A light dusting of snowfall early in the morning in Saanich, British Columbia.
A light dusting of snowfall early in the morning in Saanich, British Columbia.
There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on Sunday. "The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Trump’s watch.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
VANCOUVER — Many residents of British Columbia's south coast woke up to rain on Sunday after expecting an overnight snow dump, but Environment Canada warns snow is still in the forecast. The federal weather agency updated its snowfall warnings for the region early Sunday morning, saying that between two to 15 centimetres are expected by Monday morning. It says communities near the water such as Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo and lower elevations of Metro Vancouver could see up to five centimetres of snow, while rain or wet snow is also possible in these areas with no accumulations. Higher elevations and inland sections of Metro Vancouver, the western Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast are expected to see greater accumulations. Environment Canada says precipitation is expected to ease Sunday afternoon and then return in the evening, with snowfall at night and on Monday mainly accumulating over higher elevations. The agency is asking residents to be prepared to adjust their driving with changing road conditions, as rapidly falling snow could make travel difficult in some locations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
A 20-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle collision near Lacombe, Alta. on Saturday evening. At about 5 p.m., Blackfalds RCMP were called to the collision at Highway 815 at the intersection of Township Road 412, northeast of Lacombe. An early investigation showed a southbound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car, according to a police news release. The woman driving the car was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and a passenger in the truck suffered minor injuries. Local RCMP and a collision analyst are continuing to investigate. Lacombe is about 30 kilometres north of Red Deer.
Parce qu’il renferme des composés homologues aux hormones sexuelles féminines, le soja ne doit pas être consommé à la légère. Mais à la juste dose, on peut tirer parti de tous ses bienfaits.
For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. But for five Seattle officers the outcome is less clear. Their identities still secret, two are on leave and three continue to work while a police watchdog investigates whether their actions in the nation's capital on Jan. 6 crossed the line from protected political speech to lawbreaking. The contrasting cases highlight the dilemma faced by police departments nationwide as they review the behaviour of dozens of officers who were in Washington the day of the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Officials and experts agree that officers who were involved in the melee should be fired and charged for their role. But what about those officers who attended only the Trump rally before the riot? How does a department balance an officer's free speech rights with the blow to public trust that comes from the attendance of law enforcement at an event with far-right militants and white nationalists who went on to assault the seat of American democracy? An Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behaviour in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot. Officials are looking into whether the officers violated any laws or policies or participated in the violence while in Washington. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Most of the officers have not been publicly identified; only a few have been charged. Some were identified by online sleuths. Others were reported by their colleagues or turned themselves in. They come from some of the country’s largest cities — three Los Angeles officers and a sheriff’s deputy, for instance — as well as state agencies and a Pennsylvania police department with nine officers. Among them are an Oklahoma sheriff and New Hampshire police chief who have acknowledged being at the rally, but denied entering the Capitol or breaking the law. “If they were off-duty, it’s totally free speech,” said Will Aitchison, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, who represents law enforcement officers. “People have the right to express their political views regardless of who’s standing next to them. You just don’t get guilt by association.” But Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a professor at Case Western Reserve University law school, said an officer’s presence at the rally creates a credibility issue as law enforcement agencies work to repair community trust, especially after last summer's of protests against police brutality sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Communities will question the integrity of officers who attended the rally along with “individuals who proudly profess racist and divisive viewpoints,” she said. “It calls into question whether those officers are interested in engaging in policing in a way that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, including communities of colour.” In Rocky Mount, a Virginia town of about 1,000, Sgt. Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker were suspended without pay and face criminal charges after posting a photo of themselves inside the Capitol during the riot. According to court records, Robertson wrote on social media that the “Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem … The right IN ONE DAY took the f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.” Attempts to contact the pair were unsuccessful and court records do not list lawyers. Leaders in Rocky Mount declined to be interviewed. In a statement, they said the events at the Capitol were tragic. “We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day,” said Police Chief Ken Criner, Capt. Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin. “Our town and our police department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behaviour by anyone, including our officers and staff.” On the other side of the county, five Seattle officers are under investigation by the city’s Office of Police Accountability. Two officers posted photos of themselves on social media while in the district and officials are investigating to determine where they were and what they were doing. Three others told supervisors that they went to Washington for the events and are being investigated for what they did while there. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department supports officers’ freedom of speech and that those who were in the nation's capital will be fired if they “were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.” But police leaders need to evaluate more than just clear criminal behaviour, according to Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing research and policy group. They must also consider how their actions affect the department credibility, he said. Officers' First Amendment rights “don’t extend to expressing words that may be violent or maybe express some prejudice,” Wexler said, “because that’s going to reflect on what they do when they’re working, when they’re testifying in court.” Through the summer and fall, Seattle police — along with officers elsewhere — came under criticism for their handling of mass protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. The city received more than 19,000 complaints against officers, most for excessive use of force and improper use of pepper spray. Andrew Myerberg, director of the Seattle Office of Police Accountability, said none of the officers now under investigation were involved in those cases. But Sakara Remmu, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County, said the officers should be fired regardless. Their public declarations of solidarity with Trump fosters not just community distrust, but terror of the entire department, she said. “It absolutely does matter when the decorum of racial peace cracks and racial hatred comes through, because we already have a documented history and legacy of what that means in this country,” Remmu said. In Houston, the police chief decried an officer who resigned and was later charged in the riot. A lawyer for Officer Tam Pham said the 18-year veteran of the force "very much regrets” being at the rally and was “deeply remorseful.” But many chiefs have said their officers committed no crimes. “The Arkansas State Police respects the rights and freedom of an employee to use their leave time as the employee may choose,” department spokesman Bill Sadler said of two officers who attended the Trump rally. Malik Aziz, the former chair and executive director of the National Black Police Association, compared condemning all officers who were in Washington to tarring all the protesters who took to streets after the killing of George Floyd with the violent and destructive acts of some. A major with the Dallas Police Department, Aziz said police acting privately have the same rights as other Americans, but that knowingly going to a bigoted event should be disqualifying for an officer. “There’s no place in law enforcement for that individual,” Aziz said. Martha Bellisle And Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan's premier says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline isn't over yet. In a recent interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton, Premier Scott Moe says conversations around the TC Energy project are ongoing, despite U.S. President Joe Biden's recent cancellation of the pipeline's permit by executive order. "I wouldn't say this project is over by any stretch. There is a lot of conversation to have on KXL," Moe said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oilsands in Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, connecting to the original Keystone pipeline running to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. A portion of the project would have crossed into southern Saskatchewan. Moe, along with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, has pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to take action against the pipeline's halt. That could include economic sanctions, Moe suggested — a possibility also raised by Kenney. "I haven't said that we should go to sanctions and sanctions should be utilized first," Moe said in his interview with Barton. "But sanctions are always on the table in any conversation or any challenge that we may have with our trading relationship with our largest partner." The project, originally blocked by U.S. President Barack Obama, was then approved by President Donald Trump, who wanted to negotiate the terms of the project, before ultimately being blocked again by Biden in the first days of his presidency. Federal Opposition leader Erin O'Toole has also expressed frustration over the cancellation of the project, saying in a statement it "will devastate thousands of Canadian families who have already been badly hurt by the economic crisis." Trudeau's government has repeatedly said that it supports the project and has made that clear to the new U.S. administration, but both the prime minister and Canada's ambassador to the U.S. have said it is time to respect the decision and move on. Speaking on Friday morning, Trudeau reiterated his disappointment with the cancellation and said he would raise the issue during his phone call with Biden scheduled for later in the day. "Obviously the decision on Keystone XL is a very difficult one for workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who've had many difficult hits," he said. "Over the past years we have been there for them and we will continue to be there for them and I will express my concern for jobs and livelihoods in Canada, particularly in the West, directly in my conversation with President Biden." Trudeau stressed he and the new president are on the same wavelength on fighting climate change and middle-class job creation, as well as the "values of Canadians." Moe called the cancellation a "devastating blow to North American energy security," and said in the interview with Barton he'll continue to advocate for the pipeline, which he says has both economic and environmental benefits for Canada.
White River First Nation in Beaver Creek, Yukon, is calling for a harsher penalty against two Vancouver residents who broke COVID-19 rules and got vaccinated in the community. "We are deeply concerned by the actions of individuals who put our elders and vulnerable people at risk to jump the line for selfish purposes," Chief Angela Demit of White River First Nation (WRFN), said in a statement on Saturday. "While we understand many want to have a vaccination immediately, it is not appropriate to skirt the rules put in place and approach our community in this way. WRFN was selected for vaccines given our remoteness, elderly and high-risk population, as well as limited access to health care." Last week, two people were charged under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act for failing to self-isolate after entering the territory, and for failing to follow a declaration, after they travelled to Beaver Creek and got doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The maximum fine for a violation under the act is $500 or six months in jail. 'Lenient punishment' In the statement, White River First Nation said it does not feel that the "lenient punishment" applicable is appropriate for the gravity of the accused's actions, "given the potentially lethal effects to our community." It urged the Yukon government and the RCMP to pursue a "more just punishment." White River First Nation also expressed frustration with how the Yukon government communicated about the violation. Instead of finding out about it from the Yukon government, the First Nation said it learned about the incident through the media. White River First Nation said it will seek a "formalized communication protocol" with the Yukon government so that something like this doesn't happen again. 'We regret the way White River learned about this incident' In an emailed statement, Community Services Minister John Streicker called the incident in Beaver Creek "deeply concerning for a number of reasons." "We regret the way White River learned about this incident and agree on the need for closer communication going forward," he said. "This was a rapidly developing situation. Yukon government enforcement officials acted swiftly to charge the two individuals for violating the measures in place under the Civil Emergency Measures Act." He said the RCMP was also immediately notified about the situation. Streicker said he and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, met with White River First Nation's chief and members of its council on Friday to discuss the incident and improving communication protocols. The First Nation did commend Hanley for addressing concerns with the community directly, and for his work to "resolve the issue moving forward." White River First Nation said it plans to implement its own safety regulations for the second round of vaccinations in the community. It reminded residents to continue following public health guidance, and said Hanley had assured the risk for transmission in the community right now is low.
Looks like he needs a bit of convincing!
URK, Netherlands — Rioters set fires in the centre of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks Sunday at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures, while officers responded with tear gas and water cannons, arresting at least 30 people. Police in the capital of Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse an outlawed anti-lockdown demonstration on a major square ringed by museums. Video showed police spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum. It was the worst violence to hit the Netherlands since the pandemic began and the second straight Sunday that police clashed with protesters in Amsterdam. The country has been in a tough lockdown since mid-December that is due to continue at least until Feb. 9. In Eindhoven, 125 kilometres (78 miles) south of Amsterdam, a central square near the main railway station was littered with rocks, bicycles and shattered glass. The crowd of hundreds of demonstrators also was believed to include supporters of the anti-immigrant group PEGIDA, which had sought to demonstrate in the city. Eindhoven police said they made at least 30 arrests by late afternoon and warned people to stay away from the city centre amid the clashes. Trains to and from the station were halted and local media reported plundering at the station. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The violence came a day after anti-curfew rioters torched a coronavirus testing facility in the Dutch fishing village of Urk. Video from Urk, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village’s harbour before it was set ablaze Saturday night. The lockdown was imposed by the Dutch government to rein in the spread of the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus. Police said they fined more than 3,600 people nationwide for breaching the curfew that ran from 9 p.m. Saturday until 4:30 a.m. Sunday and arrested 25 people for breaching the curfew or for violence. The police and municipal officials issued a statement Sunday expressing their anger at rioting, “from throwing fireworks and stones to destroying police cars and with the torching of the test location as a deep point.” “This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test centre to help people from Urk,” the local authorities said, adding that the curfew would be strictly enforced for the rest of the week. On Sunday, all that remained of the portable testing building was a burned-out shell. ___ Associated Press writer Mike Corder in Otterlo contributed. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Peter Dejong, The Associated Press
En ce dimanche 24 janvier la Côte-Nord compte 1 nouveau cas de COVID-19, dans la MRC de Sept-Rivières. Il n’y a aucune hospitalisation dans la région. Actuellement, il y a 10 cas actifs dans la région. Au Québec, ce sont 1457 nouveaux cas, ainsi que 41 décès qui s’ajoutent au bilan. NOTE : Confinement du Québec et instauration d’un couvre-feu entre 20 h et 5 h pour la période du 9 janvier au 8 février 2021 : Restez à la maison et consultez la page Confinement du Québec pour connaître les détails. Vous pouvez aussi consulter toute l’information sur la COVID‑19. *En date du 24 janvier 2021 – 11 h Nombre de cas confirmés : 340 (+1) Répartition par MRC : Cas guéris : 327 (+2) Décès : 3 Cas actifs : 10 (-1) Cas actifs provenant d’une autre région : moins de 5 Hospitalisation en cours : 0 Éclosions en cours : Éclosions terminées récemment : Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
WASHINGTON — As the House prepares to bring the impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, dimming the chances that former president will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House Democrats will carry the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol late Monday evening, a rare and ceremonial walk to the Senate by the prosecutors who will argue their case. They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But instead, GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. Now that Trump's presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defence, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year. “I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that "the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. Trump is the first former president to face impeachment trial, and it will test his grip on the Republican Party as well as the legacy of his tenure, which came to a close as a mob of loyal supporters heeded his rally cry by storming the Capitol and trying to overturn Joe Biden's election. The proceedings will also force Democrats, who have a full sweep of party control of the White House and Congress, to balance their promise to hold the former president accountable while also rushing to deliver on Biden's priorities. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump's team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defence for Trump. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened Jan. 6 “will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.” Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of tradition of peaceful transfers of power. “It is a critical moment in American history and we have to look at it and look at it hard,” Coons said. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him. When the House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” behind that argument. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said. Democrats reject that argument, pointing to a 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to “fight like hell” against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office. “I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offence,” Romney said. “If not, what is?” But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president's term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.” On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial — potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge — and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump’s words on Jan. 6 were legally “incitement.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience. One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers said Trump’s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was "an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime." Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania., said "I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.” Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials. Rubio and Romney were on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures” and Romney also was on CNN's “State of the Union,” as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC's “Meet the Press.” ___ Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Police in Gatineau, Que., say no charges will be laid in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found in the city's Buckingham sector Saturday morning. The death was initially deemed suspicious after police received a 911 call about an unconscious woman at 190 rue Pigeon. Officers were unable to resuscitate the woman upon their arrival, and a man in his 60s was arrested. After police met with witnesses and investigated the scene, however, they determined no criminal act had been committed, according to a press release Sunday. The death is no longer considered suspicious, police said.
Après un lent déclin, le rural redevient accueillant, porté par la périurbanisation et rurbanisation. Une tendance accentuée par la pandémie.
A family-owned grocer in Calgary is giving back to support neighbouring businesses hurting from the pandemic. Darren Hollman, owner of the European Deli and Produce Market, says because his business is essential, he hasn't faced the same struggles a restaurant or retailer might. "We're an essential business and people have to eat, [so] we haven't been affected nearly as bad as some of the other places have been. We've been operating at 15 per cent [capacity] but we feel we can give back so that's why we're doing it," he said. This weekend, the store is offering some staples like apples, potatoes and carrots at "pay-what-you-can" prices — customers decide what the want to pay, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go toward supporting Platoon Fitness, Crolux Tailoring and Marco's Kitchen, all businesses impacted by public health restrictions. "The customers have been very receptive to it and have done a lot to help — like giving over and above which is nice to see," he said. Shopper Elena Khomiak said she was picking up apples, even though she doesn't need any, as a chance to support local. "We'll pay, I don't know, $50 or $100, the most expensive apples I've ever had," she said with a laugh. The fundraiser will run until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Pray for movie theaters. That performance allows the movie to retain its box office crown, but that kind of distinction isn't worth what it was in pre-pandemic times, particularly with movie theaters closed indefinitely in major markets like New York City and Los Angeles.
Officials in President Joe Biden's administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution. "It seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope," said Republican Senator Susan Collins, who was on the call with Brian Deese, director of the White House's National Economic Council, and other top Biden aides.
This year, Canada’s correctional investigator announced his office is launching a series of in-depth investigations looking at Indigenous programming in Canada’s prisons — specifically around access to culture and community support. “We want to hear from Indigenous inmates to learn from their experiences,” Dr. Ivan Zinger writes in his 2019-2020 annual report. “We intend to look at program participation criteria and compare results and outcomes for those who are enrolled in Indigenous-specific interventions.” An earlier investigation from Zinger revealed that the number of Indigenous inmates in Canadian prisons has reached historic highs, surpassing 30 per cent in recent years and on a trajectory to keep growing. In B.C.’s Fraser Valley, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) operates an Indigenous-focused minimum security institution — one of four “healing lodges” that exist across the country. At Kwìkwèxwelhp in Harrison Mills, about 50 inmates work with Elders, tend to a healing garden, and have access to a longhouse. Boyd Peters Xoyet-thet of the neighbouring Sts’ailes Nation was involved in the transition when Kwìkwèxwelhp was turned into a healing lodge in 2001. “Here in Sts’ailes, we have the benefit of having the cultural history and teachings and knowing how much the land is healing for us,” says Peters, who is also a director with the BC First Nations Justice Council. “In our culture, we know that we need to take care of ourselves in a good way, in a balanced way, so we take care of the physical, the mental, the spiritual and the emotional. The mental is the education part.” Sts’ailes Nation signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC around Kwìkwèxwelhp, which means “a place to gather medicine.” It was previously called Elbow Lake Institution. Inmates — referred to as Kwikw te Alex (meaning “Elbow Lake brothers”) — are given opportunities to upgrade their education on a high school, university or vocational level. One program through Kwantlen Polytechnic University called ‘Inside-Out’ involves pairing up to 13 Kwikw te Alex with the same number of criminology students. Another initiative involves inmates being part of archeological work at Sts’ailes ancient village sites — a skill they can take to their home communities after being released. “We have the guys come down and they clear out the sites for us and they make it really beautiful,” Peters says. “So you can see how beneficial that is and it gives them the incentive to further their education.” Though Kwìkwèxwelhp offers several educational programs, current statistics show that more needs to be done on a national level. Aside from addressing the massive overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in prisons, the current offerings of education in most institutions is falling short, Zinger says. In fact, three-quarters of federally sentenced individuals have some need for education or employment, according to Zinger’s 2019-2020 annual report. “The need for learning opportunities behind bars is considerable,” he writes. “A high percentage of inmates have had negative experiences in formal educational systems; many have dropped out, and most have had difficulty finding legitimate employment or have never held a steady job.” Zinger has asked Canada’s public safety minister to form an independent working group to implement current and past recommendations on education and job training. His office has been asking for improvements in this area for at least a decade, saying inmates’ access to information and technology is “backwards and obsolete,” often still reliant on technology from the early 2000s. Though CSC statistics say that 68 per cent of inmates upgraded their education and 60.8 per cent completed vocational training before release in 2018-2019 — Zinger says that might not mean much. “These indicators do not necessarily mean that they earned a high school diploma or hours toward an apprenticeship,” he writes. “It may only indicate the completion of a single education course or credit or the completion of a vocational program.” Vocational programs include short courses such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the Basics of Fall Protection, Work Safely with Power Tools, Food Safety or Occupational Health and Safety. Further, less than three per cent of CSC’s overall budget — $64 million — is allocated towards learning. “For a population with such need, these financial resources appear insufficient,” Zinger’s report says. According to CSC, their Indigenous Continuum of Care model, soon to be under review, is Elder-driven and based on the teachings of the Medicine Wheel spoken about by Peters — caring for the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental. Despite the many cracks in the system, Peters says involving Elders as teachers can make a difference for Indigenous inmates. His mother is an Elder at Kwìkwèxwelhp, and worked with a man who was looking to be transferred to the healing lodge from another institution. “He had strong mental health issues because he was in segregation for years so he had no trust in people and he had huge anxiety,” he explains. “The Elders helped him to see the sacredness of the things that we have. So he went to the water, he went to the longhouse, he talked to the Elders and he learned that he has gifts that he never did utilize.” Today, that man is a professional seamstress, Peters says. “He can make anything out of cloth, just these beautiful things,” he says. “That’s what can happen when some of the guys get to learn some of the teachings and they open themselves up and they learn to trust. That’s what the medicines of the land will do.” Catherine Lafferty, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
MONTREAL — Quebec is reporting 1,457 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 41 additional deaths linked to the virus. Twelve of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, while the rest occurred earlier or at an unknown date. Hospitalizations declined for the fifth straight day, down by 56 to 1,327. Of those patients, 219 were in intensive care, an increase of three. Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the numbers are encouraging but Quebecers need to maintain their efforts to reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths. A total of 253,633 Quebecers have tested positive for COVID-19 and 9,478 have died since the pandemic began. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 24, 2021 The Canadian Press
IDRE FJÄLL, SWEDEN — Another day, another World Cup ski cross gold medal for Canadian Reece Howden. The native of Cultus Lake, B.C., captured a second straight World Cup event Sunday and third of the season. In the women's event, Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., was third for her fifth podium finish this year. After winning Saturday's event by hanging back then coming on at the end, Reece reverted back to his hard-charging style Sunday, He led from start to finish of the big final. “The draft wasn’t as big of an issue (Sunday)," he said. "I skied as fast as I could today, it worked out. "I’m so happy this is unbelievable.” Reece is on quite roll, having won three of the last four World Cup races. "Third time is the charm," he said. "I’ll keep trying my best. "I’m super proud of these last few races, so I’ll try to carry it through the rest of the season, stay safe, stay injury-free, and keep it going.” Thompson was pleased to have secured third place despite poor visibility on the lower part of the track. “I’m a lot happier with how I skied (Sunday)," she said. "I think I brought some good skiing to each heat and I’m happy to land on the podium." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press