Ellie absolutely loves going to the park! Check out her reaction after realizing she's just arrived.
Ellie absolutely loves going to the park! Check out her reaction after realizing she's just arrived.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A majority of Conservative MPs have voted to remove Derek Sloan from the party's caucus, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly about caucus business. The vote follows revelations Sloan accepted a donation to his leadership campaign from a white nationalist. Party leader Erin O'Toole initiated the caucus removal process late Monday after news of the donation surfaced. Sloan did not dispute he received the money but has said he was unaware of it, and it was unfair to expect him to scrutinize the backgrounds of all donors. Sloan was first elected to the Ontario riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington in 2019 and unsuccessfully ran for leadership of the party last year. His socially conservative views have been a thorn in the party's side and O'Toole had faced pressure for months to kick him out to prove the Tories are the moderate party the leader claims. More Coming... The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A new study links the fitness level of Canadian children to that of their parents. The StatCan analysis suggests a child's aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility all correlate to that of their parent. But there were differences when it came to the sex of each parent and child involved. Boys whose parent had "excellent" cardiorespiratory fitness had better cardiorespiratory fitness than boys whose parent had a "poor" cardiorespiratory fitness level. Girls whose parent had "excellent" flexibility had higher flexibility than girls whose parent had "poor" flexibility. But the correlation in cardiorespiratory fitness was only seen significantly in mother-and-son pairs; while a significant flexibility correlation was only seen in mother-son and father-son pairings. Grip strength was associated in all duos except father-son pairings. The study was based on data from the ongoing Canadian Health Measures Survey, and draws from a sample representative of children aged 6 to 11 years and their biological parents. Previous research also found associations between parents and children in obesity, physical activity and sedentary behaviour. StatCan notes the results should be interpreted with some caution since the aerobic test used by the study is only meant for adults. Researchers allow that it's possible the sample represents "a slightly healthier" subset of children. Researchers also note that analysis was limited to data where a birth parent also responded to the survey. These adults were more likely to be younger, have a bachelor's degree or higher education, come from a smaller household size, and have a household income of more than $100,000 than respondents to the ongoing survey who were not the birth parent. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
DAMASCUS – The cows are coming home to the virtual classroom as a Wellington North farm looks to engage young students with a connection to agriculture. Operators of Pfisterer Farm in Damascus, near Arthur, have created Farm School, which provides short one-minute educational videos about farm life geared towards Grades 1 to Grade 3 students. Jess Pfisterer, who runs the farm with husband Ryan, said she heard from parents and educators that online learning has been challenging especially when it comes to keeping children engaged. One of the farm’s mandates is to share knowledge, which Pfisterer said would mean visits to the farm. Of course this hasn’t been able to happen. She was partly inspired by the popularity of TikTok videos. “I kind of took that idea and mashed it with the Heritage Minute idea and thought why don’t we just come up with little minute snippets and post it online for educators and parents,” Pfisterer said. The videos are completely free for use and Pfisterer explained they tie into the Ontario School Curriculum for early elementary grades. “For Grade 1 that’s something along the lines of understanding the needs for animals, so that they need food, shelter and water,” Pfisterer said. Videos will be going up on Jan. 25 but a sample video provides a good example. Pfisterer introduces two cows, Elle and Red, and gives some facts about where they come from and the foods they eat. “It’s pretty basic, I mean we’re talking grades 1 to 3,” Pfisterer said. “That material was already going to be covered right? We just wanted to make sure that it lined up for easy consumption.” Farm School isn’t on any particular app or platform so it can be used anywhere by anyone. Pfisterer said making them on-demand and not live makes it easier for teachers to incorporate them into busy days. The Pfisterers have also offered to answer up to five classroom questions in video responses which furthers engagement between students and farmers. She noted her own experience of growing up in Guelph and only seeing farms on field trips as creating a bit of a disconnect of where food comes from and how it was raised. “There is an opportunity for us to kind of bridge that gap,” Pfisterer said. “I think as farmers we have an obligation to kind of share this, if that’s something we want to promote – local food, local farms.” Pfisterer also said she looks forward to eventually having groups once again visit the farms but these videos are a way to tell their story for the time being. The Pfisterer Farm School videos will be available starting Monday. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
COMMUNAUTÉ. C’est finalement un montant de 40 235 $ qui aura été amassé via Gofundme afin de créer une bourse d’études pour Jacob, le fils de l’urgentologue Karine Dion. «Je suis vraiment émue. Je pensais faire une petite campagne pour mon hôpital, mais c’est tout le Québec qui est solidaire pour aider Jacob et honorer la mémoire Karine», constate avec reconnaissance la Dre Geneviève Simard-Racine qui s’était d’abord fixé un objectif de 10 000 $ à recueillir pour créer une bourse d’études pour le fils de son amie. «Il y a eu aussi le 13 janvier, en soirée, un parcours commémoratif dans l’hôpital de Granby. Nos gens pouvaient se recueillir et déposer une étoile dans un cadre. Il y avait également un livre qui sera remis à David, le conjoint de Karine, où l’on pouvait laisser un mot», rapporte-t-elle. À son tour, la Dre Simard-Racine a invité «les aidants à accepter de se faire aider». Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
A 46-year-old Pictou County, N.S., man has been charged with multiple firearms offences after police say his attempt to euthanize his dog with a handgun ended up injuring another man. According to an RCMP news release, police responded to a complaint of a firearms discharge resulting in injury at 8:19 p.m. on Jan. 16. The release said the man was outside his Bigney, N.S., home when he tried to shoot his dog, which had bitten several people, but missed. The bullet struck a 21-year-old man inside the house. A subsequent search of the home resulted in the seizure of 29 long guns and nine handguns, according to police. The man was arrested and later released on conditions. The victim was taken to hospital and released with minor injuries. The dog is alive and was seized by animal control. The man is scheduled to appear virtually in Pictou provincial court on March 29 to answer to multiple firearms charges. MORE TOP STORIES
Last week, junior hockey teams scored $4 million in funding from the province to help get them through the pandemic. While that's good news for the hockey teams, there are those that are wondering where the funding help is for the arts. "I was taken aback that our government would shovel $4 million toward hockey," Brent Ghiglione told The Afternoon Edition's Garth Materie. Ghiglione, the director of bands at the University of Regina, said he voiced his concerns in a letter to Laura Ross, minister of Parks, Culture and Sport. On Friday, the provincial government announced $3 million in funding for Saskatchewan's five Western Hockey League teams and $1 million for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a statement that the hockey funding was done because junior hockey teams are a big part of the cultural fabric and local economies in Saskatchewan. "Really? It's a sport. How is this cultural?" asked Ghiglione. He'd like to see similar investments for things like music, visual arts and theatre. "There are lots of awesome organizations and musicians and artists in our province that are trying to figure out where their mortgage is coming from," he said. "And yet they can shovel off $4 million over to hockey so that they will be able to survive the pandemic." He said the cultural backbone of the community is the artists and the films and musicians. "I mean, how many freelance musicians are starving right now? "It's sickening. I'm not a hockey hater. I like sports. And I totally respect it. But it's sports. These are young, young men and ladies, I'm guessing, that are doing sport. And we've got people that can't pay their mortgage." For example, Ghiglione said, the Regina Symphony is playing small concerts in churches just to stay afloat. "I just think it's so short sighted by the government to only pick on one segment of our society. I mean, is the money going to go to the people that, you know, have the ear of the government? The government's supposed to be looking out for everyone." CBC has reached out to the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport for a response but have not received a reply.
Lundi, l’Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) a lancé une campagne afin de contrer l’intimidation dont sont victimes les élus. Le maire de Matane, Jérôme Landry, a profité de l’occasion pour révéler qu’il a reçu plusieurs lettres anonymes contenant des menaces d’agression physique. L’UMQ constate une « dégradation du climat politique dans de nombreuses municipalités ». Les réseaux sociaux sont notamment pointés du doigt par sa présidente Suzanne Roy comme vecteurs d’intimidation. Il n’est en effet pas nécessaire de chercher bien longtemps sur Facebook pour trouver des messages consternants dans lesquels se mêlent méchanceté gratuite, fausses accusations et insultes à l’endroit des maires et conseillers municipaux. Certains élus ont toutefois remarqué que cette campagne ne faisait pas le tour de la question. C’est le cas de Virginie Proulx, conseillère municipale de Rimouski représentant le district du Bic. « C’est important de valoriser le respect. Les attaques personnelles, ça n’a sa place nulle part, en politique comme ailleurs. Mais j’ai l’impression qu’il manque une partie dans leur campagne de sensibilisation, c’est celle qui touche les élus entre eux », note-t-elle. Par le passé, Mme Proulx a évoqué à plusieurs reprises l’intimidation dont elle aurait été victime lors de séances de travail du conseil municipal, tenues à huis clos, « où il n’y a aucun témoin, il n’y a pas de procès-verbaux, personne n’est filmé, il n’y a même pas d’ordre du jour public. Dans ces séances-là, il y a de l’intimidation qui se fait partout au Québec. » Elle a finalement été exclue de ces rencontres en mai dernier suite à un échange de courriels avec un citoyen Dans les derniers mois, la mairesse de Sainte-Luce Maïté Blanchette Vézina et l’ex-maire de Saint-Paul-de-la-Croix Simon Périard ont également affirmé que les réunions derrière les portes closes menaient parfois à de l’intimidation entre élus municipaux. « Tu comprends pas » Quelle forme prend cette intimidation? Personne ne le dira clairement, car si un élu victime d’intimidation rapporte des propos insultants ou menaçants qui lui ont été adressés par un de ses collègues, il brise la confidentialité des échanges et s’expose à des poursuites! À Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, Annette Rousseau a été suspendue pendant 10 jours de ses fonctions de conseillère municipale. La raison? Elle a répondu à une question d’un citoyen concernant les projets d’aréna dans la ville, alors que le conseil municipal voulait que ses intentions (discutées dans des rencontres à huis clos) restent inconnues de la population. Suite au référendum qui a finalement réglé cette question en novembre dernier, Mme Rousseau a démissionné. Sonnée par la défaite (elle défendait le non), elle ne supportait plus non plus l’ambiance autour de la table du conseil municipal, où elle se faisait régulièrement narguer et où elle constatait un manque de respect envers la population de son quartier, Notre-Dame-du-Lac. « Je me faisais dire des choses comme "Bon, elle s’en souvient plus…" ou "Non Annette, tu comprends pas" », se souvient-elle. Ces petites remarques ont fini par lui pourrir la vie. « C’était rendu qu’à partir du jeudi, je pensais aux réunions du lundi soir et je dormais mal. C’est quoi que je n’ai pas compris? Pourquoi je suis tout le temps une deux de pique? C’est parce que j’étais contre eux autres! » Tendre la main aux citoyens? Sans excuser les dérapages des citoyens fâchés, Virginie Proulx aimerait que les élus fassent un effort pour comprendre pourquoi la population est parfois frustrée. La pandémie et ses contraintes plombent assurément l’ambiance, mais ce n’est pas tout selon la conseillère du Bic : « Je suis convaincue que le manque de transparence peut choquer les citoyens. On le voit, la CAQ se fait attaquer là-dessus en ce moment. Les gens ont maintenant accès à tellement d’informations, vraies ou non, qu’on ne peut plus juste leur dire "Voici la vérité, avalez-la". Ils veulent avoir un peu plus accès à ce qui se passe. » D’autres élus arguent plutôt que si les débats du conseil municipal avaient lieu en public, cela nourrirait encore plus la machine à sortir les propos de leur contexte que sont les réseaux sociaux – le conseiller de Sacré-Cœur Sébastien Bolduc a notamment défendu cette position. Il existe également des craintes que des personnes se retournent contre un conseiller qui aurait voté contre leurs intérêts. Virginie Proulx n’est pas en désaccord. « Effectivement, dans certains cas, on peut avoir peur de représailles, par exemple d’un promoteur dont le projet a été rejeté. Ça peut alors être justifié de proposer un huis clos. » « Le problème, c’est que la totalité est à huis clos, poursuit-elle. Ça laisse une image d’opacité qui fait en sorte que les citoyens ont l’impression que quand ils apprennent la nouvelle, il est trop tard pour donner son avis. » À plus long terme, cela n’incite pas ces mêmes citoyens à se lancer en politique municipale, pense-t-elle également. En mettant l’accès sur les messages que les citoyens envoient aux élus, la campagne de l’UMQ ne risque pas de mener à un débat en profondeur. Elle élude également un autre aspect de l’intimidation : celle que des élus font parfois subir aux citoyens sous la forme de menaces de poursuites. Par exemple, à Saint-Vianney, le maire a déjà envoyé une mise en demeure à un groupe de résidents du village qui a créé une page Facebook pour surveiller les activités du conseil municipal.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
Overnight, St. Albert had six new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the city. On Tuesday, the province released new COVID-19 data, showing active cases in the city dropping from 173 on Monday to 157 on Tuesday, representing a drop of 16 active cases. Newly diagnosed cases climbed by six, from 1,824 to 1,830 on Tuesday. Recoveries jumped from 1,623 on Monday to 1,645 on Tuesday, representing an increase of 22 cases recovered. In Sturgeon County, active cases sit at 33, while 521 people have recovered from the virus since the pandemic began. Morinville has 22 active cases with 318 people having recovered from COVID-19. Across Alberta, there were 456 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed with 8,200 tests run. The positivity rate sits at 5.6 per cent, which Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said is still a high rate compared to the one- to three-per-cent seen in Alberta in the summer and fall. Hinshaw said the province isn't sure why so few people are getting tested but said it could be because fewer people are feeling ill. Hinshaw encouraged anyone who is feeling symptoms to get tested for COVID-19. There are current 154 active alerts in schools across the province with outbreaks in two schools, representing a total of six per cent of schools. There are 212 total cases linked to schools in the province. Hinshaw said hospitalizations remain high in Alberta with 740 people currently in the hospital and 119 of them in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). "Our health system is still under severe strain,” Hinshaw said. In the past 24 hours, another 17 deaths were reported to Alberta Health. As of Jan. 18, the province has given out 92,315 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
MONTREAL — Students at Montreal's Westmount High School spent Wednesday morning watching a former graduate ascend to one of the highest political offices in the world, with Kamala Harris's new post as U.S. vice-president sending a message that nothing is beyond reach."When we stay in the same high school for five years, it can make the world seem quite small," Ava Oxilia, a Grade 10 student at the school, said in a video call organized by the board."To know that she was in a very similar place to a lot of our students here, and then she reached one of the highest positions in the U.S. government, it's just incredible to believe anyone of us could obtain such a high position."Harris, 56, moved briefly to Montreal at age 12, attending Face and later Westmount High School before graduating in 1981.It was in those halls that Wanda Kagan, a good friend to Harris during her time in Montreal, met the new U.S. vice-president and even ended up living with her for a time. How many people can say they bunked with a vice-president, Kagan asked with a laugh on Wednesday as she said she was elated for her friend.“Anyone can make history, but only a great woman can write history, and that’s what she’s going to do,” Kagan said in an interview.Kagan said the pair became close friends, two children from biracial families navigating a bigger high school. “We were just trying to find our way, fitting in, and we just fit in together,” she said.Kagan would confide in Harris during those school years that she was being abused at home, and Harris’s late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, insisted she come live with them. “They just treated me like family. I just hung out with Kamala in her room listening to music, doing homework,” Kagan said. “They instilled a lot of my values that I carried on later in life.”After reconnecting in the mid-2000s, Kagan said Harris told her that helping her friend during their high school years inspired her legal career defending women and children from abuse.Kagan said she had no doubt Harris and her family helped shape her life. “But to know that I impacted hers was huge,” Kagan said. “She was a trailblazer back then, fighting for my rights, my dignity, my humanity.”The school has been paying close attention as Harris's political career took off, and on social media Wednesday it congratulated its illustrious alumna on her swearing-in as the 49th U.S. vice-president.Students streamed the inauguration during second period, with Grade 10 student A.J. Itovitch later describing the pride felt in seeing someone who walked the same halls rise to such heights."The energy has been absolutely palpable over the past few weeks at the school, and it's just so difficult to wrap our head around the fact that the 49th vice-president came ... right out of Montreal," the 15-year-old said. "We have been doing all we can just to take in all of this."Principal Demetra Droutsas said Harris's rise has been inspirational. "I want our students to really retain they should dream big, they should never limit themselves and they can do anything they set their minds to," she said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
While there were no crowds allowed to gather due to COVID-19 restriction, Biden’s inauguration did look similar to Trump’s in many ways.
The Nova Scotia Police Review Board is looking into claims from convicted murderer Christopher Garnier's family that accuse Cape Breton Regional Police officers of conducting an illegal arrest and seizure of evidence in 2017. Garnier was taken into custody for breaching bail conditions after failing to present himself to the municipal force at his mother's basement door in Millville, N.S. during a compliance check His mother, Kim Edmunds, said she does not believe police were at her home as they have stated. "I honestly don't think they were," Edmunds told members of the board's three-person panel. "When somebody knocks on the door, it wakes me up." Alleged breach In February 2017, while awaiting trial for murder, Garnier took a trip to Cape Breton, where his mother lives. He was allowed to live at his father's house in Bedford or at his mother's residence in Millville as part of his bail conditions. Garnier was to submit to regular compliance checks from either members of the CBRP and Halifax Regional Police. Before his trip, Garnier called a Halifax police answering service to advise he was going to stay at his mom's place, although he did not leave his cell phone number with the service at that time. A CBRP officer testified under oath at a bail revocation hearing that he went to the Millville home in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2017, but Garnier did not present himself at the door. A Supreme Court judge later ruled Garnier did not intentionally breach his conditions, as he was likely asleep. That same year, Garnier was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of off-duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell. Complaint launched Christopher Garnier's father, Vincent Garnier, is representing himself as a complainant at the police hearing into the actions of four officers. The men accused of misconduct are Const. Steve Campbell, Const. Gary Fraser, Const. Dennis McQueen and Const. Troy Walker. Each officer is represented by a lawyer, while a member of Cape Breton Regional Municipality's legal team is acting on behalf of the police organization. "We'll dig deep into the practices of the [CBRP] which I believe violate the constitution, violate the charter and violate aspects of the criminal code. Those are the informations I would like to bring forth over the next two weeks," Vincent Garnier said during a break in the proceedings. "The police, without a warrant, and without any consent of the property owners, accessed private property, walked into a private residence and placed a person under arrest." The board heard that photographs of the property were taken without the knowledge of the homeowner. Hearing continues Vincent Garnier said his family incurred more than $35,000 in legal fees as a result alleged breach. After his son's arrest, he filed a complaint with CBRP. An internal investigation found that if a breach had occurred, it was only minor. Members of the police review board, Hon. Simon J. MacDonald, Stephen Johnson and chair Jean McKenna are hearing arguments on both sides of the case at a Sydney hotel. Police will have a chance to explain their actions on the weekend in question once Vincent Garnier finishes calling witnesses. In total, 14 people are expected to testify at the hearing that is slated to run over two weeks. So far, the board has heard from Christopher Garnier's mother and stepmother, his uncle, and his former common-law partner. MORE TOP STORIES
MANCHESTER, England — Bernardo Silva finally broke Aston Villa’s resistance by scoring off Manchester City’s 36th effort at goal before Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty sealed a 2-0 victory on Wednesday that extended the winning run of the Premier League’s form team to six matches. An end-to-end match in which City lost Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker to injuries looked to be heading for a draw, despite the home team’s dominance, when Silva received a pass from Rodri and smashed home a shot from the edge of the area in the 79th minute. The goal was contentious because Rodri was returning from an offside position when he dispossessed Villa defender Tyrone Mings before releasing Silva. No offside was given, though, with the officials seemingly feeling a new phase of play had started when Mings controlled the ball on his chest before being picked off by Rodri. Villa manager Dean Smith was sent off for protesting against the awarding of a goal he described as “farcical” and “pathetic.” “I said to the fourth official, David Coote, ‘Did you get juggling balls for Christmas?’" Smith said, explaining when he was shown a red card by referee Jonathan Moss. “I don’t think any other manager would get sent off for that.” Gundogan wrapped up the win in the 90th minute by converting a spot kick after Matty Cash raised his hand to block a goalbound header from Gabriel Jesus. City moved above Leicester to the top of the league, although Manchester United can reclaim first place by beating Fulham later Wednesday. It was Villa’s first league match since Jan. 1, after which there was a coronavirus outbreak in the squad that led to the training ground being closed. Villa reported that nine players contracted COVID-19 in that period but Smith was able to field a full-strength lineup against City, with the squad only back in training since Sunday. Villa, however, was on the back foot for the entire match, which was played in driving rain, only holding on thanks to a series of last-ditch blocks and some fine goalkeeping from Emi Martinez. City is in its best form of the season, having won nine straight games in all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team in unbeaten in 15. “No one else has won five, six in a row but it’s still the first leg of the season," Guardiola said. "A lot of games to do but the important thing is that the feeling is good.” Walker was substituted with an apparent leg muscle injury in the 27th minute, while De Bruyne hobbled off in the 59th shortly after being fouled by Jack Grealish. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
European leaders described the 46th President's inauguration speech as "inspiring" and said it was time to bring "conviction and common sense" to help rejuvenate their relationship with the US.View on euronews
La tempête automnale du 1er novembre 2019 restera gravée dans la mémoire de bien des Cowansvillois. Et l’inondation qui l’a suivie laissera des marques permanentes sur le paysage du boulevard des Vétérans et de la rue Bonnette, à Cowansville. Quelques maisons ont disparu tandis que d’autres seront démolies dans les prochains mois en vertu d’un décret provincial qui permet à une municipalité de refuser l’émission d’un permis de rénovations et d’obliger la démolition. « Lorsque les gens de ces zones-là viennent nous voir pour des demandes de permis, on doit vérifier ce qu’ils veulent faire comme travaux et suivre le décret, explique Manon Moreau, inspectrice en bâtiment et règlementation à Cowansville. On a une certaine démarche à suivre et ça peut arriver que les travaux soient trop importants. À ce moment-là, on demande la démolition du bâtiment. » Ensuite, les propriétaires se tournent vers la Sécurité publique du Québec pour obtenir une subvention qui permettra de rembourser la perte de la propriété. Une entente est prise entre la Ville et les propriétaires privés pour que le terrain soit remis à l’administration. Avenir incertain pour les terrains vacants Deux adresses ont déjà été démolies sur le boulevard des Vétérans et la rue Bonnette. Les terrains ont été légués à la Ville. Des demandes sont en cours d’étude pour quelques autres immeubles. « À cause de la COVID-19, le délai a été prolongé. Le ministère a accepté que ça attende jusqu’à l’été, ajoute Mme Moreau, le temps que les gens se retrouvent une maison et se relogent. » Ce secteur est majoritairement composé de résidences unifamiliales, de jumelés et de duplex. Pour l’instant, la Ville n’a pas prévu de nouvelle vocation pour les nouveaux terrains vacants. S’ils étaient tous adjacents, un parc ou un accès à la rivière pourrait être envisagé, mais ces terrains sont éparpillés jusqu’à présent.Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
ATHENS, Greece — Lawmakers in Greece Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation to extend the country's territorial waters along its western coastline from six to 12 nautical miles. In the 284-0 vote, representatives of four opposition parties backed the centre-right government, while members of the Greek Communist Party abstained. Although the move does not directly affect an ongoing maritime boundary dispute with Turkey to the east, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament that Greece was adopting a more assertive foreign policy. “It's a clear message to those who are trying to deprive our country of this right,” Mitsotakis said. Greece’s western coastline faces Italy and borders Albania at its northern tip. But the expansion is aimed at underscoring the country’s right to implement the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which set the 12-mile limit in 1982. Greece and Turkey, neighbours and NATO allies, are at odds over sea boundaries and mineral rights in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean in a dispute that caused a tense military standoff last year. Under pressure from western allies, Turkey and Greece will resume talks aimed at reducing tensions on Jan. 25, restarting a process that was suspended five years ago. Turkey says an extension of Greece’s territorial waters eastward would be considered an act of war, arguing that Greek islands would effectively block its access to the Aegean. The longstanding dispute between the two countries has been fueled by the discovery of large offshore gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years. Greece has signed recent agreements with Italy and Egypt for the delineation of maritime exploration rights and is in talks with Albania to take a maritime boundary dispute to an international court. The Associated Press
The COVID-19 pandemic has been rough for many local businesses, with some entrepreneurs contemplating whether they can get through 2021. For others, it’s been a different story: Sales remained stable, or even grew. Businesses negatively affected include hair salons and personal services which were shuttered in mid-December. The order forcing the closures of these businesses lifted a few days ahead of the planned review Jan. 21, and personal services were allowed to re-open Monday. Callie Balderston, Beaverlodge and District Chamber of Commerce president, welcomed the Alberta government’s decision last week to reverse the closures. “Hopefully that is a telltale for what’s to come - more and more businesses can get up and running,” Balderston said. While hardware and grocery stores have been busy, restaurants have taken a hit and the government disallowed in-person dining in mid-December. Anna’s Pizza in Beaverlodge had closed its dining area long before, focusing on takeout since last March, said co-owner Wael Ammar. Ammar said Anna’s is doing the best it can. The closure of the diner, which could hold up to 50 people, caused “disturbance to the business.” “We had busy lunches we were depending on, which now we don’t have,” he said. Keeping dine-in service wasn’t financially viable, and Ammar said he didn’t want to risk exposing employees or customers to the virus. Currently, Anna’s has two full-time and one-part-time staff members; usually there are three and four respectively, Ammar said. He said he doesn’t oppose current restrictions because he supports their purpose. “They’re tough, but I think they’re necessary in order to get past this pandemic,” Ammar said. In comparison, Robyn Young, co-owner of Sexsmith’s Hippy Strings, said the business catering to knitters and crocheters is faring as well as it typically would at this time of year. “We’re lucky enough to have products people are using right now - they’re stuck at home and this gives them something to do,” Young said. Yarn, needles and kits have been popular items during the pandemic, she said. Customers are still able to come into the store without an appointment, but the restrictions have meant a limit of six at a time, she said. She said it was unlikely before the pandemic that Hippy Strings would have more than six customers at a time anyway. Young said Hippy Strings doesn’t have any issue with current restrictions, and even during the lockdown last spring the store could rely on its online offerings and deliveries. The store actually saw its business pick up during the lockdown, as she said January and February are slow months for Hippy Strings. Others stuck at home have turned their attention to renovations - something Del Wiebe, Beaverlodge Home Building Centre store manager, said has helped business. “People have been doing more work at home, and being insde those four walls, they’re seeing things they want to do,” Wiebe said. The most popular product is paint. Decking, fencing and roofing supplies have also been strong sellers, he said Traffic into the store doubled starting in April and continuing though the summer, Wiebe said. The store is also large enough that staff haven’t needed to enforce the 15 per cent capacity limit, he added. In January business has dropped a little but there’s been “a steady stream of walk-in,” he said. He believes locals have begun to contemplate the lengthy nature of the pandemic and whether they have the budget for more renos. Beaverlodge’s cannabis store Level 420 is on the “right” side of the pandemic as her sales have increased, said owner Dawn Jolin. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in business,” Jolin said. During the lockdown last spring sales didn’t increase dramatically, but as the pandemic wore on, Jolin said people began “looking for other things to pass the time” Space restrictions haven’t been a consideraton since the capacity limit has never been exceeded. “The mask mandate is kind of a pain because it’s hard to hear what people are saying,” she said. Last spring the Alberta government designated cannabis retail as an essential service. “As an independent businessowner, if we had not been considered essential, I probably would have lost my business,” Jolin said. She said the supports changes to restrictions to see hair salons and personal services re-open, more to benefit neighbouring businesses than Level 420. Liquor stores were also declared essential last spring and Robyn Wadsworth, manager of Sexsmith’s What Ales You, said business is good. Wadsworth said she can’t be certain why the business is performing well but speculated the pandemic may be a factor. “Everybody is staying home and the only thing they have to do is drink,” she said. The restrictions have had little impact on What Ales You, but the limited capacity of five customers at a time has meant there have been more lineups outside the door, she said. Lineups happen about once a week at most, Wadsworth said. That said, it was rare to have more than five customers in the store at a time before the pandemic, and the reduced capacity hasn’t been a problem, she said. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
In shaping Peel’s 20-year outlook, the Region’s Strategic Plan tagline sets the tone, and establishes the pillars, for its vision: “Living, thriving and leading”. That was five years ago. Today, the word “surviving” would be more apt. Councillors in the pandemic hotspot are about to debate the 2021 budget in a region with Ontario’s highest cumulative per capita novel coronavirus infection rate. In Mississauga and Brampton, each City Council says it is poised to weather the financial challenges of collapsed revenue during the pandemic. The Region is opting for “temporary resources” to support the community through the crisis, according to budget documents released on January 14. The recommendations translate to a tax increase for Peel’s portion of the 2021 property bill, which is blended with each municipality’s share and the Province’s education levy. Staff are proposing a 1.3 percent increase in property taxes, compared to the 3.6 percent hike seen in the 2020 budget. This represents an extra $11.30 per $100,000 of assessed value for a residential property. Increasing the utility rate by a proposed 5.5 percent – lower than the 2020 hike of 7.2 percent, but about three times the rate of inflation in Ontario – will mean the average household can expect to pay about $43 more this year, and about $111 more for small businesses. It follows a worrisome trend of dramatic utility-rate increases in Peel over the last decade. Including 2010, the utility rate in Peel has risen annually by the following percentages: 5, 9.1, 6, 7, 7, 7, 9, 5, 6.5, 6.5, 7.2. The Region’s utility rate was a topic of discussion during debate over the 2020 budget. “We need to get a better handle on smoothing those utilities rate increases going forward...we just have not been really consistent,” Mississauga and Regional Councillor Pat Saito said. Referring to the past 15 years of regional budgets, she added that “there were years where we reduced the rate, there were years where it was zero and then a year later we skyrocket it to 7 or 8 percent.” Her Mississauga colleagues Karen Ras and Chris Fonseca echoed Saito’s sentiment, asking for a fixed or variable utility increase to be put in place for future years. In response to the request, Region of Peel’s former commissioner of public works, Andrew Farr (who now works for Halton Region) said a team was working to review the utility rate and was looking to adopt a more structured, long-term strategy in time for the 2022 budget. The new interim commissioner, Andrea Warren, who moved over from Peel Housing, will now lead any efforts to better manage the utility-rate supported budget. With $2.7 billion in projected operating costs and $1 billion in capital expenditures, the overall proposed Peel Region budget addresses the challenges of a hyper-growth area. As the Region adapts to its rapidly growing population (about 20,000 newcomers per year) it also has to manage services for its aging residents. Budget deliberations are scheduled to begin on January 28 and will run until mid-February. Funding for affordable housing in Peel has become a race against the clock. The Region’s COVID-19 emergency funding for homelessness supports ends in March. With the average length of shelter stays on the rise, staff are recommending a $2.7 million request in the operating budget as part of its Emergency Shelter Operation, which would see the addition of 60 new shelter beds. Staff are also asking for $120 million in the capital budget to fund the Housing Master Plan, which was previously criticized for being “significantly and disproportionately” backed by the Region compared to what was described as inadequate contributions from the provincial and federal governments. The Housing Master Plan also includes $10.8 million in loans for state-of-good-repair projects and $1.8 million for technology licenses. The lack of certainty around provincial funding for certain programs, including adult day services, has pushed the Region to allot program funding for seniors at a time when programs that tend to their well-being are underfunded, the budget states. These services include physiotherapy, nursing care, reading and gardening groups, medication supports, transportation and a range of other functions critical to the well-being of seniors, and many are carried out in long-term care settings. The tragedy that has unfolded across Ontario’s senior-living sector during the pandemic has highlighted the chronic lack of funding and attention to support the elderly. Regional Staff recorded more than 7,000 contacts with seniors virtually since the beginning of the pandemic. At the same time, the wait list for these services has grown by 22 percent. The Region operates five publicly funded long-term care facilities in Peel: Tall Pines and Peel Manor in Brampton; Malton Village and Sheridan Villa in Mississauga; and Davis Centre in Caledon. This year’s proposed budget for the Region’s long-term care needs is $41.7 million, up about $1.5 million from 2020, when the provincial government increased its funding by $700,000. Capital projects for 2021 are being allotted about $5 million, for repairs including driveway repaving, upgrading elevators and fire prevention. A popular paramedicine program, introduced as a pilot project at several Peel Living seniors’ buildings, was made permanent last year and will be provincially-funded to the tune of $132,000. The program was designed to reduce calls to paramedics and push the border of care outside the emergency room and into the community, when possible, through preventative approaches. Other strikethroughs in the budget indicating provincial funding cuts have forced staff to reallocate money to support vital programs, including supplementing $1.8 million in the Region’s operating budget to replace provincial employment support funding for agency grants. The Region is also continuing to invest in its 2018 strategy to combat human-trafficking, funding $600,000 for its second of a three-year program to assist victims. The Region’s paramedic service is slated to receive about $19.5 million in capital funding toward a new reporting station, as well as $4.6 million for state-of-good-repair projects and $2.3 million to replace 15 ambulances. The proposed operating budget will absorb another $1.3 million to support an increase in 911 call volumes and $300,000 to create mental health programming for frontline workers, many of whom deal with a range of challenges. Public health funding from the Province, to the tune of $3.3 million, will support 64 school-focused nurses until July 2021. With school closures and mandatory online learning still in place, it’s unclear whether the funding will be put on hold or reallocated in the community. The three Conservation Authorities whose watershed jurisdiction includes Peel (Credit Valley, Halton and Toronto and Region) which are at risk of having their work curtailed by the Ford government, are asking for a combined $45.3 million from the Region of Peel in 2021, including about $4.9 million for capital projects designated for flood forecasting, infrastructure upgrades, invasive species programs such as the containment of the Emerald Ash Borer infestation (which has devastated Peel’s tree canopy over the past decade) and at the conservation agencies themselves. The largest share of the total would go to Credit Valley, $25.2 million; $19.5 million would go to TRCA; and Halton would get just $496,000, as it only has a small piece of its watershed in Peel. The total represents a 2.6 percent increase compared to what Peel Region gave the agencies last year. Calls for Peel’s “fair share” in funding from higher levels of government reflect the needs in a chronically under-resourced region that is outpacing growth in any other part of the province. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has highlighted the need for more money to support healthcare in the city, and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is promising to fight for vaccine allocations commensurate with the city’s higher per capita rate of infection. Read More: Police budget balances fight against increasingly complex crime and calls for new funding model Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @LaVjosa COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Vjosa Isai, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
CALGARY — Increasingly uncomfortable with a shrinking timeline, the world governing body of skiing halted Calgary's pursuit of the world freestyle and snowboard championships next month. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard were working feverishly on plans to host the event Feb. 24 to March 14 at Canada Olympic Park, with the first of roughly 500 athletes due to arrive Feb. 15. Calgary would have been stand-in host city. China was the original site of the 2021 championships doubling as test events for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The logistics of holding an international, multi-disciplinary snow-sport championship amid the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately caused China to give up on it. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard were in fruitful discussions with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, but the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) could no longer tolerate the uncertainty with the clock ticking down, said Freestyle Canada chief executive officer Peter Judge. "There was a just an increasing discomfort from the FIS side around the duration it was taking and the uncertainty of what it might look like on the other side," he told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "We had a good plan, but in this day and age, there's just no certainty. FIS was looking for that certainty." FIS had tentatively scheduled Calgary as world championship host with a "to be confirmed." Athletes would have quarantined upon arrival with regular testing before being able to train in cohorts. "This isn't on the province. It's not their fault," Judge said. "Alberta Health and the authorities are doing their job. Just because we're having an event, there's bigger things in play. "It's disappointing. We thought we could make it all work and get it in and make our international partners comfortable, but at the end of the day, there wasn't that comfort or confidence level." The championship would have included men's and women's freestyle and snowboard big air, halfpipe and slopestyle plus freestyle's moguls and aerials. Ski and snowboard cross and alpine snowboard weren't in the proposal because there isn't enough terrain at COP to include those events. FIS announced earlier this week that the ski and snowboard cross world championships will be held Feb. 11-13 in Idre Fjäll, Sweden, where the Canadian ski cross team is racing World Cups this week. Pandemic postponements and cancellations created an ever-changing international snow sport calendar this winter. World championships in the other freestyle and snowboard disciplines may also be broken up and held at various sites that have been able to host World Cups this season. WinSport's Canada Olympic Park still has an important role to play as a training mecca for Canada's 2022 Olympic team. Athletes who haven't been able to travel and compete elsewhere are using it as a long-term training base. Canadian snowboarders and the freestyle halfpipe and slopestyle teams were there this month before departing for the X Games in Aspen, Colo., going ahead Jan 29-31. The moguls team arrives in Calgary on Thursday before heading to Deer Valley, Utah, in February. The aerials team will eventually end up in Calgary too, Judge said. "Right now, it's about getting as many training days in as we can in February, March, April and getting that mileage in," he said. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard will now try to bring a series of World Cup events to Calgary in December as part of Canadian athletes' preparation for the Winter Olympics. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press