Tributes are pouring in for Sgt. Peter Thiessen, a long-time B.C. RCMP spokesperson who passed away from cancer on Monday.
Tributes are pouring in for Sgt. Peter Thiessen, a long-time B.C. RCMP spokesperson who passed away from cancer on Monday.
Former President Donald Trump considered replacing the acting attorney general with an official willing to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Joe Biden’s victory, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said the efforts in the last weeks of Trump's presidency failed because of resistance from his Justice appointees who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Other senior department officials later threatened to resign if Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, several people familiar with the discussions told the Journal.
Montreal police say they responded this morning to two large gatherings in the city's Outremont neighbourhood, their third such intervention in the area in under 24 hours. Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal spokeswoman Veronique Comtois says all three gatherings were held at places of worship and involved more than 10 people, the limit for indoor religious gatherings. Police responded to the first gathering around 5:15 p.m. Friday, the second around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and the third around two hours later at 11:45 a.m. Officers took the names of people present at the scenes and will submit reports to Quebec's office of criminal prosecutions, which will decide whether to pursue further penalties. Quebec banned religious gatherings in its latest round of lockdowns earlier this month, but reversed the ban on Thursday after outcry from religious groups. Comtois says police issued three fines for curfew violations in the same area on Friday night, in incidents unrelated to the gathering earlier that evening. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The federal government has approved an Ottawa company's made-in-Canada rapid COVID-19 test, Health Canada confirmed Saturday as the nation's top doctor warned the virus's impact on the health-care system showed no signs of abating. The test developed by Spartan Bioscience is performed by a doctor and provides on-site results within an hour, a spokeswoman for the federal agency said. Spartan bills the test as the first "truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19 for the Canadian market." "The Spartan system will be able to provide quality results to remote communities, industries and settings with limited lab access, helping relieve the burden on overwhelmed healthcare facilities," the company said in a news release Saturday. The company originally unveiled a rapid test for COVID-19 last spring but had to voluntarily recall it and perform additional studies after Health Canada expressed some reservations. At the time, Spartan said Health Canada was concerned about the "efficacy of the proprietary swab" for the testing product. The new version uses "any nasopharyngeal swab" rather than one of the company's own design, Health Canada said, and meets the agency's requirements for both safety and effectiveness. The Spartan COVID-19 System was developed through clinical evaluation completed in Canada and the U.S., with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute as one of the testing locations. The company said it has already started production on the rapid tests. The news comes as Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, warned that COVID-19 continues to strain the health-care system even as daily case counts decline in several long-standing hot spots. "As severe outcomes lag behind increased disease activity, we can expect to see ongoing heavy impacts on our healthcare system and health workforce for weeks to come," she said in a written statement. Surging new infection rates continued to show signs of easing in multiple provinces, though one jurisdiction was poised to impose new restrictions in a bid to stem the ongoing spread. Public health officials in New Brunswick reported 17 new cases across the province, 10 of which were in the Edmundston region, which was set to go into a lockdown first thing Sunday morning. Starting at midnight, non-essential travel is prohibited in and out of the area, which borders northern Maine and Quebec's Bas-St-Laurent region. The health order forces the closure of all non-essential businesses as well as schools and public spaces, including outdoor ice rinks and ski hills. All indoor and outdoor gatherings among people of different households are prohibited. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, logged 274 new cases of the virus and three new deaths, while Manitoba counted three more deaths and 216 new diagnoses. Alberta logged 573 new cases and 13 virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, while both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new infections on Saturday. Both Quebec and Ontario reported fewer cases Saturday — 1,685 and 2,359 respectively. But officials in Ontario expressed concern about a highly contagious U.K. variant of the virus that was detected at a long-term care facility north of Toronto. Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed the variant was behind the outbreak at Roberta Place Retirement Lodge in Barrie, Ont., where 32 residents have died of COVID-19 and dozens of others have tested positive. "Stringent and consistent efforts are needed to sustain a downward trend in case counts and strongly suppress COVID-19 activity across Canada," Tam said. "This will not only prevent more tragic outcomes, but will help to ensure that new virus variants of concern do not have the opportunity to spread." Fears of variants that can circulate quickly come as the federal government considers a mandatory quarantine in hotels for travellers returning to Canada. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Victoria Ahearn and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
At least two businesses in the Maritimes have had their online contests hijacked by scammers in the past week. The businesses, Nimrods' restaurant in P.E.I. and the snack-food company Made with Local in Nova Scotia, are warning customers not to be fooled by scammers telling them they won a contest and asking them to provide personal information such as credit card numbers. Nimrods' began a contest recently in conjunction with the Facebook group P.E.I. Good News Only. Facebook users would like and share a post, and be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate. But soon afterward, people were notified by scammers with a fake Nimrods' account saying they had won, and linking to a page where they were asked to provide credit card information. "We started receiving messages from people saying, 'Is this fake or is this real?' and so then we knew there was an issue," said Nimrods' co-owner Mikey Wasnidge. Nimrods' and the administrator of P.E.I. Good News Only quickly posted a message warning of the scam. Sheena Russell, who is from P.E.I. and founded Made with Local in Dartmouth in 2012, said something similar happened with her company last week. Made with Local, a company that creates food bars and baking mixes using local ingredients, was running a giveaway on Instagram offering a one-year supply of food bars, worth about $600. "About 24 hours in, we started seeing fake accounts trying to lure people in to entering their personal information in exchange for their prize, which is clearly not how this actually works, so that was pretty upsetting," Russell said. Wasnidge and Russell said they would contact the winners privately or post the name of the winner, and not ask for personal information. Nobody reported losing money Neither business owner contacted the police about the scam, and say they are relieved that, to their knowledge, nobody lost any money. However, they are disappointed and discouraged that someone would target their company that way. "It feels terrible," Russell said. "We spent most of the day on Friday talking to people about how this wasn't us and please don't click the link, like trying to essentially protect people from getting duped into this which you know definitely kind of take the fun out of what we were trying to do." Russell said they have run many contests in the past with no issues, but thinks the early success of the Instagram contest might have caught the attention of the scammers. Wasnidge said it makes him wonder how far scammers are willing to go, and will make the company rethink how it does contests in the future. "It's a little unnerving," he said. "It kind of hurts us that people are using the name Nimrods', you know, taking advantage of the recognizability and the familiarity and the support that that name has, and using that to trick people and make money." More from CBC P.E.I.
Amber Stewart, executive director of the Battlefords Sexual Assault Centre, wanted to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to file a police report if they wanted to pursue that option. "We know that the [statistics] on reported cases are extremely low," she said. "So how do we get those barriers down? And if we can make this experience even a little bit less painful and traumatizing, then I really wanted to make that happen." So the centre, which provides counselling to people affected by sexual or gender-based violence, teamed up with the Battlefords RCMP. Together, they have created a new safe space for interviews and counselling, located in the sexual assault centre. "It's actually a counselling room that we use to see clients" at the centre's office, Stewart said. Renovations were done for soundproofing, and to make sure it met RCMP's audio and visual requirements for recording statements, she said. According to Battlefords RCMP Staff Sgt. Jason Teniuk, having a warmer, welcoming and — most importantly — truly private place for victims of sexual assault to come forward was long overdue. Previously, people who wanted to report a sexual assault had to go to the Battlefords RCMP detachment. "When you come into our area, our waiting room is a very unprivate area, and you'll meet somebody at the front desk who is behind a barrier glass," said Teniuk. The front office area is often "full of people in various capacities," he said. "So now you put somebody who's just been involved in an extremely traumatic event, and you bring them into that environment, and they're standing in front of a glass wall talking to somebody on the other side, in full earshot of everybody else. That is intimidating. "I would even hazard to say that we're revictimizing that person by bringing them into that environment — but unfortunately, that's what we were presented with." Now, the process will be significantly different, with support for victims and survivors prioritized at every step. RCMP will have a direct line to the sexual assault centre, Stewart said. When RCMP receive a report of a sexual assault, the officer who takes the call will phone the line and be met at the BASC office by staff or a volunteer, and taken to the new interview space. "From there, our role is to support the RCMP and the victims for before and after they give their statement — making sure that they're comfortable, making sure they have everything they need, letting them know that we're there to talk before or after. "Then, of course, the RCMP will do their interview the way they need to do it." Breaking down barriers Stewart hopes the sexual assault centre will now be more able to address some of the other barriers that keep people from reporting sexual assault, such as access to child care. When people come into the new space to make a report, volunteers will be available to help out. "If you have small children and you can't leave them, you can bring them in and we've got someone here," she said. "We can play video games or watch Netflix or eat snacks, whatever the case may be, so that there really is no barrier. And that's what the end goal was for us — to address the barriers." Teniuk says child care has been significant issue in the past for people with young children who wanted to make a report to the RCMP. "I can't tell you the amount of times I've been involved in a situation where there has been a sexual assault, or any other kind of violent incident, and you'll have a young person or a young mom or young dad come in and they have their kids with them," he said. "And we've got to try and sort out a way that we can get a statement from that person, while trying to keep the kids entertained." From January to September of 2020, Saskatchewan RCMP say they received 3,711 reports of intimate partner violence. With the new space at Battlefords Sexual Assault Centre, Teniuk hopes more people will feel they can safely come forward and make a report. "I hope victims will come in and just feel as though they are being supported, that they're heard, and something is going to be done," he said. "That is extremely important to me. And while it does happen when they come [to the RCMP detachment], I think support has been a big component of what we're missing."
WASHINGTON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear to President Joe Biden on Saturday that he's eager to forge a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal. The push for a new deal came in a broad-ranging call between the two leaders that touched on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Biden administration announcing this week that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization, according to a statement from Downing Street. A new trade agreement between the allies is a higher priority for Johnson than it is for Biden. The U.K. regained control over its national trade policy at the start of the month following the end of a post-Brexit transition period. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the administration had no timeline for forging a new trade deal as Biden's attention is largely focused on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and pressing Congress to pass the president's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Janet Yellen, Biden's Treasury secretary nominee, also signalled during her confirmation hearing earlier this week that Biden wasn't eager to negotiate new trade deals. “President Biden has been clear that he will not sign any new free trade agreements before the U.S. makes major investments in American workers and our infrastructure,” Yellen said. Downing Street said Saturday that Biden and Johnson discussed “the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries," and Johnson “reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible." The White House in its own statement said that the two leaders spoke about combating climate change, containing COVID-19, and ensuring global health security as well as shared foreign policy priorities in China, Iran and Russia. But the statement notably made no mention of discussion on trade. The call with Johnson was at least Biden's third call with a foreign counterpart since Friday. The president spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday evening. Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press
The federal government is providing Ontario with some much-needed support in the fight against COVID-19. Ottawa is deploying two mobile health units – an additional 200 beds – to the Greater Toronto Area. The assistance comes as the province grapples with the growing strain on its hospital system. Morganne Campbell has more in this report.
Police in Gatineau, Que., have arrested a man after a woman's body was found in the city's Buckingham sector Saturday morning. Officers were called to 190 rue Pigeon at around 7:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about an unconscious woman, the Gatineau Police Service said in a media release. Police said when they arrived on scene, it was obvious the woman could not be resuscitated. A man in his 60s was arrested at the scene, police said, but as of late Saturday afternoon had not been charged. The woman was in her 70s, police said. Her name has not been released. Police continue to investigate the suspicious death.
Nearly a year after launching a clinical study into a potential COVID-19 treatment, researchers with the Montreal Heart Institute suggest a widely available anti-inflammatory drug is effective in helping people stay away from hospitals and survive the disease. Nearly 4,500 people took part in a study that's led to what the researchers are calling "a major scientific discovery." During the study, researchers found that colchicine reduced the chance of death or hospitalization by 21 per cent when compared to a placebo. That number went up when specifically looking at the pool of about 4,200 participants whose COVID-19 diagnoses were confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Within that group, researchers say colchicine reduced hospitalizations by 25 per cent and deaths by 44 per cent. They also found the drug helped cut the need for mechanical ventilation by 50 per cent. "These results are substantial, they are robust, and we believe are compelling to justify the use of the colchicine," said Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the Montreal Heart Institute's research centre. "I believe this will have a fairly swift impact on how we practice medicine for patients that have COVID and are not yet hospitalized." The study, called COLCORONA, was launched last March and cost $14 million. It includes hundreds of subjects whose COVID-19 diagnoses were not confirmed by PCR tests because those tests were not as widespread at the time, Tardif said. Tardif also said the initial goal was to recruit 6,000 participants, but researchers settled on a lower number due to the urgency of the situation. "The beauty of colchicine is it's already available in pharmacies. So, if a physician reads this today, and has a patient that is at risk of complications, that physician can very well prescribe colchicine today," Tardif said. "This is the reason we felt compelled to alert the population and the medical community immediately about these findings." Researchers are preparing to publish their findings in a scientific journal. The study was funded by the Quebec government and several other organizations, and was carried out without contact, with participants from Canada, the United States, South America and South Africa remaining at home.
BARCELONA, Spain — Eden Hazard scored and set up Karim Benzema for his first of two goals as Real Madrid eased to a 4-1 victory at Alavés in the Spanish league on Saturday, ending a winless run in a match that coach Zinedine Zidane missed after he contracted the coronavirus. Hazard grazed a long pass to redirect it to Benzema to double the lead for Madrid in the 41st after Casemiro had headed in the 15th-minute opener. The Belgium forward scored just his third goal of the season in first-half injury time to build a 3-0 lead at the break. Toni Kroos recovered possession in midfield and met Hazard’s run behind a disordered defensive line to score past goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco. Joselu Mato pulled one back for Alavés on the hour-mark when he headed in Lucas Pérez's free kick. Benzema made it a brace in the 70th after Luka Modric played him clear on the break. The French striker cut back inside the last defender before firing in his 10th goal in the league this campaign. Second-place Madrid reduced the gap to leader Atlético Madrid to four points. Atlético has two games in hand, starting with its home match against Valencia on Sunday. The promising performance by Hazard comes amid growing impatience shown by Madrid’s fans, and some unfavourable comparisons in the Spanish sports media to former star Gareth Bale, who was also injury prone. Hampered by injuries, the 30-year-old Hazard has not lived up to the club-record 100 million euros ($113 million) fee plus add-ons two seasons ago. Madrid assistant coach David Bettoni was on the touchline at Mendizorroza Stadium after Madrid made public on Friday that Zidane had tested positive for COVID-19. Bettoni said on Friday that Zidane was “feeling fine.” The win over struggling Alavés came after Madrid had lost two chances for titles in recent days and dropped points in two of its last three league games. After being held 0-0 at Osasuna in the league, Madrid lost to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey semifinals and was dumped from the Copa del Rey on Wednesday in a 2-1 loss at third-tier Alcoyano, which scored the winner with 10 men. Alavés, which was celebrating the 100th anniversary of its foundation, was left one point above the relegation zone in a third consecutive loss under new coach Abelardo Fernández. EYE ON THE PRIZE Youssef En-Nesyri scored a hat trick to lead Sevilla to a 3-0 win over Cádiz, lifting the Andalusian side past Barcelona and into third place. En-Nesyri has 12 goals in 19 rounds and leads the league scoring charts. The Morocco striker also scored a treble two weeks ago. He has another four goals this season in the Champions League, where Sevilla plays Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 next month. En-Nesyri opened the scoring in the 35th after Jesús “Suso” Fernández’s shot hit the post and fell for him to finish off. His second and third goals were from headers in the 39th and 62nd. On his second goal, En-Nesyri said that he could only see from one eye after taking a knock in the other one. But that did not stop him from meeting Suso’s free kick sent near the penalty spot for the striker to head through the crowded area and into the net. “I knew the set piece was for me and I had to execute it, so I scored the goal with one eye open,” En-Nesyri said. After its sixth win in nine rounds, Sevilla moved two points ahead of Barcelona, which visits Elche on Sunday. JOAQUÍN’S COMEBACK At age 39, Joaquín Sánchez proved he can still turn games around for Real Betis. He came on in the 78th and set up one goal before scoring a stoppage-time equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Sociedad. Coach Imanol Alguacil slung his coat into the dugout after seeing his team squander a two-goal lead and an overall dominant performance because of Betis’ inspired final push led Joaquín. Sociedad striker Aleksander Isak rifled a shot under goalkeeper Joel Robles shortly after halftime to put the hosts ahead. Isak next set up Mikel Oyarzabal to chip a second goal over Robles in the 57th. But Joaquín curled in a cross for Sergio Canales to head home in the 85th. The veteran forward clinched the draw two minutes into injury time when fellow substitute Cristián Tello sped past his marker and found Joaquín in the area. He redirected the pass toward the goal and the shot took a deflection off a defender to leave ’keeper Álex Remiro stranded. “That is what Joaquín does, he changes everything. He and Tello and the others that came off the bench gave us life,” said Canales, who got his seventh league goal of the season. Sociedad will have a chance to avenge the loss on Tuesday when it visits Betis in their round-of-16 clash in the Copa del Rey. Also, fifth-place Villarreal pulled level with Barcelona on points after a 0-0 draw with last-place Huesca. Barcelona is ahead of Villarreal on goal difference. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
New Zealand health officials said on Sunday they were investigating what they said was probably the country's first community coronavirus case, in months in a woman who recently returned from overseas. The 56-year-old, who returned to New Zealand on Dec. 30, tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 days after leaving a two-week mandatory quarantine at the border where she had twice tested negative. New Zealand, one of the most successful developed nations in controlling the spread of the pandemic, last recorded a community coronavirus transmission on Nov. 18, according to the Health Ministry website.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are each fielding a full slate of 40 candidates for next month's provincial election in Newfoundland and Labrador. Saturday was the deadline for would-be candidates to submit their nomination papers. The New Democrats will have candidates in 33 districts — more than double its slate of candidates in the last election in 2019. Elections NL said there will be six members of the NL Alliance on the ballots and eight independents. The deadline marks the end of the first full week of campaigning, which saw Liberal Leader Andrew Furey make stops in Marystown and Arnold's Cove, where job losses from the oil sector have rocked the local economy. Furey announced Saturday that a Liberal government would develop programs to encourage more interaction between young and older Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. "Newfoundland and Labrador has an ever-growing population of seniors. Connecting generations benefits children and older adults alike," Furey said in a statement. He said the government would consult to develop a resource that would help organizations improve connections between seniors and youth. Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie released several planks of his platform during the week, ending with a speech on Friday vowing to hammer out a better deal with Ottawa to address the province's staggering financial problems. Chris Tibbs, the Progressive Conservative candidate for Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans, is encouraging rotational workers to make sure they vote in this election. NDP Leader Alison Coffin ended the week flying back to St. John's from Labrador, where the party won an unexpected seat in a two-vote victory in the last election. Election day is Feb. 13. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. - By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person, has been found in a forested area of North Vancouver, B.C. RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries says no foul play is suspected at this time and instead this appears to be a tragic accident. He says a resident of a nearby home called police around 5 p.m. Friday about a fire in the bushes behind the Phibbs Exchange bus loop near Orwell Street. Police found the body along with items that suggested the person had set up shelter in the area. DeVries says the cause of the fire is under investigation but the temperature has dropped significantly in North Vancouver and the person might have been trying to warm themselves up. He says the coroners service is working to identify the person and it is not currently known if the individual was a woman or a man. He says it's not clear whether anyone other than the deceased person was camping there and no one else was at the scene when police arrived. DeVries is urging everyone to do what they can to help the homeless, especially as winter weather hits Metro Vancouver. "If you see homeless people, help them out," he said. He points to a program started by a fellow North Vancouver RCMP officer, Cpl. Randy Wong, called Warming the Homeless, which delivers socks, toques, mittens and other items to people living on the streets. When the weather gets cold, police proactively go out and find people who may be homeless and help them find shelter, DeVries added. "I know that police agencies throughout the Lower Mainland do the same things. It's a sad reality of society that this is the case." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
Restrictions on in-person social activities have been a critical part of combating the COVID-19 pandemic and are likely to continue in the months ahead. But as the pandemic continues, researchers have also been exploring the impacts of loneliness and social isolation on mental health. Emilie Kossick is a knowledge manager at the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research and Treatment and holds a master's degree in experimental and applied psychology from the University of Regina. She says while this year has been a dramatic example of social isolation on a large scale, the actual problem is not new. "There are groups like Arctic researchers or astronauts preparing for long-haul missions who have experienced it," she said of isolation. "Inmates or seniors living in long-term care facilities also experience social isolation." Because of this, researchers have already been studying the short and long-term effects of isolation. Kossick said she has come across a number of studies that may help explain what people are going through at this point in the pandemic. "Within three months to a year, [isolation] starts to affect your sleep patterns," she said. "It impairs your immune system and our neurocognitive functions. It's also common to see changes in personality. If you're experiencing loneliness, you can feel depressed or anxious. "And these all appear to be symptoms caused by decreases in brain volume in areas of the brain that control decision-making, social behaviour, emotion, regulation, learning and memory." In the longer term, Kossick said social isolation can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, memory decline and dementia. Kossick said many of our negative reactions to prolonged isolation stem from the fact that humans evolved as social creatures. "Even introverted people who are comfortable on their own usually have a small group of friends and family that they rely on for support and social connection," she said. "So when we're denied that support — like during a pandemic — or when it disappears as we age, it has a great effect on the way our brain works, because it's just not designed to work alone." While she recognized that many of our normal strategies for breaking isolation "just don't work in a pandemic," Kossick said there are strategies people can use to shore up their mental health and feel less lonely this year. "The things you can do … are to create as much structure and predictability as you can with the pieces of your life that you can control," she said. "So try to structure your day. Incorporate activities and hobbies that you enjoy. And embrace technology's ability to keep you in contact with friends and family." Kossick also suggested attending an art event online, whether that's a virtual gallery opening or a live-streamed concert, can help "bring us all together" while we remain at home. While the collective experience of the pandemic won't last forever, Kossick hopes some of what we've learned this year will be able to help people who were already isolated before the pandemic began. She said she hoped that translated to increased research and understanding in the public helps combat social isolation in populations that deal with it on a regular basis outside of a pandemic. "I think this has really shined a light on the causes and effects of loneliness, especially for people in long-term care, who right now are very much alone," she said. "We're trying to do that for their safety and their physical health, but obviously it's impacting their mental health."
IDRE FJALL, SWEDEN. — Being patient paid off handsomely for Canadian Reece Howden on Saturday. After sitting back for most of the final, the 22-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., came on to capture the gold medal in a World Cup ski cross competition. It was his second World Cup win in just over a month. Howden is accustomed to leading races but said that wasn't the idea Saturday. “The plan was to not come out in front, the draft was too strong," he said on Alpine Canada's website. "I wanted to chill in the middle of the pack and give my legs a bit of a break and once I made that last turn fire up those engines and get out in front. "Today was a day of racing, not a day of leading so I was super happy with my execution and it couldn’t have gone any better.” Montreal's Chris Del Bosco of Montreal was third in the small final Saturday and seventh overall for his best finish since 2018. "It's been a while since I've been back in the small finals," said Del Bosco, who ruptured his Achilles last summer. "It felt really good to get the monkey off my back. "I made a few small mistakes in that last round, but I am heading in the right direction." Tiana Gairns, of Prince George, B.C., was a career-best fifth in the women's event. Courtney Hoffos of Invermere, B.C., and Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., were sixth and eighth, respectively. "Idre is interesting since it's such a long track with such a long straight section that you don't want to pass at the beginning," Gairns said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada Post employees and contractors who typically work the afternoon shift are self-isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak at a key mail facility in Mississauga, Ont. The postal service says in a statement that Peel Public Health recommended the precautionary measure as the most effective way to control further spread at the Gateway facility on Dixie Road. It says afternoon-shift workers who were at the facility Friday evening were told to leave and self-isolate for 14 days, while those who were not there Friday were told to self-isolate for 14 days from the last day they were at work. Canada Post did not say how many employees were affected by the measure, but it says they include those represented by unions, team leaders, managers, support teams and contracted cleaners. It says it's also following other recommendations from Peel Public Health, including conducting on-site rapid testing of other employees next week and enforcing safety protocols with an increased focus on washrooms, lunch rooms and locker rooms. "We understand this situation has been hard on employees at the facility and we will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health and keep them informed," the statement says. "Given the significance of the Gateway facility within our processing network, we are evaluating and adapting our existing contingency plans to manage the impact on customers." Rapid testing at the site has resulted in 42 positive tests over the past four days, Canada Post says. It says there have been a total of 190 positive cases at the facility since Jan. 1. Spokesman Phil Legault has said the facility is central to the Crown corporation's entire national delivery and processing network. Legault said the plant continues to operate and process heavy incoming parcel volumes, but there will be delays. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick Liberal party chose a new executive Saturday but has yet to decide when to name a new leader. Former federal member of parliament and Moncton, N.B., mayor Brian Murphy was elected the new party president as 1,100 members took part in a virtual biennial meeting Saturday afternoon. Murphy said the party did well in francophone ridings during the last provincial election, but didn't make the same inroads in anglophone areas. "Looking inwardly, we don't have representation in southern and western New Brunswick. we only have one MLA in three of the largest cities, so we have some work to do," Murphy said in an interview following the meeting. He said the party needs to improve organization, policy and unity. "We have to look within ourselves and to the future and get some policy," he said. "Our held ridings are in the north in the francophone part of the province and we want to change that." Murphy said the party will look to a number of methods, including social media, to get its message out to attract young voters. "We've got to reach voters where they are," he said. "We have to modernize the way we send our message, not our message. Our message is we are a party of inclusion. We are a party of acceptance." The party has not set a date for a leadership convention to replace Kevin Vickers, who quit after failing to win a seat in last year's provincial election. Currently Premier Blain Higgs' Progressive Conservatives have a majority in the legislature with 27 seats, while the Liberals have 17, the Greens have three and there are two members from the People's Alliance. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
An effort to shake off some homesickness led Adam DuBourdieu to mix pop culture and provincial politics — namely, taking politicians involved in this election and matching them with their visual counterparts on "The Simpsons." Originally from Kippens on the province’s west coast, DuBourdieu, 30, moved to Edmonton, Alta., just before the COVID-19 pandemic set in. As with many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, he experienced homesickness in the months that followed the move. A keen follower of local politics when living in the province, DuBourdieu set about combatting his traveller’s lament by having some fun with the upcoming provincial election. Combining his love for "The Simpsons" and politics, he matched the politicians running in the election with the Simpsons character he saw as their cartoon counterparts. “I always loved watching 'The Simpsons,'” DuBourdieu. “I watched it with my dad.” Some matchups were tough, while others were easy fits, such as the NDP’s Jim Dinn, a former schoolteacher, and his match with Principal Skinner. "You can't take yourself too seriously. Being a teacher, that's par for the course," Dinn said of that character match. Dinn has seen the rather large social media thread containing the pictures. He said that as a teacher, he learned long ago that you have to have a sense of humour, and it's a lesson he's taken with him to politics. Seeing the thread, he took it in good fun. He said it could be worse. It could turn into a meme like a recent picture of United States Senator Bernie Sanders. "Let's have a laugh with it," said Dinn. "It's a good thing. It's a bit of good fun." The result was a 47-part thread on Twitter filled with pictures of the politicians and their characters side by side. It is a mixture of retiring MHAs, incumbents and party leaders of all political stripes. "The Simpsons" and politics have a bit of history. Across its 32 seasons, the show has mixed humour and politics. The show seemingly predicted the start of the United States presidency of Donald J. Trump, and the Lisa Simpson presidency that followed him. Coincidentally, Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans is paired with the presidential Lisa. The relationship, however, between "The Simpsons" and the political arena doesn’t stop at a coincidental presidential prediction. The show has often tackled topics of the day, such as same-sex marriage and gun control, and it has often been accused of having a liberal bias. Springfield’s Mayor Quimby is a regularly appearing character, and DuBourdieu saw him as a perfect match for Conception Bay East-Bell Island incumbent David Brazil. Homer Simpson — coupled with Topsail-Paradise MHA Paul Dinn — once fought former U.S. president George H.W. Bush after the two became neighbours. Former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford have also made cameo appearances on the show. DuBourdieu tabbed Ford as the right match with Mount Pearl North MHA Jim Lester. “Politics has always been in 'The Simpsons,' and Newfoundland politics has some characters,” said DuBourdieu. Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons knew at once who voiced Bart Simpsons’ former babysitter, Laura Powers. “That’s the one where Darlene from Roseanne voiced the character. Sara Gilbert,” she said. Like other children of the ’80s and early ’90s, Parsons grew up in the early years of "The Simpsons." She saw the show move from animated shorts on "The Tracy Ullman Show" to a pop culture phenomenon on Fox. “Growing up as a child, I certainly watched 'The Simpsons.' I loved Bart Simpson. I think we all did,” said Parsons. “I even had the little toys that McDonald’s was putting out.” Parsons is one of 10 women featured in the long Twitter thread. Of the 10, nine are incumbent MHAs and their animated doppelgangers. The remaining one is Newfoundland and Labrador Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote. She was paired with Springfield Elementary second-grade teacher Mrs. Hoover. “I like that (Dubourdieu) was non-partisan,” said Parsons, who appreciated the comedic break it offered. “I got a good chuckle out of it.” The response to the sizeable thread has been favourable online. It was something that surprised DuBourdieu at first. Since it went online, there have been dozens of interactions between politicians and the public. People have marvelled at how perfect some of the comparisons are, such as independent MHA Eddie Joyce being matched with oil tycoon Rich Texan. “It is something people are familiar with,” DuBourdieu said about why he chose to use "The Simpsons" as a reference point. Liberal candidate George Murphy tweeted that he thought of himself as the lovable barfly Barney Gumble instead of Police Chief Wiggum, the character he is attached to. Other candidates, such as Progressive Conservative candidate Kristina Ennis and the NDP’s Jenn Deon, have expressed interest in being connected to their Simpsons doubles. Lake Melville NDP candidate Amy Hogan even went ahead and did her own. It was Jerri Mackleberry, the mother of notable twins Sherri and Terri. “I think I’m probably the twins, Sherri and Terri’s mom, Jerri. It’s is the purple hair and the glasses,” Hogan tweeted. DuBourdieu pledged to do a third part of the thread if there is enough interest. In the days since it was posted, a link to the thread made its way around the Progressive Conservative email chain. “We got a good kick out of it,” said Conservative MHA Barry Petten. "You can’t help but laugh.” The Conception Bay South representative readily admitted he wasn’t much of a Simpsons watcher and had little background on Superintendent Chalmers or why he was paired with him. Still, Petten said he appreciated the work and the humour it brought to the election. “It’s all good humour,” he said. Looking back on the process and the result of his humourous entry into the Newfoundland and Labrador political scene, DuBourdieu has no regrets about piecing everything together. Some comparisons were easy, while others required a bit more thought, he said, and he learned a little along the way, namely, how male-dominated this province’s legislature is. As the province rolls toward the election on Feb. 13, DuBourdieu will watch from his home in Alberta. In the meantime, he is glad he got to contribute to the run-up in some way. “I’m glad I did it and I hope people get a good chuckle out of it,” said DuBourdieu. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
A photo of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from Wednesday's U.S. presidential inauguration has been not just a huge internet hit, but also a form of advertisement for a Saskatchewan businesswoman. Memes featuring a masked, cross-armed and mitten-wearing Sanders have been floating around social media sites, showing Sanders Photoshopped into a wide range of settings — ice fishing, sitting with the Golden Girls, and also spending time with Karen Boldt from Hepburn, Sask. She makes felted wool mittens from recycled sweaters, and Sanders's distinctive mittens have created a big interest in her business, Something from Nothing Mittens. "I have been getting messages pretty much non-stop since then," Boldt said in an interview with CBC Saskatchewan's The Afternoon Edition. While she is not the creator of Sanders's famous mittens, she and her assistant have designed similar-looking pairs. "One particular pair I actually happened to make last week," said Boldt. "I posted them and I think within 30 minutes they sold, and I had orders for other ones with that same fabric." The Saskatchewan businesswoman has been making mittens from thrifted wool sweaters since 2009. Usually she and her assistant create between 500 and 600 pairs per year, Boldt said. LISTEN | As It Happens finds out how Bernie Sanders got his now-famous mittens: Since the Bernie Sanders meme went viral, Boldt has received orders from inside and outside the province, including Michigan, Maryland and Calgary. The current spike in interest is special for Boldt, with business usually slowing down for her after Christmas. "I credit that to Bernie," she said, who has "brought the spotlight on" mitten makers.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions hired Aaron Glenn to be their defensive co-ordinator. The Lions announced the move Saturday. Glenn joins new coach Dan Campbell's staff after spending the past five seasons as the secondary coach for the New Orleans Saints. Before his tenure in New Orleans, Glenn was an assistant defensive backs coach for the Cleveland Browns. He also worked as a personnel scout for the New York Jets for two seasons. Glenn was a three-time Pro Bowler as a player and played in 205 games in 15 years for the Jets, Texans, Cowboys, Jaguars and Saints. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL The Associated Press