Check out this incredible moment captured in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Check out this incredible moment captured in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Mark Sakamoto and business partner Sachin Aggarwal’s digital health company has made another big move in the business world. Think Research recently announced the acquisition of fellow health company MDBriefcase – a transaction worth more than $25 million in cash and stock options. Think Research is also taking on roughly $3 million in debt from MDBriefcase. “We’re really excited about this,” said former Hatter Sakamoto. “This is a classic example of a one plus one equals three scenario. “This just made a lot of sense.” Aggarwal, Think Research’s CEO, says the acquisition was an easy decision. “We knew these guys and we’ve been working with them for the better part of two years,” he said. “They have certain reach into the health-care marketplace, just like we have certain reach. “We do different things, but what each group does is highly complementary to the other.” Think Research’s goal is to get the best data to health-care workers, so in turn, patients can get the best care possible. MDBriefcase puts a large emphasis on education, which ties in perfectly with what Think Research is doing, says Aggarwal. “Together we become one of the largest players in the world in getting evidence to the bedside,” he said. “We really are stronger together because of the size and scale. “No one in Canada comes close to our size when it comes to knowledge-based healthcare.” Aggarwal says MDBriefcase creates tools based off evidence. “When someone does a study, nothing would come of it if no one read it or analyzed it,” he said. “They take research and create digital tools that will then be used to teach nurses, doctors and pharmacists. “Those medical professionals get their continuing education credits by consuming that content.” Aggarwal added that MDBriefcase will not be downsized or closed after being bought out, but the opposite may happen. “These are complementary companies, so some things may be merged,” he said. “But overall, we expect that MDBriefcase will expand, not shrink.” Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Three clinics devoted to helping COVID-19 patients recover from the long-term effects of the disease are now open in B.C.'s Lower Mainland. The clinics, located at St. Paul's Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, will provide specialized care while also helping doctors learn more about the lingering effects of infection with the novel coronavirus. "We know some people who recover from COVID-19 experience long-term health effects. Through the dedication of a large team of experts and health leaders across the province, we are working to ensure that specialized care is available to British Columbians, when they need it," Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a news release. So-called COVID-19 long haulers have reported an array of symptoms that last for months after they've recovered from their illnesses, including shortness of breath, debilitating fatigue, body aches, coughing, loss of taste or smell, joint pain and headaches. Health officials say an early study conducted by Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital and the University of B.C. found that more than half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had abnormal breathing tests three months after they became sick, and one in five had permanent lung scarring. The clinic at St. Paul's Hospital has already seen more than 160 affected patients, according to the news release. "We want patients to feel like they are not alone. We are here. We're listening," the hospital's physician lead and internist Dr. Jesse Greiner said.
January 8 marked the first anniversary of the tragedy of the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. 176 passengers were on board the flight, in which 138 of them had ties with Canada. Minutes after the plane took off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport in Iran, Flight PS752 came down in a field where all passengers on board lost their lives. The cause was first said to be due to a mechanical error, but evidence was later discovered that the plane was hit by an Iranian missile. Area dentist Dr. Hamed Esmaeilion was one of the members who lost family on that fatal flight. His wife, Dr. Parisa Eghbalian, also a dentist, and daughter Reera Esmaeilion were two of the 176 victims. Dr. Esmaeilion, who has been working in the dentistry industry for the past 17 years, has practiced in Aurora, Caledon and Richmond Hill since moving to Canada in 2010. His wife and daughter were visiting family in Iran over the holidays and were returning home where they were transferred to a connecting flight – Flight PS752. “This whole year has been like a nightmare for me,” he said. In the beginning, Iranian officials declared no participation in the events. As investigations were pursued and evidence collected, Iran admitted to their involvement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later assigned Ralph Goodale in March as his special advisor in order to “examine lessons learned from the crash of Flight PS752 and other air disasters, develop a framework to guide Canada’s response to international air disasters, provide recommendations on best practices, including advice on tools and mechanisms needed to prevent future events.” Mr. Goodale released a report this past December which strongly underscored the importance of taking care of the families who’ve lost loved ones. “Each encounter is profoundly emotional because the families’ grief and anguish are so real and ongoing,” he stated. “They tell their personal stories. They describe their loved ones, now gone. They mourn the rich human potential so cruelly destroyed. They ask questions. They yearn for the truth.” Families from Iran, Afghanistan, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom also lost loved ones. After the loss of his two family members, Dr. Esmaeilion went back to work but found he couldn’t continue full-time. In order to work and fight towards getting the truth behind the tragedy, he, along with other family members of the victims of Flight PS742, organized an association in order to inform the public of recent news and to seek justice. “I lost two people,” said Dr. Esmaeilion. “We passed one year. One year is nothing compared to the life span of a human being. I couldn’t do anything else, I needed to know what happened to my wife and my daughter.” PS752 Justice is a non-profit organization developed by the group of families of the victims of Flight PS752, for which Dr. Esmaeilion is the spokesperson. Their mission, according to their website is “to unite the grieving families, keep the memories of the passengers alive, and most importantly seek justice. We are determined to uncover the truth and find out why a commercial flight was shot down by IRGC’s (Islamic Revolution Guard Corps) missiles. We will staunchly seek justice until the culprits, perpetrators and commanders of this atrocious crime are identified and brought to justice before an impartial and independent court.” “The story behind it is very complicated. It’s very hard to understand the chain of events that ended up murdering 176 people,” said Dr. Esmaeilion. “It’s a constant fight. Before all this we were ordinary people living in Canada, living in Richmond Hill. Then in three minutes, life changes. You have to tell yourself why, why this happened to me and it’s very difficult to answer. But you have two options: just sit at home and cry for the rest of your life or stand up and fight. So, [the] majority of the families chose the second one.” The downing of the Flight PS752, came about during high tensions between Iran and the United States. Just five days beforehand, the U.S launched a drone that killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. The same day as the downing of Flight PS752, Iran launched missiles at the U.S military bases in Iraq. A timeline of events is provided on the PS752 Justice website along with other updates, news, and actions being held in order to seek the truth, as well as justice. “Justice for us, and closure for us is to see the criminals in an international court,” said Dr. Esmaeilion. “There’s a long way to go. We are fighting with the government of Iran, but here we have to encourage and push our government forward. They have been very supportive, but after a year, there’s no truth. There’s no justice yet.” A major virtual memorial event was held to honour the victims of Flight PS752 on January 7 and January 8. The event was live streamed on the association’s YouTube channel, beginning at the same time the fateful flight took off one year ago. The event included videos and photos provided from the families of the victims and biographies were read out. A short movie of the children who lost their lives was aired, as well as a social distanced rally took place in Toronto where family members of the victims walked together from University of Toronto’s front campus and concluded at City Hall. Government officials also shared their words on the anniversary, including Premier Doug Ford who stated, “All Ontarians grieve with you. Our government continues to support our federal counterparts working with the international community to pursue accountability, reparations and justice.” Said Dr. Esmaeilion: “Everybody sees themselves in that flight. That’s why it’s not difficult to keep the memory alive among the Iranian Canadian community.” As the majority of the news since March of last year has revolved around the COVID-19 pandemic, PS752 Justice wasn’t able to clearly state their mission, but as the anniversary came around, they were able to speak to a wider audience. They fear they will be put into the dark once again but will continue to work together as a unit to inform and educate the public and seek justice. “My whole life is dedicated to PS752 Justice,” said Dr. Esmaeilion. A fundraiser is also continuously ongoing to help PS752 Justice continue to conduct their work. They have organized a Go Fund Me page which has reached over $160,000. The fundraiser can be found at gofundme.com under ‘Help Us to Keep Up the Fight for Justice’. To learn more about PS752 Justice please visit ps752justice.com or on their social media platforms Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen
TORONTO — After a 10-month investigation, a task force commissioned by the Ontario government has issued a range of sweeping recommendations to reform the province's securities regulator. The Capital Markets Modernization Task Force's 70 recommendations include major governance changes to Ontario Securities Commission, such as establishing an adjudicative body within the OSC to rule on alleged securities act violations. The task force also recommends expanding the agency's mandate to augment its regulatory function, and changing its name to the Ontario Capital Markets Authority. The task force was commissioned in 2019 by Ontario's finance minister, with the goal of encouraging growth and competition in the province's capital markets. In the report, the task force decried the lack of new securities issuers in Ontario, which they warned could lead to fewer head offices and fewer investment growth opportunities in the province. Over the course of its investigation, the task force met with more than 110 different stakeholders as it was developing its recommendations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
MANCHESTER, England — Kevin De Bruyne is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines, meaning the Manchester City playmaker will miss key Premier League games against Liverpool and Tottenham next month. The Belgium international limped off in the win over Aston Villa on Wednesday with a muscular complaint. “The doctor said we’ll review the scan today, which we’ve done, and it will be between four and six weeks out," City manager Pep Guardiola said Friday. “We have to move forward. I’m not saying anything nobody knows about how important it is, but unfortunately for him and all of us, he is out for an important part of the season. “We have to find a solution as everyone is struggling and we have to adapt.” City travels to Anfield on Feb. 7 to take on Liverpool before welcoming Tottenham to the Etihad Stadium a week later. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
This story was originally published June 3, 2020. Known to hikers, cyclists and ATV-riders, Old Nipissing Road offers an “inspiring” ride back to the time of colonization, says cyclist Rob Edmonstone of Ryerson Township. Also known as Nipissing Colonization Road, Old Nipissing Road was once home to pioneers and settlements in the heart of Parry Sound District, between highways 11 and 69. It was the last of 20 colonization roads the government started to build in 1853 to expand the logging industry and clear farmland for settlers, says Kelly Collard, a member for the Rosseau Heritage Society. Referencing the book In Celebration of the Old Nipissing Road 1875-2000 by Helen Stewart, as well as information written in the Rosseau Historical Society’s first two books, Collard says the road originated at Cameron Bay on the north end of Lake Rosseau, just south of the Village of Rosseau. Public land surveyor J.S. Dennis began work on the route from Cameron Bay to South River on Lake Nipissing in 1864. Dennis, three other surveyors, Milner Hart, Archibald McNabb and Vernon B. Wadsworth, as well as 12 men, completed the road for winter travel in 1873 and for wheeled vehicles in 1875. Edmonstone says sections of the trail between Commanda and Magnetawan are part of his cycling group’s regular ride. The 70-km winding route of gravel road, bush trail and paved highway is dotted with abandoned log cabins and weathered barns, with a series of historic markers along the way. “As a cyclist, it’s inspiring to take that challenge on. How quickly that history has been erased and disappeared back in the woods is pretty fascinating,” he says. “It’s really two ways to look at it. It was over 100 years ago, but it was also just 100 years ago.” Edmonstone admits his group attempted to cycle the trail from Rosseau to Commanda in one day, but could not complete the ride. The original trail from Rosseau travels by the ghost towns of Seguin Falls and Spence, but sections of wetland are difficult to navigate by bike. “By the time we got to Magnetawan, we had had enough, so we just called it a day. “It’s not something I’d recommend for the bugs or in the bog. But there’s a trail there.” Edmonstone says he’s not “jumping up and down” to attempt that section again, but he would try other parts, which he describes as “moderately challenging.” He says it’s an experience to see how remote northeastern Ontario can be. “It’s interesting considering what that road really meant and how it literally opened up this part of Canada to colonization.” Fellow cyclist Rod Bilz, founder of Cycling Advocates of Nipissing , did the route from Commanda to Magnetawan more than 13 years ago. He recalls the signage being poor and the trail not well maintained at the time. “I do remember there was one water crossing that goes over one of the tributaries of [a river], and the crossing was out. So we literally took off our shoes and socks and waded into water up to our chest.” Bilz, describing the route as “old road” and “ATV-level” quality for any cyclist who is considering Old Nipissing Road, says he would do it again. “You’re going to experience a little bit of everything,” he says. “From a pure mountain biking experience, it’s maybe not exactly what you would like to do. But there are other aspects to it because there’s so much historical significance to that route.” For more information on the Old Nipissing Road, contact the Rosseau Historical Society http://www.rosseauhistoricalsociety.com Mackenzie Casalino is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Mackenzie Casalino, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget
The territorial government hopes to foster a sense of solidarity with the hamlet of Fort Liard by asking N.W.T. residents to send encouraging and supportive messages via radio and social media. A campaign entitled Dear Fort Liard will launch on Saturday according to documents shared in a Facebook post by cabinet minister and Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson. Fort Liard currently has six confirmed COVID-19 cases while around 50 people are isolating in connection with that cluster. There were no new cases either in Fort Liard or elsewhere in the territory on Wednesday. Vaccinations in the community started on Thursday, with Mayor Hillary Deneron among residents receiving Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine that morning. The Dear Fort Liard campaign will see the N.W.T. government partner with CKLB, the only FM radio station currently broadcasting in the community. “The campaign will aim to increase residents’ sense of social solidarity with residents of Fort Liard as well as convey to those under lockdown in Fort Liard our territory’s unwavering support for them as they respond to the threat that COVID-19 has presented in their community,” documents published by Thompson state. The campaign will run for a week and ask residents to do three things: Participants are asked to start each submission with the phrase "Dear Fort Liard...". The email address and phone number to use were expected to be shared later on Friday or early Saturday. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Twitter suspended an account linked to Iran's Supreme Leader on Friday, hours after it carried the image of a golfer resembling former President Donald Trump apparently being targeted by a drone alongside a vow to avenge the killing of a top Iranian general in a U.S. drone attack. The post, on a Persian-language account linked to Khamenei's website, had carried the text of remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in December, in which he said "Revenge is certain".
La MRC de La Matanie et la Ville de Matane ont décidé d’unir leurs forces pour mettre en branle le projet de « ferme » citoyenne à Matane. Les deux entités lancent donc un appel à participation pour tous les citoyens pouces verts et fervents de jardinage de La Matanie. Ce projet de « ferme citoyenne » vise l’élaboration d’une structure citoyenne dans la Ville de Matane se concentrant sur les univers du maraîchage, de l’apiculture et de l’agriculture urbaine. Selon un communiqué envoyé par la MRC, celui-ci pourrait d’ailleurs comprendre un volet communautaire ainsi qu’un volet collectif et éducatif. La MRC de La Matanie précise qu’au niveau communautaire, il pourrait s’agir de préparer des terrains pour les groupes souhaitant bénéficier de jardins communautaires. Au niveau collectif, il est envisagé que la structure ait une vocation d’éducation populaire. En même temps, elle permettrait la réinsertion et le don de denrées fraîches pour fournir les organismes sociaux. Le projet est encore en construction, et les possibilités sont nombreuses, selon le communiqué de la MRC. C’est pourquoi elle encourage les citoyens intéressés à s’inscrire, afin que le projet puisse se mouler à leur image et naître de leurs idées. La MRC de La Matanie cite notamment le projet d’agriculture communautaire de la MRC d’Argenteuil en exemple. Une première rencontre en ligne est organisée à travers Zoom le jeudi 28 janvier de 19h à 21h. L’objectif de cette consultation sera d’énoncer le constat de la situation actuelle, puis d’établir les étapes de réalisation et l’échéancier du projet. Un comité de travail incluant ceux ayant participé à la rencontre sera par la suite formé. « Je suis impressionnée et motivée par le groupe de citoyennes et citoyens qui a lancé le jardin communautaire les Lopins verts en moins d’un an. Cela montre le grand intérêt de la population matanaise pour ce type de projet. C’est une chance de pouvoir travailler ensemble à développer davantage l’agriculture urbaine », a lancé vivement Véronique Gagné, responsable. Pour s’inscrire, il suffit de remplir le formulaire en ligne avant le 27 janvier à 23h45. Le lien de connexion Zoom pour assister à la rencontre sera ensuite envoyé par courriel.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
WASHINGTON — Sales of existing homes rose 0.7% in December, pushing the entirety of 2020 to a pace not seen in 14 years and providing one of the few bright spots for a U.S. economy mired in a global pandemic. Rising sales in the final month of the year lifted activity to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday. Sales rose to 6.48 million in 2020, the highest level since 2006 at the height of the housing boom. The median sales prices was $309,800 in December, up 12.9% from a year ago. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
Ontario reported another 2,662 cases of COVID-19 and 87 more deaths linked to the illness on Friday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will send two mobile health units to assist in the Greater Toronto Area. "The spike in COVID-19 cases this month has put a real strain on hospitals," Trudeau said during a morning news conference. "For Ontario, in particular, the situation is extremely serious." Trudeau said the units will provide up to 200 additional hospital beds as well as medical equipment and supplies, freeing up space in the region's intensive care units. In a news release, the federal government said the mobile units are being deployed after a provincial request for assistance, and that they expected to be in the GTA "as rapidly as possible." They are scheduled to remain available to the provincial government until May 1, depending on the COVID-19 trends in Ontario at that time. The province will be responsible for staffing the mobile units, the release added. WATCH | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on mobile health units headed to the GTA: The new cases reported today include 779 in Toronto, 542 in Peel Region, 228 in York Region, 128 in Waterloo Region, 188 in Windsor-Essex County and 102 in Halton Region. Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were: Niagara Region: 95 Durham Region: 80 Hamilton: 78 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 77 Ottawa: 75 Simcoe Muskoka: 71 Middlesex-London: 65 Thunder Bay: 58 Eastern Ontario: 37 Huron-Perth: 26 Southwestern: 19 Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge: 16 Sudbury:13 Chatham-Kent: 11 (Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.) They come as labs processed 71,750 test samples for the virus and reported a provincewide test positivity rate of 3.3 per cent, the lowest it has been since mid-December. Further, the seven-day average of daily cases dropped to 2,703, marking 11 straight days of decreases. Another 3,375 infections were marked resolved in today's report. There were 25,263 confirmed, active infections in Ontario yesterday — a figure that has also been trending downward since its peak on Jan 11. According to the province's data, the number of people with COVID-19 in hospitals, as well as those requiring intensive care and ventilators all decreased. As of yesterday, the total number of COVID-19 patients that were: In hospitals: 1,512 (down 21) Being treated in intensive care units: 383 (down five) On ventilators: 291 (down two) There were ongoing outbreaks of the illness in 244, or about 39 per cent, of Ontario's 626 long-term care homes. Revised projections recently released by the province's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table suggested if Ontario were to accelerate its immunization rollout and vaccinate all long-term care home residents by the end of January, rather than mid-February, as many as 580 lives could be saved. The 87 additional deaths push Ontario's official COVID-19-linked death toll to 5,701. Meanwhile, the province said it administered 13,784 doses of vaccines Thursday. A total of 264, 985 shots have been given out, while 49,292 people have received both doses. WATCH | Measures in Ontario, Quebec seem to be working, epidemiologist says: #StayHomeON media campaign The provincial government said it has a new #StayHomeON campaign, which will include messages from various online "influencers" and politicians, including a video from Rick Mercer posted this morning. Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, said in a news release that athletes on the Toronto Raptors and Ottawa Senators will also be participating. Markedly absent from the province's expanded effort to get Ontarians to stay home is the availability of permanent paid sick days, which the Progressive Conservative government eliminated in 2018. The government's own medical and science advisers, as well as a chorus of municipal officials and activists, have repeatedly called for Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet to implement paid sick days, especially for essential and low-wage workers in the manufacturing, warehousing and food processing sectors. Ford has instead pointed to the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, which offers $500 per week for up to two weeks eligible workers. Critics have noted, however, that the program amounts to less than minimum wage and the financial assistance is not immediate. More cases at Canada Post facility Meanwhile, mandatory testing at a Mississauga Canada Post facility found 27 asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in 48 hours. Canada Post said 149 workers at its massive Dixie Road site had tested positive between Jan. 1 and Thursday afternoon. Spokesperson Phil Legault said the latest cases were detected among workers who were asymptomatic or didn't believe they had symptoms. Testing of the entire shift was ordered by Peel Public Health and began Jan. 19. Legault said Canada Post is now offering voluntary testing to employees working outside the public health-identified shift. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site.
HALIFAX — The public inquiry into the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced the hiring of six experts who will help set a course for the investigation. Those joining the inquiry include Thomas Cromwell, a former Supreme Court of Canada justice who will serve as commission counsel. Cromwell previously served with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. As well, the inquiry has appointed Christine Hanson as executive director and chief administrative officer. Hanson is director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She also worked as an international lawyer and diplomat in a variety of roles with Global Affairs Canada. The inquiry has also appointed a community liaison, a mental health expert, an investigations co-ordinator and an expert in charge of research. "We are pleased to have secured a group of experienced and dedicated individuals who are among the most highly regarded in the country in their respective fields," the commission said in a statement Thursday. "There are a lot of questions to be asked and evidence to be gathered by the commission in order to fulfil its mandate and we want the best people to help us in this process." The other team members include: — Research director Emma Cunliffe is a professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia and a visiting professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She is a scholar in complex criminal matters related to violence against women. — Investigations director Barbara McLean is deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service and is originally from Antigonish, N.S. — Mental health director Mary Pyche has worked as an addiction clinical therapist and has held leadership roles in the Nova Scotia Health Department regarding mental health and addiction. — Community liaison director Maureen Wheller co-chaired the first public advisory group that worked with Nova Scotia's mental health and addictions program. The independent federal-provincial inquiry, which has the authority to compel witnesses to testify and produce documents, is expected to produce an interim report by May 1, 2022 and a final report by Nov. 1, 2022. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
A Nepean retirement home where 10 people have died from COVID-19 is the first in the city to begin vaccinating residents and staff against the illness, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says. "As part of Phase 1 of the COVID vaccine rollout in Ottawa, Valley Stream Retirement Home was identified as a high-risk retirement home and the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was made available and administered to staff, essential caregivers and residents on Jan. 17," OPH confirmed Thursday. OPH finished administering the first vaccine doses to residents in long-term care homes in mid-January, but Valley Stream is the first high-risk retirement home to be offered the same opportunity. At a news conference on Wednesday, Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte said that while second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be delayed for some, one high-risk retirement home and one "congregate home with older adults" would still have a chance to receive first doses of the vaccine. In total, 51 of Valley Stream's 134 residents have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began on Jan. 2. Thirteen of those cases are now considered resolved. Another 27 staff members have also tested positive, 10 of which are now resolved. Jennifer Rose's 80-year-old father Richard Currie lives at Valley Stream, but has tested negative so far. "I'm obviously grateful and thankful that they're getting vaccines, and [with] my dad still testing negative, I'm happy he's getting that protection," Rose said, adding she's sympathetic to families that haven't been so lucky. "I just find it's so hard for the families that did lose somebody to this," she said. "They were close to being able to get that vaccine. It's just heartbreaking that it was almost within their grasp." Cleaning protocols enhanced Revera, which owns numerous long-term care facilities in Ontario and across North America, said it's working closely with OPH to maintain proper protocols and limit the spread of the virus at Valley Stream. "We are doing enhanced cleaning at Valley Stream, frequently disinfecting high touch surfaces like handrails and doors, common areas and staff rooms," the company's chief medical officer, Dr. Rhonda Collins, wrote. Collins said all residents are being monitored and tested if they show symptoms, while staff are screened at the beginning and end of their shifts. Visits are restricted to essential caregivers, as well as essential visits for palliative residents. "We recognize how difficult these measures are for residents and their families, and we appreciate their patience and understanding as we put these precautions in place for the safety of our residents," Collins wrote. According to OPH, the recent delay of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine "did not impact the administration of vaccines at Valley Stream." Earl Brown, professor emeritus of virology at the University of Ottawa, said while it's important to administer the second dose within a specific period of time after the first shot, giving more vulnerable people a single dose may prove the best option — as long as that second dose isn't too far behind. "It really comes down to maximizing your benefit," Brown said. "So numbers-wise, it generally has tended to favour spreading out the first dose and getting the second dose in somewhat of a timely manner. " But while the two vaccines both report higher than 90 per cent effectiveness in stopping the virus, Brown said it's believed they're less effective for older people. "I think the unknowns loom larger with this group."
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — As the sun rose over Newfoundland and Labrador’s Avalon Peninsula Friday morning, so too did a beeping chorus of snowplows in the province’s capital. About 30 centimetres of snow blanketed the city and the sun was shining down on people digging out their cars. The storm closed many schools, stores and offices across the Avalon Peninsula on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The weather also put a stop to door-to-door campaigning in the provincial election — for most candidates. On Thursday, Progressive Conservative candidate Kristina Ennis tweeted pictures of herself knocking on doors in a full-body snowsuit. Other candidates, however, moved their campaigning online. Tory Leader Ches Crosbie tweeted a picture of himself holding up a bag of so-called "storm chips," ahead of the storm — though people questioned the small size of the bag. The NDP used a popular internet meme involving a cropped photo of United States Democrat Bernie Sanders at Wednesday's presidential inauguration to take a swipe at the Liberals. The party pasted the photo of Sanders — who is sitting in a chair, arms crossed and wearing fuzzy mitts — in the provincial legislature. The image caption said he was waiting for the Liberals to release their economic plan, which the Liberals have said won't be made public before voters head to the polls. All parties have said that social media will likely play a significant role in the province's winter pandemic election. Liberal Leader and incumbent Premier Andrew Furey called the election last Friday as a storm raged outside the provincial House of Assembly. The Progressive Conservatives and the NDP have wrinkled their noses at the timing, saying the province's hallmark winter storms will dissuade voters and cut into campaigning time. As of Friday morning, there were 122 candidates registered across the province's 40 districts. The deadline for all candidates to submit their paperwork is Saturday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press
The company that runs a limestone quarry on the Port au Port Peninsula is headed to trial, after pleading not guilty to numerous charges surrounding the 2018 death of one of its workers. A lawyer for Atlantic Minerals entered not guilty pleas in Stephenville provincial court Friday to all 10 charges the company faces under the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act, including failing to provide workplace procedures and failing to ensure safe workplace procedures were followed. The charges stem from the death of a 55-year-old worker at the quarry in Lower Cove on July 31, 2018. The man, a long-term employee of the company, was fatally injured after an incident during conveyor maintenance. Six days are being set aside for Atlantic Minerals' trial in Stephenville, starting June 14. A supervisor with Atlantic Minerals also faces two charges in relation to the death, of failing to ensure the health and safety of workers and failing to provide safety information and instruction. On Friday, the supervisor's lawyer, Andrew May, said his client was not ready to enter in a plea, but that a future not guilty plea was an "unlikely event." That matter has been set over until March. If the supervisor pleads not guilty, he will appear at the same trial as Atlantic Minerals. Atlantic Minerals is headquartered in Corner Brook. According to its website, the company has 130 employees at its Lower Cove operation. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Frontline health care workers in Strathmore had a bit of extra time following their long shifts last week thanks to an initiative to provide them with a free meal. The meals were provided by the Calgary Health Foundation, a charity that raises money for health care across the City of Calgary and surrounding communities. The initiative, called Feed the Frontline, started after the organization started to receive requests from the community for ways to show gratitude to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Valerie Ball, director of marketing, communications and community engagement with the organization. “I think over the last couple of months, health care workers have been tirelessly putting everything that they have into providing care and fighting COVID-19 and ensuring that we are taken well care of,” said Ball. “So, people just really wanted a way to give back and give thanks.” The meals, from Sunterra Market in Calgary, were offered to staff members working in hospital and community health centres, in Calgary and 16 surrounding communities, said Ball. “It’s just to give them a night off, after everything they put into work every single day, whether it’s to fill their belly and rejuvenate or maybe spend some more time with their family.” Feed the Frontline provided health care workers in the region 21,000 meals in total, including 325 meals to health care workers living in Strathmore. The meals are a welcome relief, said Shayla Noel, a pre-triage screener at the Strathmore Hospital. “We do get pretty busy and it’s exhausting some days, so to be recognized is just touching,” said Noel. “I know everyone who is being recognized is very appreciative.” Work in the hospital has been busy, but everyone can still be seen, said Jarrett Fawdry, Strathmore Hospital site manager. “COVID is an old hat now – with our enhanced infection prevention and control measures, we’re very comfortable inside with what we’re doing to protect our patients in the community.” With meal prep and cooking out of the way for a night, Fawdry said he would spend some extra time with his kids, while Noel said she “might go to bed early.” Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
CBC News gains access to a unique inoculation site in the U.K., where vulnerable groups are being prioritized.
Un gin biologique sera très bientôt produit directement à Val-des-Sources. L’entreprise Birster s’est installée dans le parc industriel et pourrait commencer la distribution dans quelques semaines à peine. « On est sur les derniers milles, assure Guillaume Birster, vice-président de l’entreprise qu’il dirige avec son frère. On fait des produits biologiques et le processus est plus long. Les bouteilles et les étiquettes s’en viennent. Il faut aussi attendre les analyses en laboratoire de la SAQ. Pour notre premier lot, ce sera en février et on pense plus au mois de mars avant qu’il se retrouve sur les tablettes. » La Distillerie Birster, nommée ainsi en l’honneur du père de Guillaume décédé il y a deux ans, proposera un gin avec une touche « florale ». « On parle d’un gin assez classique qui se mélange bien en cocktail, explique Guillaume Birster. On explore avec la racine de l’orpin rose. On travaille aussi avec la canneberge du Québec. » L’entreprise s’inscrit dans la volonté de la région de se diversifier au niveau économique. « Pour l’instant, notre plan est de rentrer dans les SAQ et ensuite ce sera à nous de vendre notre produit aux succursales, mentionne M. Birster. Éventuellement, c’est dans nos plans de vendre au lieu de production, mais la contrainte c’est qu’on doit le vendre au même prix que la SAQ. » Engouement Depuis une vingtaine d’années, la popularité du gin a explosé en raison notamment de son utilisation pour de nombreux cocktails. Plus de 90 gins sont produits au Québec aujourd’hui. « Il y a vraiment un engouement, confirme Guillaume Birster. La raison pour laquelle on fait beaucoup de gin au Québec, c’est parce que c’est un produit qu’on peut sortir rapidement. Pour le rhum, les lois canadiennes demandent une maturation d’au moins un an, donc il n’y a pas beaucoup de compagnies qui peuvent attendre un an avant de vendre une première bouteille. » C’est d’ailleurs dans les plans d’avenir de l’entreprise de Val-des-Sources de produire un rhum. « On veut développer un rhum de mélasse 100 % biologique, ajoute-t-il. On essaie de le travailler un peu comme les rhums jamaïcains avec des notes de bananes et d’ananas. On travaille là-dessus. » Simon Roberge, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
(ANNews) – The COVID-19 vaccination supply coming to Canada has changed and at least in the short term, it will be much less than was originally planned. Minister of Health Tyler Shandro issued a statement on the latest changes in the amount of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine coming to Canada, saying “I am extremely concerned by the announcement that Pfizer is even further decreasing the amount of COVID-19 vaccine coming to Canada from its factory in Belgium, with no doses expected to arrive next week and further anticipated reductions in the two weeks following.” Alberta’s Health Minister continued by announcing that the focus will be shifted to delivering second doses for those who have already been vaccinated. Elderly people in long-term care homes and healthcare workers who have been administered their first dose are the province’s main priority. First time dose appointments for healthcare workers are postponed as well as some second dose appointments. Shandro then went on to mention that province may not be able to vaccinate elderly people in the general population or Elders living within First Nations territory. “A sharp decrease in vaccines coming to Alberta may also further delay our plans to expand vaccination to all seniors over the age of 75 in the community and individuals over the age of 65 in First Nations communities and Metis Settlements around the province.” “Alberta has the capacity to deliver about 50,000 doses per week and rapidly expand distribution, but we lack supply. Whether we like it or not, Canadian provinces are dependent on the Government of Canada for vaccine supply. We continue to advocate to our federal partners to increase the supply of vaccine as soon as possible,” said Minister Shandro. Meanwhile in Ottawa, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the Federal Government is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19. “This is a particularly acute issue and challenge when we’re talking about the deployment of the vaccine,” Miller told a news conference Wednesday Jan 20, in Ottawa. Concerned that Ottawa is not able to vaccinate its Indigenous population living off-reserve, Miller said, “We need participation of the provinces to ensure that needles get into the arms of people that are the most vulnerable.” “The role of the federal government, in my mind, is to offer our assets, offer our co-operation, our resources, our logistical capacities.” In response to the announcements, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations said that they are dissatisfied with “the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan proposed for our respective Nations without Free, Prior and Informed Consent. “There has been a failure to align resources consistent with the Famine and Pestilence Clause, the Medicine Chest, and the Treaty Right to Health." “Until the past week, our Nations were not informed that Health Canada had engaged Alberta Health Services to determine our vaccine requirements. In the past few months, Canada announced publicly on several occasions that Treaty First Nations were a priority and that vaccines would be provided. First Nations are at a greater risk of exposure due to a number of factors including, overcrowded homes with multi-generational families, lack of housing, remoteness, poverty, and distances to health care facilities and providers,” said the Confederacy in a statement. Also responding to the announcement is Chief Tony Alexis, who issued a statement condemning the vaccination roll-out happening in Alberta, “Meanwhile in Alberta under Minister Shandro’s watch, First Nations communities are seeing case numbers rapidly rise, while the rest of the Alberta covid numbers decline.” “The rate of infections, hospitalizations and ICU admissions for First Nations is increasing at an alarming rate compared to the rest of Alberta. The situation is dire for our people. In my community of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, over 5 per cent of the population has COVID-19 and numbers rise daily.” Alberta Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Marlene Poitras added, “First Nations communities are reaching a breaking point with new cases of COVID-19. When considering the data provided by Alberta Health, we see hospitalization rates of 4.3 for Alberta in general and 7.1 for First Nations living in Alberta. These disparities are un acceptable. There was some hope that access to a vaccine would help us. However, given recent decisions of the Provincial Government, which lacked meaningful First Nations involvement, trust and commitment to partnership continues to be in question. “I’m calling upon the Provincial Government to ensure First Nations leadership are at the decision making tables…to ensure that all First Nations communities are protected from the ravages of COVID-19. “How many times must it be said that Sovereign First Nations must be involved in the decisions that affect them?” The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout prioritize people who live and work in long-term care homes, people over the age of 80, front-line health workers, and adults in Indigenous communities where an outbreak can be particularly harmful and hard to manage. Indigenous Services Canada said there have been 89 COVID-19 cases, including 15 deaths, in nine long-term care homes on reserves located in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The number of COVID-19 active cases in First Nations communities reached an all-time high this week with 5,571 reported cases as of Tuesday Jan. 19 Jacob Cardinl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
The story of the Cats of Paint Lake starts four years ago, with Heather Deveaux and her cabin out on the lake in Dorset. At the time, she and her partner Kyal would feed the odd feral cat that crossed their paths. Soon, they began getting regulars and formed bonds with the strays roaming around. “When they bond to a human, when they decide they really like you … You know they’ve really chosen you,” Deveaux said. Today, Deveaux has hosted dozens of feral cats at her cabin and, with financial support from locals, has managed to find some homes and spay or neuter others before returning them to the wild. Deveaux had no shortage of experiences with cats before this project: several years ago, while living in Toronto, she adopted a feral cat from a humane society. “That they can still retain their sweetness, their curiosity and their sense of fun even when they’ve lived like that is kind of a marvel,” she said. Deveaux referred to herself as a cat whisperer: despite their wild, anti-social nature with others, feral cats approach Deveaux and "talk" to her, she said. “Wherever I’ve been, cats find me. All the neighbourhood cats come and say hi,” she said. “I love them and they know it, and I respect the wildness of them.” Deveaux and Kyal began to notice just how large the feral cat population was in Lake of Bays. They were hesitant to interfere, not wanting to break the trust they had with their cats, but wanted to help keep the reproductive cycle under control. “They’re out there, they’re cold, they’re hungry. You see these little flashes of fur and green eyes and you think, ‘Oh, you poor little thing,’” she said. They started spaying and neutering the cats, paying for the operations out of pocket. Soon, they set up a GoFundMe page to get donations from locals — and they succeeded. To date, they’ve raised several thousand dollars for operations and food. “I’ve been blown away by the number of people reaching out, saying ‘How can I help?’” Deveaux said. Nancy Tapley is a Lake of Bays councillor who owns two rescue cats and follows Deveaux’s work online. She commended her for helping to control the feral cat population. “I hate to see any animal out in the cold,” she said. “I think she’s doing good work getting them out of the outdoors.” Deveaux had the strongest bond with a feral cat she called Mama Cat, so named because she would bring her kittens she birthed throughout the years. Deveaux and Kyal spent three years feeding and providing a safe space for Mama Cat, who soon grew to trust her. “We couldn’t touch her at first,” she said. “By the end, we could literally pick her up and hold her upside down in my arms like a baby.” One day in October, Mama Cat wandered off, as she normally would. However, this time, she never came back. Deveaux said she assumes she had a nest of kittens she was taking care of in another part of town. “We haven’t had a sighting of her since,” she said. “That’s part of the risk. That’s what happens with feral cats.” Deveaux’s efforts continue: she posts about the ferals she’s taken in on the Cats of Paint Lake Facebook page, including photos. Deveaux said she works with shelters, humane societies and rescue volunteers in the region, including Muskoka Animal Rescue, Minden Cat Angels, Dorset Rescue Kittens and regional veterinary clinics. She’s hoping to open a new location to house the cats this spring and recruit volunteers. Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com