Ever since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997, opposition activists have tried to bring full democracy to the city, believing that China would live up to its promise to one day allow universal suffrage to elect the city's leader. Chinese parliamentarians in Beijing unveiled details of a plan to revamp the political structure of China's freest city that critics say has all but killed off the pledge of one person, one vote. China's move comes months after a sweeping national security law was imposed on the Asian financial hub, cracking down on dissent, and more than a year after months of sometimes violent anti-China, pro-democracy protests which swept the city.
NORTH HURON – North Huron councillors approved Tuckersmith Communications' request for a supportive letter, even though the fibre optic cables won't reach North Huron. Reeve Bernie Bailey told councillors that the talks with SWIFT and other local internet providers are moving very slowly. He feels that North Huron will be last on the list. Councillor Chris Palmer hopes that sending out a letter of support to Tuckersmith Communications will either "light a fire under Huron-Tel," or encourage "the little guys" to look into funding. The need for rural internet has never been more vital with the pandemic forcing many people to work from home; online classrooms and meetings have also become a new normal. The project, if approved, would start in 2022 and end in 2026. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
COMMUNAUTÉ. Le Centre du Plateau Laval s’est fait généreux durant la semaine de relâche. Ayant à cœur la réussite éducative des enfants de Sainte-Angèle, l’organisme de soutien a remis gratuitement des livres à 70 enfants. «Nous avons acheté des livres neufs pour chaque tranche d’âge de 0 à 18 ans. La distribution s’est faite le jeudi 4 mars. Chaque enfant a reçu deux ou trois livres. C’est une façon pour nous de souligner la réussite éducative tout en favorisant le goût de la lecture», explique Josée Gariépy, directrice de l’organisme. «C’est la première fois que l’on fait cela. Cette année, avec la COVID-19, on ne peut pas recevoir les familles durant la relâche. C’est donc une façon de garder contact. Les enfants et parents sont contents. C’est dans la mission de notre organisme la réussite éducative. Et comme on le sait, développer le goût de la lecture en bas âge c’est un gros plus», ajoute-t-elle en rappelant que le Centre du Plateau Laval offre également des ateliers d’aide aux devoirs. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
(ANNews) – On Feb. 23, the Siksika Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alberta Health Services that commits to improving health services for Siksika members. The relationship agreement is aimed at understanding, addressing and preventing inequities in health services, policies and programs for nation members. “The MOU forges a strong relationship and partnership model between Alberta Health and Siksika Nation that will give the Nation increased control and access to quality health services, and an opportunity for government to explore innovative health services with a First Nation partner,” said the Siksika Nation is a press release. Tyler Shandro, Minsiter of Health stated, “By creating meaningful relationships and listening to our Indigenous partners, I am confident we can work collaboratively with Siksika Nation to ensure community members can access culturally appropriate health services where and when they need them, both on and off reserve.” The Memorandum, which is also known as a relationship agreement, is the first agreement in Alberta history to include the Blackfoot language. It is working to eliminate racism and bring positive, transformative change to the health care for Siksika. The agreement acknowledges Siksika Nations Elders’ Guiding principles, said the press release. The agreement includes commitments to:; "Pursue a lasting and cooperative relationship; Acknowledge that the status quo is not acceptable; Commit to bringing about positive and transformative change in healthcare and socioeconomic outcomes for Siksika." It also sets out to: "Reduce jurisdictional uncertainty; Address social and economic determinants of health; Eliminate systemic racism within the healthcare system in Alberta, where it exists, and ensure that Siksika members are provided culturally safe healthcare services." Nioksskaistamik, Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation, said that the “tremendous strength of Siksika Nation is its extensive and effective range of health services. This Relationship Agreement with Alberta Health will further empower Siksika Nation to deliver comprehensive programming and services that are holistic, community-based, and put the health and wellness needs of Siksikawa first. “Today’s signing represents an important step forward in Siksika Nation’s relationship with Alberta Health as we endeavour together towards equitable health outcomes.” “At all times, and particularly throughout the pandemic over the past year, Siksika has worked hard to make sure our people are taken care of, and also to take care of our neighbours. This has been a real priority for Siksika Nation: to be intentional about creating relationships that are of mutual benefit. This agreement we are signing today is one such example,” said Chief Crowfoot. As part of the relationship between the Siksika Nation, Elder Clement Leather gifted Minister Shandro with a Blackfoot name of great significance: Ksiistsikomipi’kssii (pronounced: KSIS-TSII-KO-MII-PIIK-SI), which means Thunderbird. “Around this time next month is when we hear first thunder,” said Elder Clement Leather. “This is when our spiritual people start preparing themselves for ceremony; first thunder is like a wakeup call for people to get ready for what’s to come.” Siksika Councilor, Kent Ayoungman provided context: “Our people have a strong kinship with the whole of our surroundings, with creation. In today’s ceremony, blessings are going to be asked for by the Elder; he is going to call on this special kinship to honour you with a name today. For our people this is very important, it is one of the highest honours a person can receive. Given your work alongside our people here in Siksika, this is why we have chosen to give you a Blackfoot name today.” Shandro, said he felt honoured to be gifted with his new Blackfoot Name. “It’s an amazing honour,” he said. “I didn’t know this was going to be happening today. I don’t have any words to describe it, but it is an incredible honour that I can’t put words to.” The Siksika Nation , a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy, is located one hour east of Calgary, Alberta. Jacob Cardinal is an LJI reporter for Alberta Native News. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
NORTH PERTH – Council approved a request on Feb. 22 to all the local Headwaters Delta Waterfowl Chapter to continue using municipal stormwater management ponds for duck nesting projects. “Four years ago, we approached council to get permission to install nesting structures on behalf of Delta Waterfowl,” said Parry Blanke, chair of the local Headwaters Delta Waterfowl Chapter. “These structures were installed behind Westfield Public School at the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex as well as the pond on Tremaine by the St. Mary’s Catholic School.” He said that the nests have proven to be very successful over the past couple of years. “Of the eight we checked out this past season, I believe six were used and successful, the other two were unused, putting about 12 to 14 ducklings into the population,” said Blancke. “We’re looking for permission to continue maintaining these duck nests, both the box and the nesting tubes, as well as installing a few more. Ponds listed are near Hutton Street, the pond on Connor Drive and the pond on Line 84, north side of the highway.” Delta Waterfowl hen houses are the most cost-effective tool to increase mallard production. Targeted to areas of the highest mallard breeding density, hen houses consistently boost nest success to more than 60 per cent and commonly to 80 per cent — in areas where ground-nesting mallards typically achieve nest success of less than 10 per cent. Delta maintains hen houses across the key breeding areas of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, Minnesota and Ontario. By 2022, Delta will have nearly 10,000 hen houses available for hens, with over 45,000 ducklings hatching in them annually. “We perform the maintenance during the winter months while it’s frozen for ease of access,” said Blanke. “While we install the nesting structures usually after the thaw when water levels are safe to do so.” Coun. Terry Seiler told Blancke Listowel residents have been commenting on the benefits of hen houses to the municipality. “I wish you the best of success with the work you are doing,” he said. Council voted in favour of allowing the Delta Waterfowl project to continue and to expand. “We wish you much success with your continuing conservation efforts,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuania on Friday refused to extradite to Belarus opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, with the Baltic nation's foreign minister saying “hell will freeze over first" before the demand by Belarus' authoritarian leader is granted. Tsikhanouskaya lost to Alexander Lukashenko in an Aug. 9 presidential election. Official results showed Lukashenko to have garnered 80% of the vote while Tsikhanouskaya received 10%. Tsikhanouskaya and her supporters refused to recognize the results, saying the outcome of the vote was manipulated. Unprecedented mass protests demanding Lukashenko's resignation rocked Belarus for several months. Tsikhanouskaya sought refuge in neighbouring Lithuania right after the election amid pressure from Belarusian authorities. On Tuesday, Belarus demanded her extradition on charges that she plotted to stage violent riots. Tsikhanouskaya’s team rejected the charges, saying in a statement that she has always supported only peaceful protests. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that in his country people seeking shelter “can feel safe and no one would be handed over ... because of their fight for democracy, freedom of speech or freedom of religion.” Lukashenko’s government has unleashed a sweeping crackdown on post-election protests, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Human rights activists say more than 30,000 people have been detained since the demonstrations began, with thousands beaten. The West has condemned the conduct of the election and the brutal crackdown on protesters. The United States and the European Union have said that the election was neither free nor fair and urged Lukashenko to engage in talks with the opposition, a demand he has rejected. International pressure has so far left Lukashenko, who has run the country for 26 years, relying exclusively on assistance from Russia, which has a union agreement with Belarus envisaging close political, economic and military ties. The Associated Press
NORTH HURON – North Huron council deferred the decision to approve the fire dispatch agreement with Owen Sound, pending clarification of a new clause. The recent amendment included an increase in the amount of time required for termination notice. The new clause reads, “If either party wishes to terminate the agreement, it may do so upon giving a minimum of 18 months prior written notice, and the effective date of termination shall be the end of that fiscal year after the year in which notice is given. “For example, if either party wishes to terminate the agreement on Dec. 31, 2024, the party providing notice shall provide written notice of termination no later than June 30, 2023. If termination happens prior to the end of the year, North Huron is liable to pay all fees to the end of the year. The previous agreement stated six months notification and no mention of paying to year end.” Fire Chief Marty Bedard agreed to request clarification from the Owen Sound Police Services on why the increase went from a six-month to an 18-month notification period. Councillors were otherwise on the same page with the agreement's renewal and said they were pleased with the services. Council will vote on the agreement at the next regular council meeting, scheduled for March 15, and pass the bylaw once they have an answer to their question. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Canada's national campaign to inoculate people against the novel coronavirus got good news on two fronts today: one vaccine maker now plans to accelerate its deliveries and federal regulators have cleared a fourth COVID-19 vaccine for use in this country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that, after negotiations with the federal government, vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has agreed to move up delivery of 3.5 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine — originally scheduled to arrive in the summer — to the next three months. The company will deliver an additional 1.5 million doses in March, one million more doses in April and another million in May, Trudeau said, bringing the total number of doses of all approved vaccines expected to arrive by the end of this month to 8 million. The announcement came just hours after Health Canada approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, providing provinces and territories with another vaccine in addition to those previously approved from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford. A second version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine that is biologically identical but manufactured under different conditions by the Serum Institute of India under the brand name "Covishield" has also been authorized. WATCH | Trudeau announces more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are heading to Canada The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, produced by the U.S. health care giant's pharmaceutical subsidiary, Janssen Inc., is widely seen as one of the easiest to distribute because it requires only one dose and can be stored for long periods of time at regular refrigerator temperatures of 2 C to 8 C. "As long as it takes, we'll be there with what people need to get through this pandemic. That means we're sending more and more vaccines to the provinces and territories in the coming weeks and months," Trudeau told a press conference today. The new Pfizer delivery schedule and the Johnson & Johnson approval are expected to accelerate Canada's vaccine rollout, which has so far lagged behind dozens of other countries that have vaccinated more people per capita. Watch: Doctor who helped create the Johnson & Johnson vaccine talks about its efficacy: Johnson & Johnson safe and effective: Health Canada In approving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Health Canada's chief medical adviser said a review of data from a clinical trial involving more than 44,000 participants found the shot is safe and effective. "As with all COVID-19 vaccines, Health Canada authorized the Janssen one after an independent and thorough scientific review for safety, efficacy and quality," said Dr. Supriya Sharma. "After assessing all the data, we concluded there was strong evidence that showed the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the potential risks." WATCH | Public health officials announce the approval of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in Canada Health Canada concluded the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.9 per cent in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 illness, and has authorized it for use for adults aged 18 and older. While the vaccine is less effective than previously approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — both of which had efficacy rates of 90 per cent and above — Sharma said the shot offers strong protection against the threats that matter most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. "The efficacy rate does not mean that following vaccination with a vaccine with 66 per cent efficacy, that you will have a 34 per cent chance of contracting COVID-19," said Sharma. "While each of the vaccines Health Canada has authorized has different efficacy numbers, the reality is that you will have a greatly reduced chance of getting COVID-19 with any of the ... vaccines that have been authorized." Sharma said the shot remained effective against the coronavirus variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil, as well as the dominant strains circulating in the U.S. and Canada. Clinical trials are also underway for other vaccines to see how safe they are for children between the ages of 12 and 17, but Sharma suggested it will be months yet before they're able to get the shots. (CBC News) Delivery schedule firming up Canada has ordered 10 million doses from Johnson & Johnson, with options for up to 28 million more. While there is no timeline for their delivery just yet, Trudeau said the president of Janssen Canada, Jorge Bartolome, assured him this morning that the company is working to set up its global supply chains and plans to meet its delivery commitments. Health Canada has provided authorizations for manufacturing at two facilities — one in the U.S. and one in Europe — but it's unclear right now from where Canada's doses will be shipped. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that the Johnson & Johnson doses aren't expected to begin arriving until April, although the full order of 10 million should be delivered by September. WATCH | Dr. Sharma addresses vaccine hesitancy Canada now expects to receive 36.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford and the Covishield vaccines by the end of June. By the end of September, Canada will have received 117.9 million doses. The June number will grow once delivery schedules for the 20 million doses on order from AstraZeneca and the 10 million from Johnson and Johnson are confirmed, Anand said. "Because of our diversified procurement, we are able to see an acceleration in doses coming to Canada from multiple suppliers," said Anand. Pfizer's accelerated delivery schedule comes after major delays in January and February, when the company upgraded its production lines at a major factory in Belgium. Production problems also slowed the initial rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. after that country approved it in February. The country was supposed to receive 10 million doses as soon as the vaccine was approved, but only four million doses were shipped out March 1. The U.S. expects to get another 16 million doses by the end of March and 100 million total by the end of June. Only one vaccine is still under review by Health Canada — the Novavax product. Sharma said a decision on whether it can be used in Canada is weeks or months away. Watch: Health Canada approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
FORMOSA – The Grade 8 students at Immaculate Conception School in Formosa joined a national campaign to eradicate racism and bring Indigenous children affected by the child welfare system home to their communities. The Moccasin Project (So They Can Go Home) is not a new concept to the school's Grade 8 teacher, Mary Steffan. She said she had a previous class participate in the project, which was the inspiration for this year's involvement. Steffan said the students developed knowledge of the issues Indigenous youth and children face and that “they do their best to raise awareness,” since participating in the project. The Community Liaison Committee (CLC) and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) provided funding for the project, formally presenting a cheque for $1,800 to the school on Feb. 25 in a special ceremony. In a letter to the CLC, Steffen explained that classes have been learning about Canada’s Indigenous community and the inequalities they face. In particular, students have learned that a disproportionate percent of children in foster care are Indigenous; 90 per cent in the case of Manitoba’s foster care system. "Through the...project, students make moccasins and send them back to the foundation along with letters for Indigenous infants in foster care,” a media release from the CLC said. “According to their website, this program aims to educate and raise awareness on child apprehension that is impacting Indigenous children in Canada and hopes to eradicate racism and reunite children with their communities and families.” The kits were distributed amongst several classes at Immaculate Conception as a result of the funding approved by CLC in December 2020. Students in Steffen’s class began making the moccasins at home during the period of virtual learning and completed them upon the return to school. The moccasins will be sent back when all the classes at Immaculate Conception complete them. “It’s so amazing to see kids helping kids, especially in times such as these, and the CLC and NWMO helped make that happen,” Steffan said. “The committee was happy to provide support to make this unique program taking place at Immaculate Conception School a possibility. It is positive to see local students receive education on Indigenous issues, and support youth across the country in the process,” said Les Nichols, CLC member. Da-giiwewaat (so they can go home) is a national campaign to raise awareness about child apprehension impacting Indigenous children in Canada. Their website said, “We are calling on everyone to get involved and help us make 165,000 (as reported by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare - Jan. 1, 2016) moccasins for Indigenous children affected by the child welfare system of Canada!” “The NWMO has committed to contribute to reconciliation and we are delighted to provide support to a local school to contribute to the ongoing learning of our youth,” said Cherie Leslie, NWMO senior engagement advisor. The donation came from the Early Investments in Education and Skills (EIES) fund. This NWMO funding program exists for capacity building purposes in communities that have ongoing participation in the Adaptive Phased Management (APM) project. It provides investments in education as well as training for youth and the community, and is made available annually to any of the elementary schools in the Municipality of South Bruce. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. Early results indicated the AstraZeneca vaccine was significantly less effective against the South African variant, which is similar to P1. The information comes as a plasma study published ahead of peer review on Monday (https://bit.ly/3bX3LBa) suggested the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech may not work effectively against the Brazilian variant.
SOUTH BRUCE – Last week, the Municipality of South Bruce responded to a letter received on Feb. 23 from David Donnelly. The lawyer represents opponents of the proposed deep geological repository (DGR) with their lawyer's correspondence. The communication said, “We have been provided with a copy of your letter to Municipal Council dated Feb. 4, 2021 on behalf of Protect Our Waterways – No Nuclear Waste. We have been asked to respond to the points raised in your letter on behalf of the municipality.” South Bruce’s lawyer, Patrick G. Duffy, outlined “significant developments…over the past 18 months that are relevant to the topics outlined” in the letter. He provided a timeline of these developments starting in November 2019, spanning to February 2021, which included updated reports and studies completed to date. The outline included that “approximately 60 processes and inputs” have recently been initiated “to ensure the community has the information needed to make an informed decision about whether to host the project.” Duffy went on to answer each of the questions/concerns outlined in Donnelly’s letter. Duffy answered, “your letter raises questions about the regulatory jurisdiction for the project and the municipality’s role in the regulatory process.” He explained that the DGR project is a federal undertaking under the Constitution Act 1867, and that it must comply with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) licensing regime. “Before the CNSC can issue a licence for the Project, the NWMO (Nuclear Waste Management Organization) will be required to complete a federal impact assessment under the Impact Assessment Act,” with a public regulatory process that will take “many years to complete.” The project will only advance after the assessment and licencing are finished. Duffy added, “While the federal government holds primary regulatory authority over the project, the municipality can exercise its jurisdiction over the project provided it does not displace or frustrate the purpose of federal regulation.” He said the municipality has “a limited but important role in regulating local impacts…such as aspects of land use and transportation.” In regards to Donnelly’s request to “confirm a compelling demonstration of willingness to host a DGR as a binding referendum, requiring a two-thirds majority,” Duffy said, “at this time, council has not made any determination as to whether the community is a willing host for the project.” Added Duffy, “Council has not yet decided how willingness to host the project will be determined. The municipality is working with its lead consultant GHD on a process to seek community input on what mechanisms should be used to assess willingness.” The peer reviews and funding for those reviews are addressed in the “Guiding Principles” recently incorporated by the municipality. The municipality is applying the same practices they use for other large infrastructure projects, the letter said, adding, "The municipality required and has secured funding from the NWMO to undertake appropriate peer reviews and independent studies of the potential impacts on and benefits for the community associated with the project.” Duffy said, “In this regard, Principle 25 of the Guiding Principles states: ‘The NWMO will fund the engagement of subject matter experts by the Municipality to undertake peer reviews of Project reports and independent assessments of the Project’s potential impacts on and benefits for the community as determined necessary by the Municipality.’” Donnelly said that “NWMO should apply under the Planning Act for amendments to the South Bruce Zoning Bylaw.” Both the Bruce Nuclear Power Development and Darlington Nuclear Power Plant are governed in part by the Planning Act. The South Bruce Zoning Bylaw (bylaw 2011-63) does not authorize a nuclear waste repository in the municipality. A nuclear waste repository is not a service or utility referenced in subsection 3.1.1 (i) or (ii), nor is the NWMO considered an agency or department of the federal government. “The issue of municipal planning authority over the project has been addressed in Principle 33, which states: ‘The NWMO will comply with the Municipal Official Plan and zoning bylaw and seek amendments to the Official Plan and zoning bylaw as necessary to implement the Project,” said Duffy. “Consistent with Principle 33, the Municipality expects that the NWMO will comply with the South Bruce Zoning Bylaw for all activities undertaken within the community and seek appropriate variance or amendments to the applicable zoning as needed,” he added. The municipality does not view the Planning Act as a good tool to obtain public participation in assessing "willingness," Duffy said. “A zoning bylaw amendment for the use of the site as a Deep Geological Repository would not be required until a building permit for the facility is needed, which will be after the federal impact assessment process is completed and the NWMO is ready to commence construction on the Project,” he said, adding, “this timing is obviously unsuitable for use in the site selection process.” Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
You might be surprised at how easy it is to fix a cracked bumper cover. With normal tools like a soldering iron and a hot air gun, you can repair this bumper again so it is very strong and and will look very nice!
TORONTO — Many Canadians are getting a hand from gadgets meant to help keep fingers off high-touch surfaces, but Toronto's public health authority says people should be careful how they use them. While devices that allow people to open doors, press elevator buttons and hang onto bus or subway poles are being marketed as a way to limit exposure to COVID-19, Toronto Public Health said such items are unnecessary and may pose their own risks. If you're washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, covering your face with an elbow or tissue when you sneeze and using your arm to push buttons and open doors, "using an additional device or tool when in contact with high-touch surfaces is not required," said a spokesperson for the health authority, in an email. "These devices themselves may also become another high-touch surface and will need to be cleaned and disinfected often," they added. TPH's warnings don't appear to have deterred shoppers or entrepreneurs. A quick search of e-commerce platforms reveals dozens of Canadians making and marketing such products and even more international businesses shipping them to customers within the country. Troy Cosby, an Ottawa machine shop worker, is behind one of the many gadgets available, but unlike others, he said his addresses Toronto Public Health concerns. His LINC looks like a hook with two knuckles attached to it and comes in aluminum, plastic and copper-plated versions that can be used with touchscreens or buttons and can pull open doors, even if they have rounded knobs. "We went the extra mile to make sure that our tools are antimicrobial, or have antimicrobial properties … to keep it cleaner," said Crosby. He also had concerns like TPH's in mind from the start and designed it to be carried on a lanyard or to hook onto bags and belts, so users are reducing their contact with parts of it that touch handles or other surfaces. The KoalaGrip — a removable handle that can attach to transit poles or pull open doors — also currently comes with a carabiner, which can clip the gadget to a bag when not in use, minimizing contact between users and handles or poles. When asked about TPH's concerns, founder William Martin said in a statement Thursday that "It's important to have options like the KoalaGrip to give people a stronger sense of security and some confidence to access familiar spaces." Martin, his cousin and his girlfriend came up with the device after having to commute during lockdowns. "Public transit was pretty sketchy before, but then with (coronavirus) it was almost a no-go," said Martin, in a call from B.C. on Wednesday. "We bought some bikes for the summer, but didn't really have a solution for the winter." They sketched prototypes on a napkin roughly three months ago, hired a designer on freelance platform Upwork and found a 3D printer in Toronto to make the devices. By late February, they were selling the grips to people across Canada, Europe and Asia and marketing solely on TikTok, where they racked up hundreds of thousands of views on demonstration videos filmed on Toronto Transit Commission vehicles. While the transit commission hasn't thrown its support behind individual products, it said in an email, "we understand that people are looking for ways to stay safe on the TTC and if they want to use doodads, gadgets or gizmos like these, we don’t have any concerns." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
HANOVER – Local media got a preview of the new ‘Hockey Hub’ in Hanover on Friday, Feb. 26. The hub is a model for mass COVID-19 immunization clinics. The event was hosted by Grey Bruce Public Health. Following greetings by local health and municipal officials, members of the media had the opportunity to tour the Hockey Hub. Hopefully, their next visit to a Hockey Hub vaccination centre will be when they get vaccinated. Among the speakers at Friday’s event was Grey County Warden Selwyn “Buck” Hicks, deputy mayor of Hanover. He called the Hockey Hub a “spectacular achievement” and thanked all those who made the facility possible, including the Town of Hanover, and the area’s hockey community. “It’s quite an undertaking,” he said. “I hope it’s not long before this place is buzzing!” That won’t be until the supply of vaccine increases substantially. That should come in late March or April. Hanover Mayor Sue Paterson, who chairs the Grey-Bruce board of health, said Hanover is an ideal place for the Hockey Hub. “It has a central location and easy access,” she said. “Overall, the population is engaged and informed.” Paterson commented, “If (the Hockey Hub model) works here, it will work in other communities … We are really proud to be part of the solution.” Bruce Power was instrumental in providing funding and manpower for setting up the Hockey Hub. James Scongack, vice-president of corporate affairs and operational services, noted this area has done “exceptionally well” in keeping the numbers down, and coming together as a community. “What we have here in Grey-Bruce is very special … I’m looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, adding, “Grey-Bruce has always been ahead of the curve.” A short Bruce Power video was shown; it showed what clients will find from the moment they enter the Hockey Hub. Included in the video was a message from Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson, who said, “We’re doing everything we can to end this pandemic.” Last to speak was the man of the hour, Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health and the driving force behind the Hockey Hub concept, from concept to implementation. He spoke of the many partners in the project. “The partners have done the heavy lifting,” he said. He also discussed the task force in Grey-Bruce that represents so many sectors. Arra said he hopes to see this model adopted by the federal government. “Arenas are ubiquitous in Canada,” he said. The facility set up on the arena floor of the P&H Centre consists of rows of cubicles and is designed to allow 4,500 people per day to be vaccinated in a 10-hour day, by five vaccinators assisted by non-medical personnel. Hanover’s arena has some special attributes that make it ideal – hands-free doors, wide corridors, plenty of space and a large amount of parking. The same setup is used at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine and Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound. They’ll be ready by March 5. It’s a model that can be downsized or made larger, depending on the size of the arena and the amount of vaccine available. Communities across the country have the infrastructure. It’s a matter of using a proven model. Arra explained the Hockey Hub is far more efficient and cost-effective than traditional vaccination clinics. A public health press release stated traditional large-volume clinics administer about 1,000 vaccines a day, using 20 vaccinators. What makes the Hockey Hub model work better is using clinical staff for clinical duties only, and other staff for non-medical duties. From the moment the client enters the vaccination hub, the process is streamlined and designed for maximum efficiency and safety. Once registered, the client remains in an individual pod for the entire process – documentation, administering vaccine and recovery. The vaccinator moves from pod to pod. In the Hockey Hub model, a vaccinator can administer 90 vaccines per hour. It’s not only faster, but safer. Fainting is an acknowledged risk at vaccination clinics, but this one has less risk of injury. The client is vaccinated and recovers in the same location, instead of having to walk to a recovery area. The need for disinfecting is minimized because the client stays in one location, and there’s less chance of anything being transmitted. The Hockey Hub model costs about $6,000 per 1,000 vaccines, about $1.7 million for a population of 140,000. Traditional large volume clinics cost $26,000 per 1,000 or $7.2 million for 140,000. Arra said given a sufficient supply of vaccine, the three Hockey Hubs in Grey-Bruce could vaccinate 140,000 people, or 75 per cent of the population, in about 21 days. Conventional clinics would take months rather than days. “The Hockey Hub is an ideal solution for large-scale immunization, not just locally but across Canada,” said Arra. At Friday’s press conference, he said the blueprints for the Hockey Hub have been made available throughout the province, and a number of other health units have requested them. The local health unit has even received a request for the blueprints from Australia. The Hockey Hub won’t be used for a while, apart from the recent test run vaccinating EMS personnel. There are two distribution models for vaccine, one traditional, using doctor’s offices and pharmacies. That’s the model in use right now, said Arra. The other, the mass vaccination centres, will be used when vaccines are available in large amounts. When that happens, there’ll be more learned, and that knowledge will be shared, said Arra. He noted the Hockey Hub is designed to move as many people through, as quickly as possible, meaning police have been involved to ensure the traffic flow through town is good. Arra was asked if he was excited to see the Hockey Hub vaccination centre in Hanover ready to go. “Excited? You can say that again!” said the usually unflappable Arra. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
A woman in Kings County has been acquitted on charges of animal cruelty. After the Nova Scotia SPCA seized 35 dogs from her Wolfville, N.S., business more than a year ago, Karin Robertson was charged with two counts of allowing an animal to be in distress, and another charge of disobeying orders. A provincial court judge has ruled in Robertson's favour. "I find she did not fail to comply as those directions did not apply to her operation," Ronda van der Hoek said this week in her decision. "She was directed to provide continuous access to shelter if the dogs are kept outdoors, and I find there was no evidence presented by the Crown that I accept supporting a conclusion the dogs were outdoors." Dozens of complaints In 2019, Robertson's kennel business was impacted by dozens of online complaints against her. The complaints said her animals were in poor health and in distress from living in dirty conditions. Because of those complaints, fewer people were buying puppies from her and at one point she had as many as 80 dogs. Karin Robertson addresses the media in December 2019 during her appeal of the seizure of her 35 Jack Russell terriers and border collies. (Paul Poirier/CBC) SPCA inspectors visited Robertson's property and issued five orders against her and 44 directives that required compliance. Van der Hoek took exception to those directives. "It would be wise for the SPCA to consider the issue of due diligence during their investigations, rather than ignoring it until trial," said van der Hoek. "If they had done so, they could have better understood the nature of her operation and not contributed to the problems Ms. Robertson faced." The dogs were seized by the SPCA on Dec. 10, 2019 after enforcement officers found the animals living in "unsanitary conditions." Appealed seizure Jo-Anne Landsburg, the chief provincial inspector for the Nova Scotia SPCA, called the property a puppy mill. She described the dogs as timid, anxious and "very fearful of humans," with whom they've had little contact. Robertson appealed the seizure of her 35 Jack Russell terriers and border collies on Dec. 30, 2019, but it was upheld by the Animal Welfare Appeal Board. Jo-Anne Landsburg is the Nova Scotia SPCA's chief inspector.(Robert Short/CBC) At the time, the SPCA said it was one of the largest dog seizures in the province's history. More than 150 people showed up in support of the SPCA at an appeal hearing in Halifax. But van der Hoek said Robertson underwent "herculean" efforts to find new homes for many of her dogs to try and lower the number of animals at her kennel. She did this while she was dealing with cancer. All 35 dogs adopted "I accept the evidence of Ms. Robertson who I found to be both credible and reliable. She worked from approximately 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, caring for all the dogs and the growing puppies," said van der Hoek. "She fed, watered, cleaned and re-homed over half her animals at an impressive speed and with care and deliberation." Last January, SPCA officials said all 35 dogs had been adopted. MORE TOP STORIES
Canada's exports to the United States, its largest trading partner, rose sharply in January, leading to a surprise trade surplus, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Canada's trade surplus with the rest of the world was C$1.41 billion ($1.11 billion) in January, the largest since July 2014. "This is very strongly driven by our top trading partner," Hall said, noting that demand from the United States will continue to be strong as its economy strengthens with increased vaccinations spurring a broader recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
SYDNEY – Minister Bernadette Jordan says her plan to regulate moderate livelihood fisheries in Atlantic Canada is based on consultation with First Nations communities – a claim that Cape Breton chiefs flatly deny. In a statement released Wednesday, Jordan says, “We have never stopped working with First Nations to reach agreement and implement their right to a moderate livelihood. That is why effective this season, we will introduce a new path for First Nations to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, one that addresses much of the feedback we’ve heard over the past year.” Chief Wilbert Marshall of Potlotek First Nation says he’s never been contacted by the department of fisheries and oceans. “It’s like a dictatorship, and that’s why you can’t trust DFO and I hate to say that,” he says. “We actually want to sit down and talk and work together, don’t just blindside us.” Marshall says his community submitted their plan to Minister Jordan’s department over a month before they launched their moderate livelihood fishery last fall, but never got feedback. He says he has no intention of working with the federal government’s new rules, and his community will continue with its own fishing plan for the spring. Under the government’s new regulations, moderate livelihood fisheries will only be permitted to operate within the established commercial fishing seasons, and will be required to obtain licenses through DFO. Only fish harvested under these conditions can be sold legally. Membertou First Nation announced its plans for a moderate livelihood fishery in late October 2020, and Chief Terry Paul says this latest announcement from DFO won’t affect those plans. Paul says he’s disappointed with more of the same from the government. “Donald Marshall Jr. was charged for fishing without a license. He was charged for fishing out of season. He won that case. So why is the minister going back to the old way of DFO operations, which does not work for us.” The 1999 Marshall decision by the Supreme Court recognized the rights of Mi’kmaq and Maliseet to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing. A later amendment, Marshall II, clarified that the government may infringe on those rights only in cases that are “justified on the basis of conservation or other compelling and substantial public objectives.” It also requires that the government consult with First Nations on any regulation that limits their treaty rights. Chief Paul says that consultation didn’t happen in his experience. He hopes the government will work with his community’s plan for a self-regulated fishery. “There are rules in place, rules that address the issue, or the potential issue, of conservation and sustainability. That’s foremost for us before we go out fishing. And the research shows that the moderate livelihood fishery does not impact the stock of the sustainability of the fishery. It makes up a very small percentage of the total catch.” Minister Jordan says that her department will work directly with communities to meet their licensing needs, and that the number of licenses will not increase. Instead, a voluntary buy back program will balance First Nations access and the protection of stocks. “We can absolutely have a fishery that is peaceful, productive and prosperous, one that upholds the Marshall decisions and ensures First Nations are able to exercise their Treaty rights, in a way that is reflective of their Nation’s vision, needs and wishes,” she says. According to the minister’s statement, her department will be enforcing the new regulations on the water, and she says fishers will see more federal presence this spring, including fisheries officers and Canadian Coast Guard vessels. This worries Chief Marshall and Chief Paul. Tensions between non-Indigenous commercial fishers and First Nations fishers led to heated confrontations, violence and vandalism on Nova Scotia's mainland in the fall of 2020 with the launch of Sipekne'katik First Nation's moderate livelihood fishery. When Mi’kmaq fishers put their traps in the water this spring, in spite of these new regulations, both chiefs see the potential for conflict. “There will be more people on the water, and someone is going to get hurt or killed or something. It shouldn’t come to that,” says Chief Marshall of Potlotek. Membertou Chief Terry Paul echoes that sentiment, “I feel that all our livelihood fishermen have a target on their back ... I hate to think about it, but I feel that someone is going to get hurt. Paul says it’s not too late for the government to sit down with First Nations and collaborate on a solution, instead of presenting them with unilateral decisions. Eskasoni First Nation also plans to go ahead with its self-regulated fishery in the spring, and Chief Leroy Denny says he’s looking into legal options with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs. Ardelle Reynolds, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cape Breton Post
Two city councillors are pitching in to help a northeast Calgary ward that currently doesn't have a councillor. Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra says he and Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal have split Ward 10 in half. Carra said this will help people know who to call if they need help with a city issue. Ward 10 has been without a councillor since longtime councillor Ray Jones resigned last October, citing health concerns. "We're just getting our feet wet, we're meeting people," Carra said. "We're building those relationships so we can do that work in the future." The two councillors will each cover roughly half of the ward's population, splitting it north and south. The split hasn't resulted in a huge amount of extra work so far, Carra said. "The call volumes in Ward 10 are a fraction of what they are in Ward 9," Carra said. "So we're bringing two staff on to work for Ward 10. They both have deep roots in the communities of Ward 10. "They're getting their feet underneath them and their call volumes is a lot less than my Ward 9 staff." Ray Jones was first elected to council in 1993. He said in October that he was leaving council for health reasons. His seat on council will be filled in the next municipal election.(CBC) Chahal said he grew up in the Rundle neighbourhood, so he's familiar with the area. He said his approach for the next few months is to consider the entire area as a bigger ward. "I have to represent them equally, just like I represent the communities of Ward 5," Chahal said. "So it does create my days to be a little bit longer, and my evenings, less time for myself or my family." As there is no requirement to hold a by-election this close to the next municipal vote, Jones' seat will remain vacant until that time. The municipal vote is scheduled for Oct. 18.
Une récente controverse sur la consistance du beurre démontre le besoin de preuves plutôt que de données anecdotiques.
Takedown NOTICE Please DO NOT USE story slugged LJI-Ont-South-Bruce-POW-NNW-letter headlined South Bruce responds to POW-NNW letter. This story has been killed by its news editor. Regards, Local Journalism Initiative AVIS d'annulation Prière de NE PAS PUBLIER l'article identifié LJI-Ont-South-Bruce-POW-NNW-letter et intitulé South Bruce responds to POW-NNW letter. Cet article a été annulé par le rédacteur en chef de la publication. Merci de votre collaboration, Initiative de journalisme local Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times