LL COOL J explains why he launched his online marketplace Rock The Bells.
LL COOL J explains why he launched his online marketplace Rock The Bells.
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. says it was exploring the future of its Toronto stadium before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the virus has caused it to put those plans on hold."Prior to the pandemic, we were exploring options for the stadium but through this year our primary focus has been keeping our customers connected and keeping our employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time," said the telecommunications company's spokesperson Andrew Garas in a statement to The Canadian Press.His remarks come after the Globe and Mail reported Friday that Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., were looking to tear down the stadium as part of a larger development project. The two companies would build a new stadium half the size on the southern part of the current site and use the remaining land for residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space, the Globe said, citing unnamed sources.Brookfield declined to comment on the matter. The Globe also reported that Rogers and Brookfield were exploring the possibility of building a stadium along the waterfront if the development plan falls through on a slice of land called Quayside, where Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs once hoped to construct a tech-savvy neighbourhood."The news this morning was the first Waterfront Toronto has heard of the Quayside site as a potential new home for the Blue Jays," said Andrew Tumilty, a spokesperson for Waterfront Toronto, the agency overseeing the development of the city's lakefront.Such a plan would need "extensive scrutiny" and require the organization to consider existing, approved precinct plans, as well as the size and shape of the site, he said in an email.The Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome, opened in 1989 and seats more than 53,000.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX: RCI. B, TSX: BAM)The Canadian Press
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante can now add "author" to her resume with the publication of a graphic novel in which she recounts her entry into politics and takes subtle digs at the sexism she's encountered along the way.'"Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics," tells the story of Simone Simoneau — modelled on Plante — a young community organizer who decides to take the plunge into politics by running for a seat on city council.Published in both English and French and co-authored by illustrator Delphie Cote-Lacroix, the book follows the initially hesitant Simoneau as she learns to fundraise, knock on doors and recruit volunteers.Plante, 46, said she began to toy with the idea of publishing a book after she won the mayoralty in 2017. Writing a typical political autobiography didn't appeal, she said."For me the graphic novel format was always what I wanted," she said in a recent interview at her publisher's offices."I think it’s accessible, it can be fun, and I love graphic novels myself."The book is based on Plante's own sketches and anecdotes she began jotting down in 2013, during her first run for a seat on city council. Four years later, she became the first woman elected mayor of Montreal after her surprise defeat of experienced incumbent Denis Coderre.While the writing and drawings were initially a form of self-care to help her "stay balanced," she said she eventually came to see that her story might inspire others, especially young girls."I wanted to show, and maybe tell, people it’s OK not to have all the keys and codes to do something you think would be a good thing to do or you believe in," she said."Just go for it."She began working with Cote-Lacroix on evenings and weekends, taking about two years to finalize the story and illustrations.Plante said that, much like her character in the book, she had been looking for a new challenge before her entry into politics. Then she received a phone call from left-wing municipal party Projet Montreal, which was looking to diversify its slate of candidates.In the book, Plante doesn't shy away from the challenges faced by women who put themselves in the public eye. At one point, one of her character's posters is defaced by sexist graffiti. In another, her character's husband gets effusive praise for helping to care for the couple's children — something the book points out is a given for female political spouses. While the book "won't change sexism," Plante said she hopes it will help highlight the double standards women face.Three years into her mandate, Plante has had a bumpy year, marked by a global pandemic that has devastated the city's economy and criticism over her administration's failure to implement its big visions for affordable housing and transportation. She has also faced anger over what some have described as an anti-car agenda, which includes building bike lanes, eliminating parking spots and temporarily closing some streets to vehicle traffic to create "sanitary corridors." At times, that criticism has escalated to the level of death threats.While some criticism is to be expected, Plante attributes much of the public anger directed her way to the anxiety wrought by the pandemic."Not to minimize their actions of being very aggressive, violent or doing death threats, but I like to hope in the future, when people are less stressed and in a better position, things will calm down," she said.She also faced criticism earlier this year over her novel itself, with some high-profile commentators questioning her decision to "draw cartoons" as the city was embroiled in the COVID-19 crisis.Plante dismissed this as unfounded, especially since she says the writing process wrapped up in late 2019."People were just kind of trashing the book (without) even reading it, which I thought was sad, because it wasn’t about the content, it was about criticizing the author," she said. However, she did push back the book's publication for a few months when the pandemic's second wave began.Plante said she would still recommend politics to young people who want to make a difference, even as she acknowledges it's a "tough" career that comes with unusual levels of public exposure. "But hopefully people see in the book, the love that you get from your volunteers, it's a community, it’s people working together," she said."It’s worth it."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Le mercredi 25 novembre se tenait la première séance d'information concernant la recharge de la plage Rochelois à Port-Cartier. Pour l'occasion, des experts du ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec (MSP) étaient présents par vidéoconférence pour répondre aux interrogations de la cinquantaine de citoyens qui s'étaient déplacés. Le nombre de places était limité à cause de la pandémie. Le projet de recharge de plage qui est actuellement proposé par le ministère viendrait considérablement changer l'apparence de la plage. Présentement, il s'agit d'une plage sablonneuse et avec les travaux, elle deviendrait une plage de sable et de gravier. Durant la présentation faite par différents experts du MSP, Jean-Denis Bouchard, spécialistes des milieux côtiers a expliqué que des travaux étaient nécessaires pour protéger les infrastructures lorsqu'il y aura une tempête équivalente à celle de 2010 ou de 2016. « Depuis 4 ans, le secteur a été épargné par les tempêtes, mais on sait qu'elles vont revenir. On ne sait pas quand, mais il y en aura d'autres.» L'érosion dans le secteur de la plage Rochelois pourrait venir menacer une vingtaine de résidences et les infrastructures de la Ville de Port-Cartier telles que la rue Rochelois et les égouts. Selon le MSP, le projet de recharge de plage pourrait être effectué au cours de l'été 2022 et il est prévu que ce type d'ouvrage a une durabilité de 30 ans. Période de questions Bien qu'il s'agissait d'une période questions, plusieurs citoyens ont fait savoir qu'ils s'opposaient au projet dans sa forme actuelle et ont tenté de proposer d'autres solutions pour préserver la plage telle que la pose de végétation ou la construction d'îlots rocheux. Parmi les autres thèmes abordés par les citoyens, il y a notamment l'accès à la plage. Plusieurs citoyens sont inquiets que la plage soit moins attrayante pour aller se promener en raison du gravier. Le ministère explique que contrairement au projet de la plage McCormick, il y aura des mesures d'atténuation pour préserver l'aspect esthétique de la plage. Parmi les mesures proposées, il pourrait y avoir une recharge annuelle de sable. Le comité citoyen de sauvegarde de la Plage Rochelois et son porte-parole, Romain Prêcheur, ont déposé une pétition signée par 1 880 port-cartois qui s'opposent au projet de la recharge et qui souhaitent qu'une autre solution soit trouvée. Une rencontre constructive Le maire de Port-Cartier, Alain Thibault, a dressé un bilan positif à la suite de la rencontre d'information. Pour lui, il était important que les gens du MSP viennent expliquer aux citoyens tous les aspects du projet pour que les Port-cartois soient en mesure de prendre la bonne décision dans ce dossier. Rappelons que dans le dossier de la recharge de la plage Rochelois, la décision finale revient au Conseil de la Ville de Port-Cartier qui devra indiquer au MSP s'il souhaite aller de l'avant avec le projet. Lors de la séance du Conseil du 9 novembre, tous les conseillers et le maire avaient indiqué ne pas être favorables au projet, mais vouloir que le processus entrepris par le ministère se poursuive.Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
More than once during the weeks leading up to the provincial election Premier Moe referred to the province as being a supplier of raw materials to the world, but is this where the province should remain? Over 70% of Canada’s farmland is located in the prairies and historically, Saskatchewan was referred to as the “bread-basket of the world”, but with the shift away from primarily wheat production and the growth of the oil and gas sectors, that title has fallen into disuse. Yet, Saskatchewan remains in the realm of a primary producer. The problem with that status became evident earlier this year when COVID-19 arrived on our doorstep. As a province we are heavily reliant on other districts to supply our finished products and when they run into problems, such as the outbreaks of the coronavirus among their employees, the ripples are felt all along the food chain. But the authors of a new report just released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives highlights another factor that while many across the prairies realize its happening, may not realize the full extent nor the implications of the trend. For years ‘bigger is better’ has been mantra of our culture, bigger homes, bigger trucks, bigger toys, and this is true of farming as well. Since the 1980’s farmers in Saskatchewan have been encouraged become bigger. Marginal farmland was pulled into production to make for bigger crops. Bigger equipment could complete the farmers work in less time and well, bigger equipment meant that it was possible to work more land, and the cycle continued. The era of broadly distributed land ownership, of food production by small and medium-sized family farms, is fading and the small farm is all but extinct. The number of young farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba has, according to the report Concentration Matters: Farmland Inequality on the Prairies, declined by more than 70 percent, in just one generation—since 1991 (Statistics Canada Table 32-10-0169-01). The report authored by Darrin Qualman, Annette Aurélie Desmarais, André Magnan, Mengistu Wendimu for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) states that while it remains the case that local families do operate the vast majority of our farms, there are fewer and fewer of those families every year. Thirty-eight percent of the farmland in Saskatchewan is operated and controlled by just 8 percent of Saskatchewan farms or just over 2,400 operations. These 2400+ farms average 9,382 acres in size, though many are much larger. The reduction in the number of small farms, the concentration of farmland and farm income into fewer and fewer large operations, and barriers to entry created by rising land prices (See Farm Credit Canada, Farmland Values Report), all make it more difficult for young and new farmers to enter agriculture, the report goes on to say. This difficulty in gaining access to farmland is therefore, effectively stifling the possibility of farming as a career choice for young Canadians (Qualman, Akram-Lodhi, Desmarais, and Srinivasan, 2018). Farms larger than 10,000 acres make up less than 2 percent of total Prairie farms, yet those very large operations captured approximately 15 percent of gross revenues and net income. On average, these very large farms earned net incomes of more than $820,000 before depreciation. At the other end of the size distribution, farms smaller than 1,000 acres, though they make up 53 percent of total farms, captured just 21 percent of revenues and 18 percent of net income. On average, these farms earned net incomes of just over $34,000 each. Because margins are tight and per-acre net income is low on cattle farms and grain and oilseed farms, a young or new farmer on a small farm with few acres paid for has a very limited ability to pay for additional acres, large farms often have greater capacity to borrow money (on better terms than those usually offered to smaller farms), and as a result unless a young farmer can partner with another, either a family member or another farmer looking to start ‘slowing down’, there is no avenue for him or her to get in and fewer and fewer farm children are returning to the farm. In 2014, for instance, 73 percent of farmland transactions involving an ownership change were between arms-length parties (neighbours), whereas 27 percent were among family members (Magnan and Sunley 2017). The rate of farmland concentration however, is running far ahead of the rate of farm loss. Since 1966, Canada has lost half of its farms, but the number of farmers who control the vast majority of land is far smaller than the numbers above suggest. According to the report, across the Prairie Provinces, farms larger than 5,000 acres, which represents 7 percent of all farms, own 27 percent of all farmland that is owner-operated, also those same 7 percent of Prairie farms that are larger than 5,000 acres, lease 67 percent of government leased farm land and rent or lease 35 percent of all land rented or leased by farmers from non-government farmland owners. So, while it may remain the case that our farmland is owned by local families, it is also the case that most is owned by a very small percentage of families. In 2016, 37,622 farm operations owned about half of all Canadian agricultural land in private hands. Translated into number of people, the authors of the study made a rough assumption that each farming operation included, in some combination of parents, children, spouse/partner, about 2.5 landowners. Thus those 37,622 farm operations become 94,055 people (less than .3% of the Canada’s entire population) own half of the country’s food-producing acreage. The great exit of young people from rural to urban areas is well documented in report after report in Statistics Canada library, but to bring this into a more local perspective, the 1976 census shows the population of the RM of Fish Creek to be 591, by 1981 that number had dropped to 510. (https://archive.org/details/1981939081982engfra/page/n47/mode/2up?q=Fish+Creek+RM) Twenty years later, the population was 382 and while that number is now recorded as 345, in the intervening years it did drop as low as 307 at one point. The report concludes that unless government policies or economic shocks alter these trends, 20 years from now, the area of land operated by small farms will be negligible, and farms larger than 5,000 acres may operate 50 to 60 percent of Prairie farmland (up from about 37 percent today).Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
Après une semaine marquée par une baisse des nouveaux cas quotidiens, la Gaspésie et les Iles rapporte 10 nouveaux cas de COVID-19, vendredi. Autre signe d’un enjolivement de la situation ; la santé publique met officiellement fin à deux éclosions majeures et la région est sur le pas des 100 cas actifs, alors que 210 personnes étaient infectées il y a une semaine. Le CISSS de la Gaspésie déclare officiellement terminées les éclosions au CHSLD de New Carlisle et à la résidence pour ainés Lady Maria, deux éclosions majeures qui s’étaient déclarées au début de l’automne. 60 personnes avaient contracté la maladie dans ces deux établissements, dont quatre sont décédées. Parmi les nouvelles infections, six se retrouvent dans la MRC de Bonaventure. Les MRC du Rocher-Percé et de la Côte-de-Gaspé rapportent deux nouveaux cas chacune. Un seul nouveau cas est recensé dans un lieu d’éclosion connu, soit un résident du CHSLD Mgr-Ross de Gaspé ayant été testé positif à la maladie au cours des dernières heures. Alors qu’elle comptait 210 cas actifs il y a sept jours exactement, la région de la Gaspésie-Île-de-la-Madeleine en rapporte moins de la moitié, vendredi, avec 103 infections actives. Quatre personnes sont hospitalisées dans la région en lien avec la maladie à coronavirus. Les leçons de la première vague Si la Gaspésie a été durement frappée par la COVID-19 lors de la deuxième vague, rapportant d’importantes éclosions dans la Baie-des-Chaleurs et dans la Côte-de-Gaspé, les centres hospitaliers ont pu profiter des leçons tirées lors de la première vague pour mieux, selon deux médecins de l’hôpital de Chandler. «On était prêt pour la deuxième vague. Il y avait moins d’appréhension et de stress chez le personnel puisqu’on en a tellement parlé. Personne n’a été surpris», note la docteure Caroline Dumont. Lors de la première vague, la péninsule gaspésienne ayant été plutôt épargnée, les centres hospitaliers ont pu apprendre de ce qui s’est vécu ailleurs. «Ce qui a été très utile, c’est que la première vague ne nous a pas atteints ou presque, mais on a quand même eu peur comme ailleurs. Ça nous a permis d’adresser les craintes de chacun», ajoute-t-elle. Dr Dumont croit aussi que la disponibilité des tests de dépistage sur place a contribué à diminuer l’anxiété du personnel. Même si la région a recensé plus d’éclosions au cours de la seconde vague, la structure était solide et testée, rapporte le docteur Mike Langlois, urgentologue à l’hôpital de Chandler. «Il y a avait beaucoup de craintes lors de la première vague comme on n’avait pas encore rodé le système. Quand ça a commencé à débouler à l’automne, on savait que la structure était forte et fiable», soutient-il.Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
Face coverings will be mandatory for everyone at the Mark Arendz Ski Park in Brookvale, P.E.I., this winter, officials say.The province posted plans for the park on the provincial website Thursday, outlining how things are going to work this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. They made the changes in co-ordination with public health on P.E.I.Like all indoor spaces on P.E.I., masks will be mandatory indoors at the park — and face coverings will be required outdoors while snowboarding or skiing downhill or cross-country. "Just to be on the side of caution and be safe," said Erin Curley, the assistant superintendent for the park, in an interview with CBC Radio: Island Morning Friday. Face coverings can include a non-medical mask or a balaclava — those are commonly used by skiers for warmth anyway. Chairlift bubblesCurley said skiers will be encouraged to only stay in the lodge as long as it takes to warm up then head back outside, to limit contact with one another indoors, including staff. Ski rental areas will have capacities listed on the doors, and staff will monitor those and other lodge areas. The canteen in the lodge will be closed, Curley said, but they have vending machines to offer snacks. Washroom facilities will be open but capacity will be limited.What about the chairlift? Curley said the rules for the quad chairlift are different because it is outdoors, and officials are still deciding how they will line up skiers so they are physically distanced.> People are super excited to have an option for the winter to be able to get out. — Erin Curley"We are encouraging family and friend bubbles to use the same chair and if you're not part of a family-friend bubble, to ride alone," Curley said, noting this could mean longer lineups on busy days. The park will offer downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and fat biking. But it won't be able to offer a repair shop or locker rentals. Ski school sold outAll the 260 weekend ski school slots for kids this year are sold out, Curley said, because they had to reduce numbers to allow for physical distancing. Last year the school taught about 475 children on weekends. "It is a considerably lower number this year, but it all comes back to what we felt we could manage safely," Curley said.Season passes to the park are also selling briskly. So far the park has not set a limit on those. "People are super excited to have an option for the winter to be able to get out," Curley said. Closer to the beginning of ski season, the ski school will begin taking bookings for private lessons. Their target opening date is Dec. 19, and will depend on whether there is enough snow. "Every chance we get, we'll make snow," Curley said. More from CBC P.E.I.
SAINT-LÉONARD-D’ASTON. Éducatrice au service de garde de l’école Tournesol à Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et sensible à la situation actuelle, Nathalie Comeau a proposé aux élèves de faire des cartes de Noël destinées à tous les résidents et au personnel du Centre l’Assomption. Un beau geste de solidarité envers ceux qui sont actuellement à lutter contre la COVID-19. «J’ai eu cette idée pour leur mettre un petit baume sur le cœur. J’ai présenté le projet à la quarantaine d’élèves qui fréquentent le service de garde et tous ont accepté de faire une carte ou un dessin. Ils étaient emballés de poser ce geste de joie et d’appui», explique Nathalie Comeau. Une de ces enfants est Florence Lapointe-René. «J’ai fait une carte avec un ressort où on retrouve une conversation entre deux lutins et une autre où c’est un cadeau. J’y souhaite un Joyeux Noël et j’ai écrit qu’il ne faut pas se décourager. C’est une très bonne idée de faire des cartes, car cela va réconforter les aînés, je crois», souligne-t-elle. De son côté, Camélya Turmel a conçu des cartes dans lesquelles elle tenait à remercier les dévoués employés du Centre l’Assomption. «J’ai écrit «Merci de prendre soin des personnes âgées et de Joyeuses Fêtes». En ce moment, j’ai une belle pensée pour eux», explique la jeune fille qui aime aider les gens.Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The numbers of positive COVID-19 cases across the country are grim as the second wave of the pandemic has the country firmly in its grip. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer released new modelling on Friday that suggests Canada could see 60,000 daily new COVID-19 cases by the end of the year if people increase their contacts with others, but that number could be limited to 20,000 a day if Canadians keep the same number of personal contacts they have now. The modelling shows that instead of flattening the curve, national daily case counts are “increasing significantly,” and rapid growth is occurring in several provinces because each new case in Canada is spreading the infection to more than one other person. On average 5000 new cases are being identified daily and still people across the country are refusing to acknowledge that this is a serious threat. In early October, Prime Minister Trudeau warned Canadians that Thanksgiving gatherings were out the window, but we still had a chance for Christmas. Two weeks after Thanksgiving case numbers started to rise, and then Hallowe’en happened, and a week later the number of cases here in Saskatchewan really started to escalate. But we are not alone. On Sunday November 22, Alberta led the entire country with 1,584 new cases, despite having a fraction of the population of Ontario and Quebec. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer likened the spread to “a snowball rolling down a hill, growing bigger and faster, and it will continue unless we implement strong measures to stop [it].” A Canadian health policy and health services research consultant, recently relocated to Melbourne, Steven Lewis shared his thoughts on Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 situation with CBC and he pulled no punches. “When 95 per cent adherence isn't good enough, you cannot rely on moral suasion or appeals to civility” and “the Saskatchewan government's "half-assed" approach will simply prolong the pandemic's devastating effects on people's health and the economy.” He continued, “It is increasingly clear that you can't slow-walk the pandemic with a fine-tuned balancing act that keeps the economy humming while keeping daily case rates at a predictable and low level. So, you have to come down hard and fast and universally to flatten the curve quickly. Bottom line: Saskatchewan has been tested by the second wave and largely failed.” On Wednesday November 25 before the Premier announced the latest measures the province recorded 164 new cases of COVID-19 pushing the total number of active cases over 3000. One-hundred and eleven are in hospital and nineteen are being cared for in intensive care units. Coming into effect at 12:01 am Friday November 27, seating at restaurants will be limited to four people per table with two to three metres separating tables dependent upon whether or not barriers are in place between tables. Capacity at performance and gaming venues will be restricted to 30. Any type of social indoor gathering in public areas are limited to 30. All team/group sports, activities, games, competitions, recitals, practices, etc. are suspended, including amateur and recreational leagues for all age groups. Athletes and dancers 18 years of age and under may continue practicing, conditioning and skills training in groups of eight or fewer, abiding by the required mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants at all times. Fitness activities and group fitness classes in groups of eight or fewer continues to be permitted, for all ages. Mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants must be maintained. All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, including wedding, funeral and baptismal services. All students, employees and visitors in schools and daycares except while consuming food or beverage must now wear masks. Children 0-2 years remain exempt. Children ages 3-12 should wear a mask if possible. As well all employees and visitors in all common areas in businesses and workplaces and all residents, employees and visitors in all common areas in provincial and municipal facilities. Masking is required in indoor public areas even if barriers are in place. Retail businesses must enhance the expectation of mask use and mitigation measures through signage and staff training. Large retail locations are required to limit customers to 50% as determined by half the specified fire-code capacity or four square metres of space per person whichever is less. Premier Moe adamantly denied the necessity to enact a complete shutdown. During the press conference he said because we have a better understanding of the virus than in the spring and “we” know what to do. He went on to state that it would be unfair to shut down businesses and put people out of work. The aim of the government is to find the right balance and minimize the impact on people’s livelihoods. Interestingly enough this is the same theory that has been expressed by Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney even as new cases in that province have exceeded those of Ontario and Quebec. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
OTTAWA — The federal government is sending $542 million to Indigenous groups to help them set up welfare services for children and families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.The Canadian government has been promising to transfer control over child and family services to Indigenous governing bodies so they don't need to rely on outsiders to protect children in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.In 2019, Parliament passed a law to reform the system, requiring that children on reserves have access to services equal to those who live off reserves. The legislation also recognize that Indigenous Peoples' constitutional right to self-government includes the right to run their own welfare agencies."We are keeping our promise to give them the support they need to keep children within their families and their communities, so they can grow up surrounded by the strength of their culture to achieve their full potential," Trudeau said.Child-protection agencies have often removed Indigenous children not just from their parents but out of their communities entirely when workers decide the kids aren't safe — often because a lack of funding left them with few other options.That's broken up families and hurt children's connections to their heritage. Federal census figures say Indigenous children make up more than half the kids in foster care across the country, despite being fewer than eight per cent of the children in Canada."Behind these devastating numbers, there are real children, real and terrible stories," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Friday in a separate news conference.The new money is for everything from research and expert advice to consultations on how those Indigenous governments will establish and run their own child and family services, as well as to support their negotiations with provincial and federal authorities.Miller said this is an "essential step to correct the errors of the past" and will help unleash the potential of Indigenous young people who have been held back for generations.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is lashing out at people protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures outside his house. During his daily briefing, Ford called the protesters "buffoons" and asked them to respect his family and neighbours.
TORONTO — The number of reported new cases of COVID-19 and related deaths surged in Ontario on Friday, a day after officials expressed cautious optimism the spread of the dangerous virus was moderating.Figures released show a record 1,855 new infections, a whopping increase of 25 per cent from the previous day. Public health authorities also reported 20 new deaths.There were slight decreases in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ventilators.The surge in new cases comes as the province grapples with how best to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in an effort to keep the health-care system functioning.Health Minister Christine Elliott said the sharp spike was not unexpected, given that stringent measures in the hard-hit Toronto area only kicked in on Monday. It would likely take two full weeks before the numbers start dropping, she said."We're still seeing the results from some of the events that have happened and some of the celebrations that have happened in the last few weeks," Elliott said.Premier Doug Ford spent much of Friday's briefing looking forward to the day when an anti-COVID vaccine might be available. Former chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier will oversee a distribution task force, Ford said, as he called on the federal government to provide details as soon as possible about the doses the province can expect."We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said.Several hospitals have now experienced outbreaks, including a major facility in London, Ont. Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ont., became the latest hit after three patients and two staff tested positive. The facility said it had closed its clinical teaching unit to new patient admissions and was pondering whether to close one of its eight operating rooms. It also said it was suspending in-person visits in favour of virtual connections.Staff at high risk of exposure had been tested and asked to self-isolate, Cheryl Evans, a Grand River spokeswoman, said.In recent weeks, the provincial government and local health authorities have reimposed increasingly stringent anti-pandemic measures, forcing businesses to close and strongly advising people in hot spots to all but isolate.On Thursday, police ticketed a provincial politician, Randy Hillier, for his role in an anti-lockdown protest at the legislature. Supporters carrying placards that suggested the pandemic was fake did not wear masks.Ford called the politician totally "irresponsible.""Folks that believe this is just a big hoax, which I've never figured that out, this is a very serious virus, we're seeing it around the world, around our country," Ford said.Four of the hardest hit regions all saw significant case increases, with Elliott reporting 517 new infections in Peel, 494 in Toronto, 189 in York Region, and 130 in Halton.The most recent provincial projections indicate the province was on track to see more than 9,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by mid-December without the more stringent measures.Ford has warned against planning Christmas or other celebrations, while Elliott has said it would be "very optimistic" to expect much of an improvement in time for the holidays.While schools have remained open, the education minister has warned that an extended winter break or move to remote-only learning may be needed."We are thinking ahead to be able to mitigate any increase of transmission in our schools because we've fundamentally, in this province, been able to keep that rate down,'' Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Thursday.Latest figures show 122 new cases in schools, bringing the total infections to 4,470, with at least 2,769 involving students, and at least 614 involving teachers and staff. Public health authorities on Friday closed the private Northside Christian School in Listowel, Ont., until at least Dec. 1 after an outbreak. Huron Perth Public Health said the school reported one case but others might be connected.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Service along the entire Confederation Line of Ottawa's LRT system is cancelled Sunday as part of work to install heaters to try to prevent track switches from jamming in winter weather.Replacement buses will be running throughout Sunday's closure between Tunney's Pasture and Blair stations. Most stations along the Confederation Line will also be closed Sunday, OC Transpo said. This is the second Sunday in a row service has been interrupted to install the new heaters. Last winter, snow accumulation appeared to cause switches on the eastern leg of the Confederation Line to malfunction, one of the key causes of the delays that beset the transit system.The Trillium Line has switch heaters powered by propane and natural gas, whereas the newer Confederation Line's were originally electric. The new heaters being installed will be powered by natural gas.
Yukon RCMP and territorial government officials issued dozens of charges and warnings during a crackdown on commercial vehicles in the Watson Lake area last week.A release says 72 vehicles and their drivers were checked over a four-day period.Drivers were checked to see if they were sober and properly licensed, their cargos were properly secured and their paperwork was in order."The trucking industry is vital to the Yukon, and the majority of people in the industry operate within the scope of the law," said Yukon Highways and Public Works official Sebastien Nadeau."It's unfortunate however, that this enforcement blitz saw so many infractions. We will continue to work with the RCMP and carrier compliance [unit] as well as National Safety Code to enforce the rules and ensure road safety," he said.Forty-four charges were issued, the release says, and 32 warnings were given. Most of the drivers were tested for impaired driving.The release says the offences included: * Three 24 hour driving suspensions, two related to alcohol use and the other to fatigue. * One 72 hour suspension for a falsified log book. * One improperly licensed driver. * Three charges for transporting inadequately secured cargo. * One charge for fail to report to weigh scale. * Two charges for careless driving. * Two charges for operating an uninsured vehicle."The violations identified in Watson Lake are reflective of the offences seen throughout the year, and as such drivers can expect to see our continued joint enforcement both roadside and at check stops", said RCMP Cpl. Natasha Dunmall with Yukon RCMP Traffic Services. The checkstops were done on the Alaska Highway, the Robert Campbell Highway and Highway 37.
KYIV, Ukraine — The president of Belarus said Friday that he would not remain in the post he has held for more than 26 years if his country adopts a new constitution. However, President Alexander Lukashenko did not describe the amendments he is seeking or give a timeline for when a new constitution might be adopted. Lukashenko has repeatedly raised the prospect of a new constitution since the Aug. 9 presidential election in which he won a sixth term produced protests demanding his resignation. The Belarusian political opposition and some poll workers have alleged the election was rigged. The opposition views the talk of constitutional revisions as a delaying tactic aimed at sapping the momentum of the near-daily protests, which have occurred throughout the country and attracted crowds sometimes numbering more than 100,000. Belarusian authorities have called for a national assembly of thousands of people in late December or January to discuss proposed constitutional changes. “I will not work with you as president under the new constitution,” Lukashenko said in comments released by his press service. The remarks came a day after Lukashenko met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who expressed support for a new Belarusian Constitution. Russia has close ties with Belarus, and Moscow has offered Lukashenko security assistance if he requests it. Lukashenko, who has been in office since 1994, has refused to negotiate with the opposition on a trasnfer of power or a new presidential election. Police have taken a hard line against the demonstrations, and human rights activists say more than 19,000 people have been detained and thousands of them beaten. The Associated Press
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Canada must shift its attention to investing for economic growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn over the next few years, says former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge.In an online presentation at the virtual Bennett Jones Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum on Friday, the former central bank chief said Canadian governments and businesses will have the advantage of low interest rates as they continue to need to borrow money in 2021 and 2022."Federal and provincial governments will have borrowed enormous amounts, $400 billion to date this year for the feds, $100 billion for the provinces, 20 per cent of Canadian GDP. And they will have to keep on borrowing through 2021 and 2022 in lesser amounts in order to ensure that a recovery is sustained," he said."It is essential the government ... supports investment in this period and not just private and public consumption as has been the case to date."The business forum is normally held in Lake Louise, Alta., in conjunction with World Cup alpine ski races, but both the races and the in-person conference were called off this year because of the pandemic.Dodge said he's expecting about 3.9 per cent economic growth in Canada in 2021, assuming vaccines are widely available after the second quarter, and 1.9 per cent in 2022. The pace of growth should return to 2019 levels by the spring of 2022, he said, but national output will still be three per cent lower than it would have been without COVID-19.Dodge said a key challenge for Canada going forward is to continue to develop its technology expertise to compete with the growing influence of China."COVID has accelerated the transformation to a truly digital world and to Asia as it's epicentre," he said."Canada can thrive in this world as long as Canadian businesses, workers and governments work together and focus on investing in the future, not in preserving the past."In a separate presentation, Anthony Viel, CEO of Deloitte Canada, said the country can bounce back better from the pandemic if it renews its focus on building a well-trained workforce reinforced by immigration, improving industry productivity and making better societal systems."In our latest report ... we make the case that Canada can't return to the pre-COVID path: divided, haves and have-nots, an aging population, poor productivity growth, low levels of investment leading to stagnating standards of living, stalled progress on national priorities and slowing growth in an increasingly competitive global economy," he said.He said the pandemic has put a "spotlight" on Canada's chance to change how it functions to build a brighter future for Canadians.Deloitte recommends that governments, businesses, and communities cooperate in new ways to pay for the rebuild using collaboration as they've done during the pandemic, adding Canada should study other country's models to find out how best to finance needed large projects.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is “profoundly disappointed” that 20 recordings of private meetings of the provincial emergency response team were leaked to the public. The recordings, made public by a CBC story published Thursday morning, paint a picture of Premier Jason Kenney and the provincial government overruling the expert advice of Hinshaw and civil servants and pushing an early relaunch strategy focused on the economy. “I have always felt my ideas are respectfully considered. I have always had respectful discussions with public servants and elected officials,” Hinshaw said to reporters on Thursday. “I do not dictate every detail of each policy decision and I should not. I was not elected by Albertans. The final decisions are up to elected officials who were chosen by Albertans. This is how democracy works." Alberta's top doctors said while the 20 meetings were leaked, they were taken out of the broader context of the meetings, and don’t show the meetings before and after the ones recorded as part of ongoing discussions to keep Albertans safe. The meetings were supposed to be private and a safe space, Hinshaw said, and leaking them is a violation of trust and the oath that public servants take. “The safety and trust are now broken,” Hinshaw said. Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro sang Hinshaw’s praises Thursday afternoon, calling her one of the finest chief medical officers of health in the country. Shandro said the CBC story violated Hinshaw’s confidence and embarrassed her. “I called Dr. Hinshaw this morning to say she has nothing to apologize for and she has my complete confidence,” Shandro said. In the past 24 hours, the province confirmed another 1,082 cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total of active cases up to 14,052. There are currently 383 people in the hospital including 84 people in intensive care. Ten more people have died from the virus, bringing the total amount of people who have died to 510. Yesterday, there were 15,900 tests done. Around 100,000 COVID-19 rapid testing kits will debut in the province in December. The COVID-19 testing capacity will allow for the identification and notification of positive cases in less than 20 minutes, which will speed up care and isolation, reducing the risk of further spread. The tests will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of showing symptoms, allowing health officials to quickly identify positive cases at testing sites, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing. To ensure the validity of the results, two swabs will be collected from each patient, and all negative tests from both systems will be subject to confirmation by the existing lab-based testing method. This is because a negative result is not as reliable as traditional testing and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials said they will use these pilots to determine how to streamline processes related to patient management, results notifications and digital record-keeping before the tests are deployed widely across the province. The province is looking at expanding the use of the tests where it can be of the greatest value to the public, such as at homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
The regular monthly meeting of the Prairie Rivers Reconciliation Committee was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 9:00 – 11:00 am via Zoom and although Gilbert Kewistep was unable to attend due to another commitment but offered up a prayer and a smudge prior to the meeting. Tracey Grande Maison chaired the meeting and called for a roundtable introduction of all those present. While it’s always nice to see all the regular faces around our virtual table, it was especially nice to see three new faces and welcome Lisa Braun from Hepburn, Rev. Emily Summach from Langham, and Velma Assinewai from Aberdeen. After the introductions the meeting moved on to the report from the Social Media Committee. The sub-committee, comprised of five individuals from the ranks of the PRRC, set a goal for themselves to share on the PRRC Facebook page, at least one news item, event, or story per week but currently they have been averaging two per week. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
The mother of homicide victim Preston Thomas made a rose to honour her son and said she plans to take the rose with her to every court appearance of the man charged with his murder. “This rose is a symbol of the justice I want for my son,” Lillian Thomas posted on social media. Joel Yuzicapi, 28, appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Nov. 17. He has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 4 in the 200 block of Avenue S North. Police charged him with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 27-year-old Preston Thomas. According to Saskatoon Police, they were called to a hotel on Airport Drive at about 7:20 a.m. on Aug. 1 for a report of an injured man in one of the hotel rooms. When they arrived they found Thomas deceased. Police say the victim and accused were known to each other. Yuzicapi is scheduled to appear again in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Dec. 2 for case management. Saskatoon Police Major Crimes continues to investigate. If anyone has information they are asked to contact the Saskatoon Police at 306-975-8300 and to ask to speak with an investigator in Major Crimes or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / The Battlefords News-OptimistLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist