Apparent flooding north of Montreal.
Apparent flooding north of Montreal.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
An ongoing BC Hydro power outage has left nearly 4,000 customers without electricity in Kitimat. According to BC Hydro’s outage map, the outage started at 11:09 a.m. and the cause is under investigation. Crews are on their way and are expected to arrive around 11:45 a.m. The outage is affecting 3885 customers and stretches north of Dewberry St., west of Wakita Ave., and east of Dyke Blvd.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
Santé Canada a approuvé le traitement d'entretien ONUREG de Bristol Myers Squibb Canada qui vise les patients en rémission d'une leucémie myéloïde aiguë. Il s'agit d'une première au pays pour ce type de traitement. ONUREG est un inhibiteur métabolique nucléosidique à prise orale qui agit en empêchant la croissance des cellules cancéreuses. Il s'incorpore dans les éléments constitutifs des cellules, interférant avec la production de nouvel ADN et de nouvel ARN. Ce mécanisme entraînerait la mort des cellules cancéreuses dans les cas de leucémie. Celui-ci peut être utilisé par des patients qui ont obtenu une rémission complète ou une rémission complète avec rétablissement hématologique incomplet après un traitement d'induction avec ou sans traitement de consolidation et qui ne sont pas admissibles à une greffe de cellules souches hématopoïétiques. «Bien que la majorité des patients atteints de leucémie myéloïde aiguë obtiennent une rémission complète avec une chimiothérapie intensive, de nombreux patients en rémission connaîtront une récidive de la maladie, surtout s'ils n'étaient pas éligibles à une greffe de cellules souches», a précisé le Dr Andre Schuh du Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, par voie de communiqué. Par ailleurs, la leucémie myéloïde aiguë est la forme la plus courante de leucémie aiguë chez l'adulte. On estime que 40 à 60 % des patients âgés de 60 ans et plus et que 60 à 80 % des patients âgés de moins de 60 ans obtiendront une rémission complète après une chimiothérapie d'induction. Toutefois, 50 % d'entre eux connaîtront une récidive dans l'année qui suit. En cas de récidive, la survie à long terme est de six mois en moyenne. Les résultats de l'étude d'approbation ont montré que la survie globale médiane était significativement plus longue avec ONUREG en comparaison avec le placebo.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Hamilton reported three new deaths in local seniors’ homes on Thursday, with growing numbers in outbreaks across the city. Public health is reporting 20 deaths at Shalom Village in Westdale as of Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. That’s an increase of two from the city’s report yesterday. The home, which has the second-worst outbreak in Hamilton, now has 196 cases, including seven new resident cases. Since the outbreak began on Dec. 9, there have been 108 resident, 83 staff, and five visitor cases, according to the city. Two people are in hospital, the facility reported Wednesday. The numbers do not reflect active cases. One new death was reported in The Meadows Long Term Care Home in Ancaster, for a total of four. The outbreak has had 39 cases since Dec. 16. No new cases were reported Thursday. Other outbreaks with new cases include Villa Italia Retirement Residence on west Hamilton Mountain, which has two new staff cases. That’s a total of 30 cases since the outbreak began Dec. 23. Blackadar Continuing Care Centre in Dundas and the city-run home Macassa Lodge each had one new resident case. Idlewyld Manor reported its first resident case, with two previous staff cases, for a total of three since Jan. 7. A new outbreak was declared at Alexander Place Long-Term Care Home in Waterdown on Jan. 13 with one staff case. One resident case was dropped from St. Elizabeth Retirement Residence’s tally. The home now has a total of 50 cases, including 33 resident, 16 staff, and one visitor case. There have been four deaths in the outbreak since Dec. 25. No new deaths were reported at Grace Villa and one staff case was removed, so there are now 234 cases at the facility, including 144 resident cases, 88 staff cases, and two visitor cases. A total of 43 people have died at the east Mountain home since the outbreak began Nov. 25. The city’s mobile vaccine clinic was expected to continue its rounds on Thursday with stops scheduled at Grace Villa and Arbour Creek Care Centre. Previously, the clinic travelled to Idlewyld Manor, St. Peter’s Residence at Chedoke, Hamilton Continuing Care, Macassa Lodge, Shalom Village, and Wentworth Heights. Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving the door open to tighter travel restrictions, including a possible ban on outbound air travel as COVID-19 case counts climb across the country. “We’re always open to strengthening them as necessary," Trudeau said, referring to measures restricting international flights. Officials are keeping a close eye on countries where more easily transmissible strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have broken out, he said. The prime minister pointed to worrisome mutations in Brazil as well as the United Kingdom, whose outbound flights Canada banned in December. Those flights have been permitted again after government began requiring incoming passengers to present proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests before boarding. “We will continue to look at various variants, various geographies, and make sure we’re taking the right decisions and the right measures to keep Canadians safe," Trudeau said at a press conference at Rideau Hall on Friday. The choice of whether to bar travel to the United States lies largely with the U.S., not Canada, since the country of arrival has jurisdiction over who enters, he added. Earlier this month, a survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 87 per cent of respondents said they would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced numbers of COVID-19 cases. Léger vice-president Christian Bourque said the response is consistent with similar questions asked throughout the pandemic, but also reflects a growing desire by Canadians for governments to take tougher action to curb the spread of COVID-19. That urge comes amid a backlash to provincial and federal politicians travelling to beaches abroad over the holidays. The prospect of a hard-nosed travel bans raises constitutional questions around freedom of movement. Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that "every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada." All rights are subject to reasonable limits, but can only be reined in when it's "necessary and proportionate," Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said in an interview. "While the precautionary principle would suggest that when in doubt keep people home, our constitution demands more than just a when-in-doubt approach for particular activities." Overseas sojourns shoulder the blame for only a fraction of outbreaks. Under two per cent of all coronavirus cases reported in Canada stem from foreign travel, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. A ban on outbound trips makes little sense to Michael Feder, a Vancouver-based lawyer with expertise in constitutional law. "It’s the coming back that’s trouble," he said. "No one’s annoyed that Alberta politicians went to Hawaii. They’re annoyed that they went to Hawaii and came back." The requirement for international passengers to show negative results on a recently conducted COVID-19 test followed by two weeks of self-isolation on home turf amounts to a strong barrier against viral spread. An outright flight ban would do little to bolster that defence, but it would encroach on mobility rights, Feder said. "I think it’s infuriating to see elected leaders taking off for sunnier climates," he said, calling it an "act of hypocrisy." "But I don’t actually see how a restriction on outbound travel does anything to help Canada combat the pandemic." Trudeau sought to explain the disparity between stringent lockdown measures such as Ontario's stay-at-home order or Quebec's curfew and the open runway on jetting off to a Caribbean all-inclusive. “Different jurisdictions will set up the rules that they think are best based on the best advice of their public health officials. On the federal side we have discouraged non-essential international travel, including by imposing mandatory quarantines for anyone returning to Canada and now mandatory testing for anyone before they get on a plane to come back to Canada," he said. The new curtailments prompted airlines to slash flight schedules over the past week, with Air Canada and WestJet announcing 2,700 layoffs. Air Transat flight numbers have fallen by more than 90 per cent year over year, the company said. A ban on non-essential travel would mean a total shutdown, at least for a time, said Air Transat spokesman Christophe Hennebelle. "However 'essential travel' is defined, such a ban would probably mean that we would need to stop our operations entirely, unless specific support is granted to help us maintain some form of connectivity," he said in an email. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
Quebec is seeking leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada a lower court decision that reduced the sentence of convicted mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette. In a joint statement Friday, Quebec's attorney general and the director of criminal prosecutions announced their decision to appeal, adding they wouldn't make any further comments "out of respect for the ongoing legal process." The province's highest court in November reduced the killer's life sentence from 40 years in prison before chance at parole, to 25 years. In 2019, a Quebec Superior Court justice rewrote a 2011 law that granted courts the right to impose consecutive sentences in blocks of 25 years for multiple murders, declaring that the law amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Justice Francois Huot instead handed Bissonnette a sentence of 40 years. The Court of Appeal agreed with Huot that consecutive sentencing violated the Charter, but decided the lower court judge erred in granting the killer a 40-year sentence, instead opting for 25 years. The appeals court also struck down the section of the Criminal Code that allowed cumulative sentences, declaring it unconstitutional. "This judgment is not about the horror of the actions taken by Alexandre Bissonnette on Jan. 29, 2017, or even about the impact of his crimes on an entire community and society in general, but above all, on the constitutionality of a provision of the Criminal Code," the Court of Appeal wrote in a 41-page unanimous judgment. Bissonnette pleaded guilty in March 2018 to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder, following the 2017 mosque attack in Quebec City. In less than two minutes, Bissonnette shot the six men dead when he stormed the mosque, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol, leaving six widows and 17 orphans in his wake. His murder victims were Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39. In addition to the men killed, five others were struck by bullets. Usually, the Supreme Court takes about 10 to 12 weeks to decide whether it will accept to hear an appeal. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Caroline Plante, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The federal government's latest COVID-19 projections show fast, strong and sustained measures are required to interrupt rapid growth cases and deaths. Here are five things to know from federal modelling data released Friday: Rising Deaths The number of deaths related to COVID-19 is steadily rising, reaching more than 17,500 as of Thursday. The latest data show another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24 as the seven-day average number of deaths nears levels recorded at the peak of the pandemic's first wave in May. Rising Cases Canada could see 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week as outbreaks in Ontario and Quebec drive rapid growth. The data also highlight high numbers in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The latest seven-day average was 7,900 cases each day across the country. Rapid Growth In the longer term, Ottawa says Canada remains on a "rapid growth trajectory." The data show COVID-19 will continue to surge if Canadians maintain the current number of people they're in contact with each day. The pandemic would surge faster if people increase their contacts. Outbreaks are forecast to come under control in most locations if people follow public health rules and limit contacts to essential activities. Outbreaks in Long-term Care Infections are escalating among high-risk people aged 80 and older. The data show more outbreaks in long-term care homes and retirement residences now than during the first wave. The federal government says the number of active outbreaks is underestimated due to reduced reporting last month, while a modelling chart shows it's close to 400 countrywide. Rising Hospitalizations The number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 has been rising steadily in the five hard-hit provinces. Hospitalizations are highest per capita in Manitoba, followed by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario and B.C. The data came as federal officials revealed deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been temporarily reduced due to production delays in Europe. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, said he is “disappointed” by the temporary delay in deliveries of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines, calling it a “bump in the road.” However, he said the government is still on target to receive four million doses of the vaccine by the end of March.
A Hamilton woman is encouraging people to reach out to local seniors’ homes to help residents get through the isolation. Jentine Gootjes, whose father resides in a long-term-care home in Niagara, says something small can go a long way during the winter months. “On the one hand, relief feels closer than ever because there’s an actual vaccine that can go to nursing homes,” she said in an Instagram post. “And yet, because the numbers are the highest they’ve ever been, the community spread is the highest.” Gootjes, owner of an online vintage shop, put out a call on social media before Christmas for people to make cards or send gifts to seniors’ homes in their neighbourhoods and was surprised that people responded. She recently posted another video to do it again. “I think mail to elderly people is essential,” she said in an interview. “You can fight me on that.” The Spectator spoke to Gootjes about her campaign. The Spectator: How did it all start? Jentine Gootjes: It started very casually before Christmas when I mentioned (on Instagram) that maybe it would be nice to send something to a nursing home in your local area or do something nice for them, like drop off a lunch. If Christmas sucks for us being stuck at home, imagine how much it sucks for nursing homes. Since then, things escalated. TS: How did you come up with the idea? JG: Honestly, I get so frustrated sometimes a) by the circumstances, and b) sometimes by people’s response and I just want to react in anger and that’s not going to get me anywhere. So I tried to concentrate on taking those feelings and turning them around and doing something positive, even if it’s something little, and also mostly encouraging other people to do something positive, too. I think sometimes we feel so helpless with everything going on, it’s like ‘What can I do?’ and we can’t always do big things, but we can do little things. TS: How did your father being in a care home affect you? JG: Very thankfully, so far in my dad’s home, (COVID-19) hasn’t spread. If there is someone on your floor who tests positive, everyone gets locked in their room. That is heartbreaking to me. Usually, I can help out in my dad’s nursing home. I used to be able to do meals with him or chat with everybody and I’d take my daughter in and she’d colour pictures with the ladies there. Obviously, now that’s completely gone, and it feels like you can’t do anything. TS: What kind of a response have you had so far? JG: I’ve had lots of people send me cute little snaps with their kids making little pictures and drawings that they’re going to drop off. People are letting me know that they’re making a package and dropping it. Some school teachers and daycares have gotten involved. TS: Why do you think now is an important time to help? JG: January and February are going to be really tough as we wait for the vaccines to come in, too. It’s going to be even worse than it was before Christmas. So I was thinking, ‘Well, can’t we do something nice?’ And then honestly, so many people took me up on the idea. And then I tried to shoot my shot with Canada Post. Imagine if Canada Post said mail to long-term-care homes in February could be free? That totally eradicates the financial barriers for some people and it’s just an encouragement. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
After being notified about two weeks ago that COVID-19 vaccines were available to healthcare workers in Durham Region, Katie Millage, a personal support worker (PSW) on the memory care floor at Douglas Crossing, jumped at her chance to sign up for the vaccine. “I’m just feeling so grateful and hopeful to be one of the first individuals in Uxbridge to receive the vaccine,” says Millage, who got the shot on Monday at the Oshawa Hospital Vaccination Clinic. “For the first time I feel like the end of COVID-19 is in sight.” At press time on Tuesday evening, however, Uxbridge had 11 active COVID-19 cases. Five of those cases are currently being treated in hospital, and many of these cases are linked to an outbreak at the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital. A statement from the Markham Stouffville Hospital said that Uxbridge residents could be assured that the safety of patients, healthcare workers and the community is the top priority. “In consultation with Durham Region Public Health, an outbreak was declared on the inpatient unit at the Uxbridge site on December 24, 2020. Six staff members and six patients have tested positive for COVID-19. Staff are at home recovering and the COVID-19 patients in the hospital are in isolation and being monitored closely.” With the holiday season now over, health experts are reminding everyone that it is now more important than ever to follow appropriate public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19. With over a week of record high daily case counts in Ontario, the number of long-term care home outbreaks is also at a record high. Slow vaccine rollout is a concern to many of those same experts. More than 70 per cent of the provincial supply is reportedly sitting in freezers right now. As of Monday night, approximately 50,000 doses of the vaccine had been administered in Ontario. Retired general Rick Hillier, chief of the Ontario Vaccine Task Force, said on Tuesday that less than 35,000 doses remain in freezers. Hillier said those doses were held back to ensure that second doses would be available 21 days after the initial doses were administered. Hillier also noted that by the end of this weekend, the initial shipment of vaccines will be exhausted, and the new shipment, expected to arrive later this week, will be fully administered by the end of next week. A post-holiday season surge in case numbers is expected over the next few weeks.Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Flying rocks. Burning tires. Acrid smoke. Haiti braced for a fresh round of widespread protests starting Friday, with opposition leaders demanding that President Jovenel Moïse step down next month, worried he is amassing too much power as he enters his second year of rule by decree. “The priority right now is to put in place another economic, social and political system,” André Michel, of the opposition coalition Democratic and Popular Sector, said by phone. “It is clear that Moïse is hanging on to power.” Hundreds of people in Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien, Jacmel, Saint-Marc and Gonaives marched in support of the opposition, with dozens of demonstrators briefly clashing with police in the capital although the protests remained largely peaceful. Opposition leaders are demanding Moïse’s resignation and legislative elections to restart a Parliament dissolved a year ago. They claim that Moïse’s five-year term is legally ending — that it began when former President Michel Martelly's term expired in February 2016. But Moïse maintains his term began when he actually took office in early 2017, an inauguration delayed by a chaotic election process that forced the appointment of a provisional president to serve during a year-long gap. Haiti's international backers have echoed some of the opposition’s concerns, calling for parliamentary elections as soon as possible. They were originally scheduled for October 2019 but were delayed by political gridlock and protests that paralyzed much of the country, forcing schools, businesses and several government offices to close for weeks at a time. Some in the international community also condemned several of Moïse's decrees. One of those limited the powers of a court that audits government contracts and had accused Moïse and other officials of embezzlement and fraud involving a Venezuelan program which provided cheap oil. Moïse and others have rejected those accusations. Moïse also decreed that acts such as robbery, arson and blocking public roads — a common ploy during protests — would be classed as terrorism and subject to heavy penalties. He also created an intelligence agency that answers only to the president. The Core Group, which includes officials from the United Nations, U.S., Canada and France, questioned those moves. “The decree creating the National Intelligence Agency gives the agents of this institution quasi-immunity, thus opening up the possibility of abuse," the group said in a recent statement. “These two presidential decrees, issued in areas that fall within the competence of a Parliament, do not seem to conform to certain fundamental principles of democracy, the rule of law, and the civil and political rights of citizens.” Moïse has dismissed such concerns and vowed to move forward at his own pace. In a New Year’s tweet, he called 2021 “a very important year for the future of the country.” He has called for a constitutional referendum in April followed by parliamentary and presidential elections in September, with runoffs scheduled for November. “There is no doubt elections will happen,” Foreign Minister Claude Joseph told The Associated Press, rejecting calls that Moïse step down in February. “Haiti cannot afford another transition. We need to let democracy work the way it should.” Joseph said Moïse remains open to dialogue and is ready to meet anytime with opposition leaders to solve the political stalemate. He also said the constitutional referendum won't give Moïse more power but said changes are needed to the 1987 document. “It is a source of instability. It does not have checks and balances. It gives extraordinary power to the Parliament that abuses this power over and over,” Joseph said. “It’s not the president’s own personal project. It’s a national project.” While officials haven't released details of the referendum, one of the members of the consulting committee, Louis Naud Pierre, told radio station Magik9 last week that proposals include creating a unicameral Parliament to replace the current Senate and Chamber of Deputies, extending parliamentary terms and giving Haitians who live abroad more power. The referendum and flurry of decrees are frustrating many Haitians, including Rose-Ducast Dupont, a mother of three who sells perfumes on the sidewalks of Delmas, a neighbourhood in the capital. “The political problems in my country have been dragging on for too long,” she said. “They are never able to find a solution for the nation. ... We are the ones suffering.” The nation of more than 11 million people has grown increasingly unstable under Moïse, who received more than 50% of the vote but with only 21% voter turnout. Haiti is still trying to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew that struck in 2016. Its economic, political and social woes have deepened, with gang violence resurging, inflation spiraling and food and fuel becoming more scarce at times in a country where 60% of the population makes less than $2 a day. “I don’t have a life,” said Jean-Marc François, who wants Moïse gone. “I don’t have any savings. I have three kids. I have to survive day by day with no guarantee that I’ll come home with bread to put on the table.” Some days he works in construction; others he does yardwork or disposes of garbage or moves boxes at warehouses, which sometimes pays 500 gourdes ($7) a day. François said he won't take part in the “circus act” of voting in the referendum or elections. “We’re talking about voting for a new president? A new constitution? Deputies and senators? They’re all going to be the same,” he said. “This is a country of corruption.” Moïse has faced numerous calls for resignation since taking office, with protests roiling Haiti since late 2017. The demonstrations have been fueled largely by demands for better living conditions and anger over crime, corruption allegations and price increases after the government ended fuel subsidies. The most violent protests occurred in 2019, with dozens killed, and some worry about even more violence as the opposition steps up its demands that Moïse resign amid fears that elections will be delayed once more. “Can the current status quo continue for another year?” said Jake Johnston, senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “Moïse can announce an electoral calendar ... but what signs are there that that’s going to actually happen?” ___ Associated Press writer Evens Sanon reported this story in Port-au-Prince and AP writer Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Evens Sanon And DáNica Coto, The Associated Press
FORT FRANCES, ONT., — A 30-year-old man in Fort Frances is facing a series of break and enter related charges. On Jan. 11, shortly after 8 a.m., Rainy River Ontario Provincial Police responded to a break and enter at a local business on First Street East in Fort Frances, according to a police news release. As a result, Thomas Atkinson, 30, of Fort Frances was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, mischief under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of heroin. A day later, on Jan. 12, police responded again to a break and enter report at a pharmacy in Fort Frances shortly after 2 p.m. As a result, Atkinson was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime. On Jan. 13, police attended a break and enter at two separate pharmacies in Fort Frances. Atkinson was taken into custody and charged with two counts of break and enter and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime. Police say the investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information regarding the break and enters is urged to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. Forest Service released an environmental review Friday that paves the way for the creation of one of the largest copper mines in the United States, against the wishes of a group of Apaches who have been trying for years to stop the project. The Forest Service now has 60 days to turn over a tract of land in the Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix to Resolution Copper Mining, a joint venture of the international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP. Environmentalists contend the Forest Service was pressured to push the review over the finish line before President Donald Trump leaves office, complicating their efforts to reverse the land swap. The Forest Service said that's not true, while the mining company contends the publication already was delayed by months. The mountainous land near Superior, Arizona, is known as Oak Flat or Chi'chil Bildagoteel. It's where Apaches have harvested medicinal plants, held coming-of-age ceremonies and gathered acorns for generations. An area where dozens of warriors leapt to their deaths from a ridge adjacent to the proposed copper mine, rather than surrender to U.S. forces during westward expansion, is protected as a special management area. A judge late Thursday denied a request from Apache Stronghold, a group led by former San Carlos Apache Chairman Wendsler Nosie Sr., to halt the publication until a larger question over who legally owns the land is settled. U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix said he recognized “the anxiety that having one’s sacred land taken from them and used for purposes that run counter to their spiritual beliefs, might cause.” But Logan said the Forest Service and other defendants also have a right to respond to the allegations, and he saw no proof they had been served. He set a Jan. 27 hearing. Randy Serraglio with the Center for Biological Diversity called the judge’s decision “a callous betrayal of Native people who value that land as sacred.” Nosie's group alleged violations of religious freedom and constitutional rights in the federal lawsuit filed this week. It also contends the Forest Service legally can't transfer the land because it belongs to Apaches under an 1852 treaty. Nosie said he's hopeful the court or politicians will take action to preserve the area as it is. “I think with a new Congress, new administration, they will be able to take a new look at it based on the Constitution, our religion and based on the consequences of having this mine that's looking to devastate and destroy this area forever,” Nosie told The Associated Press. The land swap was approved in December 2014, as part of a must-pass defence bill. The late Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, a major recipient of Rio Tinto campaign contributions, backed it. Before that, stand-alone bills never gained Congress' approval. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday said the mine will ensure a reliable supply of up to 1 billion pounds of copper annually. “Arizona has a long history of responsible mining, showing that we can have a robust mining sector while protecting our environment and cultural history,” he said in a statement. Resolution Copper is set to receive 3.75 square miles (9.71 square kilometres) of Forest Service land in exchange for eight parcels the company owns elsewhere in Arizona. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Democrats, tried unsuccessfully to reverse the land swap. Grijalva said this week that it remains one of his top priorities. “I'm hoping to put the brakes on it and reexamine every step,” he told The Associated Press. “I think part of the oversight I want to do is what was this cozy relationship between the international mining company, their subsidiary Resolution and the Trump administration.” Resolution Copper said it has spent about $2 billion so far to gain access to the mine and conduct studies. More time and money will go into securing permits and constructing the mine, which wouldn't begin operating for at least 15 years. The company said it has committed to spending $100 million for cultural heritage and recreation projects, among other things, to help ease the effects of mining. It has tweaked its plans after receiving input from other tribes, some of whom have members who were hired to help inform archaeological surveys. Resolution Copper project director Andrew Lye said the company is committed to engaging with tribes and will seek consent from them before it makes any decisions on developing the project. The Oak Flat Campground would remain open to the public until it's no longer safe for people to go there. Eventually, the mine would swallow it. The project proposal calls for the use of block caving, a method Resolution Copper maintains is safe and environmentally sound, to extract the remaining ore from depths as much as 7,000 feet below ground. Through this method, ore is selectively mined in a controlled way as the ground underneath it collapses under its own weight. Resolution Copper has said the mine could have a $61 billion economic impact over the project’s 60 years and create 1,500 jobs — points that supporters repeatedly have stressed. “Not only will Resolution Copper be a major employer, but it will lead to construction activities and new commercial development, such as housing, hotels and retail,” Glenn Hamer, the president and chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a statement. Environmentalists and Native Americans are concerned about the toxic waste that would be dumped on nearby wildlands, the potential for groundwater contamination and the destruction of sacred sites. Rio Tinto was criticized last year for blasting through 46,000-year-old aboriginal rock shelters in Australia’s Juukan Gorge. The company’s CEO and two other top executives were fired. ___ Associated Press writer Anita Snow in Phoenix contributed to this story. Fonseca is a member of The Associated Press’ race and ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FonsecaAP Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing has brought entertainer Pitbull on as an ownership partner for an organization making its debut next month at the Daytona 500. Trackhouse made the Friday announcement with a video on Twitter in which the Grammy winner is featured dancing to an “I believe we will win” chant. He also holds signs that say: “Knuckle Up, Fight Hard. Buckle Up. Fight hard." The Cuban-American, known also as “Mr. Worldwide," joins NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as celebrity owners entering NASCAR this year. Jordan is a part owner of 23XI Racing with Denny Hamlin. “I've been a fan of the NASCAR story since the movie ‘Days of Thunder,’" Pitbull said in a statement. “We are going to show the world NASCAR is not only a sport but a culture.” Pitbull noted the announcement coincided with his 40th birthday on Friday: “So get ready! Dale!” he ended with his signature tagline that translates to “Let's go!” Trackhouse was launched late last year by former driver Justin Marks, who struggled to find a charter that guarantees entry into every Cup Series race on the schedule. He ultimately leased one from Spire Motorsports to get his organization on the grid. The team has hired Daniel Suarez to drive the No. 99 Chevrolet but it will not be NASCAR's first pairing of a Latino driver and team owner. Juan Pablo Montoya, a Colombian, drove for Chip Ganassi Racing when it was part owned by Felix Sabates, a Cuban. Suarez is Mexican. Jenna Fryer, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer of health says British Columbia's decision to seek legal advice on limiting travel reinforces the message that it isn't the time to go on vacation across the country. Dr. Theresa Tam says stopping non-essential travel would be a difficult decision for the province, but it could reduce COVID-19 by cutting the number of contacts. Premier John Horgan said Thursday his government was seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel. Other provinces and territories, including those in Atlantic Canada, have required travellers to self-isolate upon arrival or get authorization to travel. Horgan said he and other premiers have made the case for Canadians to stay home during the pandemic, but people continue to travel. The issue has been discussed for months and it's time to determine if the government can act, Horgan added. B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Thursday that she's not sure if she has the authority to limit out-of-province travel nor was she considering such an order. "We do have requirements that people who come in to British Columbia must follow the rules in place here, and that is something that is continuing to be reinforced," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
GAZA, Palestinian Territory — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday decreed parliamentary and presidential elections for later this year in what would be the first vote of its kind since 2006, when the Islamic militant group Hamas won a landslide victory. Elections would pose a major risk for Abbas' Fatah party and also for Hamas, which welcomed the decree. Both have faced protests in recent years over their inability to reconcile with one another, advance Palestinian aspirations for statehood or meet the basic needs of those in the territories they govern. Fatah and Hamas have been publicly calling for elections for more than a decade but have never been able to mend their rift or agree on a process for holding them, and despite Friday's decree, it remained far from clear whether the voting would actually be held. Elections could also complicate President-elect Joe Biden's plans to restore aid to the Palestinians and to revive the peace process with Israel. The 2006 election victory by Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by Israel and Western countries, led to heavy international pressure being placed on the Palestinian Authority. Clashes between Fatah and Hamas raged for more than a year, culminating in Hamas' 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip, which it still controls despite a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade and three wars with Israel. Abbas' Palestinian Authority is confined to the occupied West Bank, where it administers major population centres according to agreements with Israel. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. The decree sets a timeline in which legislative elections would be held on May 22, followed by presidential elections on July 31 — the first since Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. Elections for the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents the Palestinian cause internationally, would be held Aug. 31. Abbas handed the decree to Hanna Nasir, the head of the Central Election Commission. Hamas welcomed the decree and expressed its “strong eagerness to make this obligation successful.” “We have worked in the past months to surmount all hurdles to reach this day, and we have shown a lot of flexibility,” it said in a statement. It also called for dialogue ahead of the vote. Fatah and Hamas have tried to reconcile on a number of occasions over the years, but every attempt has devolved into bickering and mutual recriminations, leaving the Palestinians divided politically and geographically, and further dashing their hopes for independence. Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, said the decree “points to a certain seriousness by Abbas on the issue of elections, regardless of the problems they could face and the disagreements that are not yet settled.” A poll carried out in December by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that if parliamentary elections were held, Fatah would win 38% of the vote and Hamas would win 34%. Abbas would lose in a presidential election against Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, 43% to 50%, according to the survey. The pollsters interviewed 1,270 Palestinians face to face across the West Bank and Gaza, and reported a margin of error of 3%. Hamas has spent years building up its own government in Gaza, including by hiring new civil servants to to replace those loyal to Abbas. It has also refused to give up its vast arsenal of rockets and other arms, and considers Israel a sworn enemy. Abbas is opposed to violence and favours negotiations leading to a two-state solution with Israel, a position with wide international support. It would be virtually impossible for Hamas to assume responsibility over the Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank, where Israel maintains overall security control. The Palestinian Authority co-ordinates with Israel on security, economic and other matters. Abbas, 85, has led the Palestinian Authority and the PLO since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 and has no clear successor. ___ Associated Press writer Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed to this report. Fares Akram, The Associated Press
Obstruction of justice charges against three RCMP officers are "troubling" says the chair of a board overseeing Codiac Regional RCMP. "Everyone is innocent until proven guilty," Charles Léger told reporters after a Codiac Regional Policing Authority Board meeting Thursday night. "It's not something we like to hear, but there's a need to make sure that justice is upheld … Things like this are troubling, but they're being handled in the best and most appropriate way." The board oversees the force that polices Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview. Léger was answering questions after its first meeting following the announcement of the charges last week. Cpl. Mathieu Potvin, 32, Const. Eric Pichette, 39, and Const. Graham Bourque, 32, each face a single count of obstructing justice by destroying evidence during a criminal investigation. The alleged destruction happened May 15, 2019. An RCMP news release issued Jan. 5 says the alleged crimes happened during a "police operation," but offered no further specifics about what that operation entailed. The news release about the charges against the officers says they were suspended with pay on Dec. 15 and charges were laid in court Dec. 28. Court documents show the investigation of the officers was carried out by another RCMP officer in Montreal. Why charges were laid a year and seven months after the evidence was allegedly destroyed isn't clear. It's also unclear when the allegations surfaced and began to be investigated, or how long the three officers continued working on other investigations. Potvin is listed as a media contact in a Feb. 20, 2020 news release about a drug seizure during a traffic stop. The case against the officers is being handled by Crown prosecutor Claude Haché in Fredericton, Coreen Enos, a spokesperson for the justice department, said in an email. CBC News asked the department several questions about the charges, including when Crown prosecutors became aware of the case, when the decision was made to lay charges, at what level of the department that decision was made, and whether the alleged destruction of evidence affected prosecution of a case. Enos didn't answer, writing that the "questions are intertwined with the investigation and legal issues and, since the matter is now in front of the courts, we are unable to comment any further." Carley Parish, a Hampton-based criminal defence lawyer, isn't involved in the case and only knows what police have said publicly so far. While noting they are presumed innocent until proven guilty, she called the charges disheartening. She said police officers, like lawyers, are held to a higher standard. "At the end of the day, obstruction of justice, this is a difficult charge. It's not used lightly, but at the same time, it's not a charge that you see regularly," Parish said. Parish said given they haven't been convicted, it's too soon to say whether the charges could affect any other cases the officers have been involved with. Supt. Tom Critchlow, the commanding officer of Codiac Regional RCMP, offered little new information about the case when asked by a reporter Thursday following the policing authority board meeting. "RCMP members are expected to hold themselves to a high moral and professional standard," Critchlow said. "Any allegation that a member has not done so is troubling and is taken very seriously." Critchlow said the suspension adds to staffing challenges for Codiac. One quarter of Codiac Regional RCMP shifts did not meet a minimum staff threshold in 2019, resulting in other Mounties being called in to work overtime or shifted to frontline roles from other police units like street crime and the general investigations section. In response, the 2021 budget authorized adding 13 more officers to counteract staff shortages caused by long-term or injury leaves. Critchlow told the policing authority that Codiac has filled eight of the 13 positions so far. He said the force has several strategies it will use to fill the holes created by the three officers on leave. The officers are scheduled to appear in court on March 15.
The proponents behind a brewery application which has stirred up controversy in Holyrood say they hope that an appeal now before the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board will demonstrate that all proper processes were followed and that accusations of conflict of interest are unfounded. Thomas Williamson, on behalf of himself, Craig Farewell, and Jamie Clarke of Beach Head Brewery, emailed a statement to The Shoreline in response to a request for input on the appeal and petition against the application. “We take absolutely no issue with the decision to pursue this avenue and we believe that this appeal process will clearly demonstrate that all the proper processes were followed and that there has never been a conflict of interest,” said Williamson. “It is, however, very disheartening to see that false, misleading and potentially defamatory statements have been made regarding a perceived conflict of interest. From our perspective, it's one thing to submit an appeal based on appropriate grounds, but it’s highly inappropriate to begin lobbing accusations at municipal staff, councillors, even other members of the public without any supporting evidence.” Williamson noted that when accusations were made on social media, the trio immediately sent a letter to council indicating they would sign a sworn affidavit, if need be, legally confirming the owners are the listed Directors on the Registry of Companies website and that no other individual held any form of ownership. “We want to develop this brewery in Holyrood because we love the municipality and we want to be part of the fabric of this amazing community,” read the statement. “Our goal from the outset has been to work collaboratively and we feel that’s been achieved over these past two years through meeting with potential affected parties, taking feedback received through discussions in order to find better solutions, and responding to all questions directed to us by the Town of Holyrood. The brewery will provide residents with a fantastic year-round option that is closer to home and will help bring more people to the town to support other local businesses. The economic benefits through new tax revenue as well as new spin-off businesses will further contribute to the economic development of the area. We understand that for some residents it is difficult to ask them to support this brewery without the opportunity to experience it first-hand. We also respect that the individuals who have submitted the appeal are simply exercising their rights as residents of the municipality. We once again wish to state that we respect the fact that residents have the right to submit appeals and we will ensure that we provide any and all required information so that the Regional Appeals Board can make a determination based on the facts.”Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
The pandemic is having a big impact on fundraising efforts for the 2023 Canada Games in Prince Edward Island. The games are still a little more than two years away but the host committee is actively searching for sponsorships now. Wayne Carew, co-chair of the host committee, described the impact as dramatic. He said not only are some businesses reluctant to sign on because of the impact the pandemic is having on businesses but border restrictions are making meeting with corporate clients, in places like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, next to impossible. "You know it's a $52-million project, and a large part of that comes from both the federal and provincial governments but we need to raise $8 million in the private sector and that's very difficult knocking on people's doors given what's going on in the community today," said Carew. "But we need to do that, and we need the support." 'It's thrown a real curve ball' More than 5,000 athletes, coaches and staff are expected to converge on the Island for the Games, which will run Feb. 18 to March 5, 2023. About half of the $8 million the host committee has to raise is budgeted to come from local and regional companies. Jonathan Ross, volunteer vice-president of sponsorship and revenue for the 2023 Canada Games, said some corporate sponsors, who have supported the games in the past, have said no. "Number one, their sales are down. Number two, their focus right now is dealing with the pandemic, keeping their business open, keeping their employees safe, keeping their customers safe, dealing with the different restrictions that are in place," said Ross. "COVID has made planning a lot more difficult for these companies. It's thrown a real curve ball in that. They don't know what the next year or two are going to look like and they are a little bit preoccupied dealing with the here and now and not necessarily looking to the future." The decision to push back the summer games in Niagara didn't help. 'I'm very hopeful' Those games were supposed to be held in 2021. But the pandemic has forced organizers to push those games to the summer of 2022 — six months before the winter games in P.E.I. "Ordinarily, they would be done with their sponsorship raising or at least wrapping it up," said Ross. "So, we're still in the market with them now, so we're approaching a lot of similar sponsors at the same time." Canada Games officials say the P.E.I. games will have an economic benefit in the range of about $100 million. 2023 will be a big year for P.E.I. In addition to the Canada Games, a full year of activities are planned to mark the 150th anniversary of Prince Edward Island joining Confederation. Ross said he's confident they'll be able to find the corporate support. The host committee has already secured some corporate donors. They'll reveal some of them during a kickoff event planned for next month, which will mark exactly two years before the start of the Canada Games in P.E.I. "We still have a couple of years," said Ross. "I'm very hopeful that at the end of the day, local corporations and national corporations, regional corporations are going to step up and make this a fantastic Canada Games." More from CBC P.E.I.