Edmonton police have apologized after first trivializing an encounter between officers and people experiencing homelessness during a severe cold snap. Homeless Canadians have become even more vulnerable this winter because of COVID-19.
Edmonton police have apologized after first trivializing an encounter between officers and people experiencing homelessness during a severe cold snap. Homeless Canadians have become even more vulnerable this winter because of COVID-19.
WASHINGTON — Tensions were raw ahead of midnight as Republican leader Mitch McConnell rose in the Senate for the purpose of publicly ridiculing Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the daylong delay as Democrats argued among themselves over the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package. But 12 hours later, it was Schumer, D-N.Y., reveling in the last word, an unabashedly upbeat “help is on the way” to Americans suffering through the pandemic and lockdowns as the Senate prepared to approve the massive package without a single GOP vote. Senate passage of the sweeping relief bill Saturday puts President Joe Biden’s top priority closer to becoming law, poised to unleash billion for vaccines, $1,400 direct payments and other aid, and shows Schumer, in his first big test as majority leader, can unify the ever-so-slim Democratic majority and deliver the votes. “Lessons learned: If we have unity, we can do big things,” Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. The outcome “gives us optimism about doing more big things in the future — because it worked,” he said. Stewardship of the massive pandemic relief package was an inaugural foray of the new power dynamics of Washington, testing Democratic control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade, and setting the foundation for what’s possible for Biden’s agenda. So much of Biden's success or failure depends on the Senate, where Democrats are in command of an evenly split chamber, 50-50, a majority so delicate that any one senator can upend the legislative agenda. While Vice-President Kamala Harris is able to break tie votes, Schumer has zero slack if Republicans are opposed, voting lockstep as they did Saturday against the virus aid as bloated and unnecessary. One key centrist, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wavered over an unemployment provision, throwing the proceedings into chaos before a grueling all-night session. Biden has been telling senators privately their vote on pandemic aid will build momentum for the next priorities. An ambitious infrastructure package is emerging, part of his “Build Back Better” campaign agenda, to bring roads, broadband and green-energy projects nationwide. He and Schumer spoke often as the Senate leader steered the pandemic aid to approval. It's now headed back to the House for a final vote, as soon as Monday. While no senators appeared ready to tank Biden’s top priority, the next votes could prove more difficult. “There’s a whole series of issues that that quite a few of us were discussing,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a Biden ally eager for bipartisanship, who spoke to the president a few minutes after the vote. “This was a reminder yesterday that, in a 50-50 Senate, if any one member changes their mind on an amendment, or vote or an issue, it can change the outcome," Coons said. Voting rights, immigration law changes and other bills will be subject to filibuster rules that require 60 votes for passage, rather than 51, a potentially impossible hurdle in the face of Republican opposition that is stoking calls to change the process to ensure Biden’s priorities don’t flame out. “We’re going to have to have discussions about that,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a member of leadership. But that tough topic was for another day. On Saturday, Democrats elbow-bumped and cheered in the chamber — Stabenow said some were almost in tears -- as they ushered the massive aid package they had promised voters to approval. With 10 million jobs lost and countless schools and businesses shuttered, it includes $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits, money school reopenings, eviction protections and small business assistance. “Only 45 days after Joe Biden became president of the United States, to be able to do something so big, and so significant, that fundamentally is the glue for us,” she said. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said it was the “best day” he’d ever had in the Senate. That biting speech from McConnell, R-Ky., poking at Democrats' temporary disarray? Brown dismissed it as cynical and unsubstantial. “So what,” Brown said. “Nobody cares about that. What they care about is, did we deliver on unemployment? Did we deliver on vaccines? Did we deliver on pensions? We cut the rate of child poverty in half. Think about that.” McConnell led Republicans to put up a blockade of opposition, reviving a strategy used the last time Democrats held the sweep of power, when Barack Obama was president, against the 2009 financial crisis rescue package. After Donald Trump won the White House, McConnell and Republicans controlling Congress with only a slightly thicker Senate margin used similar procedural tools to pass the $2 trillion GOP tax cuts on a party-line vote in 2017. Their effort to repeal and replace the health care law known as “Obamacare” fizzled when Sen. John McCain and two other Republicans voted with Democrats, and McConnell was unable to hold his party together. From his stately office off the Senate floor, with the lived-in feel of the rumpled New Yorker, Schumer pulled out his not-so-secret weapon, the flat flip-phone, which he uses for his constant calls keeping in touch with senators on their votes. "Every member of our caucus, from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, realize that we had to pull together, that if we failed, we’d all be hurt,” Schumer said, referring to the liberal-most senator from Vermont and the centrist from West Virginia. As Manchin hesitated, Schumer called him, as did other senators, and even Biden. But Manchin also had time — hours dragged on — to make up his mind. “He listens to everybody and then he puts it together,” Brown said of Schumer. “He’s good at it.” When the votes were being tallied Saturday, Schumer spotted the two new senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and pointed at them. They had stunned the political world by defeating two Republican incumbents in special elections in January that delivered Democrats the majority. “The people of Georgia deserve a great deal of credit for what happened here today,” Warnock said afterward. “Had they not stood up in such a powerful way, in this historic election that sent Jon Ossoff and myself to the Senate, we simply would not be here.” Schumer urged the presiding officer to announce the vote, 50-49. One Republican senator was absent for a family matter. Harris was not needed to break the tie. Schumer turned to his senators and said, “We are a great team.” Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
BRANTFORD, Ont. — Walter Gretzky's family thought the end was coming quickly in the middle of February. The father of hockey's greatest player had recently suffered a serious hip injury, and after battling Parkinson's disease and other health issues in recent years, his time — something Walter was always willing to give both friends and strangers — appeared to be running short. "But he had a love for life and he didn't want to leave," Wayne Gretzky said during an emotional eulogy Saturday. "We were 21 days sitting with him and just enjoying life. "We got a chance and opportunity to tell stories." And Walter Gretzky's life was full of them. Known as Canada's hockey dad, Walter Gretzky died Thursday at age 82. His passing prompted an avalanche of tributes for a genuine, authentic person who nurtured Wayne's incredible talents on the family's famed backyard rink in Brantford, but also never forgot where he came from. "He was a remarkable man who loved life, loved family," Wayne Gretzky said. "We'd be a way better world if there was so many more people like my dad. "Very special, we're all hurting." Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral service was limited to family. But hundreds of people — including many kids wearing Gretzky jerseys — gathered outside St. Mark's Anglican Church in this city about 100 kilometres west of Toronto. "A tough time," said Wayne, his voice beginning to crack and tears welling in his eyes. "I'm so proud of the fact that so many people have reached out and given him such great tributes, because he deserves it. "He has the heart of gold." Walter was there every step of the way as Wayne ascended to a greatness that included four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and becoming the NHL's all-time leader in goals, assists and points. An employee with Bell for more than three decades — and long after his son became the sport's biggest star — Walter remained a loving, blue-caller symbol of devotion. "A deeply humble man," said Rev. Dr. Tim Dobbin, who officiated the funeral broadcast live on TSN and streamed on Sportsnet.ca. "He spoke the truth. Wally's word was his bond." The elder Gretzky stayed out of the limelight at first during Wayne's rise, but especially after suffering a brain aneurysm in 1991 that cost him much of his memory. Still, Walter became a household name on par with the Great One. "(His) grandchildren had never seen my dad before his brain aneurysm," Wayne said before adding playfully: "We were telling them all we were thankful you didn't know him before his brain aneurysm because he was a lot tougher." The son of a Polish mother and Russian father, Walter played minor hockey and junior B, but said later in life he was never good enough to make it professionally. "He came here, his family, as an immigrant," Wayne said. "They came here because they wanted a better life. "I don't think I've ever met a prouder Canadian than my dad." Walter Gretzky is survived by his five children — Wayne, Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent — as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Phyliss, his wife of 45 years, died of lung cancer in 2005 at age 64. "My sister (Kim) was a champ," Wayne, who stressed his father's death wasn't related to the coronavirus, said of Walter's final weeks. "She was beside him each and every minute of the day. The grandkids were wonderful. "My dad and mom, I know, are so proud." Wayne told a couple of stories during his remarks, including how Walter would have his grandchildren collect stray golf balls at a local course for him to autograph for kids. "You guys have to stop grabbing golf balls," Wayne recounted telling them. They were confused. It was under Walter's orders. "I know he wants them for the kids," Wayne said he replied. "But I've got to sign them!" The eldest Gretzky child also shared another family tale about how Walter missed the birth of his youngest, Brent, for one of Wayne's hockey tournaments. "My mom said, 'Walter, we're going to have this baby this weekend,'" Wayne recalled. "And he said, 'It's OK, you can wait until we get back.'" Wayne then added with a smirk: "So, Brent was born on the Saturday." Once father and son arrived home in Brantford, family and neighbours were wondering what Walter had been thinking before one final comment pushed him over the edge. "He was so mad," Wayne said. "He stood and he grabbed the trophy and he goes, 'Yes, but we got the trophy!'" A video tribute towards the end of Saturday's service included pictures from the early days on the backyard rink, Wayne's triumphs, Walter on the ice teaching kids, the Gretzky memorabilia in the family home, and highlights from his son's final games in the NHL. As the casket was about to be led out of the church and into the sunshine, "The Hockey Theme" song made famous on "Hockey Night In Canada" was played. And the moment Walter's funeral procession pulled away from the church — the building's sign read "We Will Miss You Wally" — some of the jersey-clad kids waiting outside tapped their hockey sticks on the pavement in unison. A perfect send off for Canada's hockey dad. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter The Canadian Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Native leader and former state lawmaker John Sackett has died. He was 76. Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on Monday in tribute. “John Sackett was a valuable and effective advocate for Alaska Natives and our rural communities throughout his nearly 20-year tenure in the Legislature, as well as his extensive professional and community involvement. His legacy of service will forever be an integral piece of Alaska’s history,” Dunleavy said. “Rose and I offer our sympathies to the Sackett family as they honour his memory.” His cause of death was not immediately released. Sackett was born in 1944 in the remote village of Cutoff, 35 miles (56 kilometres) up the Huslia River in Interior Alaska, Anchorage Daily News reported. He began his political career in 1967 in the state House of Representatives, when he was in his 20s. Sackett then spent 14 years in the state Senate, and four in the House representing Interior and Southwest Alaska, according to a profile by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He also served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Sam Kito, former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, said on Friday that Sackett's work in the Legislature was only part of his legacy. He also helped establish Doyon Ltd., the Alaska Native regional corporation, in the 1970s. Sackett was the first president of Doyon and Kito served as executive vice-president, he said. Sackett was also former president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, providing services to dozens of tribes. Kito also said Sackett was an influential leader in the fight for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which established Alaska Natives claims to land in the state. Doyon, Ltd. said on its Facebook page in 2019 that Sackett continued to attend meetings until late in life. The Associated Press
Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said on Saturday he would step down as the leader of Reform UK, the rebranded Brexit Party he launched two years ago to campaign for what was commonly known as "no deal Brexit". Farage, who as leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) applied pressure on the government to hold the 2016 EU referendum, said the Brexit Party had helped the Conservatives "come to their senses" and chose Boris Johnson as their leader with a pro-Brexit agenda.
COVID-19. Les plus récentes données sur l'évolution de la COVID-19, au Québec, font état de 749 nouveaux cas pour la journée d'hier, pour un nombre total de 291 924 personnes infectées. Parmi celles-ci, 274 245 sont rétablies. Elles font également état de 10 nouveaux décès, le nombre total de décès s'élève à 10 465. Le nombre total d'hospitalisations a diminué de 16 par rapport à la veille, avec un cumul de 601. Parmi celles-ci, le nombre de personnes se trouvant aux soins intensifs a diminué de 2, pour un total actuel de 109. Les prélèvements réalisés le 4 mars s'élèvent à 26 109. Finalement, 19 865 doses de vaccin ont été administrées dans la journée d'hier, pour un total de 532 012. Jusqu'à maintenant, 638 445 doses ont été reçues. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Nearly a month after Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial election was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say the counting of the ballots has begun — at least for those that have been returned. Ten teams of two people have begun the laborious process of tallying ballots, Elections NL spokeswoman Adrienne Luther confirmed Saturday. Though the election has dragged on well beyond its originally scheduled voting date of Feb. 13 and ballot counting may not end until next month, not everyone was happy to hear the vote-counting process had begun Saturday. "The counting of the votes for who?" asked Patricia Johnson-Castle, the NDP candidate in the Torngat Mountains district, which includes the fly-in Indigenous communities along Labrador's north coast. Many voters in that district are still waiting for their ballots and some are worried they won't arrive in time, she said. Elections NL head Bruce Chaulk called off all in-person voting on Feb. 12, the night before people were originally scheduled to head to the polls. With a COVID-19 outbreak spreading rapidly through the St. John's metro region, Chaulk said votes would instead be cast by mail. After a few deadline extensions, ballots must now be postmarked by March 12 in order to be counted. All requests for ballots had to be in by Feb. 19. Luther confirmed Saturday morning that everyone in Labrador who requested a mail-in ballot before the Feb. 19 deadline would receive one through express mail. Johnson-Castle said express mail still takes six days for mail get from St. John's to Nain, where she lives. Flights have been cancelled because of weather all week, she said, so there's already a backlog. "If the weather comes down next week, I don't know what happens," Johnson-Castle said in an interview Saturday. She said she also spent $600 from her campaign fund to translate ballot instructions into Inuktitut and Innu-aimun, the Indigenous languages used by many in her district. She acknowledged that Elections NL doesn't normally provide translations of these materials, but said with in-person voting, people are on hand to help the many monolingual speakers of these languages cast a ballot. The Progressive Conservatives have also expressed concern about Labrador's Indigenous voters being left behind. "Our candidates in Labrador have been working with voters directly to ensure ballots are able to be filled out and residents can partake in this election," said a statement from the party on Saturday. "The timing of this election has greatly affected the ability of Indigenous populations throughout our province to participate." In an emailed statement, the Liberal party, whose leader Andrew Furey is the incumbent premier, said they recognize the importance of Indigenous languages in the province. "It is our understanding from supporters we connect with that, where needed, Elections NL is doing everything it can to help those who request accommodations with the special ballot process," the statement said. Furey first called the election on Jan. 15, and he's faced criticism for the call throughout the campaign, even before the pandemic sent the process spiralling into chaos. Luther had said previously that approximately 68,000 voted before Feb. 12 at advance polls or by special ballot, which includes mail-in ballots and ballots cast at district offices before election day. Her office estimates another 120,000 voters contacted the office to request a mail-in ballot after in-person voting was suspended. Elections NL staff can process about 5,000 mail-in ballots a day, she said, which means the vote tallying could carry on until April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
JUSTICE. Par la voix de Claude Robitaille, le directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) présente une requête d’émission d’une ordonnance de non-publication. Si elle est acceptée par le juge de la Cour supérieure François Huot, elle fera en sorte qu’il sera impossible de «divulguer et/ou publier toutes informations relatives à la preuve et aux plaidoiries qui seront présentées au cours du procès de l’accusée. Selon l’argumentaire du DCCP, la publication de la preuve remettrait en cause la possibilité de tenir un procès «juste et équitable» pour le père de la fillette. La requête sera présentée le 14 juin 2021 au Palais de justice de Trois-Rivières suite à un changement de venue. Rappelons que le procès de la belle-mère qui débutera le 13 septembre 2021 sera devant jury. De son côté, le père de la fillette de sept ans morte le 30 avril 2019 devrait être de retour en cour le 9 avril 2021. L’homme de 31 ans est accusé de négligence criminelle, de séquestration et d’abandon d’enfant avec omission de lui avoir fourni les choses nécessaires à la vie. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Forge FC owner Bob Young says the Canadian Premier League champions will be playing the Canadian Championship final against Toronto FC at a disadvantage. In an open letter on social media, Young says Canada Soccer has proposed a date for the game "that worked for one team but ignored the situation of the other." While Young does not reference the date in his letter, March 20 has been talked about. At issue for Young is the preparation time for both teams. "Why would Canada Soccer propose a date to play this game where one of the teams had more than a month to practise and prepare for the game and, due to COVID restrictions, the other team only a week?" he wrote. "They are proposing a date that, according to leading Canadian soccer coaches and medical personnel I've spoken to, would put one team's athletes at risk of injury, and would certainly give the team that had been practising an obvious and significant advantage." Toronto FC was granted permission by MLS to open camp early, on Feb. 17 to prepare for the Canadian Championship final. Most other teams started March 1. Young doesn't detail the "COVID restrictions" that are restricting Forge's training. The winner of the Canadian Championship final earns a berth in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, CONCACAF's flagship club competition. The victor will meet Mexico's Club Leon in a two-legged round-of-16 matchup scheduled for April 7 and 14. The MLS season kicks off April 17. Forge booked its ticket to the Canadian Championship final by winning the Island Games in 2020. TFC made it by posting the best record in the all-Canadian portion of the pandemic-disrupted 2020 MLS season. Young, who also owns the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, said he wrote the open letter because "Canada Soccer won't respond to me." Canada Soccer, which runs the Canadian Championship, has yet to confirm the date or venue for the final. It has only said the game will take place in the first quarter of 2021. Time is running short. There is a FIFA international window March 22-28 during which World Cup and Olympic qualifying matches are scheduled. Canada Soccer and Forge FC did not immediately respond to questions arising from Young's letter. --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Deliveroo said shares worth 50 million pounds ($69 million) would be earmarked for customers in its upcoming flotation, with the offer branded "Great food with a side of shares". The Amazon-backed food delivery firm announced plans on Thursday to list in London, with a potential value of $7 billion making it the biggest market debut in Britain for three years. Founder and chief executive Will Shu said Deliveroo's customers had supported the firm's growth and he wanted to give them the chance to share in the next stage of its journey.
The reopening of England's schools to all pupils on Monday will mark the first step back towards normality and is only possible because of the efforts of the public to bring COVID-19 infection rates down, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. Johnson has announced a roadmap for lifting lockdown measures that sees schools open first, followed in later stages by the gradual easing of restrictions on mixing with other people and the reopening of non-essential shops and other venues. In the final stage, which will take place no earlier than June 21, the government hopes to remove all remaining legal limits on contact with others.
CALGARY, United Kingdom — Alberta's Liberals have appointed a Calgary lawyer to hold the party's top job months after the resignation of its former leader. The party issued a statement saying its board of directors named John Roggeveen to the role, but offered few other details. The party, which currently holds no seats in the provincial legislature, has been without a leader since November when David Khan stepped down to pursue a job in his previous field of law. Roggeveen, too, is a lawyer by trade, most recently practising privately in Calgary. Liberal Party President Helen Mcmenamin describes him as "the ideal candidate" for the role, citing "years of political experience and a deep commitment to building the Party and serving Albertans." Roggeveen says it's an honour to take the party reins and is pledging to bolster its presence in the province's political landscape. "Good policies are one of the strengths of our party, but good organization will be the foundation for successfully implementing them," he said in the statement. "My focus will be on creating a stronger organization so that the Alberta Liberals will be a force in the next election." 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. It secured a seat for only one member in 2015 and was shut out of the legislature entirely during the most recent election in April 2019. Saturday's statement neither specified the expected length of Roggeveen's stint as party leader nor spelled out the process for choosing a permanent successor. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in one unit of the Kelowna General Hospital after a staff member and patient tested positive for the virus. In a statement, Interior Health said the outbreak affects unit 5B at the hospital and there is no evidence the virus has transmitted to other areas of the hospital. This outbreak is not linked to an ongoing outbreak on unit 4B, which was declared on Feb. 22, Interior Health said. Outbreak control measures are in place and the hospital remains safe to visit for appointments and emergency care, the health authority added. Patients and visitors are not required to get tested or self-isolate after visiting the hospital. B.C. health officials announced a spike in new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, adding 634 to the tally over the last 24 hours. Another four people have died of the disease. Interior Health to open call centre for vaccinations Monday Interior Health says it will open its call centre on Monday for seniors looking to book COVID-19 vaccinations. People aged 90 and up, as well as Indigenous people aged 65 and up, can call 1-877-740-7747 to book an appointment. The call centre is open seven days per week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vaccinations will start as early as March 15. B.C.'s largest ever vaccination campaign aims to vaccinate more than four million British Columbians against COVID-19 by September 2021. In the past week, several factor have changed to quickly accelerate that timeline, including the province's decision to delay second doses of the vaccine until more first doses are administered. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said everyone in the province could receive a first shot by early July, or even late June. Click here to read more about the vaccines and how they will be distributed. CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to put your COVID-19 vaccine questions to expert guests, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The NBA is expecting arenas to be filled again next season and a return to its normal calendar, commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday. But Silver cautioned again every plan is contingent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. There are no plans for the league to travel overseas next season for exhibitions or regular-season games, Silver said, meaning recent preseason trips to foreign markets such as China, Japan or India won’t be repeated until 2022 at the earliest. But otherwise, things may largely appear back to normal — with the NBA eyeing a return to the 82-game schedule, starting in October and ending in June. “I’m fairly optimistic, at this point, that we will be able to start on time,” Silver said from Atlanta, in his annual news conference that precedes the all-star game. “Roughly half our teams have fans in their arenas right now and, if vaccines continue on the pace they are and they continue to be as effective as they have been against the virus and its variants, we’re hopeful that we’ll have relatively full arenas next season as well.” The league had 171 games cancelled last season because of the pandemic — one of the reasons for revenue projections being missed by about US$1.5 billion — and this season will be at least 150 games below the usual total, with more significant financial losses certain. All teams are scheduled to play 72 games instead of the customary 82, with only about half the league admitting any fans and those that have opened their doors doing so for just a small percentage of normal capacity. “Last season and this season has required a significant investment on the part of the team owners," Silver said. “They accept that. "Players will end up taking a reduction in salary this season because they are partners with the league and teams on revenue. League executives, team executives have all taken haircuts on their salary. But I think when we all step back, we all feel very fortunate to be working under these circumstances and my sense is the players feel the same way." Silver’s news conference was virtual this season for the first time, done over Zoom — like virtually all other league business this year — because of the pandemic and the league’s protocols for health and safety. A year ago at all-star weekend in Chicago, about a month before the NBA’s decision March 11, 2020, to suspend the season following the news that Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, Silver warned there was “a major national, if not global, health crisis” looming with regard to the virus. What Silver said might not have sounded many alarms at that time. Less than a month later, the virus began dominating every aspect of life across the globe — and has continued to since. “One thing we've all come to understand over the last year is that the virus is firmly in charge," Silver said. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Quebec continued to escalate its vaccination drive over the weekend, reporting Saturday that the past 24 hours had seen it deliver a single-day high of nearly 20,000 shots to its growing list of eligible residents. The 19,865 jabs administered on Friday mark the most the province has reported in a single day and come as vaccine shipments ramp up across Canada following numerous international shipment delays. To date, provincial figures show 532,012 doses of vaccine have been administered out of a total of 638,445 received from the federal government. Provincial health minister Christian Dube highlighted the upward trend in a tweet on Saturday. "Vaccinations have [increased] over the last few days and will continue to [increase], with other regions in addition to Montreal beginning mass vaccination next week," Dube wrote. Until recently, Quebec has concentrated its vaccination effort on particular groups such as health-care workers, people living in remote regions and seniors in long-term care facilities. The government began allowing members of the general public to schedule appointments to receive their vaccines recently, with eligibility varying by region. In Montreal and Laval, for example, people over the age of 70 can book appointments, while slots are restricted to people over 80 in other regions. More regions are scheduled to expand vaccine access to those in different age groups starting next week. In addition to the vaccine numbers, Quebec reported 749 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus. Hospitalizations across the province declined by 16 to 601 over the past 24 hours, while the number of patients in intensive care declined by two to 109. Quebec's case numbers have stabilized in recent weeks, prompting officials to relax restrictions in some regions. Starting on March 8, areas such as Estrie and Capitale-Nationale will be designated as "orange zones," meaning the provincewide curfew will be extended until 9:30 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. More businesses, including restaurants, will also be allowed to open at limited capacity. Quebec premier Francois Legault has said that Montreal and the surrounding areas will not see any imminent changes in public health restrictions, warning that more contagious variants of the virus could prompt a sharp uptick in the number of cases in the region. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. Jon Victor, The Canadian Press
Réagissant à la demande renouvelée des provinces sur la hausse des transferts canadiens en matière de santé (TCS), le premier ministre canadien a indiqué que les discussions auraient « absolument » lieu sur la question lorsque le Canada en aura fini avec la crise actuelle. « Après cette pandémie, absolument, on va s’asseoir avec les provinces et les territoires… on va augmenter les transferts en santé et s’assurer que les Canadiens soient bien servis par un système de santé renouvelé. Absolument ! », a-t-il réitéré. Justin Trudeau n’a laissé aucun doute sur l’ordre de priorité qu’il avait déjà présenté à ses homologues des Provinces et des territoires la dernière fois qu’ils ont demandé une augmentation des transferts canadiens en matière de santé. Il a répété qu’Ottawa ferait le nécessaire pour les Canadiens en temps de pandémie « aussi longtemps que ça prendrait… y compris avec les premiers ministres des Provinces à qui on a transféré des dizaines de milliards de dollars pour s’assurer qu’ils aient l’équipement nécessaire, mais aussi que les systèmes de santé puissent continuer à fonctionner dans cette pandémie. » Le premier ministre a reconnu et promis de satisfaire le besoin « évident » d’investir dans les systèmes de soins de santé « mais, a-t-il dit, ces conversations-là doivent avoir lieu après qu’on est passé à travers la crise actuelle. » « Plus de 8 dollars sur 10 dépensés pour appuyer les Canadiens dans cette pandémie sont venus directement du gouvernement fédéral », s’est-il défendu, promettant de « continuer de faire tout ce qui est nécessaire pendant la pandémie pour aider les gens. » En prévision du premier budget Freeland, les premiers ministres des Provinces et Territoires ont dévoilé un rapport confirmant que sans augmentation considérable des transferts canadiens en matière de santé, Ottawa compromettrait leurs systèmes de soins de santé. Ils demandent une augmentation des transferts canadiens en santé de 22 % à 35 % soit environ 28 milliards de dollars. Selon les provinces, ces moyens devraient leur permettre de « continuer à fournir le niveau de soins recherché par leurs citoyens, sans priver de ressources d’autres domaines importants de compétence provinciale comme l’éducation, les services sociaux et la sécurité publique. » Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The chair of Toronto's Board of Health says Toronto is ready to administer vaccines 24/7. Councillor Joe Cressy says the only thing holding this process back is vaccine supply. Katherine Ward looks at why offering COVID-19 vaccines around the clock will be an important step to fighting the pandemic.
A highly anticipated Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan airs on U.S. television later on Sunday, amid what one royal watcher called a "toxic" atmosphere between the couple and the British monarchy. Not since the late Princess Diana appeared on television to share intimate details of her failed marriage to Harry's father, Prince Charles, has an interview with members of the royal family attracted so much attention. Having severed their official royal ties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will explain why they abandoned Britain to move to California and start new lives.
Cet investissement permettra aux municipalités d’acquérir des autobus « à zéro émission » pour les transports collectifs et scolaires, ont annoncé la ministre de l’Infrastructure et des Collectivités, Catherine McKenna et le ministre de l’Innovation, des Sciences et de l’Industrie, François-Philippe Champagne. La ministre McKenna a rappelé que le Canada était leader mondial de la fabrication des autobus électriques, mais elle a précisé qu’Ottawa n’allait pas conditionner l’obtention des subventions par l’attribution des appels d’offres aux fournisseurs canadiens. « On ne force personne, mais les compagnies canadiennes ont la technologie » a-t-elle mentionné au sujet de ce financement sur 5 ans pour 5 000 véhicules. Cet investissement permettra de créer davantage d’emplois bien rémunérés dans le secteur solide et en pleine expansion de la fabrication de véhicules électriques au Canada selon un communiqué. Les entreprises Nova Bus à Saint-Eustache, Lion Electrique à Saint-Jérôme, GreenPower à Vancouver et New Flyer à Winnipeg ont été cités en exemple pour le déploiement des solutions en matière de transport en commun à zéro émission. Ce projet va également contribuer à consolider l’objectif fédéral de zéro émission de CO2 d’ici 2050 à travers une première enveloppe globale de 14,9 milliards de dollars sur huit ans destinés à de nouveaux projets de transport en commun. Avec un investissement complémentaire de 1,5 milliard de dollars, la Banque de l’infrastructure du Canada (BIC) aidera à fournir les infrastructures connexes pour le fonctionnement de la flotte telles que les bornes de recharge. « L’investissement annoncé aujourd’hui par le gouvernement fédéral permettra aux organismes de transport en commun de tout le pays d’accélérer la décarbonisation de nos réseaux de transport en commun afin d’atteindre les ambitieux objectifs climatiques du Canada », s’est réjoui la présidente-directrice générale du Consortium canadien de recherche et d’innovation en transport urbain, Josipa Petrunic. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
NEWARK, N.J. — Ryan Strome scored twice and streaking New York Rangers beat the Devils 6-3 Saturday, sending New Jersey to its fifth straight loss and eighth in nine games. Adam Fox, Ryan Strome, Kevin Rooney Libor Hajek and Filip Chytil also scored as the Rangers won their third straight and sixth in eight games. Alexandar Georgiev had 24 saves while filling in for the injured Igor Shesterkin, who sustained a groin injury in a 6-1 win over New Jersey Thursday night. P.K. Subban and Mikhail Maltsev scored in a 17-second first-period span to give the slumping Devils some hope after falling behind 2-0. The hope lasted less than two minutes. Rooney, a former Devil who signed with New York this season, capped a 2-on-1 with Chytil flipping a cross-ice pass over Mackenzie Blackwood for a 3-2 lead. Hajek stretched the lead to two goals 65 seconds in the second period with a short that deflected off Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen. It was his first point of the season and first goal since getting his first in the NHL against New Jersey on Mar. 9, 2019. Chytil scored in close in the third period as the Rangers scored 12 goals in sweeping the two games against their Hudson River rivals. Nathan Bastian closed the gap to 5-3, but Strome iced the game with an empty net goal. The Rangers caught a break early when Devils defenceman Sami Vatanen was called for a double minor for high sticking 1:33 into the contest. Fox gave New York the lead 33 second later scoring on a length of the ice rush. Strome got his seventh of the year in close after a turnover in the Devils' end. Subban closed the gap to 2-1 with a point shot at 14:54 and Maltsev tied the game in close at 15:11. HORRIBLE HOME The Devils are 2-9-1 at home after losing all five games on the stand that ended Saturday. The last time they lost five straight at home was 2000-01 when they dropped six in a row early. Remarkably, they went to the Cup Final that year and lost to Colorado in seven games. NOTES: F Kaako Kappo returned to the Rangers' lineup after missing the last six games because of COVID-19. He had an assist on the Strome's first goal. ... With Shesterkin sidelined, former Devil Keith Kinkaid was the Rangers backup. ... Devils C Michael McLeod did not play for the first time this season. ... Georgiev picked up an assist on the Fox goal. ... The Devils signed F Graeme Clarke signed a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season. The 19-year-old was a third-round pick in the 2019 draft. UP NEXT Rangers: At Pittsburgh Sunday and Tuesday for the second stop in six-game road trip that ends with two in Boston. Devils: Travel to Boston to face the Bruins in the opener of the three-game road trip that includes stops in Washington and in New York against the Islanders. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Kyle Brookings says his father Barry was told by Elections NL to forge Barry's twin brother's signature in order for his vote to count after receiving the wrong ballot in the mail. (Heather Gillis/CBC) A man in Carbonear says his father received a mail-in ballot for his uncle — who hasn't registered to vote — and when his father contacted Elections NL to fix the situation, he was told to sign the name on the ballot, instead of his own. Elections NL, however, said Saturday its staff would never provide such advice, and that it would be fraudulent for someone to sign another name on their ballot. Kyle Brookings says the voting package meant for his father, Barry, arrived in the mail bearing Barry's twin brother Bruce's name, so he reached out to the body that governs the province's elections. "They basically told him that, at this point, everything is locked in for the election, so he would have to put his brother's signature on it and send it back if he wanted his vote to be counted," Brookings told CBC News of his father's dilemma on Saturday. Brookings' father declined an interview with CBC. Brookings says this is the blue declaration envelope his father Barry received, which has his brother's name instead of his own.(Heather Gillis/CBC) In-person voting in the election was suspended on Feb. 12 following an outbreak of coronavirus variant B117 that resulted in mass resignations of Elections NL poll staff. As a result, voters in the province who hadn't taken part in the advance polling were left with only the special ballot option, with Friday as the deadline for ballots to be postmarked. He said his father contacted Elections NL a second time, and was transferred to Elections Canada who told him it was abnormal to be asked to put a different person's name on a declaration to return a ballot. That leaves Brookings wondering if the election results will be legitimate in the end. "He actually said he was shocked when he got it in the mail and saw that it was, in fact, his twin's name and then he went through the process trying to call them, trying to figure out is there a way to to fix this before the deadline?," Brookings said. "It seems like they're swamped and there's really nothing they can do. And it seems like their advice was to basically pretend he was his twin brother." Brooking's father isn't the only voter to find mistakes with their ballot, a St. John's woman received a voting kit labelled with the wrong electoral district earlier this month. Voters' confidence in Elections NL has also declined, as a CBC Vote Compass survey conducted after election's postponement found a majority of people surveyed either disapproved or strongly disapproved of Elections NL's management of the election thus far. 'Certainly a miscommunication' Elections NL says an Elections NL official would never tell somebody to misrepresent themselves, and doing so constitutes as fraud. (CBC) Elections NL told CBC News in a statement that an Elections NL official would never instruct someone to forge another person's signature or misrepresent themselves. The organization said if the incident did happen, there was "certainly a miscommunication between the election official and the elector." "It would absolutely be election fraud for someone to sign someone else's name on the blue declaration envelope," the Elections NL statement reads. "Only an election official can assist an elector in completing the signature on a blue declaration envelope. Even then, the process is for the elector to mark an 'x' on the signature line, followed by the election official writing 'his or her mark' and their own initials." Elections NL said Brookings' father can contact them directly to request a replacement voting kit, but Brookings said the family was told they will have to "wait and see." "We tried calling. I sent an email to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador, we tried to contact the candidates running here to see if there's anything they can do. I even offered, is there a possibility we could go to St. John's and, maintaining social distancing, retrieve a ballot?" he said. "I think it really does throw the whole election into question. If he was told this, who's to say someone else was? And who's to say that if we see a district that's close, these votes are legitimate?" Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador