The first major snowstorm of the season left the Northeast blanketed in snow, setting records in some areas. Some parts of upstate New York had gotten as much as 40 inches of snow by Thursday morning. (Dec. 17)
The first major snowstorm of the season left the Northeast blanketed in snow, setting records in some areas. Some parts of upstate New York had gotten as much as 40 inches of snow by Thursday morning. (Dec. 17)
NEW YORK — The head of the Republican National Committee on Wednesday declined to encourage former President Donald Trump to run for the White House in 2024, saying the GOP would stay “neutral” in its next presidential primary. In an interview, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel also described the pro-Trump conspiracy theory group known as QAnon as “dangerous." The national GOP, under McDaniel's leadership, spent the past four years almost singularly focused on Trump's 2020 reelection. But should he run again in 2024 — and he has publicly and privately suggested he wants to — the national party infrastructure would not support his ambitions over those of other prospective candidates, in accordance with party rules, she said. “The party has to stay neutral. I’m not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024,” McDaniel told The Associated Press when asked whether she wanted to see Trump run again in the next presidential election. “That’s going to be up to those candidates going forward. What I really do want to see him do, though, is help us win back majorities in 2022.” Just months removed from the last presidential election, several Republican prospects have already begun jockeying for position for the 2024 contest. McDaniel is far more focused on the 2022 midterms, when Republicans have an opportunity to break the Democrats' monopoly on Congress. McDaniel is in a difficult political position as she begins her new term as the national GOP chair. She has been a devoted Trump loyalist, but as the RNC leader, she is also tasked with helping her party recover from its painful 2020 election season in which Republicans lost the Senate and the White House and failed to win back the House. Trump's fervent base continues to demand loyalty to the former president, even as some party officials acknowledge that Trump's norm-shattering behaviour alienated elements of the coalition the GOP needs to win future elections. Tensions are especially high within the party as the Senate prepares for Trump's second impeachment trial. Ten House Republicans voted earlier in the month to impeach the former president for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and on Tuesday, five Senate Republicans voted to move forward with a trial that could ultimately ban him from holding public office ever again. McDaniel acknowledged the frustration of Trump's base, which remains a powerful voice in the party and has little tolerance for Republican officials unwilling to stand behind the former president and his achievements in office. But she repeatedly called for party unity and discouraged elected officials from attacking other Republicans — even those who voted to impeach Trump. She declined to single out any specific Republicans when pressed, however, including Trump loyalist Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is travelling to Wyoming this week to campaign against Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the highest-ranking House Republican who voted for Trump's impeachment. “If we’re fighting each other every day and attacking each other and brandishing party purism, we’re not going to accomplish what we need to to win back the House and take back the Senate, and that’s my priority,” McDaniel said. She also forcefully condemned the pro-Trump QAnon movement, a large group of conspiracy theorists who were a visible presence at the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. Trump repeatedly declined to denounce the group while in the White House. “I think it’s really important after what’s just happened in our country that we have some self-reflection on the violence that’s continuing to erupt in our country,” McDaniel said, pointing to violence across the political spectrum. “I think QAnon is beyond fringe. I think it’s dangerous.” Moving forward, she said that voters, not Trump, are the head of the Republican Party, though Trump continues to maintain “a huge, huge presence” with his base. McDaniel said she's expecting several Republican leaders to play a significant role in the party's future, mentioning former Vice-President Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations. Both are also considered potential 2024 presidential contenders. She also downplayed reports that Trump is considering leaving the GOP and starting a new party, warning that such a move would divide Republicans and "guarantee Democrat wins up and down the ticket. “It would be basically a rubber stamp on Democrats getting elected. And I think that's the last thing that any Republican wants,” she said. "It’s clear that he understands that.” Steve Peoples, The Associated Press
Alphabet unit Google on Wednesday opened a centre to tackle harmful online content, in a move also designed to ease regulatory concerns about how the company and other tech giants police a growing problem on the internet. The world's most popular search engine, along with other U.S. tech giants, has drawn criticism because of the spread of illegal and harmful content via their platforms, triggering calls for more regulatory action. The 27-country European Union has taken the lead in proposing tough new rules to curb their powers, protect smaller rivals and make them take more responsibility for removing harmful content from their platforms.
Residents can display their gratitude for health-care workers by hanging a decorative heart in the windows of their homes in Brighton and area. Five local governments are working together to show appreciation for health-care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the global health crisis continues, politicians say it’s vital to recognize health-care employees who are feeling the strain of long hours and staffing shortages. The Municipality of Brighton, The City of Quinte West, Hastings County, the City of Belleville and the County of Prince Edward are encouraging residents to hang a heart in their front windows, doors or yards as a symbol of support. “Health-care workers are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and in Brighton we support our healthcare workers,” said Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander. “Long days and nights fighting to keep people well through a global pandemic, Brighton council and our grateful community thank each and every person working to keep us healthy and safe this past year.” A downloadable design is available online or residents can make something unique. Next door in Quinte West, the mayor said the community “is incredibly thankful for the work our frontline health-care staff has been doing and continues to do.” “Now more than ever we continue to appreciate these shining stars on our frontlines who are doing an exceptional job keeping us healthy,” said Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison. Participants are encouraged to take pictures of their decorated hearts and submit them to https://pollunit.com/polls/heartsforhealthcare. Through that link, others can view all of the hearts and leave positive comments in the spirit of celebrating everyone in the health care field. A heart design is also available to download and print here: https://pollunit.com/en/polls/heartsforhealthcare Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News
Barry’s Bay – In a trifecta of municipal decision-making worthy of that famous old Brudenell horse track back in the 1870s, Madawaska Valley Township council continued last week to race forward in dealing with its two most prickly issues -- doctor recruitment and the future of the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre (PJYCC). The good news coming out of last Tuesday’s meeting centred on the news of three separate agreements that had been reached and were expected to be signed shortly by all municipal governments involved and two new doctors and one medical student expected to become a doctor this summer. Dr. Danial Ostapowicz, Dr. Teresa Ostapowicz, and Erin Murray, have all been offered $150,000 each to set up their practices in the area. The funding will be jointly shared by various local governments, though it will likely be the last such agreement made. Currently, the municipal government group includes North Algona Wilberforce; Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan; Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards; South Algonquin and MV Township, but Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards already has voted to leave the group this year. The rest are expected to follow suit with an official announcement expected shortly. More bad news was in the air at MV council by what was not said. Apparently, no new ‘free’ money has been found nor did the mayor mention she had heard of any grant money thought to be forthcoming to finance a $1.4 million retrofit of the ice surface at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre. Still, council moved forward with two new proposals, one, a cost saving measure, the other, a new source of funds that might minimize the need to take out a $1.4 million loan and, thus, raise local taxes by as much as 2.5 per cent. Given the PJYCC is all but shut down due to the recent provincial Stay-at-Home order that council expects to be extended, and given the arena operating costs are over $1,800 a day on average, council voted, over the sole objection of Councillor Ernie Peplinski, to remove the artificial ice as soon as possible. Coun. Peplinkski’s objection was centred on his concern the impact such ice removal might have on jobs at the arena. “I don’t disagree…but …were talking…of laying people off, and I’m just wondering if we should be having more of a discussion in closed session about perhaps that particular issue… I just don’t know how we can move forward (with the decision to remove the ice) without having that discussion. It’s affecting people’s lives.” Just when the council meeting was about to wrap up for the day, Councillor David Shulist proposed some new business, a new option for financing the ice-pad rehab project. “I may have a solution,” said Coun. Shulist, who said he proposed something similar when he was mayor, though he also said his idea went nowhere at that time. He then went on to describe what he believed was a 400-acre piece of property adjacent to the Bark Lake Dam that, he said, was owned by MV Township. He suggested it could be sold, with all income from the sale, after costs, to be given to the ice resurfacing project. His idea caught on like a house on fire. Before long, Mayor Kim Love was recommending parkland she was certain was owned by the municipality near her home that might also be considered for sale. And, so, before council ended its public session and went into another in-camera session to discuss its never-ending legal issues with a particular ratepayer, staff was directed to run up a comprehensive list of any piece of property owned by MV Township that might be considered for immediate sale. No mention was made of using any of the 400-acres adjacent to Bark Lake to build a race track similar to the one made famous in Brudenell back in the 19thCentury. Barry Conway, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left its key overnight interest rate near zero and made no change to its monthly bond purchases, pledging again to keep those economic pillars in place until there is a full rebound from the pandemic-triggered recession. That hasn't happened, and in the statement released after the end of their latest two-day meeting, U.S. central bank policymakers flagged a worrying slowdown in the pace of the recovery. In a news conference after the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted the economy’s resilience, with major industries like housing, financial services and others adapting to the coronavirus pandemic with new technologies and strategies.
NEW YORK — The 2017 murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall had all the gruesome elements of a modern true-crime classic. Writer and director Tobias Lindholm initially disagreed. The young woman had been decapitated in a homemade submarine. The perpetrator had tortured and sexually assaulted her. He cut off her limbs and threw them overboard in weighted bags. “People around me would say, ‘That would make a great movie,’" says Lindholm from his home in Copenhagen. "And I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see the reason to tell this story.” The submarine case had already generated lurid stories in the Scandinavian tabloids and clickbait headlines online. One way to retell the story was to go over-the-top — showing the bloody underwater crime scene and limbs being hacked off. “It would be tasteless and inhumane and there would be no reason to do that,” Lindholm says. “Other than fascination with a brutal crime, what would be the real, responsible storyteller reason to touch this story?” After meeting members of the police and the victim's family, Lindholm went the opposite direction: Viewers never see or hear the accused in the limited miniseries “The Investigation,” which premieres on HBO on Feb. 1 and is available to stream on HBO Max. Viewers don't just never see the murderer, they also never see the victim in flashbacks or visit the autopsy table. They never go into the cold water with the divers to find the bags. There's not a drop of blood shown in the entire six hours — almost an inverse of “The Killing,” the Danish series that helped kick off a wave of grim and bleak detective procedurals in 2007. Instead of the crime, the show explores the close relationship forged between Wall's grief-stricken parents and the head of homicide, whose pursuit of the case has personal costs. The camera follows the dogged detectives seeking a logical and scientific cause of death that can convict the accused. “I realized that the story wasn’t about all the brutality and it wasn’t about the darkness and it wasn’t even about a murder. It was about people that did their job," Lindholm says. “It was about people in uniform that stood together and actually helped complete strangers through a very hard time,” he adds. “It’s not a story that we seem to share too much with each other these years.” It is a moody, meditative and patient show. Many scenes are silent, with detectives pouring over binders of evidence or with divers scanning the horizon. The camera deliberately includes scenes of actors just driving or thinking, moments usually excised from American dramas. Lindholm — whose reality-based feature films include “A Hijacking” and the Oscar-nominated “A War” — cites the Baltimore-based series “The Wire” as a big influence, with its tendency to detour from the plot to show men and women just doing their — sometimes tedious — jobs. He explained his vision to producers at the outset, and they backed him for the six-part series that is subtitled for English viewers. He was well aware of commercial pressures to go lurid but insisted that the monster at the show's heart would never be shown. “It’s like these days when my kids want candy every day because we’re home all the time. It’s just not going to happen. So they won’t ask me. They know that ‘no’ would be the answer,” he says, laughing. There is a documentary feel to the series, one carefully tethered to reality. Lindholm employed the same cadaver dogs used in the actual murder case, used the same crane ship that recovered the sub and even asked the same police divers to recreate their steps. "Divers dive much better than actors and actors act much better than divers," he explains. “If I was not to make the same mistake that I felt the media had done already by limping towards a true crime fascination, I would need a lot of elements from reality to keep me straight on track.” Jonas Allen, whose Danish production company Miso Film helped produce “The Investigation,” credits Lindholm with staying true to his concept. “I think as soon as Tobias had this approach, we were all behind him 100%," says Allen. ”You need to find that specific angle and you need to find that vision. Hats off to Tobias." In many ways, Lindholm's series is the reverse of his own past. He worked with David Fincher on the “Mindhunter” series, which was obsessed with getting inside the mind of killers because that's how the FBI catches them. “Here we had a chance to actually tell a story where we could be fascinated by a very difficult investigation and where we could liberate ourselves from that cliché,” he says. “And the fact that it’s so radical to leave out the perpetrator tells me that that is probably something we should do a bit more in the future.” Lindholm notes that he's a huge fan of “The Killing,” which kicked off a wave of so-called Nordic noir shows. He credits that series' success with his ability to create the political drama “Borgen.” “Nevertheless, I kind of felt that we could end the circle,” he says. "They did ‘The Killing.’ Now we did ‘The Investigation’ and maybe we could all start to do something different.” ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Brighton’s proposed 2021 budget, about $9.8 million of which will be funded by tax revenue, will be presented to the community during a Feb. 1 meeting. During a recent Zoom meeting, Brighton’s committee of the whole recommended council approve the 2021 budget, which was slightly amended during the meeting. The proposed total budget for the municipality for 2021 is $35,017,626. Taxpayers in Brighton pay three levies on their property taxes – a municipal levy, a county levy and an education levy. The blended tax rate would be 1.69 per cent if Brighton’s budget passes. Five of seven councillors supported the proposed budget, with councillors Mary Tadman and Doug LeBlanc objecting to an overall tax increase and the cost of Telephone Road work respectively. Coun. Emily Rowley said “it’s a pretty good budget based on the struggles we’ve had to balance it well.” She said she hoped staff members were OK with the cuts made in terms of their ability to provide the services they do for the municipality. To that end, Ostrander said, “I think we’ve come in with an incredibly tight budget. “I do hope we aren’t going to see a service delivery problem at all and I trust that if we were, staff would have brought that to our attention early on in this budget when we asked that question,” he noted. “I’m equally cognizant of the fact that people are struggling, and I understand that 2.31 per cent is not easy for some people and yet we have a responsibility to ensure that the corporation of the Municipality of Brighton carries on as well.” In advance of the 2021 budget process, council set a pre-budget increase of zero per cent on operating budgets and an increase of the Construction Price Index (CPI) up to two per cent, plus one per cent on capital budgets. Residents who wish to address council about the budget must register with the municipal clerk in advance by e-mailing Candice Doiron at firstname.lastname@example.org. Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News
NEW YORK — One of the first book-length inside accounts of the coronavirus pandemic will be coming out in June. Lawrence Wright's “The Plague Year," which builds on a New Yorker story that ran earlier this month, will be published by Alfred A. Knopf on June 8. Wright told The Associated Press that he interviewed more than 100 people for the story, including such top government health officials as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. “The Plague Year” will document what he calls “the shocking failure” of the U.S. to contain the virus, which has killed more than 400,000 people across the country. “America was supposed to be the best positioned country in the world to handle the pandemic,” he said. Knopf, which announced the book Wednesday, is calling it an “an all-encompassing account” covering everything from the virus' origins to the development of vaccines and nature of the disease itself. Wright won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and The Road to 9-11” and wrote a novel, “The End of October,” that was completed before the pandemic and in many ways anticipated it. He is still working on his new book, which he expects will end with the incoming administration of President Joe Biden. He noted that Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 was one year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the U.S. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
A Canadian clothing line is helping transgender kids feel confident at the beach or pool with bathing suits designed to maximize comfort without compromising style. Jamie and Ruby Alexander are the Toronto father-daughter duo behind Rubies, a fledgling fashion business that specializes in form-fitting clothing for trans and non-binary girls. Ruby says she's proud to see how the brand is allowing other trans kids to take part in the same activities as their friends without worrying about what they're wearing. "A lot of trans kids just stopped doing what they love to do, because they don't feel comfortable," Ruby, 12, said in an interview. "We wanted to change the kids' lives, and we're happy to do that." Since Ruby came out as transgender at nine years old, Jamie Alexander said fashion has been an important part of how she expresses her identity. But it hasn't always been easy to balance style against concerns for her safety. At first, Ruby wore baggy boardshorts and sweatpants to athletic activities such as swimming, gymnastics and dance, Alexander said. Eventually, Ruby wanted to wear a bikini like her friends, so they got her one at a department store. But as they were getting ready for a vacation in Central America in 2019, Alexander started to worry about what Ruby should wear to the beach in a place where there may not be the same cultural awareness of transgender identity. He looked online for a swimsuit that would allow her to safely have fun in the sun, but the limited options he could find didn't seem age-appropriate. Alexander knew that other families must be dealing with similar struggles, so he set out to launch a company that would offer a solution. He teamed up with Ryerson University's Fashion Zone to design prototypes for bathing suit bottoms that uses a soft compression to provide a worry-free fit. After getting in touch with other parents online, Alexander biked around Toronto to deliver samples, so transgender kids could try them on and give feedback. Some families said their kids hadn't had much exposure to other transgender children, Alexander said, and it soon became clear that Ruby had a gift for connecting with customers. "To say, 'hey, there's someone else out there just like you that understands you and understands what you're going through' is a really powerful thing," Alexander said. "It's really touching to hear the impact Ruby and I can have with these families." Alexander partnered with a Toronto clothing manufacturer to gear up for a launch last spring, but production was set back by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Rubies has managed to sell roughly 1,000 swimsuits in its first year, Alexander said. Ruby writes a personal message to accompany every shipment, which for some customers seems to be just as valuable as the product itself, said Alexander. "We've gotten feedback that said some kids will put these postcards under their pillows, like it's this special treasure," he said. Alexander also launched a crowdfunding campaign so Rubies could donate swimsuits to families who many not be able to spend $57 on bikini bottoms. The brand has also expanded its offerings to include T-shirts, and recently started accepting preorders for a line of underwear. Alexander said Ruby has been involved in every step of getting the business off the ground, helping her father keep up with the latest trends on top of the usual demands of homework and chores. While it can be hard to juggle her duties as Grade 7 student and fashion maven, Ruby said it's worth it to see the impact that Rubies is having on kids like her across the globe. "There's other trans kids in the world who need help, and I'm happy to see them smile, and I'm proud to be the person who I am," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
Last November, Alex Doyle ended up back in prison after violating his parole. That's where he may have inadvertently become a superspreader in Canada's worst COVID-19 outbreak in a federal penitentiary.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An emergency order mandating the use of masks in response to the coronavirus pandemic could be turned into city code by the Anchorage Assembly. Assembly members were expected to introduce ordinances Tuesday that could change mayoral emergency orders into local law, including a requirement for masks to be worn within indoor public places, Anchorage Daily News reported. A mask ordinance would move the matter out of the control of the mayor’s office, regardless of whether the measure has the mayor’s support. A new mayor is expected to be chosen during the April 6 election and take office July 1. Assembly members will wait until a future meeting to vote on ordinances proposed Tuesday. While there has been opposition, surveys of Anchorage residents by the University of Alaska Anchorage throughout 2020 found widespread acceptance of mask use to slow the spread of the virus. More than 80% of respondents in November reported wearing masks “most or all of the time when not at home.” The figure increased to 90% in December. A statewide survey in November found a majority of Alaska residents support wearing masks. Acting Assembly Vice Chair John Weddleton said the mask ordinance proposal and three others regarding mayoral emergency orders are steps toward addressing authority issues that have arisen during the pandemic. Weddleton said he has heard from many residents who are concerned about the amount of power in the mayor’s office. The assembly earlier this month extended to April a declaration giving Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson the authority to enact emergency orders in response to the pandemic. It is "unusual to have a mayor say, ‘Let it be so,’ and there’s a law,” said Weddleton, a sponsor of the mask ordinance proposal. Assembly member Jamie Allard said she opposes putting the mask order into city code. “People have shown they’re willing to wear a mask, and some don’t. And I think that’s an individual decision,” Allard said. “I do not agree with people being legally made to cover their faces.” For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The Associated Press
Actuellement conseillère municipale pour le district 4 de la Ville de Matane, Annie Veillette se lance cette fois-ci à la tête du conseil de ville. Se disant limitée dans ses implications en tant que conseillère, elle est prête à tout tenter pour devenir mairesse. Celle qui tient le poste de conseillère du district 4 à Matane depuis 2017 se dit prête à briguer la mairie le 7 novembre prochain, alors que l’actuel maire, Jérôme Landry, a déjà annoncé son départ de la politique municipale il y a un peu plus d’un mois. Étant la plus jeune conseillère élue et la seule femme sur le conseil, Annie Veillette est fière de ses récents accomplissements, des projets défendus lors de son premier mandat et de son implication auprès de l’administration et de la communauté. Mais elle est restée sur sa faim. « Ce n’est pas assez. Je veux être plus sollicitée, et je veux mettre plus de temps sur des dossiers et des réflexions pertinentes pour la ville », dit-elle. « Comme mairesse, je suis déterminée à m’investir pleinement afin d’améliorer Matane, sans voir le temps passer. Même dans mes temps libres, je pense à la ville, aux dossiers, à comment mieux réfléchir les enjeux et à des solutions possibles », a-t-elle avancé. « Considérant mon profil d’élue, de jeune femme formée en développement régional, avec une expertise en développement de projets pour la collectivité, j’ai la conviction de me démarquer des autres. » Aux citoyens matanais, Annie Veillette promet de s’engager et de s’investir dans des projets qui les serviront immédiatement et dans le futur, d’avoir une approche toujours humaine et inclusive et enfin, d’être présente et accessible. Elle souhaite également défendre des dossiers de développement régional, de milieu de vie attractif, de respect de l’environnement et d’une gestion saine et efficace à long terme pour la Ville. En plus d’être conseillère chargée du district 4, Mme Veillette est chargée des dossiers d’urbanisme et des familles pour la Ville de Matane. Elle a notamment été nommée au sein de la Commission des jeunes élues et élus de l’Union des municipalités du Québec. Âgée de 26 ans, Annie Veillette est née et a grandi à Matane, y complétant ses études secondaires et collégiales. Elle a obtenu un baccalauréat en Psychologie et Sociologie de l’Université de Montréal, et finalise à présent une maîtrise en Développement territorial et régional à l’UQAR. Son essai de maîtrise porte sur la résilience des agriculteurs et des communautés. Elle a donné naissance à une fille en décembre 2020.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
Les élus bloquistes de Berthier Maskinongé et de Trois-Rivières soutiennent la pétition parrainée par leur collègue de Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques, Maxime Blanchette-Joncas, en vue d’obtenir « un traitement plus équitable » des aînés, durement touchés par la pandémie. Ces députés nourrissent l’objectif de recueillir le plus grand nombre de signatures pour la pétition lancée le 19 janvier dernier. Ils soutiennent que la priorité du Québec et du Bloc pendant le confinement est la gestion de la pandémie de Covid-19, incluant en première ligne les aînés qui sont « les moins soutenus financièrement. » « Le fédéral doit assumer sa responsabilité et prioriser leur mieux-être. La pétition E-3106 est l’occasion pour la population de se mobiliser et d’envoyer un message clair au gouvernement, pour une meilleure qualité de vie de nos aînés dans la région », a déclaré la députée de Trois-Rivières et porte-parole adjointe des aînés, Louise Charbonneau. Selon son collègue de Berthier Maskinongé, l’appui des organismes majeurs de la région à cette pétition augmentera les possibilités de mobiliser la population. « Depuis le début de la pandémie, nous recevons énormément d’appels d’aînés dénonçant le fait que leur situation n’est pas prise au sérieux par le fédéral », a affirmé Yves Perron. La pénitence du confinement La pétition E-3106 vise une hausse immédiate de 10 % de la sécurité de la vieillesse, sachant que les aînés n’ont reçu qu’une aide maximale de 500 $ depuis mars 2020. Elle plaide pour l’adoption de programmes visant à briser l’isolement, particulièrement dans les régions mal desservies par Internet. Le document des élus demande que l’accès à Internet haute vitesse soit reconnu comme service essentiel et le branchement accéléré en conséquence, car les personnes âgées sont plus affectées par le confinement. C’est aussi un plaidoyer en faveur des regroupements d’aînés afin qu’ils puissent « compenser la diminution de leurs membres, les pertes dues à des coûts fixes et le recours à des professionnels pour valoriser l’engagement bénévole. » La pétition avait déjà récolté plus de 1000 signatures au moment de la publication du communiqué selon les bureaux des deux députés qui lancent un appel aux citoyens de Berthier-Maskinongé et de Trois-Rivières. Ils recevront un carton-réponse dans les prochains jours. « Ça permettra entre autres aux gens qui n’ont pas accès à Internet de pouvoir s’exprimer sur le sujet, et d’ajouter leur voix à celles des signataires de la pétition. Ils n’auront qu’à remplir le carton-réponse et à nous le retourner sans frais. La participation du plus grand nombre est importante, il en va de l’augmentation de la qualité de vie de nos aînés », a conclu Yves Perron.Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
EDMONTON — Discount carrier Flair Airlines says it will add 13 new Boeing 737 Max aircraft to its fleet. The Edmonton-based airline will lease the planes from one of its investors, 777 Partners, which owns 25 per cent of Flair. Stephen Jones, Flair's president and chief executive officer, says the addition of the planes will allow the airline to keep fares low while expanding its capacity. Flair's announcement of its expansion comes as Canadian airlines cut dozens of routes and lay off staff in response to more severe lockdown restrictions. The Max was grounded in Canadian airspace for nearly two years beginning in March 2019, after two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Transport Canada lifted the grounding order on Jan. 20 after approving a set of changes to the aircraft's design and requiring pilots to undergo additional training. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
A new initiative led by Grey Bruce Elder Abuse Prevention, a sub-committee of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce, has launched, with the goal of raising awareness about elder abuse and the resources available to seniors in Grey and Bruce counties. The campaign will initially offer a resource poster to local groups and businesses, and soon provide free virtual education presentations. The project is supported by a grant from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce that was awarded in late 2019 and had to be postponed because of the pandemic. The plan is to roll out the project between January and March of this year, instead. Jon Farmer, coordinator of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce, says the first three months will focus on getting the word out about the initiative and distributing the posters to as many outlets as possible. “We wanted to create a resource that would be accessible for seniors,” said Farmer. “The posters come in two sizes and with a large font so that folks with limited vision can read them. We can send them out to any organization or individual who asks for them. Originally, we planned to offer in-person educational sessions to community groups but the pandemic makes that impossible. Instead we’ll be offering online and teleconference sessions so that people can learn more about the issue and where to access help in Grey Bruce”. Farmer says elder abuse can take many forms, not just physical violence. Victims may be suffering from physiological or emotional abuse, financial abuse, or neglect and abandonment. Isolation is also a risk factor. “The risk of seniors being exploited or falling victim to scams is higher now that community programs are closed and social visiting is discouraged,” said Farmer. “GBEAP reports that calls to the provincial senior’s safety line have risen 300% during the pandemic.” The information is for seniors but is also available to “anyone who has a senior in their life that they care about,” said Farmer. “We’ve heard a lot in the news about the impact the pandemic is having on seniors in long term care and seniors’ vulnerability to the virus itself, but we also need to increase community conversations about the increased risk of elder abuse and how to recognize the signs and symptoms,” said Farmer. “We need people to know what the risk factors are and how to access services so that seniors are better supported by their loved ones as well as better prepared to protect themselves.” The virtual presentations will be available to community groups, churches and organizations and can be formatted to fit the level of interest and time constraints of the group. Two Zoom information sessions have been scheduled for Feb. 11 and Mar. 11, and will offer an introduction to the issue of elder abuse, signs and symptoms, and resources available to support elders who have experienced abuse. Registration is capped at 100 participants. Registration is open at www.vpgb.ca and Eventbrite.ca. “These workshops compliment the release of our elder abuse resource poster,” said Farmer. “The posters collect information about the supports available but supports can only help when people recognize that they or a loved one is experiencing abuse”. Posters can be ordered, and education sessions arranged, by emailing email@example.com. Posters are available in two sizes, 8.5 X 11 and 11 X 17 inches. Recordings of some of the presentations will be made available on the Violence Prevention website, http://www.violencepreventiongreybruce.com, and on social media. Farmer says information about elder abuse is available on the Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario website at www.eapon.ca. The senior’s safety line, a 24-hour crisis and support line for seniors in Ontario who have experienced any type of abuse or neglect, is live 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and can be accessed by calling 1-866-299-1011. Anyone experiencing abuse should call 911 if they are in immediate danger. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
NEW YORK — The new novel from “Big Little Lies” author Liane Moriarty will be a story of family, tennis and a mysterious absence. Henry Holt announced Wednesday that Moriarty's “Apples Never Fall” comes out Sept. 14. Its characters include retired tennis coaches Stan and Joy Delaney and their four adult children as the author once again brings readers “behind the closed doors of seemingly tranquil suburbia.” “Now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes,” according to Holt. “Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?” The Australian writer's previous books also include “Truly Madly Guilty” and “Nine Perfect Strangers," which came out in 2018 and is being adapted for a Hulu miniseries starring Nicole Kidman. “Big Little Lies,” published in 2014, is the basis for the Emmy-winning HBO series that stars Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. The Associated Press
On Jan. 15, Bruce Power hosted a one-hour, live, virtual COVID-19 update, open to the general public. James Scongack, executive-vice president of corporate affairs & operational services at Bruce Power, served as narrator, opening the session with an acknowledgement on how challenging the pandemic has been for the community, province, the country and the world. He stressed the importance of factual information and gave a shout out to local media for covering the event. Scongack reminded listeners of the availability of the app Grey Bruce Huron Strong, or www.greybrucehuronstrong.com – a joint initiative between the Ontario Nuclear Innovation Institute and NPX Innovation. The app, with more than 8,000 residents involved, gives access to contests, fitness challenges, mindfulness activities, opportunities to help seniors, upcoming events and fundraisers. It will continue to be a communication platform as vaccination information becomes available. The app also promotes buying local in this community. Scongack’s remarks were followed by the introduction of president and CEO, Mike Rencheck. Rencheck extended his thanks to front line medical workers, front line workers in grocery stores and essential services, teachers and all the workers at Bruce Power for “keeping the lights on” and continuing to produce vitally essential medical isotopes. He also thanked everyone who has been supporting local business and local charities. He said these times are an “all hands on deck moment” and when we pull together, we will be strong. Rencheck was followed by Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson and MPP for Bruce Grey Owen Sound, Bill Walker. Thompson, who told viewers “we are strong”, also mentioned that small businesses should apply for the recently launched small business grant. She also said small business can tap into all federal and provincial programs available to them by visiting www.reliefwithinreach.ca. Walker extended his thanks to everyone abiding by health guidelines and asked everyone to “hold on to the hope”. Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce chief medical officer of health and CEO, was the last to appear during the session. Dr. Arra said pandemics only happen every 100 years and residents should continue to “stay the course” as they have for the last 10 months. He addressed the lockdown and stay-at-home order, offering thoughts on the benefits of the order and what each of us can do on an individual level. The order is necessary, “indispensable”, to save lives. Residents can action this by staying home unless you really have to go out to get food or go to the pharmacy. He acknowledged this is “painful” but to remember that this is saving lives. Dr. Arra said if you look at the situation in Grey Bruce, it remains “relatively favourable.” The two-week surge following the holidays seems to have passed and the number of cases per day has been falling. The doctor addressed the return of students to in-class learning on Jan. 25, saying they were ready to go back but with restrictions, including abiding by the stay-at-home order after the end of the school day. Talking about the vaccine, Dr. Arra said all pandemics end and the vaccine will make this happen sooner. His “prescription for success” continues to be the three Ws – washing hands frequently, wearing a mask correctly and watching our distance. Finally, Dr. Arra brought up the “be calm, be kind” mantra that he often mentions. He says the pandemic is a “hardship and people are in pain,” whether it is a small business, people staying home or not able to hug a loved one. He said in the middle of a hardship, it is very easy to point a finger at others and blame them. It is the pandemic that is the hardship. “We need … to remind everyone around us, this is not going to end tomorrow,” said Dr. Arra. “It’s going to end in a few weeks and a few months and we need to stay that course.” Dr. Arra then fielded a number of questions submitted by the public, covering topics including vaccines. Dr. Arra said the vaccine will change the course of the pandemic. The vaccines sent so far were administered to patients, staff and caregivers in long term care homes on the same day they were received. Plans for administering the vaccine began in August 2020, The vaccine will be administered depending on which vaccine is received, a traditional distribution plan (using the Moderna vaccine), through the health unit, primary care family health teams, long term care, hospitals and usually pharmacies. A separate plan for administering the Pfizer vaccine, which is less flexible with its mobility, will be distributed through mass-immunization clinics, or hubs. These hubs could be at the recovery centres, which are already set up. Dr. Arra also said the acceptance rate for the vaccine in Grey Bruce is high, above the provincial average. Final questions included information on the safety of children returning to school, what happens after a positive test and how is contact tracing conducted. Dr. Arra finished his comments by saying that we can remind ourselves that what we are doing and the sacrifices we are making is saving lives. We should stay home, and connect following the recommendations with helping others. “We are creatures of habit” and creating habits that help us through the lockdown is positive. Tammy Lindsay, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
Police in six European countries, as well as Canada and the United States, completed a joint operation to take control of Internet servers used to run and control a malware network known as "Emotet," authorities said in a statement. "Emotet is currently seen as the most dangerous malware globally," Germany's BKA federal police agency said in a statement.
Eganville – The Lake Clear Property Owners Association (LCPOA) is asking members to make their opinions known to Bonnechere Valley Township (BVT) about the by-law amendment relating to RVs. “One submission from the LCPOA is not enough to truly represent the views of the Lake Clear property owners and BVT constituents,” Judy Bates, the president of the LCPOA wrote to all members. “Please note that submissions are not limited to one vote per property owner. Each BVT voter is entitled to submit an opinion. Silence can be interpreted as consent.” Not only were members encouraged to submit their comments to members of council, but also provincial ministers involved with natural resources and the environment, as well as Renfrew County Warden Debbie Robinson. The six-page letter from the LCPOA, which was sent to BV council as well, pointed out the issue has been investigated for over five years and the LCPOA is upholding its mandate of protecting the lake. “The LCPOA has never suggested that Lake Clear property owners should not be permitted to store RVs on their property, nor suggested that the occasional use of RVs for the accommodation of weekend or even occasional guests be prohibited,” the letter stated. “They have continued to reinforce that RVs being used as cottages or cottage replacements be subject to the same setback and other regulations as those who have erected sleep cabins or other structures on their properties in terms of environmental setback and sewage and greywater disposal requirements.” She outlined the history of the issue, pointing out Lake Clear remains an at capacity lake. “Lake Clear must be treated differently from the rest of Bonnechere Valley,” she wrote. Development is not permitted on the lake, including the creation of new lots within 300 metres of the shoreline, she said. “RVs on waterfront properties are a form of unregulated and unlawful development,” she wrote. The County Official Plan, as well as the Provincial Policy Statement all recognize the fragile status of Lake Clear. “BVT is derelict in their obligation to uphold and enforce the policy direction provided by the Provincial Policy Statement and the guiding principles contained in the Renfrew County Official Plan 2020,” she wrote. As well, the LCPOA will challenge the by-law amendment and “will avail itself of all available avenues to highlight the BVT erroneous approach to this issue, including, but not limited to seeking professional assistance and linking with the applicable provincial departments,” she noted. Ms. Bates said it was never the suggestion of the LCPOA that this RV issue should be township wide. “It is astounding that council is proposing up to four per lot,” she said. In a detailed report to association members, she said a water and land tour of the lake resulted in a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing 55 RVs on Lake Clear and whether they are stored, derelict or used for accommodation. The report states 46 are used for accommodation. She said the issue began five years ago when one of the property owner members approached the LCPOA on the issue. The issue was then taken on by the newly formed Land Use Committee. “Council discussions have been delayed for years and this appears to be an accelerated move to not only allow RVs to be used as cottages/cottage supplements on Lake Clear, but is suggesting that not one, but up to four should be allowed on all lots,” she wrote. Legal Opinion In her letter, she also clarified the legal opinion, stating the Land Use Committee sought approval for the LCPOA Board to approve funds for a legal opinion. At that point, the request was not approved due to a lack of funds. “A group of property owners then chose to pursue this on their own and in early 2019 sought and obtained a legal opinion about the lawfulness of RVs on Lake Clear,” she said. “This group decided not to present its legal opinion to council, but instead waited for BVT’s council action.” While asking BV for their legal opinion, the group continued to receive none. At this point, although she states the group does not want to pursue litigation – nor is it in the financial position to do so – the decision was made to seek a legal opinion. “Thanks to an anonymous group, the LCPOA was able to approach the same law firm and building off the original opinion was able to secure an opinion on behalf of the LCPOA,” she wrote. The decision to seek legal advice was approved unanimously by the LCPOA board, along with a commitment of funds. However, the legal opinion was provided at no cost in the end. The public meeting for the by-law amendment is scheduled for February 16. During a committee meeting of council, CAO Annette Gilchrist said interest in the issue has been strong with about 34 letters already submitted. Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader
Thanks for watching It’s Only Food w/Chef John Politte. Today we are making Chick-fil-A sauce. Enjoy!