WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Meggie Fontaine de Uashat a reçu cet honneur, de la part d’une personne de son entourage. Elle est l’heureuse maman de la petite Uapukuniss, âgée de 5 mois. Elle n’a toutefois pas eu la chance de bénéficier de cette magnifique avancée, car sa communauté ne fait pas partie du Regroupement Mamit Innuat. Elle a dû faire des démarches supplémentaires, mais le plus important était de pouvoir avoir la garde de sa petite fleur. Une personne proche de Meggie a appris, l’an dernier, qu’elle était enceinte. Ayant déjà ses enfants et ne souhaitant pas pour autant se faire avorter, elle a demandé à son amie si elle désirait adopter son enfant, selon des coutumes autochtones, existant depuis des millénaires, et reconnues depuis 2018 par le Code civil du Québec. Elle a même pu assister à l’accouchement, et a coupé le cordon ombilical. Le Regroupement Mamit Innuat (RMI) servira d’autorité compétente pour les communautés d’Ekuanitshit, d’Unamen Shipu et de Pakua Shipu. Les demandes doivent respecter la coutume de la communauté, l’intérêt de l’enfant et le consentement de toutes les personnes impliquées. Il pourra s’agir également d’une alternative intéressante pour la Direction de la protection de la jeunesse. « À titre d’autorité compétente, nous serons en mesure de récupérer une douzaine de dossiers en attente à la DPJ et de migrer vers une démarche qui permet de mieux répondre aux réalités actuelles des familles et surtout des enfants innus. Il s’agit d’un grand pas vers l’autodétermination des communautés et nous en sommes très fiers ! » partage Marie-Michèle Savard, Gestionnaire de projet au secteur Services sociaux du RMI.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
« On dirait que ça me touche encore plus avec la COVID, on est tous en arrêt, mais ces causes-là ont toujours besoin d’argent. Les enfants ne cessent pas d’être malades pour autant. », partage-t-elle, réalisant que 2 Millions de moins sur une année est énorme. Vicky Lemieux, originaire de Sept-Îles, demeure maintenant à Montréal. L’entreprise où elle travaille participe depuis des années aux 24 heures de Tremblant, permettant de venir en aide à plusieurs causes, particulièrement la Fondation Charles-Bruneau, pour la recherche sur le cancer à l’Hôpital Ste-Justine de Montréal. Dû à la pandémie, les objectifs ont été revus à la baisse, ce qui la motive davantage à faire sa part. « L’an passé, j’ai amassé 2000$. Puisque les objectifs ont été diminués de moitié, j’ai décidé de multiplier les miens par deux », mentionne la Septilienne qui a déjà atteint son objectif, ayant amassé plus de 5000$. Pour cette année, il ne sera pas possible de faire l’événement sur les pentes du Mont Tremblant. Vicky a toujours été une sportive, ayant fait partie des Astérides de Sept-Îles pendant 15 ans, faisait également du ski. Elle s’est mise à la course afin de relever ce nouveau défi et se sent d’attaque. L’édition 2020 aura lieu ce samedi 5 décembre, pour un 24 heures consécutives. Le tout a été adapté en raison de la pandémie, et se fera virtuellement. Chaque équipe avait la possibilité de créer son propre défi sportif. « Pour notre part, moi et mon équipe de 8, allons courir en moyenne 40 km, dont une vingtaine de kilomètres ensemble près du Canal Lachine, et le reste chacun de notre côté. », précise-t-elle. Il est encore temps de donner pour la cause en cliquant sur ce lien : https://participant.24htremblant.com/fr/users/vicky-lemieux-0?fbclid=IwAR2GZtPpxNEsGDK7B43arwgUNEdj7TnQB42YL_SwlpC4L3EpmPsH-_KznVUKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that the country is the first to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.View on euronews
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Wed. Dec. 2, 2020.There are 383,468 confirmed cases in Canada._ Canada: 383,468 confirmed cases (66,369 active, 304,888 resolved, 12,211 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.There were 5,329 new cases Tuesday from 97,680 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 41,024 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,861.There were 81 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 593 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 85. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,573,322 tests completed._ Newfoundland and Labrador: 339 confirmed cases (33 active, 302 resolved, four deaths).There was one new case Tuesday from 324 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.31 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 16 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 62,844 tests completed._ Prince Edward Island: 72 confirmed cases (four active, 68 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 760 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 60,683 tests completed._ Nova Scotia: 1,315 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,108 resolved, 65 deaths).There were 10 new cases Tuesday from 3,165 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.32 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 88 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 13.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 146,919 tests completed._ New Brunswick: 508 confirmed cases (116 active, 385 resolved, seven deaths).There were seven new cases Tuesday from 1,065 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.66 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 58 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is eight.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 101,550 tests completed._ Quebec: 143,548 confirmed cases (12,264 active, 124,200 resolved, 7,084 deaths).There were 1,177 new cases Tuesday from 8,376 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 14 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,218 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,317.There were 28 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 197 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.33 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 83.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,194,452 tests completed._ Ontario: 118,199 confirmed cases (14,524 active, 100,012 resolved, 3,663 deaths).There were 1,707 new cases Tuesday from 33,508 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.1 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,689 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,670.There were seven new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 144 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 25.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,103,234 tests completed._ Manitoba: 17,107 confirmed cases (9,066 active, 7,713 resolved, 328 deaths).There were 282 new cases Tuesday from 2,201 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,549 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 364.There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 80 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.83 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 23.95 per 100,000 people. There have been 349,309 tests completed._ Saskatchewan: 8,745 confirmed cases (3,819 active, 4,875 resolved, 51 deaths).There were 181 new cases Tuesday from 1,444 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,862 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 266.There were four new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 262,262 tests completed._ Alberta: 59,484 confirmed cases (16,628 active, 42,305 resolved, 551 deaths).There were 1,307 new cases Tuesday from 27,600 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,948 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,421.There were 10 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 59 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 12.6 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,473,584 tests completed._ British Columbia: 33,894 confirmed cases (9,663 active, 23,774 resolved, 457 deaths).There were 656 new cases Tuesday from 18,967 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 3.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,546 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792.There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 99 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 14. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.28 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 802,376 tests completed._ Yukon: 47 confirmed cases (17 active, 29 resolved, one deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 170 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 5,336 tests completed._ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed cases (zero active, 15 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 42 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 6,397 tests completed._ Nunavut: 182 confirmed cases (93 active, 89 resolved, zero deaths).There was one new case Tuesday from 58 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 38 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 4,300 tests completed.This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
The Calgary Police Service is still committed to reallocate money to support other crisis response services despite city council's decision to pull from its rainy-day funds instead of the police budget. Police Chief Mark Neufeld had supported giving up $8 million from the 2021 police budget, as long as the funds reallocated lead directly to a drop in call volumes for police officers.Instead, on Thursday council pulled that money from its fiscal stability fund to go toward the community safety framework, which is intended to address gaps in crisis services, outreach services and emergency response, as well as gaps in racially and culturally appropriate services. "Regardless of the source of the funding, the approval of the framework and the commitment of dollars to do that important work is a real win," Neufeld told the Calgary Police Commission during its Tuesday meeting. "But let me be equally clear — CPS proposed initially to reallocate funds to do this work, and we remain completely committed to doing the work."Neufeld didn't specifically say how much money would be committed to the framework, but said more details would be available at the January 2021 police commission meeting. Anti-racism work underwayDeputy chief Katie McLellan also gave an update on CPS' anti-racism work, which is being built out of the city's public hearings on the topic earlier this year. Police had identified six priorities the service is focusing on: * Building a framework with dedicated internal resources to create an anti-racism strategy. CPS dedicated two staff to full-time work leading its anti-racism action committee. * Allocating money to a new call response delivery model, with short term actions including increase support networks, court diversion options and improving crisis triage and working with other agencies. * Conducting an independent review of its school resource officer program, with the report expected by the third quarter of next year. * Evaluating the body-worn camera program, including a look at complaints and use of force incidents. * Developing practices to collect, categorize and report disaggregated race-based data — both relating to citizens and CPS employees. * Researching and implementing an equity, inclusion and diversity tool for CPS policies, practices and reporting — training on that tool is expected to start early next year. "We have lots of things going on … I am optimistic but recognize there's many balls in the air and we need to have that balance, and take time to be thorough and engage and listen to lessons learned," McLellan said. McLellan also presented an update on the service's Indigenous road map, which is focused on addressing calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls calls for justice. Some of the work that's been completed since last year includes the hiring of an Indigenous strategic engagement coordinator, developing and delivering training to create awareness of different ways to respond to administration of justice offences that see Indigenous people over-represented in the carceral system, and participation in the development of the Calgary Indigenous Court.Commissioner Heather Campbell said police have been able to put together a bit of a "dream team" for their anti-racism work, from Indigenous liaison experts to the committee's two leads, and asked what work still needs to be done. "We recognize the need to include members from the community so they bring that objective, different lens to us. In the interim, we really haven't built what we're looking for," McLellan said, adding that they'll be seeking additional subject matter experts and community engagement in the long-term. "We're building the bones and the framework of the plan but the strategy will be longer term."Commissioner Marilyn North Peigan pointed out that the Indigenous court is a "guilty" court, meaning that someone has to plead guilty to enter the system. She said she'd like to see more work happening with diversion and education — something McLellan said is one of the main goals the team is striving toward.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done. Under leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican senators will hold great sway in confirming Biden’s nominees regardless of which party holds the majority after runoff elections in January. Biden will have little room to manoeuvr and few votes to spare. As Biden rolled out his economic team Tuesday — after introducing his national security team last week — he asked the Senate to give his nominees prompt review, saying they “deserve and expect nothing less.” But that seems unlikely. Republicans are swiftly signalling that they’re eager to set the terms of debate and exact a price for their votes. Biden's choice for budget chief, Neera Tanden, was instantly rejected as “radioactive.” His secretary of state nominee, Antony Blinken, quickly ran into resistance from GOP senators blasting his record amid their own potential 2024 White House campaigns. Even as most Republican senators still refuse to publicly acknowledge President Donald Trump’s defeat, they are launching new battles for the Biden era. The GOP is suspended between an outgoing president it needs to keep close — Trump can still make or break careers with a single tweet — and the new one they are unsure how to approach. Almost one month since the Nov. 3 election, McConnell and Biden have not yet spoken. “The disagreement, disorientation and confusion among Republicans will make them inclined to unite in opposition,” said Ramesh Ponnuru, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, during a Tuesday briefing. “They don’t necessarily know what they’re for, but they can all agree they don’t like Neera Tanden.” A new president often runs into trouble with at least a few Cabinet or administrative nominees, individuals who rub the Senate the wrong way and fail to win enough votes for confirmation or are forced to withdraw after grueling public hearings. Trump’s nominees faced enormous resistance from Senate Democrats, who used their minority-party status to slow-walk confirmation for even lower-level positions. It’s been an escalation of the Senate's procedural battles for at least a decade. But the battles ahead are particularly sharp as Biden tries to stand up an administration during the COVID-19 crisis and economic freefall, rebuilding a government after Trump chased away many career professionals and appointed often-untested newcomers. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer praised the expertise Biden's choices will bring to government. He scoffed at Republicans for complaining about Tanden’s penchant for sharp tweets after four years of Trump’s endless Twitter barbs that GOP senators often tried to ignore. “After what all we went through over the past four years, I would expect that almost all of President-elect Biden’s nominees would be widely acceptable,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. Instead, he warned, the "switch is starting to flip” into Republican opposition. To be sure, some key Biden choices will have an easier path to confirmation. Janet Yellen, who would become the nation’s first female treasury secretary, drew few public complaints from Republicans. Many had voted to confirm her in 2014 as Federal Reserve chair. Democrats have their own battles ahead. Biden faces the daunting task of keeping the party's centrist and progressive factions from splintering as he tries to put his team in place. Republicans now hold a 50-48 advantage in the Senate, but if Democrats win both Georgia seats in the Jan. 5 runoff elections, they would wrest control, since the vice-president, which will be Kamala Harris, becomes a tie-breaker. The nomination fights will serve as an early indicator of the approach Republicans take toward Biden as they find their political footing in a post-Trump environment. Trump continues to wield great influence over the party as he is being eased out, and senators, in particular, need to keep him close for the Georgia runoff elections. The president is planning to visit Georgia on Saturday, where two GOP senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, failed to clear the 50% threshold to win reelection in November. Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock in a state that flipped to support Biden. McConnell has said almost nothing about Biden’s nominees or next year's agenda as he continues to give Trump the time and space to challenge election results in court cases that have delivered few victories. Instead, he's letting other Senate Republicans, particularly those seen as having White House ambitions, make names for themselves. GOP Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, among others, have all hurled pointed complaints about Biden's picks. Despite Trump’s defeat, Republicans in Congress may have little incentive to work with Biden. They performed better than Trump, retaining many House and Senate seats they were expected to lose. One lesson Republicans learned from the November election may be to keep doing what they've been doing. McConnell gave a nod toward what's ahead after GOP senators met Tuesday by conference call, forced to abandon their traditional sit-down lunches as the COVID-19 crisis surges and threatens to further disrupt the Capitol. McConnell talked about finishing the remaining few weeks of “this government” and “the new administration” to come. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Voici le message qu’il a décidé de partager ce matin sur les réseaux sociaux : Kuei kassinu etshiek Bonjour a vous tous, Toute une semaine d’émotions, pour ma part, j’ai été testé positif à la covid 19. Je fais partie de ses 6 cas au centre administratif. Ce fut tout un choc pour moi, car selon l’enquête épidémiologique des premiers cas du centre administratif, cela touché le secteur où nos bureaux sont, j’étais un contact significatif à degré Faible. Mais je me suis malgré tout mis en isolement pour protéger les gens et ma famille. Je suis allé passer le test malgré que j’avais aucun Symptôme. Ça m’a pris 72h avoir d’avoir mon résultat, 3 jours a penser au oui ou non j’étais porteur du virus et pendant ses trois jours-là. Aucun symptôme, alors je pensais que j’étais négatif mais hélas non. Ce que l’on récent lorsque tu es positif, c’est la honte, la peur et la culpabilité. Vous savez, personne veut attraper ce virus, même moi car ma belle-mère a eu de gros traitement de chimio et radio pour combattre un cancer alors même si nous restons à LTQ jamais nous voyageons, les seul places que nous faisons en ville c’est l’épicerie, pharmacie et CT. Le reste du temps nous étions à la maison.pour justement protéger nos êtres chers. Ma famille viendra tjrs en tête de liste. Mais comble de malheur, j’ai attrapé le Virus à Wemotaci et non en ville alors nous ne somme pas à l’abri du virus. Moi, je n’en veut a personne d’avoir eu la covid c’est comme ça et c’est tout. Ce n’est pas le temps de faire la chasse aux sorcières mais plutôt d’être Solidaire entre nous. Merci aux anges gardiens de Wemotaci, vos tisane et médecine traditionnelle m’ont aidé a passé vers cette douloureuse épreuve de confinement. Le plus dur pour moi été d’être isolé de ma famille mais c’était pour le bien. Pour ce qui est de ma santé, je suis asymptomatique. Je n’ai eu aucun symptôme depuis le début. C’est pour ça que je suis heureux d’avoir passer le test, sinon jamais j’aurais su que j’avais la Covid car j’aurais peut-être pu infecté plus de gens mais je prends tous les précautions possible, Masque, lavages de mains régulier et être à 2 mètres. Hier, nous avons eu le dernier résultat de mes contacts significatifs. Ma belle-mère est négatif, vous ne pouvez pas savoir comment ça me soulage. Aujourd’hui, comme depuis le jour 1, je suis asymptomatique et je ne suis pas un faux positif. J’ai attrapé la Covid-19 et je veux que mon message sert a quelque chose. C’est de dire aux gens de faire attention à eux et d’appliquer le plus possible les mesures sanitaires. Je pries pour les malades car des gens ont des complications et sont hospitalisé. À partir de samedi, ma levée d’isolement sera effectif. Je suis a la fin de mon isolement et contamination!! Selon les infirmiers de santé publique, je serais immunisé pour 3 mois!! Mais dans la vie, nous ne contrôlons pas grand chose, dieu a décidé que je devais passer par cette épreuve. Je l’accepte et surtout je veux que mon cas serve à quelques choses. Faites attention Tsheneskemetnau kassinu etshiekKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
L’édition 2020 de la populaire émission Occupation double s’est déroulée majoritairement au Québec, étant donné la pandémie reliée à la COVID-19. La Côte-Nord a été visitée par certains candidats, dont Cintia et Marjorie qui ont confirmé leur relation lors d’une visite dans la Manicouagan. Elles ont eu la chance de visiter le barrage Daniel-Johnson, en plus de passer de magnifiques moments en nature, grâce Fred et Coralie de chez Attitude Nordique et des Innus de Pessamit. C’est au tour de la Minganie d’accueillir des participants, qui ont eu la chance de s’y rendre lors du voyage final. Il a été annoncé que celui-ci se déroulait dans Charlevoix, mais on sait maintenant que la Côte-Nord a également été visitée. Le couple a eu la chance de voir des monolithes, ainsi que de déguster des oursins de mer.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
There are three additional COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak on the third floor of the rehab tower at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH), according to a Tuesday news release from the hospital. The new cases bring the total number of infections associated with the outbreak to 20.The cases have resulted in the temporary suspension of all non-direct patient service providers.The temporary suspension includes: * all Designated Care Partner Visitation Programs (DCPs) * contractors, students and hairdressing services * patients who require palliative care and are actively dying are allowed two visitors present at any given time * patients who require palliative care, but are not actively dying are allowed one visitor. This visitor must remain the same person.The hospital first declared an outbreak at its rehab unit on Sunday."It is important to note that the precautions we are implementing are not just as a result of our internal outbreak," the statement reads."It is equally important because daily numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex continue to show that we have a significant amount of community spread with a growing list of institutional/schools/workplaces, hospital and LTC/retirement home outbreaks."HDGH said it will continue to work closely with the local health unit and provide updates. It also said it "deeply regrets the worry, concern and pain that this has caused for our staff, our patients and their families and our community and commit to providing timely updates as soon as we can."No visitor policyWindsor Regional Hospital (WRH), HDGH and Erie Shores Healthcare are reinstituting a "no visitor policy" effective Wednesday, according to another Tuesday media release, as a result of the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in the region."This difficult decision is intended as a precaution to keep patients, families and our health care teams safe as transmission rates rise and risk a crisis point for hospitals," the statement reads, adding that the high volume of patients and the reduced bed capacity is challenging the entire local health care system.Limited exceptions to the policy are in place at each hospital.For WRH, essential visitors are allowed, which include: * One visit by one visitor to a patient who is actively dying * One support person for a woman in labour * One parent/guardian of an ill newborn, child or youth
Rappelons qu’en 2010 la Ville de Sept-Îles a vendu une vingtaine de terrains sur les rues Roméo-Vachon, Joséphat-Méthot et Comeau qui ont été endommagés par un affaissement du sol. Par la suite, une cinquantaine de maisons ont été suivies de près, afin de voir si leurs structures ne seraient pas endommagées également par un tel affaissement. Maître Luc Dion, du cabinet Besnier, Dion et Rondeau est mandaté afin de coordonner les expertises finales. Le directeur général de la Ville Patrick Gwilliam mentionne qu’un expert en sol est prêt à se prononcer et s’engager professionnellement afin de dire que ces maisons ne bougeront plus dans le futur. Il y aura tout de même certaines vérifications, mais le tout semblerait très positif. Certains terrains ont été surveillés lors de ces expertises, et à la lumière de ces années de suivi, quelques-uns pourraient être vendus prochainement.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
TRAVAIL. S’inquiétant que la rémunération des salariés de l'administration publique accuse un retard grandissant par rapport à celle de l'ensemble des salariés québécois, le député de Rosemont et responsable pour Québec solidaire en matière de services publics, Vincent Marissal, appelle le gouvernement à commencer dès maintenant à combler cet écart dans le cadre des négociations avec les employés du secteur public. «La pandémie qui a frappé le Québec de plein fouet cette année nous a fait réaliser à quel point on a besoin d'une fonction publique forte pour offrir des services publics de qualité aux citoyens. L'écart important entre la rémunération des salariés de l'administration publique et celle des autres salariés a clairement un impact négatif sur la capacité du secteur public à attirer et retenir les travailleurs dont il a besoin pour remplir sa mission», déplore Vincent Marissal. Pour le député de Rosemont, cet écart de rémunération est un signal alarmant que l'État québécois doit offrir une meilleure rémunération aux salariés de l'administration publique. «Il est plus que temps que le gouvernement mette les bouchées doubles pour s'assurer que les salariés du secteur public bénéficient de rémunérations à la hauteur de l'importance de leur travail. La Présidente du Conseil du trésor ne peut plus faire fi de cette réalité et cela doit se refléter dans le cadre des négociations des employés du secteur public, qui doivent être l'occasion d'un début de rattrapage qui est plus que nécessaire», ajoute-t-il. Rappelons que selon les chiffres dévoilés par l'Institut de la statistique, l'écart de la rémunération globale entre les salariés de l'administration québécoise et les autres salariés du Québec est passé de 6,1 % en 2011 à plus de 9,2 % en 2020. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19 over the weekend. An employee tested positive for the virus on Saturday, and has been in isolation at the mine since November 22. “This is the first positive COVID case we have experienced at Cigar Lake. Contact tracing for the individual was completed through the Northern Population Health Unit,” Cameco spokesperson Jeff Hryhoriw told the Prince Albert Daily Herald on Monday. “Cigar Lake continues to operate safely, and we are monitoring the situation very closely. We recognize developments around the pandemic are fluid, and will move quickly to adjust our plans should circumstances warrant.” Hryhoriw said that Cameco has maintained steady communication with employees throughout the pandemic and since the positive case was confirmed, to keep everyone well-informed. “The health and safety of our workers, their families and communities is Cameco’s top priority, and that certainly isn’t changing,” Hryhoriw said. A Cameco employee who works underground on the production team at Cigar Lake, was informed of the positive case by the company. He said he hadn’t heard of anyone else experiencing symptoms since. “We do have one case here. I think the individual flew in about a week ago. The health and safety team on site had isolated that individual into a separate wing that they opened up for people with potential symptoms,” the employee told the Prince Albert Daily Herald on Sunday. “We have an abundance of masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectants. There are stations set up throughout the whole mine site. Cleaning staff is constantly wiping tables, chairs and doing all they can do to help keep us safe and protected here on site. Masks are required boarding the plane and everywhere we go throughout this whole mine site.” Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine reopened in September along with partner Orano Canada’s McClean Lake mill, where uranium from Cigar Lake is processed. McClean Lake saw its first case of the virus on Sept. 20 not long after restarting production. “It’s a difficult situation, but our employees are handling this calmly and with the common good in mind,” said Jim Corman, President and CEO of Orano Canada. “We will get through this challenge, with lessons learned, and it’s a good reminder of why COVID safety protocols must be respected.” Cross-contamination between the two operations has not been identified as an issue and no further cases have been announced at McClean Lake. The mine and mill had temporarily stopped producing uranium in March in order to mitigate risks associated with employees living in close quarters while flying in and out of vulnerable communities during the pandemic. Roughly 50 per cent of 320 employees and another 240 contractors at Cigar Lake are from communities in northern Saskatchewan “These realities would greatly compound the problems a COVID-19 outbreak would present, so we need to take every precaution to ensure we don’t inadvertently become a point of transmission into these communities,” Hryhoriw said in March. The active workforce at Cigar Lake dropped to 75 during the closure and was reduced from 160 to 50 at McClean Lake. Meanwhile uranium stocks climbed globally because of the halt in production. “While health and safety are the primary considerations for the timing of our Cigar Lake mine restart decision, there were also commercial considerations, including market-related factors and the impact on our cost structure,” Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said in July, announcing plans to reopen. The mining giant reported a third quarter adjusted net loss of $78-million in November. “As expected, our results continue to be impacted by the pro-active operational decisions taken earlier this year,” Gitzel said. “We believe that the actions we have taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus are prudent and reflect our values – placing priority on the health and safety of our employees, their families and their communities. However, our decisions do come with near-term costs.” So far Hryhoriw said two others at Cigar Lake were found to be close contacts of the positive case. Both tested negative as of Tuesday morning. “We are following our Exposure Control Plan to prevent the risk of spread of infection to other personnel at Cigar Lake. This includes isolating the individual with a positive diagnosis in the designated isolation wing of the camp until public health authorities advise they can be released,” Hryhoriw said. “We also continue to follow the significant measures already in place at site, including screening for our inbound and outbound flights, and heightened controls on food service. We continue to stay in close contact with public health authorities and follow all government guidelines in order to limit the risk posed by COVID-19 across our facilities.” The employee who spoke to the Herald said that workers are being diligent to prevent the spread of the virus. “It’s up to the individuals here on site just to do their due diligence and to continue working together to make sure that we don’t experience an outbreak,” he said. Michael Bramadat-Willcock, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Northern Advocate
A group of about 50 retailers called on the Ontario government on Tuesday to open all stores across the province — including those in lockdown regions, where they suggest imposing a 25 per cent capacity limit on "non-essential" stores."We respect the extraordinary efforts you and your administration are making to safeguard the public interest during this extremely challenging time," the retailers said in a letter to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott. "The problem is that Ontario's policy of segregating 'non-essential' retailers from those deemed essential might actually be making things worse."The letter was signed by executives from several major retailers, including Hudson's Bay Company, Canadian Tire, Ikea Canada, Roots and Staples Canada. It argues that the lockdowns in Toronto and Peel Region haven't reduced the number of people shopping."Instead, it has funnelled those shoppers and the corresponding health risk into fewer, increasingly crowded stores within Toronto and Peel, as well as adjacent communities, such as we saw in Vaughan and Markham over the weekend," the letter stated.WATCH | Small retailer says it's unfair that he has to close while big box stores stay open"At the same time, as the current policy pushes more Canadian consumers to a handful of big box retailers and discount stores, thousands of small, independent and local stores sit shuttered, with their hands tied, even though many sell the very same goods."According to the retailers, limited capacity in some cases — in combination with safety measures such as mandatory masks, physical distancing and hand sanitization — "can further reduce the potential for community spread while enabling more businesses to stay open across all regions during a make-or-break season for retail businesses."The letter notes that other provinces have taken similar steps in conjunction with public health officials and that these steps "will put fewer people in more stores, increasing safety for all. The current policy does the opposite."'Difficult but necessary' The province responded by noting the restrictions are aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians.Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for Elliott, said the government must limit opportunities for individuals to have close contact with others to help stop the spread of the virus. This includes allowing box stores to operate at half capacity."These necessary measures are being taken to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity, and protect the province's most vulnerable populations," Hilkene wrote in an email to The Canadian Press."To be clear, moving regions into a lockdown is not a measure this government takes lightly. However, as we have seen around the world, lockdowns are a difficult but necessary step to stop the spread, safeguard the key services we rely on and protect our health system capacity."She noted that the Ontario government is providing $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:50 p.m. British Columbia is reporting 656 new cases of COVID-19 today, with 8,796 active cases across the province. There have been 16 additional deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 457 since the pandemic began. In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say 336 people are being treated in hospital for COVID-19, and 76 of them are in intensive care. Another 10,123 people are being monitored after they were exposed to a known case of the novel coronavirus. --- 2 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19. Public health officials say all the new cases were found in the central zone, bringing the province's total active case count to 142. Rapid testing was administered at pop-up sites Monday in both Wolfville and Halifax and no cases were found at either site. A total of 4,138 COVID-19 tests were administered in the province Monday. --- 1:50 p.m. Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 in the province Tuesday. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says there are four new cases in the Saint John zone and three new cases in the Fredericton zone. There are currently 116 active cases in the province, and there have been 508 cases in New Brunswick since the pandemic began. There have been seven deaths and no one is in hospital. --- 1:35 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 282 new COVID-19 cases and a record 16 deaths. The test positivity rate remains high at 13 per cent, and Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on business openings and public gatherings may have to remain in place for some time. --- 1:10 p.m. Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his government will decide in 10 days whether the province's COVID-19 situation will allow for multi-household gatherings at Christmas. He says an increase in hospitalizations is straining the health-care network, and some hospitals are nearing the limit of how many COVID-19 patients they can treat. The premier says the situation in hospitals and the toll on health-care workers will be the most important factors in determining the plan for Christmas, adding that things are not headed in the right direction. Legault had announced last month that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed between Dec. 24 and 27. --- 1 p.m. Another measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 took effect in Yukon today, as masks are now mandatory in all indoor, public spaces. Yukon's chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says everyone over the age of five who does not have a medical exemption will be required to wear a mask. The order imposed under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act carries a fine of up to $500 but Hanley says Yukon residents will first be given a chance to adapt before any enforcement begins. Premier Sandy Silver reports eight new cases of COVID-19 in the territory since the briefing last Tuesday, bringing the total number to 47 since the start of the pandemic. Seventeen cases are still considered active, but none related to community transmission. --- 12:55 p.m. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says when looking at people experiencing the most severe illness, older Canadians are more at risk than younger Canadians with pre-existing conditions. She says that suggests after the initial round of vaccines goes to people in high-risk living or work situations, like long-term care centres and hospital staff, the next round of immunizations should be done by age, with the oldest Canadians at the front of the line. --- 12:52 p.m. Manitoba handed out 100 tickets to people not following public health orders last week. The provincial government brought in restrictions three weeks ago to deal with surging COVID-19 case numbers that set strict limits on public gatherings and require non-essential businesses to close. Two churches that held services recently are among the establishments that have been ticketed. --- 12:50 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19. The case affects a man in his 50s who returned to the province from work in British Columbia. Health officials say the man is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway. Newfoundland and Labrador has 33 active COVID-19 cases, with 339 cases confirmed since the onset of the pandemic. --- 12:35 p.m. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on public gatherings and business openings could continue into the winter. Pallister says with cold weather ahead, there's a risk of greater COVID-19 transmission as more people stay, and perhaps gather, indoors. Manitoba's daily rise in cases has levelled off somewhat after spiking last month, but health officials say it is still straining the health-care system. --- 12:25 p.m. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada was one of the first countries to sign a deal to get doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna. She says it was also the fourth to sign a deal with Pfizer, and the first country without the ability to mass produce the vaccine domestically to sign with AstraZeneca. Anand says there has been "significant misinformation" about the doses procured and when they will arrive. --- 11:50 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is taking on billions of dollars in more debt to protect Canadians from having to do the same thing. Trudeau says the average credit card interest rate is more than 19 per cent, and that it makes more sense for Ottawa to shoulder more of the burden through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn because it can borrow at rates now close to zero. The prime minister also says his government has no intention to start cutting spending at this time, saying now is not the time for austerity. The fall economic update released Monday proposed $25 billion in new spending to help Canadian businesses and workers make it through a COVID-19 winter promised tens of billions more to help the country recover once the pandemic passes. --- 11:40 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is launching efforts to support two more northern communities that are struggling with COVID-19. The Canadian Red Cross is sending specialists to the predominantly Inuit community of Arviat in Nunavut, which has seen dozens of cases. The Canadian Rangers are also being deployed to Hatchet Lake First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, where Trudeau says they will provide health services and support elders. --- 11:35 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says 80 per cent of the money spent to support and protect Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic has come from the federal government. The prime minister says that includes tens of millions of rapid tests that are starting to be distributed across the country, as well as billions of doses of yet-to-be-delivered COVID-19 vaccines. Trudeau says Canada is guaranteed to receive some of the first doses of the vaccine produced by U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna once it has been approved by Health Canada. The Moderna vaccine candidate is one of four currently being reviewed by the department. --- 11:30 a.m. Prince Edward Island's chief health officer says she expects the COVID-19 vaccine to begin arriving in her province in January 2021. Dr. Heather Morrison says discussions are continuing between the federal and provincial governments around vaccine allocation, distribution, procurement and logistics. She says P.E.I. will be following the national recommendations for priority groups to be immunized, but all Islanders who want the vaccine will receive it over time. Morrison says it will take many months for all Islanders to be immunized. She said the arrival date and the actual number of doses will be made public once the details are known. --- 11:05 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,177 new cases of COVID-19 today and 28 additional deaths associated with the novel coronavirus. According to public health authorities, three of those deaths took place during the past 24 hours and the rest occurred earlier. The Health Department says 719 people are currently in hospital, an increase of 26 from the previous day. Of those, 98 people are in intensive care, an increase of four from the previous day. Quebec has reported 143,548 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 7,084 deaths associated with the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
San Francisco Mayor London Breed dined at a posh Napa Valley restaurant the day after California's governor was there. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo went to his parents' house for Thanksgiving. And a Los Angeles County supervisor dined outdoors just hours after voting to ban outdoor dining there.All three local officials were on the hot seat Tuesday after various reports that they violated rules aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus — or at a minimum, violating the spirit of the rules as they repeatedly urged others to stay home.Breed joined seven others at the three Michelin-starred French Laundry on Nov. 7 to celebrate the 60th birthday of socialite Gorretti Lo Lui, the mayor's spokesman confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle. She dined in the same kind of partially enclosed indoor/outdoor room Gov. Gavin Newsom celebrated in a day earlier.Newsom, who has appealed to Californians to “do your part" and stay home, apologized when the 12-person dinner was reported, then again when photos emerged showing him, his wife and others sitting close together at the same table without masks.Breed's spokesman, Jeff Cretan, called the mayor's French Laundry dinner a “small family birthday dinner." He did not immediately respond to a telephone message Tuesday inquiring whether the dinner involved more than three different households, which are prohibited under the state's rules.Before the Chronicle's story was posted Tuesday, Breed thanked residents for doing their part by limiting contact with others, saying on a live stream that “as someone who basically lives alone, it’s been a tough year for me personally."Earlier in the day, Liccardo apologized for attending a Thanksgiving get-together at his parents' home that included people from five different households.“I apologize for my decision to gather contrary to state rules, by attending this Thanksgiving meal with my family," Liccardo said in a statement. “I understand my obligation as a public official to provide exemplary compliance with the public health orders, and certainly not to ignore them. I commit to do better.”Liccardo said there were eight members from five different households and that they all dined outside at separate tables on the back patio, wearing masks when they were not eating.The outing was first reported by KNTV in San Jose.A day earlier, Liccardo tweeted that cases were spiking because people were letting their guard down with family members and friends. “Let’s cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on keeping each other safe," he wrote.Meanwhile, KTTV in Los Angeles reported that LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl enjoyed an outdoor meal at a restaurant just hours after voting last week to ban outdoor dining at the county’s 31,000 restaurants over coronavirus safety concerns.Kuehl was seen eating outside on Nov. 24 at Il Forno Trattoria near her home in Santa Monica, the station reported. Earlier in the day, Kuehl was among the supervisors who voted 3 to 2 to prohibit outdoor dining in Los Angeles County. Indoor dining has been banned for months during the pandemic.“She did dine al fresco at Il Forno on the very last day it was permissible," Kuehl’s office said in a statement Monday. "She loves Il Forno, has been saddened to see it, like so many restaurants, suffer from a decline in revenue. She ate there, taking appropriate precautions, and sadly will not dine there again until our Public Health Orders permit."Los Angeles County imposed a new stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents effective this week as coronavirus cases surge across the state and country.During last week's Board of Supervisors meeting, Kuehl referred to outside dining as “a most dangerous situation” because of the possibility of virus transmission among unmasked patrons.“This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously,” Kuehl said.Juliet Williams, The Associated Press
Ottawa's finance committee voted on Tuesday to modify the ward map that independent consultants produced for future municipal elections, despite cautions that politicians should not interfere except in minor ways.Mayor Jim Watson said the final decision for new ward boundaries falls with council and it needs to address residents' concerns, especially those of francophones in the rural east end."While [the consultants] did a very good job... councillors know their wards better than almost anyone else," said Watson.The biggest modification was to shift lines significantly in the rural east, where residents decried the giant rural ward that had been proposed. Many people addressed committee, relaying fears francophones would no longer be represented along with residents in Orléans but instead with rural residents as far away as Osgoode village.Their new councillor, Cumberland's Catherine Kitts, heard those concerns "loud and clear" while campaigning this fall. She said having votes carry relatively the same weight among wards matters, but so do minority language rights.So, finance committee approved bringing a rural swath that includes the villages of Navan and Sarsfield into a ward with growing suburbs in Orléans. Cumberland village was already to be joined to an urban Orléans ward in the north. That leaves only Carlsbad Springs and Vars villages to join a rural ward with Osgoode.Committee also approved moving the dividing line in Vanier from McArthur Road south to Donald Street. Eastway Gardens, a community with alphabet street names near the Via Rail station, was moved back into what is currently Alta Vista ward.But when it came to a motion to restore McKellar Park to what is currently Kitchissippi ward, as residents wanted, the committee voted against it. That leaves the boundary at Denbury Avenue, as consultants propose. The councillors in the area, Jeff Leiper and Theresa Kavanagh, questioned the consultants' underlying assumptions about how populations will grow in the area, especially with new developments around LRT in its second stage.Only Coun. Scott Moffatt voted against the many changes, and he opposed the ward boundary recommendations themselves.Council to grow to 24 wardsA few councillors who have no votes on the committee reminded colleagues that council had been told to stay out of the redrawing of electoral lines."I understand if it's a parking lot or a field... but councillors in my view should not be moving portions of the electorate in or out of their ward boundaries against the advice of independent experts we hired," said Capital ward's Shawn Menard. Menard asked if it might lead the city to lose an appeal at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal."Yes, we feel some of the changes do not achieve effective representation and would cause some difficulty in defending it," said ward boundary consultant Gary Davidson.The city clerk has said ward boundary reviews are usually appealed. The mayor, meanwhile, expects the changes to be defensible. As for the size of council, the approved plan would see it grow by a seat to 24. Watson would have preferred it remain at 23 seats plus a mayor. He had even wanted council to shrink, when first elected a decade ago."I tried that. It didn't work. I'm not going to rehash history," said Watson. He's happy with the new 24-seat map, because keeping council the same size "was not going to be possible given geographic considerations and population bursts in different parts of the city."The proposed ward boundaries, and amendments made by finance committee, go to full council for a vote Dec. 9.
LOS ANGELES — The captain of a scuba diving boat that caught fire and sank off the coast of California last year, killing 34 people who were trapped below deck, was indicted Tuesday on federal manslaughter charges for one of the deadliest maritime disasters in recent U.S. history.Jerry Boylan was charged with 34 counts of seaman's manslaughter for "misconduct, negligence and inattention" by failing to train his crew, conduct fire drills and have a roving night watchman on the Conception when fire broke out Sept. 2, 2019, the indictment said.“As a result of the alleged failures of Captain Boylan to follow well-established safety rules, a pleasant holiday dive trip turned into a hellish nightmare as passengers and one crew member found themselves trapped in a fiery bunkroom with no means of escape,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement.Boylan and four other crew members, who had all been sleeping, escaped from the flaming boat after he made a breathless mayday call. All 33 passengers and one crew member perished in the bunkroom.Some of the dead were found with their shoes on, leading to speculation they were trying to escape but were trapped by flames that blocked a stairwell and a small hatch that were the only exits to the deck above. All died of smoke inhalation, according to coroner's reports.The rare federal charges against Boylan were brought under a pre-Civil War law aimed at holding steamboat captains and crew responsible for watery disasters that were far more frequent at the time.Federal safety investigators faulted the owners of the vessel for a lack of oversight, but they were not charged with any crime.“I hate the term accident in this case because, in my opinion, it is not an accident if you fail to operate your company safely,” National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said at a hearing in October.The company that owned the boat, Truth Aquatics Inc., has filed suit in federal court under a provision in maritime law to avoid payouts to the families of the victims. The families of 32 victims have filed claims against boat owners Glen and Dana Fritzler and the company.The cause of the fire was been under investigation for more there a year and may be impossible to pinpoint. It began in an area on the main deck where divers had plugged in phones, flashlights and other items with combustible lithium ion batteries.The fire happened on the final night of a three-day Labor Day weekend scuba diving excursion near Santa Cruz Island off Santa Barbara.The 34 victims ranged from a new deckhand to scientists and engineers to parents with their teenage and adult children. They came from as far away as China, Singapore and India. Two passengers were celebrating birthdays.The sole crewmember who died, Allie Kurtz, 26, had previously worked as a cook on another Truth Aquatics boat and was thrilled with her promotion. Her family said she loved the water and had childhood aspirations of becoming a pirate.Marine biologist Kristy Finstad, who co-owned Worldwide Diving Adventures and chartered the Labor Day Weekend trip, first put on a dive tank at the age of nine and had done hundreds of dives in the rugged, wind-swept Channel Islands, off Santa Barbara’s coast.Five members of the Quitasol family took the trip to celebrate their father’s birthday. Sisters Angela, Nicole and Evan joined their father, Michael Quitasol, and their stepmother, Fernisa Sison. The family had been scuba diving together for at least a decade.Before the disaster, Boylan and Truth Aquatics had a good reputation with customers and the boating community in Santa Barbara, where the company had a fleet of three boats. The Conception had passed its two most recent Coast Guard safety inspections.But NTSB investigators condemned the company and captain for a litany of issues including failing to train the crew on emergency procedures.Ryan Sims, who had been working aboard the boat for just three weeks, told investigators he had asked the captain to discuss emergency plans the day before the fire.“When we have time," Boylan replied, Sims reported.“I didn’t know what the procedures were supposed to be,” Sims said, echoing what other crew members told investigators.The NTSB said the lack of a night watch allowed the fire to spread quickly and trap victims below deck. The agency also faulted the Coast Guard for not enforcing the night watch requirement, citing records showing no one cited for failing to provide one since 1991.Crew members told investigators they were asleep on the upper deck when the fire broke out below around 3 a.m.They said they made repeated attempts to reach those below deck. But the flames and heat kept them back and eventually forced them to jump overboard.Boylan made a mayday call at 3:14 a.m. saying, “I can’t breathe,” before abandoning ship.Sims, who has sued the boat's owners, broke a leg jumping from the boat.The crew climbed into a dinghy and motored to a yacht anchored nearby to call again for help.“One thing we never heard was any screams or banging or anything from the boat, both while we were on it or when we were close,” Cullen Molitor, the boat’s second captain, told investigators.Brian Melley And Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press
DELTA, B.C. — A man has critical injuries after the vehicle he was driving plunged about nine metres from a BC Ferries exit ramp to the pavement below.BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall says the incident occurred Tuesday at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal as vehicles were leaving the vessel Coastal Renaissance, which had arrived from the Duke Point terminal near Nanaimo.She says the vehicle accelerated sharply after it left the vessel and crashed through a concrete barrier on the upper exit ramp, landing on its roof on the road below.A statement from BC Emergency Health Services says several paramedic crews were dispatched to the scene and the patient was transported to hospital in critical condition. Marshall says the man, who was driving a crew-cab pickup truck, was the lone occupant of the vehicle and no one else was hurt. Marshall says the man was conscious and talking after the incident. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Alberta Health projections released by the Opposition predict COVID-19 hospitalizations could soar to 775 by mid-December and the number of intensive care patients could reach 161.NDP Leader Rachel Notley says the numbers suggest the United Conservative government waited too long to act, then introduced ineffective half measures to combat the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.“Our province is reporting the highest rate of COVID in the country,” Notley told Premier Jason Kenney during question period Tuesday. “The models showed you a second wave was coming. Why did you not prepare?”Kenney’s government has in recent weeks declined to provide internal projections on potential COVID-19 effects on hospital and intensive care wards, although Kenney said this week those numbers might be provided in the coming days.The latest numbers were leaked to the NDP.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said the projections are the "worst-case scenario" and don't take into account the recently announced new restrictions."That is exactly the point of those restrictions ... to prevent us from hitting those high projections because what we need to do is bend that curve down," said Hinshaw.Alberta's daily case count has sat above 1,000 for almost two weeks, putting a significant strain on the health-care system.There are a total of 173 intensive care beds in Alberta. On Tuesday, there were 97 COVID-19 ICU patients of a total 479 in hospitals.Alberta Health Services, the front-line operational arm of Alberta Health, is rearranging and reassigning space, staff and patients to create another 250 ICU beds. AHS spokesman Kerry Williamson said in an email that Calgary exceeded maximum ICU capacity Monday, but had space because 10 new beds had been added. Edmonton was at 95 per cent ICU capacity, but had 18 spaces available because of 20 new beds.Twenty acute-care hospitals, including the major ones in Calgary and Edmonton, are dealing with COVID outbreaks of their own.To stem the surge in cases, Kenney announced tighter health restrictions last week aimed at reducing community spread while keeping businesses and the economy as open as possible.No social gatherings are allowed in people’s homes. Restaurants and bars can stay open, but only six people can be at one table and they all must live under the same roof.The province is to review the measures mid-December and may intensify or add to them if the skyrocketing spread continues.The NDP and some doctors say the public-health orders, while aimed at balancing health and the economy, will ultimately fail both and a short, sharp lockdown is the way to go.Alberta is also facing the challenge of tracking spread. Health officials do not know where about 80 per cent of recent cases came from. Kenney reiterated that the province has 800 contact tracers and is working to hire 400 more while moving more part-time tracers to full-time status.“Alberta Health Services is pulling out the stops and has been for weeks to add capacity,” Kenney told the house.“We made it clear to them from Day 1 that budget is not an issue, that we are giving them maximum resources ... in hiring and training, and bringing people on board."Notley criticized Kenney for not moving faster during the summer to hire more contact tracers. She noted Alberta lags behind other comparable provinces.“B.C. has 26 contact tracers per 100,000 (people). Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 30. Ontario, 27. Alberta, 18,” said Notley.“Contact tracing is strained across the country, that is true, but only in this province is it broken.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press