Executive director of Anishnawbe Health Toronto, Joe Hester, says experiences of residential school and other past traumas are contributing factors for why Indigenous people are hesitant to get vaccinated.
Executive director of Anishnawbe Health Toronto, Joe Hester, says experiences of residential school and other past traumas are contributing factors for why Indigenous people are hesitant to get vaccinated.
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
Most of us are familiar with the three Rs associated with limiting our waste: reduce, reuse and recycle. As it turns out, there’s a fourth R: renew the recycling licence. During the Feb. 22 regular council meeting for the Town of Pincher Creek, Coun. Scott Korbett formally announced the town would not be renewing its recycling contract with KJ Cameron Service Industries. Come June 30, only empty beverage containers will be accepted at the bottle depot. “The Town of Pincher Creek intends to continue to offer a recycling program,” the town’s official statement reads. “We are currently working with our regional partners to have a smooth transition to a new program by the end of June.” While understanding the town is obligated to make economic decisions when it comes to contracts, Weston Whitfield, owner and manager of KJ Cameron, worries consolidating services on a regional basis might result in an inefficient service to taxpayers. The process of gathering, transporting, then re-sorting material, Mr. Whitfield adds, might decrease the price recycling facilities are willing to pay. “My concern is in the past, places that have done collaborations like that end up with a little bit of contamination and it can affect the resale of the product,” he says. Although no official details have been released, the plan for future recycling appears to involve the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill Association. Discussion recorded in the minutes of the Jan. 20, 2021, regular meeting of the landfill association includes “Recycling Update” as an agenda item. The minutes describe proposals being sent to each of the municipalities and note that, despite no reply being received, each of the municipal representatives — Coun. Dean Ward from Crowsnest Pass, Coun. Brian McGillivray from Pincher Creek and Reeve Brian Hammond from the MD of Pincher Creek — indicated their respective councils are still considering or interested in the landfill’s recycling proposal. Recycling was also a topic during last week’s council meetings for both the MD of Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass. During the MD of Pincher Creek’s Feb. 23 council meeting, chief administrative officer Troy MacCulloch updated council on plans to move collection bins from outside the MD office to a site off Bighorn Avenue and Highway 507, near the Co-op lumberyard. The site will cover recycling needs for residents from both the MD and town. “This will be a site that the MD will build,” said CAO MacCulloch. “We will cost-share it with the town, and then going forward it would be operated and manned by the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill.” Plans for the new recycling site are still tentative as the MD is working with the current landowner to develop a lease that would permit the property to be used as a transfer station for garbage and recyclables. The garbage bins by the MD office, he added, could also be removed. This will allow for further development and easier access of the standpipe, which will remain at the location. Meetings with Pincher Creek administration have discussed the possibility of the MD taking over the composting facility, which would be included on the site. Crowsnest Pass council also voted Feb. 23 to direct administration to find a location for their own recycling bin. Ease of access, along with being sheltered from the weather and from travellers’ field of vision, were identified as main priorities. Administration was asked to present a location at the March 16 council meeting with hopes that users could begin dropping off recycling by the end of the month. The goal is to eventually have three sites in the municipality to gather recycling. Beginning with one, said CAO Patrick Thomas, was a good place to “at least start and see what the challenges are,” especially to “see how [building] the fencing and screening goes.” The Town of Pincher Creek’s full official statement regarding the recycling licence can be found online at http://bit.ly/PC-Recycle. More information on Pincher Creek Bottle Depot and Recycling can be found at www.facebook.com/pcbottledepot. Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
The social media persona "Roaring Kitty," whose online posts helped spark January's trading frenzy in GameStop Corp shares, appeared before Massachusetts securities regulators on Wednesday to testify as part of an examination into his activities. Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, the state's top securities regulator, last month subpoenaed Keith Gill, who touted GameStop stock in his spare time while he was a registered broker and working at the insurer MassMutual. He was a key figure in the so-called "Reddit rally," which saw shares of GameStop surge 400% in a week before crashing back to pre-surge levels.
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy's office and a political blogger have agreed to settle a lawsuit over access to Dunleavy's news conferences. Under terms of the agreement, the governor's office agreed to pay $65,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. Jeff Landfield, who owns The Alaska Landmine website, said his attorneys will receive the full amount. Landfield sued in December, alleging he was improperly excluded from Dunleavy media events. Settlement terms were disclosed Tuesday along with a filing by state attorneys seeking to dismiss the case, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The dismissal request also was signed by an attorney for Landfield. Under the agreement, Landfield would get “the same access” at gubernatorial press conferences as other members of the media. There was no admission of liability or wrongdoing, and Dunleavy's office and Landfield will work to "issue a joint public statement regarding the amicable nature of this settlement.” U.S. District Court Judge Joshua Kindred in January granted an injunction requiring Dunleavy to invite Landfield to news conferences. The state appealed, but the settlement would render that moot. The parties have asked Kindred to sign off on the dismissal request. Dunleavy's press office in a tweet said the matter had been "settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. We are happy to say this amicable settlement will put this dispute behind us.” The Associated Press
After being found guilty on all 26 first-degree and attempted murder charges, Alek Minassian, the man responsible for the deadly Toronto van attack in 2018, will spend the rest of his life in jail, says criminal defence lawyer Karen McArthur, who was not involved with the case.
A Yellowknife MLA grew frustrated Tuesday as he sought to learn more about what the N.W.T. is doing to protect workers at the Gahcho Kué mine from COVID-19. An outbreak was declared at the mine on Feb. 3. Mining operations were suspended three days later. To date, 12 out-of-territory workers and eight N.W.T. residents have been connected with the outbreak. Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly put questions to Shane Thompson, the minister responsible for the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission. He wanted to know whether northern and southern workers had separate living quarters; whether people were wearing masks on the site; and what the protocols were for cleaning washrooms. To each question, Thompson had the same answer: it's up to the mine's owner to develop its own COVID-exposure plan, which must be approved by the WSCC and the chief public health officer, but is not dictated by them. "We have to respect that," Thompson said. "It's their plan." To that O'Reilly responded, "There seems to be some kind of top secret exposure control plan that he can't even share any info with me on the floor of this house." The frustration evident in his voice is similar to that raised by many business owners earlier in the pandemic, who were charged with drafting their own COVID-19 exposure plans. Though WSCC and the office of the chief public health officer were available to help business owners draft plans, some expressed frustration at the lack of direction, and the inconsistencies that came about as a result. Reached for comment, De Beers Canada, which owns the Gahcho Kué mine with Mountain Province Diamonds, was happy to share details from its COVID-19 exposure plan. "If we were asked to do so, Gahcho Kué Mine would be pleased to provide information regarding COVID-19 protocols and additional actions taken at Gahcho Kué Mine during the past week to MLA O'Reilly and all MLAs," spokesperson Terry Kruger said in an email. Kruger confirmed that masks are in wide use in all common areas "where physical distancing is not possible." He also said employees and contractors "work as a team, regardless of where they are from." All employees heading to the site undergo rapid antigen tests before traveling, and must test negative. They take further tests at regular intervals. "The use of face coverings, physical distancing protocols, good hygiene practices, daily health monitoring, documentation of daily contacts and other measures are also in place." Mountain Province Diamonds, which jointly owns the mine with De Beers Canada, announced plans to resume production at the end of last month. No vaccines for non-residents Kruger also said the company is promoting vaccination opportunities for all N.W.T.-resident employees and contractors. He was clear that non-resident employees were not, at this point, included. Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler raised concerns Tuesday that non-resident mine workers were getting prioritized to receive the vaccine ahead of local N.W.T. residents. Health Minister Julie Green assured her they were not. "The N.W.T. will not, will not prioritize non-residents over residents," Health Minister Julie Green said in response. "When all eligible residents have been vaccinated, and if there is vaccine … available, then the chief public health officer will look at the possibility of vaccinating rotational workers who are from outside of the territory."
OTTAWA — Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing anti-Semitism concerns ahead of a public conversation between NDP MP Niki Ashton and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.The heads of the Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Board of Deputies of British Jews say Corbyn is "toxic" and that the planned livestream talk between him and Ashton risks pulling New Democrats in a direction "antithetical" to Canadian values.Corbyn was booted from the British Labour party in October amid accusations he had weakened efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism.The party has been grappling with allegations anti-Semitism was allowed to fester under Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians and a critic of Israel who led the party for almost five years from 2015. Ashton has been promoting the March 20 chat, which will be hosted by Progressive International, an organization launched in 2018 by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Canadian author Naomi Klein and other progressive politicians and activists.Ashton and the NDP did not respond immediately to requests for comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021.—With a file from The Associated Press The Canadian Press
Plans to restart criminal jury trials in the Halifax area have hit another snag. Construction on two new courtrooms designed to meet COVID-19 restrictions is behind schedule. The two courtrooms, which are being built in the Burnside industrial park in Dartmouth, were supposed to open this week. But problems with the supply chain have pushed that construction deadline back to the end of this month, according to Nova Scotia court officials. Health experts have determined that the Law Courts building in downtown Halifax lacks sufficient space in the midst of a pandemic to accommodate the hundreds of people who are summoned for jury duty in a criminal trial. As the courts gradually reopened for other matters, jury trials in the capital city were put on hold, although there have been criminal jury trials in other parts of the province. At last count, there were about two-dozen cases that have been waiting for the time and space to conduct a hearing, with more being added on a regular basis. Three cases that were scheduled for this month have had to be moved. One resolved without a trial and the other two are now set to begin at the end of the month. One of the challenges for the new courts is creating a jury box that allows the 14 panel members to see and hear all the evidence and arguments while still maintaining the two metres of separation required under pandemic restrictions. MORE TOP STORIES
Une simple photo relative à une histoire du vaccin de la COVID-19 qui au départ devait être somme toute banale est devenue virale sur le web au point ou des gens ont été injuriés, insultés et même menacés de se faire attaquer physiquement. Cette fameuse photo sur les réseaux sociaux indique que «l’hôpital de Baie-Comeau a trois cas de paralysie chez les employés qui ont reçu la première dose du vaccin. Il n’y a plus personne qui le veut maintenant à Baie-Comeau», peut-on lire une fois les fautes d’orthographe corrigées et la phrase restructurée. Une des personnes ciblées a contacté macotenord.com pour mettre en garde les journalistes contre les choses dites sur le web. «Il faut faire attention à tout ce que l’on rapporte et ce que l’on dit». Ensuite, elle a accepté de raconter les faits sous le couvert de l’anonymat par peur de représailles étant toujours à l’emploi du Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte-Nord. «Oui j’ai la paralysie de Bell. Et oui je travaille ici. Mais rien ne confirme le lien de ce diagnostic et le vaccin.» Elle ajoute: «ce sont des risques qui vont avec tous les vaccins. Les autres causes possibles de la paralysie de Bell sont le virus de l’herpès buccal ou le réveil du zona.» Cette dame assure que les médecins suivent l’évolution de son état de santé. Au CISSS, on a confirmé à Radio-Canada qu’un cas de paralysie faciale a effectivement été observé chez une personne ayant reçu une dose de vaccin contre la COVID-19 il y a quelques semaines. Le CISSS mentionne que la paralysie faciale n’a jamais été associée statistiquement à aucun vaccin. Néanmoins, ce cas a été compilé au registre du fichier central des effets secondaires post-vaccinaux par la direction de la santé publique de la Côte-Nord. Réactions vives Chose certaine, cette histoire de vaccins a créé un tollé sur les réseaux sociaux. Un tsunami de commentaires, parfois injurieux, ont inondé la toile. On parle de plus d’une centaine en moins d’une heure. «Ça ressemble à une belle fausse nouvelle de conspis. Je vais y croire quand une employée de cet hôpital va en parler», peut-on lire parmi tous ces commentaires pour la plupart peu élogieux. «Fake news pour faire peur au monde. Je travaille à l’hôpital et je me suis informée auprès de collègues, médecins, personne n’a entendu parler. Alors ne croyez pas tout ce qui se dit sur les réseaux sociaux», a écrit une internaute. «Un gars m’a menacé de contacter Facebook pour faire fermer mon compte uniquement parce que j’avais partagé la dite photo, sans émettre aucun commentaire» a publié un autre internaute précisant être un résident de Baie-Comeau, sans plus. Le CISSS précise que plus de 17 629 doses ont été injectées dans la région jusqu’à présent. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
OTTAWA — Efforts to boost Canada's ability to produce vaccines are among over 100 research projects receiving new federal money. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $518 million Wednesday he says will support the work of nearly 1,000 researchers. The projects receiving the cash also include ocean sensors to track climate change and setting up a digital archive to house records related to residential schools. The vaccine-related funding will be directed to the researchers from the Universite Laval-affiliated hospitals in Quebec City. Their aim is to create a public vaccine production program that will help develop and test vaccines and launch related startup companies. Frustration that Canada is reliant on foreign manufacturers to access the COVID-19 vaccine has led to calls to boost Canada's domestic capabilities. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO – The provincial government announced new measures meant to make carp fishing more accessible in southern Ontario including along the St. Lawrence River. The new regulations, announced February 24th, allow anglers to use up to three lines when fishing for common carp. “This will help more anglers take advantage of Ontario’s world-class carp fishing opportunities,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski. The regulation changes cover zones 12 through 20 including Lakes Huron, Erie, Ontario, and the Ottawa River. “The St. Lawrence River system and tributaries are well-known as a fishing destination for carp anglers,” said Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. “This new measure will make carp more attractive as a sportfish, which will also help to support local tourism operators who host international clients.” There are a few conditions for anglers to follow if using more than one line. Bait used by anglers must be plant-based or artificial corn. Those shoreline fishing cannot have their lines more than two metres apart. If fishing from a boat, all the lines need to be on board with the angler. The ministry said conditions are to lower the risk of catching non-Carp species of fish, and reduce crowding of anglers at popular shoreline fishing locations. Matt Windle, a research scientist with the St. Lawrence River Institute said that the common carp are an introduced, non-native species of fish originally from Asia. “The fish can cause damage to local aquatic ecosystems by reducing water clarity, uprooting vegetation, and competing with native fish species for food sources,” he said. “Although technically not classified as invasive, they do cause problems for other native fish in the region, and as such I am in favour of the proposed plan to adopt multi-line fishing for this species, with the caveat that there be measures in place to prevent increased bycatch of native species.” The carp fishing season opens this year on May 1st and runs until July 31st. Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader
Terrace RCMP arrested two men that had visited someone in COVID-19 isolation and tried to hit a police officer with a chair, according to an RCMP media release. On Feb. 17, RCMP received a report about two men who were visiting a person in COVID-19 quarantine at the Sunshine Inn. The occupant of the room, who is a client of ‘Ksan Society, called the front desk for help after the men refused to leave. The front desk called ‘Ksan Society, who then called who called the RCMP. When police arrived, they told the men they were unwelcome and needed to leave. “The men became combative with police, lifting a chair and attempting to strike the member with it, shouting expletives and threatening to kill police officers on scene,” the release states. The men were arrested for assault with a weapon, resisting arrest and uttering threats. They were later released by police undertaking to address the matter in court. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
SDG – Major road rebuilding projects remain one of the largest capital funding issues at the United Counties. While SDG’s transportation department has a robust maintenance program to extend the life of existing roads, some roads are beyond repair and need rebuilding. County councillors heard at the February 16-17 budget deliberations of several roads in need of rebuilding including a section of County Roads 8 and 18 in South Dundas, and County Road 22 in North Glengarry. The 1.1 kilometre section of CR 8 and 18 is being rebuilt in 2021, but CR 22 is a few years off. Councillor Steven Byvelds (South Dundas) proposed a solution to the long term funding woes of capital projects. “When Counties goes to the next budget, we can go to this list of roads that are not part of our roads plan but are in dire need ,” Byvelds said. “We’ve done really well in saving money for the manors, but what is a project we should look at – I consider that the now roads.” He cited the condition of roads like County Roads 5, 8, 31 and 22 which are not part of the county’s current four year roads plan. “This allows us as a county to deal with what we need to deal with and have the money set aside,” Byvelds added. His motion proposed the creation of a major roads reconstruction capital reserve, and a policy that directs any unspent money from the transportation and roads budget be collected in that reserve for capital projects. This includes any surplus or unused money from projects or where tender bids have come in below the budgeted amount. In past years, the department would find other uses for the funds towards the end of the construction season, or take on new smaller projects. Byvelds motion directed staff to create a new policy to set aside funds for the reserve, and come back to council with an inventory of what the transportation and planning department considers its “Now Roads” list. “I think Councillor Byvelds has come up with a great potential solution here,” said Councillor Carma Williams (North Glengarry). “I think the solution Councillor Byvelds has put on the table is a very creative way to stop us from having this road conversation where the ones we want to get to just go off into the abyss,” said Councillor Kristen Gardner (South Dundas). “I fully support any unused funds from roads projects being reallocated to look at the ‘Now Roads’,” Councillor Frank Landry (North Stormont) told council adding that the county’s asset management plan should be looked at to make sure that the roads on the plan are the right priorities. TPS director Ben deHaan said that if council passed Byvelds’ motion, the department would create a list independent of the current four-year roads plan with roads in need of major work. “Once we have that list, and that war chest built up, we can pick off that list,” deHaan said. Councillor Tony Fraser (North Dundas) asked for clarification if the proposed reserve would be the sole source of major road funding moving forward or would there be other sources sought. Byvelds explained that other “Now” projects were completed using federal gas tax funding received or using existing reserves. “I’m not saying we can’t dip into other reserves but right now we have no specific reserve to deal with these ‘Now Roads’,” Byvelds replied. “If we don’t start putting money aside for the roads that aren’t part of our four year plan then we’ll never get them done.” Councillor Allan Armstrong (North Dundas) spoke in support of Byvelds’ proposal. “At least it’s creating a savings account for some of these things that we don’t get to do and there is some money being dedicated towards this. It somewhat trains this council, and hopefully other councils will stay with it, to be mindful of putting away a savings account, and that’s a good start.” Council supported Byvelds’ solution, and staff will bring the policy for final approval at the upcoming March 15th meeting. Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader
Jasper is another step closer to seeing the Connaught Drive Affordable Apartments become reality following a decision by municipal council at their March 2 regular meeting. Council approved installation of utility services to the GC, GB and GA parcels in 2021 in conjunction with the construction of a 40-unit apartment building, a modular construction containing 32 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom suites. The project represents the first phase for lands identified to host new affordable housing in the community. Council also directed administration to develop the borrowing bylaws required to fund Connaught site utility services, to a maximum of $3.647 million and present them at a future regular council meeting. Administration will also allocate $350,250 in the 2021 budget for upfront project costs for the Connaught Drive Affordable Apartments, subject to approval of a Rapid Housing Initiative grant applied for by the Jasper Community Housing Corporation. At the start of council’s discussion, Coun. Bert Journault said he was opposed to spending the money to extend the services to parcel GA, noting that it was unfair to saddle the taxpayer with the costs. “But I certainly support the proposal for the development of that area,” Journault said. “That’s a late property. It will provide our community with a lot of houses.” Deputy mayor Helen Kelleher-Empey noted all the work should be done simultaneously as the area had many residents and two hotels. “I know it’s a lot of money up front but if we’re going to tear up the west end of Connaught I think we should do the work all at once,” Kelleher-Empey said. “Let’s do the work. Let’s get it done and safe (for) the residents and the businesses on that end of town, to not be doing this piece by piece. Do it at once. It saves money in the end.” Coun. Paul Butler agreed with Journeault initially, while Coun. Jenna McGrath pointed out that administration said parcel GA is important for technical reasons. Chief administrative officer Bill Given said the recommendation is built on the requirement to reduce and eliminate the risk of water stagnation via a dead ending, which would make installing utilities for just sites GB and GC more challenging and costly if not impossible. He also noted an additional challenge is about firefighting capacity. “In order to maintain the appropriate volume of water required for fire flows for the hydrants and for high density housing, as is likely on GB and GC parcels, we need to have a high volume of water coming into the sites,” Given said. “This is not about encouraging or supporting development on GA. It is about maintaining appropriate fire flows.” A table showed that servicing just parcel GC would total about $1,840,434, while servicing all three sites at the same time would cost an additional $1,806,666 for a total of $3,647,100. In contrast, if a phased approach is taken, additional incremental costs of $211,100 would be required. By servicing all three parcels at once, $211,000 would be saved and there would be support for private sector interest in near term development on parcel GB. As well, disruption would be minimized to Connaught Drive. The annual debt servicing costs on a $1.8-million debenture over a 25-year term are about $97,500 and about $195,000 on a $3.6-million debenture over a 25-year term. Wastewater Treatment Plant Council directed administration to enter into contract negotiation with Aquatera Utilities Inc. for a 10-year operating contract of the Jasper Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Since Jan. 27, 2020, the WWTP has been operated by a contracted service provider (EPCOR) under a one-year service agreement. The agreement was extended until June 30, 2021 to complete the RFP process and ensure an orderly transition. A standard services agreement (SSA) was included in the RFP to help proponents refine their services proposals while mitigating the risk of misunderstanding and disagreement during final contract negotiation. “This is a substantial contract,” said Mayor Richard Ireland. The SSA contract will be negotiated and ratified by council and utility rates will need to be adjusted annually. Administration doesn’t anticipate an increase of utility rates for the 2021 year. Canada Healthy Communities Initiative Council carried a motion to approve the submission of an application to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative for up to $250,000 for improvements to public spaces within the townsite. The improvements include a streetscape plan, sidewalk improvements, planters, benches, wayfinding improvements and a patio grant. Applications must be submitted by March 9. Review committees will start meeting to make decisions on March 10 and all applicants will receive results by April 30. Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
The Fort Nelson First Nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality are voicing their support for a proposed wood pellet facility after a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report criticized the project, which involves cutting down vast tracts of forest and turning them into pellets for export overseas. Most wood pellets are made with waste materials like branches and trees that can’t be used to produce lumber, combined with milling byproducts such as wood chips and sawdust. But Peak Renewables doesn’t have access to byproducts and plans to log whole trees for pellets, which would be shipped overseas and burned to produce heat and electricity. The report said the plan would not do enough to support Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, but those communities disagree. Last year, the First Nation signed an equity agreement with Peak Renewables to ensure it has a say in logging activities and plant operations. “Without talking to us, conclusive statements about Fort Nelson First Nation’s forestry projects have been made by groups that are far removed from our territory,” Chief Sharleen Gale said in a Feb. 23 news release. “These statements totally fail to take into account the livelihoods of our people and our extensive land stewardship work.” The Narwhal requested an interview with the Fort Nelson First Nation but did not receive a response prior to publication. Northern Rockies Mayor Gary Foster told The Narwhal the majority of community members welcome the proposed pellet plant, which will create jobs and economic stimulation in a town that has suffered over a decade of recession. “There’s always going to be a few people in any community that are going to be opposed,” he said in an interview. “And we have a few of those. But honestly, I would be shocked if it was more than five per cent of the population.” As The Narwhal recently reported, the province is currently considering a proposal from Canfor to transfer its logging licence to Peak Renewables, which would give the pellet company logging rights to over 500,000 cubic metres of wood per year. The public has until March 3 to comment on the proposal. Fort Nelson residents have been struggling since 2008, when the city’s two mills shut down. The ensuing recession saw people lose their homes and businesses. For the past 13 years, the region has had very little commercial forestry activity. There have long been calls for more jobs in the region. According to Peak Renewables, the proposed project would create 60 jobs at the plant, 300 logging jobs and 150 secondary jobs in related industries like maintenance and equipment supply. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report said the plant would only employ around 50 people and compared that to the 600 people who were employed between the two Fort Nelson mills. Foster told The Narwhal an apples-to-apples comparison is misleading, as mills are increasingly turning to automation, which means fewer jobs are created. “If those same mills existed here today, they would not be employing anywhere near the number of people they had employed then,” he said. As part of its plans to build the pellet facility, Peak Renewables bought the pair of closed mills from Canfor for around $10 million last year. Ben Parfitt, resource policy analyst for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of the report, said he is worried the project will lead to unsustainable logging and won’t provide the economic stimulus needed. “From a jobs perspective and from a forest health perspective, this is not going to take the region in the direction that I think it wants to go with, which is to ensure that there is a maximum number of jobs at the local level that help to stimulate the local economy and that they have good healthy forests now and in the future to work with,” said Parfitt, who is also a freelance contributor to The Narwhal. In a news release circulated with the report, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Conservation North and Stand.Earth called on the province to delay its decision and consider other uses for the forest that could create more jobs while using less wood. But the Fort Nelson First Nation said the licence transfer and proposed pellet plant align with its long-term goals to stimulate the economy and rebuild the local forest industry. “Our partnership allows us to own these opportunities, to create sustainable jobs and to chart a sustainable course for future generations,” Gale said in the statement. “The partnership is committed to both existing and future local value-added opportunities. This is reconciliation in action.” The nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality also manage B.C.’s largest community forest, which was set up in 2019 and includes a licence to log over 200,000 cubic metres per year. In her statement, Gale called out critics for ignoring the benefits the pellet plant would bring to the region. “Public statements by people far removed from our community and the project have wholly failed to mention the project’s strong commitment to the development of both existing and future local value-added businesses, including Fort Nelson First Nation forestry tenures and the Fort Nelson First Nation community forest partnership with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.” Parfitt emphatically agreed that the Fort Nelson First Nation should control decisions made on its territory. He said his recommendation is for the province to hand over management of the entire Fort Nelson timber supply area to the Indigenous community and its local partners. The nation could then proceed with supporting Peak’s pellet plant or pursue other options. The province has never done this before and Fort Nelson’s harvestable forest is the second-largest in B.C. The timber supply area spans nearly one million hectares, which is about twice the size of P.E.I., from which over 2.5 million cubic metres of trees can be harvested every year. “There is nothing stopping the provincial government from turning the entire TSA over to the First Nation and to the non-Indigenous community in the region in order for them to have a substantial building block for figuring out what a new forest industry in the region could look like.” But Gale said its choice to partner with the pellet company and support the licence transfer is an inherent right. “Since Canada forced us onto reserves and claimed our land for themselves, we have been told how we should live in our own territory. We unquestionably hold the best knowledge of our territory and an unalienable right to self-determination and to freely pursue our economic, social and cultural development in our lands.” Foster said the biggest barrier to rebuilding a forest-based economy in Fort Nelson is the nature of the forests themselves. “We have valuable conifer in amongst not very valuable aspens,” he said. “In order to get at that conifer, you have to remove the aspen and you have to find a place for it — you can’t ship it down the rail line because it doesn’t have much value.” He said this is where Peak Renewables comes in. The company would log both trees, using the lowest-value and waste material for its pellet production. “Once you free up that conifer, then you’ve got a wood of sufficient value that you can ship out or manufacture into higher-value commodities,” Foster said. Peak Renewables told The Narwhal in an emailed statement that it would make sure trees that can be used for other purposes won’t be ground up for pellets. “We expect that the younger, high-quality aspen will go into either veneer or furniture stock, with any remaining material (branches and tree tops) being used for pellet production.” Peak Renewables added it would support local operations whenever possible. “[Spruce] will firstly go to the small independents in Fort Nelson and surrounding area, and then to other mills to support jobs in northern B.C. It just makes financial sense to try to use the logs as close as possible to where they are harvested.” Foster said without a facility like Peak’s proposed pellet plant, it wouldn’t be economically feasible to log the high-quality wood. “This is a first step and it’s a very important first step.” The proposed logging licence transfer has other critics. In a Feb. 22 article for Canadian Biomass, Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, said buyers of B.C. pellets are concerned about the proposal and logging intact forests to produce pellets won’t be well-received in the marketplace. “To put it bluntly, there is no market for pellets from the logging of vast forests for the sole purpose of pellet production,” he wrote. “WPAC does not support wood pellet manufacturing proposals that are predicated on the large-scale harvesting of forests for the sole purpose of pellet production.” Gary Fiege, president of the Public and Private Workers of Canada Union, which represents forestry workers, told The Narwhal there are better options. He said the aspen could be logged for oriented strand board, or OSB, adding that a mill to manufacture this product in nearby Fort St. John recently announced it was reopening after shutting down in 2019. OSB, which is similar to plywood, is widely used in construction and known for its structural strength. Fiege said if the aspen were used to produce OSB, it would not only provide more direct jobs at a mill, it would also stimulate the local and regional economy. But after 13 years with no proposal to restart the mills, locals are ready for an alternative. “The Fort Nelson First Nations and the Northern Rockies have been very clear [we will] make sure that our forests are sustainable, that we don’t over-log this area,” Foster said. “I’m very optimistic that as this takes hold, we will see more and more value-added [manufacturing] come into the community.” Matt Simmons, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Narwhal
The Healthy School Foods Program has adjusted its menu this term to offer items more familiar to Island students. “Some families loved the old menu,” said Katelyn McLean, the registered dietitian who has been leading the program. “But maybe the menu items were a bit too unfamiliar, especially in rural areas.” As a food literacy initiative, last semester’s pay-what-you-can lunch menu included items intended to introduce students to new ingredients and foods such as butter chicken, hummus or taco bowls. Some of the lesser known items discouraged some students from ordering the meals rather than trying new foods, according to Ms MacLean. Through talking with parents and students, she has witnessed, the definition of familiar food varies greatly in the province. “When we were developing the new menu and asking some students what they thought, we tried chili with a roll. One of the students had never heard of chili before. This student was in Grade 6.” Ms MacLean explained that the menu will continue to offer foods that are new to some. Providing hot, healthy foods daily even if they are familiar is still a component of food literacy. The pay-what-you-can model continues to ensure equitable access to healthy food for all students. This may be even more crucial as families deal with economic fallout from the pandemic. Ms MacLean didn’t have specific numbers but families paying the full price of $5 for a meal is less than projected. “There are a lot of factors going into that. One being we launched this program in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. Overall the program has been well received. Local vendors had served more than 235,000 meals to Island students by the program’s 24th week running in February. Jayme Brown, Marlee Howlett and Lauren Howlett, Grade 7 students at Souris Regional School have all tried the lunches. They say the program is something that should definitely continue. “It’s great to have a reasonable price for lunches that are good quality,” said Marlee who knows not everyone in her school can afford a cafeteria meal every day. “Some of it is amazing; for the most part it is really good,” Lauren said. Occasionally Lauren has skipped items that didn’t personally appeal to her. “There was a stir-fry I just wouldn’t eat,” she said. The group, however, loves items such as pulled pork and potatoes or spaghetti. They all noted the menu appears to have improved over time. Ms MacLean said that could be attributed to vendors getting used to the flow of things or to the work necessary to come up with a new menu and with Canada’s Smartest Kitchen. Canada’s Smartest Kitchen helped Ms MacLean and her team to thoroughly review what students would like and helped to refine recipe instructions right down to the weights of each ingredient. Jack Kristinsin is in Grade 3 at Souris Regional. After finishing a meal he approved of (carrots, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy) he said he likes the lunches most of the time because he gets a nice hot meal rather than a sandwich that gets “squished” in his lunch box. Just as his peers said, Jack doesn’t like all of the meals. Chloe LaBrech, in Grade 12, says she likes the convenience of pre-ordering online. She doesn’t have to rush in the morning to make a lunch and cafeteria food can be expensive. Ms MacLean sees improving food literacy and maximizing the program’s potential as a marathon of work rather than a sprint. “It’s something that will evolve.” Ms MacLean looks forward to reviewing Island schools’ curriculum and identifying gaps that could be filled. Right now Food Literacy items are learned in science, health, home economics and cooking classes. “I think we’ve already done a good job of incorporating nutrition information and the Canada Food Guide information into the curriculum,” she said. Other areas of Food Literacy could likely use some attention, Ms MacLean said. “Where does our food come from, how do you grow it? How do you prepare it? How does a potato get from the ground to our plate?” She expects Island students could gain a better understanding of answers to these questions. Right now various local food vendors make and deliver the hot meals to most Island schools. However a non-profit has been developed and its board is looking to hire and organize staff to prepare and deliver the meals possibly by September. Ms MacLean said a variety of models may work in tandem next year. Some vendors may continue to provide the meals alongside the non-profits. Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic
The first calls came in just before 8:30 a.m. from bystanders worried about a plane that seemed to be having trouble over Lac Barron, near the lower Laurentians town of Gore, Que. The aircraft ultimately crash-landed into the ice-covered lake, and when first responders managed to reach the wreck they found a lone occupant. He was unconscious and transported to a nearby hospital. The Sûreté du Québec later confirmed he had died from his injuries. SQ spokesperson Sgt. Jean Raphaël Drolet said the force's major crimes division is investigating the circumstances of the crash. The Transportation Safety Board is also on the scene and will conduct its own investigation. According to a federal civil aviation database, the downed aircraft appears to be a two-seat, amateur-built kit plane that was assembled in 2010 and may have been based out of Trois-Rivières.
TORONTO — The world's most beloved Beagle is carving out a new kennel in Canada. After debuting "Snoopy in Space" on Apple TV Plus in late 2019, Halifax-headquartered media company WildBrain and its mostly all-Canadian team are now digging deeper into the late Charles M. Schulz's comic strips with the newly launched "The Snoopy Show" and upcoming Peanuts gang specials for the streaming service. Toronto-based showrunner Mark Evestaff says the projects are the first major Peanuts content to come out since "The Peanuts Movie" in 2015, and seemingly the first to be made in Canada. The creators have worked closely with the Schulz family and his Creative Associates company in the U.S. to respect his classic works as the franchise establishes roots on this side of the border. That's why viewers won't see Snoopy and the gang using cellphones, for instance, or look much different than the simple line drawing of the comics. "It was all inspired by going back to the strip and pulling out some stories and then talking about them," he said in an interview. "And then of course, there's artistic licence. "As storytellers ourselves and fans, we want to remain loyal to the world that Mr. Schulz created. Of course we had to fill in some blanks, but it really was, 'How would Mr. Schulz have approached this?' And trying to be faithful to that world and to the characters." WildBrain, formerly DHX Media, became the majority owner of the Peanuts brand in 2017 and took a team to the Creatives Associates headquarters in Santa Rosa, Calif., to discuss ideas and Schulz's wishes for the future of the franchise. "Charles Schulz's office is still there and it's still set up," Evestaff said. "You can still see the worn-out places where he would have drawn these characters. Some of his pen nibs are there and some of the ink is there, and they preserved it. There's a wonderful museum there that's separate, and it was really humbling but very inspirational in terms of making the show." As per Schulz's wishes, the team agreed to stick to tradition and not include modern technology in the Peanuts world of the animated family series. "Snoopy still types on his old typewriter, they still use the old-school wired phones," Evestaff said, noting viewers may also see an old TV here and there. "It also keeps the kids outside all the time, so we didn't even really find any instances where we needed to have some of the other technology." Both "The Snoopy Show," which launched last month, and "Snoopy in Space," which has been renewed for a second season, were developed and produced by WildBrain’s animation studio in Vancouver. The voice artists are based in Toronto and have been recording there during the pandemic. Terry McGurrin voices Snoopy and Rob Tinkler performs his yellow feathered pal Woodstock. To make the characters' sounds, which range from Snoopy's signature "bleah" to Woodstock's high-pitched chirps, McGurrin and Tinkler use "a bit of audio magic" and a lot of physicality that's "pretty weird" to witness in person, Evestaff said with a laugh. "We bring them into the booth and they do ridiculous things with their voices, and then we treat them and play that back," he said. "If you were to walk in, you would certainly be surprised at what you're hearing. They embody these characters, and you see it." Canadian composer Jeff Morrow creates the show's score, staying true to its jazz origins and letting the musicians improvise a bit, which was also done on the original Peanuts specials. "It is something that was important to us, was important to Jeff, and has made a huge difference in the show in terms of just having that free-flow feel in the show that is characteristically Peanuts," said Evestaff. Some of the Canadian creators are based in Los Angeles but jumped at the chance to work the series because it's such a prestigious brand, Evestaff said. In "The Snoopy Show," viewers see the Peanuts world from the perspective of the dynamic dog's overactive imagination and flights of fancy — from his persona as a flying ace, to that of a lawyer and Joe Cool. As per the original Peanuts animation, when Snoopy is pretending to be a flying ace on top of his dog house, viewers never see the bottom of it, so it doesn't ruin the fantasy. Also like the original, the four weather seasons are an important part of the storytelling and design, which made Canada a perfect destination for the creation of such scenes. "Being Canadian, there are lots of nods to hockey and figure skating and winter sports and snow and winter activities that we're proud of, because it's something that we know we can represent and be authentic," Evestaff said. "If someone's taking a hockey shot, whether it's a snap shot or a slapshot, we are going to make sure that we're going to get it right or at least close anyways, but that we know the difference and that we're able to portray that. We feel quite at home with it." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Most kids are introduced to probability math by rolling dice over and over on a desk or floor. But Maureen Richardson’s Grade 3 class will learn the likelihood of rolling snake eyes (hint: it’s low) by programming a small hand-held device to display numbers on a screen at the push of a button. “Instead of just going and getting a bag of dice ... we can code a dice or coin flipper,” she said. “They’re learning code, but we’re using it as a tool to help us with our math.” Richardson, a teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Elementary School in Waterdown, is using code to teach her Grade 3 class everything from probability and temperature to spelling to social-emotional skills. Thanks to Microsoft and Fair Chance Learning, a Canadian company working to bring technology to classrooms, Richardson has a class set of micro:bits, which are minicomputers “the size of a child’s palm” — about $25 each — that she uses to teach kids the basics of coding. “When they get a device in front of them, their eyes light up,” she said. “They’re excited about it.” Richardson uses block coding, a language in which Lego-like bricks are connected to create commands. “You just sort of click and drag the code that you need over into the workspace and that’s how they write their code,” she said. “It’s very simple.” In the fall, Richardson introduced the class to coding through a simple activity: programing the micro:bit to “write” letters in the device’s 25 LED lights. “When you start the program, it will then spell their name based on the blocks they put it in the order,” she said. “It’s just teaching them that each of these little blocks connect together.” Once they mastered the device’s functions, the students could practise spelling other words using the device. Other activities include programming the micro:bit, which has a temperature sensor, to act as a thermometer, coding happy — or sad — faces to express emotion and using the built-in accelerometer as a step-counter to measure physical activity. “We know that’s what’s ahead for them, that coding will be part of their jobs in the future,” said Richardson, who has two daughters in post-secondary STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. “Knowing what their career path is like, I thought, ‘You might as well start introducing them now.’” Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator