Yellowknife city council is exploring whether to apply for up to $25 million in federal Rapid Housing Initiative funding that would create permanent housing in the city for those experiencing homelessness. The project, if a Yellowknife bid were successful, could delay previously identified priorities like the city's replacement water line from the Yellowknife River, new aquatic centre, and potential expansion in Kam Lake. “We are so very conflicted on this," said city administrator Sheila Bassi-Kellett at a meeting with councillors on Monday. Bassi-Kellett said there was "enormous benefit" in building permanent supportive housing, but City Hall had limited resources and "a couple of massive projects under way." The N.W.T. is in a housing crisis, lacking adequate, suitable, and affordable homes across its communities. Even in the territorial capital, a 2019 report found 29 per cent of homes were not considered affordable for residents. The Rapid Housing Initiative offers $1 billion across the country to address urgent housing needs for vulnerable Canadians by rapidly building affordable homes. Half of the cash is allocated to specific, larger municipalities. The other $500 million is available to other groups, ranging from Indigenous governments to smaller cities like Yellowknife. City staff will now create a plan to bid on the funding and councillors will vote on whether or not to submit an application. Mayor Rebecca Alty said a special meeting may be required so council can vote and the city potentially submit its application before the federal December 31 deadline. Bassi-Kellett told council the city could look to retrofit an existing building with the money, turning it into permanent supportive housing. Once renovated, that building – a specific lot wasn't identified – could be operated by a non-governmental organization. A modular structure could also be considered. Bassi-Kellett added revenue from rent could cover operating costs like utilities and maintenance, and may cover some core funding for a group to run programs and pay for staffing. A stipulation of the federal funding is the city must aim to spend any funds allotted by March 31, 2021. Housing must be available within one year of the agreement being signed. With its scope and timeline, Bassi-Kellett told council the project would be an “ambitious undertaking” and other big projects would be set aside. “I do need to stress that this would mean a reallocation of other priorities, so that other projects and responsibilities would not be achieved if this one came to the top of the list,” she said. The city has since 2017 had a 10-year plan to end homelessness that states Yellowknife needs to “develop 80 new place-based units of permanent supportive housing” for people experiencing homelessness and problems with mental health, addiction, and physical health. “One area where we do see a gap in advancing some of the priorities of our 10-year plan is around permanent supportive housing,” Bassi-Kellett said. The Rapid Housing Initiative would help meet that need. “It is a lot of work but it would be hard to pass up on this opportunity to hit such a milestone within the 10-year plan,” said Grant White, the city's director of community services. Councillors Niels Konge and Robin Williams both saw the funding as a positive step and said it should be applied for without hesitation. “The reality is if someone says, hey, there’s $25 million here to help you solve one of the biggest problems you have in your community – that becomes the priority,” Konge said. “Here’s the long list of things that we have to do. This now gets moved up to the front, we go through the application process and then, at that point, we go back to doing what we were doing.” Councillor Shauna Morgan was cautiously optimistic, provided the application and work is done properly. “I don’t want us directing energy and resources down a path that is going to fall apart because we didn’t think it through, or we tried to go for a building or project that actually we don’t have any NGOs prepared to take on at the end of the day,” she said. According to Alty, the N.W.T. government and YWCA are each planning on submitting their own applications to address other housing needs. She told council, if approved, the YWCA’s application would address some need in Yellowknife. The GNWT's application is expected to focus on smaller, more remote communities. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Kwakiutl First Nation has once again closed their Tsakis reserve (Fort Rupert) to non-essential visitors as of Nov. 23, for at least two weeks while provincial coronavirus restrictions are in place. The checkpoint will be staffed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. by Aries Security as a “gentle reminder to people that we have to be cautious of who comes onto our reserve. We have to protect our vulnerable people,” said elected chief Ross Hunt Jr. “This is all in alignment with the recommendations from Auntie Bonnie, as people call her,” Hunt Jr. added, referring to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “We just keep reiterating people’s patience and understanding, and to please respect people’s bubbles.” Quatsino First Nation at Coal Harbour has implemented phase Orange of its new colour-coded COVID-19 response phase system, as of Nov. 22. This phase asks all residents to limit their travel to the North Island (north of Comox), wear masks, limit gatherings to household groups, self-isolate for two weeks if they do travel past Comox, and to restrict visitors to the reserve to only essential or direct business meetings. The nation hired a temporary director for their emergency operations centre, Chad Pacholik, who has helped develop the response plan and will continue working with the nation to stay on top of the evolving pandemic. Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations is setting up a checkpoint at the entrance to the Tsulquate reserve, to take effect Nov. 27. In the meantime, signage is still posted requesting that all visitors wear masks and that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or anyone who has travelled within the last 14 days to not enter the reserve. READ MORE: 6 things you need to know about B.C.’s latest COVID-19 health orders READ MORE: Latest COVID-19 restrictions starting to show results in B.C. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
An Ottawa city councillor has apologized for "inadvertently" texting while driving Tuesday, a lapse in judgment that was livestreamed via YouTube during a virtual meeting of the city's audit committee.Osgoode councillor and deputy mayor George Darouze initially joined the 9:30 a.m. meeting from what looked like his kitchen, and even asked a detailed question about the accounting procedures surrounding the city's public-private partnership at Lansdowne Park, one of the audits tabled Tuesday.Around 11:30 a.m., the livestream showed Darouze getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. He put on his seatbelt, as well as headphones, presumably to keep listening to the meeting. His device appears to be sitting in the passenger seat, the camera facing him.He began to drive — the passing scenery clearly visible through the driver side window — and pulled out a cell phone. He then began to text with his thumbs, taking his eyes off the road several times. At one point, Darouze fumbled around with his right hand to find his glasses, then put them on.Eventually, Darouze looked toward the second wireless device in the passenger seat and turned off the camera. The councillor didn't respond to a request for comment, but posted the following brief apology on Facebook:"This morning, I inadvertently texted while I was driving. I apologize for this and commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again."Later Tuesday afternoon, Darouze replaced that post with another statement, this time admitting his behaviour was a "stupid thing to do." "I should not have done this. I commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again," reads the public post.Ottawa police aware of videoA number of people on social media are calling for police to charge the councillor for distracted driving, and for Mayor Jim Watson to weigh in. A statement from the mayor's office said he "trusts that this will not happen again."Ottawa police said in an emailed statement that they're aware of a video of "a driver with a handheld device," without naming Darouze. Police said the driver appears to be violating the Highway Traffic Act, and said they will investigate if they receive a public complaint.
NEW YORK — Twelve things worth noting about Tuesday's nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards, from snubbed singers to posthumous nominees to famous folks competing for awards.___SNUBBED SINGERSThe Weeknd sings about being a “star boy" but the Grammys' response to his latest album? Bye boy.The pop star was severely snubbed this year despite having one of the year's biggest albums with “After Hours" and topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Blinding Lights" and “Heartless."Luke Combs also walked away without a single nomination though he was country music's most successful musician this year. Morgan Wallen also had a great year in country music, but didn't earn any nods. And the Chicks' first album in 14 years was not recognized.A group of young R&B female acts moving the needle also missed out on nominations, including Summer Walker, Teyana Taylor and Kehlani. Late rapper Juice WRLD, Brandy and Chris Brown were also snubbed.Though they received nominations in their genre categories, acts such as Lady Gaga, Fiona Apple and Harry Styles didn't pick up bids for album, song or record of the year.K-POP KINGSFor years BTS have said their dream is to be Grammy-nominated. And they've finally achieved it.The K-pop band is nominated for best pop duo/group performance with “Dynamite," their first song to hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.Others who scored their first-ever nominations include Harry Styles, Megan Thee Stallion, the Strokes, Jay Electronica, Michael Kiwanuka and Mickey Guyton.DR. LUKE aka TYSON TRAXDr. Luke marked a major comeback this year, producing hits for Saweetie, Juice WRLD and Doja Cat, who is signed to his record label. And it earned him his first Grammy nomination in six years.The hit “Say So" marked a breakthrough for Doja Cat and Dr. Luke, who last launched a No. 1 smash with Katy Perry's “Dark Horse" in 2014, the same year his former collaborator Kesha accused him of sexual assault during their yearslong partnership. Dr. Luke has vigorously denied the allegations.“Say So" is nominated for record of the year, an award given to the song's artist and producer, helping Dr. Luke earn a nomination. But instead of using his known name on the credits for the song, he's listed as Tyson Traxe.Other monikers Dr. Luke has used are Loctor Duke and MADE IN CHINA.BLACK LIVES MATTERReflecting the current times, Black artists released songs this year about the Black Lives Matter movement and the international protests that took place following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others.And those songs are nominated for Grammys.Beyoncé's “Black Parade," released on Juneteenth, is up for four awards including record and song of the year. The protest song “I Can't Breathe" by H.E.R. is nominated for song of the year and best R&B song, while Lil Baby's “The Bigger Picture" — which reached the No. 3 spot on the pop charts — is up for best rap song and best rap performance. And Anderson .Paak's “Lockdown," about police brutality and racial injustice, is up for best melodic rap performance and best music video.Country singer Mickey Guyton wrote “Black Like Me" a year before Floyd's death, but rushed to release the song because she said the time was right. The poignant track earned a nomination for best country solo performance.LONG LIVE THE DEADJohn Prine died of complications of the coronavirus in April, but his spirit is all over the Grammy Awards.The icon earned two posthumous nominations, including best American Roots performance and best American Roots song for “I Remember Everything."Breakthrough rapper Pop Smoke died this year but his hit song “Dior," a double platinum success, is nominated for best rap performance. Nipsey Hussle, who died last year and won two posthumous Grammys earlier this year, scored a nomination for best rap performance for his guest appearance on Big Sean's “Deep Reverence."Leonard Cohen has earned multiple posthumous nominations since his death in 2016 and is nominated for best folk album with “Thanks for the Dance," his fifteenth and final studio album.And songwriter LaShawn Daniels, who died last year and won a Grammy for co-writing Destiny's Child's “Say My Name," is competing for best gospel performance/song with “Come Together" by his close friend Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Daniels and Jerkins started writing the song about the world coming together 17 years ago but Jerkins released it this year during the pandemic to offer healing and hope to listeners.A-LIST ACTSOscar winners Meryl Streep and Renée Zellweger are vying for Grammy gold.Streep is nominated for best spoken world album for “Charlotte’s Web," pitting her against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, journalist Ronan Farrow and “Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings, who is nominated for reading “Alex Trebex — The Answer Is...”Zellweger won her second Academy Award for “Judy" and her performance on the soundtrack earned her a nomination for best traditional pop vocal album.Cynthia Erivo, a Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner, scored a nomination for best written song for visual media with “Stand Up" from “Harriet." The song, which she co-wrote with Joshuah Brian Campbell, also earned an Oscar nomination earlier this year.And the best comedy album award is stacked with famous folks, including Tiffany Haddish, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan and Bill Burr.WOMEN WHO ROCKFemale acts dominate in the best rock song and best rock performance categories, with performers like Fiona Apple, Brittany Howard, HAIM, Grace Potter, Phoebe Bridgers and Big Thief — led by Adrianne Lenker — in contention.And while country radio is overloaded with male artists, the Grammys' best country album category is packed with women, including Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark, Ashley McBryde and Ingrid Andress.IT'S BRITTANY B(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)!Brittany Howard has already won four Grammys with her talented band Alabama Shakes, but her first solo album is getting tons of Grammy love.“Jaime" was released last year and is one of those rare albums competing for multiple genres at the Grammys. The album is nominated for best alternative music album, her song “Stay High" is up for best rock song and best rock performance, the track “Goat Head" is nominated for best R&B performance, and “Short and Sweet" is competing for best American Roots performance.JAY-Z, THE SONGWRITERS, SHINESHappy wife, happy life: Jay-Z has lent his songwriting hand to his wife Beyoncé and he's earned Grammy nominations for it.Jay-Z co-wrote Beyoncé's “Black Parade" and “Savage" with Megan Thee Stallion, and now he's nominated for song of the year, best R&B song and best rap song — categories reserved for songwriters.Jay-Z and Beyoncé have won five Grammys together.HIP-HOP IS DEADDespite rap music being today's most popular genre, no rap albums are nominated for the top prize, album of the year.Expected nominees included Roddy Ricch's “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial," Lil Baby’s “My Turn" and DaBaby's “Blame It on Baby" or “Kirk."But those albums didn't even score nomination in the best rap album category. Instead, nominees were focused on rap purists and respected lyricists instead of the young performers dominating the pop charts.Nominees for best rap album include Nas' “King’s Disease," Jay Electronica’s “A Written Testimony,” Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist's “Alfredo," “The Allegory" by Royce Da 5’9” and D Smoke's “Black Habits."PAUL McCARTNEY, THE ART DIRECTORPaul McCartney scored his 79th Grammy nominations this year — as an art director.The former Beatle is nominated for best boxed or special limited edition package for the collector's edition of his 10th solo album, “Flaming Pie." He's listed as one of the art directors on the project, and shares his nomination with Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith and James Musgrave.McCartney is the owner of 18 Grammys.PAIN OF THE PANDEMICBecause of the coronavirus pandemic, the Best Immersive Audio Album Craft Committee was unable to meet to decide winners for the best immersive audio album Grammy. The judging of the entries has been postponed, and the nominees will be announced next year. The winners for the 2021 award will be announced at the 2022 show.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
Twenty-three B.C. mayors are calling on Premier John Horgan to establish policies that give resource-based communities a key role in the province’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan. In an open letter to Horgan Nov. 19, the mayors of both rural and urban municipalities praised previous foundation investments in natural resource development, as well as associated construction and transportation needs, and asked for inclusion in future policy discussions. “As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, BC has undergone a tremendous economic shock,” the letter reads. “Fortunately, BC’s resource industries have been able to persevere during this period. Our mines have continued to operate, the forest sector was able to take advantage of soaring lumber prices during 2020, aquaculture continues to invest and innovate, and four major energy projects have kept British Columbia workers busy building the resource infrastructure of the future.” In September the province announced a $1.5 billion pandemic economic recovery plan, in addition to previous commitments, targeting primarily tourism, food security, climate action, technology and innovation. Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said the group of mayors found no disagreements with the strategy, and issued the letter primarily as a show of support. “This was just to let the premier know that we are ready and willing to engage,” Ackerman said. “Our resource industries need to be front of mind when we’re looking at creating the future of British Columbia. We’ve got businesses that need to get working. With a new cabinet coming into place we needed to send the premier our congratulations and hope that we can work on this together.” The mayors asked Horgan to enshrine five core pillars for economic recovery into the Mandate Letters of incoming cabinet ministers. Those pillars are: quickly enable shovel-ready projects to proceed; ensure international investors know B.C.’s industries can succeed in uncertain global investment conditions; recognize the unique advantage of globally carbon-competitive exports; put workers and communities first when delivering on campaign commitments; and ensure any new regulations affecting delivery on the first four pillars are considered carefully. Going forward, the mayors also offered their support on all aspects of pandemic recovery and ongoing efforts with climate change and First Nations reconciliation. The letter was written by Ackerman and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, and supported by: Mayor Andy Adams, Campbell River Mayor Bruno Tassone, Castlegar Mayor Allen Courtoreille, Chetwynd Mayor Lee Pratt, Cranbrook Mayor Dale Bumstead, Dawson Creek Mayor Michelle Staples, Duncan Mayor Sarrah Storey, Fraser Lake Mayor Brad Unger, Gold River Mayor Linda McGuire, Granisle Mayor Phil Germuth, Kitimat Mayor Dennis Dugas, Port Hardy Mayor Joan Atkinson, Mackenzie Mayor Linda Brown, Merritt Mayor Gary Foster, Northern Rockies Mayor Brad West, Port Coquitlam Mayor Gaby Wickstrom, Port McNeill Mayor Lorraine Michetti, Pouce Coupe Mayor Doug McCallum, Surrey Mayor Rob Fraser, Taylor Mayor Carol Leclerc, Terrace Mayor Keith Bertrand, Tumbler Ridge Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View
SALT LAKE CITY — Deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah's red-rock desert lies a mystery: A gleaming metal monolith in one of the most remote parts of the state. The smooth, tall structure was found during a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, officials said Monday. A crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Division of Wildlife Resources spotted the gleaming object from the air Nov. 18 and landed to check it out during a break from their work. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together. But they discovered no clues about who might have driven it into the ground among the undulating red rocks or why. “This thing is not from another world,” said Lt. Nick Street of the Utah Highway Patrol, part of the Department of Public Safety. Still, it's clear that it took some planning and work to construct the 10- to 12-foot (3- to 4-meter) monolith and embed it in the rock. The exact location is so remote that officials are not revealing it publicly, worried that people might get lost or stranded trying to find it and need to be rescued. The monolith evokes the one that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey." Because it’s on federal public land, it’s illegal to place art objects without authorization. Bureau of Land Management officials are investigating how long it's been there, who might have created it and whether to remove it. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press
The new Netflix series The Queen's Gambit, about a young female chess prodigy in the 1950s and 1960s, has generated the most buzz about the game that the Calgary Chess Club has seen in five decades."The last time I remember we had buzz like this was way back in 1972, when Bobby Fischer, an American chess player, ended up being the world champion. And then six years ago, we had another movie, The Pawn's Sacrifice … but nothing like this. Nothing like this since 1972," Steve Sklenka, president of the Calgary Chess Club, told the Calgary Eyeopener on Monday.Sklenka said calls and emails have been flooding in from parents who want their kids to take up chess."They want to enrol kids into some chess lessons, tutors, and that sort of thing. So we get our inquiries on our websites and our emails," he said. "We have more people asking if we provide lessons to the youngsters. We have, actually, people buying memberships, even though we're actually closed. The premises are closed. And inquiries are coming in, people buying chess sets," he said. "The activity [is] certainly a lot better than, you know, in the past years."In the first 10 days after The Queen's Gambit was released, eBay reported a surge of over 270 per cent in searches for chess sets. Sklenka said that's good news for chess fans."It's a fun game. It's an educational game," he said. "And the good thing about it is, anybody can play all their lives. We have players from Grade 1 and right up to people into their 80s. So it's a very versatile game."Sklenka said child prodigies are rare."There's two or three from India right now. They're not even teenagers, and they're world-class players," he said."There's a few around the world, but it just happens periodically that you have some real youngsters that are extremely good, and they will become top world-class players. Potentially one of them will be a world champion."Sklenka said he hopes The Queen's Gambit is inspiring more girls and women to take up the male-dominated game."There's a lot of women playing chess, there's more and more. And, you know, we've got to be realistic. It's still a male-dominated game, but there's a lot of good female players from around the country and the world," he said.Sklenka said there's a reason eastern European players, like the toughest opponents in The Queen's Gambit, do so well at chess. "Russia, you know, the eastern European countries are supported by the government. And so it's easier for their talents to be developed," he said, adding that India, China and the United States, are coming up in the ranks."Whereas in the Western world, yeah, we don't have as much support, if you will. But yeah, that would be one reason why maybe Russia is — Russia is doing so well in chess, because they do get the support from the government." Sklenka is originally from the Czech Republic and grew up playing chess. But he said he's not one of the players who can close his eyes and see the next moves."I certainly can't. And very, very, very few people can actually play chess blindfolded. But there are people that can … Timur Gareyev, whom I know, is a very good friend and a very good person. He's a world champion and he's played 48 games blindfolded, at the same time. And that's a world record, Guinness Book of World Records. So that's just totally unusual. The odd person can play maybe a game, perhaps two blindfolded."Calgarians who are interested in learning more about chess, getting some lessons or joining the Calgary Chess Club, can find more information at Calgary Chess Club.The club, at 3359 27th Street N.E., isn't operating regular hours because of COVID-19. However, it is open Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with all COVID-19 measures in place.Listen to the full interview on the Calgary Eyeopener here:
Si les producteurs de fromage en grains peinent à écouler leurs stocks de fromage frais dans les restaurants fermés des zones rouges, ceux de la Fromagerie l’Ancêtre disparaissent rapidement aux comptoirs de Bécancour et de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade. «On fait du fromage en grains chaque jour, mais pas encore avec un réseau de distribution», précise son PDG, Pascal Désilets. Mais la Fromagerie l’Ancêtre y réfléchit. «Présentement, le prix est encore le critère d’achat numéro un dans ce marché et le fromage bio est un produit de spécialité. Sa plus-value n’est pas propice au modèle d’affaires de la restauration», souligne M. Désilets. La fromagerie l’Ancêtre de Bécancour produit des fromages certifiés biologiques, de lait non pasteurisé, sans gluten ou sans lactose, demi-sel et des beurres. L’Ancêtre distribue 75% de sa production à travers le pays, en majorité au Québec, en Ontario et dans l’Ouest canadien. Surtout dans les épiceries et les marchés d’alimentation biologiques. «Le biologique a toujours été très populaire dans l’Ouest canadien». La fromagerie transforme près de 6 millions de litres de lait sur une base annuelle. M. Désilets ne veut pas nous dire combien de fromages en résultent. L’acquisition récente de la Fromagerie Le Baluchon semble démontrer que les affaires tournent assez rondement. «Nos fromages Baluchon sont arrivés dans les épiceries Métro et IGA cette semaine, à nos comptoirs aussi. On a une belle réponse de la clientèle. Malheureusement, on n’aura pas assez de fromages pour répondre à la demande pour le temps des Fêtes. L’an prochain, on vise à accroître la production de cette gamme de fromages qu’on fait affiner dans les installations de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade». La pandémie n’aura pas trop affecté les ventes de la fromagerie l’Ancêtre. En revanche, les opérations tournent un peu au ralenti. «C’est vraiment un défi d’opérer une croissance durant une pandémie», ajoute M. Désilets. Le sempiternel problème de main-d’œuvre. «On est constamment à la recherche d’aide-fromager, de fromagers, de personnes à l’emballage. Et ce n’est pas qu’une question de salaire». En revanche, «le phénomène pour l’achat local a été positif pour les fromageries», ajoute-t-il.Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
TORONTO — Anxiety-ridden and overworked health-care workers say they feel abandoned in their increasingly desperate struggle to cope with COVID-19, a new small-scale study suggests. Interviews with nurses, personal support workers and others in hospitals and long-term care homes suggest chronic stress and burnout are common, but fear of reprisals is stopping them from speaking out. "The knowledge that they are at increased risk of infection due to lack of protection has resulted in anger, frustration, fear, and a sense of violation that may have long-lasting implications," the paper states. The study, in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, was done by James Brophy and Margaret Keith, academic researchers affiliated with the University of Windsor and noted occupational hygienists. Health-care workers in Canada have contracted the novel coronavirus in far higher numbers relative to the general public, comprising almost one-in-five confirmed cases, according to a previous study. To date, COVID-19 has sickened close to 9,000 front-line health-care workers and killed 16. Only 10 workers — nurses, personal support workers and other staff — agreed to be interviewed for the qualitative study. Others refused to take part for fear of being disciplined or fired, they said. Despite the handful of interview subjects, the authors said their peer-reviewed findings reflect other larger-scale research and surveys, and its findings are valid. Those interviewed said they still lack personal protective equipment despite the very real risks of contracting COVID or spreading it — risks apparent from the early days of the pandemic. Some said they were warned by supervisors not to wear N95 protection, even if they had their own, Keith said. Others spoke of the constant grief and trauma they endure when patients or residents die, a situation only getting worse as new cases soar. "Words on the page cannot convey the level of emotion we heard in the voices of the health-care workers we interviewed," Brophy said. "We did not expect to hear the degree of anger and desperation that came out." The vast majority of the front-line health-care workers are women, many racialized, Keith said. Many are part-time and vulnerable to job loss. "Health-care workers are desperately in need of protection from COVID and from their often back-breaking and soul-crushing working conditions," Keith said. "But the authoritarian and hierarchical nature of health-care work contributes to (their) risks and adverse mental-health impacts." Despite the issues, the workers said the provincial government had let them down by failing to take action to deal with their health or labour concerns. Chronic understaffing and failing to keep them safe, the authors said, means the workers can't do their jobs effectively, putting everyone at risk. "Health-care workers health and well-being are being sacrificed," Keith said. "We all need to pay attention to their pleas." There was no immediate response to the qualitative study from the provincial government, but Health Minister Christine Elliott praised the "tireless efforts" of front-line health-care workers during an announcement on Tuesday about the roll-out of rapid tests. Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said front-line staff in close contact with COVID-infected people still have no ready access to proper respirators. The Ministry of Labour has also rejected all 253 work refusals as valid. "This explains why people feel sacrificed and why they feel exploited and violated," Hurley said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020 Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Two of Canada's closest allies have laid out plans to distribute new vaccines against the deadly novel coronavirus, with the first shots expected to be delivered in December.Canada, meanwhile, has been largely silent on how promising vaccine candidates will be distributed here after Health Canada regulators give them the green light — providing few, if any, details beyond a promise to work with the provinces and territories and buy cold storage.The federal government has procured some 358 million doses from seven companies — an insurance policy against the possibility that some of the vaccines in development prove to be ineffective in clinical trials. Little is known about how and when the vaccines will be made available, however."Our government has worked hard to secure tens of millions of doses, so we're prepared once a safe, effective vaccine is ready for Canadians," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today, adding that it's "premature" to say when communities will have access to the vaccines.Trudeau said Canada — unlike the U.S., the United Kingdom and Germany — doesn't have any domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, which means it could be a while yet before Canadians get a dose. "We're looking forward to being able to vaccinate Canadians in the coming months," he said.WATCH: Trudeau says lack of Canadian manufacturing capacity to blame for vaccine challengesDr. Moncef Slaoui is the chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed — the U.S. mission to develop a vaccine, manufacture it in large quantities and push it out into communities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to meet on Dec. 10 to make a final decision on Pfizer's highly-effective vaccine and Slaoui said inoculations will begin immediately."Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval," Slaoui said in an interview with CNN."I would expect maybe on day two after approval, on Dec. 11 or Dec 12, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the U.S., across all states, in all areas where the state departments of health have told us to deliver the vaccine."20 million Americans to be vaccinated in DecemberSlaoui said as many as 20 million Americans will be vaccinated in December, and 30 million more Americans will be vaccinated in every subsequent month.Since October, Pfizer has been manufacturing hundreds of thousands of doses each week — even though it hasn't yet received regulatory approval. The company hopes to make 100 million doses available this year and another 1.3 billion in 2021. Each patient will need two doses of Pfizer's vaccine.The National Health Service (NHS) in England has designated 1,250 local health clinics as vaccine sites where, starting as early as Dec. 1, staff will be on hand to administer the vaccine over 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. Each clinic site is expected to inoculate at least 975 people per week.The NHS already has started booking vaccine appointments, designating blocks to priority groups. Vaccinations in the U.K. will start with older adult residents in long-term care homes and care home workers, all those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers, before being offered to those aged 75 years or younger."I have tasked the NHS with being ready from any date from Dec. 1. The logistics are complex, the uncertainties are real and the scale of the job is vast, but I know that the NHS, brilliantly assisted by the armed services, will be up to the task," Matt Hancock, the U.K.'s health secretary, told Parliament last week.In May, the U.S. tapped a retired four-star army general, Gen. Gustave Perna, to coordinate the distribution efforts — a massive task that will see millions of doses of the vaccine deployed to every state starting next month, through a partnership with U.S. drug distribution giant McKesson.Perna is a former commanding general for the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which manages the Army's global supply chain, making him uniquely qualified to run such a complicated distribution network."The country's existing public health infrastructure is well tested — we see evidence every fall when Americans receive the flu vaccine in large numbers. But these are not normal times," Perna said in a media statement. "Leveraging our military planning and logistics capability and combining that with proven methods will allow existing systems to scale quickly to get the vaccine to the American people."More than 1 million standard kits — which would cover 100 million vaccine doses — have been assembled by Operation Warp Speed.The military and McKesson will distribute vaccines along with ancillary kits with all the required supplies to administer them, such as needles, syringes, alcohol pads and limited personal protective equipment.Pfizer has an assembly centre in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the drug manufacturer plans to use private shipping companies such as UPS and FedEx to deliver vaccines to hospitals and vaccination sites within hours.Watch: Bains and Anand explain how Ottawa is developing Canadian vaccine production.:While Operation Warp Speed will deliver vaccine shipments, it will be up to the states, territories and major metropolitan areas to further define where the doses ultimately go. All 50 states have submitted COVID-19 distribution plans to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).The CDC has flowed more than $300 million to the states to fine-tune the deployment process and, last month, the agency publicly released a 75-page playbook detailing everything from vaccine provider recruitment and enrolment guidelines, vaccine storage and handling tips to information on which groups should be first in line for a shot.The CDC also has signed agreements with major U.S. pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens to assist with on-site vaccinations at long-term care facilities (LTCs), which have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.Germany also could start administering shots of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as next month, Jens Spahn, the country's health minister, said Sunday.Spahn said he has asked Germany's federal states to have their vaccination centres ready by mid-December. "I'd rather have a ready-to-go immunization centre that remains inactive for several days than a licensed vaccine that cannot be administered," the minister said, adding that vulnerable persons, such as the elderly, would be treated first.Canadian officials working 'around the clock': health ministerThe Canadian federal government, by comparison, has said little publicly about what it has planned for vaccine distribution.The scientists at the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recently issued preliminary guidance on who should get priority for a vaccine.Watch: 'We don't want it touching the ground' | Retired General Rick Hillier.:Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced last week the government has plans to purchase more than 100 new freezers to help store incoming COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer but also Moderna.When asked Tuesday why Canada seems to be further behind in the race to distribute vaccines, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the whole process is complicated and Health Canada hasn't yet approved a vaccine candidate."I can't speak to allied countries' regulatory processes. I can just speak to mine," she said.Hajdu said the health department is "working hand in glove" with procurement officials to distribute a vaccine, once Canada gets one."All of our departments are working right now, around the clock actually, on making sure we have a concrete plan with the provinces and territories, that we are ready to deploy the vaccines as soon as they arrive on Canadian soil," she said.Watch: Ottawa can't provide timeline on when COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed:
A big-box pet store has plans to jump into Liverpool, eyeing opportunity in a county that has been without a pet shop for the past eight years. Pet Valu has confirmed it’s going to open a retail outlet in the town. “Pet Valu is really excited to be opening a store in Liverpool in mid-2021,” Katherine Clark, a spokesperson for the pet store chain, said in an email. Liverpool’s last pet store, Kameko’s Cove & Aquatics, closed in February, 2012 after five years in business. The store sold tropical fish, reptiles and other small pets, along with pet supplies. Pet Valu’s Liverpool plans include the construction of a new 4,000 square-foot building, which will be located beside the Dollarama Store on Queens Place Drive. One of Canada’s largest pet specialty retail chains with 1,200 stores in North America, Pet Valu Canada Inc. started in Toronto in 1976. It currently has 11 stores in Nova Scotia.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
The region's second drive-thru Santa Claus parade is happening Saturday in Amherstburg and organizers are hoping for a smoother event this time around.The so-called "reverse" parade — attendees drive by floats and performers that stay in place — is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the grounds of the Libro Centre Arena in Amherstburg.Maggie Durocher of the Windsor Parade Corporation is urging patience as she's expecting a very large turnout — similar to the event in Kingsville last weekend."I would encourage families to enjoy the time that they have together, celebrate what they do have, not what they don't have," she said. "Use the time waiting to access the parade route to enjoy the holiday season together."The event will feature multiple entertainers including fire jugglers and horse units as well as giant inflatables."It'll be a great outing for families," she said. "They can turn to 90.7 on the radio, listen to Santa talk to them as they go along … the parade route."They are also looking to broadcast the event on Facebook Live.The Windsor Parade Corporation, a non-profit, is behind Saturday's event as well as the one last weekend in Kingsville and the upcoming Windsor parade on Dec. 5.Kingsville apologizes for parade issuesThe Town of Kingsville issued an apology after its parade, which saw spectators face long waits to see the performers and "traffic rerouting concerns" due to the overwhelming attendance. The town said some of the concerns stemmed from "miscommunication" on its part. "We apologize to anyone who had a poor experience, and we thank them for their feedback and patience," the Town of Amherstburg said in a statement Sunday.The reverse parade format was implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns around social distancing."Although we expected a crowd, the ultimate response was incredible yet staggering," the town said.Work is being done around the clock to mitigate the challenges experienced in Kingsville, Durocher said. Parade organizers were set to meet with Amherstburg officials Tuesday.But Durocher also acknowledged that, given the high volume of traffic expected, there's only so much they can do.Part of the strategy this time around is to narrow down the routes people are taking to the site, she said. And unlike the Kingsville event, the Amherstburg parade is on a closed circuit. While this year's parades are taking a different form due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Durocher said the intention is to make the events as safe as possible. "We were working hard to make sure that this … was not a year without a Santa Claus," she said.
SILVER SPRING, Md. — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again.It's the most prized name in the basket of brands that entrepreneur investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez have scooped up since the coronavirus pandemic bowled over the U.S. retail sector and sent a number of chains into bankruptcy protection.Mehr and Lopez plan to make RadioShack a competitive again, this time online, rather than on street corners or in malls. However, unlike RadioShack's glory years, it's Amazon's world now.The big question is: How much value does the RadioShack brand have when the prized target audience of millennials or Gen Z have likely never owned a radio, let alone stepped inside a store?“It’s a very thin line between being iconic and being dead,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys Inc., a marketing and research consultancy. “Being iconic a lot of the time just means people have a memory of it. I’m not sure that just remembering something is leverageable enough to be able to convert something into success.”Success is something that's been in RadioShack's rear-view mirror for quite some time. The company, which would celebrate its 100th birthday in 2021, appeared to be on top of the tech world in the pre-personal computer days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the place kids and hobbyist would go to buy radios, walkie-talkies and all the parts to fix them, or even build them themselves.Somewhere along the way, “The Shack” got lost. Unable to capitalize on the PC boom that began in the mid-eighties, it also found itself largely on the outside of the portable device revolution of the aughts and drifting toward irrelevancy. It booked its last profit in 2011. After store redesigns and other changes failed to draw customers, the Fort-Worth, Texas company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015 and then again two years later.Mehr and Lopez have no designs on rebuilding the brick-and-mortar RadioShack empire. But they say there is a path back to profitability, and it all starts with the name.“We bought the raw material to build a big business," Mehr said. "Brand means trust. And the brand is very, very strong. I have quantifiable data that the brand is very strong.”Mehr said REV's formula for measuring public opinion of a brand differs significantly from the way other experts value such things, including their own polling and analysis of how the company might work in a specific “ecosystem."The plan, in short, is to build a vast online marketplace on top of the RadioShack brand. Trust in that name will get consumers to the site, where the quality and variety of merchandise will dictate whether or not shoppers click the “Buy” button, they say.Since it was founded in 2019 REV has been in the hunt for other names that could once be described as “household.” It's snapped up Pier1, Dressbarn and Modell's, also turning them into online-first businesses.Other bankrupt retailers have found a second life online. The overhead is low and there are people who remain loyal to the brand, even after the store lights go out. But they are typically much reduced affairs. American Apparel, which went bankrupt and closed all its stores a few years ago, now sells hoodies and sweatpants online. Toys R Us, which closed its doors two years ago, opened a couple of small stores and it has a website. However, the Toys R Us site redirects those who want toys to Amazon.com.REV says that its much leaner RadioShack will sell from its own website and an Amazon storefront. RadioShack was the place to go for batteries, phone chargers and headphones. Those are products that Amazon sells under its own brand name in vast quantities.And therein lies REV's Sisyphean challenge. Megachains like Walmart and Target have been able to slow Amazon's encroachment, but Amazon is the ultimate disrupter. It has upended industries from tech and grocery, to global shipping.If Amazon is the biggest threat to some of America's largest corporations, what are the prospects for a relic from the 1980s?“Amazon is the Death Star,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of the marketing strategy firm Metaforce. “They have everything and it’s easy and fast. There’s no need to go to your corner RadioShack to find something, or even to RadioShack online.”Yet Mehr doesn't look at Amazon as a competitor. Rather, he said, it's another channel where RadioShack can sell its products.“It’s like a big mall with a lot of traffic,” Mehr said. “So I think of Amazon as a partner, and I’ve done that in other brands, too. So this is yet another distribution channel for us.”REV bought RadioShack from General Wireless Operations Inc. for an undisclosed amount this year. The former owners have retained a minority stake, betting on the social media marketing expertise of Mehr and Lopez.The new owners say they hope to have RadioShack.com open for business by the end of the month. About 400 RadioShack locations remain open, but operate independently from the REV-owned parent company.Matt Ott, The Associated Press
New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that one-third of children who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms, but in those that did, loss of taste/smell, headache, fever and nausea/vomiting were most strongly associated with positive cases.Other flu-like symptoms — including cough, runny nose and sore throat — were the most prominent symptoms in positive cases, but the study suggests they couldn't be used to accurately predict which cases were positive because they were also most prominent in COVID negative cases.The study, published Monday, was done by researchers at the University of Alberta who analyzed 2,463 COVID-19 test results from children in the province between April 13 to Sept. 30. They compared symptoms of those who tested positive (1,987) with those who were negative (476) for infection.Eight per cent of kids with positive COVID tests had loss of taste/smell, versus one per cent of kids who tested negative for the coronavirus, and four per cent had nausea or vomiting (vs. less than one per cent of those testing negative).Headache was a symptom in 16 per cent of positive cases, compared to six per cent in negative cases, and 26 per cent of positive cases had fever, compared to 15 per cent.Dr. Finlay McAlister, one of the authors of the study, says those symptoms were associated more with having COVID rather than some other virus. He says cough, runny nose, and sore throat were equally common in kids who didn't have COVID but may have had another virus.Symptoms of fever or chills, cough and runny nose in this study (19 to 26 per cent) were less frequent than in studies conducted in hospital settings. The authors of the study suggest that was because this was a community-based cohort and cases of disease were likely more mild than those seen in hospitals.Children aged four and younger were more likely to test negative, and teenagers (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to test positive.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
First Nations chiefs in Alberta will remind the federal government in a symposium next year that First Nations-led education is a treaty right. “The recognition of education as a treaty right, that has been something the federal government has never agreed to,” said James Knibb-Lamouche, director of Innovation and Research with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre (IKWC). “The fact that we’re talking about it as a right without having to prove it as a right is a major step forward, and a very big difference in the way we believe the product is going to be at the end,” he said. IKWC is in the process of working through requests for proposals that will see $265,000 awarded to each of three projects that will examine treaty-based education agreements and systems for First Nations control of First Nations education. Proposals were opened to First Nations institutions, organizations, tribal councils and individual nations within the Treaty 6, 7, and 8 territories in Alberta. One recipient from each of the three treaty areas will be selected. “There are some universal truths, universal agreements on topics, but there are very specific, historical contexts, cultural and language contexts for each of the treaties. This was our attempt to try and break this down to a level that will be useful for each of the treaty areas,” said Knibb-Lamouche. This is the first time IKWC has administered the grants, which are provided by Indigenous Services Canada and directed by the Assembly of First Nations’ National Indian Education Council. The decision to look at agreements and systems for First Nations control of First Nations education was made under the guidance of the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs in Alberta and the Chiefs’ Roundtable on Education in the province. According to the Request for Proposals, applicants were “encouraged to examine education systems, including: capacity building; funding analyses; language, culture, and land as a foundation of curricula….” Doing this kind of work has been important for decades, said Knibb-Lamouche. “It’s just that the capacity hasn’t matched the desire within the nations to put this information all together in a way that leadership is requesting. A lot of research in the past has been directed and guided directly by the federal government and, obviously, they have their own perspective and own area of interest, but this is something that has come directly from the nations and leadership as well,” he said. The recipients of the dollars will have until June to complete their work. It’s an adequate amount of time, said Knibb-Lamouche, because there is strong research out there already undertaken by numerous organizations. This is the opportunity to draw that research together. When that work is completed, depending on coronavirus pandemic restrictions, a symposium will take place mid-next year where chiefs, First Nations leaders, educators, educational authorities, and policy researchers will discuss the findings. An anthology of research articles and research policy papers will be created and presented to the federal government. Recommendations to the federal, provincial and First Nations governments on how to develop educational systems for First Nations students that are based on the nation-to-nation relationships expressed in treaty will also be part of that symposium. Knibb-Lamouche is optimistic that the time is now for those recommendations to be heard at the federal level. “A lot of the speaking points that have been coming out from the government have been talking about things like nation-to-nation relationships. They have been talking about Indian control or Indigenous control of education… For that to truly happen we need these mechanisms and structures and policies in order for the capacity that is already in our nations to take control and to be able to move our education systems forward,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche says the three research teams will put forward funding requirements as part of their work. “(Funding) is much larger than just education agreements or tuition agreements. This is talking about, structurally, how do we implement a system of education that best serves First Nations children. And in some ways that’s going to be quite radically different from what we’ve done in the past … (because) what has happened in the past has resulted in decades and decades of underperformance in the education system,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche expects that what comes from the symposium will be used by leadership at the negotiating table with the federal government. “To say this is how we see our education system going forward, and if you truly want to have a nation-to-nation relationship, you need to figure out a way that these goals are attained and in partnership. “And that’s always been the belief with treaty, that treaty is a relationship. It’s not a signed document that sits on a wall. It’s something that is continuously and constantly agreed to and reviewed and moved forward… It’s a living document,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche adds that the province also plays an important role in moving First Nations-led education forward. Although First Nations negotiate with Ottawa, it is the provincial government that often provides the programing. “These research projects are going to be so wide-ranging and large that there will need to be some examination of how those tripartite arrangements are set up,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche says he is hopeful the work undertaken in Alberta will be useful for treaty nations country-wide. He acknowledges there are differences between numbered treaty areas and other treaties, like the Huron-Robinson Treaty, for example. “There may be overlap, but you can’t have one solution to all these various contexts,” he said. CFWEBy Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CFWE, CFWE
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro called the display outside his constituency office "offensive".
In the September throne speech, the federal government promised to set new national standards for long-term care so that Canadian seniors could get the best support possible — and a new paper from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is recommending how that can be achieved.In a report released this week titled A Higher Standard: Setting national standards for long-term and continuing care, co-authors Pat Armstrong and Marcy Cohen outline how Ottawa can reform long-term care amid a second wave of COVID-19, something the paper indicates should have been done during the first wave."In Canada, we have had the worst infection rates and deaths in long-term care of any western country," said Cohen, speaking Monday on CBC's The Early Edition.The recommendationsThe paper recommends the federal government take the following action as soon as possible: * Ensure everyone has access to care based on need, without financial barriers, and with minimum wait times for admission to a long-term care home. * Establish and enforce minimum staffing levels in long-term care facilities, accompanied by decent working conditions and recruitment strategies to attract and retain staff; * Ensure a minimum of 70 per cent of staff work full-time in a single site and that all staff (including part-time workers) have benefits and pay based on equity principles; * Set in place plans to address infections, ranging from adequate stock of personal protective equipment, to methods for effective laundry treatment, to adequate room size and ventilation; * Require public accountability through public reporting of consistent, verified data and enforcement of penalties for failure to comply with standards; * Invest significant federal funds into developing a universal seniors care system, with stringent means of accountability attached.Cohen said B.C. is already leading the country by putting an order in place in March that limited long-term care workers employment to a single facility.For Cath-Anne Ambrose, a Vancouver resident with a mother currently in a long-term care facility, the situation in B.C. is far from perfect."When she went into the care home, there was probably a few months where I did not see her. She literally went in with the clothes on her back," Ambrose told CBC.She said it was a couple of months before she could take her mother some essentials, like her glasses, and because of the pandemic, visits have been limited to through a window, in a courtyard, or in the facility lobby spaced out without touching one another."I miss being able to hug her," said Ambrose.Cohen says if the federal government is putting money on the table for the provinces, then it has the right to set conditions and standards, and should do so as soon as possible."If you acted earlier it would have made a difference, and if you act now it will make a difference in the future," she said.In a statement, Health Canada said it has provided guidance on the care of residents in long-term care, as well as infection prevention and control guidance developed with the National Advisory Committee on Infection Prevention and Control.The government also stated it is providing up to $3 billion to provinces and territories to increase the wages of low-income essential workers, including front-line workers in long-term care facilities.To hear the complete interview with Marcy Cohen on CBC's The Early Edition, tap the audio link below:
Avec l’annonce de nouveaux vaccins prometteurs pour combattre la COVID-19, nous nous sommes entretenus avec Dr Jean-Luc Grenier, médecin conseil à la direction de la santé publique des Laurentides. Dr Grenier nous explique l’importance des vaccins comme armes contre les maladies. « On simule une infection pour amener une réponse et une mémoire immunitaires, sans avoir le problème de l’infection. » Pour ce faire, on utilise un leurre, et il y en a plusieurs types. Pour les vaccins les plus simples, contre la coqueluche par exemple, on multiplie le microbe en laboratoire, on le tue, et on l’injecte. « Le système immunitaire rencontre des morceaux de coqueluche et se bâtit une réponse immunitaire. Donc quand on rencontre le vrai agent agresseur, on est prêt à le combattre. » Toutefois, cela ne fonctionne pas pour toutes les infections. Ainsi il existe aussi des vaccins « vivants ». Dr Grenier donne l’exemple de la rougeole. « Le virus est vivant, mais on parvient à l’atténuer, à l’affaiblir. On crée une mini-infection, mais elle prend du temps à se développer et elle n’est pas dangereuse. Donc le système immunitaire a le temps de bâtir une réponse. » Enfin, il y a des vaccins qui utilisent le génie génétique, par exemple ceux contre l’hépatite B ou le virus du papillome humain (VPH). « On introduit dans une levure, qui est une cellule vivante, un petit bout d’ADN du virus : le bout qui code la coquille, l’enveloppe du virus. La levure se met à pondre des milliards de coquilles vides, et on les ramasse, pour les injecter ensuite. » Pour le système immunitaire, la surface de la coquille est parfaitement identique au vrai virus. Il produit ainsi des anticorps qui serviront tant pour les coquilles inertes que pour le réel envahisseur. Une partie du travail était déjà amorcée pour le vaccin contre la COVID-19. Durant l’épidémie de SRAS en 2003, les chercheurs avaient développé des prototypes de vaccin, mais la maladie a disparu avant qu’on n’en ait besoin. Le SRAS, comme la COVID-19, est un coronavirus. Il a donc été « relativement facile » d’adapter le travail déjà fait au nouveau virus. Cela dit, la technique utilisée dans le vaccin de Pfizer est totalement nouvelle. Le vaccin ARN, comme on l’appelle, utilise un autre virus, que Dr Grenier décrit comme rhume très banal, dans lequel on introduit une partie du génome de la COVID. « Le virus va avoir des petites pattes identiques à la COVID. » Le virus va ensuite infecter des cellules humaines. « On amène nos cellules humaines à fabriquer des pattes de COVID, qui sont inoffensives en soi. Notre système immunitaire fait des anticorps pour s’en débarrasser. Donc quand il rencontre le vrai virus, il est déjà outillé pour le combattre. » Avoir un vaccin efficace est une chose, mais vacciner la population est un tout autre défi. Par exemple, le vaccin de Pfizer est vivant et il doit être congelé à -80ºC : un « casse-tête » pour sa distribution. Il requiert également deux doses, ce qui soulève nombre de questions. Quel intervalle doit-il y avoir entre les deux doses pour la meilleure efficacité? Comment s’assurer que tous ont reçu leur seconde dose? Dr Grenier rappelle que, à ce stade-ci, il nous manque encore beaucoup d’information pour prendre ces décisions. Il y aura également plusieurs vaccins, chacun avec ses avantages et ses désavantages au niveau de leur efficacité, de leur production et de leur distribution. « Les santés publiques devront se demander : OK, on utilise quel vaccin pour vacciner quel groupe? »Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
WASHINGTON — In an annual Thanksgiving tradition, President Donald Trump will offer a reprieve to a pair of meaty turkeys as he makes a public appearance Tuesday following the Nov. 3 elections.The National Turkey Federation is presenting the two birds. They are named Corn and Cob in honour of their home state of Iowa. One will be declared the national Thanksgiving turkey, though both will retire to a new home on the campus of Iowa State University.It’s not the first time the typically light-hearted turkey pardon ceremony has taken place in a tense time for the nation.Trump used last year’s pardon to make jokes about the impeachment process. The House would go on to approve two articles of impeachment the next month and the Senate would subsequently vote to acquit him.In 2018, Trump’s joked about one of the turkeys contesting the pardon election. The scenario he described bears a striking resemblance to the one he faces today.“This was a fair election,” the president joked. “Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots. But I will tell you, we’ve come to a conclusion. Carrots. I’m sorry to tell you, the result did not change. That’s too bad for Carrots.”The practice of sending a turkey to a farm became the norm under President Ronald Reagan. But George H.W. Bush established the annual turkey pardon tradition in 1989 by sparing a 50-pound (23-kilogram) bird as animal rights activists picketed nearby.Kevin Freking, The Associated Press
When Nathan Bennett looks at B.C.’s fisheries, he sees problems — and not only those associated with low stocks. He also worries about the people who catch the fish. “There have definitely been some challenges related to the resource itself,” explained the B.C.-based independent fisheries researcher and consultant. More than 80 species of fish and shellfish are harvested in the province. While some are struggling, such as wild salmon, others, such as halibut and hake, are doing relatively well. “But the biggest challenge for a lot of fish harvesters is their ability to get into the industry and their ability to afford the costs of being able to go out fishing.” That's one of the key findings of a study released this month by researchers at the University of British Columbia, in collaboration with two community development organizations and the Nuu-chah-nulth Fisheries Program. Co-authored by Bennett, the project surveyed independent, small-scale fish harvesters across the province to look at the barriers between them and the fish. Often, low stocks are not the biggest impediment, Bennett said, but the exorbitant price tag for the licences and quota harvesters must have before they can head out to sea. “No matter what status the stock is at, the question remains as to who the remaining fish should go to. Should they go to Indigenous fishers first, based on their (Aboriginal) rights? Should local independent fish harvesters get the next kick at the can, because they are adjacent to the resource? Or should any individual or corporation with money be able to buy up the available licence and quota?” he said. Licences and quota are regulatory tools used by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to manage the fisheries. Licences give fish harvesters access to a specific fishery, while quota determines how many fish from that fishery the harvester can catch. For instance, a halibut harvester needs a halibut licence to enter the industry. But each year, before heading out to the fishing grounds, they also must purchase a quota before they can actually catch fish. In most fisheries, both can be owned by anyone — not necessarily the person actually catching the fish — and their price is speculative. In other words, their cost is determined by how much people are willing to pay for licences and quota, not the market value of the fish. It's a situation where, for the most valuable fisheries such as halibut or prawn, licences and quota can be worth up to several million dollars. Because those prices are far too high for most harvesters, especially young people entering the industry, they're often purchased by corporations or investors. These owners will then lease them out to the people actually catching the fish under several kinds of contracts. In most cases, the harvester needs to sell the fish to a predetermined buyer (often the same person who owns the licence and quota), even if they are an independent skipper. That system has been widely credited with making many of B.C.'s fisheries more sustainable — but it has come at a price. Farmers in the province's Lower Mainland face a similar situation. Skyrocketing land prices in the region, combined with tight profit margins, make it almost impossible for many to afford farmland. “(That means) concentration is also happening, more and more of those licences and quotas are going away from the communities of fish harvesters and into the hands of relatively few.” It's one of the few common trends seen across B.C.'s fisheries. For instance, a 2019 report by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans notes “of the 345 licence and quota holders in the groundfish trawl, halibut and sablefish fisheries, the top 26 ... hold 50 per cent of the quota value, and the top four, or 1.2 per cent, hold 50 per cent of all the quota pounds.” And for the salmon fishery — which is managed quite differently — a draft socio-economic assessment completed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) this year notes that a suite of policies introduced in the 1990s that were designed to shrink the salmon fleet have also led to consolidation in the industry. However, the impact these changes have had on fish harvesters — particularly small-scale harvesters, who are the maritime equivalent to family farmers — and the communities where they live isn't well understood. It's a gap Bennett said the report will help fill. Conducted over the summer of 2019, project researchers interviewed 118 fish harvesters from several communities and First Nations in coastal B.C. about their well-being, their perspectives on the health of B.C.'s fish stocks and the factors they saw making it hard for them to access the fish. Overall, Bennett said that the people who took the survey knew how to fish and felt that their livelihood embedded them within their community. However, they struggled to afford licences and quota and felt like their voices were not being heard by DFO. Many were also concerned about the security of their rights to access the fish — a broad category that can include anything from local ownership of licences and quota to Aboriginal fishing rights, which are constitutionally protected but remain limited by DFO. For Fraser Macdonald, a Vancouver-based prawn, tuna and halibut harvester, the results indicate that some changes to the province's management regimes are necessary. He said that's particularly important for co-operative fisheries' management boards, a system used in many fisheries across the province. Many only grant membership to licence and quota owners — not to the people out on the water — though he said that is starting to change. “That's a growing part of our industry, people leasing quota and that don't own (it),” he said. Ensuring their voices are heard could help ensure that they aren't getting priced out of the industry by investors and corporations. Still, Bennett said a different approach is needed to manage the province's fisheries more equitably. And it needs to look at more than just the fish. “The story of fisheries management is often a story of managing the fish. But what is often neglected is that fisheries consist of both fish and people,” he said.Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer