Several people were injured and one person was killed in central Vienna amid exchanges of gunfire on Monday, police said. But it was not clear whether the nearby synagogue and adjoining offices had been the target of the attack.
Several people were injured and one person was killed in central Vienna amid exchanges of gunfire on Monday, police said. But it was not clear whether the nearby synagogue and adjoining offices had been the target of the attack.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
COVID-19 outbreak at St. Martin school continues to grow. The outbreak was first declared at the elementary school in Smithville on Nov. 19. Two new cases were added on Nov. 23, bringing the total to four. The Niagara Catholic District School Board said there are now nine cases. The school has been in official outbreak status since last Thursday when the second case was confirmed. The first case was confirmed Nov. 13. NCDSB said since that time, the number of new cases at the school as grown to nine; however not all the cases so far have been linked to the outbreak, as their origin has not been determined. Niagara Region Public Health continues to investigate the situation. Two classes at the school will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days a result of the newly reported cases. Public health said they are not recommending St. Martin close at this time, as the virus is not widespread through the school community. Onsite testing will be available at the school on Thursday for staff who have not yet been tested and will be provided by public health. NCDSB said testing for staff at St. Martin is recommended, but not mandatory, while any parents of students who wish to have their children tested should do so at a an approved testing centre in Niagara.Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News
The government of the Northwest Territories is extending the public health emergency until Dec. 8, it announced in a press release Wednesday.Julie Green, the minister of health and social services, made the decision on the advice of N.W.T. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola, according to a press release issued Wednesday.It is the 18th time the government has extended the public health emergency, which gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders. It also allows the government to respond to needs for personal protective equipment, isolation space, enforcement and travel checkpoints during the COVID-19 pandemic."The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated considerably across Canada in recent weeks as the country's caseload surged to its highest point in the pandemic," the news release reads.According to the N.W.T. government's latest statistics, there have been 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all of which have recovered.As of Wednesday, the N.W.T. is currently the only province or territory in Canada without any active cases of COVID-19.Public health emergencies expire in two weeks unless they are extended by the minister of health of health and social services.
A provincial court judge in Wynyard has set Jan. 12 as the date for former music teacher Gerard Loehr to be sentenced for his three sexual assault convictions. Judge Lloyd Stang found Loehr guilty on Nov. 13 of sexual assaults committed while working as a music teacher with the now-defunct Shamrock School Division in the early to mid-1990s. The case returned briefly to court this week to set a sentencing date. The school division covered the Foam Lake area, between Wynyard and Yorkton. Six former students, all women now, accused him of sexual assault when they were teenagers, all 14 years old or younger. Loehr was in his late 20s and early 30s at the time. He previously pleaded not guilty and the charges went to trial in Wynyard over the summer. Loehr is facing multiple sex-related charges in Ontario related to his work as a music teacher in Ottawa. — with files from The Canadian PressEvan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
A request for the names, addresses and Farm Business Registration (FBR) numbers of Ontario farmers has been withdrawn. According to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), a Freedom of Information request (FOI) asking for potentially sensitive information on farmers in the province has been withdrawn following a period of mediation led by the OFA and supported by their legal counsel. Initially received by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in June, the FOI request was made by an unknown individual and sought to access a list of Ontario farmers that included the names of their businesses, where they were located and their FBR number, an identifier that’s is issued to any farm businesses in Ontario that make declare a gross farm income of $7,000 or more. An FOI request can be made by members of the public under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which says “every person has a right of access to a record or a part of a record in the custody or under the control of an institution,” with exceptions. OFA president Keith Currie celebrated the FOI withdrawal, citing concerns around how the information in the FOI could have been misused to harm farm owners’ businesses. “Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” Currie said. “We are very pleased to report that the matter has been resolved, the FOI has been dropped and we can move forward with the significant priorities of the Ontario agriculture sector.” While there was no evidence that the names and FBR numbers that stood to be acquired through the FOI were planned to be used maliciously, the OFA and other farm organizations in the province moved quickly to stall the request when it was first made, citing concerns that bad actors could use the information on a large scale, targeting businesses with protests or making their information public to others. Additionally, online sources speculated that the information could be used to create a database like one created in Australia following a similar information request. That database was subsequently used by activists to stage protests around the country. At the time the FOI request was still pending, Rainy River Federation of Agriculture (RRFA) president Lisa Teeple noted that while the request in and of itself wasn’t reason for area farmers to panic, the uncertainty of who was requesting the information and what they intended to use it for caused the most concern. “The original request, we don’t know where it came from,” Teeple explained at the time. “Who was asking for this information? Is it a university study looking to do a study on farm economics? Is it a think-tank group and how they market more to farm businesses? We don’t know. Is it an environmental activist group? That potentially gives a reason for pause, because we are in a business where environmental and animal activists have been known to be destructive. The big thing is ‘who asked for it’? We can’t find that out.” The OFA, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO and the National Farmers Union–Ontario (NFU-O) collaborated to file a formal appeal against the FOI before the request was withdrawn.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
COVID-19. En date du 23 novembre, 3492 cas actifs de COVID-19 (2847 élèves et 645 membres du personnel) étaient rapportés dans 1023 établissements préscolaires, primaires et secondaires du Québec. Par conséquent, un total de 1139 classes sont fermées. Les élèves concernés suivent donc leurs cours à distance. Le nombre total d’écoles comptant un ou des cas positifs rapportés avec diagnostic depuis le début de l’année scolaire est de 1999. Notons que l’on peut consulter la liste des écoles concernées sur cette page publiée par le gouvernement du Québec : https://cdn-contenu.quebec.ca/cdn-contenu/adm/min/education/publications-adm/covid-19/reseauScolaire_listeEcoles.pdf?1600113647 Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Dr. Juveria Zaheer eagerly volunteered to work the sleepless overnight shift on the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health’s new emergency department. Other clinicians, she said, requested the same. “There’s just so much excitement happening,” said Zaheer, a psychiatrist at CAMH. This excitement is driven by the long-awaited unveiling of two new buildings at Canada’s leading mental health hospital: a new emergency department and a state-of-the-art recovery complex at CAMH’s Queen Street West campus, both featuring central themes of bright, open space and natural light. The new spaces are part of an ongoing, ambitious redevelopment plan that began in 2006 to integrate CAMH into one campus and build a vision for what the future of mental health care could look like, CAMH’s CEO Catherine Zahn said. The goal, Zahn said, is for CAMH to move away from an institutional environment by building a bridge with the community that surrounds it, lending to “the acceptance of mental illness, not as something that’s behind walls anymore,” but something that is central to the overall health of the community. “There’s no health without mental health,” Zahn said. Over a two-day period starting Wednesday, more than 200 patients were to be transported from the old building on College Street to the new buildings: The Crisis and Critical Care Building, which includes the new emergency department, and the McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building. It’s a challenging feat due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but one that proved to be timely due to the new buildings’ abundance of space. “Moving into these new spaces is actually extremely desirable for us during the pandemic,” Zahn said. The new emergency department is double the size of the old one and features more spacious patient rooms, each equipped with a private bathroom, which will limit the sharing of common spaces. As of Tuesday, CAMH had two patients and seven staff who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the hospital’s website. Zahn said patients will be transported to the new building with the help of moving companies who are following rigorous sanitation procedures to ensure a safe move. The move includes COVID-19 positive patients, where Toronto Public Health was also consulted. In addition to more physical space, the Crisis and Critical Care Building features an outdoor terrace for patients to access fresh air, and more rooms for group therapy sessions and other recovery programs. It also offers more space dedicated to triaging patients. “In our current space, I’ll walk into the (emergency) department and there will be people in rooms, but there will also be people in stretchers and people sitting in seats and sleeping there,” Zaheer said. “Having more rooms will make a world of a difference.” There are 235 new patient beds in total between the new Critical Care Building and the Complex Care and Recovery Building. This includes an increase of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units from nine to 41 — more than quadrupling the previous capacity of beds that were fully at use by both CAMH and patients from other area hospitals. Alongside housing patient beds, the McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building will also serve as a unique, transformative hub for patients to learn life skills needed on their path to recovery. Part of this is a “therapeutic neighbourhood,” which holds a laundry room, an exercise room and an industrial-sized kitchen affiliated with George Brown College, where patients can take classes and learn how to perform daily tasks. The building is also home to music and art studios for various forms of art therapy. Erin Ledrew, a recreation therapist at CAMH, said the McCain complex was created with the help of existing literature on what mental health care can and should look like, and will serve as “a central programming space” for patients. “I think that will create a real sense of community,” Ledrew said. The McCain building also features a library that is open to the public and tied to CAMH’s larger vision of connecting the hospital with its surrounding community. Both buildings also feature artwork from previous CAMH patients, some of whom are Indigenous and channelled their culture and recovery journey into their art. For now, patients will be engaged in physically distant in-person tours of the new space, while virtual ones will be offered simultaneously. Ledrew said the building is large enough to offer some programming in a safe and distant manner as well. “Right now, we have a hybrid model that will allow us to still offer all of that programming, while maintaining not mixing (units) and continuing to follow all the protocols during COVID,” Ledrew said. The hope is that the new buildings will offer better care for patients and their families while providing the space and facilities to guide them in life beyond their time at CAMH, Ledrew said. “We’re really trying to offer spaces for people to feel safe to explore the strategies that work for them in their recovery,” she said. Nadine Yousif is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering mental health. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Follow her on Twitter: @nadineyousif_ Nadine Yousif, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
The City of Toronto will ramp up winter maintenance so residents can spend more time outdoors.Mayor John Tory says the city wants people to stay active despite COVID-19, even in sub-zero temperatures. He says residents can spend time in parks alone or with members of their household during the lockdown.He says there are also 23 toboggan hills, eight new snow loops at golf courses and numerous outdoor ice rinks.The rinks will have a capacity of 25 people to follow provincial pandemic rules. The city will also maintain an extra 60 kilometres of paved trails and pathways."Much as the pandemic makes things different, we're committed to giving people more things to do outside safely," Tory said on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
The Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Wednesday said it would restrict capacities of large stores and certain other public places as it aims to slow the spread of COVID-19. Saskatchewan will require students and staff to wear masks in schools. Saskatchewan, like all western provinces, has seen rising cases in recent weeks.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Cargojet Inc. says it is preparing for record levels of online shopping over the holidays as Canadians buy gifts digitally during restrictions at brick-and-mortar stores, and is taking unprecedented measures to try to keep package deliveries on time.The Mississauga-based company says it is hiring additional pilots and staff, and added a new plane to its fleet this month for the second time this year.Cargojet says it has also added flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to build up 20 per cent more capacity for packages, a schedule that will continue during the peak shopping season from Black Friday to early January.The air cargo company says that when stores closed for the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April, cargo volumes easily surpassed levels that are usually only seen at the peak of the year — the holiday season. Now, Cargojet is predicting that volume this winter will top the spring, given that thousands of small businesses have opened online stores, and there is another wave of uncertainty around regional lockdowns. Statistics Canada also said this week that online sales are set to hit a record this year in Canada, topping 2019’s tally of $305 billion, after e-commerce doubled from February to May.“This peak is expected to be like none other,” Cargojet said on Wednesday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX: CJT) The Canadian Press
With a unanimous vote — and support of parents and stakeholders — the Calgary Board of Education decided Wednesday to close the National Sport School. But this isn't the end of the program for elite student athletes.Parents and stakeholders said they supported the CBE decision because it allows them the opportunity to transfer the program to the smaller Palliser School Division while remaining at the WinSport campus in northwest Calgary. "I am absolutely elated," said Kevin Barr, a member of the Parents and Supporters of the National Sport School."It's clear that the public school trustees recognized the value of the program but, unfortunately, the current economic climate precludes the CBE from funding it like it needs to be funded. And so we're greatly appreciative of them voting unanimously to close the school so that we can work on a transition plan to the Palliser School Division."Tom Hamer, deputy superintendent of the Palliser district, said next steps are to continue to work with the CBE and the families toward a "seamless transition.""I don't see there being any obstacles at this point. I think everybody is on the same page," he said. "The outcome that all of us wanted, both with Palliser and the CBE, was to be able to continue to offer high quality learning and athletic opportunities for students. Certainly the CBE making their decision today allows us to take a more formal role."Hamer said the school division is well versed in operating small schools. "We are, for the most part, a division of small schools. That's what we're focused on doing, and those are the kind of programs that we run. We run small high school programs," he said."Furthermore, we also run a very robust online program called Palliser Beyond Borders, and that kind of system will serve kids that are training offsite or out of the country very well in terms of their continuity of learning."CBE board chair Marilyn Dennis said that while she's confident the alternative plan suggested by the board — accommodating the students at Bowness High School — would have met student needs, it was clear that having the school on the WinSport campus was invaluable to the students and their families. "It is also clear that this is not a viable option for the CBE any longer," she said. "The priority for these families is not so much what school board they are associated with, but rather that they continue to access the services and supports available to their children at WinSport."Dennis said the CBE is very proud of the legacy it has created with the National Sport School (NSS)."It is a testament to the CBE's longstanding commitment to support students in their unique abilities. Students, parents, sport and community stakeholders speak highly of the National Sport School and the support it offers the student athletes who attend this school," she said.The CBE previously began the process to consider the closure last January, but it ultimately aborted that plan after the school community asked for more time to consider other options that might be available.The CBE agreed to continue operating the program for one more year, but with a reduced level of funding. Addressing the trustees prior to their vote, Phil Graham, vice-president of WinSport, said the negative effects of this reduced level of funding in a small school and on the student athletes has been quite apparent this year."Despite the heroic efforts of the NSS teaching staff to mitigate the negative impact, continuing to operate the school in this reduced manner is not sustainable and will likely result in a high student and staff turnover and ultimately an inability to keep this 26-year vision and mission alive and thriving," he said."We do not view this outcome as reasonable and in the best interests of the student athletes.… We strongly oppose the CBE continuing to operate the NSS at a reduced level of funding. Transitioning the NSS's operations to Palliser is an innovative win-win-win solution." In a recent public engagement, the CBE said it received 58 written statements from parents, various athletic associations locally and nationally, as well as from the city and parent groups."It is very unusual that the near unanimous consensus of those writing to the board is in favour of closure of a school," said CBE trustee Trina Hurdman. "But this is where we are today, because the community has recognized that the CBE is not in a financial position to be able to sustain the program at the level that is necessary for these student athletes to thrive."The CBE has previously said that should the school successfully transfer to Palliser, it would be happy to allow it to continue to use the same name. The National Sport School will no longer be a CBE school as of June 30. Hamer said the plan is to have it reopen under the Palliser banner in September."We're very excited with the opportunity and we're excited to continue to work with the CBE and the NSS to ensure that we have kids getting high quality education in the province of Alberta."
P.E.I.'s Department of Justice and Public Safety says it is dealing with a spike in people seeking approval to come to the Island.Officials say since the closure of the Atlantic bubble and the chief public health officer's recommendations to not travel during the holidays, the province has seen five-times the amount of inquiries.Justice and Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson says the province was bracing for a spike following the announcement P.E.I. was pulling out of the Atlantic bubble because of increased COVID-19 cases in neighbouring New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He says people need to be patient, adding the province will get through the backlog within the next couple of days. "We've been doing this for almost eight months now and as every announcement comes there's an influx of inquiries, applications," said Thompson. "So to address this announcement Monday we've brought in six new staff to deal with some of the backlog."On Monday, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer announced P.E.I. was pulling out of the Atlantic bubble and said Islanders should only travel outside of P.E.I. for essential purposes or work. 'They haven't received an approval or denial'Anyone who needs to travel to the Island, including residents of Atlantic Canada, now has to apply for pre-travel approval.Island residents do not require pre-travel approval, but will be required to self-isolate 14 days once they return to the Island. Frustrations over the growing wait times spilled over onto the floor of the P.E.I. Legislature Wednesday. Cory Deagle, PC MLA for Montague-Kilmuir, said he had been contacted by a couple that had been waiting 168 hours for a response, much longer than the 72-hour response time the province tries to achieve.The couple is moving from B.C. to his district, and the couple's parents — who have also reached out to him — are his constituents.Deagle said they first sent their letter to the province on Nov. 18, long before P.E.I. pulled out of the Atlantic bubble. He said the couple was asked for more information on Nov. 21. "It's now Nov. 25 and they haven't received an approval or denial letter and they are travelling across Canada," said Deagle.'What they are going to do when they get here?'"They received approval to enter New Brunswick but they don't know about P.E.I. What they are going to do when they get here?"Thompson said he would get the name of the family and follow up immediately to ensure they have an answer before they get to the Confederation Bridge.Deagle said the family is growing increasingly frustrated."These two individuals are travelling across Canada, they said today they tried calling, no one's answering the phone, they tried leaving voicemail but the inbox is filled."Thompson did admit wait times have increased significantly because of the closure of the Atlantic bubble."We will be back to 72 hours very soon," Thompson said from the floor of the legislature. 'I hate making politics out of something so important'But Deagle fired back saying, "You shouldn't have to contact your MLA to find out if you can get approval to come to P.E.I."Thompson then took a shot at his PC colleague."This is a very important question and I hate making politics out of something so important," said Thompson. "I sat beside this member in caucus, I wish he had brought this to me then."In an interview after question period, Deagle said he makes no apologies for raising the concerns of his constituents."The premier has said that we can ask tough questions, even though it's our own party, we can ask tough questions that are important to our constituents and Islanders," Deagle told CBC News."We've never been told one way or another to not do something, if we feel it's important and we want to ask it, we can ask the questions."More from CBC P.E.I.
OTTAWA — The head of a Canadian biotech industry association says Canada can and does make vaccines — just not the ones expected first to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a firestorm Tuesday when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made.So while vaccinations might start next month in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, it will be January at the earliest before any doses are injected in this country.Canada, said Trudeau, "no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines" and it makes sense that the countries that do will prioritize their own citizens.Andrew Casey, the CEO of BioteCanada, told The Canadian Press Wednesday that Canada does produce vaccines but the technology for the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates is so new, the manufacturing capacity is being built alongside the vaccines themselves."This is the first time the technology has actually been applied," he said. "So you have to then build the facility to manufacture at scale, which is a challenge."While pharmaceutical company Sanofi has a vaccine plant in Toronto and GlaxoSmithKline has one in Quebec, both make protein-based vaccines, such as the more familiar ones Canadians get every year for the flu.Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines, and only one being developed jointly by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline uses the protein technology.The first two vaccines expected on the market, from Pfizer and Moderna, each use genetic material known as messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA. A third with promising trial results, from AstraZeneca, uses a modified common-cold virus that normally infects chimpanzees. Each type trains the human body to develop antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.Casey said a protein-vaccine maker can't just start making the bioengineered vaccines."One is like making wine, one's like making Coke," he said. "Yes, they both grow in bottles. Yes, you can drink both out of a glass. But the manufacturing processes used for the two is so completely different. You can't just say well, we'll shut down the protein one, and we'll switch over to the mRNA."Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner demanded in question period Wednesday that the government explain whether Canada had even tried to convince the companies to make their products here.Trudeau didn't answer, but if those negotiations happened, they have not been successful.Pfizer is expanding production facilities in Kalamazoo, Mich. and Puurs, Belgium to produce most of its vaccine. The company has said it is open to others manufacturing it, but that the technology is difficult to transfer.Moderna has a 10-year exclusive agreement with Swiss-based Lonza Group AC to make its vaccine, mainly in facilities in New Hampshire and Switzerland. Lonza chairman Albert Baehny said earlier this month the new technology meant Lonza had to remake its production lines "from scratch."AstraZeneca, which has promised three billion doses of its vaccine, has signed contract deals with at least two dozen manufacturers around the world to produce its vaccine but not in Canada.A spokesman for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the biomanufacturing sector has been declining in Canada since the mid-1980s."When this pandemic began Canada had no flexible, large-scale, bio-manufacturing capacity suitable for a COVID-19 vaccine," said John Power. He said Canada has been working with experts to address the issue and has made investments, including $140 million in a new National Research Council plant in Montreal.The NRC said Wednesday the Biologics Manufacturing Centre will be finished next July. It doesn't have an agreement yet to produce a specific vaccine, but is being built so it can produce several biologic vaccines, including of the type being made by AstraZeneca. It will not be able to make mRNA vaccines like those from Moderna or Pfizer.It is supposed to be able to produce two million doses a month before the end of 2021.A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline told The Canadian Press the company's Ste-Foy, Que., plant will be part of production of the GSK vaccine eventually but timelines and specifics aren't yet available.A Canadian-made vaccine from Quebec-based Medicago is also expected to be in production in Canada next year. Medicago CEO Bruce Clark said the company has been able to adapt a vaccine for influenza to target COVID-19 instead, noting such an adaptation is one of the advantages of biologic vaccines. But Clark said one of the disadvantages is that it's harder to transfer the technology of biologics to be made in other places.Medicago has facilities in Quebec and North Carolina and is building a new one in Quebec. The existing ones can make about 50 million doses by the end of next year, while the new plant will be able to do as many as a billion annually.The company has been talking to the federal government for years to get funding for a "full-scale manufacturing facility," he said. "We were not successful," said Clark. "It's really only been in the context of the pandemic that we've seen funds be freed up to commit to capacity in Canada."Last month Ottawa agreed to provide $173 million to Medicago for research on its vaccine and construction of an expanded facility. Clark said the 2023 completion date for the new plant could be bumped up with more money.None of the vaccines in question have finished clinical trials and all must also be approved by Health Canada before they can be used here.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
Liberal MLA Robert Henderson said he wants to know why the health minister isn't doing more to reduce the wait-list for a family doctor on P.E.I. In the legislature Wednesday, Henderson said the number of doctors being licensed in Canada is on the rise. But on P.E.I., there are still thousands waiting for a family doctor."We're just watching the patient registry, it's like a ticker it just keeps going up and up and up," Henderson said."So why is the minister of health struggling to recruit doctors?"The province recently contracted the Medical Society of P.E.I. to begin recruiting more physicians.The plan is to pay P.E.I. doctors to recruit other doctors to come practise on the Island, and it was negotiated over the last several months.The Health Department and doctors will form a physician recruitment task force. Doctors will consult with the government's existing recruitment team to come up with a marketing strategy, and create a "more efficient and positive" experience for doctors considering moving to P.E.I.P.E.I., like many jurisdictions in Canada, has been experiencing a shortage of doctors and other health-care professionals, and there is currently a waiting list of 14,530 patients on the patient registry seeking a family doctor on P.E.I., according to the province's website. "Islanders without access to a family physician, per capita it's actually the worst record in Atlantic Canada. Even this doctors-recruiting-doctors initiative will need to recruit a doctor to recruit other doctors, which takes a doctor away from providing health-care services to Islanders," Henderson said."When will Islanders expect to see the patient registry begin to decline?"Minister hopes to announce more doctors soonHealth Minister James Aylward said the wait-list does fluctuate, and the province is trying to improve the situation."It is a challenge to recruit doctors here on P.E.I., but you know we made a great announcement the other day for Tignish, which was lacking a family doctor for far too long," Aylward said.Last week, the heath minister announced Dr. Peter Entwistle will begin his practice at the Tignish Health Centre in February. He said the province also has letters of offer out to four other doctors that it's waiting to be signed and sent back.Aylward said government has also introduced other initiatives to help provide care to Islanders."We've done the virtual program with Maple, it has capacity for 10,000 patients to be connected to that service and so far the individuals that have accessed that service have had glowing, glowing reports," Aylward said.Aylward said the province still wants Islanders to have access to a doctor in person. He hopes to be able to announce some new doctors coming to the Island in the near future. More P.E.I. news
1st Lt. Jacob Lutz, a systems engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) program built a high-detail Lego model of the satellite that is set to launch in 2022. (Nov. 25)
“It’s an area that every… property owner, social worker and police officer has an opinion on, yet, rarely do you hear the voices that come from within,” says the description for a new album featuring music performed by Downtown Eastside residents. With songs including a wry rock ballad about failed love, a hopeful welcome to new life and a soulful country song about losing a loved one, the album is as diverse as the community. The album has been a labour of love for Eris Nyx, who first applied for funding a year ago and produced the record, named 100 Block Rock in honour of the 100 block of East Hastings. The album is now available for pre-order in digital form or on vinyl. A concert featuring the musicians will be livestreamed Dec. 11, the same day the record is released. Link here. “I think creativity is not only a good method for people to deal with themselves and the world, but it’s also just aesthetically pleasing — it brings about euphoria, as corny as that sounds,” Nyx said. “But I guess my underpinning motivation for wanting to do the record was just: ‘Look at all these cool musicians. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this?’” Nyx recently moved out of the Downtown Eastside, but she lived there for 10 years and is still involved in groups like the SRO Collaborative and the Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War. The album comes after a particularly hard year for the Downtown Eastside. The inner-city neighbourhood is dealing with the threat of rising COVID-19 cases, a spike in overdose deaths and the reduction in drop-in spaces and other services as part of pandemic precautions. In the midst of that struggle and grief, Downtown Eastside musicians went into a studio this September to sing and play their hearts out. After getting $4,000 in funding from Creative BC, Nyx started to search for musicians, posting on notice boards in community hubs like neighbourhood bars and the Carnegie Community Centre. Around 30 Downtown Eastside residents sent in demos, and then Nyx and a group of community members winnowed that group down to the 11 recordings that made it on to the album. Fundraising covered the rest of the total $10,000 cost to make the album, including a studio recording session. Nyx and her collaborators also produced extra items that will be available to people who buy a special edition of the album, including a print of the cover art by Ken Foster and a poster designed by graffiti artist Smokey Devil. Any profits will go towards making another album. “It’s really, sincerely our hope [to] keep the project going as an ongoing thing, so long as the neighbourhood [is] still standing,” Nyx said. Erica Grant sang ‘Go Rest High On That Mountain’ with her partner, Grant Houle. The song was a favourite of Grant’s son Duncan, who died this spring. Grant played a drum Duncan had made for her. “It allows you go over the hurdle of all the negative stuff you’re feeling,” Grant said. “It’s a way of letting my emotions out.” It’s also a way to push back against the negative stereotypes people often have about the neighbourhood. “There actually is a lot of talent down here, and a lot of caring people down here,” Grant said. Some of the musicians who perform on the album are amateurs; others worked or work as professional musicians. “The record itself is a real genre hodgepodge of people at varying levels of skill and history and relationships with music,” Nyx said. “I would say each artist on the record has their own story and background for what they’re doing.”Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
A Regina mother says she is noticing children, including her five-year old son, experiencing anxiety about COVID-19.Kara Gurski, a daycare operator, is rethinking how she talks about the illness around her son after seeing how scared he was after coming down with a stomach bug."He looked at me and said, 'Mom, I don't want the kids to know that I'm sick, because I don't want them to know I have the virus. Nobody will play with me if I have the virus,'" Gurski said."I just thought it was so profound because obviously to get COVID, that would be very undesirable. But I don't think it's any of our intentions as adults to make it seem like it's a bad thing, or makes that person bad."On top of the stigmatization, Gurski said there seems to be anxiety stemming from the frequent school closures and reopenings, and seeing kids missing because one classroom got shut down."I can see the kids asking different questions like, 'Are we going to be staying home again? What happens if I get sick? Will I die?'" she said."I do really encourage parents and care providers to be really open about the questions that our kids have around [COVID-19] and to watch their tone around the virus, just to eliminate a little bit of anxiety in the kids."Dr. Lila McCormick, a clinical psychologist in Saskatoon, said she believes Gurski is describing a fear of physical symptoms and the anxiety that comes with potentially contracting COVID-19 — something many adults and front-line workers face as well."Anytime something bad happens, we have a human nature... to look for something or someone to blame," McCormick said. "It helps us feel less vulnerable and less likely to have the same fate."As parents, we really want to model acceptance and compassion, focusing on the facts and helping our children realize that just because somebody gets [COVID-19]... doesn't mean that they've done anything wrong."The first way to help is to recognize if a child is experiencing anxiety, says McCormick.The signs can show in different ways, from different behaviour, to trouble sleeping or nightmares, or even physical symptoms like head or stomach aches, she said.The latter "can get tricky," she said, because the child's anxiety could be increased if they interpret the pain as a COVID-19 symptom.Once recognized, McCormick suggests guardians answer any questions their child may have about the illness, and do so in an honest, direct and simple way."We don't want to overwhelm them with information about it," said McCormick. "We want them to be able to ask more questions. But we also just want to be there as a sounding board or someone for them to talk to about those feelings that they have."Simple questions such as, 'Are you worried about anything at school?' or 'How are you feeling about what's going on with COVID-19?' can allow children to open up, she said.If they do respond and express their feelings, McCormick said guardians need to validate those feelings, let them know they are not the only child or person feeling that way and empathize with them.What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Une contrôleuse aérienne qui travaille de soir, une mannequin qui a voyagé dans les plus grandes capitales de la mode et une adepte de plein air qui a grandi avec un sac à dos sur les épaules. Et si je vous disais que toutes ces caractéristiques étaient rassemblées en une seule personne ? Oui, c’est possible ! Marie-Ève Bergeron a 29 ans et vit à Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs depuis quelques années. Enfant, elle a été initiée aux randonnées et aux montagnes dès son jeune âge. Le plein air a toujours occupé une place majeure dans sa vie. « Mes parents me trainaient partout quand j’étais jeune. On voyageait surtout dans les Adirondacks et au Vermont. J’ai aussi vécu de 2 à 5 ans à Kuujjuaq dans le nord du Québec. C’est probablement l’endroit le plus nordique où je suis allée dans ma vie », raconte-t-elle. C’est il y a quelques années qu’elle a fait sa première randonnée seule durant une semaine dans le sud des Alpes françaises. « J’étais assez stressée de partir seule au début, mais j’ai vraiment adoré mon expérience ! Je dormais dans de petits refuges et le soir, il y avait des personnes qui faisaient des soupers. Comme c’était durant une période moins achalandée, je n’ai pas croisé beaucoup de monde. » Il y a deux ans, elle est partie pour le Népal ayant en tête le camp de base du Mont Everest. Sans trop y penser, elle a pris la décision de s’envoler pour l’Asie, seule, 10 jours avant son départ. C’était un voyage qu’elle rêvait de faire depuis longtemps. « Mon père me parlait souvent quand j’étais jeune du camp de base de l’Everest. On était même censés y aller à la fin de mon secondaire, mais ça n’avait pas fonctionné. Ça m’est toujours resté dans la tête, c’était un peu mythique comme endroit. » Elle a donc fait affaire avec une agence de voyages au Népal et elle est partie pour 20 jours en prenant en note quelques conseils à gauche et à droite. « Pour moi, partir seule fait partie de la découverte. Parfois, les amis n’ont pas toujours les mêmes disponibilités et je ne veux pas me restreindre parce que je ne trouve personne avec qui partir. Quand tu es seule, tu es plus ouvert à rencontrer des gens et à connecter avec eux. » Quand on lui demande ce qui la fait le plus sortir de sa zone de confort, Marie-Ève ne répond pas le Népal. Bien que dépaysant, elle relate que c’est plutôt le milieu de la mode en tant que mannequin qui l’a mise au défi. Dès l’âge de 18 ans, la jeune femme partait seule durant des périodes de quelques mois en Europe, même durant sa scolarité. « J’ai longtemps été déchirée entre mes études et le mannequinat. Mes agences n’aimaient pas trop ça parce que souvent, dès que ça commençait à bien aller en Europe, je quittais pour retourner à l’école. Ou encore, quand ils m’appelaient pour aller à un shooting, je me trouvais à deux heures de marche dans le bois ! Je pense qu’ils n’étaient pas habitués à ça. » Depuis 4 ans, elle travaille comme contrôleuse aérienne, un emploi qui lui permet d’avoir de la liberté à l’extérieur. « Même si ça peut être stressant par moments, quand je termine de travailler le soir, je n’ai plus à penser à ça, je n’ai pas de courriels qui entrent. Ça me permet de vraiment profiter de mon temps libre. » Ce travail lui permet aussi de vivre dans les Laurentides, un endroit qu’elle affectionne particulièrement. « J’aime aller marcher le matin, faire du vélo, aller promener mon chien. Quand j’habitais à Montréal, je faisais toujours des aller-retour pour venir jusqu’ici. » Pour son enfant, Marie-Ève souhaite lui transmettre cette passion pour le plein air, comme ses parents lui ont transmis ce mode de vie d’aventures et de montagnes. Malgré ses intérêts qui se sont parfois opposés au cours de sa vie, Marie-Ève a toujours trouvé une place et une importance pour chacun. Comme quoi les étiquettes que nous nous imposons parfois ne sont pas toujours la voie à suivre.Marie-Catherine Goudreau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
The town of Fort Frances is being asked to give our local bee population a helping hand next spring. At last Monday night’s town council meeting, mayor and councillors heard a deputation from Reagan Breeze of Dryden in regards to an initiative he is at the forefront of that aims to protect honeybees and give them every possible fighting chance to thrive as the weather begins to warm up in April and May. “We are looking at something that is more than climate change,” Breeze told council. “It’s a decline in our honeybees and as much as somebody may think that that is not that important, we have to understand the fact that there’s a lack of education about honeybees and what they give to us. Every time we have our supper or lunch or breakfast, it’s one third of our food source that comes from our pollinators and our honeybees.” As part of his efforts, Breeze asked the town to declare April and May as Honeybee Appreciation Month, something he said he’s seen movement on from other municipalities he’s spoken with, including Dryden, whose council passed a motion at the end of October declaring April and May of 2021 to be their own Honeybee Appreciation Months. In addition to asking the town to recognize special months for bees, Breeze also took aim at one of the town’s bylaws, asking that council work with him in order to provide a temporary easement of bylaw enforcement to allow more protection for bees. “Your bylaws are very easy... I appreciate that and amongst all of us other beekeepers within Ontario, in Canada... appreciate it as well,” Breeze said. “Within your regulations we also have your bylaws 3.03, subsection 3, which is the weeds for four inches of growth only. I am not asking for everybody within the Fort Frances area to grow a hay field, but I am asking for mayor and council, respectively, to have an easement to show remorse for the fact that we need to sustain our honeybees and our pollinators that are the most viable species for our existence.” According to the Town of Fort Frances bylaw 14/09, Section 3 (General Standards for All Property), subsection 3.03 declares: “Every yard, including vacant lots shall be kept free from: (3) long grass, brush, undergrowth and noxious weeds as defined by the Weed Control Act; a. all grassed and lawned areas shall be maintained to a maximum height of 100mm (4in).” Springtime is generally when honeybees emerge from their hives and are at their most active, with the Sioux Honey Co-op, located in Sioux City, Iowa, explaining that bees will use the season to expand their numbers following the cold winter months. “The first action of business for the colony as the weather changes is increasing its population in advance of summer’s warmth,” they explain on their website. “Spring is the busiest time of year for the bees, not only because of restocking food but it’s also the season when new colonies are started and established colonies re-emerge.” Part of the crop of flowers that bloom in those early months is the dandelion, which is an important food source for bees, but is also viewed as a pesky weed by many homeowners, some of whom go to great lengths to remove them from their yards. The easement of the bylaw would therefore allow homeowners in Fort Frances to grow their lawns out, along with any flowering plants in their yard, during the months of April and May when honeybees are trying to get back on their feet without potentially incurring a fine. Breeze also called on council to amend other parts of bylaws including references to injurious insects, which he said should be reworded in order to exclude honeybees from the likes of wasps and hornets. Honey is also a multi-billion dollar industry on a global scale, according to Breeze, which makes honeybees worth protecting and supporting on an economic level. Mayor June Caul thanked Breeze for his presentation to council and the recommendation was made that his request be presented to the Planning and Development Executive Committee for recommendation. At their meeting on Monday, November 16, the Planning and Development Executive Committee made the recommendation that the town proclaim April and May as Honey Bee Appreciation months in town, but that existing bylaws be left unchanged. The item will return to council at their November 23 meeting for a final decision.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times