Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says his state will be receiving 174,000 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine this week. (Dec. 22)
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says his state will be receiving 174,000 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine this week. (Dec. 22)
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.
Hopefully Dan Levy inherited his father's sketch comedy chops. The "Schitt's Creek" co-creator is set to host "Saturday Night Live" next month. Levy will make his hosting debut on Feb. 6, joined by singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers. The Emmy winner can get tips from his father, Eugene Levy, who starred on legendary skit show "SCTV," which some have called Canada's "SNL." NBC says "SNL" will return from hiatus for a five-week run starting on Jan. 30, when John Krasinski will kick things off with musical guest Machine Gun Kelly. Regina King will host on Feb. 13 with music from Nathaniel Rateliff. Guests for Feb. 20 and Feb. 27 haven't been announced. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian 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. 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. Biden spoke Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. She said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. She did not say if they discussed what happened at the Capitol on Thursday. 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 requested the aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation's capital with soldiers, police and barricades and 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. 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
If you’re interested in sitting on Paradises’ 50th- anniversary advisory committee, time is running short. The call for volunteers closes on Monday, January 25. “We’re looking for community-minded individuals to be on our advisory committee,” said mayor Dan Bobbett, who said applicants ought to be energetic, motivated, and civic-minded. “2021 holds significance as our fiftieth-year anniversary of our incorporation as a municipality. It was on July 13, 1971. So, we’re pretty excited about it, and it marks a big milestone for us. We want to plan events, and we want the committee to help us do that.” Bobbett said the celebrations will give residents a chance to reflect upon of the history of Paradise, including the amalgamation of St. Thomas and other areas of metro. The celebrations are being planned with COVID-19 guidelines in mind “We want to acknowledge the golden anniversary and we’ll come up with creative ways to do that, for sure,” said Bobbett. “I’m sure we can come up with creative ways to celebrate but still social distance and keep the public health COVID-19 guidelines in mind at all times… A lot of organizations and towns have adapted to do events during COVID to be keep everybody informed and active. So, everyone is adapting to the situation as it unfolds. We’re looking at doing outdoor events wherever we can, as opposed to indoor events, because there’s more restrictions on indoor events. It will be challenging, but we can still celebrate, because it is a big milestone.” Members of the committee, which Bobbett said will roughly number ten, will work alongside a paid consultant, Pilot Consultation, who will be working on a budget of $19,820, plus HST. “The consultant will work hand in hand with the Fiftieth Anniversary Advisory Committee. Ovbiously, everything comes back to council as well,” said Bobbett. So far, no events have been announced yet, although Bobbett said that likely the town would take advantage of Paradise Park and other outdoor amenities when planning events. For now, the town has set its sight first on getting the committee in place. “We’re pretty pumped about it and pretty excited,” said Bobbett. “I’m sure that after we’ve finished the selection process, we will have a fantastic committee that will help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of incorporation,” said Bobbett. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
Yukon is getting a new health care research unit that will include more patient and community participation than has been the case in many research projects. The federal government will contribute more than $5 million to develop the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). The territorial government will provide staff, facilities and other in-kind contributions. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research say in a news release the Yukon will be joining all 10 provinces and the Northwest Territories in a network of similar units. "Patients in Yukon will benefit, as the SPOR SUPPORT Unit will ensure that research has direct impacts on their lives in ways that are important to them by making them partners in research and giving them a say in which topics are researched," the release says. Yukon Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said there has been an ongoing research project in the North that has already demonstrated the importance of community participation. People in Old Crow, Yukon, Fort MacPherson, N.W.T., and communities in the Mackenzie Delta have worked with researchers for more than a decade looking at the higher prevalence of a stomach bacteria and stomach cancer in the region, Frost said. "So the attention and the research that was done... was to look and work with the communities to figure out what triggers that. What can we do to prevent that from advancing to a further stage," she said. Yukon's deputy minister of health, Stephen Samis, said research driven by Yukoners for Yukoners can help the territory focus on important areas like prevention. "So rather than someone sitting in a chair at the University of Alberta or somewhere thinking up what they would like to research and how that might be able to be undertaken in Yukon, these are going to be research priorities that are really driven by Yukoners," Samis said. The unit will be based at Yukon University, but it will also involve the health department, Yukon hospitals and other organizations, said Bronwyn Hancock, associate vice-president, research development at the Yukon University Research Centre. Citizens are involved in the process from the start helping researchers sort out what they want to look into, she said, with researchers taking a holistic approach. "Which will include the person interacting with the health system, but also their families, their caregivers, the support network that they have around them," Hancock said. The university will host the unit's scientific director and operations manager with other positions located at other facilities, she said. Hancock said she expects the position of scientific director to be posted in February or March. In the meantime an interim oversight committee will begin meeting next month.
There were another eight deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Saskatchewan on Friday. This follows 13 deaths that were reported on Thursday by the province. Six deaths were reported in the Regina zone with two from the 80-years-old and over age group, one from the 70 to 79-year-old age group, two from the 60 to 69-year-old age group and one from the 40 to 49 age group reported. There was also one death reported in the 80-years-old and up age group in the Central East zone and one death in the 60 to 69 age group reported in Saskatoon. The number of deaths in the province has grown to 247. There were 312 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Friday. The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported 38 new cases. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 139 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 58 active cases and North Central 3 has 108 active cases. There was one case with pending information added to the North Central zone. North Central now ranks fourth in the province in Active Case Breakdown behind Saskatoon, Regina and the North West. Seven previously reported cases have been found to be out-of-province residents and removed from the counts. There are currently 175 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 147 reported as receiving in patient care there are 17 in North Central. Of the 30 people reported as being in intensive care there are four in North Central. The current seven-day average is 275, or 22.4 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 21,643 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 3,196 are considered active. The recovered number now sits at 18,200 after 203 more recoveries were reported. The total numbers of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 21,643 of those 55,675 cases are from the North area (2,144 North West, 2,680 North Central, 851 North East) There were 1,448 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered yesterday in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 31,275. As of January 22, 96 per cent of the doses received have been administered in Saskatchewan. There were 101 doses administered in North Central on Thursday. An additional 46 doses, not previously reported, were administered in Saskatoon on January 20 Pfizer’s Feb. 1 allocation to Saskatchewan has been confirmed to be 5,850 doses. Moderna shipments are expected for February 1 (6,500 doses) and will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West; and February 22 (7,100 doses) and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. There were 3,147 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Jan 14. As of today there have been 485,003 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
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 provided 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
Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is thinking about getting Canadians the COVID-19 vaccine "when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed, and every hour in between."
TORONTO — Canada's main stock index dipped to cap a losing week as COVID-19 virus and vaccine concerns weighed on the energy sector. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 70.29 points to 17,845.91. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 179.03 points at 30,996.98, the S&P 500 index was down 11.60 points at 3,841.47, while the Nasdaq composite was up 12.14 points at 13,543.06. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.64 cents US compared with 79.2 cents US on Thursday. The March crude contract was down 86 cents US at US$52.27 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 4.1 cents US at nearly US$2.46 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$9.70 at $1,856.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was down about 2.1 cents at almost US$3.63 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod says the public health directive supporting in-class learning in northern Ontario schools is more political than scientific. The community’s high school opted to keep Nbissing students online until at least February 16 after the province extended its COVID-19 pandemic emergency order. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is one of the few in Ontario to support in-class learning, a decision panned by many in light of it closing down toboggan hills, outdoor skating rinks and snowmobile trails. “We're just trying to deal with the Covid and we just shut our rinks down and we're just kind of monitoring what provinces and municipalities are doing and making sure that we're consistent or more stringent in areas like our school being closed,” McLeod said about Nbisiing Secondary School Thursday. “It's all online right now, despite the provinces still allowing it, at least in northern Ontario, the high schools are still open,” he said, noting that seems to be out of step with what some provincial experts are saying. “I was listening to Dr. Kevin Brown. He's the co-chair of the Covid Science Table for Ontario,” said Chief McLeod. “He was giving an update to the Chiefs of Ontario and he honestly can't understand why the schools in northern Ontario are still open. And you know, that, to me was troublesome, right? ‘You have one of the top epidemiologists saying that he doesn't understand. I was expecting ‘Here, this is the data, shows this or that,” because I like listening to the data, not just listening to people rant on Facebook. But, yeah, he was lost for an answer as to why it's still open. “And so obviously it's a more political call than a science one,” McLeod said. The school posted the update on its website, as did the community. “In response to Ontario’s second declaration of emergency and to align Nbisiing with Nipissing First Nation’s response to the provincewide stay-at-home order and shutdown restrictions, Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Council has approved changes to Nbisiing’s return to in-person learning date,” it reads. “In order to keep people home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our community, protect vulnerable populations, and keep our school community safe, Nbisiing will continue to teach all classes virtually and will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 (Monday the 15th is Family Day).” Nipissing FN only closed its outdoor rink in Garden Village, which is enclosed with walls and roof, because they don’t want people from outside the community taking advantage of it while their rinks are ordered closed. “Our problem with the skating rinks, as soon as North Bay and Sturgeon closed, we have to close because they all come down hours and we don't want them there,” he said. Chief McLeod did what many others are doing in response by creating their own ice sheets, whether that’s in a yard or on the lake. They can control the numbers and make it safe by following the known protocols, he added. “Well, I made one in my backyard and I Facebooked all my family members saying, ‘You want to come skating with your family, book it … just message me so I know that there's no other family there and you can have it to yourself.’” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's admission Friday that he might have to improve the vetting for high-level appointments sparked criticism over why he didn't figure that out before he chose Julie Payette as governor general. Trudeau named the former astronaut as Canada's 29th governor general in 2017 after disbanding a non-partisan, arm's-length committee created by the previous Conservative government to recommend worthy nominees for viceregal posts. Thursday, she resigned over allegations she created a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall, an unprecedented move for a monarch's representative in Canada. Trudeau faced questions Friday about his judgment and his government's failure to check with Payette's former employers at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she faced similar allegations of harassing and bullying subordinates. "We will continue to look at the best way to select people for viceregal appointments," Trudeau told a news conference Friday outside his residence at Rideau Cottage. "It's an important role for Canadians and we will look at how we can improve it." But Trudeau would not commit to reinstating the non-partisan, arm's-length committee to choose her successor. Payette announced her resignation about a week after the government received the damning findings of an independent investigation into allegations of harassment and other workplace issues at Rideau Hall. Trudeau said he spoke with the Queen by telephone Friday to inform her that Chief Justice Richard Wagner is stepping in until a new governor general is named. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said earlier that the Queen was being kept informed and will leave the matter in the hands of the Canadian government. Trudeau said everyone deserves a safe and healthy workplace, including employees at Rideau Hall. He also said the work they have done has been "exceptional." But he deflected a question over whether he owed those employees and all Canadians an apology. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the choice of Payette was one of style over substance. "Really it comes down to Justin Trudeau, who was more interested in a flashy announcement of a governor general rather than doing the work of making sure it was the right selection," Singh said Friday. "And it seems to be an ongoing trend, this pursuit of a flashy headline instead of working to get the job done." Patricia Faison Hewlin, of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said leaders with authentic leadership skills have never been more important than now. "During these uncertain and devastating times, we are in critical need of leaders who are skilled at connecting to people in meaningful ways — building unity, allaying concerns, and showing empathy," she said. "The days are over when leaders could skimp on emotional intelligence and building relationships. Employees are demanding more from their leaders." Trudeau's minority Liberal government could be defeated at any time and, were that to happen, it would fall to the governor general to decide whether to call an election or give Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole a chance to see if he can command the confidence of the House of Commons. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday the government has begun discussions with those responsible for vetting, but the prime minister hasn't had time yet to reflect on the best way to choose Payette's successor. The government will have more to say on that likely next week, he said. He agreed the debacle of Payette's tenure shows a need to strengthen the process for vetting viceregal appointments. LeBlanc said the government report came to "compelling" and "stark" conclusions and that Payette's tenure shows that the vetting system for such appointments needs to be strengthened. "There always has been a process of vetting, of checks that are made when somebody is appointed to any government job. But clearly, the process can be strengthened, can be improved," LeBlanc said in an interview shortly after Payette's resignation. The government does not intend to release the report due to privacy issues and the promises of confidentiality made to all complainants, LeBlanc said. It will instead release a redacted version of the report in response to requests made under the Access to Information Act. LeBlanc would not discuss the contents of the report, but said it found Rideau Hall "was obviously an unacceptable workplace." LeBlanc said federal public servants "have the right to a secure, safe and healthy workplace and we are adamant … that standard be upheld at every institution of the government of Canada." He said the report "painted a picture that was not consistent" with that standard. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called on Trudeau to stop paying the expenses of former governors general after they have left office. Former governors general also qualify for a pension of more than $140,000, the federation said. "Two years ago, the prime minister said he would review this program," said federation director Aaron Wudrick. "Nothing has happened since. It's time to save taxpayers money by scrapping this outrageously wasteful program." The Senate recently agreed to pay $498,000 in compensation to nine former employees of ex-senator Don Meredith, who was accused of sexually harassing, belittling and humiliating his staff. LeBlanc said there's been no consideration thus far — and no mention in the report — of paying compensation to Rideau Hall employees, some dozen of whom complained anonymously to the CBC about Payette yelling at, belittling and publicly humiliating staff, reducing some to tears and prompting some to quit. He said such questions will be handled by senior federal officials, who are planning to talk with all employees at Rideau Hall to plan next steps. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Mike Blanchfield and Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
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. The Associated Press
The Town of St. George has voted to approve an amendment to allow residential uses on the second floors of its downtown stretch. A public hearing and third and final reading of the bylaw were held on Jan. 11 at a regular council meeting, where the amendment to the bylaw was passed, according to town CAO Jason Gaudet. "We have a very great need for housing and rental space in St. George so allowing some of the properties to allow rental apartments in the area would be a big help to a lot of people in St. George and the area," said Pat Wilcox, Realtor for Fundy Bay Real Estate. Wilcox, who's been a Realtor in St. George for 30 years, said Charlotte County is in a "crunch" and there are not many properties on the market. She said there's a need for affordable housing for the working-class person. Xander Gopen, planner with the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission, discussed the amendment at the public hearing on Jan. 11. St. George's C1 downtown commercial area didn't allow for residential uses under four units and on the second floor unless they are grandfathered in. Therefore, a building or development permit can't be issued for the residential use, he said. The main reason for this amendment is connected to a resident's request for an exterior staircase to second floor residential use in zone C1. The previous zoning bylaw's restrictions on new second-floor residential use couldn't allow the new development. C1 covers mostly Main Street in St. George. Gopen noted in his presentation to council that some policies in the municipal plan state that the town should be increasing residential opportunities. In addition, he said the town's the municipal plans stated mixed used developments in the downtown area should be encouraged as long as the first floor is dedicated to commercial, office, institutions or retail space. "You want to have mixed uses, you want to have residential uses in that downtown commercial zone, you just don't want them on the ground floor," he said in summary. Town CAO, Jason Gaudet, said there are several residential units in the second floors of the downtown commercial zone which have existed since before the first zoning bylaws in the '80s and been grandfathered in ever since. He said this amendment makes those units conform to the zoning bylaws. "This pairs with the reality that is there ... [The amendment] doesn't say that Main Street is going away." He said he's not sure if it will help the need for housing in St. George. According to the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission’s 2020 Municipal Housing Study, in which St. George contributed 41 entries, 43 per cent of respondents experienced higher than average difficulty finding the right home and 67 per cent found there was an extremely low availability of rental housing. Nineteen per cent of respondents consider their shelter costs in the town unaffordable. That study collected data from landlords and renters in Grand Manan, McAdam, Campobello, Blacks Harbour, Saint Andrews, St. Stephen, St. George and Harvey. The study surveyed 352 residents made up of 85 renters and 267 homeowners. A total of 80 landlords were also spoken to for the study. The service commission held the study by forming a working group with representatives from Vibrant Communities Charlotte County and community developers working within Horizon Health. Gopen said the request for the staircase brought up some more issues that the commission will "definitely" be looking at. "We'll be thinking more about this. [For example] how to structure the downtown with mixed uses [and if] are there other types of uses? But those are bigger questions and should be looked at more fully." The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Recent turmoil in Kahnawake required the Task Force to clarify safety measures that were put in place. Starting on December 31, Directive # 55 mandated that all non-essentials stores be closed until the end of January. This measure included tobacco stores while allowing convenience stores to continue selling cigarettes strictly to Kahnawa’kehró:non. “The Task Force decided to close retail stores, which includes cigarette/tobacco stores, as they often cater mainly to non-local clients and are therefore at risk of increasing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the community,” said Frankie McComber, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake lead liaison for the Task Force, in a press release. The executive director of Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre (KMHC) Lisa Westaway said that the decision was met with a strong response. She explained that there was a big outcry in the community, as people felt like the tobacco industry was being targeted. On January 15, the Task Force announced that stores that met certain requirements, such as selling a significant amount of food, essential toiletries and cleaning products, could be reclassified to remain open. As a result, some tobacco stores have requested to be categorized as convenience stores. “There are many businesses that have rebuilt themselves differently in order to survive during the pandemic,” said Westaway. “I think it’s part of innovation and growth, we all have to adapt.” One of the stores was the tobacco shop on Highway 132 that had received more than $15,000 in fines for going against the measures. Under the new classification, it was allowed to remain open - a decision that was also met with disagreement. “This has nothing to do with politics, these decisions are about safety,” said Westaway, in response to the backlash they received for allowing stores to be reclassified as convenience stores. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) issued a statement in which it explained that decisions are made on a daily basis “to the best of everyone’s abilities and based on the best information available.” The Task Force also implemented new measures regarding outdoor rinks. Starting on January 14, it is now required that only one household at a time be found at any rinks across the territory. The decision was taken after the presence of a positive COVID-19 case was reported on January 10 at the town rink, along with several other community members. “The Local Public Health Team is unable to identify all potential contacts and therefore is asking any person who was at the town rink during those times to self-isolate until the end of the day on Sunday, January 24,” read an MCK statement. All Kahnawa’kehró:non need to reserve their one-hour spot with the Sports and Recreation Unit, who will be monitoring the rinks. Kahnawake extended its state of emergency for an additional 30 days, but the recent safety measures remain effective until January 31. firstname.lastname@example.org Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
CALGARY — The leader of a group promoting Indigenous participation in oil and gas development as a solution to poverty on reserves says the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline by U.S. President Joe Biden is a major setback.Dale Swampy, president of the National Coalition of Chiefs, says the decision means fewer jobs in the short term for Indigenous people in constructing the pipeline and supplying goods and services for it.He adds it also implies more long-term unemployment for those who work in exploring and developing conventional and oilsands projects in Western Canada because it impedes investment in production growth.The end of the pipeline means Natural Law Energy, which represents five First Nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, will no longer be able to make an equity investment of up to $1 billion in Keystone XL, as well as a plan by builder TC Energy Corp. to make similar deals with American Indigenous groups.But Swampy, a member of the Samson Cree Nation in central Alberta, points out that the impact on Indigenous people goes beyond that, noting that four of his five sons work in oil and gas but one of them has been unable to find a job in the current downturn.In a report published in December, energy industry labour data firm PetroLMI said about 13,800 self-identified Indigenous people were directly employed in Canada’s oil and gas industry in 2019. That's just over seven per cent of total industry employment, compared to three per cent in other industries."It's quite a blow to the First Nations that are involved right now in working with TC Energy to access employment training and contracting opportunities," said Swampy. "Within Alberta, First Nations are pretty closely entrenched with all of the activities occurring with the oil and gas industry. Any change, especially a big change like this, really affects our bands' ability to keep our people employed."Swampy is a former CEO of the Samson band. The coalition he heads was created in 2017 by Indigenous equity partners in the cancelled Northern Gateway pipeline and has a membership of about 80 bands.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP) The Canadian Press
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada Post is telling customers to expect delivery delays due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a key mail facility in Mississauga, Ont., that has sickened dozens of workers. A spokesman says testing at the Dixie Road site has found 39 positive COVID-19 cases over the last three days. Canada Post says 182 workers at the site have tested positive since the start of the new year. Spokesman Phil Legault says the Mississauga facility is central to the crown corporation's entire national delivery and processing network. Legault says the plant continues to operate and process heavy incoming parcel volumes, but there will be delays. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
A Pineview resident is fighting back against the Fraser-Fort George Regional District's attempt to get him to remove more than 100 vehicles stored on his property. The FFGRD filed a notice of claim in December seeking a court order to compel him to remove the vehicles or allow the FFGRD to do it for him, saying the collection violates the regional district's zoning and unsightly premises bylaws. But in a response filed January 7 at the Prince George courthouse, a lawyer acting on behalf of the property owner maintains the collection remains within the boundaries of the law. On whether the collection makes the property unsightly, lawyer Dan Marcotte says all of the vehicles are contained within a fully enclosed compound and cannot be seen by anyone standing outside the property line or the view is so slight it makes no difference. On whether the zoning bylaw is being violated, Marcotte casts doubt on the bylaw's clarity and maintains the collection is "consistent with an incidental to the permitted uses" of the property's rural residential zone. The FFGRD claims that as recently as mid-November, there were as many as 140 vehicles on the property and that at least 23 of the vehicles had significant damage, at least 22 vehicles were without valid licence plates and that several piles of vehicle parts and other material were found on the property. It is seeking an order that he lower the count down to 10 vehicles, of which no more than two can be derelict, and to remove all of the piles of parts and rubbish. Marcotte says his client restores vintage Ford pickup trucks, rebuilds cars to race in "hit to pass" and stock car events at the Prince George Auto Racing Association Speedway and carries out minor repair work as hobbies on the property. "Many of the motor vehicles are used by the defendant, from time to time and as needed, for parts in the restoration of his vintage vehicles or in the rehabilitation of vehicles in hit to pass racing events or stock car racing events," Marcotte says. The allegations have not yet been tested in court. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
Two Vancouver residents travelled to Beaver Creek, Yukon, on Thursday and were able to get doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the mobile vaccination clinic there. Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker, who said he learned about the situation late Thursday, confirmed the news to CBC on Friday. "I'm very, very frustrated," he said. According to Streicker, the two individuals filled out self-isolation declaration forms upon entering Yukon but then didn't comply with them. Members of the mobile clinic team alerted Yukon Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) officers about the situation after the fact, according to Streicker. Two intercepted at Whitehorse airport Officers were then able to intercept the individuals at the Whitehorse airport. The minister couldn't confirm if they were leaving the territory at the time. A man and a woman from Vancouver have since been charged with two counts each under the CEMA — failure to self-isolate, and failure to follow a declaration. The maximum fine for CEMA violations is a $500 fine for each charge, and up to six months in jail. Streicker said the government immediately alerted Yukon RCMP about what happened. He could not confirm how the two were able to travel to Beaver Creek, which is near the Alaska border about 450 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse. Allowances for out-of-territory vaccinations He said the fact that the two didn't have Yukon health cards wouldn't have excluded them from getting Moderna doses. There are Yukon residents who still hold out-of-territory health cards, he explained, and there are also certain allowances for workers from out-of-territory to get vaccinated. "I don't think the problem is so much that a couple of vaccines have been used up that were meant for Yukoners," Streicker said. "I think the problem is if someone thinks that they can come here to get a vaccine, that concerns me, and if they do so in a way that puts people at risk, that really concerns me, so I'm sure there'll be lots of conversation to come." I'm pretty angry at the whole thing. - Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker "I'm really upset at these individuals," he said. "Effectively what they did was they put our community and our isolation team at risk. "I'm pretty angry at the whole thing." Yukon is currently prioritizing vaccinations for people in care homes, jails and border communities, like Beaver Creek, because there's a greater risk of people travelling in and out of the territory. Streicker said he's spoken to health and social services deputy minister Stephen Samis, as well as the mobile vaccination teams about the situation, and that the government is looking for other ways to "be alert" and prevent a situation like this from happening again.
La fin de l’année 2020 a marqué, sans tambour, ni trompette, la dissolution de l’équipe du Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel, ainsi que par un hommage rendu aux femmes qui ont tant lutté lors de ces événements difficiles, avec des témoignages et un mémorial installé au cœur du village de Sainte-Scholastique. Et les membres du Comité estiment qu’ils ont su remplir les différents objectifs qu’ils s’étaient fixés. Grâce aux rencontres et événements tenus au cours des deux dernières années, ils ont su, définitivement, sensibiliser la population face aux expropriations vécues à Mirabel. Leur mandat était également de faire connaître aux jeunes cette histoire marquante, souligner l’importance de l’implication des femmes dans le mouvement et, au final, renforcer la solidarité qui s’est développée entre différentes générations. «Un autre de nos objectifs était de réunir les gens; les victimes des expropriations, leurs proches, descendance, ainsi que tous concitoyens, touchés ou non, désireux de se réunir et d’en apprendre davantage», de lancer, en entrevue, Martine Raymond, maintenant ex-présidente du Comité de commémoration et fille de feu Jean-Paul Raymond qui a été à la tête du Centre d’information et d’animation communautaire (CIAC) qui a revendiqué la rétrocession des 97 000 acres de terres expropriées en 1969. Le devoir de mémoire Mme Raymond se souvient de plusieurs moments qui ont marqué l’existence de l’organisation. Elle se rappelle, entre autres, de deux soupers-bénéfices qui ont permis de réunir des expropriés; de 200 à 300 au total. «L’activité tenue au Complexe du Val d’Espoir, dans le secteur de Saint-Janvier, fut une grande chose, se remémore l’ancienne présidente. Nous avons reçu plus de 300 personnes, des expropriés et des membres de la relève. Ce fut également le lancement d’un album commémorant les expropriations, qui s’est vendu à environ 300 exemplaires!» On se souvient que, le 22 novembre 2019, le Comité de la commémoration a procédé au lancement de ce livre intitulé «La bataille des expropriés (1969-2019)», lequel raconte des faits saillants de l’expropriation qui a marqué les cinq dernières décennies. Le bouquin vulgarise des moments importants de l’histoire locale et régionale, le tout complété par de belles photos d’archives. Ce travail de moine fut celui de Suzanne Laurin, elle-même touchée par les expropriations. «Lors de cette rencontre, nous avons invité des gens expropriés sur scène, ceux de la première heure. Ils étaient émus de voir toutes les personnes réunies, surtout ces jeunes intéressés, touchés et concernés par cette page d’histoire», ajoute Mme Raymond. À cela s’ajoute d’autres moments marquants, dont un défilé de douze tracteurs dans le secteur de Sainte-Scholastique (13 avril 2019), la présentation d’un documentaire et une période d’échanges avec les réalisateurs (12 avril 2019), une conférence de presse en présence d’élus et de dignitaires (27 mars 2019), ainsi que l’hommage aux femmes (11 décembre 2020). L’ex-présidente se dit, en sommes, très fière des accomplissements du Comité. Il s’agit bien d’une implication citoyenne qui laissera ses traces dans la mémoire collective et régionale. Selon Mme Raymond, le mémorial installé en hommage aux femmes est un exemple physique de l’héritage laissé qui permettra aux générations, actuelle et future, de se rappeler. Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil