Mikey and Ellie the Great Danes are enjoying their first Christmas in their new home. Watch and laugh as excited Mikey & Ellie can't wait to dig into the box and start playing with their toys. Merry Christmas!
Mikey and Ellie the Great Danes are enjoying their first Christmas in their new home. Watch and laugh as excited Mikey & Ellie can't wait to dig into the box and start playing with their toys. Merry Christmas!
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have claimed goaltender Anton Forsberg off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. Forsberg, 28, was 1-1-0 with a 3.35 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in three games with the Hurricanes last season. The native of Harnosand, Sweden also played 27 games with Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Forsberg has a career NHL record of 12-25-4 with a 3.22 GA and .901 save percentage over parts of five seasons with Carolina, Chicago and Columbus. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit are the other goalies on Winnipeg's roster. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Quebec is seeking leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada a lower court decision that reduced the sentence of convicted mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette. In a joint statement Friday, Quebec's attorney general and the director of criminal prosecutions announced their decision to appeal, adding they wouldn't make any further comments "out of respect for the ongoing legal process." The province's highest court in November reduced the killer's life sentence from 40 years in prison before chance at parole, to 25 years. In 2019, a Quebec Superior Court justice rewrote a 2011 law that granted courts the right to impose consecutive sentences in blocks of 25 years for multiple murders, declaring that the law amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Justice Francois Huot instead handed Bissonnette a sentence of 40 years. The Court of Appeal agreed with Huot that consecutive sentencing violated the Charter, but decided the lower court judge erred in granting the killer a 40-year sentence, instead opting for 25 years. The appeals court also struck down the section of the Criminal Code that allowed cumulative sentences, declaring it unconstitutional. "This judgment is not about the horror of the actions taken by Alexandre Bissonnette on Jan. 29, 2017, or even about the impact of his crimes on an entire community and society in general, but above all, on the constitutionality of a provision of the Criminal Code," the Court of Appeal wrote in a 41-page unanimous judgment. Bissonnette pleaded guilty in March 2018 to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder, following the 2017 mosque attack in Quebec City. In less than two minutes, Bissonnette shot the six men dead when he stormed the mosque, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol, leaving six widows and 17 orphans in his wake. His murder victims were Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39. In addition to the men killed, five others were struck by bullets. Usually, the Supreme Court takes about 10 to 12 weeks to decide whether it will accept to hear an appeal. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Caroline Plante, The Canadian Press
Student well-being teams in Prince Edward Island's schools are seeing an increase in referrals for help. Student well-being teams were established in 2017 and are teams of professionals such as mental health clinicians, school health nurses, school outreach workers and occupational therapists who tend to the mental, social and physical health of students in kindergarten to Grade 12. The teams are now officially in all nine families of schools across P.E.I. "Definitely some increase as a result of COVID," said Katrina Anderson, the lead for the Charlottetown Rural student well-being team. Some students struggled with the transition back to structured classroom teaching after learning online when schools closed from March till the end of the school year, she said. "Saw some increased worries as it relates to COVID in terms of the new regulations and kind of the new rules within schools," Anderson said. Coping with anxiety, depression Each team is responsible for one of P.E.I.'s families or groups of schools in the Public Schools Branch, and uses one of the schools as a home base, visiting the other schools to see students when they receive a referral from schools, pediatricians, psychiatrists, family doctors, parents or students themselves. "We see things like difficulty coping at home, we see things like difficulty maintaining peer relationships, and then we also see things far more complex," said Tara Roche, provincial health supervisor for the student well-being teams. "It can vary from more mild to moderate kind of anxiety and depression to things that are a lot more severe and result in a lot more challenges for kids." Roche said the types of requests for help have not changed much during the pandemic — the majority are around coping skills and worry. The teams have seen an increase in referrals from parents, she added, as more become aware of the program and what it does. The teams are also easier to reach now, with an online referral form. In the first three months of this school year, teams have received about half the number of referrals they did all last year, Roche said — and last year, referrals were reduced since schools were shut down for four months. "Understanding the importance of early intervention and support put in place for these kids early on in their lives is of utmost importance," Roche said. "P.E.I. is incredibly lucky to have it, because it is ... key to keeping kids healthy." The teams meet with students both privately and in groups, and use tools such as cognitive behavioural therapy to address anxiety, Anderson said. They work with students before and after school as well as during the school day. Students are welcome to reach out to the teams online or when they see them in school, Anderson said, or they may be more comfortable asking a trusted teacher to refer them. "Our doors are always open," she said. More from CBC P.E.I.
Alongside Canada’s national flower, sport, symbol and bird, is a national animal that is often forgotten. Canada’s national horse, Le Cheval Canadien, is in danger of disappearing. An Uxbridge equestrian centre, however, is dedicated to the revival of this special breed. Hundreds of years ago, in about 1665, King Louis XIV of France began shipping mares and stallions, with bloodlines from the King’s Royal Stud, to Acadia and New France. These horses had great abilities to adapt to harsh climates (like Canada’s cold winters), rough terrains and were easily trained. They became known as the Canadian Horse, or Le Cheval Canadien. While the breed was well known to American colonists, it is rather rare today. After being used in the American Civil War and for breeding to diversify genetics in American stock, but its popularity in Canada waned. Despite this, however, and despite the fact that the horse was smaller in size and often thought of as the “Quebec pony,” the Canadian Horse was declared by the Parliament of Canada to be the National Horse of Canada in 1909. In 2018, Barb Malcom, owner and head coach of Churchill Chimes Equestrian Centre on Webb Rd., committed to doing her part to save the Canadian Horse. Alongside her riding school, Malcolm set up a sister company called Donalf Farms, specifically to breed the Canadian horses in an attempt to bring back the name and the breed. “I had worked as a professional for over 20 years and just happened to buy an unpapered Canadian gelding. He is one of the most darling horses I’ve ever had,” says Malcom. Very soon Malcom fell in love with the breed. “They are durable, willing, personable and versatile. I went from being a “crossbreed person” to being completely wowed by this purebred.” “It’s one thing for Canadians not to know Canada has a national horse, but for horse people not to know, it just shows how much the breed is in trouble,” says Malcom. If it weren’t for a pandemic, this year Malcom had plans to contact Heritage Canada and rally for government assistance in the fight for the Canadian Horse. “We would love to see federal support,” says Malcom. “It really is an altruistic endeavour, but they're worth it.” Malcolm dreams of one day having all the horses in her riding school be Canadian Horses. “They are so little known, but absolutely remarkable,” says Malcolm. For more information about the national horse of Canada, visit lechevalcanadien.com or find Malcom’s breeding farm at donalffarms.com Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for a former RCMP officer convicted of perjury after the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport says his client has settled a lawsuit against the federal and B.C. governments. Sebastien Anderson says Kwesi Millington reached an agreement this week after suing the federal and provincial government for damages, claiming he acted in accordance with his RCMP training. A public inquiry heard that Dziekanski, who died at the airport's arrivals area, was jolted numerous times with a Taser seconds after Millington and three other officers approached him. Millington and his senior officer, Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were later convicted and handed prison time by the B.C. Supreme Court for colluding to make up testimony at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. Anderson says strict confidentiality provisions prevent him from discussing most of the settlement's details. The RCMP said in a statement that the matter had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, while the B.C. government says it wasn't a party to the settlement and the federal government referred questions back to the RCMP. Millington's lawsuit filed in 2019 said the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team found he and the other RCMP officers acted in accordance with their training. The statement of claim said an RCMP use of force instructor who trained Millington testified during the public inquiry that the officers' actions were consistent with training. Millington's lawsuit said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, nervous shock, loss of career advancement and other injuries. Anderson says he is able to disclose that part of the settlement agreement includes a letter from the RCMP in support of Millington's bid for a pardon, which would wipe out his criminal conviction. "Part of that is because all of their internal reports with respect to Mr. Dziekanski's unfortunate death was that they all acted within the scope of their training at that time," he said. The RCMP was asked about the letter Friday but didn't comment. Anderson said Millington has served his sentence and is living in Canada but not in B.C. "He's taken courses and has become a resilience coach," said Anderson. "He's published a book and he's hoping to help others who go through traumatic experiences like he has, and suffered PTSD, to cope and return to somewhat of a normal life." — By Dirk Meissner in Victoria. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
GENEVA — The World Health Organization's emergencies chief said Friday that the impact of new variants of COVID-19 in places like Britain, South Africa and Brazil remains to be seen, citing human behaviour for some recent rises in infection counts. “It’s just too easy to lay the blame on the variant and say, ‘It’s the virus that did it,’” Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters. “Well unfortunately, it’s also what we didn’t do that did it.” That was an allusion to holiday merrymaking and other social contacts plus loosening adherence -- in pockets -- to calls from public health officials for people to respect measures like physical distancing, regular hand hygiene and mask-wearing. Also Friday, the WHO's Emergencies Committee issued new recommendations that countries should not require proof of vaccination by incoming travellers amid the pandemic, saying decisions on international travel should be co-ordinated, limited in time, and based on both the risks and the science. “If you look at the recommendation made by the committee around vaccination for travellers, it says ‘at the present time,’” Ryan said. He pointed out that such recommendations noted that vaccines are still not widespread and that it remains unclear whether they prevent transmission between people. The recommendations came after the committee's first meeting in nearly three months. To little surprise, the panel agreed that the outbreak remains a global health emergency, nearly a year after it declared it as one. The advice comes as countries grapple with how to combat the new variants that have fanned concerns about an accelerated spread of the virus — and have prompted new lockdown measures in hard-hit places like Europe. The British government has banned travel from South America and Portugal -- a key gateway of flights from Brazil -- to try to keep the variant in Brazil from reaching Britain and derailing its vaccination program. The committee said it would encourage states “to implement co-ordinated, time-limited and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international travel.” It also called on vaccine manufacturers to make data about the products more available to the WHO, saying delays can affect its ability to provide emergency-use listings that could allow for “equitable vaccine access.” ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
FORT FRANCES, ONT., — A 30-year-old man in Fort Frances is facing a series of break and enter related charges. On Jan. 11, shortly after 8 a.m., Rainy River Ontario Provincial Police responded to a break and enter at a local business on First Street East in Fort Frances, according to a police news release. As a result, Thomas Atkinson, 30, of Fort Frances was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, mischief under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of heroin. A day later, on Jan. 12, police responded again to a break and enter report at a pharmacy in Fort Frances shortly after 2 p.m. As a result, Atkinson was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime. On Jan. 13, police attended a break and enter at two separate pharmacies in Fort Frances. Atkinson was taken into custody and charged with two counts of break and enter and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime. Police say the investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information regarding the break and enters is urged to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, under fire for the massive aid Ottawa has unveiled so far to combat the coronavirus, on Friday told his finance minister to avoid additional permanent spending. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is due to present a budget at some point in the next few months.
Plusieurs municipalités au nord de la MRC de Lac-Saint-Jean-Est choisissent de ne pas augmenter le compte de taxes des citoyens en 2021. Les différents conseils municipaux ont notamment décidé d’adopter des budgets semblables à l’année précédente. Ainsi, à l’Ascension-de-Notre-Seigneur, le taux de taxes foncières demeurent à 0,66 $ par tranche de 100 $ l’évaluation. Quant au budget, il se voit ainsi augmenté de 233 970 $, passant de 3 649 607 $ en 2020 à 3 883 577 $ en 2021. Il en va de même pour les taxes des immeubles non résidentiels qui demeurent à 1,25 $ / 100 $ ainsi que les immeubles industriels à 1,92 $ / 100 $. Les coûts associés aux services d’aqueduc (137 $/logement), aux égouts (53 $/logement) et à l’assainissement des eaux usées 116 $/logement) sont également maintenus. La municipalité prévoit plusieurs travaux en 2021, soit la réfection d’infrastructures des 2e rue Nord, 3e rue Nord, 4e avenue Ouest, la route de l’Église, le rang 5 Ouest et le rang 7 Ouest. Enfin, le réseau d’aqueduc sera prolongé jusque dans les secteurs de la Scierie Remabec, de la Scierie Lemay et du secteur de villégiature de la Baie Moreau. Saint-Ludger-de-Milot À 1,02 $ / 100 $, les taux de taxes résidentielles et agricoles demeurent les mêmes. Le taux industriel reste quant à lui à 1,90 $ / 100 $. Le taux non résidentiel diminue légèrement, passant 1,80 $ à 1,75 $ / 100 $ en 2021. Au chapitre du budget, celui-ci est diminué de 65 813 $ par rapport à 2020, passant de 1 537 399 $ à 1 471 586 $. En outre, la municipalité entend débourser 228 972 $ pour divers amortissements. Saint-Nazaire Du côté de Saint-Nazaire, la municipalité maintient aussi le même taux de taxes foncières que l’an dernier, à 1,05 $ / 100 $ d'évaluation. Le budget se retrouve quant à lui légèrement diminué, passant de 3 586 391 $ en 2020 à 3 496 923 $ pour 2021. Enfin, elle prévoit injecter 959 100 $ pour le service de la dette. Sainte-Monique Pour toute catégorie d’immeubles, le taux de taxes diminue cette année, passant de 0,85 $ à 0,80 $ / 100 $ d’évaluation. En ce qui a trait aux coûts liés à l’aqueduc, au service d’égouts et de matières résiduelles, ceux-ci sont de 350 $, 100 $ et 240 $ respectivement par foyer. Le budget passe de 2 913 321 $ en 2020 à 2 631 313 $ cette année. 107 526 $ seront destinés à divers frais de financements.Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
Sarah Kim began thinking differently about food after starting a zero-waste vegan food delivery service — one that she said made her starkly aware of the inequalities that exist in the Lower Mainland. “The more that I was involved in this business, the more I was seeing the injustices, so I started to question that and started learning more about food security and food systems,” she said. Now, she’s the food networks co-ordinator at the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks (VFN), a web of community groups working on promoting and advocating for food security across the city. Canada’s National Observer checked in with Kim about the importance of food networks and how they’ve pivoted throughout the pandemic. Why is it important to break networks down into neighbourhoods rather than having a blanket resource? I think the advantage of having different networks across the city is that they are hyper-localized, and they have the ability to be adaptable. Our neighbourhoods are actually quite different from each other based on demographics, so being able to have a network that’s able to cater to their needs is really important. With any type of food program we run, neighbours come together and build relationships. All of a sudden, they’re building friendships in their neighbourhood, (and) people can reach out if they are in need. The food networks are all about community development and using food as a vehicle for communities to connect. A recent VFN update talks about how seniors’ food security has specifically been impacted by COVID-19. Can you speak on that? It’s really hard for a lot of seniors to get out due to mobility or health issues. Through my work with seniors, I heard some were having difficulties accessing food. It was one of the main problems they faced during the pandemic. First, it was waiting in long lines in grocery stores. Then, it was trying to adapt to food delivery services and apps, which often cost money. On the flip side, I’ve seen organizations respond to that need. United Way has a program called Safe Seniors, and Collingwood Neighbourhood House has free grocery delivery for seniors, as well as phone calls and check-ins. I think seniors are having a harder time dealing with the pandemic — period. What’s something VFN has achieved recently that you’d like to highlight? Food access was not something that any of the food networks had done prior to the pandemic. Our food programs were more about community development: community kitchens; community lunches; gardening workshops. What I find really astounding is that when the pandemic started, all of the networks did a 180 and started running emergency food relief. None of these networks have the capacity to operate like a food bank, but all of a sudden, they’re doing it. And they continue to do it all these months later. On the topic of food banks, can you tell us about a response you were involved in when the Greater Vancouver Food Bank announced it would implement income means testing? They announced they would implement income means testing, which means you have to prove your income in order to access food. This was something that they were going to implement at the very beginning of April last year before the pandemic. I was part of a coalition that came together to meet, we started a petition. It’s pretty terrible that this was something they were going to implement — they thought people were abusing their system, but they’d just be creating barriers to people who need food. The pandemic hit mid-March, and then they realized they couldn’t implement it, but they haven’t said that they thought it was a bad idea or that it won’t happen in the future. COVID-19 has obviously changed the way we think about food security. Do you think there have been any permanent changes or shifts in Vancouver’s food system resulting from the pandemic? I don't see any permanent or positive shifts from a government level, and that's disappointing. Where I do see a positive shift, particularly when it comes to food security in Vancouver, is the connections that have been formed over this period. You're seeing a lot of new partnerships, a lot of new relationships, a lot of people working together. For me, I know a lot of those relationships will stick around. Something else I’ve noticed is a lot of social service organizations that didn’t have food programs before the pandemic hit, now do. All of a sudden, there are new players in these conversations. Whether that’s a permanent shift, I don’t know, but it’s fantastic that we're all talking about food security. It’s so important that there are more people thinking about it and understanding what it is. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Cloe Logan / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National ObserverCloe Logan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Samir Sinha dreamed of the day a safe vaccine would be available. “We’ve lost patients, and we’ve seen so many colleagues negatively impacted by this catastrophic virus,” said Sinha, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. So when he received the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 31, he was thrilled. While Sinha’s patients are primarily elderly and are at risk of developing serious illness, he wasn’t scheduled on the front line on COVID-positive units until late January. But through a lottery, he was eligible for the vaccine earlier so the dose wouldn’t go to waste. That Thursday, Sinha was only given 15 minutes’ notice. He made it in time, rolling up his sleeves next to three front-line workers in long-term care. It was emotional for Sinha, especially after gruelling months of wearing full personal protective equipment, watching patients die and colleagues suffer mentally and physically. But his euphoria quickly turned into guilt. Vaccine doses, per provincial directives, are still reserved for front-line workers and residents of long-term-care homes. But excess doses have been given to other hospital staff if they become available through a lottery system to avoid wastage, as the vaccine is still not being offered to the general public. Reports of hospital administrators and researchers receiving vaccines in Toronto before those living and working in long-term-care homes — where 81 per cent of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths in the first wave occurred — have since clouded Ontario’s vaccine rollout, generating complicated feelings among those inoculated. The vaccine, initially a symbol of triumph and hope, has become a reminder of inequality and political failure, leaving some to feel regret instead of joy. Others have contemplated whether it’s ethical to publicly share they’ve received the vaccine on social media while many in need await their dose. Since Dec. 14, when the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were injected into Canadians’ arms, more than 650 Ontario long-term-care residents have died. It’s a figure that has haunted Sinha since he received his dose of the Pfizer vaccine. “I was thrilled because, do I want to get the vaccine? More than ever before,” Sinha reflected. “But I also don’t want to jump the queue when I know that front-line workers in long-term-care homes and patients living in those homes were at greater risk.” The debate over the ethics behind vaccine rollout quickly spilled over to social media, where many health-care workers began sharing vaccination selfies or news of their inoculation. Dr. Gail Beck, a child psychiatrist at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, was among those who were scrutinized when she shared publicly on her blog that she’s received the vaccine. “The main thing I felt when I got the call was a sense of duty,” Beck said, adding the hospital had done its due diligence to vaccinate those who are at a higher priority first and that she does see younger patients in-person, some with special needs. “I thought I was participating in a logical process.” But upon reflection on the scrutiny she’d received, Beck said she understands an emergency doctor or a front-line worker would have felt more relieved to have been vaccinated, compared to her situation of working at a largely controlled and COVID-free setting. While some have talked about “vaccine envy,” Dr. Alan Drummond, an emergency physician in Perth, Ont., who has yet to be vaccinated, said it’s more than just feelings of jealousy. It’s about ensuring that those who are most at risk are safe first. “The problem has been the lack of transparency or direct communication with respect to what the (vaccine) rollout plan would look like,” he said. Drummond added that as a front-line worker who deals directly with COVID-19 patients, watching administrators and non-acute clinical staff get vaccinated first in cities like Toronto and Ottawa through social media has been demoralizing. “Here we are, seeing COVID-19 patients or potential COVID-19 patients, and we’re not afforded the same level of protection,” Drummond said. “There’s something wrong with the rollout when it involves people who are frankly not at risk.” Drummond has yet to receive word on when he will be next in line for a vaccine. Since receiving his dose at Mount Sinai, Sinha said he has reflected deeply on his decision to enter the vaccine lottery, especially upon realizing that many at greater risk would have liked to get vaccinated earlier, but didn’t have the privilege of access. “I now look back with a little bit of regret saying, ‘Did I actually take a spot that should have been there for a front-line worker?’ ” Sinha said. One thing he doesn’t regret, however, is sharing a photo of his vaccination publicly through social media on New Year’s Day, captioning it: “a shot of hope.” For Sinha, it’s a way to spread the news of the vaccine among his social media followers, many of whom are in racialized populations who have grown distrustful of government policy as they continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. “When they can see another physician that looks like them and telling them that it’s safe, I think that really sends a strong message to both my patients and members of the public,” said Sinha, who is of South Asian descent. Part of assuaging his guilt, he added, is being outspoken about the inequality in vaccine rollout. “I will do harm by remaining silent.” Dr. Amber Bocknek was also among many who shared an inoculation selfie on social media. As someone whose work entails doing house calls for seniors with complicated health problems in Newmarket, getting the vaccine Jan. 7 was a welcome relief. Bocknek proudly shared the photo on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, partly, she said, due to misinformation swirling among her circles on the safety of the vaccine. “It’s stimulating questions, which creates an opportunity for more education,” Bocknek said. She added the end goal for health-care workers across the board remains getting as many people vaccinated as possible. Nadine Yousif, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
Some Oakville residents have been told to seek shelter in their basements amid what police are calling an "active situation" with at least two people barricaded inside a home. According to tweets from Halton police issued Friday afternoon, Lakeshore Road West is closed from 4th Line to Birch Hill Lane for an ongoing investigation. Police say they first received a call just before 1:20 p.m. reporting possible gunfire in the area. On Twitter, investigators said the ongoing situation is contained to a residence on Lakeshore Road West, and originally involved "at least two" people barricaded inside. Police later said one person is now out of the home, but at least one person remains inside. Crisis negotiators have been in contact with the person inside the home and there are no reported injuries, police said. "Our crisis negotiators will be working to resolve this safely," police said on Twitter. Ryan Anderson, media relations officer with Halton Regional Police, says as of Friday evening, the situation is still ongoing. "It is our goal, our ultimate goal, to bring them out safely without anybody being injured," he said. Anderson could not say whether it was a hostage situation or if the person remaining in the home resided there or explain the relationship between the two people. Police are concerned for the safety of the individual inside, as well as those who live nearby. "We have reason to believe there may have been gas released in the home, so utilities have been cut off to the home," Anderson said. As a result, approximately nine residences have been notified and evacuated accordingly. Investigators say there is a "heavy police presence in the area," including officers, the tactical rescue unit, and police dogs. Appleby College was also in a hold and secure, but that has since been lifted. However, students boarding there will continue to remain indoors, according to the school's Twitter feed Police are asking people to avoid the area.
Government attorneys and municipalities fighting over the 2020 census asked a judge Friday to put their court case on hold, as Department of Justice attorneys said the Census Bureau for now will not release numbers that could be used to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from the process of divvying up congressional seats. Department of Justice attorneys and attorneys for a coalition of municipalities and advocacy groups that had sued the Trump administration over the 2020 census asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to suspend their court case for 21 days so the administration of President-elect Joe Biden can take power and decide how to proceed. “Such a stay would permit the incoming Administration to evaluate the Census Bureau’s and the Department of Commerce’s operations and assess, among other things, the interests of the United States and its litigating positions in light of Plaintiffs’ claims in this case,” the attorneys said in a court filing Friday. The Trump administration attorneys said the Census Bureau would not be releasing figures related to two orders from Presidential Donald Trump before the change in administrations. Trump's first order, issued in 2019, directed the Census Bureau to use administrative records to figure out who is in the country illegally after the Supreme Court blocked his administration’s effort to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire. In a separate order last year, Trump instructed the Census Bureau, as part of the 2020 count of every U.S. resident, to provide data that would allow his administration to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from the numbers used for divvying up congressional seats among the states. An influential GOP adviser had advocated excluding them from the apportionment process in order to favour Republicans and non-Hispanic whites, even though the Constitution spells out that every person in each state should be counted. Trump’s unprecedented order on apportionment was challenged in more than a half-dozen lawsuits around the U.S., but the Supreme Court ruled last month that any challenge was premature. The court filing also said the Trump administration would not be releasing the numbers used for apportioning congressional seats among the states, and determining the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funding, before the change in administrations. A hearing in the case was scheduled for later Friday. Meanwhile, a group of Democratic lawmakers are joining civil right groups in calling for U.S. Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham's resignation after a watchdog agency said he had set a deadline for pressured statisticians to produce a report on the number of people in the U.S. illegally. Dillingham on Wednesday ordered an indefinite halt to the efforts to produce data showing the citizenship status of every U.S. resident through administrative records after facing blowback from civil rights groups and concerns raised by whistleblower statisticians about the accuracy of such figures. A report by the Office of Inspector General on Wednesday said bureau workers were under significant pressure from two Trump political appointees to figure out who is in the U.S. illegally using federal and state administrative records, and Dillingham had set a Friday deadline for bureau statisticians to provide him a technical report on the effort. After the release of the inspector general's report, leaders of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights called for Dillingham's resignation. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have followed suit in the past two days, saying Dillingham has allowed the Trump administration to politicize the 2020 census. “The Trump administration waged a damaging campaign against the census with the intent of manipulating the results to be politically advantageous for the President and the Republican Party,” said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire in a statement. “Census Director Steven Dillingham’s failure to put country over loyalty to the President allowed these transgressions to occur and he therefore should resign." U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California said in a statement that communities of colour have borne the brunt of attacks on the census. “Officials like Steven Dillingham who cannot put the needs of the nation over the demands of a twice impeached President should resign," said Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia said in a statement that Dillingham “has now demonstrated he was willing to carry out Mr. Trump’s xenophobic campaign to manipulate the Census despite clear congressional and plain constitutional mandate to count all persons." Dillingham's five-year term is finished at the end of the year. The Census Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ___ Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP. Mike Schneider, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving the door open to tighter travel restrictions, including a possible ban on outbound air travel as COVID-19 case counts climb across the country. “We’re always open to strengthening them as necessary," Trudeau said, referring to measures restricting international flights. Officials are keeping a close eye on countries where more easily transmissible strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have broken out, he said. The prime minister pointed to worrisome mutations in Brazil as well as the United Kingdom, whose outbound flights Canada banned in December. Those flights have been permitted again after government began requiring incoming passengers to present proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests before boarding. “We will continue to look at various variants, various geographies, and make sure we’re taking the right decisions and the right measures to keep Canadians safe," Trudeau said at a press conference at Rideau Hall on Friday. The choice of whether to bar travel to the United States lies largely with the U.S., not Canada, since the country of arrival has jurisdiction over who enters, he added. Earlier this month, a survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 87 per cent of respondents said they would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced numbers of COVID-19 cases. Léger vice-president Christian Bourque said the response is consistent with similar questions asked throughout the pandemic, but also reflects a growing desire by Canadians for governments to take tougher action to curb the spread of COVID-19. That urge comes amid a backlash to provincial and federal politicians travelling to beaches abroad over the holidays. The prospect of a hard-nosed travel bans raises constitutional questions around freedom of movement. Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that "every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada." All rights are subject to reasonable limits, but can only be reined in when it's "necessary and proportionate," Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said in an interview. "While the precautionary principle would suggest that when in doubt keep people home, our constitution demands more than just a when-in-doubt approach for particular activities." Overseas sojourns shoulder the blame for only a fraction of outbreaks. Under two per cent of all coronavirus cases reported in Canada stem from foreign travel, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. A ban on outbound trips makes little sense to Michael Feder, a Vancouver-based lawyer with expertise in constitutional law. "It’s the coming back that’s trouble," he said. "No one’s annoyed that Alberta politicians went to Hawaii. They’re annoyed that they went to Hawaii and came back." The requirement for international passengers to show negative results on a recently conducted COVID-19 test followed by two weeks of self-isolation on home turf amounts to a strong barrier against viral spread. An outright flight ban would do little to bolster that defence, but it would encroach on mobility rights, Feder said. "I think it’s infuriating to see elected leaders taking off for sunnier climates," he said, calling it an "act of hypocrisy." "But I don’t actually see how a restriction on outbound travel does anything to help Canada combat the pandemic." Trudeau sought to explain the disparity between stringent lockdown measures such as Ontario's stay-at-home order or Quebec's curfew and the open runway on jetting off to a Caribbean all-inclusive. “Different jurisdictions will set up the rules that they think are best based on the best advice of their public health officials. On the federal side we have discouraged non-essential international travel, including by imposing mandatory quarantines for anyone returning to Canada and now mandatory testing for anyone before they get on a plane to come back to Canada," he said. The new curtailments prompted airlines to slash flight schedules over the past week, with Air Canada and WestJet announcing 2,700 layoffs. Air Transat flight numbers have fallen by more than 90 per cent year over year, the company said. A ban on non-essential travel would mean a total shutdown, at least for a time, said Air Transat spokesman Christophe Hennebelle. "However 'essential travel' is defined, such a ban would probably mean that we would need to stop our operations entirely, unless specific support is granted to help us maintain some form of connectivity," he said in an email. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
Asked whether Pfizer could change its manufacturing site from Europe to the U.S. to lessen the delay in vaccine deliveries, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said a change in manufacturing sites would need approval from Health Canada.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. Forest Service released an environmental review Friday that paves the way for the creation of one of the largest copper mines in the United States, against the wishes of a group of Apaches who have been trying for years to stop the project. The Forest Service now has 60 days to turn over a tract of land in the Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix to Resolution Copper Mining, a joint venture of the international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP. Environmentalists contend the Forest Service was pressured to push the review over the finish line before President Donald Trump leaves office, complicating their efforts to reverse the land swap. The Forest Service said that's not true, while the mining company contends the publication already was delayed by months. The mountainous land near Superior, Arizona, is known as Oak Flat or Chi'chil Bildagoteel. It's where Apaches have harvested medicinal plants, held coming-of-age ceremonies and gathered acorns for generations. An area where dozens of warriors leapt to their deaths from a ridge adjacent to the proposed copper mine, rather than surrender to U.S. forces during westward expansion, is protected as a special management area. A judge late Thursday denied a request from Apache Stronghold, a group led by former San Carlos Apache Chairman Wendsler Nosie Sr., to halt the publication until a larger question over who legally owns the land is settled. U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix said he recognized “the anxiety that having one’s sacred land taken from them and used for purposes that run counter to their spiritual beliefs, might cause.” But Logan said the Forest Service and other defendants also have a right to respond to the allegations, and he saw no proof they had been served. He set a Jan. 27 hearing. Randy Serraglio with the Center for Biological Diversity called the judge’s decision “a callous betrayal of Native people who value that land as sacred.” Nosie's group alleged violations of religious freedom and constitutional rights in the federal lawsuit filed this week. It also contends the Forest Service legally can't transfer the land because it belongs to Apaches under an 1852 treaty. Nosie said he's hopeful the court or politicians will take action to preserve the area as it is. “I think with a new Congress, new administration, they will be able to take a new look at it based on the Constitution, our religion and based on the consequences of having this mine that's looking to devastate and destroy this area forever,” Nosie told The Associated Press. The land swap was approved in December 2014, as part of a must-pass defence bill. The late Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, a major recipient of Rio Tinto campaign contributions, backed it. Before that, stand-alone bills never gained Congress' approval. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday said the mine will ensure a reliable supply of up to 1 billion pounds of copper annually. “Arizona has a long history of responsible mining, showing that we can have a robust mining sector while protecting our environment and cultural history,” he said in a statement. Resolution Copper is set to receive 3.75 square miles (9.71 square kilometres) of Forest Service land in exchange for eight parcels the company owns elsewhere in Arizona. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Democrats, tried unsuccessfully to reverse the land swap. Grijalva said this week that it remains one of his top priorities. “I'm hoping to put the brakes on it and reexamine every step,” he told The Associated Press. “I think part of the oversight I want to do is what was this cozy relationship between the international mining company, their subsidiary Resolution and the Trump administration.” Resolution Copper said it has spent about $2 billion so far to gain access to the mine and conduct studies. More time and money will go into securing permits and constructing the mine, which wouldn't begin operating for at least 15 years. The company said it has committed to spending $100 million for cultural heritage and recreation projects, among other things, to help ease the effects of mining. It has tweaked its plans after receiving input from other tribes, some of whom have members who were hired to help inform archaeological surveys. Resolution Copper project director Andrew Lye said the company is committed to engaging with tribes and will seek consent from them before it makes any decisions on developing the project. The Oak Flat Campground would remain open to the public until it's no longer safe for people to go there. Eventually, the mine would swallow it. The project proposal calls for the use of block caving, a method Resolution Copper maintains is safe and environmentally sound, to extract the remaining ore from depths as much as 7,000 feet below ground. Through this method, ore is selectively mined in a controlled way as the ground underneath it collapses under its own weight. Resolution Copper has said the mine could have a $61 billion economic impact over the project’s 60 years and create 1,500 jobs — points that supporters repeatedly have stressed. “Not only will Resolution Copper be a major employer, but it will lead to construction activities and new commercial development, such as housing, hotels and retail,” Glenn Hamer, the president and chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a statement. Environmentalists and Native Americans are concerned about the toxic waste that would be dumped on nearby wildlands, the potential for groundwater contamination and the destruction of sacred sites. Rio Tinto was criticized last year for blasting through 46,000-year-old aboriginal rock shelters in Australia’s Juukan Gorge. The company’s CEO and two other top executives were fired. ___ Associated Press writer Anita Snow in Phoenix contributed to this story. Fonseca is a member of The Associated Press’ race and ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FonsecaAP Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press
AMSTERDAM — The European Union's drug regulator said Friday that COVID-19 vaccine documents stolen from its servers in a cyberattack have been not only leaked to the web, but “manipulated" by hackers. The European Medicines Agency said that an ongoing investigation into the cyberattack showed that hackers obtained emails and documents from November related to the evaluation of experimental coronavirus vaccines. The agency, which regulates drugs and medicines across the 27-member EU, had troves of confidential COVID-19 data as part of its vaccine approval process. “Some of the correspondence has been manipulated by the perpetrators prior to publication in a way which could undermine trust in vaccines,” the agency said. It did not explain what information was altered — but cybersecurity experts say such practices are typical of disinformation campaigns launched by governments. Italian cybersecurity firm Yarix said it found the 33-megabyte leak on a well-known underground forum with the title “Astonishing fraud! Evil Pfffizer! Fake vaccines!” It was apparently first posted on Dec. 30 and later appeared on other sites, including on the dark web, the company said on its website. Yarix said “the intention behind the leak by cybercriminals is certain: to cause significant damage to the reputation and credibility of EMA and Pfizer.” The agency said that given the devastating toll of the pandemic, there was an “urgent public health need to make vaccines available to EU citizens as soon as possible.” The EMA insisted that despite that urgency, its decisions to recommend the green-lighting of vaccines were based “on the strength of the scientific evidence on a vaccine’s safety, quality and efficacy, and nothing else.” The agency, which is based in Amsterdam, came under heavy criticism from Germany and other EU member countries in December for not approving vaccines against the virus more quickly. The EMA issued its first recommendation for the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine weeks after the shot received approval in Britain, the United States, Canada and elsewhere. The European Medicines Agency recommended a second vaccine, made by Moderna, for use earlier this month. A third shot made by AstraZeneca and Oxford is currently under consideration by the agency. The EMA said law enforcement authorities are taking “necessary action” in response to the cyberattack. __ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press