HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania's courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state's lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state's lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbour deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly's lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state's high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state's justices refused Thursday, and Kelly's lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the state’s courts, justices cited the law’s 180-day time limit on filing legal challenges to its provisions, as well as the staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. In addition to challenging the state's mail-in voting law, Kelly’s lawyers question whether the state's justices violated their clients' constitutional rights by throwing out the case on the basis of time limits and barring them from refiling it on the same grounds. Lawyers for Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in court filings that Kelly's lawyers never before argued that the U.S. Constitution provides a basis for their claims, making it “highly unlikely” the U.S. Supreme Court will grant what they are seeking. In the underlying lawsuit, Kelly and the other Republican plaintiffs had sought to either throw out the 2.5 million mail-in ballots submitted under the law or to wipe out the election results and direct the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to pick Pennsylvania’s presidential electors. ___ Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter Marc Levy, The Associated Press
President Donald Trump's frantic effort in the courts to delegitimize an election he lost has come no closer in a month to reversing any results.Lawyers for Trump and his allies have asked judges in several states to take the drastic and unprecedented step of setting aside President-elect Joe Biden’s wins. They have filed new cases and vowed to press on with appeals.But the quantity of affidavits, lawsuits and claims made by Trump belies that they are spurious or often repetitive of arguments already rejected by judges and elections officials, some of them Republicans.Here is a look at where the legal action stands in several key states:ARIZONAA judge was holding a trial beginning Thursday brought by state Republican Party chair Kelli Ward alleging irregularities in signature verification on mail-in ballots. The judge let Ward’s lawyers and experts compare the signatures on 100 mail-in ballot envelopes with signatures on file to determine whether there were any irregularities. Ward’s lawyers found two problems: One person's vote for Trump was ultimately recorded as a vote for Biden, and another person's Trump vote was cancelled because the ballot had votes for both Trump and a write-in candidate.Courts there have already dismissed four other cases. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, certified Arizona's results on Monday. In a touch of symbolism, he declined a phone call from Trump while signing the certification papers. Lawyer Sidney Powell, who was recently kicked off Trump's legal team and has been pushing wild conspiracy theories about the election, has also filed a lawsuit there.PENNSYLVANIATrump has lost repeatedly in Pennsylvania, collecting a series of stinging rebukes from Republican-appointed judges. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a district judge's dismissal of a key lawsuit argued in an error-filled performance by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” wrote Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, nominated by Trump.The district judge, Matthew Brann, wrote of the complaint, “One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption." Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, noted that the campaign did not provide that evidence.Trump's lawyers have vowed to ask for review from the U.S. Supreme Court anyway.MICHIGANSix cases brought by Trump and Republican allies in Michigan have either been rejected or dropped. On Wednesday, Giuliani appeared at a public meeting with lawmakers and urged activists to pressure, even threaten, the GOP-controlled Legislature to “step up” and award the state’s 16 electoral votes to Trump despite Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.WISCONSINThe state’s Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear Trump's lawsuit seeking to overturn his loss in the battleground state. In a divided decision, the court didn’t rule on the merits of the claims but said the case must first wind its way through lower courts. Trump wants to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, Trump’s lawyers said they didn’t have enough time to start in a lower court.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”Trump's campaign filed a similar lawsuit in federal court Wednesday. Two other lawsuits filed by conservatives are still pending with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Powell has also filed a lawsuit seeking an order to decertify the election results in the state.____Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., David Eggert in Lansing, Mich., and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.Nomaan Merchant And Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
November 24th - Alberta entered a second state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The targeted restrictions implemented by the provincial government means new rules for social gatherings, worship services, businesses, and schools. Local town, village, and county councils are once again facing decisions on how to adapt their meetings to reduce transmission while balancing the need to be open and transparent to the public who should be able to attend. Technically it is not against restrictions for a council to meet in person, but there has been an ask from the province that everyone do their part to reduce possible contacts. Ten municipalities in the area have responded to questions regarding how their council meetings will proceed during this unique time, and various approaches are being implemented by the different councils. Village Councils of Glenwood and Hillspring do not have the capacity to change meetings over to virtual sessions easily and instead have decided to simply restrict the number of attendees to be in accordance with Alberta Health Services guidelines. There are a maximum of ten individuals allowed to be present, most of those seats being taken by council and administration with only a few spots left for interested residents. Masks are required when coming and going but can be taken off once situated six feet away from others in the room. The meetings in these municipalities have been moved from council chambers into the community centres to accommodate physical distancing guidelines. Hillspring and Glenwood council meetings, like most municipalities, do not typically have a large turnout so their respective administrations believe that there will not be a big issue having to turn people away who would like to attend. The towns of Cardston, Magrath, and Fort Macleod have also opted to continue in person meetings using the same mask and physical distancing tools as the villages, but are attempting to improve virtual access through technology. Fort Macleod and Magrath are still looking into their options for virtual meetings and improving their procedure bylaw to allow for them, whereas Cardston already has been recording and posting videos to YouTube a few days later. Cardston councillors are given the option to attend virtually and some have already taken this option in order to limit their exposure. Cardston, Magrath, and Fort Macleod also do not tend to have large attendance at regular council and committee meetings, so these measures of social distancing and masks should not be an issue unless there is an abnormal amount of residents wishing to attend. Stirling, Cardston County, and Raymond are relying more heavily on virtual meetings. Stirling began doing zoom meetings back when the first shutdown happened in the Spring and slowly transitioned back to in person meetings with physical distancing measures in place. Councillors have at times opted to access meetings virtually and the village of Stirling is open to allowing remote access to residents who request this due to the pandemic. Cardston County is meeting in person, but because of the dimensions of their room residents who show up to attend live will be able to access the meeting via zoom in a different room in the building that allows for proper social distancing. Raymond has completely restricted public access to their meetings. While the councillors are attending in person, residents may only access through live streaming. Over the last few months some committee meetings had still allowed for public access but that has been tightened up due to the latest restrictions announced by the province. Pincher Creek and Coalhurst have both gone completely virtual with their meetings. Coalhurst uses the Star Leaf platform and citizens can dial in by phone to access the meeting while councillors and delegates are able to view in real time. Pincher Creek Council has opted to use the GoToMeeting platform which allows them to have a dedicated url that residents can use to access meetings, including budget deliberations and Committees of the Whole. At first Pincher Creek was using a mixed system where some residents could access in person, but once those spots were filled in chambers everyone else had to access remotely. Economic Development officer Marie Everts noticed that the mixed meetings were harder to navigate than moving things completely in person or online. Pincher Creek began to move meetings online when COVID first hit in the spring and made sure each councillor was set up with a laptop, headphones, and training if needed. Everts says “It’s amazing how quickly people can adapt” referencing councillors who had a steep learning curve in the beginning. And isn’t adaptation one of the biggest themes of these unprecedented times? Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
A resounding no from council will force Georgian Bay Snowriders to find an alternative for the strip near Port McNicoll. A couple months ago the club’s agreement was up for renewal. At that time, when the request came to council, the club asked for access to a part of the municipal trail along Highway 12 towards Triple Bay Road. The agreement was renewed before its Nov. 1 deadline, however, a new request from the club came forward at a later council meeting asking for access to approximately 400m of the TransCanada Trail, just east of Triple Bay Road. “Due to recent water level increases from Hog Bay, the ditch parallel to the highway is incredibly flood sensitive and has become very difficult to maintain,” reads the letter to council. “It also has a new utility line running through the centre that may become difficult to navigate around.” But their request wasn’t enough to melt the hearts of council members. “With me, it's a hard no,” said Coun. Mary Warnock. “I would not even entertain this. There's no recourse to get repairs done to the trail after it's been used and we all know what happened last time they were allowed a little stretch, it got torn up.” She had support from other council members, too. “It's not worth the risk for our bikers, our walkers and our roller-bladers,” said Deputy Mayor Gerard LaChapelle. “I'm not in favour of this. We spend a lot of time and money on that trail and I'm not about to let it go at this point.” Coun. Paul Raymond said he could understand the club’s frustration at having to reimagine a trail on a temporary basis, but he was still against it. “We all know the damage (that) will happen,” he said. “What are we saying when we allow a motorized vehicle on the trail when we spend so much time trying to prevent motorized vehicles on trails? “Sorry to the Snowriders, but they have the ability to find alternate routes, I think,” added Raymond. Council voted to take no further action on the request. The Georgian Bay Snowriders did not respond to a request for comment.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Human interactions are the leading cause of untimely death among B.C.’s killer whales, a new study suggests. A team of marine mammal and orca specialists analyzed pathology reports of 52 killer whales stranded in Hawaii and the northeast Pacific, including the southern resident killer whales regularly spotted off the B.C. coast, finding the animals face a variety of threats, but the reemerging theme was human-caused in every age class. “In British Columbia, we lost nine southern resident killer whales — two adults, two subadults and one calf died from trauma. One was a confirmed propeller strike, with one adult and two subadults from suspected ship strikes,” said lead author Stephen Raverty, a veterinarian pathologist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia stated in a press release. “One of these iconic species passed away from an infection secondary to satellite tagging. Another death was due to natural causes and the other two undetermined. Half of the southern killer whale deaths identified in this study were caused by human interactions.” The study was based on orca deaths between 2004 and 2013, led by the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, and coordinated through the SeaDoc Society, a Washington-based program of the University of California. Raverty and coauthor Dr John Ford are adjunct professions at UBC’s Institute of Oceans and Fisheries and Department of Zoology, respectively. The report may offer one of the most comprehensive looks yet at the multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales, and help inform strategies to better protect them. While human interactions play a key role, the researchers cautioned the findings indicate an understanding of each threat is critical for conserving orca populations. “The results from systematic necropsies of dead killer whales in this review is unique and will establish critical baseline information to assess future mitigation efforts,” Raverty said. “This work contributes to a better understanding of the impacts that ongoing human activities and environmental events have on killer whales.” Overall, of the 52 whales studied, the cause of death was determined for 42 per cent. Other causes include sepsis following a halibut hook injury, starvation from a congenital facial deformity, infectious disease and nutritional deficiencies. “Nobody likes to think we’re directly harming animals,” said co-author and SeaDoc Society Director Joe Gaydos. “But it’s important to realize that we’re not just indirectly hurting them from things like lack of salmon, vessel disturbance or legacy toxins. It’s also vessel strikes and fish hooks. That humans are directly killing killer whales across all age classes is significant; it says we can do a better job.” Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View
Mayor John Tory is backing up plan to tax Toronto properties that are vacant for more than six months. Well the move would generate millions of dollars, the spirits of it is to increase vacancy and affordability. Matthew Bingley reports.
The Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown is getting an MRI scanner. "It's a big day for AVC," said Dr. Greg Keefe, the college's dean. "We've been wanting to move our program forward in this direction for quite a while."An MRI scanner uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create high-resolution images of bones and soft tissues in a non-invasive way, and can help doctors diagnose a variety of problems, such as brain and spinal cord disease, cancer and heart disease."Almost every specialty that we do here, from internal medicine to surgery to cardiology, they will all benefit from this," he said.Keefe said the MRI will particularly help in neurology and radiology, which will help the college attract and retain more specialists in those areas."There's a lot of intricacies to imaging brains," Keefe noted.The MRI is the first for vet care in the Atlantic provinces. The college receives 4,000 referrals from across the region per year. Keefe thanked the Rathlyn Foundation — a private foundation that provides financial support to educational and medical institutions — for its support on the project, in a news release issued Thursday.Higher expectations for pet carePreviously, veterinarians brought animals needing an MRI to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to use its machine, but Keefe said that access was "extremely limited," and was only available for small animals.With the new MRI the college will be able to scan horses.The AVC also has a CT scanner, but the MRI allows vets to give even better diagnoses for some things. "The caseload in the veterinary teaching hospital is growing, and the expectations of our clients is that they can receive the same diagnostics and care for their animals as they would for themselves," said Dr. Heather Gunn McQuillan, the assistant dean clinical and professional programming, in the release."The addition of an MRI is an important step in expanding our service delivery to meet their needs."A section of the veterinary teaching hospital will be renovated to house the MRI. Officials say they expect the project to cost about $4 million and take up to a year to complete.Keefe noted the MRI project is the first part of several phases of planned expansion of the hospital, including building additional capacity for an eventual diagnostic imaging centre that would serve all of Atlantic Canada.More from CBC P.E.I.
WASHINGTON — China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. “Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”“I call its approach of economic espionage ‘rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. “China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace.”Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American innovation.The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with China's President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social media applications like TikTok and WeChat.China’s embassy in the U.S. did not respond to a request for comment on Ratcliffe’s op-ed, although China has routinely denied many of these allegations in the past.Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain,” Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future intelligence officials.Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national intelligence director.“This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," Ratcliffe wrote.He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel hatched a scheme to steal AMSC’s proprietary wind turbine technology, causing the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, according to the Justice Department.Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive U.S. defence technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of users worldwide.Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Three women’s groups in the Downtown Eastside are calling for the immediate creation of a task force to end violence against women in the neighbourhood. The call comes after Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham wrote about a video which appeared to show a man sexually assaulting a semi-conscious woman in daylight on the sidewalk at Main and Hastings streets, while cars and pedestrians pass by. The Vancouver Police Department says it is investigating the footage. It’s not the only shocking incident in the neighbourhood. In April, when COVID-19 restrictions had closed many drop-in spaces and public bathrooms, a woman spent hours in a porta-potty in labour. No one apparently noticed she was in distress, and the baby did not survive. In May, a woman was held for hours in a tent in an Oppenheimer Park camp and repeatedly assaulted. Janice Abbott, the CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society, said the woman had been “held captive in that tent for 15 hours screaming,” but no one did anything to help her. “That’s how normalized it is.” WISH, a non-profit that supports sex workers, said a street-based sex worker called the organization’s bad date line last week after she heard a woman screaming in a car while other people walked by. WISH, Atira and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre are calling for an immediate emergency response to the escalating violence against women in the Downtown Eastside. “We want to see it happen right away,” said Alice Kendall, the executive director of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. “We want to see a crisis response, the same way that COVID has created a national, provincial, municipal kind of co-ordinated response to ensure that all of the aspects of COVID are addressed, the economy as well as health.” COVID-19 restrictions have reduced the number of spaces people in the Downtown Eastside can go to get warm and sheltered. Especially when it comes to spaces that are safe for women. Back in April, Kendall asked the City of Vancouver for help in creating a safe outdoor space as COVID-19 measures reduced capacity in the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. But it took eight months before the centre got permits and help from the city to set up a patio space that’s still smaller than it sought. This fall WISH opened Canada’s first shelter for sex workers, and efforts have been made to set up bathroom trailers in the Downtown Eastside. City facilities like the Carnegie Community Centre and the Evelyne Saller Centre also recently opened more drop-in spaces. The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre also opened a new space at 398 Powell St. But all the drop-in centres and shelters are full, while street homelessness has increased. “We have the drop-in open, but it’s at capacity,” Kendall said. “We have 398 Powell St. open, it’s at capacity. The shelter spaces are open, but they’re at capacity. We know that hundreds of women every day that used to come to the centre are not coming.” WISH, Atira and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre are calling for an immediate improvement in conditions. But they also want governments to adopt recommendations from other reports like Red Women Rising and the federal Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “Gendered violence continues, even within our own programs, because there are so few choices available for women and gender-diverse women in terms of housing, employment, income security, safe, appropriate services and other opportunities that allow women to keep themselves safe,” Abbott said in a press release.Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
WATERLOO REGION — In a cold living room with just a few pieces of furniture, Francois and his family sit anxiously reading a response from Immigration Canada. After almost seven years of laying roots here, their application for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds has been denied. As undocumented people they are not eligible for support from local immigration service providers and have no protections as essential low-wage workers. Living in a Kitchener neighbourhood that has been hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic, Francois and his family face constant stress. “If we get the virus,” Francois trailed off, pressing his temples. “I really don’t want to get sick.” Without a Social Insurance Number, Francois is not able to access the Canada Recovery Benefit, and must pay upfront for health care. Francois said that he and his wife endure chronic back pain, and are not able to afford to go to a walk-in clinic. The Record has chosen not to use Francois’ last name. The family didn’t plan on being undocumented when they first arrived in Canada. Their precarious position comes after a string of broken promises from an employer who said they would help Francois and his family get permanent residency, but didn’t. “We are here but we aren’t visible,” Francois says. “No one cares about us.” Francois and his family are just part of the many undocumented people navigating a system that doesn’t track them well, and those lost in its maze feel doesn’t care about them. It is unknown how many undocumented people might be living here, according to Tara Bedard, executive director of Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership. “We do not have very good or really any data on this for the region,” Bedard wrote in an email. Francois, a fluent French speaker from East Africa, came to Canada in March 2014 under the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program to work at a plant, first in Quebec and then in Kitchener. He said he brought his family with him because recruiters and the Kitchener-based company that hired him made a verbal promise to assist with his application for permanent residency. He said that promise was not fulfilled. He’s not willing to name the company, as he is worried about creating trouble for his friends who still work there. “If you’re drowning, you don’t want your friends to drown,” Francois said. Melanie Grant, a licensed immigration consultant and founder of Canadian Connection Immigration, said that TFWs like Francois who are hired for low-skilled positions run into these kind of problems at the end of their permits. Grant said that while most TFWs do not plan to overstay, they are told, as Francois was, that if they stay they can get their papers. “But when they actually pursue that option, it doesn’t happen and they lose out on the period to leave.” Grant said Francois did all the right things, including applying for an extension on his work permit. However, the person who initially submitted their extension mistakenly changed their status to ‘visitors’, which only permits them to stay in Canada for six months. By the time Grant met Francois to explain that a study or work permit would have given them more time, it was already too late; the window to apply for these permits had closed. Francois was able to get some information and support from the Working Centre, YMCA, and the KW Multicultural Centre. But it can be challenging for local immigration service providers to work with people who don’t fit the eligibility criteria for services they are funded to provide. Francois and his family’s last resort was to ask to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Their application was rejected by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. One of the categories Immigration evaluates to establish ties to the community is employment. For the last four years Francois, who was trained as a machinist, has been working as a line cook or dishwasher in kitchens. His wife is a housekeeper for a family in Waterloo. His daughter, recently graduated from high school and found work cleaning for a local construction company. Francois and his wife were reprimanded for working without a valid permit and were criticized for lacking tax assessments or pay stubs to show for their work. Immigration said their inability to provide evidence of an extensive employment history weighed heavily against them. Francois said when he was honest with prospective employers about being undocumented, he would get paid $9 to $10 an hour, “because they know they can get away with it.” He learned to keep his status hidden and to ask only to be paid in cash. “Here even dogs are treated better than us,” Francois said. As they continue to apply for permanent residency, the family fears the government will find them and force them to leave. “At this point, if they were to be detained, the next course of action would be removal,” Grant said. Jenna Hennebry, associate director of the International Migration Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University, said that the TFW program’s shifting rules and complicated paperwork create conditions for some employers to exploit vulnerable workers. “Having to juggle different administrative systems is something that employers aren’t keen on, and they say it becomes a kind of administrative barrier.” Hennebry said that because relationships between local companies and recruiters who facilitate the flow of TFWs into the country are not well regulated in Ontario, there is no guarantee that incentives and promises made to TFWs will be honoured. Francois said that he and his family are regular church goers and volunteer with the Working Centre. He said he is always willing to help his network of neighbours and friends. “Whether that is moving, painting, making food, whatever it is, if my community needs me for help I will be there,” Francois said. Although there was acknowledgement of the family’s social ties in Canada, the Immigration decision argued that “relationships are not bound by geographical locations” and that Francois and his family could “maintain their friendships via alternate means such as telephone, Skype, or emails.” Hennebry said that the TFW program’s deepest flaw is how it reduces people to just workers. “These are people that have relationships and family members and connections to communities that are part of the substance and fabric of our communities.” While our region has become increasingly aware of migrant farmers, Hennebry said there is a gap in knowledge about TFWs like Francois in other industries, and undocumented workers are missing in the data completely. She said that while the system that supports permanent residents and refugee families works well, it reflects an outdated understanding of how people are coming into the country. “Now most people come here as students, or they come here as temporary foreign workers. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Canada, more than the numbers of permanent resident entries. Yet, when they’re stuck in limbo, we have no services to support them.” Francois wants to stay in Canada, as he said it offers a better, safer future for his kids. “Back home we don’t have many opportunities, here there are so many more possibilities,” he said. His oldest daughter has been admitted to York University, the only Canadian university that offers young people without legal status an opportunity to study and earn a degree. Drawing on her own experiences, she hopes to pursue a career in law and human rights. Hennebry said that immigration service providers should be given more support to help people without status clear administrative hurdles instead of criminalizing them through detention and deportation orders. “I think that there needs to be a broader conversation about how the temporary foreign worker program and the international student system links up with our permanent migration system, because currently it does not.” Fitsum Areguy’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Email email@example.com Twitter @fitsumareguyFitsum Areguy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record
TORONTO — The man who drove a van down a crowded Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people said his actions are "99 per cent irredeemable" after turning to the bible in jail, court heard Thursday.Alek Minassian made the comment on Dec. 12, 2019, to Dr. Alexander Westphal, a psychiatrist retained by the defence."I think it would be considered probably extremely irredeemable, like 99 per cent chance irredeemable," Minassian said in his orange jumpsuit while in a Toronto jail.Crown attorney Joe Callaghan argued the 10-minute video clip should be put into evidence as it shows a different side of Minassian than the one portrayed thus far by psychiatrists who say he lacks empathy, shows no emotion and has no insight into the minds and feelings of others.Callaghan said the clip shows Minassian engaged in conversation while answering questions at length and shows insight into the thoughts of others.Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder. He argues he should be found not criminally responsible due to autism spectrum disorder.After admitting to planning and carrying out the attack, his state of mind at the time is the sole issue at trial.Justice Anne Molloy, presiding over the case without a jury, allowed the video into evidence.Molloy said this appears to show a different Minassian, not baffled and unresponsive and stuck in a concrete way of thinking as others have previously testified."This is not concrete, this is very esoteric, philosophical almost — not almost, it is," the judge said.Minassian, an atheist, told Westphal he began reading the bible while under suicide watch at the Toronto South Detention Centre.He said the bible gives him a "sense of hope." During breaks at the trial, which is being held by videoconference due to the pandemic, Minassian can be seen flipping through a red bible in the small room at the jail where he watches the proceedings.He told Westphal he reads it every day. He said he can see how the bible can be used to help change people's lifestyles as a path to redemption. "A preacher, let’s say he tells his nephew God is very disappointed about what you're doing and the nephew might realize he's saying, really, your family is disappointed," Minassian said to Westphal.The Crown said that passage shows Minassian's insight into the perspective of others. Westphal disagreed."I don't think him expressing an analogy the man is controlling his nephew by God is saying anything Mr. Minassian's overall understanding of morality," Westphal said.Minassian's lawyer had said Westphal would be the only expert to say the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be found not criminally responsible for his actions, but the psychiatrist has stopped short of making that conclusion. Westphal said Minassian does not truly understand the moral wrongfulness of killing 10 people, but said criminal responsibility is a legal opinion, not a psychiatric one.Earlier, court heard that Minassian said he had a strong desire to commit the attack. "I felt a strong desire to want to especially as the time ... approached, but I didn't feel compelled to do it, I didn't really feel I had to do it," Minassian said.While Minassian said he didn't feel he had to do it, the prosecution said those words seemed at odds with a report by Westphal that said Minassian felt he "had to go through with it" after making the decision to go forward with his plan. Under questioning from the Crown, Westphal said Minassian was not compelled to commit the attack. The Crown repeatedly asked why that was not in the report, a question Westphal seemed confused by."You only included facts that fit your narrative, you're not interested in an objective view," Callaghan said, his voice raised."I think I accurately captured that aspect I don't think he was compelled to do it," Westphal said.Court has heard that Minassian booked the rental van weeks earlier with the idea to use it as a weapon to strike people. He told Westphal that he knew it was wrong by "society’s moral standards, the most important one being that it is extremely wrong to kill people."He has told various people different reasons why he committed the attack including anxiety around a software development job that was to start a week after the attack.Westphal asked Minassian why he did it."An extreme desire to want to do it, the fact I already booked (the van) and was so close to going through with my plan, feeling social isolation and the nervousness about the job, socially and performance-wise," Minassian said.The Crown also pointed out all of Minassian's successes to the psychiatrist. He graduated from high school with a 76 per cent average and completed a software engineer degree at Seneca College. In his last year of college, Minassian achieved a 4.0 grade point average, the highest mark possible.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
Belle River teen comedian Louis Brady says Elliot Page, a Canadian actor who recently came out as transgender, shouldn't focus on other people's opinions because "they're not you and they're not transitioning." The gay, transgender 17-year-old said that he wasn't surprised to hear Page, a Halifax-born actor, share that he is transgender because, to him, it's like any other trans person coming out. Page, who is known for his Oscar-nominated role in Juno, addressed his social media followers Tuesday with a lengthy Instagram post, in which he shared that he is trans and that he uses the pronouns he or they."I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey," wrote Page, who also starred in Inception and most recently The Umbrella Academy. "I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive."When Brady heard the news, he said while it's important, he "didn't really think about it." "In my personal opinion actors are just people with cooler jobs. So I thought it might be harder for him because he is such a big name and because he is obviously going to get a lot more attention from the media whereas if someone like me comes out it's not going to be such a big deal ... so I felt for him in that way but in the idea of him being an actor I don't see it being any different for me doing it than for him doing it." But Page's announcement does give attention to transgender men — a spotlight that Brady said is often focused on transgender women."Transgender men don't get as much media attention and although I would never want to take away any representation for transgender women, because they are just as fully important as us, I think it also is important to talk about both sides of the spectrum and to give opportunity to everyone in an equal platform," he said. Brady said these moments also serve to educate people. "I feel that it's important that we educate people on this because I feel like it makes it a lot easier for people like me to come out and to live as ourselves if everyone around us is aware because it's really hard when you are constantly being asked who you are and what you are and feeling as though you have to prove yourself to everybody and you have to constantly explain who you are — it's really exhausting." Being trans himself, Brady shared some advice for Page. "Don't feel bad correcting people because it's important to you and it's always a good idea to be understanding of other people not understanding because it is a newer thing in our world but I also think it's important that we don't let people off on oh whatever it doesn't matter because it does matter," he said, adding that he still gets mis-gendered. Brady continued to say that Page should avoid reading the comments on articles about himself.
MADISON, Wis. — A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts.In another blow to Trump, two dissenting conservative justices questioned whether disqualifying more than 221,000 ballots as Trump wanted would be the proper remedy to the errors he alleged.The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities.Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”“It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step,” he said in a statement. Trump's team made the filing late Thursday evening.In asking the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, Trump had argued that there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting with a lower court, given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes.Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump's allegations. Hagedorn said the law was clear that Trump must start his lawsuit in lower courts where factual disputes can be worked out.“We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high profile cases,” Hagedorn wrote. “Following this law is not disregarding our duty, as some of my colleagues suggest. It is following the law.”Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, in a dissent where she was joined by Justice Annette Ziegler, said she would have taken the case and referred it to lower courts for factual findings, which could then be reported back to the Supreme Court for a ruling.But she also questioned whether disqualifying ballots was appropriate, saying that "may be out of reach for a number of reasons.”Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote that the court “forsakes its duty” by not determining whether elections officials complied with the law and the inaction will undermine the public's confidence in elections. Allowing the elections commission to make the law governing elections would be a “death blow to democracy,” she wrote.“While some will either celebrate or decry the court's inaction based upon the impact on their preferred candidate, the importance of this case transcends the results of this particular election,” she wrote in a dissent joined by Roggensack and Ziegler. “The majority's failure to act leaves an indelible stain on our most recent election.”Democratic Gov. Tony Evers praised the decision.“I was frankly amazed that it was not unanimous," Evers said.Trump's lawsuit challenged procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.He claimed there were thousands of absentee ballots without a written application on file. He argued that the electronic log created when a voter requests a ballot online — the way the vast majority are requested — doesn’t meet the letter of the law.He also challenged ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted — a practice that has long been accepted and that the state elections commission told clerks was OK.Trump also challenged absentee ballots where voters declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined,” a status that exempts them from having to show photo identification to cast a ballot, and one that was used much more heavily this year due to the pandemic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in March ruled that it was up to individual voters to determine their status.Roggensack, the chief justice, appointed Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek of Racine County to hear the case at the circuit court level. Simanek retired in 2010.The court late Thursday also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin resident, Dean Mueller, that argued that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. The court's brief order included a single line noting Roggensack, Ziegler and Bradley all dissented with the denial.One other lawsuit filed by conservatives is still pending with the court seeking to invalidate ballots. In federal court, there is Trump’s lawsuit and another one with similar claims from Sidney Powell, a conservative attorney who was removed from Trump’s legal team.Wisconsin this week certified Biden’s victory, setting the stage for a Democratic slate of electors chosen earlier to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for him.Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
In an emotional speech at the end of a press conference on Thursday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said “you don’t need to like me” after the province implemented strict COVID-19 restrictions.
The province says shovels will be in the ground early in the new year for construction of the long-awaited north Calgary high school.Minister of infrastructure Prasad Panda said they're weeks away from awarding the contract to a builder, and expect the school to be open for students in 2023."This is something that's very close to my heart because I have not hundreds, but thousands of friends that live in that area that are eagerly waiting for this school," he said. "It's unfortunate some of their kids are already in university. At least for the next generation it's helpful."More than a decade ago, the site, at 12065 Coventry Hills Way N.E., across the street from Nose Creek Middle School, was designated for the future high school.Community advocates have rallied ever since to see it built."For me, it's break out the champagne because I've been battling for this for 15 years. That's how I originally got involved in the community association, was battling for this high school," said David Hartwick, government relations and advocacy director for the Northern Hills Community Association. "I will be out there the day they put the shovel in the ground just to see it, because I've waited so long for this and I won't believe it until I see that shovel in the ground."Panda said he recently took steps to expedite the school build."We took it out of the P3 process to accelerate the school and get it open on time," he said. "Typically it takes a little longer, but that's why I excluded this one to push it hard, to get it done sooner."North Calgary High School's catchment area in the CBE plans covers the more than 71,000 people living in Hidden Valley, Coventry Hills, Panorama Hills, Harvest Hills, Country Hills and Country Hills Village, Hartwick said.Community members estimate the school will have 1,800 teens enrolled once it opens."It'll be at capacity Day 1 with people from the surrounding communities wanting in," said Hartwick."They're only looking at the catchment area of Northern Hills and Hidden Valley. But the reality is now you've got Livingston and Carrington to the north. You've got Evanston, who's desperate for the high school space as well. This high school could have easily been built at 2,400 students."In an emailed statement to CBC News, the CBE says the North Calgary High School will open with Grades 10 and 11, which allows Grade 12 students to graduate from the high school they started at."Enrolment upon opening will figure at approximately 1,000 students. Enrolment the following year is anticipated to rise to 1,500 students as the school expands to offer Grades 10-12," read the statement by the CBE.The closest high schools are Crescent Heights or John G. Diefenbaker — about 60 blocks away, and approximately an hour each way by bus for most students from the community.When the new high school finally opens, it'll be life changing for teens and families in the area, Hartwick said. "Now these kids are going to have the same opportunity that the separate school kids have, where they get to go to high school within their community, play sports within their community, actually participate in extracurricular activities," he said.
A Vancouver choir has adapted Mariah Carey’s hit for the 2020 times.
COVID-19. «Y'a du soleil derrière chaque nuage» chante la chanson. C’est justement une belle éclaircie qu’a connue Saint-Léonard-d’Aston dans la soirée du 3 décembre. En effet, en plus des dizaines voitures qui ont défilé en solidarité avec les résidents et le personnel du Centre l’Assomption, la directrice Manon Daigle a fait savoir que 24 des 36 résidents qui étaient atteints de la COVID-19 sont considérés sortis de la zone critique par le CIUSSS. « On n’a jamais douté que les gens seraient présents et ils le sont. On sent une grande solidarité qui s’exprime ce soir. J’ai vu des employés tantôt et ils dont dit avec les yeux pleins d’eau: «Merci de faire ça. Ça nous fait du bien à tous». Avec la bonne nouvelle, on s'en va vers le mieux», rapporte Yvan Martin, le fils de l’une des résidentes du Centre l’Assomption, qui est à l’origine du défilé auquel le Service des loisirs, les services de pompiers de Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et de Saint-Wenceslas et les policiers de la Sûreté du Québec ont apporté leur soutien. Notons qu’en date du 3 décembre, le Centre l’Assomption compte 36 cas parmi ses résidents. Un total de 19 employés sont infectés. Deux décès sont à déplorer. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WASHINGTON — House Democrats elected centrist Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Thursday to lead their campaign arm into the 2022 elections, picking a lawmaker who wins in a closely divided district as they dissect why they unexpectedly lost seats in November’s voting. Maloney, 54 and openly gay, defeated Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., by 119-107, according to a person familiar with a vote held virtually because of the pandemic. Cardenas, 57, has been leader of BOLD PAC, the fundraising organization for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Maloney will lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps recruit House candidates, raises money and provides campaign guidance. Thursday's close election for the post underscores Democratic uncertainty over why they lost at least a dozen incumbents in last month's voting, despite widespread expectations that they would gain perhaps 15 seats. No House Republican lost. The outgoing chairwoman, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., announced she was leaving the job shortly after Election Day. Progressives have blamed the party's poor performance on inadequate digital campaigning, while moderates have faulted liberals for leaving Democrats vulnerable to GOP charges that they are all socialists who support defunding the police. The party's candidates also performed more weakly than expected with moderates in suburban districts and Hispanic voters, especially in South Florida. The 2022 election looms as a difficult one for House Democrats. Besides defending a slender majority, House districts will be redrawn following this year’s Census, and total Republican control in key states including Florida, Georgia, Texas and Ohio will let them reshape lines to help the GOP. In addition, midterm congressional elections are historically difficult for the party that controls the White House, where Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is headed Jan. 20. “I will work every day to improve our campaign operations, connect with voters across lines of difference, protect our incumbents, and expand our majority,” Maloney said in a statement after his victory. Also Thursday, Democrats elected Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., to chair the House Appropriations Committee. DeLauro is a 30-year House veteran who's long been on the Appropriations panel, which controls around $1.4 trillion in spending, a hefty chunk of the federal budget. DeLauro defeated Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., 148-79. She replaces the retiring chairwoman, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. Rep. Gregory Meeks, 67, of New York was chosen chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee while Georgia Rep. David Scott, 75, was elected Agriculture Committee chairman. They will be the first Black chairs of those two panels, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Meeks takes over Foreign Affairs from Rep. Eliot Engel, a 16-term New York Democrat who lost a June primary for his House seat. At the Agriculture panel, Scott replaces Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who lost his House reelection after 15 House terms. Maloney has been elected five times from a district in New York's mid-Hudson valley that Donald Trump carried narrowly in the 2016 presidential election. While campaigning for his new post, Maloney touted his ability to win in a competitive district, his fundraising connections and a five-month study he led of the campaign committee's 2016 performance that resulted in structural changes. “I did all this as a married gay man with an interracial family — the first, and until 2020 only, openly LGBTQ person ever elected to Congress in New York," he wrote in a letter to colleagues. He added, “I know what it means to develop relationships with voters across lines of difference because I do it every day." Maloney was reelected in November by a comfortable 11 percentage points. Democrats are assured of controlling the House again in the new Congress that convenes in January. But with a handful of races still uncalled, their edge over the GOP currently stands at 222-208, and they're likely to have the chamber's narrowest majority in two decades. Democrats went into November’s elections with a 232-197 House majority, along with an independent and five vacancies. Alan Fram, The Associated Press
Climate change costs are already taking an increasing bite out of Canada's economic growth and the country is falling behind other nations when it comes to planning for them, says federally funded research."Some of these impacts we've already seen are going to continue into the future and grow," said Ryan Ness of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. "But there's going to be other kinds of impacts that we haven't even seen before."The institute was formed and is funded by Environment Canada as a source of independent advice and analysis on climate change threats and possible ways to minimize them. This is its first report. Using data from government sources as well as groups including the Insurance Bureau of Canada, it concludes weather-related disaster costs are increasing dramatically. It says the number of such disasters had risen to 27 a year in 2016 from an average of eight annually in the early 1970s. There were $14.5 billion in total costs from 2010 to 2019, dwarfing the total of $21 billion for the four previous decades. Those figures are adjusted for population growth and increasing land values, said institute economist Dave Sawyer."Sure, we've got more stuff, but we're also being kicked harder," Sawyer said.That drain is starting to dent the economy. The report says disaster costs used to equal about one per cent of GDP growth. Over the last decade, that has climbed to between five and six per cent. The biggest threats are still down the road, the report predicts. Health costs can be expected to increase due to heat waves and increases in insect-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. Wildfire smoke worsens lung problems and weather-related disasters of all kinds have mental-health impacts.The report says business costs will emerge, too. People don't work during disasters. During the 2016 Fort McMurray fire, 40 per cent of Canada's oil production was off-line for weeks. Economists have found that labour productivity drops during times of extreme heat or cold by about 2.7 per cent.Property vulnerable to disasters such as floods, fires or permafrost thaw will lose value, the report suggests, at a cumulative loss estimated by some of up to nearly one per cent of GDP by 2050. It also says agriculture will be disrupted. Precipitation patterns and timing will change. Freak events will damage harvests, such as the 2012 Ontario March heat wave that made apple trees vulnerable to a later frost and cost orchardists about $100 million.Insects will ruin valuable timber. Services that nature once provided free -- like dependable, easy-to-treat water -- will become expensive. Canada just isn't toting up the costs, said Ness."The gold standards are the (European Union) and the U.S., where they've had programs for years that research climate impacts and evaluate their costs. We don't have the scale of funding or the sophistication of the programs that those two jurisdictions do."More importantly, said Sawyer, governments need to start talking to each other and work together. "Our governance arrangements need to be better to co-ordinate the feds, the provinces and the municipalities," he said. "(We need to be) sitting down together and figuring out how we can better manage and prepare for this changing climate."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020. \-- Follow @row1960 on TwitterBob Weber, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — The Quebec government backtracked Thursday on its plan to allow holiday gatherings over four days at Christmas, saying the COVID-19 situation in the province was unlikely to improve enough for them to be safe.Premier Francois Legault announced that in the province's red zones, which cover the most densely populated areas of the province, multi-household gatherings of up to 10 people will no longer be allowed between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27.“New cases leads to more hospitalizations, and if we continue in this direction, hospitals will start to overflow,” Legault told a news conference after the province announced 1,470 new COVID-19 infections and 30 more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.“With the numbers we have, it’s unrealistic to think we’ll be able to change the situation in time for Christmas.”The Quebec government on Nov. 19 gave the green light to the get-togethers on the condition that people isolate for a week before and a week after.But now the risk has been deemed too high with COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise and a health system deemed fragile due to a lack of staffing. Legault said 6,600 health-care workers were off the job on sick leave or preventive leave as of Thursday.People living alone in red zones are allowed to have one visitor at a time, something Legault encouraged. "We can and we must visit them," he said. "They need us more than ever."Gatherings will still be permitted in regions that are not at the highest alert level.The premier hinted earlier this week things were looking grim before pulling the plug on Thursday. He said if he had it do over, he wouldn't have announced the gatherings last month, but he said at the time there was a sincere hope case numbers would decline.“I’m trying to do my best, like I said in French, I’m not perfect,” Legault said. He said Quebec will maintain a longer school break, as planned, with distance learning several days before Christmas for elementary and high school students.Many businesses and schools had altered their schedules to allow for the now nixed gatherings, Legault acknowledged. "Currently, we are at the worst time of the pandemic, the worst time of the past nine months, so maintaining these measures, I think it can help," he said.The province has seen COVID-19 cases surge, with more than 1,500 reported on Tuesday. Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's director of public health, said community transmission is behind the rising cases."The virus is everywhere," Arruda said, adding that the failure by some to follow public health guidelines is fuelling the spread.The province is battling over 1,200 active outbreaks, with most occurring in workplaces, schools and long-term care and seniors' residences.Montreal reported the largest number of new cases Thursday, with 373, while the Quebec City, Monteregie and Lanaudiere regions each reported 145 cases or more.Legault said he was confident the vast majority of Quebecers would not disregard his latest edict and gather anyway during the holidays, or travel from red zones to the few regions where gatherings are still permitted."Nobody wants to infect someone else from the same family or some of their friends," Legault said."So we'll have to explain the danger, and when I see the number of deaths in the world in the last few days, I still don't understand how some people can think that it's not dangerous."Of the Quebec deaths announced Thursday, 12 occurred in the last 24 hours. Hospitalizations declined by three to 737, while the number of people in intensive care remained unchanged at 99.Quebec has reported 146,532 cases, 7,155 deaths and 126,179 recoveries since the beginning of the pandemic.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec 3, 2020Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press