A small black pup is seen running ahead down a wintery road.
A small black pup is seen running ahead down a wintery road.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has directed law enforcement and intelligence officials in his administration to study the threat of domestic violent extremism in the United States, an undertaking being launched weeks after a mob of insurgents loyal to Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. The announcement Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a stark acknowledgment of the national security threat that officials see as posed by American extremists motivated to violence by radical ideology. The involvement of the national intelligence office, created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with a goal of thwarting international terrorism, suggests U.S. authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from extremists at home. The threat assessment is being co-ordinated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, and will be used as a foundation to develop policy, the White House said. The National Security Council will do its own policy review to see how information about the problem can be better shared across the government. “The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we all know: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said, adding that the administration will confront the problem with resources and policies but also “respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.” Asked whether new methods were needed, she said, “More needs to be done. That's why the president is tasking the national security team to do exactly this review on the second full day in office.” Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said it was “critical” that the Biden administration appeared to be prioritizing the threat of domestic extremism. “In particular, far-right, white supremacist extremism, nurtured on online platforms, has become one of the most dangerous threats to our nation,” Schiff said. The riot at the Capitol, which led last week to Trump's second impeachment, raised questions about whether a federal government national security apparatus that for decades has moved aggressively to combat threats from foreign terror groups and their followers in America is adequately equipped to address the threat of domestic extremism. It's an issue that has flared repeatedly over the years, with different attacks — including a shooting rampage at a Pittsburgh synagogue — periodically caused renewed debate over whether a law specific to domestic terrorism is needed. It is unclear when the threat assessment will conclude or whether it will precipitate law enforcement and intelligence getting new tools or authorities to address a problem that officials say has proved challenging to combat, partly because of First Amendment protections. FBI Director Chris Wray said last fall that, over the past year, the most lethal violence has come from anti-government activists, such as anarchists and militia types. Law enforcement agencies are under scrutiny for their preparations for Jan. 6, when a violent mob of Trump supporters overran the police and stormed into the Capitol. Scores of people are facing charges so far, including a man who was photographed wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt, as well as people identified in court papers as QAnon conspiracy theorists and members of militia groups. ___ Follow Eric Tucker at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
BROCKTON – Jennifer Stephens, general manager, did a presentation on the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority’s 2021 budget at the Jan. 12 meeting of Brockton council. This year’s budget shows a 1.6 per cent increase over last year, representing a dollar amount of $27,570. Brockton will be paying an additional $2,546. She stated the goal of the SVCA over the past few months has been to focus on the mandated programs and services outlined in the Conservation Authorities Act. Stephens outlined some of those programs including flood forecasting and warning. The goal is to “keep people away from the water, and keep the water away from people.” This is accomplished through a variety of measures including physical structures such as dams and channel work. SCVA is also involved in stewardship activities, environmental planning and regulations, conservation education, forestry, and non-revenue parks and property management throughout the watershed. To help identify priorities over the next five years, the SVCA is undertaking a strategic planning exercise. It will involve extensive consultation with the public, municipalities and other partners. The plan will incorporate recent changes to the Conservation Authorities Act through Bill 229. Council asked a number of questions, including about changes that have a direct impact on Brockton. Coun. James Lang mentioned two staff members who had played an important role in promoting tourism in the Greenock Swamp. Stephens responded by saying the business of the SVCA is to “protect natural spaces and conduct our mandated programs” through the entire watershed. Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak addressed plans to conduct needed maintenance work in the SVCA’s parks and said he was pleased at the direction that’s been put in place by Stephens. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
Montreal's COVID-19 indicators are improving but the many health orders imposed on the metropolis are likely to remain for weeks to come, the city's public health director said Friday. Health officials reported about 622 new daily infections between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21, down from a daily average of about 765 the week prior. But hospitals in the city remain close to capacity, Dr. Mylene Drouin told reporters, adding that public health officials are far from ready to lift most of the restrictions. "Some of the confinement measures are probably going to stay," Drouin said. "I think what we're going to ask ourselves is what we can reintroduce that is less at-risk and help people find a normal life." Drouin said there has been a sustained decrease this month in the number of new cases per 100,000 people, from 46 in December to 37 in January. Quebec reported 1,631 new COVID-19 cases Friday and 88 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, as hospitalizations dropped for a third consecutive day. The Health Department said the number of patients with COVID-19 in hospital fell by 27, to 1,476, with 212 in intensive care, a drop of four. Hospitalizations have decreased by 74 over the last three reporting periods. Quebec has imposed many health orders in recent weeks, asking people to telework, shutting non-essential businesses and imposing a nightly curfew between 8 pm.m and 5 a.m. Of the 88 deaths reported Friday, 18 occurred in the past 24 hours. Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of deaths reported every day in the province remains too high and he called on people to respect public health orders. Quebec has reported a total of 250,491 infections and 9,361 deaths linked to the virus; 223,367 people are considered recovered. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Le Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux (CISSS) des Laurentides fait de la campagne de vaccination contre la COVID-19 sa priorité, dès maintenant et pour les mois à venir. Pour ce faire, Mme Caroline Chantal sera directrice responsable du dossier de la vaccination et travaillera en collaboration avec Dre Danielle Auger, médecin-conseil à la Direction de santé publique. Elles seront supportées par un comité stratégique formé de représentants des différentes directions du CISSS des Laurentides. Cette nouvelle structure de coordination sera centrale aux efforts du CISSS, qui met déjà tout en œuvre pour être prêt à débuter la campagne de vaccination aussitôt qu’il recevra les premières doses. L’équipe de Mme Chantal sera responsable d’assurer le bon fonctionnement de la campagne et de relever les nombreux défis intrinsèques à une opération de cette envergure. « Avec tous les enjeux engendrés par la COVID-19, mettre fin à la propagation du virus est une priorité incontournable pour nous et la campagne de vaccination est notre priorité organisationnelle. Même si plusieurs orientations en lien avec le déroulement de la campagne de vaccination restent à confirmer, nous sommes déjà en action. Ainsi, lorsque viendra le moment de débuter la vaccination, nous serons efficaces dès le départ, tout en maintenant les efforts pour offrir des soins et services de qualité à la population », a laissé savoir Mme Rosemonde Landry, présidente-directrice générale du CISSS des Laurentides, par voie de communiqué. Mme Landry a aussi affirmé que la vaccination devrait commencer dans les Laurentides d’ici la fin du mois. La priorité sera donnée aux résidents des CHSLD et des ressources intermédiaires et de type familial (RI-RTF), ainsi qu’aux travailleurs de la santé qui sont en contact avec eux. Mme Landry rappelle que les Laurentiens doivent continuer de respecter les mesures sanitaires en place. « Continuez vos efforts pour vous protéger et pour protéger les plus vulnérables! » Ailleurs au Québec, la vaccination est commencée! En date du 18 décembre, 2 582 Québécois avaient déjà reçu une première dose du vaccin de Pfizer-BioNTech. Ce vaccin requiert une seconde dose, trois semaines plus tard, pour être pleinement efficace. Radio-Canada a par ailleurs ajouté à ses tableaux interactifs le nombre de doses de vaccin administrées, aux côtés des infections, des rétablis, des morts, des hospitalisations et des tests de dépistage. Durant une conférence de presse le 15 décembre, Justin Trudeau a annoncé que le Canada devrait recevoir 168 000 doses du vaccin de Moderna, dans les jours suivant son approbation par Santé Canada. 200 000 doses supplémentaires du vaccin de Pfizer-BioNTech arriveront aussi au pays durant la semaine du 21 décembre. Le Canada aura donc reçu 417 000 doses de vaccin avant la fin de l’année 2020.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Pendant que la neige tombait à gros flocons samedi dernier, j’ai déniché quelques trésors cachés sur le site web de l’Office national du film, onf.ca. Pour vous, j’ai fait une sélection des meilleurs courts-métrages mettant en vedette la neige, l’hiver et nos paysages nordiques. Idéal pour une soirée de couvre-feu, faute d’aller jouer dehors. Découvrez l’homme derrière la légende qui a sillonné les Laurentides pendant des décennies et qui en a tracé les plus importants sentiers. Ce portrait, réalisé pour le centenaire d’Herman Smith-Johannsen, révèle un explorateur infatigable, sa résilience et son humour. Le documentaire trace des parallèles entre sa Norvège natale et ses Laurentides d’adoption, et nous fait voyager dans le temps. Dans une scène, on le voit racontant ses souvenirs dans une voiture, cigare en bouche, pendant que des paysages enneigés défilent par la fenêtre. En noir et blanc, ce court-métrage offre un regard d’ensemble du ski au Canada, de Banff aux Laurentides. On y retrouve l’enthousiasme des premières neiges, la leçon de ski, le remonte-pente pour les « moins vaillants » (dit le narrateur), et la vue magnifique une fois arrivé au sommet. Somme toute, le sport a bien peu changé, 73 ans plus tard. Une journée à la patinoire, présentée par Gilles Carle, le célèbre cinéaste québécois dans ses débuts. La musique de Claude Léveillée anime même ce court-métrage sans paroles. En bottes ou en patins, on y découvre le simple plaisir de patiner, de glisser et de jouer sur la glace. Pourquoi ne pas jouer une amicale partie de hockey, avant de se déhancher sur la glace au rythme de la musique de l’heure : le rock ‘n’ roll! Suivez ces deux Inuits (appelés Esquimaux dans le film) alors qu’ils bâtissent un iglou pour la nuit, pendant que le narrateur vous explique comment faire. Vous n’aurez besoin que d’un couteau à neige… et de neige. Les Inuits peuvent prendre aussi peu que 40 minutes ou aussi longtemps que 2 jours pour construire leur iglou, selon leurs besoins. Mon préféré. Suivez l’artiste Alexander Young Jackson dans la création de ses paysages uniques. Jackson est membre du Groupe des sept, un rassemblement de paysagistes canadiens qui ont révolutionné l’art durant les années 1920. Pour faire ses ébauches, Jackson part en expédition dans la nature automnale de l’Ontario, au Lac Grace, puis dans les collines enneigées de Saint-Tite-des-Caps, juste au nord de l’Île d’Orléans. On le voit en canot, faire du portage et même escalader les parois rocheuses du bouclier canadien, tout pour trouver le parfait paysage.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
THUNDER BAY — A 24-year-old Scarborough Ont., resident is facing charges after Thunder Bay Ontario Provincial Police observed a vehicle excessively speeding on Highway 11/17 on Tuesday. OPP said in a news release this week, an officer was on patrol east of Mackenzie Heights Road in the municipality of Shuniah when they noticed a driver driving 152 kilometres per hour in a posted 90 kilometre per hour zone. The driver was charged with stunt driving and driving with an open container of liquor. OPP also issued a seven-day licence suspension and the vehicle was impounded for seven days. Police are reminding drivers that driving speeds of 50 kilometres per hour or more over the posted speed limit face severe penalties including mandatory seven-day licence suspension, mandatory seven-day vehicle impoundment, fines of up to $10,000 and six licence demerit points. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Midland's top staffer says more clarity around enforcement means sterner action by the town against those that disobey stay-at-home orders. "I know there's been a lot of discussion with the health unit around educating people," said CAO David Denault. "The education can only go so far. I think you're going to have to enforce much more strongly. The health unit itself is getting around to some of the areas where we've heard some of the complaints, like the malls. "Unfortunately, we're going to have to start patrolling areas like the toboggan hills and rinks," he added. "If people don't listen, we're going to have to ticket them. If numbers continue to rise as they're predicting, I think there will be a sterner side to enforcement." Until now, said Denault in his update to council this week, the approach was to educate and then enforce. Since Nov. 15, he said bylaw has issued 282 tickets and done 12 tows (non-COVID related). "We really don't want to do that to the public," said Denault. "But to be efficient and make sure we're taking care of our services, we need to do this. Please make sure you move your vehicles so we can get around and take care of the facilities." Coun. Jon Main wanted to know what the town planned for warming centres, considering public buildings are closed due to the stay-at-home orders. "Unfortunately, a lot of our warming centres are municipal facilities, which are not open," he said. "Is it our responsibility to provide warming centres?" Denault said that is one facet municipalities are struggling with. "It is one of the opportunities we have with the rec centre," he said. "We have been able to accommodate some individuals that have come there during frigid times. We'll continue to do that. We'll make sure we connect with our organizations in the community to understand that can be done. The more traditional facilities just aren't able to open." At the beginning of the meeting, Coun. Bill Gordon also asked what had become of the YMCA's request for town support in reopening its facility. "I know the YMCA had approached us without a financial ask, but with the indication that there would be something coming," he said. "It looks like we attempted to reach out to them and do something that didn't work out so I wonder if we could talk a little bit about that." Denault said all municipal CAOs had met up with the YMCA to discuss what they would need and to share with them options their municipalities may be able to bring forward with council approval. "There were no offers made," he said, adding he couldn't share any numbers due to a request of confidentiality by the Y. "At the end of the day, the YMCA determined they could best address their needs on their own. "We did leave them with the option that if they do require some assistance from the municipality, we can be engaged to help out," said Denault. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Kingston Health Sciences Centre has confirmed that, as of Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, the first 1,900 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to arrive in the region have been administered. As per provincial guidelines, KHSC gave the vaccines to individuals in the first priority group in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes. Now, KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora is asking people to be patient. “With limited vaccine supply, we must focus initially on vaccinating the most vulnerable, those in long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes, where the risk of infection, serious illness and spreading the virus are much higher,” he said. “We are aware that due to work to expand its European manufacturing facility, production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVD-19 vaccine will be reduced for a few weeks and will impact deliveries to Canada,” he added. Canada first learned last week that shipments of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine would be reduced and delayed in the weeks ahead due to supply chain upgrades. In a statement issued issued Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, Dr Pichora noted: “We are working with our partners to adjust our plans accordingly.” Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, explained that Kingston has arranged to share doses of the Moderna vaccine from neighbouring health units, which will help keep the pace of vaccination. “Our sister health units, because we are working as a team, we knew they were going to get Moderna in the first week of February,” Dr. Moore said on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2021. “We shared Pfizer [with them], they’ve shared their Moderna, and we’re working cohesively as a team trying to ensure that those who are at highest risk will receive the vaccine.” “I have to thank our sister health units,” he added. “That partnership is wonderful.” Dr. Moore said the goal now is to be “flexible and adaptive,” and to try to provide the first single dose to every high-risk resident in a long-term care facility. “Then we’ll work back and we’ll immunize workers, and then we’ll immunize designated caregivers. I think that makes sense from an ethical standpoint given what we’ve seen with the morbidity and hospitalization rates,” he said. Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, between three and four weeks apart, to be fully effective. Dr. Moore said the vaccine distribution team is not withholding any doses for the second round of inoculations. “We need to get first doses in,” he said. He added that he is hoping for a redistribution of Pfizer vaccine from the provincial government, to ensure the second doses can be administered within the required time frame. “At one o’clock [Thursday], the province heard how much they’re getting from the federal government,” he explained. “Then they’re going to review that amount, and I hope there’s going to be a redistribution if there’s any leftover Pfizer vaccine, anywhere in the province.” “We know our primary target is our long-term care facilities. If there were some doses that were going to go to workers elsewhere, like acute care workers, or other workers, that could be redistributed.” He said KFL&A Public Health should get confirmation on any additional amounts resulting from that redistribution in the coming days. “We’re continuing to work for April. April is when we’ve been told the supply chain will increase, and we may have enough doses in April for one-third of our adult population. That will allow us to catch up on the Phase 1 priorities of First Nations, Inuit, Metis in our community and other healthcare workers.” In the meantime, Dr. Pichora said the second shipment of 1,900 doses will be distributed equally among the three public health agencies in the region, and administered by mobile vaccination teams. “We are confident that everyone who chooses to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to receive the vaccine when there is sufficient supply of this and other vaccines in the coming months, and as vaccination and distribution are expanded beyond hospital sites,” he said. “We need to be patient.” Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
In a landmark verdict in one of the mining world's most high profile legal cases, a Swiss criminal court found Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruption and forgery on Friday and sentenced him to five years in jail with a sizeable fine. The ruling after a two-week trial is a blow for Steinmetz, a diamond trader, whose pursuit of the world's richest uptapped deposits of iron ore put him at the centre of a battle that has triggered probes and litigation around the world. Steinmetz said he would appeal the verdict, which also included a 50 million Swiss francs ($56.48 million) fine.
Coup de théâtre mercredi après-midi, alors que le Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ) informait l’avocat de Virginie Dufour qu’une enquête était ouverte relativement aux allégations de financement politique illégal qui visent sa cliente. Cette information est tombée dans les heures suivant une entrevue que Mme Dufour, conseillère municipale de Sainte-Rose, accordait au Courrier Laval, où elle annonçait son retour au sein du comité exécutif dont elle s’était retirée le 30 novembre dernier «pour ne pas nuire aux affaires de la Ville». Or, ce mercredi 20 janvier, elle estimait que l’«injustice» dont elle se dit victime «a assez duré». D’autant que, affirmait-elle, le DGEQ ne l’avait jamais relancée à la suite de son courriel - il y a sept semaines - où elle demandait à l’institution de faire enquête sur les allégations formulées à son endroit afin de «rétablir sa réputation». À défaut d’une enquête formelle, elle disait réintégrer l’exécutif «la tête haute» avec en main un affidavit signé par Normand Cusson, l’homme qu’on entend sur l’enregistrement incriminant rendu public par le Journal de Montréal, le 30 novembre. Dans une déclaration assermentée, M. Cusson, un proche de Virginie Dufour, affirme avoir menti lorsqu’il dit que ses contributions versées par chèque au Mouvement lavallois – Équipe Marc Demers lui sont remboursées en argent comptant par l’élue de Sainte-Rose. Considérant que le DGEQ ouvre une enquête, Virginie Dufour entend-elle se retirer à nouveau du comité exécutif le temps que la lumière soit faite sur ces allégations? Une décision devrait être rendue d’ici les prochaines heures, informe-t-on au cabinet du maire.Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
OTTAWA — A new third-party advocacy group is launching an ad campaign aimed at ensuring Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole never becomes prime minister.The Protecting Canada Project will start airing today its first 30-second ad, in English and French, on television and online.The ad predicts that an O'Toole government would cut funding for health care, even as the country struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic.The tag line concludes that O'Toole and the Conservatives "are hazardous to your health — at the worst possible time."Group spokesman Ian Wayne, who formerly worked for NDP leaders Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair, says Protecting Canada was formed by Canadians "with diverse political experience" and a common goal of ensuring the Conservatives don't win the next election. How an O'Toole-led Conservative government would tackle the massive national debt and deficit created by pandemic spending will be a key question for the party in the next campaign. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
HURON COUNTY – Huron County will host the annual Ontario West Coast Tourism Summit this year, virtually. The free, two-day event will concentrate on the tourism landscape pre- and post-COVID and rural tourism’s advantages. Tourism industry expert William Bakker of Destination Think will speak on Jan. 25 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Destination Think works with the most innovative tourism boards in the world, according to their website. They create vision, solve business challenges, and “execute brilliant, integrated campaigns.” His presentation will include tourism market trends focusing on the tourism landscape, pre-COVID, and post-COVID. Attendees will hear about destinations that are “re-imagining themselves with a goal of re-building, with both the economy and environment in mind,” according to a press release from Huron County. A facilitated breakout session will follow, which will focus on how Huron County’s tourism sector can work together towards a successful recovery from COVID-19. The second day of the summit will be held on Jan. 26, from 9 – 11:30 a.m. Director and Master Experience Crafter Chris Hughes, from BC Hughes, a tourism, management, and marketing company will share the advantages of rural tourism and how operators can use this advantage to match shifting tourism trends. Hughes will discuss the key elements needed to develop effective touring routes. He will also share how operators can adjust their own tourism experiences to become part of a regionally themed touring route. “The County remains dedicated to working collaboratively and supporting our vibrant tourism sector,” Warden Glen McNeil said in the press release. “Specifically, I want to thank the industry for the resiliency and innovation they have shown over the past year. Huron County tourism, and all of those that support it, are essential to the vitality of our county.” Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Three clinics devoted to helping COVID-19 patients recover from the long-term effects of the disease are now open in B.C.'s Lower Mainland. The clinics, located at St. Paul's Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, will provide specialized care while also helping doctors learn more about the lingering effects of infection with the novel coronavirus. "We know some people who recover from COVID-19 experience long-term health effects. Through the dedication of a large team of experts and health leaders across the province, we are working to ensure that specialized care is available to British Columbians, when they need it," Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a news release. So-called COVID-19 long haulers have reported an array of symptoms that last for months after they've recovered from their illnesses, including shortness of breath, debilitating fatigue, body aches, coughing, loss of taste or smell, joint pain and headaches. Health officials say an early study conducted by Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital and the University of B.C. found that more than half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had abnormal breathing tests three months after they became sick, and one in five had permanent lung scarring. The clinic at St. Paul's Hospital has already seen more than 160 affected patients, according to the news release. "We want patients to feel like they are not alone. We are here. We're listening," the hospital's physician lead and internist Dr. Jesse Greiner said.
CBC News gains access to a unique inoculation site in the U.K., where vulnerable groups are being prioritized.
L’année 2020 derrière nous, à quoi peut-on s’attendre en 2021? Nous avons discuté des défis économiques qui nous attendent avec Brigitte Alepin, professeure en fiscalité au Campus de Saint-Jérôme de l’UQO. D’entrée de jeu, Mme Alepin veut être claire. « Je ne peux vraiment rien prédire en ce moment. Rien dans cette pandémie n’était prévisible. » Elle indique que plusieurs économistes de renommée se sont aventurés à faire des prévisions en 2020, mais que celles-ci se sont souvent révélées erronées. Elle rappelle aussi que la situation actuelle est sans précédent. Les gouvernements ont dû prendre rapidement des décisions radicales. « On sera longtemps en train d’analyser : est-ce qu’on a pris les bonnes décisions? » Elle souligne que les présents gouvernements sont ceux qui ont le plus d’expérience dans la gestion d’une pandémie. « Je ne sais pas quelle note je donnerais aux gouvernements. Ce n’est pas parfait, mais ils l’ont quand même gérée. On doit toutefois s’attendre, espérer qu’ils ont appris, et qu’ils seront plus proactifs qu’en réaction, en 2021. » Malheureusement, Mme Alepin est certaine d’une chose : les gouvernements continueront à faire des déficits pendant un bon bout de temps. Tant au fédéral qu’au provincial, la dette publique a explosé, gonflée par les mesures pour contenir la pandémie et pour soutenir financièrement les citoyens et les entreprises pendant la crise. Si certains économistes espèrent une relance économique vigoureuse après la vaccination, Mme Alepin croit que cela sera bien insuffisant pour renflouer les coffres de l’État. Sans compter que des investissements supplémentaires seront nécessaires pour cette relance… « Ça va être difficile. Tout le monde s’en vient à sec! » Selon la fiscaliste, nous n’aurons plus le choix d’imposer davantage les « méga-riches » et les multinationales, pour qu’ils contribuent à leur juste part. « Mais la pandémie coûte tellement cher, ça ne sera pas assez », avertit-elle. Ainsi, les déficits et la dette, nécessaires pour vaincre la pandémie, devront être gérés avec prudence. Ce qui inquiète aussi la professeure, c’est l’inflation. « On n’en parle pas assez, il faut poser des questions! » Difficile de connaître l’impact précis des dépenses gouvernementales sur l’inflation, mais déjà les prix des aliments ont augmenté, par exemple. « Quelles seront les conséquences? Comment va-t-on gérer ça? Doit-on s’en soucier? Les taux d’intérêt pourraient augmenter. Là, tout est contenu, nous ne sommes pas en crise, mais ça peut débouler vite! » Si l’inflation s’accélère, elle peut devenir un cercle vicieux et se transformer en hyper-inflation. Alors les prix augmentent exponentiellement, chaque dollar a de moins en moins de valeur, jusqu’à ce que votre fonds de pension ne vaille plus rien. Difficile d’évaluer si le risque est réel ou non, mais selon Mme Alepin, les gouvernements devraient, à tout le moins, se pencher sur la question. Impossible également de prédire quel impact la pandémie aura eu sur la mondialisation. « Au début, on croyait que ça donnerait peut-être lieu à moins de mondialisation. De plus en plus, je lis des choses qui disent le contraire. » D’un côté, les États ont fermé leurs frontières, ont cherché à produire davantage de biens localement, comme les masques, et les consommateurs, comme au Québec, se sont tournés vers l’achat local. De l’autre côté, les États ont dû collaborer et se coordonner pour certains efforts, et les pressions pour plus de coopération internationale sont grandes. « Aux États-Unis, Joe Biden a tenu tête à la concurrence fiscale internationale, en promettant de rehausser le taux d’imposition des corporations de 21 à 28 %. Il y a aussi un nombre critique de pays qui veulent un impôt minimum mondial. C’est le dernier jalon qu’il nous manquait pour la mondialisation. » Dans tous les cas, l’ordre géopolitique et économique mondial est irrémédiablement bouleversé… même s’il est encore hasardeux d’en prédire les conséquences. Enfin, Mme Alepin prévient que les citoyens seront moins tolérants face à la concentration de la richesse par les milliardaires et les multinationales, qui paient peu ou pas d’impôt. « Quand les gens avaient un emploi, du pain frais à manger, de bons soins médicaux, quand tout allait bien, les gens acceptaient. Mais maintenant, ils n’accepteront plus. »Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
La MRC de La Matanie et la Ville de Matane ont décidé d’unir leurs forces pour mettre en branle le projet de « ferme » citoyenne à Matane. Les deux entités lancent donc un appel à participation pour tous les citoyens pouces verts et fervents de jardinage de La Matanie. Ce projet de « ferme citoyenne » vise l’élaboration d’une structure citoyenne dans la Ville de Matane se concentrant sur les univers du maraîchage, de l’apiculture et de l’agriculture urbaine. Selon un communiqué envoyé par la MRC, celui-ci pourrait d’ailleurs comprendre un volet communautaire ainsi qu’un volet collectif et éducatif. La MRC de La Matanie précise qu’au niveau communautaire, il pourrait s’agir de préparer des terrains pour les groupes souhaitant bénéficier de jardins communautaires. Au niveau collectif, il est envisagé que la structure ait une vocation d’éducation populaire. En même temps, elle permettrait la réinsertion et le don de denrées fraîches pour fournir les organismes sociaux. Le projet est encore en construction, et les possibilités sont nombreuses, selon le communiqué de la MRC. C’est pourquoi elle encourage les citoyens intéressés à s’inscrire, afin que le projet puisse se mouler à leur image et naître de leurs idées. La MRC de La Matanie cite notamment le projet d’agriculture communautaire de la MRC d’Argenteuil en exemple. Une première rencontre en ligne est organisée à travers Zoom le jeudi 28 janvier de 19h à 21h. L’objectif de cette consultation sera d’énoncer le constat de la situation actuelle, puis d’établir les étapes de réalisation et l’échéancier du projet. Un comité de travail incluant ceux ayant participé à la rencontre sera par la suite formé. « Je suis impressionnée et motivée par le groupe de citoyennes et citoyens qui a lancé le jardin communautaire les Lopins verts en moins d’un an. Cela montre le grand intérêt de la population matanaise pour ce type de projet. C’est une chance de pouvoir travailler ensemble à développer davantage l’agriculture urbaine », a lancé vivement Véronique Gagné, responsable. Pour s’inscrire, il suffit de remplir le formulaire en ligne avant le 27 janvier à 23h45. Le lien de connexion Zoom pour assister à la rencontre sera ensuite envoyé par courriel.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
Even during the pandemic, the Okanagan continues to become a hotspot for film projects with bigger stars and films expected on the horizon according to the head of the Okanagan Film Commission. Chair of the film commission, Jon Summerland, told the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) board at their Jan. 21 meeting that movie producers created around $48 million in economic impact in the region last year. The non-profit film commission, funded in part by local regional governments, led the way in health and safety protocols while shooting in 2020, according to Summerland. “One month into the pandemic, we were already quarantining crews in hotels and shooting Hallmark movies. So we were the first in Canada to have film and we’ve been steady since. We were instrumental in creating the protocol for COVID with WorkSafe BC, they were on our sets every day in the beginning,” Summerland said. Health and safety officers became full-time crew members, now there are three on each set in the Okanagan. There were a total of 25 productions filmed in the Okanagan in 2020, including “Dangerous,” from Mind’s Eye Entertainment starring Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, The Fate of the Furious) with an approximate $11 million in economic impact for the region. Much of the economic boon from the year could be attributed to around 10 Hallmark and Lifetime movies shot mostly in Summerland, Peachland and Kelowna. With more productions in the Okanagan and the word getting back to Hollywood, the film commission is opening the door to bigger projects and features. The film commission advertised the landscapes of the Okanagan in the magazine Hollywood Monthly, and having some big-name producers and directors living in the region doesn’t hurt either. “So all of them have been great tools in my tool belt to talk to Netflix, who I spoke with yesterday, to talk to bigger feature films, who are now already calling us because all these little shows that nobody watches, Hollywood watches. Hollywood goes ‘where are these being done?’ So now we’re on the radar,” Summerland said. He added he was working on a package for a film with a budget of $180 million. While Summerland said it is unlikely the commission will land the film, it could be a preview of things to come. “We are growing as a film community.” Combined, regional districts in the Okanagan contributed $255,244 to the film commission in 2020, with $45,000 coming from the RDOS and $130,000 from the Regional District of Central Okanagan. Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
TORONTO — The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board says it is committing to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with a slew of climate-friendly promises. Canada's largest single-profession pension plan says in the coming weeks it will establish concrete targets for portfolio emissions and ensure companies it invests in report emissions annually. The pension plan manager says it will direct proceeds from a green bond offering towards climate-friendly investment opportunities and advocate for clear climate policies with the help of global organizations it will partner with. The promises come weeks after an environmental coalition launched a campaign encouraging the board to divest from companies that develop or transport fossil fuel products. The coalition included Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health, Fridays for Future Toronto and a group of working and retired Ontario teachers who wanted the plan to stop investing their retirement savings in oil, gas, coal and pipeline companies. Chief Investment Officer Ziad Hindo says that direct private assets in oil and gas make up about three per cent of the plan's portfolio and that it will continue to shift away from fossil fuels. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
BRUCE COUNTY – Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce medical officer of health, addressed Bruce County council on Jan. 14 with an update on the COVID-19 situation including vaccinations. Arra said the most recent projections locally indicate the surge in cases over the holidays is over, and numbers are heading back to where they were, “with four to six or seven” cases per day reported. The surge had been expected, due to holiday gatherings. The situation across the province is completely different, Arra said. It shows a gradual but steady increase that does not corelate to the holidays or current lockdown, and is presently about 3,000 per day. “Fifty per cent of hospital ICUs are at capacity,” he said, adding that this is expected to continue for four to six weeks. As for the vaccine, “Today (Jan. 14) we received 200 doses.” Another 800 doses are expected to arrive the last week of January. Both are going to the long-term care sector, said Arra. That includes residents, staff and essential caregivers. The priority in the province, he said, has been “hot spots” – which Grey-Bruce definitely is not. County Coun. Anne Eadie, mayor of Kincardine, asked if it is true the general public probably will not be vaccinated until April or May. Arra confirmed it, stating the province plans to vaccinate in three phases, with the first phase, for the most vulnerable, completed by March, the second phase for essential workers following that, and the third phase being everyone else. “It’s estimated phases two and three will not be completed,” he said, and will end when the pandemic ends, when herd immunity is achieved. County Coun. Robert Buckle, mayor of South Bruce, asked if the vaccination will provide lifetime immunity. Arra answered that no one knows the answer to that one yet. At present, it seems likely the vaccine will be “somewhere between the flu and measles,” and will last between one and three years, rather like pertussis. County Coun. Luke Charbonneau asked when the vaccine “will be in arms” and why the stay-at-home order was needed in Grey-Bruce. The answer for the first part was easy – immediately, or as soon as is practical. The second part was more complicated. Strict lockdowns have proved effective in other jurisdictions, such as Australia and France. While the numbers in Grey-Bruce remain relatively low compared to the rest of the province, meaning a lockdown wouldn’t have been needed here “if we were an island.” However, the fact is we are not an island. Arra said others would have come to our area, bringing COVID-19 with them. Before the lockdown, hockey teams from outside the area were beginning to rent ice time here. Arra responded to a question from Warden Janice Jackson, mayor of South Bruce Peninsula, by saying it’s the Pfizer vaccine (the one that must be stored at extremely cold temperatures) that’s coming to Grey-Bruce, and all of it will be used as soon as possible, since more is coming by the time the second dose needs to be administered. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
TORONTO — Global trials examining the potential of blood thinners to treat moderately ill COVID-19 patients have proven so successful its Canadian investigators say clinicians should immediately start using them in standard care.Investigators at Toronto's University Health Network say interim results of clinical trials spanning five continents in more than 300 hospitals suggest full-dose blood thinners could significantly avoid severe cases that are now straining hospital ICUs.The study involved more than 1,300 moderately ill patients admitted to hospital, including some at UHN. Investigators say full doses of Heparin improved outcomes and decreased the need for life support.The full dose was also more effective than the lower dose typically administered to prevent blood clots in hospitalized patients.Critical care physician Ewan Goligher, co-chair of the therapeutic anticoagulation domain of the trial, says the findings could significantly transform care.“Having cared for so many severely ill COVID-19 patients and witnessed the suffering involved for patients and their loved ones, it is profoundly gratifying that together we have discovered a treatment that can prevent patients from becoming severely ill and improve their recovery,” Goligher, also a scientist with the University Health Network, said Friday in a release.Ryan Zarychanski, associate professor, hematologist and critical care physician at the University of Manitoba, said the findings were promising. "In a disease with a limited number of effective therapies, our results have the potential to define a new standard of care for moderately ill hospitalized COVID-19 patients around the world," Zarychanski said.Doctors noticed early in the pandemic that COVID-19 patients suffered an increased rate of blood clots and inflammation. This led to complications including lung failure, heart attack and stroke.Back in December, investigators found that giving full-dose blood thinners to critically ill ICU patients did not help, and was actually harmful.The trials are supported by international funding organizations including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the NIH National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute in the United States, the National Institute for Health Research in the United Kingdom, and the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press