First responders in Ashland helped save a deer that got its head stuck in a drain pipe. Lt. Iarussi utilized a 6’ hook to slide the fawn out of the pipe. Credit to 'Ashland Fire Department'.
First responders in Ashland helped save a deer that got its head stuck in a drain pipe. Lt. Iarussi utilized a 6’ hook to slide the fawn out of the pipe. Credit to 'Ashland Fire Department'.
The federal government is laying plans for the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, inking contracts with seven potential manufacturers and saying six million doses could arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021. The most recent development from Ottawa came Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tapped former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the national distribution effort. But various provinces have started spelling out their plans as well. Here's a look at what they've said so far: — Nova Scotia The province's chief medical officer of health says he will release a detailed plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once Ottawa shares more information. Dr. Robert Strang said Friday there is no certainty yet about the availability of a vaccine, but expressed hopes an initial supply will trickle into Nova Scotia early in the new year. Strang said a detailed provincial plan, to be released once the federal government has shared more specifics on its end, will include tight control of the supply and clear rules dictating who can be first in line for immunization. He said he's waiting for more federal guidance on issues ranging from priority groups to transportation and storage logistics. — Quebec The province will be ready to start rolling out its vaccine plan as of Jan. 1, say senior politicians. Premier Francois Legault said Thursday that public health officials have already settled on the list of priority vaccine recipients, but did not release details. Legault said the province is also working to put the necessary infrastructure in place to support a vaccine rollout. That includes obtaining fridges capable of maintaining the extremely low temperatures needed by one of the most promising potential vaccine options, currently in development through pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Quebec has also tasked assistant deputy health minister Jerome Gagnon, and former provincial public health director Dr. Richard Masse to oversee the province's vaccination effort. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is among those leaders calling on Ottawa to provide more clarity as officials scramble to develop a provincewide vaccination strategy. Early speculation on the number of doses the province could receive was put to rest earlier this week when federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said such details were still in the works. But Ford has forged ahead, naming former chief of national defence Gen. Rick Hillier to oversee the province's vaccine rollout. Hillier said on Friday he hopes to have a plan developed by year's end, while Ford urged Ottawa to provide detailed information on potential vaccine delivery. "We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said. — Alberta The province's top medical official has said she expects to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year, a figure not yet confirmed by the federal government. Dr. Deena Hinshaw has also said a number of hurdles and unknowns remain as the province works to devise its vaccination scheme. "These (vaccine) numbers, of course, depend on many factors,'' Hinshaw said on Nov. 18. "They depend on the final pieces of the trials that are underway going well. They depend on ensuring that the safety and the effectiveness of the early vaccines can be assured. All of those checks and balances must be cleared." On Friday, Hinshaw said the province is working with Ottawa to get vaccine, but it is "a bit of a moving target" on when vaccines might be available. "But our goal is that whenever vaccine is available, we will be ready to start immunizing individuals on that highest priority list." — British Columbia Provincial health officials announced on Wednesday that a vaccine strategy for the province is already in the works. Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province's top doctor, said Dr. Ross Brown of Vancouver Coastal Health will join the group working to organize the logistics around the distribution of vaccines. Henry said front-line workers as well as those in long-term care homes will likely have priority for vaccinations. She cautioned that while the province has contracts with vaccine makers, there can be challenges with offshore manufacturing. "It's very much focused on who is most at risk and how do we protect them best," Henry said. "There's a lot of discussion that needs to happen." Henry said the province hopes to have vaccines in hand by January. — Yukon Premier Sandy Silver told the legislature on Wednesday that the territory has been in discussions with various levels of government on a vaccine rollout plan. He said the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers. Silver said rural and remote communities should also get priority status in northern regions, a fact he said he's emphasized with federal authorities. The premier said he has joined the other provincial and territorial leaders in pushing for a national strategy to distribute the vaccine. “How confusing would it be for 13 different strategies right across the nation?” he said. Silver said the Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements, but those issues may not apply to other vaccines under development. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. The Canadian Press
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden will likely wear a walking boot for the next several weeks as he recovers from breaking his right foot while playing with one of his dogs, his doctor said. Biden suffered the injury on Saturday and visited an orthopedist in Newark, Delaware, on Sunday afternoon, his office said. “Initial x-rays did not show any obvious fracture,” but medical staff ordered a more detailed CT scan, his doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said in a statement. The subsequent scan found tiny fractures of two small bones in the middle of his right foot, O’Connor said. “It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks,” O’Connor said. Fractures are a concern generally as people age, but Biden’s appears to be a relatively mild one based on his doctor’s statement and the planned treatment. At 78 he will become the oldest president when he’s inaugurated in January; he often dismissed questions about his age during the campaign. Reporters covering the president-elect were not afforded the opportunity to see Biden enter the doctor's office Sunday, despite multiple requests. Leaving the doctor's office to head to an imaging centre for his CT scan, Biden was visibly limping, though he walked without a crutch or other aid. Biden sustained the injury playing with Major, one of the Bidens’ two dogs. They adopted Major in 2018, and acquired their first dog, Champ, after the 2008 election. The Bidens have said they’ll be bringing their dogs to the White House and also plan to get a cat. Last December he released a doctor's report that disclosed he takes a statin to keep his cholesterol at healthy levels, but his doctor described him as “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.” ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. EST on Nov. 30, 2020:There are 370,238 confirmed cases in Canada._ Quebec: 141,038 confirmed (including 7,033 deaths, 122,014 resolved) _ Ontario: 114,746 confirmed (including 3,648 deaths, 97,319 resolved) _ Alberta: 56,444 confirmed (including 533 deaths, 40,219 resolved) _ British Columbia: 30,884 confirmed (including 395 deaths, 21,304 resolved) _ Manitoba: 16,483 confirmed (including 301 deaths, 7,010 resolved) _ Saskatchewan: 8,239 confirmed (including 45 deaths, 4,589 resolved) _ Nova Scotia: 1,271 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,078 resolved) _ New Brunswick: 481 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 363 resolved) _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 333 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 297 resolved) _ Nunavut: 177 confirmed (including 65 resolved) _ Prince Edward Island: 72 confirmed (including 68 resolved) _ Yukon: 42 confirmed (including 1 death, 29 resolved) _ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved) _ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved) _ Total: 370,238 (0 presumptive, 370,238 confirmed including 12,032 deaths, 294,383 resolved)This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press
Britain and the European Union warned each other on Monday that time was running out to reach a Brexit trade deal, with big differences still to be bridged on state aid, enforcement and fishing. The United Kingdom leaves the EU's orbit on Dec. 31, when a transition period of informal membership ends following its formal departure last January, and the sides are trying to secure a deal to govern nearly $1 trillion in annual trade. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is also tackling Europe's worst official death toll from COVID-19, says a deal would be preferable but that Britain, which joined the EU in 1973, would flourish without one.
LONDON — In late October, Matthew Jones was enjoying a rare “bit of normality” at his London barber shop in a year that has been short on that. He was cutting hair and laughing with colleagues — when the news landed that the business would have to close for the second time.Jones, 43, endured 15 weeks without any income after the three Sharpes barber shops he co-owns were forced to shut in the spring as the government imposed restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The shops, including a tiny one in east London’s trendy Hackney neighbourhood, had been open for four months when Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new lockdown.“It was a body blow for everyone that works here,” he said. “You’re just building up your business again, trying to get back to a normal lifestyle. And then all of a sudden it’s all taken away.”As in much of Europe, the United Kingdom saw a sharp resurgence of COVID-19 infections this autumn, and officials imposed a second round of severe restrictions. The suffering has been especially acute in the U.K., where more than 57,000 people have died in Europe’s deadliest outbreak and the economy has plunged into the worst recession on record.While small businesses all over the world are struggling as the virus forces many to close outright while also remaking consumer habits, many in the U.K. are facing the double whammy of the pandemic and the economic uncertainty caused by Britain's exit from the European Union.___EDITOR’S NOTE — Small businesses around the world are fighting for survival amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Whether they make it will affect not just local economies but the fabric of communities. Associated Press journalists tell their stories in the series “Small Business Struggles.”___Many British businesses managed to survive the spring lockdown with generous aid from the government, including grants like the 10,000-pound ($13,300) one Jones received and a program that pays a portion of wages to workers whose employers are struggling. The measures have helped keep the unemployment rate relatively low at 4.8% — though it has been rising and is forecast to hit 7.5% next spring.The latest round of restrictions could pack a bigger punch, coming smack in the crucial weeks ahead of Christmas. Even before the second lockdown was announced, a survey conducted by Britain’s Office for National Statistics showed that one in seven U.K. companies reported having “little or no confidence” they would survive the next three months.Jones estimates that the pandemic wiped out 60% of his income this year. With his shops closed, the single dad, who has a 10-year-old daughter, is doing odd jobs on building sites — and praying that business will return enough to ease the pain once restrictions lift on Dec. 2. The five other barbers who work in his shops are self-employed, and trying to scrape by as well.“It could be really tough if it carries on," Jones said, as he put up Christmas lights in his empty shop on Hackney's Broadway Market.Hackney has seen steady gentrification in the past two decades. Located in London's historically gritty East End, the borough was once known as the home of a stretch dubbed “Murder Mile," but Hackney is now filled with trendy bars and expensive apartments.Broadway Market itself is lined with some 60 small shops, cafes and restaurants, and before COVID-19 hit, the street would throng with locals and tourists coming for the hugely popular weekend market. These days, some shops are doing better than others, but everyone is scrambling to adapt.Jane Howe, who has run Broadway Bookshop since 2005, said the weekends would often get so busy that her shop would take in thousands of pounds in sales per day on the back of 7.99-pound books.For a shop that relies heavily on foot traffic, the cycles of coronavirus restrictions have been hard. In June, Howe launched a website for the first time.Even once her doors reopened, the tiny space meant she couldn't welcome back her usual crowds. Sales from the website don't come close to making up for the in-person ones she's lost — especially during the crucial Christmas period, when her shop typically rakes in a third of its annual sales.“We’re missing out on the impulse buys, the ‘sweetie by the till factor,’” she said.With the shop pulling in just over half what it used to, Howe has stopped paying herself and, when one of her two employees left, she was not able to replace her.Like Jones, she’s managed to keep paying the rent thanks to a government grant. She has also taken out a 50,000-pound state loan.“What we are doing, which is our best, I think is working for the moment,” she said.Others haven't fared as well. A much-loved bakery next to Sharpes that was part of 66-year-old family-run chain closed for good, Jones said.Percy Ingle blamed the closure of its 48 bakeries on many factors that predated the pandemic, including rising rents and wages and the likelihood that the low-margin business wouldn't provide a good return on needed capital investments. Like many businesses, even those that were allowed to remain open, it shut for several weeks in the spring before reopening with safety measures.The bakery closure stands in contrast to a trend seen on much of the street, whose butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and delis have done relatively well thanks to a surge in interest from fairly affluent locals who are now working from home and doing more shopping in the neighbourhood.Popular coffee shop and roastery Climpsons struggled to adapt at first — the cafe was shut, the wholesale business almost completely wiped out, and 34 of the company’s 42 workers went on the government furlough scheme in the first weeks of the pandemic, co-owner Danny Davies said.But now on weekdays, Climpsons often serves more take-away coffees than before the pandemic. That makes up for losses on the wholesale side, which supplied restaurants and offices.“There’s the suburban community high street success story I think, which is a lot of great local businesses are thriving — much higher sales than before even, if they sell things that people can grab and go home with,” Davies said.Down the street, Grigorios Vaitsas says business at his deli, Isle of Olive, has not been too bad, even though he closed his small indoor cafe and Christmas shopping events have been cancelled.But Vaitsas and his partner, Paulina, who import their products from Greece, have been losing sleep over another threat: Brexit.The couple are worried about the tariffs and bureaucracy if Britain leaves the economic embrace of the EU at the end of the year with no deal in place. That combined with the pandemic makes a “perfect storm,” Vaitsas said.“We are holding our breath,” he said.Vaitsas laughed when asked where he sees himself in six months. He says he's “operating on a week by week basis.”Other business owners agree that they don't have the capacity to think too far ahead.“Most business people sort of wrote this year off…. Let’s just keep our heads down, pay our bills, pay the rent, and try not to worry,” said Jones. “And next year is another year, and we can start again.”Sylvia Hui, The Associated Press
The leader of Ethiopia's rebellious northern forces said on Monday he was still fighting close to the regional capital of Mekelle after it was captured by government troops. Debretsion Gebremichael, who heads the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), also told Reuters in a text message that some Eritrean soldiers fighting alongside the Ethiopian federal forces had been taken prisoner by his side. Billene Seyoum, the spokeswoman for the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, told Reuters that responding to "delusions of a criminal clique" was not the government's focus.
Officials in southern Ontario fined businesses, charged anti-maskers and busted at least one massive party over the weekend as the province recorded another 1,708 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The enforcement in York, Hamilton and Peel came after a week that saw record-setting viral case counts and the introduction of more stringent public health measures in some regions. In Mississauga, Ont., a part of Peel Region which is currently under lockdown, police said authorities had broken up a party with 60 attendees at a short-term rental unit. "It's a tough time for everyone," Deputy Chief Marc Andrews of the Peel Regional Police tweeted. "These antics help no one." He said bylaw officers issued 27 fines of $880, and three Part 3 summons to the hosts, who he said could face at least $10,000 in fines if convicted. In York Region, officials continued an enforcement blitz at businesses to make sure they were following public health protocols for the province's "red" zones. The rules limit indoor dining to 10 customers at a time with physical distancing in place. Gyms, meanwhile, can only have 10 patrons inside at once, while 25 people can attend outdoor classes. Officers inspected 256 businesses on Sunday and issued charges at 16, a news release said. An L.A. Fitness location in East Gwillimbury, Ont., and the Trio Sportsplex in Vaughan, Ont., are among those facing charges. Authorities have inspected 867 businesses since Friday, laid 32 charges and completed 1,151 "compliance education activities," the release said. Farther west, Hamilton Police announced they had charged three men -- aged 26, 48 and 72 -- at a "Hugs over Masks" protest in the city's downtown area on Sunday. Police said 35 people attended the event, exceeding the maximum number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings. "Prior to the event, Hamilton Police identified the organizer and informed him that the planned gathering would breach offences under the Reopening Ontario Act and leave him open to charges, police said in a written statement. "The organizer went ahead with the event." All three men -- one of whom police said was the organizer -- were charged under the Act, and would face a fine of at least $10,000 if convicted. The charges came as the province logged 24 new deaths linked to COVID-19 on Sunday. Of the new cases reported on Sunday, 503 came from Peel Region and 463 were identified in Toronto, Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet. Those are the only two regions under the "lockdown" phase of the province's tiered, colour-coded pandemic response framework. She said another 185 were in York Region, which is at the red alert level, the next most stringent under the provincial system. The province said nearly 54,000 tests were completed since the last daily update, and 1,443 cases are newly considered resolved. The numbers came a day before more stringent COVID-19 measures were set to take effect in five Ontario regions. Windsor-Essex will be moved to the red level, Haldimand-Norfolk to orange, and three others -- Hastings Prince Edward, Lambton and Northwestern -- to yellow. Provincial data released on Thursday suggested case counts were flattening somewhat, but Ontario recorded its highest number of daily infections the next day, at 1,855. Officials have said it could take up to two weeks after new restrictions are imposed to see any improvements. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
SALT LAKE CITY — A mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said. “We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith’ has been removed from Bureau of Land Management public lands by an unknown party,” on Nov. 27, BLM spokesperson Kimberly Finch said in a statement. The agency did not remove the structure, she said. The Utah Department of Public Safety said biologists spotted the monolith on Nov. 18, a report that garnered international attention. It was about 11 feet (3.4 metres) tall with sides that appeared to be made of stainless steel. While Utah officials did not say specifically where the monolith was located, people soon found it on satellite images dating back to 2016 and determined its GPS co-ordinates, prompting people to hike into the area. Reporters with The Salt Lake Tribune hiked to the spot on Saturday and confirmed that it was gone. Spencer Owen of Salt Lake City said he saw the monolith Friday afternoon and camped in the region overnight, but as he hiked to the area again on Saturday people passing him on the trail warned him it was gone, the Tribune reported. When he arrived at the spot, all that was left was a triangular piece of metal covering a triangular-shaped hole in the rocks. “I was really bummed,” said Owen, who posted a video on his Instagram. “It was so pretty and shiny. I wanted to go see it again.” Riccardo Marino and his girlfriend Sierra Van Meter were travelling from Colorado to California on Friday and decided to stop and see the object after finding the GPS co-ordinates online. “This was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we couldn't miss out,” Marino told KUTV. On the way, they passed a long-bed truck with a large object in the back and he said he joked “oh look, there's the Utah monolith right there,” he said. When they arrived at the spot, it was gone. Steve Adams said he left Helper, in central Utah, at 7 a.m. Saturday to drive to the area. When he arrived and asked someone for directions he was told the tower was gone. He and some friends made the hike anyway. “It was pretty disappointing,” he told the Tribune. “We were really excited to go down and have an adventure to see it. It feels like it was everybody’s and then it was nobody’s. It’s gone.” Riccardo Marino The Associated Press
VAL D'OR, Que. — Marshall Lessard scored twice as the Val-d'Or Foreurs beat the Rimouski Oceanic 5-1 in Val-d'Or on Sunday afternoon.The Foreurs raced to a 3-0 lead before Rimouski's William Dumoulin scored in the second period to cut the deficit to two goals. Val d'Or, however, got two more goals to put the game away. In addition to Lessard, Justin Robidas, Marc-Olivier Racine-Roy and Maxence Guenette also scored for Val d'Or. William Blackburn stopped 23 shots for Val-d'Or. Matthew Dunsmoor combined with Raphaël Audet for 26 saves for Rimouski. Val-d'Or outshot Rimouski 31-24.DRAKKAR 4 HUSKIES 0ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. -- The Baie-Comeau Drakkar defeated the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 4-0 in Rouyn-Noranda on Sunday afternoon. Felix Gagnon, Xavier Fortin, Julien Letourneau and Julien Hebert each scored a goal for the Drakkar in the victory.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020.The Canadian Press
When Retired Gen. Rick Hillier received a call from Ontario Premier Doug Ford asking him to oversee the province's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, he knew he couldn't say no."My reaction was, I'm not looking for a job, I'm not looking for the stress that goes with this kind of appointment," Hillier told CBC Radio's Fresh Air on Sunday."And I thought about it for some hours after I spoke with Premier Ford, and then thought, you can't sit back, be critical of what's going on around you in many ways, I suppose, be saying I want to get back to a regular life, and then when your premier phones and asks you to be part of an effort to get us back to what we believe is a normal life, you can't say no," Hillier said."Duty calls is what went through my mind at the end of it."Hillier, former Chief of Defence Staff for the Canadian Armed Forces from February 2005 to July 2008 and Commander of the NATO-led forces during the war in Afghanistan in 2004, said he was in Newfoundland and Labrador when he got the call.Hillier said the appointment, announced on Monday, means balancing new responsibilities with previous commitments as well as his personal life, but he decided the role matters to the province and to Canada. "There's nothing more important for the almost 15 million people in Ontario than getting this vaccine program right," he said. "And since I also believe that as Ontario goes, the rest of Canada goes, I don't think there's anything more important for Canada."His official title is chair of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. The task force will advise the Ontario government on delivery, storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. It will also provide support for the health care system to deliver a "phased" vaccination program.That program will begin with immunization of vulnerable populations, then proceed with mass immunization. The province said it is planning the early rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program with vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The task force will provide clinical guidance on vaccine administration and monitoring of vaccine uptake. And it will implement a "broad and sustained" public education and community outreach effort to encourage vaccination."I talked to the premier and said: 'Yeah, I'm in, I'll do the best I can.' Nobody can ask more of me than that. I'll do the very best I can."On Monday, Ford said: "This task force will be responsible for the largest vaccine rollout in a generation, a massive logistical undertaking, the likes of which this province has never seen. Because as soon as these vaccines are available, we have to be ready. We need military precision."Team being assembled to deal with War Against COVID-19Hillier said a small team is already being assembled against what he called "the War" on COVID-19. That team will ensure the rollout is effective, he said. In a news release on Monday, the province said it will announce other task force members in the coming days.Asked if overseeing a military operation in the Afghan desert against the Taliban will be useful experience when overseeing a vaccine rollout, Hillier said: "We're used to operating in an environment where there are a huge number of unknowns.""And we know how to parse through the information, to develop the information and try to determine all that we possibly can to allow us to plan and execute an operation appropriately. We're used to operating in a void," he said."In fact, that's where we are with the drug right now. We don't know when it's going to come. We don't know which ones will get here first. We don't know all the characteristics of it beyond the fact that there will be some challenges logistically in handling it."Hillier said he agrees with Ford that military precision is a very useful thing but added that everyone has a role to play."We're used to operating as a team and I think more so than anywhere else around. We pile on, we have each other's back, and we're straightforward and frank with each other. But we're all there with one mission."Role is to 'tie all of those pieces together'Hillier said his job is not actually rolling out the vaccine in Ontario, because there are medical professionals who will actually roll it out, but he will "tie all of those pieces together" with his small team to make it a nearly seamless operation."I've learned a lot by having the opportunity to serve with Canada's sons and daughters in uniform and their families and the civilians who support the armed forces for decades. I've learned a lot about leadership. I talk about leadership, write about leadership. And the one thing I always come back to is, if you're a leader, it's all about people," he said."And if you can energize people, focus them on the mission at hand, support them as they launch into those tasks, inspire them when they get tired, then you're going to be okay because they'll have the great ideas. Their minds will be brought to work and applied on behalf of the province and the people of Ontario."Hillier says leadership is what mattersHillier said leadership is what matters and the Canadian Armed Forces produces effective leaders.He noted there was criticism over the recent naming of Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, current chief of staff to the Canadian Joint Operations Command and a former commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, as vice president, logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada. Some pundits objected because Fortin is not a medical professional.But Hillier said that criticism is unwarranted."I think the Canadian Armed Forces produce leaders that are extraordinary," Hillier said. "We have a program of education and training, of experiencing people, selecting them, and then tying all that together with a mentorship program that is phenomenal," he said."I don't believe there's another organization or institution in Canada that produces leaders in a systemic manner like the Canadian Armed Forces does."In January 1998, Hillier led 15,000 military personnel under "Operation Recuperation" to help Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec recover from an ice storm.
VICTORIA — The British Columbia cabinet minister appointed to lead the province's COVID-19 pandemic recovery says he plans to mount a large team effort from inside and outside of government to spur economic success. Ravi Kahlon, a former Canadian Olympian in field hockey, said he will look to involve ministries, businesses, communities and workers in an effort to provide immediate help to struggling businesses and steer towards a post-pandemic future focused on innovation. "We have to have everyone working together," he said in a recent interview. "You look at how businesses have worked together with government to deliver pieces during the pandemic," said Kahlon. "That's the same mentality we're going to need when we get out. We can put critical pieces in place, incentives and supports, so that we can bounce back at a rate which most people in B.C. expect." Premier John Horgan appointed Kahlon as jobs, economic recovery and innovation minister last week, saying he piled enormous responsibilities onto the two-term New Democrat from suburban Vancouver and expected results. Horgan appointed his cabinet following last month's election where the NDP won a majority government, capturing 57 of 87 seats. Kahlon, 41, who previously served as a parliamentary secretary in the forests ministry and led the reintroduction of B.C.'s Human Rights Commission, said he will consult broadly on the recovery. "My view with everything is the government doesn't have a monopoly on good ideas," he said. "There are good ideas in the community. There are good ideas in the business community, good ideas from local elected officials." Horgan issued mandate letters to the ministers and parliamentary secretaries stating the government's overall goals: people first, clean environment, Indigenous reconciliation, equity and anti-racism, health and strong economy. He also provided each of the 37 ministers, ministers of state and parliamentary secretaries with individual mandate goals. Among the goals for ministers are: free transit for children 12 years old and younger, drop the seven per cent provincial sales tax on e-bikes and consider public condominium insurance if the issue of skyrocketing rates is not resolved by 2021. Horgan asked Kahlon to "deliver initiatives that will directly support small businesses and build an inclusive economic recovery across B.C." Prof. Tom Koch, a medical geographer at the University of B.C. who specializes in mapping diseases, said Horgan's cabinet should spend more time fighting today's pandemic than looking to a recovery. "The priority of looking forward to me is a little premature," he said. "It has to be done ... but the question immediately is what are we doing about hospitals and about hospital capacity and what are we doing about trying to rein in those areas where accelerators are occurring." B.C.'s most recent COVID-19 infection report saw a record daily high of 911 cases Friday, while the death toll is nearing 400 people. Koch said economic recovery should play a part in Horgan's cabinet and government direction, but at this time when cases are surging, the premier appears to be saying, "do we basically want to start planning the victory parade in the second quarter." Kahlon said he expects businesses, communities, governments and people to work together to battle the pandemic. "I think the pandemic is going to push societies to a place where innovation will be critical and I think we're well-positioned in B.C. to be not only leaders in Canada but I think world leaders." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
The deal raises the stakes in the consolidation sweeping the fragmented financial information services industry, as companies race to create one-stop shops to lure the biggest clients and invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The agreement comes after London Stock Exchange Group Plc's $27-billion deal last year to acquire financial data provider Refinitiv from buyout firm Blackstone Group Inc and Thomson Reuters Corp, the parent of Reuters News. It puts pressure on rivals such as Bloomberg LP, Intercontinental Exchange Inc, Factset Research Systems Inc and Moody's Corp to pursue similar moves.
WATERLOO — Anne Dagg arrived at Fleur de Lys Ranch in 1956. She was 23, and determined to study wild giraffes. She had driven alone for about 1000 miles through apartheid-era South Africa in a second-hand Ford Prefect with a radiator that needed to be topped up almost every 20 minutes. Then the car she called Camelo, after the giraffe’s scientific name, Camelopardalis, broke down in the dark five miles from her destination. “I started to pray,” she says. “I had to walk, I was so scared.” In a letter to home, she described how she got out of the car, locked it and started to walk along the road in the dark. She couldn’t even see in front of her. But the trial was worth it. “The next morning I saw my first giraffe,” she says with glee. Dagg stayed at Fleur de Lys with her host, Alexander Matthew, for most of the year, observing the giraffes and taking careful notes. “It was heaven,” she says. When Dagg returned to Canada, she earned her PhD in animal behaviour at the University of Waterloo. But she was a woman, and in 1972, after working as an assistant professor of zoology at the University of Guelph and publishing 20 research papers, she was denied tenure by the dean. “I was really angry,” she says. “I was just really annoyed that so many people really didn’t care about the actual information, they just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a woman.” After that, day-to-day life in Waterloo was sometimes surreal for Dagg. “It was weird because no one was ever interested,” she says. “I’d say, ‘I’ve been up Mount Kilimanjaro,’ and there’d be a pause, and you would know they’re thinking, ‘what a liar.’” “I just went with it because there’s nothing else I could do.” Dagg channelled her energy into promoting equality for women and protection for animals, and raised her children with the same values. She continued to write, while working part time in the Independent Studies department at the University of Waterloo. Every Valentine’s Day she took her daughter, Mary, with her to protest the sale of furs in front of department stores in Kitchener, Waterloo and Toronto. They also protested when a circus came to town. “A couple circuses, Barnum and Bailey at the time, came to the Kitchener Auditorium,” says Mary. “I remember the two of us went out with a bunch of other people from similar organizations.” They shouldn’t be treating the elephants and tigers that way, she says. “You can have a circus without using animals, so we would protest that.” Mary also remembers her mother petitioning to ensure the animals at Waterloo Park were treated well, especially the bears and cougar. “They used to have these tiny little cages,” says Mary. “I remember mom just pushing and pushing with The Record. ... Just saying, you’ve got to get these poor animals out of these cages, they’re just so small.” Today, Dagg lives in the Luther Village on the Park community not far from where she and her husband raised their children. An elegant glass environmental award crowds a shelf with a Boggle board game. Robert Bateman paintings share the walls with children’s drawings and a careful giraffe sketch from a teenage fan. A stuffed giraffe takes up a whole corner, while her Doctor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo casually leans against the couch. A giraffe charm hangs from a light fixture and catches the sun. “A lot of them have just been given, which is very kind,” she says. “Then you have to find a home for them.” In her office are neat rows of books: all the books Dagg wrote or collaborated on during her years pursuing science on her own. “It makes me very proud, because that’s a lot of work.” “When other parents would be tired and maybe they would just want to sit and watch TV, or just relax or something, mom would be up in her office working away,” says Mary. “We’d all be doing our homework and mom was either down reading a book or upstairs ...” “... writing a book,” finishes Dagg. For about 30 years Dagg’s accomplishments remained in relative obscurity, until she was tracked down by a group of giraffe biologists in 2010. Unbeknownst to Dagg, she was — and still is — considered a foundational expert in the field by the academic giraffe community. In 2018, a documentary on her, “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,” was released and her work finally received widespread recognition. After the documentary was released she received awards and national attention. Universities bestowed honorary degrees. The University of Guelph made a formal apology and created a scholarship in her name. The Toronto Zoo named a newborn giraffe after her. Last year she was appointed to the Order of Canada. Dagg still seems a little surprised and tickled by the limelight, but first and foremost she cares about the fate of giraffes. Giraffes are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, the world’s most comprehensive resource for the status of species conservation. Habitat loss, illegal hunting and poaching, civil unrest and military activity are all listed as leading threats to giraffe populations. Since 1985, giraffes’ numbers have declined from nearly 152,000 to about 97,500 in 2015. Giraffes’ numbers are much lower than other high-profile African species. For example, chimpanzees’ overall populations are estimated between 170,000 and 299,700, and African elephants at 415,000. To help giraffes survive, Dagg, her daughter, Mary, and their team are launching the Anne Innis Dagg Foundation. Once the documentary about Dagg’s life was released, the Daggs were flooded with requests from people asking how they can join her cause and help save giraffes. “When people watch the movie,” says Mary Dagg, “they just come out going, ‘Wow, what an amazing woman,’ and the next one is, ‘How can I help? How can I make a difference?’ “We realized that what they really want to do is connect with Anne and stuff that Anne is informed with and engaged with. I read somewhere that when you make a donation, you’re not necessarily making a donation toward a cause, you’re donating to a person who has a cause,” Mary says. Dagg’s living room is now a command post for giraffe activity. Cart tables are set up as makeshift desks and covered with stacks of papers, books, binders, articles, and newspaper clippings. Mary Dagg has taken a year’s leave to help launch the foundation. Their goal is to peacefully help preserve the world’s giraffes. For the Daggs, this means a focus on promoting education about giraffes and conservation in African countries including Tanzania, where the giraffe is the national animal. In November, the foundation worked with the Wild Nature Institute to hire an environmental scientist based in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania. This position of Dr. Anne Innis Dagg Environmental Education Co-ordinator is tasked with visiting schools and communities to raise awareness about giraffe conservation. Tree planting is emphasized to teach the importance of habitat conservation and school trips are organized to take the children to see giraffes in the wild, something many of them have never seen, says Mary. So far 12 schools in Tanzania are scheduled to be visited — four secondary and eight primary. Other funds raised will go toward rangers who track poachers, as well as helping train and support “sniffer” dogs to detect giraffe parts being smuggled across the Tanzanian and Kenyan border, says Mary. With overall numbers down by about 40 per cent in 30 years, giraffes can use all the help they can get. Conservation biologists and experts don’t think they will survive without more direct human intervention. “It’s a very complicated problem. But you’ve got to start somewhere,” says Dagg. “If we don’t smarten up, we could lose the giraffe.” Learn more at anneinnisdaggfoundation.org Leah Gerber’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about the Grand River Watershed. Email email@example.comLeah Gerber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record
An injunction that would have paused the provincial government's inquiry into alleged foreign-funded campaigns against Alberta's energy industry was dismissed in the Court of Queen's Bench on Thursday. Justice Karen M. Horner said she agreed with the province and the commissioner that there is no evidence that the release of information from the inquiry will negatively impact the reputation of Ecojustice, an environmental law charity that filed for the injunction. Ecojustice had filed the injunction because they said inquiry commissioner Steve Allan had not put in place a defined process in which organizations could respond to the inquiry, something the organization argued could result in "irreparable reputational harm". However, in September the inquiry posted rules for gathering information from different parties. The United Conservative Party government launched the inquiry in July 2019. Then justice minister Doug Schweitzer appointed Allan, a Calgary insolvency accountant, as the inquiry's commissioner. In November 2019, Ecojustice filed a legal challenge against the controversial inquiry alleging it was created for "partisan political purposes" outside the authority of the Public Inquiries Act and had been tainted by bias from the outset. The court hearing for the challenge was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Devon Page, executive director of Ecojustice, said he was disappointed to learn of the judicial response to the injunction, however because of the application the court has asked the two parties to consider a second hearing date. "If we get a main hearing on this for the release of the report, we are in exactly the place we want to be, so at the end of the day it may not mean much, " he said. He said they are considering a court date either in December or February. The province has on several occasions amended the scope and scale of the inquiry and has granted extensions for its submission. Originally the inquiry was supposed to be filed in July 2020, but now the inquiry is due on Jan. 31 and the province is legally obligated to release it 90 days after submission. Page said there is a chance for the province to release the report early and if that happens it would be "consistent with what the intent has been from the outset, to not actually conduct a fair process, conduct something that is pre-conceived and conclude the witch hunt, again for the purpose of wanting to go after people who criticize the Alberta oil and gas," he said.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Richmond could hardly have played worse in the first half Sunday, yet it trailed No. 10 Kentucky by only a few points.The Spiders pulled confidence from the small deficit and turned that into better execution after halftime, leading to the biggest win away from home in program history.Blake Francis and Canadian Nathan Cayo powered Richmond to its first road victory over an Associated Press top 10 team, rallying in the second half to beat the Wildcats 76-64.“You just get to play a team like Kentucky so rarely,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "So for us to have the opportunity to play them with a great team is great, and we seized that opportunity.“It's a tremendous win. Kentucky loses very rarely, they lose out of conference very rarely, so this is a great win.”The Spiders (2-0) had been 0-25 against top 10 teams and trailed 36-30 just after halftime. Francis and Cayo each finished with 18 points, many coming during a series of small scoring runs that pushed Richmond ahead. Cayo, a senior from Montreal, Que., was coming off a Friday night performance which saw him score 23 points for the Spiders in an 82-64 win over Morehead St.“We were only down four at halftime, we felt like we played horrible,” said fifth-year forward Grant Golden, who overcame four fouls to finish with 13 points and seven rebounds.“We didn’t make any shots, but we knew as long as we kept running our offence, shots were going to start to fall eventually. But it was really on the defensive end for us. We put two really good halves of defence together and that’s what ended up winning it for us.”A 9-0 burst gave the Spiders the lead, and a 7-0 stretch made it 58-46 with 7:43 remaining. In between, Francis and Tyler Burton hit 3-pointers and Cayo converted a three-point play.Kentucky (1-1) got within eight before Richmond answered with Jacob Gilyard's fast-break layup and Matt Grace's 3-pointer for a 13-point edge with 4:40 left. Francis added a 3-pointer that made it 72-56 and sparked a celebration on the Spiders' bench.Golden made two free throws for Richmond with 10 seconds left before Burton grabbed Kentucky's final miss to seal it.Richmond's veteran core — 10 upperclassmen, including four graduates — overcame Kentucky's latest roster makeover featuring seven freshmen and 10 newcomers. The host Wildcats started four freshmen along with senior transfer Olivier Sarr, and growing pains showed after a crisp opening rout of Morehead State.Kentucky committed 11 of its 21 turnovers in the second half, all of which Richmond converted into 22 points after going scoreless before halftime. The Wildcats also didn't record an assist after posting five before the break, in addition to shooting 31%.Of the six Wildcats that played at least 10 minutes, five were freshman.Richmond shot 59% from the field after halftime. It was the Spiders' first victory over a ranked team on the road since topping No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth 64-55 on Jan. 31, 2015. The Spiders improved to 14-22 against top 25 opponents.B.J. Boston Jr. had 20 points and Sarr 17 for Kentucky, which outrebounded Richmond 54-31 but shot 36% and all missed all 10 tries from behind the arc.“It's a lesson for all of us,” Sarr said. “It's just the second game of the year. We've got to pick our heads up, because we got a whole lot of games coming. ... Just learn from our mistakes and move on."A POTENT BITEThe Spiders improved to 6-5 against the Southeastern Conference under Mooney, who has beaten a Power 5 Conference team in 14 of 16 seasons at Richmond.OTHER STATSKentucky fell to 268-45 against unranked foes under coach John Calipari and 13-3 lifetime against the A-10.POLL IMPLICATIONSKentucky will likely fall out of the top 10 with the loss. Richmond earned 40 votes last week but should gain quite a few more toward getting in the rankings with a huge win.THE TAKEAWAYRichmond's biggest deficit was just six points, close enough to claw back in what was a back-and-forth contest for 26 minutes. Cayo was 8 of 13 from the field while Francis contributed three big 3s despite 6-of-19 shooting. The Spiders were just 7 of 25 from long range, but that was plenty since Kentucky missed everything from deep.Kentucky came back to earth after showing surprising cohesion, accuracy and poise in last week's opening rout over Morehead State. The Wildcats shot well in the first half but cooled considerably after that and looked out of sync for much of the second half. The road gets even tougher with Power 5 opponents from here on out, including Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, UCLA and rival Louisville following Kansas.UP NEXTRichmond visits Charleston on Wednesday.Kentucky faces No. 6 Kansas on Tuesday night at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. The Wildcats are 2-3 recently against the Jayhawks, including a 71-63 home victory in January 2019.___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Poll: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-pollGary B. Graves, The Associated Press
President-elect Joe Biden fractured his right foot while playing with one of his dogs, an injury discovered in a scan Sunday and that will likely require him to wear a boot for several weeks, his doctor said. (Nov. 30)
The Trump administration is poised to add China's top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and sources, curbing their access to U.S. investors and escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Reuters reported earlier this month that the Department of Defense (DOD) was planning to designate four more Chinese companies as owned or controlled by the Chinese military, bringing the number of Chinese companies affected to 35.
Police are investigating after thieves drove a truck through the front of a Lethbridge, Alta., pub, making off with the ATM.Honkers Pub manager Chelsea Meyering said she got an alarm notification at 6 a.m. Sunday, and after checking the cameras, saw the damage. The truck had driven through the front entrance of the business, located at 2808 Fifth Avenue North, and surveillance video shows the truck's two occupants stealing the pub's ATM and then driving away."The front window was completely taken out," Meyering said. "You feel violated for sure. This is not just a workplace for us, this is our other home."When police arrived, the floor was also scattered with cans of soup — the business had been collecting non-perishable donations for the food bank. * Watch | Surveillance video captures the moment robbers drove through the front of a Lethbridge pubPub owner Vicky Vanden Hoek said the damages are estimated to be more than $20,000.Nobody was injured, something Vanden Hoek said she's very thankful for.A hard time for small businessVanden Hoek said the robbery comes at the end of a tough week, as new restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been hard on local businesses like hers.The pub also has a conference room cafe, and had 19 events for 15-person groups scheduled in the coming weeks that were cancelled."The new rulings have almost taken our business to a halt, even though we're doing everything possible to distance, sanitize, wear masks," she said. Vanden Hoek said another blow came on Friday, when Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis turned off their four VLT machines even though large casinos in the city were allowed to keep operating."We just thought that's just not fair, us local pubs are trying to survive … and with the break-in, it's like strike three, it can't get worse, it's got to get better." Vanden Hoek said. She said she was told by AGLC the machines will be turned back on in time for the pub to reopen on Tuesday.Vanden Hoek said she understands everyone is struggling, but she's sad the thieves chose to hurt a small business in their desperation."We just want people to go get help. We would be the first people if they needed a free people come in, we'd cook them something … just don't sabotage our business."Vanden Hoek said the community has been extremely supportive, even starting an online fundraiser to support the business which has been a fixture in the area for 23 years. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact Lethbridge police at 403-328-4444, or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.
A church in Langley B.C., just east of Vancouver has been fined $2,300 for contravening a recent provincial health order that prohibits in-person, faith-related gatherings, which was aimed at limiting the spread of COVID19.On Sunday, Langley RCMP said they asked congregants at the small church in a strip mall to disperse. When they didn't, police issued the fine.Congregants Tanya Gaw and Kari Simpson said bylaw officers issued the fine at the 8:30 a.m. PT service.The bylaw officers returned later accompanied by three RCMP officers. There, the officers were confronted by churchgoers, but police didn't issue another fine.Earlier this month, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry suspended all in-person faith-related gatherings as part of a wider effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.Worshippers were told not to attend services at their gurdwara, synagogue, church, mosque or temple. Simpson said many churchgoers disagree with the health directive."This is probably ground zero for the churches standing up," Simpson said, from the parking lot in front of the church. "There is a movement afoot to ensure that more churches also start to defy Bonnie Henry's orders."Simpson and Gaw said they doubt the validity of Henry's orders, and question why liquor stores should remain open as an essential service, but not churches. Gaw said rising levels of depression and anxiety are signs that people need places like churches to remain open. "The church is the community for many people," she said. Gaw said she thinks the rising number of COVID-19 cases is due to faulty testing, which is causing false positives. "The deception to the public is instilling this unbelievable fear," she said. "All of it needs to stop. And we're pleading with the government to to just stop the whole thing." The province's latest report on test positivity shows that 8.5 per cent of tests performed through its Medical Services Plan— B.C.'s medical insurance plan — across the province were positive, a figure that rose to 11 per cent in the Fraser Health region.The provincial health order suspending faith-related gatherings has drawn criticism from faith leaders, including Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver J. Michael Miller, who said the move was "puzzling" considering parishes like those under his leadership have not been vectors of transmission.But Henry said on Friday that transmissions were happening at places of worship.Meantime, two other churches in the Fraser Valley also said they're continuing to offer in-person services despite the health order.2 Chilliwack churches also gatheringThe Free Grace Baptist Church and Free Reformed Church in Chilliwack both held services last week. On Sunday, the Free Grace Baptist Church again held a service.Lindsay Britton lives across the street from the Baptist church. Britton said he phoned police Sunday morning because people were gathering there. He was concerned they would spread more of the coronavirus into his community"I think we have to take a firmer stand," he said. The two churches' leaders argue that restricting the gatherings violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Both said they consider in-person worship an essential service and that, as commanded by God, they are required to attend public worship.
Deaths from malaria due to disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic to services designed to tackle the mosquito-borne disease will far exceed those killed by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization warned on Monday. More than 409,000 people globally - most of them babies in the poorest parts of Africa - were killed by malaria last year, the WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020. "Our estimates are that depending on the level of service disruption (due to COVID-19) ... there could be an excess of malaria deaths of somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them in young children," Pedro Alsonso, director of the WHO's malaria programme, told reporters.