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
The family of a man thought to be missing in the British Columbia wilderness is not giving up hope on the search as it closes in on its sixth week.Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen on Oct. 10 when he left for a hike at EC Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia, about two hours east of Vancouver. He was reported missing three days later after not showing up to a friend's Thanksgiving dinner.Naterer's parents live in St. John's. His mother, Josie, said the family and volunteer-led search has moved across the park. It will soon cross over the park's limits, she said."Aircraft went out last weekend, did a massive zig-zagging outside of the park boundaries," she said Friday. "We think it's possible Jordan could have wandered outside of the boundaries, and that's why we haven't found anything of our son."Naterer's mother said information and findings of the aerial search will be sent to volunteers on Monday, who will use the data to add new grids to the areas they're scouring."The grid is going to be huge, we've asked volunteers to take one grid at a time," she said.She said the move into the winter months has complicated the search to a degree, but that snow-covered ground and hard, dense terrain won't deter volunteers from continuing."If people were to see the areas that we have searched to date, they'd be surprised at how much we've walked, droned and flown through the park. But it's still not enough," she said."We're not giving up. We're continuing our search. We feel that our son has the possibility and chances of being alive and [he's] waiting for us to find him."Vancouver vigil 'the support that we needed'Sympathizers held an online vigil for Jordan in the Vancouver area Thursday night, which Naterer's mother said lifted her family's spirits."It was the support that we needed right now," she said. "This has been a very challenging time for our entire family, and it took us to a very comforting place."Our mornings start with hope, and though nothing is found that day, it's hard on all of us. So having the vigil last night just brought a warm feeling to our hearts."As the search wraps up its sixth week, Josie Naterer said the family has the resources to continue the search. They believe Jordan is still out there to be found."We have hope, we have the means," she said. "We're determined to find him. Whether it be today or next week in or two weeks, we won't give up."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
TORONTO — Rogers Sportsnet is parting ways with veteran Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Mike Wilner.The broadcaster announced the split on its Twitter feed Friday. A reason wasn't given for the decision.Sportsnet said Wilner had a "voice that became synonymous with Blue Jays baseball."Wilner, the Blue Jays' first Toronto-born play-by-play broadcaster, became the full-time radio announcer alongside Ben Wagner prior to the 2019 Major League Baseball season. He also called most of the games in 2018 following the retirement of longtime announcer Jerry Howarth.Prior to joining the broadcast booth full-time, he served as a backup announcer and hosted the "Blue Jays Talk" pre- and post-game shows starting in 2002.Wilmer said on a social media post that "his heart is broken," but added he is grateful for getting a chance to "live an absolute dream."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Walt Disney Co. announced plans to lay off 4,000 more workers in its theme parks division in California and Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the industry.The announcement by the company was made in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week, saying 32,000 employees will be terminated in the first half of fiscal year 2021, which began last month. In late September, the company had already announced plans to terminate 28,000 theme park workers.In the SEC document filed on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, the company said it also put 37,000 employees not scheduled for termination on furlough as a result of the pandemic.“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the document said.The company also said they may make more cuts in spending such as reducing film and television content investments and additional furloughs and layoffs.In Florida, the company has been limiting attendance at its parks and changing protocols to allow for social distancing by limiting characters' meet and greets.The company has not specified the number of workers that would be affected in its Orlando theme parks.Disney’s parks closed in March as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened in the summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen pending state and local government approvals.The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The federal government is sending $542 million to Indigenous groups to help them set up welfare services for children and families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.The Canadian government has been promising to transfer control over child and family services to Indigenous governing bodies so they don't need to rely on outsiders to protect children in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.In 2019, Parliament passed a law to reform the system, requiring that children on reserves have access to services equal to those who live off reserves. The legislation also recognize that Indigenous Peoples' constitutional right to self-government includes the right to run their own welfare agencies."We are keeping our promise to give them the support they need to keep children within their families and their communities, so they can grow up surrounded by the strength of their culture to achieve their full potential," Trudeau said.Child-protection agencies have often removed Indigenous children not just from their parents but out of their communities entirely when workers decide the kids aren't safe — often because a lack of funding left them with few other options.That's broken up families and hurt children's connections to their heritage. Federal census figures say Indigenous children make up more than half the kids in foster care across the country, despite being fewer than eight per cent of the children in Canada."Behind these devastating numbers, there are real children, real and terrible stories," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Friday in a separate news conference.The new money is for everything from research and expert advice to consultations on how those Indigenous governments will establish and run their own child and family services, as well as to support their negotiations with provincial and federal authorities.Miller said this is an "essential step to correct the errors of the past" and will help unleash the potential of Indigenous young people who have been held back for generations.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has inked a $100-million cushion into its mid-year financial forecast for any pandemic-related revenue shortfalls as the province deals with a spike in infections. The Ministry of Finance says that buffer is on top of $160 million left in a $200-million contingency fund to cover expenses tied to COVID-19. About $40 million was spent helping school divisions prepare for the resumption of in-class learning in the fall. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said Friday the total $260-million buffer will give the government spending room to pay for unexpected costs in the remaining months of the 2020-21 fiscal year."We're going to be there for our health system, for whatever it takes, and there is no way to say what the magic number will be," she told a news conference. She said no decision has been made as to whether more will be spent to support businesses struggling because of restrictions brought in to try to stem the spread of COVID-19."Those conversations are taking place as we speak. Right now the restrictions are on for three weeks. There will be an impact. How much of an impact ... nothing has been designed or decided."The Finance Ministry attributes a rise in revenue at its mid-year forecast to be in part from $443 million more from Ottawa to help the province deal with the pandemic. How much federal cash has been spent varies from program to program, said Harpauer. "We will be spending it and it will be allocated accordingly as the year unfolds."Opposition NDP economy and jobs critic Aleana Young said the government should make available $18 million in unspent money that was for small business emergency grants during the spring shutdown of non-essential services. "I'm curious, as a small-business owner, why that money was left on the table when we have heard and I do know how stressful this has been for small businesses across the province," she said. "But when you're sitting on $260 million in a pandemic, my question would be do they know something we don't know? Why are you keeping this money in reserve instead of spending it now, when it could actually do some good?"Young added that the holiday season isn't going to be business as usual for restaurateurs and retailers.The province is projecting revenue of $14.2 billion and expenses of $16.2 billion, leaving a deficit of $2 billion. The financial hole is slightly lower than what was forecast in August, before the October provincial election, and is down about $380 million from the spring budget. The update includes $133 million in Saskatchewan Party election promises. Premier Scott Moe campaigned on eliminating the deficit by 2024-25 without raising taxes or major spending cuts.The ministry is also projecting non-renewable resource revenues to be better than imagined in the spring. The West Texas Intermediate oil price is forecast to be US$38 per barrel, up from $30. The government highlighted how Saskatchewan's economy has done well throughout the pandemic compared with other provinces and emphasized that last month's provincial unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada. "Our recovery has been relatively strong," said Harpauer.However, she said she is concerned about what impact the spread of the virus will have on consumer confidence, as well as trade with other jurisdictions also battling the pandemic.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Stephanie Taylor, 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
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Canada must shift its attention to investing for economic growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn over the next few years, says former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge.In an online presentation at the virtual Bennett Jones Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum on Friday, the former central bank chief said Canadian governments and businesses will have the advantage of low interest rates as they continue to need to borrow money in 2021 and 2022."Federal and provincial governments will have borrowed enormous amounts, $400 billion to date this year for the feds, $100 billion for the provinces, 20 per cent of Canadian GDP. And they will have to keep on borrowing through 2021 and 2022 in lesser amounts in order to ensure that a recovery is sustained," he said."It is essential the government ... supports investment in this period and not just private and public consumption as has been the case to date."The business forum is normally held in Lake Louise, Alta., in conjunction with World Cup alpine ski races, but both the races and the in-person conference were called off this year because of the pandemic.Dodge said he's expecting about 3.9 per cent economic growth in Canada in 2021, assuming vaccines are widely available after the second quarter, and 1.9 per cent in 2022. The pace of growth should return to 2019 levels by the spring of 2022, he said, but national output will still be three per cent lower than it would have been without COVID-19.Dodge said a key challenge for Canada going forward is to continue to develop its technology expertise to compete with the growing influence of China."COVID has accelerated the transformation to a truly digital world and to Asia as it's epicentre," he said."Canada can thrive in this world as long as Canadian businesses, workers and governments work together and focus on investing in the future, not in preserving the past."In a separate presentation, Anthony Viel, CEO of Deloitte Canada, said the country can bounce back better from the pandemic if it renews its focus on building a well-trained workforce reinforced by immigration, improving industry productivity and making better societal systems."In our latest report ... we make the case that Canada can't return to the pre-COVID path: divided, haves and have-nots, an aging population, poor productivity growth, low levels of investment leading to stagnating standards of living, stalled progress on national priorities and slowing growth in an increasingly competitive global economy," he said.He said the pandemic has put a "spotlight" on Canada's chance to change how it functions to build a brighter future for Canadians.Deloitte recommends that governments, businesses, and communities cooperate in new ways to pay for the rebuild using collaboration as they've done during the pandemic, adding Canada should study other country's models to find out how best to finance needed large projects.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase among Edmonton's homeless population, the city's only isolation facility for homeless people is planning to expand. The isolation shelter opened three months ago to provide a safe place for people without a home to recover from the disease. Its location is not publicly disclosed. It has 65 beds but will soon increase its capacity by 40 per cent to contend with capacity issues that could arise in the weeks ahead, said Elliott Tanti, a spokesperson for the Boyle McCauley Health Centre, which operates the isolation shelter. The existing site will expand within the next two weeks, as soon as enough staff can be redirected to manage the new beds, Tanti said Thursday. "It feels a little bit like we're in the eye of the storm right now." Frontline workers are preparing for a possible large outbreak of COVID-19 among people who are homeless. "We did go a very long time without a confirmed case in the inner city, and that is no longer the case," Tanti said. "And so the ramp-up of cases and the pressures on the sector right now, we know will exist for the next two or three weeks. "We have to make arrangements to make sure that we're keeping our staff and the people we serve as safe as possible. That's the bottom line." Site opened in August Homeless people in Edmonton who test positive for COVID-19 — but who don't require hospitalization — are immediately transferred to the isolation shelter. The site began operating in early August after an emergency shelter at the Edmonton Expo Centre closed, leaving hundreds of people looking elsewhere for food, shelter and medical services. The lease on the isolation site was secured by the province through a partnership with a private operator. Out of privacy concerns for the people staying there, the location has never been disclosed publicly. Each resident has an individual room and bathroom and gets three meals each day. Medical staff and security officers ensure patients are safely admitted, monitored and discharged. The shelter was initially designed to house all individuals in the homeless population who were possibly infected but that is no longer the case, Tanti said. In September, shortly after the first outbreak was identified in the city's homeless population, overflow isolation sites were set up across the city for people who developed symptoms, or were considered close contacts, but had not yet tested positive. Those sites are still operating. Tanti said they were opened to ease any potential capacity issues at the isolation shelter. "It's the triaging that I know the medical sector has been doing for months now, but we're doing it now," he said. Exact numbers of patients at the isolation facility are hard to pin down, Tanti said. The number of available spaces fluctuates every day. "It's hectic," he said. "People are coming and going. For example, today we went from zero beds available to 15 beds." Although the numbers are hard to track, Tanti said confirmed and suspected cases have been steadily increasing in recent weeks, in tandem with escalating COVID-19 cases across the province. Convention centre outbreak Plans to expand the isolation facility coincide with an outbreak at the homeless shelter in the Edmonton Convention Centre downtown. On Thursday, there were 12 cases linked to the outbreak. On Friday, acting city manager Adam Laughlin told council the outbreak had grown to 22 cases. "Individuals who tested positive were immediately taken to an isolation space in the facility, before being moved to the Edmonton isolation facility," shelter officials said in a joint news release Thursday. "Additional precautions have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. These include enhanced cleaning, signage with distancing reminders and the use of personal protective equipment when responding to overdoses and other medical emergencies." The shelter will remain operational throughout the outbreak. Contact tracing is underway. The convention centre shelter opened on Oct. 30 as a temporary facility. Hundreds of people — including many who spent the summer living in now-dismantled homeless encampments — now rely on the facility each day. The outbreak at the convention centre shelter is the third cluster of cases to develop at homeless shelters in the city. The first outbreak was declared at Hope Mission on Sept. 22 and involved at least 15 cases. A second outbreak, also at Hope Mission, was declared on Nov. 18. As of Thursday, 17 cases had been linked to the second Hope Mission outbreak. Ten cases were active and 7 cases had recovered. Tanti said the sector is hopeful that new health restrictions will cut down on community transmission but many of the health directives are difficult, even impossible, to follow when living on the street. "Being able to socially distance is a privilege. How do you isolate when you don't have a home?"
An individual from Montgomery Village Public School (MVPS) has tested positive for COVID-19. Parents, guardians, and staff were notified of the case on Friday (Nov. 27), and assured that the appropriate measures are being taken. “We will continue to work closely with Public Health and take their direction as they complete their investigation,” said Brent Ellery, principal at MVPS. “Where Public Health determines there was a transmission risk to others in the school, they perform a risk assessment for any contacts.” Should the investigation result in Wellington Dufferin Public Health (WDGPH) determining any additional staff and students are at high risk of exposure, they’ll be directed to isolate. It will also be recommended that they be tested during their isolation period. According to the active-cases reporting page on the Upper Grand District School Board’s (UGDSB) website, there have been no class or school closures related to the incident. Ellery noted that Public Health is currently performing contact tracing, and explained that the identity of the individual is protected by privacy legislation. Anyone wishing to know information about how this is being handled and what steps are being taken to ensure the health and safety of staff, students, and the school’s community, are directed can find out more through this letter from Public Health. Dufferin County remains in orange-level restrictions as of Nov. 27. There are now a total of 161 active cases of COVID-19 within the boundaries of WDGPH, including an increase of 23 cases since the previous update on Nov. 26. Three people have been hospitalized. 60 of those cases are in Dufferin County. Montgomery Village Public School is the only school within Dufferin County to have a new active case since the previous update on Centennial Hylands Elementary School. Total active school cases in the county sit at two.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Se faire des amis, et pas grâce à ses politiques Le ministre de l’Éducation Stephen Lecce ne quitte pas l’Assemblée législative immédiatement après une longue journée de travail. Souvent, il y reste pour s’exercer au piano à la disposition du public dans le lobby, dans l’aile Est de l’établissement, près des escaliers. Selon une source sûre de son bureau, M. Lecce aurait appris à connaître plusieurs membres de l’opposition, des gens «qui n’aiment peut-être pas ses politiques, mais qui apprécient sa musique». Les arcs-en-ciel nouveau genre Plutôt que d’afficher le classique arc-en-ciel dans la fenêtre de son bureau de députée à Queen’s Park, la progressiste-conservatrice Goldie Ghamari a choisi de lancer un message clair à l’un de ses collègues qui organise depuis plusieurs mois des manifestations anti-masque, le député indépendant Randy Hillier. Elle a récemment collé à sa fenêtre, lettre par lettre, les mots «Pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it!!!», ce qui signifie «la pandémie n’est pas terminée simplement parce que vous en avez assez». Ce message, plus accusateur que celui d’encouragement qu’implorent les dessins d’arcs-en-ciel, la députée l’a aussi traduit dans une vidéo TikTok. Dans la vidéo, on aperçoit le député, devant Queen’s Park, participant à une manifestation anti-confinement de la COVID-19. D’où il est, M. Hillier peut voir clairement le message inscrit dans la fenêtre de Mme Ghamari. À la toute fin de la vidéo, la députée a pris soin de coller un emoji de masque au visage de son collègue Hillier, qui ne le porte habituellement jamais dans les couloirs de l’Assemblée législative. C’est une blague? «Monsieur le Président, les théâtres quotidiens du premier ministre ressemblent beaucoup à un feuilleton bon marché vendant du drame et de la peur.» C’est nulle autre que le député indépendant Randy Hillier, qui se questionne depuis plusieurs mois sur la sévérité de la pandémie de COVID-19 et qui s’oppose aux mesures sanitaires imposées par la province pour protéger la population contre le virus, qui a posé cette question au gouvernement Ford, en Chambre cette semaine. Comme il l’a fait plusieurs fois déjà, Randy Hillier a aussi comparé la COVID-19 à la grippe. «You must be joking. You MUST be joking», de répondre la ministre de la Santé Christine Elliott, qui est convaincue que le député Hillier se fout de sa tête. C’est à se demander si la ministre Elliott a eu la même réaction lorsque sa collègue, la ministre des Soins de longue durée Merrilee Fullerton, a elle aussi comparé le coronavirus à une «mauvaise année de la grippe». Fordisme de la semaine «Je ne crois pas au fait de changer de partenaire au beau milieu de la danse… Surtout quand ton partenaire est un danseur aussi incroyable.» Doug Ford était aux prises avec une décision importante, cette semaine: le prolongement du contrat du médecin hygiéniste en chef de l’Ontario, le Dr David Williams. Ce dernier devait prendre sa retraite en février 2021, mais le gouvernement Ford a décidé de prolonger son contrat jusqu’en septembre 2021. Les partis d’opposition n’ont pas du tout aimé que le gouvernement progressiste-conservateur ne les ait pas consultés pour cette décision.Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
Two Native American tribes in northern Minnesota are asking state regulators to stop the imminent construction of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement, saying it would increase the risk of coronavirus infections spreading.The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa filed a motion late Wednesday asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to stay its approval of the $2.6 billion project. They argue construction would put locals at increased risk of coronavirus infections as workers move into the area.The bands and other pipeline opponents have sued and protested to try to block the project, and an appeal by the state Commerce Department is pending. They want the PUC to halt the project while that legal challenge plays out.The pipeline project took a step forward on Monday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the final federal permit needed. The Public Utilities Commission has already approved the project several times, but still needs to give construction a final green light.Enbridge says the pipeline replacement will provide a safer way to transport the oil to Midwest refineries while creating 4,200 construction jobs and generating millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues.Opponents say the project threatens spills in pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice and that the Canadian tar sands oil it would carry would aggravate climate change.The Associated Press
Après une semaine marquée par une baisse des nouveaux cas quotidiens, la Gaspésie et les Iles rapporte 10 nouveaux cas de COVID-19, vendredi. Autre signe d’un enjolivement de la situation ; la santé publique met officiellement fin à deux éclosions majeures et la région est sur le pas des 100 cas actifs, alors que 210 personnes étaient infectées il y a une semaine. Le CISSS de la Gaspésie déclare officiellement terminées les éclosions au CHSLD de New Carlisle et à la résidence pour ainés Lady Maria, deux éclosions majeures qui s’étaient déclarées au début de l’automne. 60 personnes avaient contracté la maladie dans ces deux établissements, dont quatre sont décédées. Parmi les nouvelles infections, six se retrouvent dans la MRC de Bonaventure. Les MRC du Rocher-Percé et de la Côte-de-Gaspé rapportent deux nouveaux cas chacune. Un seul nouveau cas est recensé dans un lieu d’éclosion connu, soit un résident du CHSLD Mgr-Ross de Gaspé ayant été testé positif à la maladie au cours des dernières heures. Alors qu’elle comptait 210 cas actifs il y a sept jours exactement, la région de la Gaspésie-Île-de-la-Madeleine en rapporte moins de la moitié, vendredi, avec 103 infections actives. Quatre personnes sont hospitalisées dans la région en lien avec la maladie à coronavirus. Les leçons de la première vague Si la Gaspésie a été durement frappée par la COVID-19 lors de la deuxième vague, rapportant d’importantes éclosions dans la Baie-des-Chaleurs et dans la Côte-de-Gaspé, les centres hospitaliers ont pu profiter des leçons tirées lors de la première vague pour mieux, selon deux médecins de l’hôpital de Chandler. «On était prêt pour la deuxième vague. Il y avait moins d’appréhension et de stress chez le personnel puisqu’on en a tellement parlé. Personne n’a été surpris», note la docteure Caroline Dumont. Lors de la première vague, la péninsule gaspésienne ayant été plutôt épargnée, les centres hospitaliers ont pu apprendre de ce qui s’est vécu ailleurs. «Ce qui a été très utile, c’est que la première vague ne nous a pas atteints ou presque, mais on a quand même eu peur comme ailleurs. Ça nous a permis d’adresser les craintes de chacun», ajoute-t-elle. Dr Dumont croit aussi que la disponibilité des tests de dépistage sur place a contribué à diminuer l’anxiété du personnel. Même si la région a recensé plus d’éclosions au cours de la seconde vague, la structure était solide et testée, rapporte le docteur Mike Langlois, urgentologue à l’hôpital de Chandler. «Il y a avait beaucoup de craintes lors de la première vague comme on n’avait pas encore rodé le système. Quand ça a commencé à débouler à l’automne, on savait que la structure était forte et fiable», soutient-il.Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
After a summer of informing people about COVID-19 rules, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer says it's time for a stricter approach."The time for education is now mostly over. Any egregious non-compliance will and should be met through fines and other measures," Dr. Saqib Shahab said at a news conference Thursday. Shahab also asked people to flag infractions by others."There's [a] public health safety number. So, you know, it is important to report noncompliance," he said. Shahab's comments came as the province reported 299 new cases of the virus, Saskatchewan's third highest daily bump. It also came as officials at the Saskatchewan Health Authority warned of emergency rooms that are nearing their full capacity and the need for people to follow public health guidelines. Since the pandemic began, the province has favoured educating people on the rules, instead of immediately issuing fines. Individuals can face fines of up to $2,000 (not counting a victim surcharge) for failing to self-isolate or breaking gathering limit rules. For corporations, the fine can reach $10,000 (also not including a victim surcharge). "Where we've seen some of this stuff happen over the summer, typically, we start with an educational approach," said Scott Livingstone, the health authority's CEO, at the same news conference. What health officials do when told of an eventShahab and Livingstone made the remarks in response to questions about whether the increased challenge of contract tracing might be causing the virus to spread and a report of a planned large event in Saskatchewan this weekend. "If we're made aware of a large event, typically public health inspectors would come out and have a conversations with the organizers about what they're doing and how what they're doing or planning would fit or not fit current public health orders," Livingstone said. "If it was obvious that the event was not meeting current public health orders, the event organizers would be advised as such and there would be recommendations from public health inspectors to not go ahead with that event."If the event went ahead and was found to have broken the rules, "there are remedies with respect to fines," Livingstone said. 42 charges under public health act The province has occasionally publicly announced some instances of fining, particularly in September and October.The recipients varied from a Saskatoon home owner who hosted a private gathering with 47 people when the limit for private meetings was 30 (it's now five), to the pastor of a gospel outreach centre in Prince Albert where singers went unmasked. The gospel centre was cited as a multi-jurisdictional superspreader.Between March 1 and Oct. 31, RCMP members in Saskatchewan received a total of 2,912 COVID-related calls for service — an average of 364 calls a month.The vast majority of the calls were resolved "by educating members of the public of the potential health and enforcement consequences that can result from non-compliance with the public health order," an RCMP spokesperson said Friday.However, 42 charges for summary violations were issued under the province's public health act, including for people who held large gatherings or did not self-isolate.What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
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
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump still won't bring himself to concede the election he decisively lost to President-elect Joe Biden. But he's now acknowledging he will leave the White House if Biden's win is affirmed by the Electoral College, which is firmly on track to do just that in a few weeks.“Certainly I will," he said Thursday when asked if he will vacate the premises after electors make Biden's win formal. “But you know that."Trump, who took questions from reporters for the first time since the election, unleashed another round of complaints about the vote and theatrical warnings that “a lot of things” would happen before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14 that could possibly change results. But while he's stirring uncertainty about how he will behave in the weeks ahead, there is no real suspense about the outcome.All states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets and any challenge must be resolved by Dec. 8. States have already begun that process, including Michigan, where Trump and his allies tried and failed to delay the process, and Georgia and Pennsylvania.Nothing stands in the way of Biden taking office Jan. 20 with a clear margin of electoral votes.No concession is needed from Trump for Biden to become president, none has been offered and Trump may never admit he was beaten fair and square. But there were a few signs that Trump was coming to terms with his loss.At one point he expressed concern that Biden would get the glory from pending coronavirus vaccines. “Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines," Trump said, “because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”The fact that a sitting American president even had to address whether or not he would leave office after losing reelection underscores the extent to which Trump has smashed one convention after another over the last three weeks.Vote certification at the local and state level is typically a ministerial task that gets little notice, but that changed with Trump's fierce but fruitless legal challenges and attempts to manipulate the certification process in battleground states he lost.No evidence has emerged of the widespread voting fraud that Trump and his legal team have repeatedly alleged, only to be slapped down by judges and state election officials.Trump spoke to reporters in the White House’s ornate Diplomatic Reception Room after holding a teleconference with U.S. military leaders stationed across the globe. He thanked them for their service, joked that they shouldn't eat too much turkey, then turned to the election after ending the call. He repeated grievances and angrily denounced officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two key states that helped give Biden the win.Trump’s administration has already given the green light for a formal transition to get underway. Yet Trump took issue with Biden moving forward.“I think it’s not right that he’s trying to pick a Cabinet,” Trump said, even though officials from both teams are already working together to get Biden’s team up to speed.Asked if he'll attend the inauguration, Trump said he knows the answer but doesn't want to say.He said he'll go to Georgia to rally supporters before two Senate runoff elections that will determine which party controls the Senate. The White House said that rally is expected Dec. 5.One of the reasons Republicans have stood by Trump and his baseless claims of fraud has been to keep his loyal base energized for those Jan. 5 runoffs. But Trump, in his remarks, openly questioned whether that election would be fair, casting suspicions that could dampen Republican turnout.“I think you’re dealing with a very fraudulent system," he said. “I’m very worried about that.” He said: “People are very disappointed that we were robbed.”Trump made clear that he will probably never formally concede, even if he said he would leave the White House.“It’s gonna be a very hard thing to concede," he said. “Because we know there was massive fraud.”Electors “will have made a mistake” by affirming Biden's win, he said.Yet “time isn’t on our side.”Will he run again in 2024? Trump said he doesn't “want to talk about 2024 yet.”“This has a long way to go,” Trump said, even though he lost.Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is lashing out at people protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures outside his house. During his daily briefing, Ford called the protesters "buffoons" and asked them to respect his family and neighbours.
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
Cet « officier chevronné » supervisera la mission des Forces armées destinée « à la planification, incluant les défis liés aux besoins en matière d’entreposage au froid, au partage d’informations ainsi qu’à la distribution dans les communautés autochtones et les communautés rurales » selon le premier ministre Justin Trudeau. Dany Fortin est actuellement chef de cabinet au sein du commandement des opérations interarmées du Canada chargé de la mise en œuvre des missions des Forces armées. Ce natif de Montmagny au Québec a déjà couvert plusieurs pays dont la Bosnie, l’Afghanistan et l’Irak où il fut commandant de la mission de l’OTAN entre octobre 2018 et novembre 2019. Justin Trudeau a déclaré qu’il travaillait avec les provinces, les territoires et les communautés autochtones pour déterminer l’ordre de distribution des doses attendues dès le début de l’année. Le major-général sera donc à la tête d’un nouveau centre national de coordination créé par l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada, avec l’appui des Forces armées canadiennes. Environ trois millions de Canadiens seront vaccinés contre la Covid-19 d’ici mars 2021 selon les prévisions avancées par Ottawa, qui espère que les deux candidats-vaccins de Pfizer et Moderna seront approuvés par les autorités de la santé publique. Cinq autres vaccins en cours d’élaboration ont également été commandés par le Canada qui se dit prêt à procéder aux premières homologations en même temps que les États-Unis autour du 10 décembre prochain. « On va recevoir peut-être six millions de doses des deux compagnies s’ils sont approuvés. Avec six millions de doses, ça prend deux doses pour chaque personne. Ça veut dire qu’on est prêts à vacciner peut-être 3 millions de Canadiens, a calculé l’administrateur en chef adjoint de l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada, Dr Howard Njoo. Le Canada a acheté au total 194 millions de doses de vaccin auprès d’une demi-douzaine de laboratoires pharmaceutiques, avec la possibilité d’y ajouter 220 millions de doses supplémentaires. Le ministère des Services publics et de l’Approvisionnement a annoncé qu’il “négociait activement, chaque jour, les calendriers de livraison avec les fournisseurs” afin d’accéder aux premières doses le plus rapidement possible. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) says it is investigatinga cluster of cases at both Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette campus and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare."The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is working closely with hospital administrators to determine the source of transmission and the potential risk to staff and patients," Dr. Wajid Ahmed, WECHU medical officer of health, said in a statement.The health unit gave few details about the clusters."Due to privacy considerations, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is unable to disclose publicly any further details about the cases or the number of close contacts at the hospitals," Ahmed added.In a news release, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) said the hospital has fewer than 20 confirmed cases and/or cases under investigation by the WECHU. The affected unit was not identified. "All patients on the affected unit are being tested. All staff who have worked on the affected unit during the timeframe under investigation will be offered testing," the statement reads. "HDGH is cooperating with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and is taking this most recent development very seriously."The statement said HDGH would be taking additional measures in response to the cluster, including, "closing the affected unit to any new admissions, enhanced cleaning on the affected unit, temporarily suspending Designated Care Partners Visitation program on the affected unit and reinforcing the importance of the use of personal protective equipment and consistent washing of hands and respecting of physical distancing across the campus."WRH also acknowledged the cluster in a news release."At WRH, any admissions to the 7th floor (East and West) at Ouellette Campus will be examined closely and patients cannot be transferred out unless discharged home or for medical necessity," it said."Testing for COVID-19 on all patients from this floor will be completed by the end of today on Friday, November 27th, 2020.""All staff who had contact with this 7th floor (East and West) from November 18, 2020 to [Friday], have been notified and are being requested to be swabbed for COVID-19," it added.WRH said it will suspend all visitation to the 7th floor East and West until further notice.The cluster of cases comes as WECHU reported 51 new cases of COVID-19 in the region Friday. It also announced that the region would be moving into the red or "control" level of Ontario's COVID-19 response framework Monday. That means new restrictions on dining, gyms and social gatherings among other areas.