Researchers at Ruhr University use designer protein brain injections to regenerate spinal nerves which allow paralyzed mice to walk again.
Researchers at Ruhr University use designer protein brain injections to regenerate spinal nerves which allow paralyzed mice to walk again.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
Canada's economy shrank by 5.4 per cent last year, official data from Statistics Canada showed Monday, making 2020 the worst year for the country's economic output since record keeping began. The data agency said Tuesday that Canada's gross domestic product — the total value of all goods and services it produced — grew by 2.3 per cent during the last three months of the year, but that was nowhere near enough to offset the record-setting plunge it experienced during the the middle half of 2020. The drop for the year was due to the shutdown of large parts of the economy in March and April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But since the summer, economic activity has slowly and steadily grown. For comparison purposes, Canada's economy contracted almost twice as much as the U.S. did during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the U.S. seeing far more cases per capita. Preliminary data suggests the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 per cent last year. Growth slows to close out 2020 Statistics Canada says the economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from an annualized growth rate of 40.6 per cent in the third quarter but still higher than what economists were expecting. Financial data firm Refinitiv tabulates that on average, economists were expecting 7.5 per cent growth. Despite the better-than-expected result for the quarter as a whole, GDP eked out a 0.1 per cent increase in December. December's tiny gain was a slowdown from November's 0.8 per cent uptick. All in all, Statistics Canada says Canada's economic output in December was still three per cent lower than what it was in February, before COVID-19 started. Better forecasts for 2021 Looking ahead to January, Statistics Canada said its early estimate was for growth in the economy of 0.5 per cent. "[T]hat solid advance landed right in the heart of the second wave restrictions and is in spite of a heavy drop in retail sales in the month," wrote Douglas Porter, an economist at the Bank of Montreal, in a note to clients. He credits a big rebound in resource sector activity, a raging housing market, and strength in manufacturing, wholesale trade and even perhaps milder weather as reasons why the economy did so well in January. After a general lockdown in March, the economy bounced back in part due to strong manufacturing growth. Pictured here, two operators working on the underbody of a Dodge Grand Caravan at a Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ont., in May 2020. Many Canadian economists are forecasting overall growth. "Provinces are gradually relaxing restrictions, the vaccine rollout has quickened, and case counts have trended lower. This should support growth in February and March," wrote Sri Thanabalasingam, an economist at TD Bank, in reacting to the news. "Looking ahead, the near-term picture is brightening."
Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has accused Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and several top officials of committing crimes against humanity in a criminal complaint filed in Germany. The 500-page complaint, filed on Monday with the German Public Prosecutor General in the Karlsruhe federal court, includes allegations of arbitrary detention of more than 30 journalists and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Prince Mohammed has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's killing.
SMITHS FALLS, Ont. — Canopy Growth Corp. will deepen its U.S. presence by launching four sparkling cannabidiol waters there before possible federal legalization. The Smiths Falls, Ont.-based cannabis company says four drinks from its Quatreau brand will be available to U.S. customers today. They will contain 20 milligrams of CBD, come in ginger and lime, cucumber and mint, blueberry and açaí, and passion fruit and guava flavours and be Canopy’s first CBD drinks to cross the border. The 355-millilitre beverages have been available in Canada since last fall, but will join Martha Stewart, BioSteel and This Works CBD products Canopy has already made available in the U.S. as part of an expansion strategy. The Quatreau sparkling waters will be sold through e-commerce — a model that can be built on if the U.S. cannabis market flourishes. Industry observers believe U.S. opportunities for Canadian pot companies will multiply this year because U.S. President Joe Biden and his Democratic party have favoured legislation that will relax cannabis laws. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX: WEED) The Canadian Press
Ground will likely be broken later this month on a new $7.2-million greenhouse facility for the city's parks department. It will be built on the site of a current baseball diamond in Jackson Park at McDougall Street and and Memorial Drive, just south of Windsor Stadium. It will replace the aging greenhouses at Lanspeary Park, some of which are 100 years old. The new 22,000-square-foot greenhouse will be twice the size of the old facility. It will allow the city to grow plants for hanging baskets, which it currently has to buy from outside sources. It will also be one large greenhouse with more room for the tropical plants that have to be housed over the winter. "Many of the plants can't be replaced. These aren't the type of things you can go to your local garden centre in the spring and simply purchase. They're expensive. They're exotic, " said James Chacko, senior manager of parks. James Chacko, senior manager of parks for the City of Windsor. The new facility will be more energy efficient and could be used for school programs, horticultural workshops, a place to grow food for food banks and a winter garden open to the public. Chacko says neighbours need not fear light pollution such as the type being experienced from the greenhouses in Leamington and Kingsville. "The plants go to sleep over the night, just like you and I do, so that there won't be any light disturbance or light pollution," said Chacko, explaining there are no ongoing operations in the night time. The city will hear from the Lanspeary Park neighbourhood about how to utilize the three acres where the old greenhouses sit, but care will be taken to incorporate one greenhouse which originally came from Willistead. The 100 year-old building is on the city's heritage registry. The current greenhouse facility at Lanspeary Park is around 100 years old, inefficient and too small. Most will be torn down and the greenspace will be incorporated into Lanspeary Park. "That may involve it remaining in place as it is, may involve moving it slightly within the footprint of this property," said Chacko. "So certainly we're not in a rush to knock down anything that is heritage designated or we will go through all the proper channels and do our best to ensure that it can be incorporated into the new Lanspeary Park " The new greenhouse is expected to be finished by the end of the spring next year. The city will also try to rework some baseball diamonds at Mic Mac Park to accommodate fast ball as a replacement for the ball diamond that will be lost in Jackson Park.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecoms company backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and tech giants Facebook and Google, won airwaves worth about $8 billion in a $10.6 billion spectrum auction that closed on Tuesday. Jio picked up a total of 488.35 megahertz (Mhz) in frequency bands of 800 Mhz, 1800 Mhz and 2300 Mhz, India's telecoms secretary Anshu Prakash told reporters.
Québec Solidaire propose de nouvelles mesures afin d’inciter davantage d’étudiants à effectuer des stages en régions en haussant de 30 % les montants des bourses de soutien offertes dans les secteurs de la santé, des services sociaux et de l’éducation . La députée de Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, a proposé d’apporter des modifications au Programme de soutien à la persévérance et réussite qui permet à des étudiants des niveaux collégial et universitaire inscrits dans 16 formations différentes de toucher des bourses variant entre 900 $ et 4000 $ en fonction des programmes et niveaux. Il s’agit de secteurs où subsistent des pénuries importantes de main-d’oeuvre. En entrevue, Mme Lessard-Therrien a indiqué que le nombre potentiel d’étudiants admissibles s’établit à 17 000. Ces étudiants qui auraient l’opportunité d’effectuer des stages dans des régions comme le Bas-Saint-Laurent, l’Abitibi, la Côte-Nord, les Iles-de-la-Madelaine, etc. pourraient bénéficier d’une somme supplémentaire de 750 $ dans le cas d’étudiants en soins infirmiers, montant qui s’ajouterait aux 2500 $ déjà disponibles. De plus, des montants compensatoires sont exigés pour les frais de transport et de logement liés au stage. « Dans certaines régions, il y a des enjeux de pénurie très importants parce qu’il n’est pas possible de combler des besoins de main-d’oeuvre avec des gens de ces régions. Il y a parfois des difficultés à ramener les jeunes qui sont partis étudier à l’extérieur. » Elle croit que la bonification pourrait inciter d’autres étudiants à découvrir de nouvelles régions avec leurs grands espaces, leur qualité de vie et les liens tissés serrés de leurs communautés et s’y installer à long terme. La députée de Québec Solidaire a mentionné que les propositions élaborées font la suite de consultations qui ont été menées auprès d’associations étudiantes. Dès la semaine prochaine, à la reprise des travaux parlementaires, la formation politique souhaite interroger le gouvernement sur les solutions qu’il entend proposer pour faire face à la pénurie de main-d’oeuvre dans les régions et des solutions qui tardent à être dévoilées. « Tout le monde est conscient du défi qu’il faut relever. Il faut résorber cette situation, sinon on va frapper un mur », conclut la députée. En cette période de pandémie, Mme Lessard-Therrien constate que les régions n’ont rien à envier aux grandes villes, mais il y a lieu de mettre en place des efforts pour y attirer les jeunes. Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
WARSAW, Poland — The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that Poland’s new regulations for appointing judges to the Supreme Court could violate EU law. The ruling obliges Poland’s right-wing government to discontinue these regulations and observe the principles of judicial independence and the right to judicial protection. In a decision that could have a powerful effect on future court verdicts regarding judicial appointments, the ruling also allows Poland's courts to refrain from applying the regulations introduced by the government in 2018 and 2019. The legislation in Poland strengthened political influence over a top judicial body, the National Council of the Judiciary, and the body's procedure of appointments to the Supreme Court. It also curbed the right to appeal the council's decisions. The regulations “which have the effect of removing effective judicial review of that council’s decisions ... (proposing) candidates for the office of judge at the Supreme Court — are liable to infringe EU law," the European Court of Justice said in its ruling. The ruling was in response to a query by Poland's top administrative court to the European court regarding a complaint by some judges. The judges said the new regulations stripped them of the right to appeal a decision rejecting them as candidates for the Supreme Court. Based on Tuesday's ruling, Poland's Supreme Administrative Court can now review the appeals by the five judges. Some lawmakers praised the court's decision. The ruling on Polish government’s “political interference in the judiciary is concrete evidence that the government is blatantly flouting the rule of law, despite multiple warnings. It is also destroying Europe’s trust in the legal system there," said Jeroen Lenaers, a European Parliament member. ___ This story has been corrected to say Poland's top administrative court turned to the ECJ, not the judges themselves. The Associated Press
Photographer Mick Rock, known for some of the most recognisable pictures of rock legends such as David Bowie and album covers of the 1970s, is marking his 51 years working in the music industry with a new project collaborating with urban artist Fin DAC. "MIDARO" fuses photography with painting, with the Irish artist reworking Rock's photos of Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry to create a series of limited edition prints and canvas artworks. Released on Tuesday, to coincide with what would have been Reed's 79th birthday, they each show a woman wearing a T-shirt adorned with one of Rock's photos of the music stars.
Je lui avais téléphoné au départ pour prendre de ses nouvelles et lui apporter un moment de bonheur dans sa journée d’aînée confinée. Toujours intéressée par mes projets, mes ambitions, mon quotidien, elle s’est informée sur ce dont je travaillais en ce moment. « On crée un journal qui soulignera la Journée des droits des femmes », lui ai-je répondu. Il n’en fallait pas plus pour que l’on converse sur le sujet pendant plusieurs minutes, faisant remonter ses souvenirs, elle qui a vu le jour en juillet 1946, dans une maison du rang Paul-Baie à Forestville. La fameuse expression « dans mon temps » prenait tout son sens. « Dans mon temps, les femmes avaient le devoir de rester à la maison pour s’occuper des enfants pendant que les hommes devaient faire vivre la famille monétairement », commence-t-elle. Après avoir arrêté ses études en septième année, elle devait aider sa grande sœur à se « relever » de ses grossesses d’une année à l’autre. À l’âge de 18 ans, elle commence à travailler à la boutique Chaussures Idéales à Forestville. « Quand je suis tombée enceinte, j’ai dû arrêter de travailler parce que ce n’était pas bien vu qu’une femme travaille alors qu’elle a des enfants », raconte Mimi, comme je la surnomme. De 21 ans à 34 ans, elle abandonne donc sa carrière pour se donner complètement à ses trois enfants. «Quand ma plus jeune a eu 5 ans, j’ai repris mon travail chez Chaussures Idéales. Ce n’était pas encore bien vu, mais j’y étais obligée pour mettre du pain sur la table. » Pas de service de garde en milieu familial ni scolaire, Rosella doit embaucher une « gardienne à la maison ». «S’il y avait des allocations ou congés de maternité, je n’étais pas au courant. Le gouvernement ne s’en vantait pas. Il n’avait rien pour aider les femmes à concilier travail et famille », m’avoue ma grand-maman. Ce n’est qu’en 1979* que les Québécoises peuvent prendre un congé de maternité de 18 semaines sans risquer de perdre leur emploi. Quatre* ans après l’adoption de la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne, qui prévoit notamment que la discrimination basée sur le sexe est interdite au Québec. Mais, dis-je à ma grand-mère, si une femme ne voulait pas d’enfant, pouvait-elle prendre de la contraception? « La contracepquoi? Les pilules anticonceptionnelles, c’était considéré comme immoral. On nous disait qu’on tuait un être humain en prenant ça. Donc, ça existait un peu dans mon temps, mais personne n’en prenait », m’a-t-elle admis. Concernant l’avortement, ce mot était autant interdit que Voldemort dans Harry Potter. « L’avortement était impossible, il ne fallait même pas y penser. La seule autre option de la femme enceinte était de remettre son bébé à la crèche. On les envoyait à Québec et elles en revenaient pas d’enfant. Dans plusieurs cas, on ne savait même pas qu’elles avaient été enceintes ni qu’elles avaient accouché. » Que faisait-on alors si l’on tombait enceinte et que l’on n’était pas mariée? « On se mariait au plus vite, ma petite fille. Les parents organisaient un mariage en un rien de temps. Il ne fallait surtout pas que l’on sache que leur fille était enceinte avant le mariage. C’était une honte », s’exclame-t-elle. Âgée de 30 ans, j’avais déjà entendu parler et imaginé grâce aux films et livres historiques la situation des femmes au 20e siècle. Mais racontée par ma grand-mère, cette histoire m’a chamboulée. Elle n’a peut-être pas participé aux manifestations auxquelles les brassières étaient lancées, mais elle m’a donné un modèle de femme forte, qui ne se laisse pas marcher sur les pieds, qui a fait sa place dans le monde du travail malgré tous les préjugés et qui a veillé au bien-être de sa famille. Mimi, je te remercie d’avoir contribué, à ta façon, à l’amélioration des droits des femmes au fil des années, comme je remercie toutes celles qui ont provoqué cette évolution et qui continuent à mener la bataille. Ce n’est pas terminé, encore aujourd’hui, nous sommes témoins d’abus de pouvoir, de violence sexuelle, d’inégalités salariales… La notion de la charge mentale a fait son apparition tout comme le mouvement #moiaussi. Les droits des femmes sont toujours en évolution et, en tant que femme, je vous dis ne baissons pas les bras. Il reste du pain sur la planche! Évolution des droits des femmes 1918 : Les femmes obtiennent le droit de vote aux élections fédérales, à l’exception de certains groupes ethniques exclus par la loi, dont les autochtones. 1940 : Le Québec devient la dernière province à accorder aux femmes le droit de vote aux élections provinciales. 1964 : L’obligation d’obéissance des femmes à leur mari est abolie. 1969 : Le gouvernement de Pierre Elliott Trudeau introduit une loi qui décriminalise la contraception. 1983 : Une agression sexuelle commise par un conjoint est désormais reconnue comme un crime. 1988 : L’avortement n’est plus un crime au Canada. 1996 : La Loi sur l’équité salariale est adoptée. 2017-2018 – Le mouvement #MoiAussi devient viral. *Source : www.educaloi.qc.ca/actualites-juridiques/levolution-des-droits-des-femmes-au-quebec-en-10-dates/ Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Alberta's proposed budget contains no new money for implementing a new kindergarten-to-Grade 12 school curriculum, even as the start of classroom testing looms later this year. Alberta Teachers' Association president Jason Schilling says a lot of preparation work is required after the ink is dry on any new curriculum documents. He said it's extremely important the provincial government set aside new money for professional development to prepare the province's 46,000 teachers to deliver the new material in every subject and grade. "They need to ensure that this is funded properly, and it can't be on the backs of school boards and teachers," he said in an interview on Monday. The government and teachers will also need to develop or find resources to teach the new material. This includes textbooks, videos and the myriad sources teachers use to bring their lessons to life. The education ministry will also have to develop new provincial exams. The ministry's business plan says it intends to both reform provincial exams to better identify student strengths and deficits and modernize the exams by bringing more of them online. The budget documents say the government will "invest the necessary resources to support teacher learning and build English and French resources aligned to the new curriculum." It does not provide an amount, and the minister's office did not provide an amount when asked. But provincial education funding is frozen at $8.25 billion a year until 2023 — all while enrolment is predicted to rise and inflation drives up costs. Education department budget rising In an interview last week, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said any funding for curriculum resource development and implementation will come out of Alberta Education's budget. "I am not taking any money away from school divisions for that," she said. The department's budget is slated to rise by $26 million over three years to $114 million by 2023, which is a 30 per cent increase. The amount of provincial money being transferred to school boards, charter schools and independent schools is also dropping by $26 million over that same time period. And, the money allotted for instruction of students from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 is slated to drop by $117 million, or 1.7 per cent, by 2023, according to education budget documents. LaGrange's press secretary, Justin Marshall, says the drop in public classroom funding can be attributed to school divisions pulling less money out of their savings accounts, decreased insurance costs, and money diverted to growing private schools, among other things. He did not answer a question about why the education department's budget is rising by 30 per cent or how much of the increase is related to curriculum. He says the cost of curriculum field testing will be borne by Alberta Education, not school boards. All elementary schools are expected to begin teaching the new K-6 curriculum in 2022, with junior high and high school transitioning in the following years. Source of curriculum funding unknown Schilling says he can't get clarity from the government on where the curriculum implementation money is coming from. Drafts of the social studies and fine arts curriculum that leaked late last year were also prescriptive about which books students should read, architectural landmarks they should study, songs they should sing and artwork they should interpret. If recommendations that prescriptive stand, the province is going to need to provide that material to schools across the province, Schilling said. An absence of additional funding for curriculum shows the government is more interested in checking the accomplishment off their to-do list than ensuring the new material is going to work for teachers and students, said Sarah Hoffman, NDP education critic and deputy Opposition leader. "Money shouldn't be coming out of classrooms to pay for that," she said. "We want students to be able to learn the best material today and tomorrow, and we want them to be able to have the best educational supports." NDP Education critic Sarah Hoffman says further eroding school budgets while enrolment and inflation rise is a disservice to Alberta students. The risk of diverting money from school budgets to curriculum implementation could include larger class sizes, fewer support staff to help students who are struggling or have disabilities, more school buildings falling into disrepair, longer school bus rides and fewer enriching and hands-on learning opportunities for students, she said. A comparison of the 2020 and 2021 budget documents also shows that 1,907 fewer educational support workers and 310 fewer certified teachers worked in Alberta's public sector this year compared to last year. LaGrange said those staffing decisions lie with school boards. In an interview last week, Canadian Union of Public Employees Alberta president Rory Gill said some of the support workers who were supposed to be laid off temporarily last year during the pandemic were never recalled to work. The union represents about 8,000 school support workers. Gill said he's "disgusted" by the staff reductions. The lack of access to educational assistants will hit kids especially hard when many are already struggling during the pandemic, he said. "It's stretching an already-stretched system to the limit," he said. Increased private school enrolment diverts funding One proposed increase in the education budget is the funding for private schools and early childhood learning centres. If the budget is approved as written, private schools will receive $10 million more next year, and private pre-kindergartens and kindergartens will also receive a $10-million boost. Marshall said the funding increase reflects growing enrolment in private schools, and that funding rates remain the same. Independent schools receive 70 per cent of the funding a public school board would receive for a student, which is the highest rate in Canada. As schools re-opened last September during the COVID-19 pandemic, a decade-long trend of significant growth in Alberta schools had a jolt when an estimated 9,300 fewer pupils enrolled in school. Most of the reduction was in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten. Although the government expects enrolment to rise next year, Marshall said it is "impossible" to predict enrolment given the complications of the pandemic. Edmonton Public Schools is projecting a 2.3 per cent increase in enrolment next year.
L’annonce de la mort de la jeune Rosine Chouinard-Chauveau, fille des comédiens Normand Chouinard et Violette Chauveau, que l’on a justifiée par le délestage dans tous les médias, a chamboulé le Québec. Celle qui a perdu la vie à 28 ans, en raison du report d’une chirurgie dont la nature n’a pas été révélée au public, laisse dans le deuil son jeune fils Maël, ses parents et tout l’avenir qu’il lui restait, faute de lit ou de personnel. La charge mentale des ambulanciers Patrick Dufresne, un ambulancier de Chambly bien connu chez nous, a raconté avoir fait partie des premiers répondants à l’urgence entourant le drame. Bien qu’il n’ait pas voulu s’adresser directement au journal par peur d’outrepasser son mandat, il a témoigné sur les médias sociaux. « Nous avons tout tenté pour la sauver, sans savoir qui elle était à ce moment. C’est toujours émouvant d’annoncer la mort aux proches. Encore plus en sachant maintenant que le délestage a causé sa mort. » Au début de la pandémie, on rapportait qu’Urgences-santé était intervenue plus de 2000 fois auprès de patients potentiellement infectés par la COVID-19 en seulement un mois. Aujourd’hui, on parle d’une charge supplémentaire générée par l’augmentation des AVC, des malaises cardiaques et autres menaces fatales engendrées par l’inaction et l’absence de soins, ce qui n’est pas sans affecter le moral des paramédicaux. Des chiffres parlants Québec calcule que l’on fait 34 % moins d’interventions chirurgicales dans les hôpitaux et que l’on en serait à 44 % sans l’aide du privé. Encore aujourd’hui, le délestage semble être un concept flou pour beaucoup de Québécois, qui croient à tort que seules les interventions non vitales telles que les chirurgies orthopédiques en sont affectées. D’une branche médicale à l’autre Du côté des médecins, on parle de délestage calculé. Le Dr Sarkis Meterissian, chirurgien-oncologue au Centre universitaire de santé McGill (CUSM), a raconté n’avoir délesté la chirurgie d’aucune de ses patientes atteintes d’un cancer du sein diagnostiqué, car ce type d’intervention en est une d’un jour ne nécessitant pas de monopoliser un lit pour une plus longue période. Ailleurs, dans les hôpitaux Charles-Le Moyne et Pierre-Boucher, des patientes du cancer du sein sont quand même délestées alors que leur cancer progresse, selon des sources internes et externes. Rappelons que ces hôpitaux ont été désignés par le ministère de la Santé pour recevoir des patients atteints de la COVID-19 depuis des mois, ce qui complique l’organisation du personnel et réduit la capacité d’accueil en zone froide. À l’Hôpital du Haut-Richelieu, on découragerait des patients de venir en consultation pour des anomalies cardiaques parce qu’ils pourraient y attraper la COVID. Ce serait le cas de Stéphanie Samson, une Chamblyenne que l’on a renvoyée chez elle. « Si l’on vous admet en cardiologie, vous risquez d’attraper la COVID », lui aurait-on dit. Eric Sabbah, cardiologue à l’Hôpital Pierre-Boucher, a confié au journal qu’en matière de délestage pour les maladies du cœur, l’erreur réside dans le fait d’avoir « peur de venir à l’hôpital et d’attraper la COVID », ce qui retarde le dépistage et la prise en charge médicale. Il ajoute que « c’est impossible de penser que dans un même hôpital, on sera capable de garder une section COVID et une section non COVID. C’est malheureusement la base du problème de tout délestage. Même si l’on veut garder une section qui roule et qui est verte en soins intensifs, elle devient rapidement chaude, et les gens qui doivent être opérés pour d’autres raisons n’ont plus de place en surveillance aux soins intensifs. On préfère donc retarder leur opération pour éviter toute complication postopératoire. C’est un calcul. On se dit qu’ils sont mieux d’attendre de trois à six mois sans attraper la COVID, quittes à ne pas se faire opérer ». L’anxiété chez les médecins La peur d’attraper la COVID-19 occupe l’esprit du Dr Sabbah, comme pour beaucoup d’autres au front. Sur le terrain, les chirurgiens et les médecins spécialistes étant des ressources rares et indispensables pour beaucoup de patients, le stress lié à l’idée de contracter la COVID et de ne plus pouvoir exercer est omniprésent. On peut penser au cas de patients qui ne peuvent plus être reçus en consultation par leur médecin, leur cardiologue ou leur chirurgien, parce que ce dernier a contracté la COVID, ce qui mène au report d’un diagnostic ou encore d’une intervention qui pourrait leur sauver la vie. C’est donc que ces médecins doivent composer avec la peur pour leur propre santé, pour celle de leurs proches, mais aussi pour leurs patients, qui risquent d’être délestés s’ils en viennent à ne plus pouvoir les traiter, malgré eux. Aujourd’hui, la mort de Rosine Chouinard-Chauveau donne un visage au délestage, soulevant l’indignation des uns et des autres, bien que le mystère plane encore sur le mal qui l’affectait. Reste à savoir si les questions que son décès a exacerbées trouveront réponse auprès des instances décisionnelles et médicales. Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on senior Russian government officials and Russian entities in response to what U.S. officials said was Moscow's attempt to kill opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent. The announcement, made by senior Biden administration officials, marked a sharp turn away from former President Donald Trump's reluctance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin. Navalny fell ill on a flight in Siberia in August and was airlifted to Germany, where doctors concluded he had been poisoned with a nerve agent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the global travel landscape and U.S. no-frills carriers are pouncing. As legacy airlines shrink to contain costs, budget carriers Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Travel and privately-owned Frontier Airlines are resuming pilot hiring and expanding networks to seize turf dominated by larger rivals. The three airlines' combined U.S. market share, which barely topped 10% before the pandemic, could grow by 10 percentage points this year alone, said René Armas Maes of UK-based consultancy MIDAS Aviation.
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Army has launched a new recruiting campaign that targets prospective soldiers who want to live and work in Alaska. Previously, soldiers could only request assignment to Alaska after completing basic training, KTUU-TV reported Sunday. Now, they can ask recruiters to be sent to the state. Alaska provides some of the harshest winter U.S. military training regimens, the television station reported. “That’s good for us because we’re trying to build soldiers that have some of these skills,” said Major General Peter Andrysiak. “That’s a key component of what we’re doing. They’re more apt to thrive.” The Army is researching other ways to provide incentives for prospective soldiers who would move to Alaska, Andrysiak said. “If we’re going to ask soldiers and families to live here and endure some of the challenging winters, we’re looking at opportunities for how to improve that,” Andrysiak said. The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Lady Gaga's dog walker, who was shot last week during a robbery in Hollywood when two of the singer’s French bulldogs were stolen, described the violence and his recovery “from a very close call with death" in social media posts Monday. Ryan Fischer’s posts included pictures taken from his hospital bed, where he says “(a) lot of healing still needs to happen” but he looks forward to reuniting with the dogs. Fischer was shot once as he walked three of Lady Gaga's dogs on Wednesday night on a street just off the famed Sunset Boulevard. Video captured by the doorbell camera of a nearby home captured Fischer's screams of “Oh my God! I’ve been shot!” and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest!” Police are seeking two men in the attack and said Monday they are still investigating. The two dogs, named Koji and Gustav, were returned unharmed Friday evening when a woman showed up at a Los Angeles police station with them. Detectives do not believe she was involved in the robbery or shooting and did not know if she would receive the $500,000 reward Lady Gaga had offered for the dogs' return. The singer is currently in Rome to film a movie. Fischer thanked Lady Gaga for her support during the ordeal, writing “your babies are back and the family is whole ... we did it!" in Instagram posts. A third dog, named Asia, escaped the assailants and lies down next to Fischer “while a car sped away and blood poured from my gun shot (sic) wound,” he wrote. The doorbell video shows a white sedan pulling up and two men jumping out. They struggled with the dog walker before one pulled a gun and fired a single shot before fleeing with two of the dogs. Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press
Provincial police are investigating a double homicide after two women were found in a home in the Laurentians. The Sureté du Québec responded to a 911 call at around 9:15 p.m. in Sainte-Sophie on Monday, and found both of them with life-threatening injuries, and they were transported to hospital. A 60-year-old woman has since died, and police report that a 28-year-old woman who was initially listed in critical condition has also died. Police say they are from the same family. Provincial police say a car collision in nearby Saint-Jerôme took place at around the time they were called to the Laurentians home. Investigators believe a 33-year-old man who was seriously hurt in that collision is a person of interest. He will be met by investigators as soon as his condition allows it.
BRUSSELS — The European Union on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four senior Russian officials over the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most high-profile political foe. The 27-nation bloc imposed bans on travel and froze the assets in Europe of Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Igor Krasnov, the prosecuto general, Viktor Zolotov, head of the National Guard, and Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the Federal Prison Service. EU headquarters said the four were listed “over their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Alexei Navalny, as well as the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment.” Navalny, 44, an anti-corruption investigator, was arrested in Moscow in January upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation. In February, a court sentenced Navalny to two years and eight months in prison for violating the terms of his probation while recuperating in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated. The European Court of Human Rights has also ruled that it’s unlawful. Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment have fueled a huge wave of protests across Russia. Authorities responded with a sweeping crackdown, detaining about 11,000 people, many of whom were fined or given jail terms ranging from seven to 15 days. The sanctions were the first used by the EU under a new system for imposing restrictions on people and organizations deemed responsible for human rights abuses. The Associated Press
About 1,200 NB Power customers are without electricity and some roads are impassable as strong wind gusts continue Tuesday night. The largest outages are in central York and Sunbury counties, with 541 customers in the dark around 9:50 p.m. AT Tuesday, according to NB Power's online outages list. The Crown utility didn't have an estimated restoration time for about half of those outages, with roughly 200 estimated to have their power back on by 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at the latest. Meanwhile, roughly 303 outages were reported in the Acadian Peninsula, 221 in the Carleton County area, and 100 in the Charlotte County southwest area. Restoration times for those outages ranged from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 1 a.m. Wednesday. There were around 40 customers without power in other areas of the province. More than 4,000 customers were without power earlier Tuesday evening. Snow-covered roads The Department of Transportation is reporting several roads are either impassable or only open to emergency and service vehicles, primarily in the northern part of the province. Highway 11 between Six Roads and Tabusintac on the Acadian Peninsula is closed to general traffic, along with Highway 113 from Baie de Shippagan to the Miscou Channel, and the Trans-Canada Highway from Grand Falls to Saint-Leonard. The province says there is drifting snow, poor visibility and icy patches throughout those areas. Highway 11 from Janeville to Bertrand is closed. Most of the Trans-Canada Highway is marked as partly covered in snow and ice, with travel not recommended. Other roads north of Fredericton and Moncton are either fully or partly covered in snow and ice with travel not recommended, while roads south of Fredericton are bare. The outages and road closures come as Environment Canada issued wind warnings for the Acadian Peninsula, Bathurst and Chaleur region, Campbellton and Restigouche County, warning that wind gusts could reach 90 km/h in those regions. Wind gusts are expected to last throughout the day and end by Wednesday morning. "These very strong winds will cause extensive blowing snow, especially over exposed areas, and a blowing snow advisory is now in effect for these regions as well," Environment Canada said in a statement. "High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break."