions and never signed up to be targets."Stop acting like a bunch of buffoons out there and start respecting the people of Ontario," Ford said at his daily briefing. "This is totally unacceptable that my neighbours are being intimidated, being threatened, and these people, they need to stop."Protesters opposed to measures aimed at curbing the lethal spread of COVID-19 have gathered outside the premier's west-end Toronto home daily. Their actions, he said, are unacceptable."You want to protest me, come down to Queen's Park," Ford said. "You can do cartwheels, you can jump up and down." Ford took aim at Independent legislator Randy Hillier, who did lead an anti-mask and anti-lockdown rally at the legislature on Thursday. Police ticketed Hiller, whom Ford called irresponsible, for allegedly breaking health rules imposed to curb COVID.Hillier's supporters took to social media to denounce the citation and restrictions as unnecessary. Ford, however, said it's unfathomable that some people believe coronavirus disease to be a hoax when in fact the virus is so serious. "Look at the states to the south of us that want to ignore the regulations — they're blowing up," he said. "They have mobile morgues driving around in Texas collecting bodies. If that's not a wake-up call, I don't know what is."On Friday, Ontario reported a record 1,855 new infections, a 25 per cent surge in a day, and 20 new deaths. The province has now seen 109,361 cases, 3,575 of them fatal.Ford defended the restrictions that have shut down many businesses and limited gatherings as public health authorities urged people to stay home except for essential reasons. The measures, he said, were proven effective earlier this year."The proof is in the pudding: When we did it last time, we were down to almost 100 cases, which is unheard of in a population of 14.77 million people." The protesters outside his house, Ford said, were special interest and political groups. Small business owners on his street and elsewhere in the neighbourhood were among those anti-lockdown protests end up hurting, he added.Ultimately, Ford said, the protesters were violating the very tenets of political discourse. "There's an unwritten rule here in Canada: You don't go after people's families and neighbours," he said. "You want to come at me, come at me, and leave my family and leave my neighbours alone."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man accused of an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver in late August appeared in court this week to plead guilty to several, unrelated charges connected to fraud from earlier this year. Colton Herneshuhta, 21, pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges relating to fraud, forgery, a break and enter and breaching probation orders on Thursday, Nov. 26 in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom. Court heard several instances where Herneshuhta used fake cheques to defraud several agencies in the city from January to April. On Jan. 6, Herneshuhta attended a loan agency business on Red River Road and presented a forged cheque for $1,139. A few days later, the business learned the cheque was fraudulent and alerted police who identified Herneshuhta as the person who cashed the cheque. He was also on probation at the time. On Jan. 9, Herneshuhta again used more fake cheques at two different businesses on Red River Road totalling $900. In a different case, another complainant gave Herneshuhta her debit card and pin number after he lied about why he needed it, according to Herneshuhta lawyer's George Joseph. “Mr. Herneshuhta made attempts to withdraw money that were outside the perimeters of the representation he made to (the complainant),” Joseph said. He initially attempted to withdraw $1,499, but was only able to take out $500, court heard. In April, Herneshuhta used a fake cheque of $850 to defraud the Children’s Aid Society. A few months later in August, Herneshuhta was identified as a suspect of a break and enter at a business on Victoria Street on Aug. 2. The Crown stated there was no estimate provided by the business of the damage caused or items stolen. Joseph told the court his client has struggled with a cocaine addiction for 10 years which has fuelled his criminal behaviour. Since being in custody, Herneshuhta has remained sober and has been working on his education as well as taking advantage of programs while in custody, Joseph said. Herneshuhta was sentenced to a joint submission of six months in custody, less pre-sentence custody. Crown counsel Piera Pasloski said Herneshuhta’s criminal record is limited and acknowledged his addiction which has been driving his criminal behaviour. “Mr. Joseph shared with me at the counsel pre-trial that Mr. Herneshuhta has had an extremely hard-wired addiction problem since age 11,” she said. “The hope is he will get himself the treatment he needs once he is released and that this behaviour will cease.” Herneshuhta was given credit at an enhanced rate for the time he has spent in pre-sentence custody of 136 days. He has 44 days left to serve going forward. After his custodial sentence, he will be placed on probation. Part of his probation conditions include participating in any assessments for counselling and substance addictions as well as completing any treatment programs if he is directed by probation. He is also not to contact any of the complainants or enter the businesses he defrauded. He will have 12 months to pay a victim surcharge fine for each of the 13 counts. Herneshuhta was not ordered to pay a restitution order. Herneshuhta also has outstanding charged connected to an alleged armed robbery from Aug. 24 of a pizza delivery driver. He is scheduled to return to court for these matters in early December.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Champion ice-dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury were among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders named to the Order of Canada. Gov. Gen. Julie Payette's office announced the new honourees Friday morning. Others in the group include Indigenous writer Thomas King, winemaker John Peller, dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Langley, geriatrician Roger Wong, Cree elder Doreen Spence, sports academic Dr. Sandra Kirby, wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and ex-politicians Bill Graham and Allan Rock. Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018. They're being honoured for their athletic excellence and for inspiring a new generation of figure skaters. "Feeling all wrapped up in emotion ... Upon learning about being invested into the Order of Canada, I couldn’t help but think that as a kid, I would have never known to dream so big," Virtue posted on Twitter. "I am humbled by this honour." Tewksbury, who is being named to the top companion rank, won gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The 52-year-old Calgary native came out publicly as gay in 1998 and has been an advocate of LGBTQ rights as well as a prominent member of Canada's Olympic movement, serving as chef de mission of the 2012 London Olympic team. He is being honoured for athletic excellence and sport leadership, and for championing human rights. Kirby, a rower at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is being honoured for her research on athlete harassment and her advocacy for equity, inclusion and safety in sport. Frick coached Canada's women's wheelchair basketball team to three straight Paralympic gold medals from 1992-2000 and four straight world championship gold medals from 1994-2006. He is being honoured for his expertise in coaching and for his contributions to the advancement of parasports in Canada. The Order of Canada is one of the country's highest civilian honours. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
Physical fights broke out in Taiwan's parliament after an opposition party objected to the government's move to lift a ban on imports of U.S. pork and beef
The P.E.I. government announced Friday the timing of its expansion of its current insulin pump program that will extend benefits to Islanders with diabetes up to age 25. The previous age cutoff for the program was 18.The province will also increase the number of glucose tests strips available through its diabetes drug program from 100 to 120 strips.It's a commitment the province made in its 2020 budget, announced in June. The other Atlantic provinces already cover insulin pumps for those up to age 25. The changes to the programs are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2021."Diabetes [affects] more than 15,000 Islanders, and it is so important that we offer additional support to these individuals so they can live healthy, fulfilling lives without cost as a barrier," said Health Minister James Aylward in a news release.Insulin pumps allow people with diabetes to auto-administer insulin rather than injecting a syringe throughout the day multiple times. According to Diabetes Canada, there are more than 48,000 Islanders living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase to 57,000 in 10 years as the population ages. Age restriction remainsAdvocates for more help for Islanders with diabetes have been calling on the province to lift the age restriction altogether, as Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and the three territories have. There was no mention of that in Friday's release.Aylward also announced a new diabetes strategy for the next four years aimed at three key areas: prevention, detection and management — exactly the same goals the province had for its very first diabetes strategy, in place from 2014 to 2017. "We want to work with Islanders to help reduce the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes; we want to make sure that more Islanders are screened for diabetes; and, we will help Islanders better manage diabetes so they can live healthy and active lives," the 2020-2024 strategy says.In addition to financial assistance, Health PEI's provincial diabetes program offers education and advice to Islanders living with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it, the release said. Diabetes Canada said in the release it is pleased the province has aligned its goal with the organization's national strategy, called Diabetes 360°, and looks forward to working on it with government. More from CBC P.E.I.
A Pembroke, Ont., woman who was found guilty of impaired driving causing death in 2015 has lost her dentist's licence for six months.According to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Christy Natsis will also be monitored for the next two and half years through office visits, pay $7,500 in costs to the college and receive an official reprimand.The college cited Natsis breaking the law and acting with "disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unethical conduct."Those allegations were uncontested, a spokesperson for the college said, and the hearing proceeded with an agreed statement of facts and a joint submission for the penalty.The college held a teleconference on Thursday and announced its decision.Natsis was found guilty in May 2015 — after a 55-day trial that stretched over three years — of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death in the March 2011 crash that killed Bryan Casey.She was eventually sentenced to five years in prison, which she unsuccessfully appealed.
SAINT-LÉONARD-D’ASTON. Éducatrice au service de garde de l’école Tournesol à Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et sensible à la situation actuelle, Nathalie Comeau a proposé aux élèves de faire des cartes de Noël destinées à tous les résidents et au personnel du Centre l’Assomption. Un beau geste de solidarité envers ceux qui sont actuellement à lutter contre la COVID-19. «J’ai eu cette idée pour leur mettre un petit baume sur le cœur. J’ai présenté le projet à la quarantaine d’élèves qui fréquentent le service de garde et tous ont accepté de faire une carte ou un dessin. Ils étaient emballés de poser ce geste de joie et d’appui», explique Nathalie Comeau. Une de ces enfants est Florence Lapointe-René. «J’ai fait une carte avec un ressort où on retrouve une conversation entre deux lutins et une autre où c’est un cadeau. J’y souhaite un Joyeux Noël et j’ai écrit qu’il ne faut pas se décourager. C’est une très bonne idée de faire des cartes, car cela va réconforter les aînés, je crois», souligne-t-elle. De son côté, Camélya Turmel a conçu des cartes dans lesquelles elle tenait à remercier les dévoués employés du Centre l’Assomption. «J’ai écrit «Merci de prendre soin des personnes âgées et de Joyeuses Fêtes». En ce moment, j’ai une belle pensée pour eux», explique la jeune fille qui aime aider les gens.Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
TORONTO — The number of reported new cases of COVID-19 and related deaths surged in Ontario on Friday, a day after officials expressed cautious optimism the spread of the dangerous virus was moderating.Figures released show a record 1,855 new infections, a whopping increase of 25 per cent from the previous day. Public health authorities also reported 20 new deaths.There were slight decreases in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ventilators.The surge in new cases comes as the province grapples with how best to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in an effort to keep the health-care system functioning.Health Minister Christine Elliott said the sharp spike was not unexpected, given that stringent measures in the hard-hit Toronto area only kicked in on Monday. It would likely take two full weeks before the numbers start dropping, she said."We're still seeing the results from some of the events that have happened and some of the celebrations that have happened in the last few weeks," Elliott said.Premier Doug Ford spent much of Friday's briefing looking forward to the day when an anti-COVID vaccine might be available. Former chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier will oversee a distribution task force, Ford said, as he called on the federal government to provide details as soon as possible about the doses the province can expect."We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said.Several hospitals have now experienced outbreaks, including a major facility in London, Ont. Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ont., became the latest hit after three patients and two staff tested positive. The facility said it had closed its clinical teaching unit to new patient admissions and was pondering whether to close one of its eight operating rooms. It also said it was suspending in-person visits in favour of virtual connections.Staff at high risk of exposure had been tested and asked to self-isolate, Cheryl Evans, a Grand River spokeswoman, said.In recent weeks, the provincial government and local health authorities have reimposed increasingly stringent anti-pandemic measures, forcing businesses to close and strongly advising people in hot spots to all but isolate.On Thursday, police ticketed a provincial politician, Randy Hillier, for his role in an anti-lockdown protest at the legislature. Supporters carrying placards that suggested the pandemic was fake did not wear masks.Ford called the politician totally "irresponsible.""Folks that believe this is just a big hoax, which I've never figured that out, this is a very serious virus, we're seeing it around the world, around our country," Ford said.Four of the hardest hit regions all saw significant case increases, with Elliott reporting 517 new infections in Peel, 494 in Toronto, 189 in York Region, and 130 in Halton.The most recent provincial projections indicate the province was on track to see more than 9,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by mid-December without the more stringent measures.Ford has warned against planning Christmas or other celebrations, while Elliott has said it would be "very optimistic" to expect much of an improvement in time for the holidays.While schools have remained open, the education minister has warned that an extended winter break or move to remote-only learning may be needed."We are thinking ahead to be able to mitigate any increase of transmission in our schools because we've fundamentally, in this province, been able to keep that rate down,'' Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Thursday.Latest figures show 122 new cases in schools, bringing the total infections to 4,470, with at least 2,769 involving students, and at least 614 involving teachers and staff. Public health authorities on Friday closed the private Northside Christian School in Listowel, Ont., until at least Dec. 1 after an outbreak. Huron Perth Public Health said the school reported one case but others might be connected.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante can now add "author" to her resume with the publication of a graphic novel in which she recounts her entry into politics and takes subtle digs at the sexism she's encountered along the way.'"Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics," tells the story of Simone Simoneau — modelled on Plante — a young community organizer who decides to take the plunge into politics by running for a seat on city council.Published in both English and French and co-authored by illustrator Delphie Cote-Lacroix, the book follows the initially hesitant Simoneau as she learns to fundraise, knock on doors and recruit volunteers.Plante, 46, said she began to toy with the idea of publishing a book after she won the mayoralty in 2017. Writing a typical political autobiography didn't appeal, she said."For me the graphic novel format was always what I wanted," she said in a recent interview at her publisher's offices."I think it’s accessible, it can be fun, and I love graphic novels myself."The book is based on Plante's own sketches and anecdotes she began jotting down in 2013, during her first run for a seat on city council. Four years later, she became the first woman elected mayor of Montreal after her surprise defeat of experienced incumbent Denis Coderre.While the writing and drawings were initially a form of self-care to help her "stay balanced," she said she eventually came to see that her story might inspire others, especially young girls."I wanted to show, and maybe tell, people it’s OK not to have all the keys and codes to do something you think would be a good thing to do or you believe in," she said."Just go for it."She began working with Cote-Lacroix on evenings and weekends, taking about two years to finalize the story and illustrations.Plante said that, much like her character in the book, she had been looking for a new challenge before her entry into politics. Then she received a phone call from left-wing municipal party Projet Montreal, which was looking to diversify its slate of candidates.In the book, Plante doesn't shy away from the challenges faced by women who put themselves in the public eye. At one point, one of her character's posters is defaced by sexist graffiti. In another, her character's husband gets effusive praise for helping to care for the couple's children — something the book points out is a given for female political spouses. While the book "won't change sexism," Plante said she hopes it will help highlight the double standards women face.Three years into her mandate, Plante has had a bumpy year, marked by a global pandemic that has devastated the city's economy and criticism over her administration's failure to implement its big visions for affordable housing and transportation. She has also faced anger over what some have described as an anti-car agenda, which includes building bike lanes, eliminating parking spots and temporarily closing some streets to vehicle traffic to create "sanitary corridors." At times, that criticism has escalated to the level of death threats.While some criticism is to be expected, Plante attributes much of the public anger directed her way to the anxiety wrought by the pandemic."Not to minimize their actions of being very aggressive, violent or doing death threats, but I like to hope in the future, when people are less stressed and in a better position, things will calm down," she said.She also faced criticism earlier this year over her novel itself, with some high-profile commentators questioning her decision to "draw cartoons" as the city was embroiled in the COVID-19 crisis.Plante dismissed this as unfounded, especially since she says the writing process wrapped up in late 2019."People were just kind of trashing the book (without) even reading it, which I thought was sad, because it wasn’t about the content, it was about criticizing the author," she said. However, she did push back the book's publication for a few months when the pandemic's second wave began.Plante said she would still recommend politics to young people who want to make a difference, even as she acknowledges it's a "tough" career that comes with unusual levels of public exposure. "But hopefully people see in the book, the love that you get from your volunteers, it's a community, it’s people working together," she said."It’s worth it."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Kneehill County councillors heard a presentation from a non-profit society that aims to educate kids about finances and business during their regular meeting Nov. 24. Reeve Jerry Wittstock and Coun. Debbie Penner attended the meeting virtually, with Deputy Reeve Faye McGhee chairing the meeting. Junior Achievement, represented by staff member Melanie Willerth, made a presentation to council with three goals in mind, she said: raising awareness of the organization, recruiting volunteers and funding opportunities. Willerth stated the organization offers courses in host schools intended to teach student about finances and business. She provided a summary for councillors listing programs such as More Than Money, Our Business World, A Business of Our Own, Dollars With Sense, Stronger Together, Economics for Success, Investment Strategies and World of Choices. Willerth noted three communities within Kneehill County currently have Junior Achievement programming including Linden, Trochu and Three Hills. The 16 programs are offered to about 400 students. She noted the organization would like to get more awareness of the programs’ value, all of which are offered free of charge to schools, and ideally recruit more volunteer instructors. She explained the programs are offered to students by community members who are knowledgeable about business, and would include one night a week for about 16 weeks. Junior Achievement is a non-profit society which is always happy to see more sponsorship stated Willerth, who added that sponsors are always recognized on program materials. Deputy Reeve McGhee asked about the organization's structure and funding. Willerth answered Junior Achievement has a board of directors and relies heavily on fundraising, with some funds coming from communities and some from the provincial government. The business sector also supports the program she noted. Reeve Wittstock asked how much it costs to offer the programs in Kneehill County. Willerth answered that courses include expenses such as materials and volunteer training, adding up to about $200 to $250 per course. Coun. Penner stated her kids participated in Junior Achievement programming and learned valuable skills like budgeting. She asked if courses are currently accepting, and Willerth answered that there are still courses registering for December and also next year. Coun. Glen Keiver asked if all of the courses must be completed or in a specific order, to which Willerth answered no, they are all stand-alone courses developed for certain school grades. Deputy Reeve McGhee stated she also had kids who completed Junior Achievement courses. After Willerth completed her presentation, councillors discussed the Junior Achievement program. Reeve Wittstock asked if Kneehill County has funded this group in the past. County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Haugen stated in the current year Kneehill County has budgeted $3,000 for the Junior Achievement program, and it has been funded in the past as well. Wittstock noted that should pretty much cover the local programs compared to the figure Willerth gave of about $200 per program. “I would say that’s $200 of well-spent money,” said Deputy Reeve McGhee in support of the program. Penner added she also supports the program but hears that they have trouble finding volunteer speakers to help. Coun. Ken King asked that since Kneehill County is currently funding the group, is the county being credited for its support, and also wondered if Willerth knows Kneehill County is currently funding the program. CAO Haugen stated he will follow-up with Willerth to clarify those details. The presentation was accepted for information.Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review
CALGARY — The Calgary Zoo says two giant pandas are on their way home to China today. The zoo said in May that it would be sending the pair back early because the COVID-19 pandemic was making it difficult to source bamboo.The plant makes up 99 per cent of the animals' diet and the zoo has said it was an expensive and all-consuming effort to cobble together supplies from across North America.The zoo says on Twitter it was a difficult decision to send the pandas home three years earlier than planned. It says it took months of hard work to secure international permits to get the pandas home. The zoo posted photos of reams of paperwork needed for the journey, the crates that were to carry the pandas and the Lufthansa Cargo plane that was to take them to China. The two adults, Er Shun and Da Mao, were on loan from China to Canadian zoos as part of a 10-year deal signed in 2012. They were to stay in Calgary until 2023.Two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, were born in Toronto in 2015. They were sent to China as planned in January. The price tag to have the pandas in Calgary was around $30 million, including $14.4 million for the Panda Passage exhibit itself. Expanded parking lots, washrooms and restaurants were also required to accommodate an expected influx of visitors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Police officers from six detachments rapidly coordinated their resources to track and arrest five Westside gang members. The Maidstone RCMP, Saskatchewan RCMP Roving Traffic Unit (RTU), the Saskatchewan RCMP Protection and Response Team (PRT), Saskatchewan RCMP Highway Patrol, Turtleford RCMP, Onion Lake RCMP, and the Lloydminster RCMP all worked together to nab the alleged Westside gang members that took police on an approximate 150 kilometre, two-hour chase. Police arrested Tonia Cantel, 22, from North Battleford, Juanita Wahpistikwan, 21, from Big Island Cree Nation, Kyle Lajimodiere from Cold Lake, and two youths from Big Island Lake Cree Nation. The five were charged with theft of a vehicle, storing a prohibited firearm, four counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a firearm without a license, being a vehicle with an unauthorized firearm, possessing a prohibited firearm with accessible ammunition without registration, possession a firearm with an altered serial number, endangering the safety of the public, and flight from police. According to Maidstone RCMP, they received a call on Nov. 20 at about 3 p.m. about a grey Honda stolen at a business in Lashburn by three mean dressed in red. The men were seen fleeing east on Hwy 16 in the grey Honda car followed by a small red Ford car. Maidstone RCMP alerted the Saskatchewan RCMP RTU who was already on Hwy 16 southeast of Lashburn to be on the lookout for the stolen vehicle. The RCMP RTU located the eastbound stolen grey car without the second red car. The RCMP RTU followed the stolen grey car and used emergency lights to get the stolen grey car to stop but the driver continued east, turned around and then went west on Hwy 16 at a high rate of speed. After getting confirmation the stolen grey car was still in the Lashburn area, Maidstone RCMP mobilized its partners to be on the lookout for the stolen grey car, report its direction of travel and stay in constant communication. The Saskatchewan RCMP PRT was activated and the Saskatchewan RCMP Highway Patrol on Hwy 16, as well as the Lloydminster RCMP who were asked to help track the movements of the speeding stolen grey car. While the stolen grey car was being tracked, the Lashburn Fire Department advised Maidstone RCMP they received a report of a small red car on fire, east of Lashburn on Range Road 3250. The RCMP PRT first saw the stolen grey car travelling west on Hwy 16, west of the Marshall Weigh Station, and then east on Kempton Road towards Hwy 303. Maidstone RCMP, Lloydminster RCMP, the RCMP RTU, and the RCMP PRT - a total of eight police vehicles - decided to spread out and actively patrol an extended rural area around Lashburn. Maidstone RCMP located the grey car near Paradise Hill, about 60 kilometres north of Lashburn, travelling west on Hwy 3. They monitored the movements of the stolen grey car and observed the stolen grey car turn north on Road 797 in the direction of Frenchman Butte. Maidstone RCMP asked Onion Lake RCMP and Turtleford RCMP to be on the lookout for the stolen grey car. Shortly after, Maidstone RCMP radioed the new direction of the stolen grey car to Turtleford RCMP who were able to position themselves on Township Road 540 to deploy a tire deflation device before the stolen grey car arrived. The tire deflation device was deployed at the right time and, at about 4:40 p.m., the stolen grey car was forced to a stop, shortly after having turned onto Hwy 21. Maidstone RCMP and Turtleford RCMP officers arrested all five occupants of the stolen grey car, without incident. A search of the stolen grey car resulted in the seizure of one sawed-off modified rifle, ammunition, a machete, a BB pistol and several knives. Anyone with information regarding the ownership, occupants or whereabouts of the small red car, on Friday, Nov. 20 at around 3 p.m. in and around Lashburn, Sask., is asked to call Maidstone RCMP at 306-893-4800. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. The Saskatchewan Roving Traffic Unit (RTU) is a mobile traffic enforcement team comprised of Saskatchewan RCMP officers who work in flexible schedules and areas. They address public and traffic safety issues across the Province of Saskatchewan. The five remain in custody and appear in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Dec. 3. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist