Manufacturer says sludge in Ford Fusion's oil cap due to Newfoundland woman's driving habits
Manufacturer says sludge in Ford Fusion's oil cap due to Newfoundland woman's driving habits
WASHINGTON — A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness. As the Republican Party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which it should embrace Trump after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress, those gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday made clear they are not ready to move on from the former president — or from his baseless charges that the November election was rigged against him. “Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of several potential 2024 presidential contenders who spoke at the event, being held this year in Orlando to bypass COVID-19 restrictions. Trump on Sunday will be making his first post-presidential appearance at the conference, and aides say he will use the speech to reassert his power. The program underscored the split raging within the GOP, as many establishment voices argue the party must move on from Trump to win back the suburban voters who abandoned them in November, putting President Joe Biden in the White House. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and others worry Trump will undermine the party’s political future if he and his conspiracy theories continue to dominate Republican politics. But at the conference, speakers continued to fan disinformation and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, with panels dedicated to amplifying false claims of mass voter fraud that have been dismissed by the courts, state election officials and Trump’s own administration. Indeed, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., another potential 2024 hopeful, drew among the loudest applause and a standing ovation when he bragged about challenging the election certification on Jan. 6 despite the storming of the Capitol building by Trump supporters trying to halt the process. “I thought it was an important stand to take," he said. Others argued the party would lose if it turned its back on Trump and alienated the working-class voters drawn to his populist message. “We cannot — we will not — go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who outlined a new Trumpian GOP agenda focused on restrictive immigration policies, opposition to China and limiting military engagement. “We will not win the future by trying to go back to where the Republican Party used to be,” echoed Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the fundraising committee tasked with electing Republicans to the Senate. “If we do, we will lose the working base that President Trump so animated. We’re going to lose elections across the country, and ultimately we’re going to lose our nation." Scott is dismissing pressure on him to “mediate between warring factions on the right” or “mediate the war of words between the party leaders." He has refused to take sides in the bitter ongoing fight between Trump and McConnell, who blamed Trump for inciting the deadly Capitol riot but ultimately voted to acquit him at his impeachment trial earlier this month. “I’m not going to mediate anything," he said, criticizing those who “prefer to fan the flames of a civil war on our side” as “foolish” and “ridiculous." But in speeches throughout the day, the GOP turmoil was front and centre. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., lit into Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, who has faced tremendous backlash for her vote to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol riot. And as the program was wrapping up, Trump issued a statement endorsing Max Miller, a former staffer who has now launched a campaign challenging Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, another Republican who voted in favour of impeachment. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News Channel host and Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, offered a pointed message to those who stand in opposition to the former president, who will not arrive at the conference until Sunday but was present in spirit in the form of a large golden statue erected in a merchandise show booth, where attendees could pose for pictures with it. “We bid a farewell to the weak-kneed, the spineless and the cowards that are posing in D.C. pretending that they’re working for the people,” she said. “Let’s send them a pink slip straight from CPAC.” Trump Jr., who labeled the conference “TPAC” in honour of his father, hyped the return of his father and the “Make America Great Again” platform to the spotlight. “I imagine it will not be what we call a ‘low-energy’ speech," he said. “And I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA movement as the future of the Republican Party.” Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
(Beth Zaiken/Centre for Palaeogenetics via REUTERS - image credit) Yukon paleontologist Grant Zazula admits it — he's jealous. Until recently, Yukon had been the source of the oldest recovered DNA, from a 700,000-year-old horse fossil found a couple of decades ago near Dawson City. Now a team of international researchers say they have recovered and sequenced DNA from the teeth of three mammoths in Russia's extreme north, the oldest specimen being about 1.2 million years old. "So I'm actually a little bit jealous, now that the record now belongs to a Siberian fossil," Zazula said. The upside, he says, is that the new research opens the door to all sorts of possible new discoveries and insights from Yukon's own trove of Ice Age fossils. "It's really going to allow us to be able to look at earlier stages of the Ice Age and look at the, you know, genetics of these different extinct animals going back a million years, maybe even further back in time, as these technologies evolve," he said. "Twenty years ago, when I started getting involved in paleontology, we were still really excited about the novelty of being able to extract any DNA from ancient animals." 'The Yukon is amazingly situated to be able to play major roles and some of these projects,' said Grant Zazula, a paleontogist with the Yukon government. Ancient DNA can help fill in the blanks of how extinct species evolved and adapted — or failed to adapt — over the millennia. Zazula says a lot of information can be teased out of a genome sequence, from what a species looked like to how it interacted with its environment. There are also a lot of mysteries yet to be solved about mammoths in particular, he says, and how the population that crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia into North America relates later mammoth populations. "Most of what we know about the Ice Age is really only the last little bits of the Ice Age," he said. But for earlier periods of the Ice Age — say, a million years ago — Zazula says it's less understood. "Really there's a lot of speculation because we don't have a lot of well-dated records from that time period." The new research suggests that Yukon could play an even bigger role in paleontological research, because the territory is a rich source of ancient fossils. It's not uncommon for Yukon gold miners to stumble across amazing finds preserved deep in the permafrost. "The Yukon is amazingly situated to be able to play major roles in some of these projects," Zazula said. He was already contacted a few months ago by one of the Swedish scientists involved in the Russian mammoth fossil research. "He contacted me saying, 'hey, do you guys have any old mammoths from the Yukon?' And I said, 'well, we have one that's about 700,000 years old,'" Zazula recalled. "So, yeah, hopefully in a few months we can add to this story and talk about how that lineage crossed the Bering Land Bridge for the first time into North America roughly a million years ago."
(Photo: Jay Legere - image credit) It started with a Facebook post back in April 2020. "We will be making a batch of fish sauce and salad dressing for sale," it said. Three hours later ... more than 250 bottles were sold, and Yellowknife's Bullocks Bistro was in business. "This was incredible," said co-owner Joanne Martin. "It reaffirmed that this was a viable product for us," she said. Joanne Martin had no idea when she started selling her salad dressing and fish sauce it would turn into a full scale business. Martin says the salad dressing and fish sauce has always been popular; people would go to the restaurant with their own bottles to fill up. But when COVID-19 hit, people weren't able to get it and they were needing a fix. Once word got out they could get it in local stores, people were pretty much lining up for the stuff. "We've sold so much of it, we can't keep it on the shelves," said Yellowknife Co-op deli manager Megan Marks. Marks says they've sold close to 7,000 bottles … since May. Megan Marks says Bullocks Bistro salad dressing is very popular at the Yellowknife Co-op. They get orders twice a week and they are almost always sold out. "We get a shipment from them twice a week and we get people that come and they send it to family in Newfoundland and Ontario … it's so popular," Marks said. The dressing and sauce are being sold in stores in four communities across the Northwest Territories. Now the restaurant is about to make a big step up in production in hopes of getting their product out to the rest of the world. "By the end of June we realized that we are going to need something bigger … we can't do the restaurant and this as well," said Martin. Joanne Marting says her products are made with love and it will remain that way when they open the processing facility. So they purchased a spot in the Kam Lake area of Yellowknife and construction of a processing facility will begin in May. "We will probably start out with three to six staff [and] we should be able to put out around 6,000 bottles a day." Martin says her sauce and dressing is made with love and expects that selling it as a northern product will be a huge marketing tool for them. If all goes according to plan, the new salad dressing and fish sauce plant will be open in August.
(CBC - image credit) After multiple incidents and complaints from families, the Calgary Board of Education is reminding its staff that uttering, writing or using racial slurs — including when reading aloud — is not permitted in the school division. "Since the school year started, there has been at least three of these complaints that have come to my attention that we've had to address," said CBE chief superintendent Christopher Usih. "Teachers can certainly read content or teach content, but that they don't verbalize the word. In one particular case, for example, it was a use of the N-word in class." It was these complaints that prompted Usih to send all staff a note earlier this week reminding them that the use of racial slurs in any capacity is forbidden. He said this isn't about censorship or removing books from classrooms. "I want these conversations to happen in classrooms. [It's] important for young people to engage in conversations, to learn about their lived experiences, and teaching why the language is inappropriate remains important," he said. "We don't want you to write it all out on the board or to read it all out loud. The vast majority of times those words are not verbalized, so this is not new. What we wanted to do with this message was to really clarify expectations so that if there is any misunderstanding, that teachers know." One CBE teacher, who CBC News has agreed not to name as she fears professional retribution, said the note caught teachers at her school off guard. "It was just like a total blanket statement to all teachers and it was like, very reprimanding [to] me in nature. For something that most of us don't do anyway," she said. Thousands gathered in Calgary's Olympic Plaza on June 6, 2020 for a candlelight vigil in honour of victims of racism and police brutality. The teacher said she feels the note should have been accompanied by a conversation between principals and teachers about why the note was being sent. Instead, she said "nothing has been said." "No one is going to reply to the email because it's from the superintendent. So everyone's afraid for their job," she said. The teacher said CBE teachers also haven't been offered any professional development on best practices when teaching texts with these sorts of words and slurs. "We don't have any discussion and people are afraid now, and I don't know if that's how we should be feeling," the teacher said. Usih said while the note may have seemed sudden, it does provide a number of links to resources for teachers to help them tackle these conversations and topics with students — and he promises more education for teachers is forthcoming. "There's no question that professional learning is going to be important going forward, because that's how teachers can share best practices and we can talk about the fact that these are conversations that we need to have," he said. "These are good teaching moments for young people, but intent does not negate impact. "What we don't want is to place students in situations where they feel uncomfortable and they feel afraid or hurt, because the word that is used in the classroom is one that does not make them feel good about themselves."
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) From their smiles and exuberance, it's hard to tell that 16-year-old students Makylah Williams and Liv Meerkerk have experienced racial microaggressions in the halls of their B.C. high schools. In Makylah's case, those experiences have involved people touching her hair without her permission, something she says is "really disrespectful." For Liv, a high academic achiever from the Sto:lo Nation, it's the assumptions people make about the intelligence of Indigenous students. She recalls how "it was really shocking and surprising to everyone" when they found out her grades. These are just two examples of stories shared by BIPOC students at a recent youth conference held by the Burnaby School District, where youth were encouraged to share their experiences in discussions about racism, and had the opportunity to hear from special guests. 'It makes them tired, it makes them frustrated, it makes them sad, depressed, hurt,' says Beth Applewhite about students dealing with racism on a regular basis. The annual conference helps show attendees they are not alone in their daily experience with racism, says founder Beth Applewhite. "They talked about dealing with the N-word — that came up a lot. They talked about how Indigenous students and Black students, racialized students, often have less power. People seem to have lower expectations for them academically," says Applewhite, vice-principal of equity, diversity and inclusion with the Burnaby School District. "A lot of students talked about how racism has impacted them, like their mental health, that it makes them tired, it makes them frustrated, it makes them sad, depressed, hurt." But from those shared experiences also comes solidarity, she says. "The students expressed a sense of belonging, the sense of seeing themselves in each other and in the room," says Applewhite. Watch: Youth conference participants speak about their experiences The youth conference, which began as a Black Affinity Group at Burnaby's Moscrop Secondary School in 2007, is held during Black History Month, with the theme this year being "lifting Black voices." The conference usually brings in a few hundred students from the Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam school districts — but this year around 3,000 people, from students to staff, took part virtually. The opening address was made by Jean Augustine, a former Member of Parliament who brought forward the legislation for Black History Month to be officially recognized in Canada 25 years ago. It comes amid increasing awareness of systemic racism and a growing Black Lives Matter movement following anti-racism protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020. Makylah Williams says she was surprised to hear the similarities in experiences BIPOC students shared during the youth conference. For Makylah, the Black Lives Matter movement has actually made her a target of some inappropriate jokes. "I've had students come to me, putting up the block fist and laughing," she said. "I try really hard not to get angry, even though it is frustrating. I try to calm down and be mindful that sometimes people just don't know that they're being mean." 'You see you're not alone, everybody is going through stuff like that, and it shows you that we need to change it.' - Liv Meerkerk, 16 Despite the daily challenges they face, both Makylah and Liv carry an infectious amount of hope for their futures. "In the conference, you see you're not alone, everybody is going through stuff like that, and it shows you that we need to change it. It's a huge problem that needs to be tackled," Liv says. Liv Meerkerk says she felt validated in hearing the experiences of other students. Part of Applewhite's role with the school district is to lead anti-racism education for staff, trustees and educators. While the response to the training has generally been positive, she says some discussions about race and white privilege have been triggering. But she says she keeps in mind that children are going through similar experiences at school. "No one warns our kids when they walk into a classroom… and I know our children's spirits are being ruined daily. We need to keep pushing forward," she says. It's why she keeps doing the work, she says. "I used to hide my anger, get frustrated, but you can't fix something you can't see," Applewhite says. "But when people are forced to look and see how things are, they are much more compassionate and empathetic." For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here. Makylah Williams, left, and Liv Meerkerk, both 16, shared their stories at the youth conference for Black History Month.
The “Trump-made-me-do-it” defence is already looking like a longshot. Facing damning evidence in the deadly Capitol siege last month — including social media posts flaunting their actions — rioters are arguing in court they were following then-President Donald Trump's instructions on Jan. 6. But the legal strategy has already been shot down by at least one judge and experts believe the argument is not likely to get anyone off the hook for the insurrection where five people died, including a police officer. “This purported defence, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law because then, just like a king or a dictator, the president could dictate what’s illegal and what isn’t in this country," U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said recently in ordering pretrial detention of William Chrestman, a suspected member of the Kansas City-area chapter of the Proud Boys. “And that is not how we operate here.” Chrestman’s attorneys argued in court papers that Trump gave the mob “explicit permission and encouragement” to do what they did, providing those who obeyed him with “a viable defence against criminal liability.” “It is an astounding thing to imagine storming the United States Capitol with sticks and flags and bear spray, arrayed against armed and highly trained law enforcement. Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who had been paying attention would very much believe he did,” Chrestman’s lawyers wrote. Trump was acquitted of inciting the insurrection during his second impeachment trial, where Democrats made some of the same arguments defence attorneys are making in criminal court. Some Republican lawmakers have said the better place for the accusations against Trump is in court, too. Meanwhile, prosecutors have brought charges against more than 250 people so far in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. Authorities have suggested that rare sedition charges could be coming against some. Hundreds of Trump supporters were photographed and videotaped storming the Capitol and scores posted selfies inside the building on social media, so they can’t exactly argue in court they weren’t there. Blaming Trump may be the best defence they have. “What’s the better argument when you’re on videotape prancing around the Capitol with a coat rack in your hand?” said Sam Shamansky, who’s representing Dustin Thompson, an Ohio man accused of stealing a coat rack during the riot. Shamansky said his client would never have been at the Capitol on Jan. 6 if Trump hadn’t “summoned him there.” Trump, he added, engaged in a “devious yet effective plot to brainwash” supporters into believing the election was stolen, putting them in the position where they “felt the the need to defend their country at the request of the commander in chief.” “I think it fits perfectly,” he said of the defence. “The more nuanced question is: Who is going to buy it? What kind of jury panel do you need to understand that?” While experts say blaming Trump may not get their clients off the hook, it may help at sentencing when they ask the judge for leniency. “It could likely be considered a mitigating factor that this person genuinely believed they were simply following the instructions of the leader of the United States,” said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney in Michigan who's now a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. It could also bolster any potential cases against the former president, experts say. “That defence is dead on arrival,” said Bradley Simon, a New York City white-collar criminal defence attorney and former federal prosecutor. “But I do think that these statements by defendants saying that they were led on by Trump causes a problem for him if the Justice Department or the attorney general in D.C. were to start looking at charges against him for incitement of the insurrection.” While the legal bar is high for prosecuting Trump in the Capitol siege, the former president is already facing a lawsuit from Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson that accuses him of conspiring with extremist groups to prevent Congress from certifying the election results. And more lawsuits could come. Trump spread baseless claims about the election for weeks and addressed thousands of supporters at a rally near the White House before the Capitol riot, telling them that they had gathered in Washington "to save our democracy." Later, Trump said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” A lawyer for Jacob Chansley, the shirtless man who wore face paint and a hat with horns inside the Capitol, attached a highlighted transcript of the Trump's speech before the riot to a court filing seeking Chansley's release from custody. The defence lawyer, Albert Watkins, said the federal government is sending a “disturbingly chilling message” that Americans will be prosecuted “if they do that which the President asks them to do.” Defence lawyers have employed other strategies without better success. In one case, the judge called a defence attorney’s portrayal of the riots as mere trespassing or civil disobedience both “unpersuasive and detached from reality.” In another, a judge rejected a man’s claim that he was “duped” into joining the anti-government Oath Keepers group and participating in the attack on the Capitol. Other defendants linked to militant groups also have tried to shift blame to Trump in seeking their pretrial release from jail. An attorney for Jessica Watkins said the Oath Keepers member believed local militias would be called into action if Trump invoked the Insurrection Act to stay in office. Watkins disavowed the Oath Keepers during a court hearing on Friday, saying she has been “appalled” by fellow members of the far-right militia. “However misguided, her intentions were not in any way related to an intention to overthrow the government, but to support what she believed to be the lawful government,” her lawyer wrote. Meanwhile, a lawyer for Dominic Pezzola, another suspected Proud Boy, said he “acted out of the delusional belief that he was a ‘patriot’ protecting his country." Defence attorney Jonathan Zucker described Pezzola as “one of millions of Americans who were misled by the President's deception.” “Many of those who heeded his call will be spending substantial portions if not the remainder of their lives in prison as a consequence," he wrote. “Meanwhile Donald Trump resumes his life of luxury and privilege." Michael Kunzelman And Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
(Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit) P.E.I. has had 12 new cases of COVID-19 in the past four days. Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, will give an briefing Saturday at 4:45 p.m. to update Islanders further. In the meantime, here is what you need to know. Summerside Everyone from age 14 to 29 in the Summerside area should get tested immediately for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside will be open for testing throughout the weekend for people without symptoms. Those aged 14 to 21 can get tested at the school anytime Saturday, regardless of birth date. People 22 to 29 years old can go Sunday — 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those born Jan. 1 to June 30, and 2-8 p.m. for those born July 1 to Dec. 31. The Chief Public Health Office said those in the 14-29 age group do not have to self-isolate until tests come back. That is as long as they do not have symptoms and have not been at one of the potential exposure locations listed. Anyone with symptoms should immediately go for testing at Slemon Park, which is open Saturday until 4 p.m. There are three public exposure sites in Summerside. Iron Haven Gym at the County Fair Mall potential expose times: Saturday, Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m. Breakfast Spot potential exposure time: Saturday, Feb. 20, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Domino's Pizza potential exposure times: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Callbeck's Home Hardware in Summerside announced in a Facebook post it was closing until further notice after a COVID-19 case was linked to the store. As well, the Pita Pit posted that it would be closing its Charlottetown and Summerside stores until staff can be tested and the stores cleaned thoroughly. Charlottetown Taste of India restaurant on Kent Street in Charlottetown is listed as a potental COVID-19 exposure site. In Charlottetown, two exposure sites have been identified. Taste of India restaurant on Kent Street possible exposure times: Saturday, Feb. 20 between 4 and 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, between 4 and 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, between 3 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Toys R Us on Buchanan Drive potential exposure times: Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. The Charlottetown testing clinic on Park Street is open until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. People CBC spoke with say the wait time is about five to 10 minutes. No extra testing clinics have been added in Charlottetown. The testing clinic in Park Street in Charlottetown is open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. P.E.I. has had 120 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with seven active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations. Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose.
OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. By the time that dose is injected, it has travelled to at least six different cities in four countries, across the Atlantic Ocean twice, and monitored by a 24-hour watchtower in Iceland every step of the way. A marvel of both science and supply-chain heroics takes the vaccine from the factory floor to the arms of grateful patients all over the world. "It's really very complex," said Germain Morin, Pfizer's vice-president in charge of global supply chains for the company's rare-disease medications and vaccines. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines being made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, as well as Moderna, are a novel technology that before COVID-19 had never been approved for widespread use in humans. While DNA is the large and complex molecule that stores all of genetic coding that makes us who we are, RNA carries individual pieces of that code out into the body with the instructions on how to carry out the body's work. In the case of mRNA vaccines, they are carrying the genetic code for part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which teaches our bodies to mount a defence against the virus. A year ago, the materials for these vaccines were being made for research purposes only, enough for maybe a few hundred doses at a time. Now Pfizer expects to pump out two billion doses by the end of this year. It has made scaling up the manufacturing process a herculean feat, said Morin. There are 25 different suppliers involved, spanning 19 different countries. Some of them, said Morin, were making milligrams of liquid at the start. Then they were asked to make kilograms of it, and finally hundreds of kilograms. The 475,000 doses Canada received last week began their lives before Christmas. Morin said it used to take four months to make a single dose of the vaccine, which is officially called BNT162b2. Morin said the process has recently been streamlined to half that time. Every dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is born in a Pfizer lab in Chesterfield, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. That's where small DNA molecules called plasmids are made with the beginnings of the code for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It takes about two weeks, followed by a quality assurance process. Every step of production has quality checks and rechecks, from the bags and boxes used to store and transport the vaccine components to the temperature in the lab and the protective clothing worn by any workers. Then comes the first major chill, as the plasmids are put in bags and frozen to that famous ultralow temperature Pfizer's product needs: -80C. From Missouri, the plasmids are shipped to two labs, one a Pfizer facility in Andover, Mass., and another a BioNTech facility in Germany, where they are used to make the mRNA. A single batch of mRNA takes about four days to make, in a high-tech process with numerous enzymes and chemicals. The mRNA is then frozen again and shipped off for finishing. In the U.S. that happens in Kalamazoo, Mich., and for Canada's doses, currently made in Europe, they go to Puurs, Belgium, Pfizer's biggest plant in the world. Messenger RNA is not a very stable product and will disintegrate quickly if not protected, so every bit of mRNA is encased in a tiny amount of fat called a lipid nanoparticle. "Imagine a very, very small egg, so a very small eggshell of lipids that would protect the mRNA," said Morin. "This is part of the magic of making this vaccine as well." Over the course of three or four more days the mRNA gets its lipid coating, and is filled into vials containing enough vaccine for six doses. The vials are then packed into boxes, and immediately put into "those famous freezers" which turn the lipid-coated mRNA molecules into mini blocks of ultracold ice. "This was, by the way, one of the challenges," said Morin. "You can imagine that those freezers are not very common in the world. Laboratories buying them would typically buy them one or two at a time. We went to the suppliers and the first time we've asked for 650 of them in one shot, and then we went for more after that." The vials stay in those freezers for two to three weeks, while every lot is tested with more than 40 different quality-control measures. Then come the thermal shipping boxes Pfizer and BioNTech developed for this vaccine. Each vial is packed into a tray about the size of a pizza box with 195 vials total. Five trays are packaged together into the special box, which is filled with dry ice, and sealed. Every box contains a tracking unit to know its location and internal temperature at all times. A control site in Iceland monitors the boxes, which are all uniquely labelled. If any box records a problem between Belgium and the delivery site, it will be investigated and most likely discarded. Morin said at first there were many concerns about the complexity of the freezer requirements but the supply chain has been so successful that only one per cent of the product around the world has been lost because of temperature concerns. Pfizer contracted with UPS to deliver the boxes. Those are picked up by UPS in Belgium, and sent through Germany and Kentucky on their way to Canada. UPS delivers the batches to dozens of delivery sites in each province, where provincial health officials take over possession and prepare to inject them into arms. Moderna hasn't released as many details about its manufacturing process, but has said the vaccine is largely produced for Canada in Switzerland, sent to Spain to be mixed with a diluent and filled into vials, and then shipped to a warehouse in Belgium. Canada has hired FedEx and Innomar Strategies to manage the shipping and distribution of Moderna's and all other vaccines except Pfizer-BioNTech's. Guy Payette, the president of Innomar, said they too use specially designed boxes. Moderna's vaccine doesn't have to be frozen as deeply but does have to be kept at about -20C. The other vaccines Canada is likely to get will mostly need to be kept at about 6 C. Payette said each box is also labelled and tracked with a GPS and thermal sensor. The shipments arrive at Innomar's warehouse, where workers repackage them to match the quantities being sent to each province. He said except for one spot in northern British Columbia, the trackers have worked beautifully. Where they did not, due to the altitude, boxes are equipped with a second device with data that can be downloaded later. He said so far, the temperature has been fine and all products delivered successfully. Those involved in the vaccine process have expressed awe at the speed with which everything turned around. Moderna's vaccine was in clinical trials less than two months after the SARS-CoV-2 virus was fully sequenced. Pfizer and BioNTech signed a partnership agreement in March 2020, and 266 days later the vaccine was approved in the United Kingdom. More than 50 countries have since followed suit and more than 100 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine have now been distributed. It's a pace of development the company has never seen in its 173-year history. "Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, not even close," said Morin. He said most products take three to five years to get this far. "We're very proud," he said. "Every new market that we launch is a celebration." He said when the first Canadian was vaccinated on Dec. 14, "I had goosebumps." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
(Submitted by Jeremias Tecu - image credit) Jeremías Tecú hid from the Guatemalan militia between the roots of a massive inup tree with his mother and younger siblings every night for more than two weeks. The year was 1981 and Tecú was 11 years old. He and his family were trying to survive a massacre during a civil war that would leave more than 200,000 Indigenous Mayans dead. Massacres by the Guatemalan regime in the early 1980s destroyed 626 villages, including Ceiba, Tecú's village. From the tree roots during the violence, Tecú could make out the silhouettes of other people hiding, just as he was. "That tree was, every single night for about 15 days, our shelter," the Fredericton resident said of the 180-foot tall inup, the Mayan symbol for life. Years later, after dedicating his life to speaking out against corruption and Indigenous murders in Guatemala, Tecú was kidnapped and tortured in 1999. He escaped to neighbouring Mexico in 2000 and was granted refugee status in Canada, where he arrived 19 years ago with his wife and kids. In collaboration with Moncton-based therapist Eve Mills Allen, Tecú's life story has been told in a book that launched this month: In the Arms of Inup: The extraordinary story of a Guatemalan survivor and his quest for healing from trauma. The roots of an inup or ceiba tree in Puerto Rico. The massacre The background to Tecú's story begins in the 1950s, when Guatemala's land was owned by a few rich families. Through protests, the country's working class demanded equality. But after some of the land was redistributed to peasants, many of them Indigenous Mayan people, a civil war began. The terror that ensued lasted about 36 years, from 1960 to 1996, and throughout those years, the government murdered more than 10 per cent of the Mayan population, reducing it from over 50 per cent of Guatemala's population to about 40 per cent. The government labelled the Indigenous Mayans communists to try to justify the slaughter, although the Mayans were protesting for land that was theirs. Tecú's aunt and uncle were among the Mayan casualties. After their murder, Tecú's home was set on fire and, along with his mother and siblings, he left his village and walked for 45 days until he reached Guatemala City. The book cover for In the Arms of Inup Tecú's fear of being massacred stayed with him for years, until he landed in Fredericton in 2002. And after that, a new kind of fear settled over him. Tecú, who now works as a settlement worker, suffered from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, often working long hours or drinking to forget the mass-slaughter he witnessed as a boy. "I would go into a liquor store, for example, to buy a six pack," he said. "That's how I got at least one hour of sleep." "You can be in paradise but the memory is there. They come back to your mind." Eight years ago, a lifeline materialized in front of Tecú, in the form of paper and pencil and a therapist eager to listen. How they met In 2013, Mills Allen facilitated a writing group at the Multicultural Association of Fredericton. Nine people showed up, including Tecú. Mills Allen told the participants how therapeutic writing their own stories could be. "He came up to me and said, 'I need to tell my story. Would you write it?'" After sharing some of his story with Mills Allen, she decided she would take on the challenge. "I guess I just knew it's a story that needed to be told but I was a little nervous of whether I could take on that task." For eight years, Mills Allen and Tecú met in coffee shops, in parks, in their own homes. Writing the book was a long process because reliving experiences often became overwhelming for Tecú. "Many times, I was sobbing along with him," said Mills Allen. But receiving a hard copy of the book this week made it all worth it, said Tecú. Central American immigrants on the run on Jan. 20, 2020. Poverty and murder in Guatemala linked to government corruption have led thousands to leave their country for the United States. Storytelling therapy According to Mills Allen, writing helps victims take control of their own stories and emotions. "It helps organize what's all jumbled up, coming at you from all sides of your life." It gives victims the chance to find a beginning, a middle and an end to their experiences, said Mills Allen, as it did for Tecú. "He gained a little control, feeling out of control. And you can reframe the way things happen. That makes you see your own resilience." Tecú hopes his book inspires survivors of trauma with PTSD to seek help. "To anyone who suffered torture, I want to tell them that life is beautiful. But in order to see it, you must look for support." His book is now on sale on the HARP Publishing website.
LONDON — A World War II-era plane flew Saturday over the funeral service of Captain Tom Moore to honour of the veteran who single-handedly raised millions of pounds for Britain's health workers by walking laps in his backyard. Soldiers performed ceremonial duties at the service for the 100-year-old Moore, whose charity walk inspired the nation and raised almost 33 million pounds ($46 million.) Captain Tom, as he became known, died Feb. 2 in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. The private service was small, attended by just eight members of the veteran's immediate family. But soldiers carried his coffin, draped in the Union flag, from the hearse to a crematorium and formed a ceremonial guard. Others performed a gun salute, before a C-47 Dakota military jet flew past. “Daddy, you always told us ‘Best foot forward’ and true to your word, that’s what you did last year," Moore's daughter, Lucy Teixeira, said at the service. “I know you will be watching us chuckling, saying ‘Don’t be too sad as something has to get you in the end.’" A version of the song “Smile," recorded for the funeral by singer Michael Bublé, was played, as well as “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, as requested by Moore. A bugler sounded “The Last Post” to close the service. Moore, who served in India, Burma and Sumatra during WWII, set out to raise a modest 1,000 pounds for Britain’s National Health Service by walking 100 laps of his backyard by his 100th birthday last year. But his quest went viral, catching the imagination of millions stuck at home during the first wave of the pandemic. His positive attitude - “Please remember, tomorrow will be a good day” became his trademark phrase - inspired the nation at a time of crisis. Prime Minister Boris Johnson described him as a “hero in the truest sense of the word.? He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in July in a socially distanced ceremony at Windsor Castle, west of London. The Associated Press
BERLIN — Germany's Left has picked two women to lead the anti-capitalist party into this fall's national election. A party conference Saturday elected Janine Wissler und Susanne Hennig-Wellsow as co-leaders. Wissler is the Left's parliamentary caucus leader in Hesse state. Hennig-Wellsow is the party's chairwoman in Thuringia, the only German state where the Left leads a government. The succeed Katja Kipping and Bernd Riexinger, who have led the party since 2012. The Left, which is partly rooted in East Germany's governing Socialist Unity Party, received 9.2% of the vote in the 2017 national election. Current polls ahead of the vote on Sept. 26 put its support at 7-8%. The Associated Press
Unidentified gunmen stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Jangebe and took the girls away, say police.View on euronews
(© Disney/Chelsea Klette - image credit) A Saskatoon artist is joining the elite ranks of those who bring the magic of Disney to life. Denyse Klette is the first Canadian to be signed by Collectors Editions as an officially published creator of Disney fine art. "It's magical," Klette said. "My mom and dad had Sunday nights as a special evening where … they'd make us hamburgers and French fries and we'd watch The Wonderful World of Disney. So I absolutely grew up on this." Denyse Klette is a painter and sculptor based on an acerage outside of Saskatoon, Sask. The Collectors Editions is not a Disney Corporation, but it's the only independent company in the world with rights to produce and publish Disney fine art. "They have a small group of artists from around the world that they've selected and we get to design and create Disney art," Klette said. "The originals are sold in different Disney galleries and also they have reproductions done." The painter and sculptor lives on an acreage just outside of Saskatoon and has a style that combines her mediums. Klette paints an image, then sculpts around the edges to give it a 3D aspect. Denyse Klette's work combines painting with sculpture work around the edges. Klette said she is allowed to base pieces on almost any of Disney's animated works. She first produces a full-colour concept drawing on her iPad then uploads it to the Collectors Edition team. The team sends it to the Walt Disney Company, which then reviews it and makes any corrections on proportions or colours. Disney then sends it back to the Collectors Edition, which gives her the go ahead. So far she has created artwork inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Moana, Tangled, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Frozen, The Lion King, Lilo & Stitch and Mulan. Denyse Klette is authorized to produce work based on animated characters from Disney. She paints the picture then adds sculpted frames for a unique piece of art. Her work is mainly on display at the Disney art gallery at the Epcot Centre in Florida, but she's allowed to sell in Canada through her website. Her originals or reproductions can also be found at galleries authorized by Collector's Editions. "It's so much fun. I get to walk into my studio and paint Mickey Mouse," Klette said. "I still do like my non-Disney, but to do Disney art, it's such a magical and close-to-the-heart experience." Klette said she has an extensive library of Disney books that she collected over the course of almost 40 years. "It really is a dream come true." Noka Aldoroty, the director of Disney fine art at Collectors Editions, said in a statement that Walt Disney's ability to inspire others to create was his greatest talent. "It amazes me that even to this day his legacy is still inspiring artists to invent new ways of reimagining and interpreting Disney stories through their own creative lens," Aldoroty said. "We saw in Denyse a truly unique point-of-view artistically, and we could not be more excited to share her talents with Disney fans and art collectors around the world." One of Denyse Klette's pieces is a Moana-inspired painting with a custom-sculpted frame. Klette's work can be found in hotels, resorts, private collections, home decor products, bags, puzzles and more. She also signed a book deal in 2016 with Macmillan Publishers for a whimsical series of adult colouring books distributed worldwide. Klette is currently working on pieces inspired by Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations and Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
The Village of South River discussed several topics at its Feb. 22 council meeting, including the annual water report, South River’s arena status and the District of Parry Sound Social Services Board being more involved in health and well-being. Here are key quotes from the council meeting. On the 2020 annual water report “People have concerns and rightly so; they have a right to be concerned about the security of their water, but we certainly have taken all the steps to make sure that security is there and it’s good for us to have a reminder for them,” said Coun. Bill O’Hallarn. “On our water page, both this report and the next one that we’re about to accept will be on the website (Feb. 23) and the past years are there,” said clerk-administrator Don McArthur. On the South River Arena “As we all know, we decided to remove the ice and that work will go on. We’ll move forward all the maintenance once they get the ice out that would have normally taken place in May and June — we can begin in March and see how far that takes us,” said McArthur. “We’re hopeful that the (Investing in Canadian Infrastructure Program) COVID-19 grant may be announced before the end of March and maybe we can enhance some of that work. For right now, the plan is to put the ice back in mid-June to be ready for hockey opportunity camp … so the arena update is that the season came to an end unfortunately,” said McArthur. On the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board “That’s something we always wanted to do, was to have the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board more involved with health and well-being,” said Coun. Teri Brandt. “The DSSAB is an active member of the build in Powassan for the new Noah building and you can see the building is going ahead and they’re very optimistic there’s going to be 50 units and lots of subsidized units,” said Brandt. The Village of South River’s next council meeting is on March 8. Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
(Submitted by Kathryn Joel - image credit) Kathryn Joel has instructed in-person cooking classes with a focus on global dishes made with local ingredients for nearly a decade, but last year she was unsure if she'd make it another year with health restrictions related to the pandemic halting classes. In April, she started cooking meals in her commercial kitchen and delivering them door-to-door, but it was only a temporary measure. "There were just two of us working initially and we did that for maybe two weeks," said Joel, owner and chef of Get Cooking. "Then I was miserable and it was hard work for almost no money, and I had to sit myself down and think, you can't do this." With the help of her sons, she upgraded her cooking studio, adding video cameras, sound mixers and video cards to host virtual cooking classes. This year has been a busy one for Jordan — along with three other chefs, she's been hosting public and private sessions almost every day. Since launching a winter season of virtual classes in January, almost all of the 30-person classes have sold out. Offerings include the Vietnamese noodle dish bun cha, South Indian crepe-like dosas, and the French classic coq au vin. The classes range from an hour and a half to two hours. The head chef cooks from the Get Cooking kitchen studio, while another host engages with close to 30 participants on the video chat as they cook along at home, making sure everyone is caught up on each step of the recipe. Jordan charges $25 per device, while the at-home cooks supply their own groceries based on the recipe supplied. Jordan is happy with the accessibility that she can now offer through the virtual classes. "It can be a whole household joining in, which often is couples and families cooking. And it's under thirty dollars," she said. "So you either have to buy the ingredients, but they also have a meal at the end of it. So I love that. I love the accessibility of it. I have not always felt good that it's such an extremely expensive experience for people to come to." On Wednesday, a group learned how to make gnocchi Parisienne, a version of the pasta that's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, along with a lamb ragu sauce. Making the gnocchi involves a tricky process of using a transferring choux pastry through a piping bag and cutting pieces of it as they fall into boiling water. The finished product from Kathryn Joel's cooking class featuring gnocchi parisienne topped with a lamb ragu sauce. "It was one of those ones where you've had gnocchi and then you have this and you're like, 'Oh, I'm going back.' I felt like a Parisian chef. It was fantastic," said Trisha Roffey, a participant in the cooking class. Roffey has taken part in previous Get Cooking classes over the past three years, but has been logging onto the virtual sessions almost weekly "Instead of going in, doing something, tasting something, coming back and describing it to your family, my family became immersed in it," she said. "The kids started cooking with me while we were doing it and learning the techniques and commenting on the foods and looking forward to the different classes." Cooks logging on from across the province The virtual classes have allowed people from around the province — and country — to participate A couple from South Carolina recently joined a class after searching for a class that teaches Indian dishes. Eileen Dooley of Calgary took part in the Wednesday class, trying the soft gnocchi dish a shot for the first time. She's signed up for classes with her mother as a way to spend time together as they cook in their own homes. "Food, I think because we're home, it's just kind of brought people together during this pandemic and again, making things you normally don't make," she said. Dooley was supposed to be travelling in Taiwan at this time and trying out local dishes. She appreciates that the Get Cooking classes focus on International cooking as it's the closest thing to escaping an Alberta winter and tasting different flavours. Kathryn Joel, cooks lamb in a skillet in her Get Cooking studio as class of students watch through a video chat and cook along in their kitchens at home."They kind of know you're missing travelling, and you can make it at home. It's not the same, but it's something. It's better than nothing," she said. Jodena Rogers of Calgary said she usually avoids cooking. Between work as a property manager and keeping her kids busy, making something that involves trial and error was the last thing on her mind, but having time at home during the pandemic has her looking to learn something new like cooking. "I think social engagement is huge, but sometimes people are intimidated by that experience," she said. "So for me, I came home from work. I'm able to get right into it. I do my prep work and I do think that there is a trend in virtual learning and we'll continue on with that." Joel agrees with that sentiment. She prefers the virtual cooking classes compared to the in-person group sessions she previously offered. She plans to make virtual classes as part of her business permanently, as she expects the trend of cooking at home to continue.
A military guard of honor and Royal Air Force fly-past marked the funeral on Saturday of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the World War Two veteran who raised millions of pounds for Britain's health service during the coronavirus pandemic. By the time he finished, on April 16, he was being willed on by millions in Britain and beyond, and the total raised was heading toward 39 million pounds ($54 million). Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of his efforts, while the White House said after his death that he had "inspired millions through his life and his actions".
Tunisia's biggest political party assembled an immense crowd of supporters in the capital on Saturday in a show of strength that could fuel a dispute between the president and the prime minister. In one of the biggest demonstrations since Tunisia's 2011 revolution, tens of thousands of Ennahda supporters marched through central Tunis chanting "The people want to protect institutions!" and "The people want national unity!". The dispute has played out against a grim backdrop of economic anxiety, disillusionment with democracy and competing reform demands from foreign lenders and the UGTT, the powerful main labour union, as debt repayments loom.
(Chantal Dubuc/CBC - image credit) He's a cat with an attitude and familiar to anyone who has visited the NWT SPCA in Yellowknife the last few years. After being fostered three times and spending 1,259 days at the shelter, Harrison the cat has finally found a permanent home. You couldn't walk in the SPCA shelter without seeing "do not touch Harrison" posters or get a verbal warning from staff to keep your distance and give him space. Harrison's a cat with a rough past and was reactive, not giving much warning before he would strike. Shelter staff affectionately called him Dirty Harry for his sometimes mean streak. A softer side It took Eileen Hendry to show that Harry also has a soft side . "I was thinking I was maybe ready for another cat and I was starting to kind of watch what the SPCA had available for pets. And, you know, Harrison kept popping up in the feed and stuff and he's quite well known around town." When she finally met him at the SPCA, they sat quietly together in the cat room and she was able to pet him for about 15 minutes. She talked to the staff about what his needs were and where he was happiest and thought maybe that she could be a good fit. "I was really looking for easier pets," she said with a laugh. "I went actually to meet the other cat [Fritz] that I had originally seen. And after I met [Harrison], I just couldn't stop thinking about him." She ended up bringing both cats home because she wasn't sure if Harrison would ever really be happy with just her for company. "And they did tell me that he really likes other cats," she added. It took four days but Harrison the cat finally jumped on Eileen Hendry's lap after he was in his new home with her. 'He was definitely showing that he was interested in having me for company and getting close to me,' she said. Given up hope Dana Martin who's the NWT SPCA vice-president remembers when Harrison first arrived at the shelter. "Harrison arrived in a crate, a woman from his neighborhood found him and boxed him up into a cat carrier and brought him in. He was very frightened and underweight, very matted, very aggressive. We learned quickly that he was a biter and we needed to be careful with him." He was moody with people but he liked other cats. He would navigate around and be attracted to the cats that were under stress. "He'd sit by them or, you know, in the bottom kennels in the room. He'd go and sit by the cats that were hiding and a little bit stressed." Harrison the cat gets comfortable with his new housemate, Fritz, aka Sir Pounce a lot. The staff had all but given up hope to find Harrison the perfect home. They had accepted that he was going to be their cat at the shelter until Eileen scooped him up. Martin says that in another shelter, Harrison's story might have ended quite differently. Cats with behavioural issues are often the first to be euthanized.The SPCA in Yellowknife is a no-kill shelter and this offered time to build a positive association with people again. "I think he had been here long enough [to] learn from everybody that people are OK again. I think that that allowed him to connect with her. It really is a happy ending for Harrison. And it's a new beginning for him." 'This is forever' Hendry says that after four days of being in his new home, he finally jumped on her lap. "I sat on the couch and he came over and kind of draped himself over my lap. So he was definitely showing that he was interested in having me for company and getting close to me. He just wasn't quite sure how to do it at that time," said Hendry. She says that she's learning his subtle cues when he's moody and knows when to leave him alone. "This is forever," she said. "The day I brought him home, I signed the adoption papers. I didn't say I was just going to foster him or anything. So it is a long-term commitment, and I'm looking forward to having him around for a long time." Hendry even started an Instagram account so the shelter staff who miss him can keep up with Harry's new life with his new buddy Fritz, aka Sir Pounce a lot.
(Submitted by David Voelker - image credit) Forty-three years ago, Dave Voelker spent two days walking 48 kilometres across a frozen Lake Erie. On Feb. 25, 1978, Voelker left Cleveland, Ohio by himself and was set on reaching Colchester, Ont. in the next 48 hours. On his back he carried all that he would need, including a tent, walkie talkie, and a tripod with a camera. "I knew it was frozen across I had to give it a shot, I'm a bit of an adventure junkie," Voelker told CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre. He said the temperature that year had been below freezing for at least a month and to be certain the water was frozen through, he checked in with the coast guard. A frozen Lake Erie as photographed by Voelker. When he first started crossing he said he saw some ice fishers, but there eventually came a point of "absolutely nothing at all." LISTEN: Dave Voelker talks about what the journey across was like with host Chris dela Torre "I was in my element," he said. "I'm a bit of a loner to begin with and being in the middle of a frozen Great Lake is the ultimate alone time, you're just left alone on your thoughts and I just reflected on what I was doing." He said he wasn't really scared, but the adventure didn't come without its challenges. At one point he could tell an ice breaker had gone through the lake and it caused the ice to bunch up in odd places. He also had to check a compass to make sure he was headed in the right direction. Eventually he made it to the other side and said a family witnessed his arrival. They then invited him in for dinner. Voelker pitched up a tent one day into his hike across the lake. Upon arriving in Colchester, he said he was relieved because he was so tired. Afterwards he says he ended up hitchhiking back home and passed through Windsor to do so. Some people still don't believe that Voelker crossed the lake, but he says he hopes the photos are enough. "Even if people don't believe it I know that I did it," he said.
Milan — La tension monte entre les secteurs du bois et du sirop d’érable. À qui et comment la société québécoise doit-elle prêter sa forêt ? Pour le président de l’Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers du Québec, François Laliberté, la discussion récemment enclenchée s’impose. « Les deux sont des activités importantes de notre patrimoine forestier collectif et les deux ont un fort potentiel de développement, analyse-t-il. Dans les deux cas, on en voudrait plus. Mais la forêt est limitée. On est condamnés à faire des compromis de part et d’autre, parce qu’on veut quand même une diversité d’activités. Il faut également comprendre que ces deux activités-là ne sont pas totalement incompatibles, mais l’une a un impact sur l’autre. » Par exemple, le bois provenant d’un érable entaillé perd de la valeur. « À l’inverse, lorsqu’on fait de la récolte de bois, même des coupes partielles, momentanément, on perd un certain nombre d’entailles », dit-il, précisant que surtout les arbres en fin de vie sont ciblés par les ingénieurs forestiers. Actuellement, 18 % des érablières du Québec se retrouvent en terre publiques. Inquiets de voir le potentiel acéricole exclu de la nouvelle Statégie nationale de production de bois, dévoilée en décembre par le ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) et qui vise à doubler les coupes forestières d’ici 2080, les Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec (PPAQ) réclament une mise en suspens des chantiers en terre publique tant qu’ils ne seront pas rassurés. En réponse à cette fameuse stratégie, les PPAQ ont d’ailleurs publié leur propre plan pour l’avenir, qui implique168 M d’entailles en 2080 afin de répondre à la demande croissante de sirop d’érable sur le marché mondial. Ce sont donc 120 M d’entailles qui devront être ajoutées, dont 36 M en terres publiques. « Une bonne partie des grandes érablières sont situées sur des terres publiques, et elles doivent pouvoir grandir, explique Philippe Breton, directeur des ventes chez Érablière Lapierre et administrateur pour l’International Maple Syrup Institute. Ce qui se fait actuellement par le Ministère, c’est de l’aménagement qui est à très, très long terme, alors qu’on pourrait exploiter la forêt publique à court terme en acériculture beaucoup plus facilement et de manière plus rentable. Quand le Ministère fait un plan de doubler la production de bois d’ici 2080, bien nous, ce qu’on voit, c’est doubler le nombre d’érables à entailler potentiellement qui seront coupés. » Couper, c’est régénérer M. Laliberté ne peut pas se prononcer sur la compatibilité des ambitions de chaque côté, mais souligne que l’objectif de production de bois ne sera atteint que si on double la productivité des forêts québécoises. « Dans les érablières, c’est de faire des bons travaux de jardinage qui vont favoriser la régénération et la croissance de façon optimale. On peut comprendre que d’ici 2080, on a le temps de faire une ou deux rotations de cycle de jardinage, et le potentiel sera quand même bon à la fin. Il ne faudrait peut-être pas non plus se priver d’aller chercher une ou deux rotations de bois en attendant qu’elles soient entaillées. Mais il faut savoir quand ça risque d’être entaillé. Ça prend un plan des deux côtés. La stratégie vient de sortir et les plans ne sont pas terminés, mais c’est le bon moment pour se poser la question avec les érablières », avance-t-il, rappelant que le gouvernement décide des coupes, tandis que les PPAQ décident des entailles. Cependant, l’ingénieur admet que les coupes de jardinage acérico-forestier, qui privent les érablières d’entailles à court terme, pourraient être revues. « Ça coûte cher de faire une intervention comme ça dans une érablière. Est-ce qu’on pourrait travailler ça autrement ? La réflexion pourrait se faire. Il faudrait réviser certaines choses, comme les engagements ou les attributions de bois. Ça fait partie des compromis. » De son côté, le MFFP assure que le dialogue se poursuit avec les PPAQ et que « la Stratégie nationale de production de bois n’est pas en contradiction avec le développement de l’acériculture ». Son porte-parole, Sylvain Carrier, ajoute que le Ministère consulte actuellement les TGIRT sur des zones où les activités acéricoles seraient priorisées. « À la suite de cette étape de consultation, le MFFP officialisera des superficies de potentiels acéricoles à prioriser dans l’ensemble des régions où les PPAQ émettront de nouveaux contingents de production acéricole dans les années à venir. » L’Estrie a du mal à s’entendre La coordinatrice de la Table de gestion intégrée des ressources naturelles et du territoire de l’Estrie, Manon Ayotte, se montre inquiète pour la concertation du milieu depuis le début des querelles entourant l’acériculture et la foresterie. Les dernières réunions de la table on fait l’objet d’attaques personnelles et de propos disgracieux, à un point où certains membres ont choisi de ne pas y assister, rapporte-t-elle. « Ça fragilise vraiment l’esprit de collaboration. On a déjà vu des belles choses et des revirements de situations qui ont fait qu’on a trouvé des solutions, mais là, je suis inquiète », dit-elle. Actuellement, le potentiel acéricole en terres publiques estriennes est d’environ 11 800 hectares. On y retrouve 74 permis acéricoles, détenus par 57 personnes ou entreprises. « Pour l’instant, ce qui a été proposé, c’est un partage 50-50. La moitié de la superficie est vouée au développement acéricole, et la moitié voué à l’aménagement forestier. C’est possible que pour les acériculteurs, ce ne soit pas assez, comme pour ceux qui utilisent la ressource du bois qui ont aussi ce sentiment-là. » Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune