Grizzly bears are one of the most massive land predators in the world. However, in this clip this one is just so cute and cuddly!
Grizzly bears are one of the most massive land predators in the world. However, in this clip this one is just so cute and cuddly!
An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
The provincial government has put a pause on the demolition of heritage buildings in the West Don Lands downtown until Wednesday after major backlash from city officials and residents. Community members and city councillors demanded the demolition plans be halted in an effort to preserve the structures when construction crews arrived on site Monday and started to tear them down. The St. Lawrence Community Association applied for a court injunction Thursday to temporarily stop the demolition with the city listed as an interested party. Ontario's Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said Friday the province has made the decision to pause as a "good faith measure." "This morning, the province received the decision concerning the request of the St. Lawrence Community Association seeking an interim interlocutory injunction to stay demolition and environment remediation activities at the government-owned land at 153 to 185 Eastern Ave.," Clark said in a statement. "Although an injunction was not ordered, as a good faith measure towards the City of Toronto, I have called Mayor John Tory to advise that the province will pause [plans] until next Wednesday Jan. 27." The Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company site, a provincially owned property, is subject to a Ontario ministerial zoning order issued in October. The order, one of three for the West Don Lands, paves the way for housing construction and allows the province to bypass municipal planning processes, including public consultations. The four buildings on the site were constructed between 1917 and 1929 and were added to the City of Toronto's heritage register in 2004. Tory thanks province for pausing demolition Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomed the province's move. "Although I wish this situation had started in a more cooperative manner, I want to thank the Minister for acknowledging that there are concerns raised by the City, the community, the local councillor and myself which require discussion, and thank the Minister as well for agreeing to an immediate five-day pause," Tory said in a statement Friday. Tory said city staff met with provincial officials Friday morning to try to resolve the situation and will hold further discussions over the coming days. He said the issue will also be coming to city council at the end of January. "I remain hopeful that a path forward can be found that gets more affordable housing built and at the same time takes proper notice of community concerns such as heritage," Tory said. When word spread last week that the demolition was about to begin, prompting community leaders and politicians to speak out against the plan, the province told CBC Toronto it was within its authority to make the move. Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who represents Ward 13, Toronto Centre, is one of the critics of the demolition and called the province's plans "outrageous" and an "act of vandalism." Wong-Tam says while she and others are "pleased" to read Clark's statement, she continues to call on the province to stop the project. "This province's action of reckless demolition was carried without consultation and without adherence to their own heritage policies," Wong-Tam said in a statement Friday following the announcement. "A temporary pause does not reverse the already extensive damage of the accelerated demolition we have witnessed over the last few days during a global pandemic or restore the community's faith," she said. Wong-Tam says the province could show a "real act of good faith" by halting all further demolition and consulting with the city and the community. The ministry insists "heritage elements" will inform the design of any new buildings on the site. "The province has been clear that this provincially-owned property – which has been largely abandoned for over 40 years and requires demolition to allow for significant environmental remediation – will be revitalized to allow for the construction of new affordable housing, market housing, and community space," Clark said. In his statement, Clark says that the ministry has provided documentation prior to the initiation of the injunction, including a Heritage Impact Assessment and Cultural Heritage Documentation Report.
PHOENIX -- Health officials say the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Arizona are declining despite the state having the worst infection rate in the country. Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said Friday that the number of patients and even the positivity test rate have dipped slightly in the last few weeks. It was the one bright spot of news as Arizona reached a grim milestone with a pandemic death toll of more than 12,000. That puts COVID-19 on track to eclipse heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death in the state. The Department of Health Services on Friday reported 8,099 additional known cases and 229 additional deaths, increasing the state’s pandemic totals to 708,041 cases and 12,001 deaths. One person in every 141 Arizona residents was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past week. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: Dr. Fauci says a lack of candour about the coronavirus under President Donald Trump “very likely” cost lives. Japan is publicly adamant it will stage the postponed Olympics, but faces vaccine roadblocks. Germany passes 50,000 deaths from coronavirus. Lucky few get COVID-19 vaccine because of rare extra doses in U.S. New Chinese film praises Wuhan ahead of lockdown anniversary. Brazil awaits vaccine cargo from India amid supply concerns. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: BOISE, Idaho -- Limited coronavirus vaccine availability, confusion over which Idaho residents should be vaccinated first and rumours of line-jumpers are all complicating the state’s vaccine rollout. Members of Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee met Friday to help clarify exactly who should have first dibs on the state’s doses. Sarah Leeds with the Idaho Immunization Program says the demand is far higher than the doses available. So far, the federal government has distributed more than 178,000 doses to Idaho. That’s a rate of about 9,970 doses for every 100,000 residents, putting Idaho near the bottom compared to the allotment given other states. Currently, front-line health care workers, nursing home staffers, dentists, pharmacists and other medical-field staffers are eligible to be vaccinated in Idaho, as can child care workers, teachers and staffers at primary and secondary schools and correctional centre staffers. But the people who are charged with giving out the vaccine — local health departments, pharmacies and medical care providers — have different interpretations of exactly who is included in each category. ___ RALEIGH — North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday that the state has seen 1,280 of its coronavirus vaccine doses get discarded. “Only 0.1% (or 1,280) of the 1.1 million doses which have entered the state thus far have become unusable for any reason and we have not received reports of significant batches being lost,” the department said in a statement to The Associated Press. In a Thursday afternoon news conference, the state’s top public health official, Dr. Mandy Cohen, estimated the waste to be “in the tens of doses.” Doses being administered at county health departments, clinics, hospitals and other places could be tossed out due to a vaccine being stored too long in a freezer or not being administered in a timely manner once it has been taken out of a freezer. There are currently 136 different vaccine providers in the state. The health department said providers are using low dead-volume syringes are designed to maximize the amount of doses it can get out one multi-dose vial. “In some cases, providers have been able to extract an extra dose out of the Pfizer supply, and we appreciate the hard work of providers to maximize the use of this supply,” the department said. North Carolina expects to continue getting about 120,000 new first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines each week. ___ SEATTLE -- A suburban Seattle man who advertised a supposed COVID-19 “vaccine” he said he created in his personal lab, has been arrested. KUOW reports Johnny T. Stine faces a misdemeanour charge of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. According to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Stine advertised injections of the supposed vaccine for $400 on his personal Facebook page in March 2020. At that time, there was no authorized COVID-19 vaccine on the market. It wasn’t immediately known if Stine has a lawyer to comment on his case. He could face up to one year in prison if convicted. ___ BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A state health inspector has found that some residents of a long-term care and skilled nursing facility in Burlington, Vermont, failed to get doses of required medication and proper wound care and were left to sit in their urine amid a coronavirus outbreak at the facility last month. The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did the inspection at Elderwood at Burlington on Dec. 9 and 10, the Burlington Free Press reported. The survey was done following recent anonymous complaints about the facility. A subsequent report did not find any instances of infection control failing to stop the spread of COVID-19, the newspaper reported. The facility said in a statement Friday that it is committed to working with regulatory authorities to ensure it maintains high standards of care and appropriately complies with all guidance. “Elderwood at Burlington is and always has been committed to high quality, safe resident care. Throughout the pandemic, which has stretched the resources of healthcare providers across the country, our staff have worked with diligence and dedication to care for residents,” the statement said. The report states that the facility continues to hire, train and schedule enough competent staff to meet the needs of residents and surpass state minimum staffing requirements. ___ MISSION, Kan. — Online sign-ups for the coronavirus vaccine are filling up almost as quickly as they are posted as health officials in Kansas begin moving beyond immunizing just health care workers and long-term care residents. Saline County had to shut its down within 30 minutes after residents 65 and older nabbed all 900 available slots. That’s about how long Douglas County had its signup open before its 500 slots were filled. The rush comes after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly announced Thursday that the state was moving into the second vaccination phase, which includes about 1 million people. It includes not just those 65 and older but also people in congregate settings such as prisons and homeless shelters, and critical workers such as firefighters, police officers, teachers and meat packing plant employees. The state also will continue vaccinating people from the first phase, some of whom wanted to watch the rollout to see if there were problems before getting vaccinated themselves. The challenge is that the state doesn’t have nearly enough doses for all of them — at least not yet. So the state is leaving it up to counties to decide how to prioritize who gets vaccinated next. ___ SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is reporting a one-day record of 764 COVID-19 deaths but the rate of new infections is falling. The deaths reported Friday by the California Department of Public Health top the previous mark of 708 set on Jan. 8. In the last two days California has recorded 1,335 deaths. Hospitalizations and newly confirmed cases have been falling, however, and health officials are growing more optimistic that the worst of the latest surge is over. The 23,024 new cases reported Friday are less than half the mid-December peak of nearly 54,000. Hospitalizations have fallen below 20,000, a drop of more than 10% in two weeks. ___ PORTLAND, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown on Friday defended her decision to reject federal guidelines and prioritize teachers for the COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly, stating that if all of Oregon’s seniors were vaccinated first teachers would likely not be vaccinated before the school year and many students would not return to in-person learning. In addition, during a news conference, officials from the Oregon Health Authority presented a new vaccination timeline that delays the eligibility for seniors 65 to 69 years old to be vaccinated until March 7 and those 70 to 74 pushed back to Feb. 28. Last week, Oregon officials announced a change to the vaccine distribution — instead of vaccinating teachers and seniors at the same time, teachers would be vaccinated beginning Jan. 25 and people 80 or older beginning Feb. 8. ___ SAO PAULO — Sao Paulo state, which has posted the greatest number of COVID-19 deaths of any Brazilian state, has tightened its restrictions on activity until Feb. 7 with the 8 p.m. closure of non-essential businesses. The reopening of schools, previously planned for Feb. 1, was postponed by a week. Health authorities also announced local hospitals could run out of intensive-care beds in 28 days, which forced them to reassign 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients. Sao Paulo state is home to 46 million people, and has recorded almost 51,000 deaths from the virus —almost one fourth of the total in Brazil, where cases and deaths of coronavirus are surging again. Also on Friday, Brazil’s health regulator authorized the emergency use of 4.8 million CoronaVac vaccines bottled locally by Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute. Six million shots were previously made available by Butantan, and another 2 million AstraZeneca shots are expected to arrive from India later on Friday. Brazil has a population of about 210 million. ___ MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama's state health officer said a low supply of vaccine is the largest hindrance to getting people vaccinated for COVID-19. Alabama health officials were expecting to get more than 112,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses a week based on conversations with federal officials when Operation Ward Speed began last year. Instead, officials said, the state is getting about 50,000 to 60,000 doses a week. Dr. Scott Harris said federal officials later said the 112,000 figure was not a promise but a figure that the state should use in its planning. Alabama has approved more than 883 pharmacies, hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other providers to do vaccinations but only 364 have received any vaccine. He said only about 117 providers will get vaccine this week because of the available supply. The state of nearly 5 million people has received 502,950 vaccine doses and 223,887 of those have been administered, according to state numbers. Harris said many of the unused doses are designated for patients in upcoming appointments for their second or first dose. ___ WASHINGTON — White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked about a potential pause in vaccinations in New York, where the state is reporting a shortage in vaccines available for first doses. Psaki says the White House has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “look into what is possible” to address the situation in New York. But she stressed the administration will defer to the judgment of medical experts. “Clearly we don’t want any states to run out of access to vaccines,” Psaki says, adding the Biden administration aims to avoid supply crunches going forward. ___ LONDON — AstraZeneca says it will ship fewer doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the European Union than anticipated due to supply chain problems. The company is waiting for the European Medicines Agency to approve its vaccine, which could happen when the EU regulator meets on Jan. 29. AstraZeneca’s statement said, “initial volumes will be lower than originally anticipated due to reduced yields at a manufacturing site within our European supply chain.” It adds: “We will be supplying tens of millions of doses in February and March to the European Union, as we continue to ramp up production volumes.” Regulators in Britain and several other countries have already given the vaccine the green light. ___ BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has released some demographic details on who’s received the coronavirus vaccine. However, the data provided Friday lacks key information to determine if Louisiana’s doses are equitably distributed. Few vaccine providers are identifying race in the data submitted. That undermines Gov. John Bel Edwards’ efforts to ensure minority groups have adequate access to vaccination. The information shows at least 33% of Louisiana’s nearly 273,000 vaccine recipients are white and at least 10% are black. But another 56% of those who have received the shots were listed as “unknown” or “other.” Edwards is calling on hospitals, clinics and pharmacies vaccinating people in Louisiana to start providing more complete data. ___ WASHINGTON — New research finds full doses of blood thinners such as heparin can help moderately ill hospitalized COVID-19 patients avoid the need for breathing machines or other organ support. The preliminary results come from three large, international studies testing various coronavirus treatments and haven’t yet been published. The U.S. National Institutes of Health and other sponsors released the results Friday to help doctors decide on appropriate care. Nearly all hospitalized COVID-19 patients currently get low doses of a blood thinner to try to prevent clots from forming. The new results show that “when we give higher doses of blood thinners to patients who are not already critically ill, there is a significant benefit in preventing them from getting sicker,” said Dr. Matthew Neal, a trauma surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and one study leader. However, the researchers say these drugs don’t help and may harm people who are more seriously ill. The study highlights how timing and degree of illness matter for coronavirus treatments. Steroid drugs can help severely ill patients but not ones who are only mildly ill. Some antibody drugs seem to help when given soon after or before symptoms appear but not for sicker, hospitalized patients. ___ HAVANA — A possibly more contagious variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Cuba. Dr. María Guadalupe Guzmán of the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine says the variant, originally detected in South Africa, was found in an asymptomatic traveller during a check at ports and airports. While that case was imported, she says authorities can’t rule out the possibility it is also circulating locally. But the institute’s director of epidemiology, Francisco Duran, said it’s not the reason for a recent upsurge in cases on the island. The nation of some 11 million people has recorded more than 20,000 cases of the coronavirus, including 530 on Thursday, and 188 deaths. ___ PHOENIX — Arizona’s death toll surpassed 12,000 on Friday after reporting 229 more deaths. The Department of Health Services reported 8,099 confirmed cases, increasing total cases to more than 700,000. The surge has crowded hospitals statewide. Arizona is ramping up vaccinations by opening an additional site. But like other states, Arizona has had difficulty getting enough doses to administer. ___ WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is extending its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew and lifting weekend lockdowns to allow more coronavirus vaccinations. Tribal officials announced the measures will take effect Monday and run through at least Feb. 15. Officials say the daily curfew will run daily from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The tribe has reported a total of 26,782 cases and 940 known deaths on the reservation. ___ RABAT, Morocco — Morocco has received its first doses of vaccine against the coronavirus and plans to start injections next week. The Health Ministry sats the AstraZeneca vaccine, delivered from India, will be followed by another delivery next week of a second vaccine, from China’s Sinopharm. The vaccine rollout will start next week. Priority will be given to health workers age 40 and above, police and army officers, teachers 45 and above and those over 75. The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago. President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden's inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests. Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard. A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation's capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration. Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now co-ordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.” The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold. Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.” But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center. “The troops didn't move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making. “If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.” The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with co-ordination and the logistics so that troops can get home. Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony. Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month. The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began. The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack. ___ Merchant reported from Houston. Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor And Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press
BRAMPTON, Ont. — Police say a youth group leader from a Brampton, Ont., church has been charged in connection with alleged sex offences involving three teenagers.Peel Regional Police say the charges relate to incidents that allegedly took place between 1998 and 2003.They say a 43-year-old man from Mississauga, Ont., has been charged with three counts of sexual exploitation and three counts of sexual assault.He's set to appear in a Brampton court on March 29.Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
En milieu d’après-midi, le cabinet du maire Demers confirmait que Virginie Dufour «demeurera au comité exécutif de la Ville» qu’elle vient tout juste de réintégrer. Rappelons que dans les heures qui ont suivi l’annonce de son retour au comité exécutif, le mercredi 20 janvier, le cabinet du maire apprenait que le Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ) ouvrait finalement une enquête relativement aux allégations de financement politique illégal dont fait l’objet la conseillère municipale de Sainte-Rose depuis le 30 novembre. «Madame Dufour accueille cette nouvelle avec très grande satisfaction, a indiqué par voie de courriel le directeur des communications du cabinet, Alexandre Banville. Après tout, rappelons que c’est elle-même qui demandé au DGEQ d’ouvrir une enquête à son sujet. Elle demeure convaincue que cette opération permettra de clarifier sa situation et de rétablir entièrement sa réputation.» Il précise par ailleurs que «le maire de Laval l’a réintégrée à la suite du dépôt d’un affidavit confirmant l’impression soutenue par madame Dufour, soit qu’elle serait la victime collatérale d’une chicane de couple». Preuve à l’appui, une information confidentielle transmise au <@Ri>Courrier Laval<@$p> ce vendredi 22 janvier révèle que l’avocat saisi du dossier au Service des affaires juridiques du Bureau du DGEQ avait recommandé autour de la mi-décembre la tenue d’une enquête concernant l’usage de prête-noms dans le versement de contributions politiques impliquant Virginie Dufour et Normand Cusson. Impossible toutefois de connaître le moment précis où la décision d’ouvrir une enquête fut prise. De fait, l’institution responsable de l’application des dispositions de la Loi sur les élections et les référendums dans les municipalités relatives au financement politique «ne confirme ni n’infirme» jamais la tenue ou non d’une enquête, indique sa porte-parole, Julie St-Arnaud. «On ne communique absolument rien en ce qui a trait à nos démarches d’enquête», ajoute-t-elle, précisant que cette politique vise, entre autres, à protéger la réputation des gens ciblés par ces enquêtes, lesquels ont droit à la présomption d’innocence. Ce n’est qu’une fois les infractions constatées et les poursuites intentées que le DGEQ sort de son mutisme et que l’information devient publique.Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Ahuntsic-Cartierville - Malgré une légère baisse des cas enregistrée dans la dernière semaine, la pandémie continue d’exercer une très forte pression sur le réseau de la santé à Ahuntsic-Cartierville comme dans le reste de l’île de Montréal. En conférence de presse avec la représentante du réseau de la santé montréalais, Sonia Bélanger, la directrice régionale de la santé publique de Montréal, docteure Mylène Drouin, a fait le point vendredi sur la situation dans la métropole. Alors que le nombre de nouveaux cas est en diminution, même dans les quartiers chauds, la situation épidémiologique demeure préoccupante aux yeux de la Direction régionale de la santé publique (DRSP) de Montréal. Des indicateurs à la baisse, mais des taux encore très élevés La docteure Drouin souligne que bien que les principaux indicateurs soient en baisse avec un taux de positivité moyen qui est repassé sous la barre des 10% à Montréal et un taux de reproduction du virus qui est redescendu sous la barre du 1, les taux d’incidence demeurent trois fois plus élevés que le seuil quotidien de 10 cas par 100 000 habitants établi comme barème par le gouvernement du Québec pour atteindre le pallier d’alerte maximale à l’automne dernier. La Santé publique souhaite d’ailleurs rehausser le dépistage « assez rapidement » chez les 12-17 qui ont des taux d’incidence très élevés, mais n’envisage pas pour l’instant de faire du dépistage massif dans les écoles ni d’inviter les personnes asymptomatiques à se faire dépister dans les quartiers chauds, contrairement à ce qu’a laissé entendre le premier ministre du Québec François Legault en début de semaine. Sur les 93 décès liés à la COVID rapportés la depuis la semaine dernière, 13 sont survenus à Ahuntsic-Cartierville. De ce nombre, cinq sont survenus en CHSLD, quatre dans des Résidences privées pour aînés (RPA) et une en Ressource intermédiaire (RI), précise la DRSP au JDV. Ces décès sont attribuables à de multiples éclosions actives dans des milieux de vie et de soins pour aînés de l’arrondissement. Selon l’état de situation des cas et des décès en CHSLD et en RPA tenu par le ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS), la situation semble plutôt en voie de s’améliorer à Ahuntsic-Cartierville où, bien que certaines éclosions continuent de progresser, d’autres ont été maîtrisées dans les derniers jours. Le CIUSSS, qui dit avoir complété la campagne de vaccination dans les CHSLD et poursuivre la campagne dans les RPA et RI sur son territoire, avait vacciné 2197 résidents en CHSLD et en RI en date du 20 janvier. Il note toutefois que les quelques 36 lits dans la zone chaude du CHSLD Laurendeau étaient à pleine capacité plus tôt cette semaine, signe que la situation est encore fragile. Les hôpitaux à pleine capacité Alors que plusieurs installations pour aînés demeurent en situation critique ou sous haute surveillance, la situation est aussi extrêmement tendue dans les centres hospitaliers. Sans commenter spécifiquement les importantes éclosions survenues à l’hôpital Fleury cette semaine, la représentante du réseau de la santé souligne qu’il y a des éclosions dans pratiquement tous les hôpitaux à Montréal et que la plupart sont sous contrôle. En plus de cette éclosion importante qui a touché au moins 35 membres du personnel à Fleury, il rappelle d’autres éclosions qui se sont déclarées dans plusieurs unités de l’hôpital Sacré-Cœur ainsi qu’à l’hôpital Jean-Talon. Le CIUSSS rapporte qu’en date du 20 janvier, 94 employés étaient absents en raison de la COVID. À la même date, près de 4243 employés avaient toutefois été vaccinés contre le virus. Elle souligne que près de 700 personnes sont encore hospitalisées à Montréal, dont 112 aux soins intensifs, soit une « légère baisse » par rapport à la semaine dernière. Selon un tableau des hospitalisations actives tenu par le MSSS, 96 personnes étaient hospitalisées avec la COVID dans les trois centres hospitaliers du CIUSSS du Nord, dont 12 étaient aux soins intensifs en date du 21 janvier. Il semble en effet probable que la levée du couvre-feu et l’assouplissement des mesures de confinement soient repoussées au-delà du 8 février à Montréal. Les décès s’accumulent Et c’est sans oublier les autres dommages collatéraux de la pandémie, comme les décès qui continuent de s’accumuler. Le cap des 400 décès à Ahuntsic-Cartierville a en effet été franchi cette semaine. Le STT-CIUSSS-NIM rapporte par ailleurs qu’un auxiliaire aux services de santé et sociaux de l’équipe des soins à domicile du CLSC de Saint-Laurent, qui avait obtenu un résultat de test positif au début janvier, est décédé le 15 janvier. Sans confirmer ni infirmer l’information, le CIUSSS indique qu’il n’est, à ce stade-ci, «pas possible de confirmer que la COVID-19 est la cause de son décès ». Jean-Rigaud Fontaine, âgé de 72 ans, travaillait au CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal depuis 24 ans. Le syndicat a tenu une cérémonie en son nom vendredi. Simon Van Vliet, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal des voisins
Montreal's COVID-19 indicators are improving but the many health orders in place are likely to remain for weeks to come, the city's public health director said Friday. Health officials reported about 622 new daily infections between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21, down from a daily average of about 765 the week before. But hospitals in the city remain close to capacity, Dr. Mylene Drouin told reporters, with 696 people hospitalized in Montreal, including 112 in intensive care. About 1,000 health-care workers are off the job with COVID-19 or awaiting test results. That means public health officials are far from ready to lift most of the restrictions, Drouin said. The current provincial measures are scheduled to run until Feb. 8. "Some of the confinement measures are probably going to stay," Drouin said. "I think what we're going to ask ourselves is, what we can reintroduce that is less at-risk and help people find a normal life?" She didn't offer specifics but suggested some physical or social activities could be permitted. Quebec has imposed many health orders in recent weeks, asking people to work from home, shutting non-essential businesses and imposing a nightly curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Quebec's national public health institute issued modelling Thursday that suggested the province's measures could have significant impact for all regions and even more so for greater Montreal. "Strong support for the measures would make them even more effective in addressing the course of the epidemic," the institute said in a statement. Drouin said there has been a sustained decrease this month in the number of new cases per 100,000 people, from 46 in December to 37 in January. She said that number might soon dip to 30. She also said the reproduction rate — the average number of cases linked to a confirmed infection — was less than one for the first time since the fall. She said it needs to remain below one for at least two weeks, "if we want to reach a certain comfort level." Overall, 8.8 per cent of COVID-19 tests in Montreal are positive, but officials say they'll target neighbourhoods in northern and eastern Montreal that have much higher infection rates. Drouin said those areas were also hot spots last spring, due in large part to population density and an influx of essential workers at a higher risk of contracting the virus. "It's not that the people do not want or do not apply the public health recommendations, it's more that the context makes it difficult to apply," Drouin said. Authorities will use rapid tests in those neighbourhoods to cut down on what is now a roughly three-day delay between the beginning of symptoms and a test result. "It is the period where the person is most contagious," Drouin said. "We have to go to where people have the symptoms and get them tested quickly." Quebec reported 1,631 new COVID-19 cases Friday and 88 additional deaths, but hospitalizations dropped for a third consecutive day. The Health Department said the number of patients with COVID-19 in hospital fell by 27, to 1,476, with 212 in intensive care, a drop of four. Hospitalizations have decreased by 74 over the last three reporting periods. Of the 88 deaths reported Friday, 18 occurred in the previous 24 hours. Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of deaths reported daily in the province remains too high, and he called on people to respect public health orders. The province has now vaccinated 200,627 people after another 14,417 people received shots Thursday. Quebec has now inoculated 2.35 per cent of its population with one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, using a little more than 84 per cent of vaccines the province has received. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has reported a total of 250,491 infections and 9,361 deaths linked to the virus, with 223,367 people considered recovered. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his piece with U.S. President Joe Biden. The two leaders spoke by phone for about 30 minutes late Friday — Biden's first conversation with a foreign leader since Wednesday's inauguration. It was also Trudeau's first chance to express Canada's official dismay at the decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, and Biden's first to explain it. One of Biden's first actions in the White House was to rescind predecessor Donald Trump's approval for the US$8-billion cross-border expansion project. Trudeau, however, is urging Canadians to look past the decision and focus instead on all the areas of mutual agreement the two countries can look forward to. In particular, Trudeau says Biden and Canada share a vision of tackling climate change while fuelling economic growth at the same time. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
PITTSBURGH — The son of a couple killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue attack that killed 11 worshippers is suing the National Rifle Association, arguing the group’s inflammatory rhetoric led to the violence. Marc Simon, the son of Sylvan and Bernice Simon, filed the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court against the NRA, the gun maker Colt’s Manufacturing Co., and accused shooter, Robert Bowers, news outlets reported. Colt manufactured the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle allegedly used by Bowers. A fourth defendant is the unknown business that sold Bowers the gun. Bowers is charged with killing 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. Police said the former truck driver expressed hatred of Jews during and after the October 2018 rampage. “Bowers was not born fearing and hating Jews,” the suit claims. “The gun lobby taught him to do that.” Bowers has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The plaintiff argues gun lobbyists like the NRA radicalized people with “mendacious white supremacist conspiracy theories.” The lawsuit also says Colt could have prevented the AR-15 from “bump firing,” or using a modification that allows the rifle to fire more rapidly. An NRA spokesperson declined comment on the lawsuit. The group filed for bankruptcy last week, and the claims against them in Simon’s lawsuit will be stayed as a result of the group’s reorganizing. Colt did not respond to request for comment. Besides a wrongful death claim, the complaint accuses Colt of product liability and says the gun is more akin to a military-style weapon than a civilian product. The Associated Press
Canada’s response to COVID-19 shows what national unity over a common goal can accomplish, says Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Now he says the country needs to apply similar efforts to achieving racial equality. “Recognizing these systems of government control as inherently racist, and needing to then be anti-racist, be actively anti-racist, in the way that we engage, the way that we work together between Inuit and government, is really the only way we can chart our course to a better future,” said Obed, the head of the national organization that represents 65,000 Inuit in Canada. Obed made the remarks Friday during a panel discussion about mental health in diverse communities, co-hosted online by Queen’s University and Bell, featuring four experts on race and mental health, with former federal Indigenous services minister Dr. Jane Philpott as the moderator. Obed spoke of the impact racism has had on Inuit communities and their mental health. “You can’t help but link the imposition of government control over our communities … and complete control over our education and economic well-being as anything other than a mental health catastrophe,” he said. In a June 2019 Statistics Canada report, under the National Household Survey, researchers found that suicide rates of First Nations people were three times higher than those of non-Indigenous people. More specifically, Inuit were nine times as likely to take their own lives than non-Indigenous people. That same report cited post-traumatic stress disorder due to colonization as a key factor in Indigenous mental health. Also on the panel was Dr. Kenneth Fung, clinical director of the Asian Initiative in Mental Health Program at Toronto Western Hospital; Dr. Myrna Lashley, a psychiatry assistant professor at McGill University; and Asanta Haughton, a human rights activist. They agreed that for the betterment of Black, Indigenous and people-of-colour communities, recognizing oppressive systems are essential to dismantling them. The pandemic has only made these challenges more acute, panelists said. Numerous studies show marginalized communities are the most impacted by COVID-19. A Statistics Canada study on the self-reported economic hardships caused by the pandemic on Indigenous versus non-Indigenous people showed that Indigenous people had experienced more job loss or reduced work, and a larger negative financial impact. The report concluded that “employment disruptions likely had a larger financial impact on Indigenous participants because of greater pre-existing vulnerabilities, such as lower income levels and higher proportions living in poverty and experiencing food insecurity.” Obed offered the following advice for making strides against racism: “Keep putting one step in front of the other, on the path that you’re making for your own mental health, but then also the change that you want to see,” he said. Meagan Deuling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News
Ottawa's police force has received nearly three dozen complaints from its members since launching a strategy last spring to tackle sexual violence and harassment, according to a report going before the city's police board next week. The 33 complaints reported to the Ottawa Police Service's (OPS) respect, ethics and values directorate since May 2020 cover a wide range of topics, from harassment — both sexual and otherwise — to abuses of authority, discrimination and ethical breaches. Just over half of the complainants were women, notes the report, which goes to the Ottawa Police Services Board on Monday. Roughly 70 per cent of the complaints came from sworn members of the force, while the remainder were made by civilian employees, the report said. Two of the complaints have been forwarded to the Rubin Thomlinson law firm, which the OPS hired in September to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and violence within its ranks.
MILAN — Italy’s data protection authority said Friday it was imposing an immediate block on TikTok’s access to data for any user whose age has not been verified. The authority said it was acting with “urgency” following the death of a 10-year-old girl in Sicily, who died while participating in a so-called “blackout” challenge while using the Chinese-owned video-sharing social network. Prosecutors in Sicily are investigating the case. The data protection authority noted it had advised TikTok in December of a series of violations, including scant attention to the protection of minors, the ease with which users under age 13 could sign up for the platform — against its own rules — the lack of transparency in information given to users and the use of automatic settings that did not respect privacy. “While waiting to receive a response, the authority decided to take action to ensure the immediate protection of minors in Italy registered on the network,’’ the authority said in a statement. The block will remain in place at least until Feb. 15, when further evaluations will be made. TikTok earlier this month rolled out some tightened privacy features for users under the age of 18, including a new default private setting for accounts with users aged 13 to 15. The new practices, affecting users around the world, followed a move by U.S. regulators to order TikTok and other social media services to disclose how their practices affect children and teenagers. The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A group of large businesses in Banff National Park is proposing a rapid COVID-19 testing project meant to help reopen the economy safely. Yannis Karlos, the head of the group, said rapid testing can guarantee the safety of the community while allowing the return to a semblance of normality in a place heavily dependent on tourism. "We're just looking for options to take a different approach to ensure that our community remains safe," said Karlos, who owns a distillery and restaurant in Banff, Alta. "Back in March, our community basically fully shut down and we had an extremely high level of unemployment," he said. Karlos said the group of businesses that represent 5,300 employees would cover the costs of deploying COVID-19 rapid tests if the Alberta government will supply them. "The way we envision it is becoming a public-private partnership, so we're looking for some assistance from the municipality as well as from the province," he said. Town of Banff spokesman Jason Darrah said the municipality will support the project. "We want to support however possible, such as offering facilities for doing it," he said. Sandy White, the co-founder of a coalition of academics, medical professionals and business leaders called Rapid Test and Trace Canada, which is working with the businesses in Banff, said millions of rapid tests already bought and distributed by the federal government are sitting in warehouses across Canada because provincial governments are either unable or unwilling to deploy them. "The overall mismanagement of this file in particular, to say nothing of vaccines and everything else, has been depressingly indicative of Canada's response to this thing," he said. White, who himself owns two inns in Banff, said other countries have responded to the pandemic more efficiently than Canada using rapid tests and other measures to reopened their economies safely. "We are drowning in this situation and we've had a year to get all these wonderful things in place and we could be Taiwan or South Korea or Australia or New Zealand but we're not," he said. "That's very frustrating." White said the 90-day rapid-testing project proposed for Banff would aim to test as many of the town's roughly 8,800 residents as possible within the first two days. After that, the program would test between five and 10 per cent of residents every day. "We are quite confident that with a strategy like that, we can eradicate COVID within the community," he said. Banff had close to 200 active cases of COVID-19 at the end of November, when the economy had reopened and tourists were in town. "The goal really is to be able to safely reopen the economy and encourage tourists to come back to town," he said, noting local jobs depend on tourism. He said the program could also be used as a "test case" to prove that a rapid-testing strategy can work to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. White said his organization is speaking with several groups across the country, including universities and Indigenous communities, to prepare rapid-testing project proposals. "It would be us advising and assisting in setting up pilots and executing on them with the government really just providing testing services in the form of the tests and maybe some basic guidance," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
About 20 patients at Montreal's Douglas Mental Health University Institute have contracted COVID-19 in the past week. The first case of COVID-19 at the Douglas Institute dates back to Jan. 15, and nine other cases were recorded the next day. On Thursday, an additional 13 patients tested positive. Patients and staff of the affected unit have all been tested and infection control measures have been enhanced, said Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the local public health authority, the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal. "Fortunately, the majority of patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms," she said. Bergeron-Gamache said visits are temporarily suspended in the unit concerned, and even the family of staff will need to be tested. The Douglas is designated to receive COVID-19 patients, she said. This is not the first time there has been an outbreak at the facility. Back in April, a total of 16 patients and 22 employees tested positive for the disease, the CIUSSS said at the time.
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade – À l'issue de la première journée de pêche aux petits poissons à Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade vendredi, les sourires s'affichaient sur tous les visages, qu'ils soient visiteurs ou organisateurs, alors que débutait la 83e saison, une édition qui passera assurément à l'histoire pour toutes les raisons du monde. D'abord, en raison de la pandémie, évidemment, qui a apporté son lot d'ajustement pour l'organisation, mais aussi par le fait qu'il s'agira fort probablement de la saison de pêche la plus courte de l'histoire et enfin, parce que l'événement 2021 se déroulera presque dans l'intimité puisque seulement 120 chalets prendront racine sur le rivière d'ici le 21 février. Lors du passage du Nouvelliste, quelque 90 chalets avaient déjà été installés et l'exténuant travail se poursuivait. «Ça a été un marathon, mais là, on est dans le dernier 100 mètres», image le président de l'Association des pourvoyeurs de la rivière Sainte-Anne, Steve Massicotte. Bien que les travaux ait été réalisés en un temps record, les conditions ne sont pas encore toutes réunies afin d'assurer le roulement à plein régime des activités. «Pour la première fin de semaine, il n'y aura pas de circulation automobile. La glace est actuellement à 12 pouces d'épaisseur, on aimerait qu'elle atteigne 15 à 18 pouces idéalement, alors nous resterons prudents», explique M. Massicotte. Ce dernier souligne que l'intérêt de la part des touristes est très présent, alors que les places s'envolent rapidement. «Les gens doivent réserver. Il reste encore des places. Il y a beaucoup de poisson actuellement», souligne le président, qui se réjouit de constater l'intérêt renouvelé des visiteurs de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec pour l'événement. «Il y a des gens du coin qui appellent et qui disent ''je suis de la région, mais je ne suis jamais venu''. Ça, ça nous met le sourire au visage», confie-t-il. Les commerçants prudents Bien qu'habituellement heureux de voir les touristes débarquer chez eux en grand nombre, les commerçants de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade font preuve de prudence dans les attentes qu'ils entretiennent cette année. Tellement, que certains ont carrément choisi de fermer leurs portes et de passer au prochain appel. C'est le cas de Daniel Hardy, copropriétaire du Gîte et café bistro de la tour. «Tant mieux s'il y a de la pêche, mais pour nous, c'est loin d'être payant, ça mange de l'argent», concède-t-il. «Ce serait tellement peu, il saison durera à peine trois semaines. Et la santé, c'est plus important que l'argent», ajoute M. Hardy. À la SAQ locale, le gérant Philippe Marchand avouait qu'il serait difficile pour lui d'effectuer des prédictions sur les ventes à prévoir. «C'est difficile de dire ce que ça donnera. On va attendre que ça commence pour vrai et que les gens y aillent. Dans une semaine, on aura un meilleur aperçu», s'est-il contenté de mentionner. Au marché d'alimentation Métro, le gérant Michel Lemay soutient pour sa part que la hausse de la demande pour certains produits aide considérablement à éponger le manque à gagner que pourrait générer une pêche aux petits poissons plus timide. «C'est très particulier comme année, je ne m'attends pas à ce qu'on ait beaucoup de pêcheurs qui viennent nous voir, surtout aussi, qu'il y a moins de pourvoyeurs. Mais c'est certain que présentement, on constate une baisse des ventes de certains produits, comme les mets cuisinés ou la bière, qui sont en diminution.» Pour M. Lemay, même si tous les Péradiens ne sont pas d'accord sur la tenue ou non des activités, il est important pour son commerce de continuer à s'impliquer. «C'est très déchirant pour le village. On continue avec eux, on demeure des partenaires de l'événement parce que ça nous tient à coeur», avoue-t-il, précisant qu'il s'attend à des retombées qui vont s'avérer bien différentes des autres années. Une sortie qui fait du bien Les visiteurs qui avaient déjà pris place vendredi avouaient tous de concert que cette activité ferait le plus grand bien à la famille. «On a du plaisir. Ça nous fait plaisir, aussi. Les activités sont très limitées. On en profite pour faire bouger les jeunes. Je trouve que l'organisation fait bien les choses. C'est une adaptation, mais c'est le fun, ça mord», souriait Mathieu Roy, un pêcheur de Trois-Rivières, qui déploie sa ligne depuis plus de 30 ans. Pour la famille Thériault de Laval, dont il s'agissait de la première expérience, l'activité permet de changer d'air. «Ça ne mord pas encore beaucoup à date, mais ça nous permet de changer d'air. Ça fait du bien», souligne la maman Sandra Niquet. «À date, on aime bien ça», ajoute son conjoint Daniel Thériault. Pour la famille d'Hatim, en provenance de Repentigny, c'est la quatrième présence à Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade. «Ça se passe bien. Ça soulage un peu», sourit le papa de deux enfants. Directement débarqués de Kingsey Falls, au Centre-du-Québec, la famille de Jean-Philippe Turcotte et Karelle Giroux profitait de la journée pédagogique à l'école pour passer un bon moment ensemble. «Ça mord bien! Ça fait du bien aussi d'avoir une activité. On en profite», soulignait le papa dont c'était la troisième année sur la rivière. Les Quinta-Machado ont fait la route de Montréal pour parfaire leur technique de pêche. «L'an dernier, on a pêché 529 poissons», sourit la maman, Isabel Quinta. «C'est un peu différent cette année. Il y a moins de poisson, mais ça se fait bien, tout est nettoyé, tout est propre. C'est devenu nécessaire, une activité en famille», confiait-elle. Quant à elle, Sandra Nadeau, copropriétaire du Centre de pêche Grimard, raconte que les grandes cabanes de pêche de cette entreprise n'ont tout simplement pas été installées cette année, puisqu'il était inutile de mettre en place une cabana qui peut accueillir 20 personnes pour une bulle familiale seulement. «On a douze de nos dix-sept cabanes d'installées. Il faut s'assurer de désinfecter en profondeur. Même s'il n'y aura pas les activités habituelles, nous affichons complet pour les trois prochaines fins de semaines», s'est-elle au moins consolée.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
The Ontario government is kicking off a new social media campaign with actors, singers, athletes, and business owners who are all asking you to remain at home. Meanwhile, data tracking mobility in the city continues to show progress. Matthew Bingley reports.
The RM of Edenwold has cut a $120,000 cheque to the Town of Balgonie as the town purchased a new pumper truck for its fire department. RM reeve Mitchell Huber said the $120,000 has come out of budgeted funds from 2019 and 2020 to support fire department equipment purchases. Huber added being able to support a fire department who is a mutual aid partner helps the whole area. “Balgonie had come to us asking for our support in purchasing another truck and we approved supporting a percentage of that truck’s cost,” Huber said. The cheque has already been sent to Balgonie, whose mayor Frank Thauberger was happy to see an aging pumper truck replaced. The truck, which is scheduled to arrive this summer, cost $363,000. Balgonie covered $243,000 of the cost from reserves, as council and administration had been setting money aside over a number of years for its replacement. “Every time you are dealing with a major purchase, you have to look at all the variables on it,” Thauberger said. “Right now, it feels good. We weren’t anticipating any money from the RM but now that it’s come through, we are very thankful for their support. It makes our budget look a lot better too. It’s very important to have good equipment for your fire department. We were running with an old truck that needed to be replaced and was having problems.” Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
VICTORIA — The federal economic development minister says business leaders in British Columbia want to work with a new development agency aiming to help them endure the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the future. Melanie Joly said she's heard from entrepreneurs and business owners across B.C. about the support for a home-based economic development agency, including during an online forum Friday with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Joly said the promised B.C.-based agency will provide targeted economic support and relief in the form of loans, subsidies and advice about federal programs. "People want to be able to have access to levers to survive the economic crisis and the pandemic, but at the same time people want to talk about the future and want to be optimistic as the vaccinations roll out," she said in a phone interview. Joly said she's heard in panel discussions with business leaders that they're concerned about the distance between Ottawa and B.C. as entrepreneurs argue for an agency that is closer to home. "There's a feeling of disconnection towards the federal government," she said. "That has created sometimes frustration on the part of people in B.C. We need to increase our impact, our footprint. We need to make sure that people trust the fact that the federal government is there for them." Joly, who is also the minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, said B.C. entrepreneurs have told her the province's economy was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic and they need help now to get them through. Last December's federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year, she said, adding the budget for the new B.C. agency has not been set and there's no date yet for an opening date. "I always have a sense of urgency in life," Joly said after her meeting with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "I'm a very impatient person, so the team and I are working extremely hard to make sure we can launch this new B.C. agency but we need to make sure we do things right." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press