A Manitoba artist who has been homeless for five years is gaining national attention for his artwork and getting help finding a home after one of his drawings was shared thousands of times on social media.
A Manitoba artist who has been homeless for five years is gaining national attention for his artwork and getting help finding a home after one of his drawings was shared thousands of times on social media.
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
A federal judge has reversed a decision turfing Thunderchild First Nation Coun. Michael Linklater. A Thunderchild appeal tribunal panel ousted Linklater for failing to live on the reserve — a move he said violated his Charter rights. In a Wednesday decision, Justice Sébastien Grammond revoked the tribunal panel's call because it didn't consider Charter concerns over Linklater's residency requirements. Applying the Charter to a First Nation's laws is "controversial," but the two also aren't in "complete isolation" from each other, Grammond said. Instead of making any "general pronouncements" on the issue, he aimed to send the matter back to the panel. He said it will have to consider the case again, if the residents who initially raised concerns want to pursue the matter. He also didn't grant Linklater's request to have the court order a vote on residency requirements, because the court doesn't "have a general power to call elections or referenda in (a) First Nation," his decision stated. Linklater said he is unaware of when another tribunal panel will be held, and called the decision "a win." He said the issues raised over his residency were valid, but the matter continues to be an ongoing question in other First Nations. Thunderchild's chief of operations, Winston Walkingbear, did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Grammond's decision noted the First Nation's government supported Linklater’s position. Linklater filed an application for judicial review in August after the tribunal panel pushed him off council for failing to meet residency requirements. In an interview at the time, he also suggested creating a council position to represent off-reserve members. Linklater, who lives in Saskatoon, argued a lack of housing on the First Nation prevents him from living there. In his decision, Grammond noted there's a 400-person wait list for a home on the First Nation. Jonathan Jimmy was one of two band members to raise concerns over the issue to the panel. In August, he said Linklater violated a rule requiring any councillors to move to the First Nation within 30 days of being elected. "If you want to be a leader of Thunderchild, you need to live in Thunderchild," Jimmy said at the time. In September, the First Nation almost held a vote replacing Linklater, but a federal judge halted the process a few days before it went ahead. Linklater was formerly a basketball player with the Saskatchewan Rattlers until he retired in 2019. He was elected to office in 2018 and said he looks forward continuing the role at the First Nation's next council meeting. "I've spoken to the rest of the leadership and there's no hard feelings."Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean will be one of the first regions in the province to get rapid COVID-19 tests, as part of new efforts to get the coronavirus under control in the hard-hit region.Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said Friday he expects the tests to be available by the middle of December.Like other provinces, Quebec has been slow to deploy rapid tests as it figures out how to best use them.Arruda described them as another "tool" in the fight against the pandemic."They must be used in the right way," he said at a news conference in Saguenay, explaining that rapid tests could be used to do a screening of the broader population.Arruda said the situation in Saguenay is "very fragile," but said "there is hope." He once again urged the public to follow the guidelines: hand-washing, distancing and limiting contacts."Please count the number of people you have had contact with in a day, and reduce that number."The tone of the news conference was slightly more upbeat than a week earlier, when local health officials warned the situation was nearing a tipping point.The number of new cases has hovered between 100 and 200 a day, below some of the daily counts seen last week.Andrée Laforest, Quebec's minister responsible for the region, who was also at the news conference, said the situation appears to be improving but that the health network is still strained. Nurses and doctors have sounded the alarm that the pandemic has made staffing difficult in the region, particularly in Chicoutimi.
Sometimes, the simplestideas can make the biggest impact. A new fundraiser in Kanesatake is turning the idea of donations into something a little more exciting. With KB & PG Spin’dles, there is more than one winner. Spin’dles was started by two Kanehsata’kehró:non women with the intention to not only raise money and help out as much as they could, but also to pay it forward to those participating. “It’s honestly so rewarding to be able to make people’s day, especially in light of the pandemic,” said one of the organizers Patricia Kahentanoron Gabriel. Earlier this October, 27-yearold Gabriel was approached by her longtime friend Kassandra Kaiewate Bonspiel, 26, with the idea of organizing a “spin-towin” to raise money for various causes. “I thought that the idea behind it could be something amazing within our community,” said Bonspiel. She explained the concept as something very straightforward yet exciting, where community members buy tickets for slots on the wheel to get the chance to win different prizes. Each week, once all the slots are sold, the girls spin the wheel live on Facebook to announce the winners. Part of the cost of the tickets covers the gifts, such as coffee machines, fashion or electronic items, while the rest goes into donations. The previous Spin’dles have been able to each raise $200 for the the “Kanehsatà:ke supports Mi’kmaq fishermen raffle” hosted by Watsenniiostha Nelson and another $200 for the families of Antoine Paquin and Dylan Auger - the two young men who never made it home after a fishing trip at the Lake of Two Mountains on Saturday, November 14. They have also donated to other places like the Kanehsatake Language & Cultural Center, and are always looking for more causes to help. “I’m really grateful that we can be a part of something special like this,” said Gabriel. While the women grew up together and now both work at the Kanesatake Health Centre, it’s the first time that they collaborate on such an initiative. With no sponsors or collaborators, the women are left to do everything by themselves while navigating their own personal lives. “We have a similar way of thinking and doing things but we each bring something unique to the table and that’s how it ends up blending together well,” said Gabriel, mother of three. “We actually joked around at how this has turned us into shopaholics,” she added, explaining that they have been spending a lot of time either running around or shopping online. The women also wanted to include the community as much as possible in the decision-making process. Bonspiel said that the community has been very supportive, whether it’s about choosing which organization the next donations will be handed to or what kind of prizes they would like to bet on. “We brainstorm before to be able to give out bigger donations,” said Bonspiel, who is pregnant with her first child. After listening to the community’s feedback, KB & PG Spin’dles introduced the Donation Meter on November 20, with the goal to raise $5,000. The amount will go towards helping students from the community pay their tuition fees. As the initiative is gaining more and more popularity - we are talking about people waiting in virtual lines to get a ticket for the PlayStation 5 kind of attention - the women’s dream to give back is quickly becoming tangible. “I strongly believe that it is the beginning of something amazing within Kanesatake,” said Bonspiel. email@example.comVirginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
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.
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
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Walt Disney Co. announced plans to lay off 4,000 more workers in its theme parks division in California and Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the industry.The announcement by the company was made in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week, saying 32,000 employees will be terminated in the first half of fiscal year 2021, which began last month. In late September, the company had already announced plans to terminate 28,000 theme park workers.In the SEC document filed on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, the company said it also put 37,000 employees not scheduled for termination on furlough as a result of the pandemic.“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the document said.The company also said they may make more cuts in spending such as reducing film and television content investments and additional furloughs and layoffs.In Florida, the company has been limiting attendance at its parks and changing protocols to allow for social distancing by limiting characters' meet and greets.The company has not specified the number of workers that would be affected in its Orlando theme parks.Disney’s parks closed in March as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened in the summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen pending state and local government approvals.The Associated Press
Randy Van Horlick, 71, was sentenced to six months in jail followed by two years of supervised probation for attacking two nurses at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital in Moncton in March 2019Judge Yvette Finn said the aggravating factor was Van Horlick's lack of remorse for what he did.Reading from her notes, Finn highlighted Van Horlick's statement at a sentencing hearing earlier in the month, when he maintained that he would not have assaulted Poirier if she'd done her job properly and that she was lucky he didn't kill her. "He is still angry about the position he was put in," said Finn.Nurse manager was first victimFinn read the facts of the case that included a blow-by-blow account of the assault against Poirier.She was a nurse manager at the Dumont Hospital when Van Horlick stuck his head into her office.Within minutes he had her by the hair and was striking her in the face and temple as well as twisting her arm. The injuries she suffered have left lasting effects.Reading from Poirier's victim impact statement, Finn said the nurse now has chronic neck and arm pain, and her brain injury stops her from following conversations and leaves her feeling, "even stupid at times."Poirier wrote that she may not be able to return to her position as a nurse manager.Teresa Thibeault was working as a licensed nurse practitioner the afternoon of the assault. She heard her colleague screaming and, following the cries for help, entered Poirier's office to find her on her knees, with Van Horlick holding her by the neck, punching her in her face. Three times she intervened, and her wrist was twisted and injured in the struggle. Thibeault was off work for six months after the attack.Van Horlick's backgroundThe pre-sentence report said Van Horlick was born in Vancouver and moved to Acadieville in 2012 with his wife.The report said she had epilepsy and health issues when the two married 21 years ago.Van Horlick refused to go into details about his family or background but did talk about the stress he felt being his wife's primary caregiver for such a long time.She has since died, and the report said he has had a hard time accepting that she is gone.Finn said stress and fear of losing his wife were explanations for what Van Horlick did, but they shouldn't influence her decision on sentencing."I find in this circumstance there are few mitigating factors,"Defence sought community sentenceThe crown had previously asked that Van Horlick serve three to six months in incarceration, while the defense asked the sentence be served in the community.Finn said her decision to send Van Horlick to prison for six months was to act as a "denunciation and deterrence" for him and others.As the hearing ended, Finn said to Van Horlick, "Just let it go."He shook his head no and was led from the court into custody.Nurses reactAfterward, Poirier said she didn't have much to say other than she was glad it's over.Thibeault said, "It's a little bit disappointing."She said she was hoping for a longer jail term. Notice of civil suitThe Crown had asked for restitution, but Finn said the victims would have to go to civil court for compensation.Papers filed with the court of Queen's Bench show that Natasha Poirier did just that in August. The notice of claim asks that Van Horlick be held responsible for Poirier's income loss and the loss of future earnings, among other costs.VanHorlick filed a notice of intent to defend in September.
Two Native American tribes in northern Minnesota are asking state regulators to stop the imminent construction of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement, saying it would increase the risk of coronavirus infections spreading.The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa filed a motion late Wednesday asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to stay its approval of the $2.6 billion project. They argue construction would put locals at increased risk of coronavirus infections as workers move into the area.The bands and other pipeline opponents have sued and protested to try to block the project, and an appeal by the state Commerce Department is pending. They want the PUC to halt the project while that legal challenge plays out.The pipeline project took a step forward on Monday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the final federal permit needed. The Public Utilities Commission has already approved the project several times, but still needs to give construction a final green light.Enbridge says the pipeline replacement will provide a safer way to transport the oil to Midwest refineries while creating 4,200 construction jobs and generating millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues.Opponents say the project threatens spills in pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice and that the Canadian tar sands oil it would carry would aggravate climate change.The Associated Press
TORONTO — A man who drove a van down a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people showed no anger toward women during his psychiatric evaluations, court heard Friday.Dr. John Bradford, one of the country's foremost forensic psychiatrists, testified that Alek Minassian's complete lack of anger and emotion is in direct contrast with Elliot Rodger, an American mass murderer he purportedly idolized.Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder. The defence argues the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be found not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018 due to autism spectrum disorder. His state of mind at the time is the sole issue at trial, which is being held by videoconference due to the pandemic.After a brief cross examination by the prosecution, Justice Anne Molloy, who is presiding over the case without a jury, took time to ask Bradford several questions."Did he ever talk to you about any degree of hatred or rage directed towards women?" the judge asked."In my contact with him, he didn’t show any anger whatsoever," Bradford said. "I don't think he expressed any particular hatred, other than in the context of what he focused on with Elliot Rodger and why he followed that."Rodger went on a rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., in May 2014, killing six people and injuring 14 others before killing himself. His "manifesto" and his video before the murders focused on his hatred towards women and has found an audience in the bowels of the internet where he is treated as the forefather of so-called "incels," men who are involuntarily celibate.Minassian told police hours after the attack that he killed innocent people as part of an "incel uprising." In that world, incels are on the bottom rung of society, below alpha males called Chads and the women they sleep with, called Stacys, and below them are "normies," or normal people. Minassiand told a police detective he hoped the attack would upend that societal order.But in his interviews with Bradford, Minassian changed his story."He denies that is part of incel although he has been disappointed in the past with his social interactions, but when confronted about being extremely angry, enraged, he denies this now categorically and maintains that he (has) only been disappointed and that he made this up about being enraged," Bradford wrote in his report.Bradford said Minassian told him while he was obsessed with the "incel theme," he was not a follower. "He talked about that theme, but without much emotion," said Bradford, who met with Minassian more than 15 times as part of a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. Minassian also told Bradford his motivation was due to his anxiety about failing at a new job as a computer programmer he was set to begin a week after the attack. He also said he was motivated by the notoriety the attack would bring, even though he had planned to die in a "suicide-by-cop."Then in later interviews, Minassian reverted to the incel uprising as his motivation. Bradford testified Minassian's affect was flat through their meetings and he showed no emotion when describing in great detail the attack. Minassian also lacks empathy, Bradford testified, but he is not psychotic and, therefore, does not meet the test to be found not criminally responsible.Bradford did leave the door open to a "theoretical" pathway for Minassian to be found not criminally responsible through autism spectrum disorder, but noted he was not of that opinion, partially because he has little experience with that disorder.He said Minassian suffers from no other disorder, is not and has never been psychotic, is not a psychopath and did not have depression despite the suicide plan and a later suicide attempt in jail."This is a unique case of somebody with no autism co-morbidity who carried out a mass homicide and lived who by his own planning would be deceased," Bradford said."I knew that this was going to be unusual. As an expert, I believe my role is to give my opinion and give it as clearly as possible, but also to acknowledge that others may have a different opinion."Another psychiatrist testified that Minassian's autism spectrum disorder left him fixated on mass killings and vulnerable to the ramblings of an American mass murderer.Dr. Alexander Westphal, an American psychiatrist who is set to testify Monday, is expected to be the lone voice to say Minassian is not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
St. Albert currently has 239 active cases of COVID-19, with another 25 cases being diagnosed overnight. Provincial data released Thursday shows another nine people recovered from the virus, bringing the total up to 430 recoveries. The city has seen 672 people diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began. In Sturgeon County, there are 93 active cases with 169 recovered. Morinville has 33 active cases with 84 recovered. 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 passed away from the virus, bringing the amount of people who have died so far 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 a PCR test and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials 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
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
Le bilan lavallois est désormais de 602 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela signifie que le territoire connait une hausse de 62 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Le total de décès demeure à 725 depuis le début de la pandémie. 80 tests positifs ont été effectués dans les 24 dernières heures. Ainsi, depuis le mois de mars, 11 163 citoyens lavallois ont été affectés par le virus. Parmi les personnes touchées par la COVID-19, 28 sont présentement hospitalisées, dont 5 aux soins intensifs. 19 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Chomedey est le quartier le plus touché pour une deuxième journée de suite avec 22 nouveaux cas confirmés. Il devance désormais Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides (+19) à titre de secteur le plus affecté par la pandémie en chiffres absolus sur les deux dernières semaines. Ce dernier demeure toutefois l'endroit avec le taux d'infection le plus élevé sur cette même période, soit 264 cas par 100 000 habitants. À l'inverse, Vimont/Auteuil connait la plus faible augmentation de l'île Jésus avec 5 nouvelles personnes touchées. Il est aussi le secteur le moins affecté des 14 derniers jours, que ce soit en chiffres absolus ou en taux d'infection. De leur côté, Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul et Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose ont ajouté 12 et 7 cas à leur total respectif. Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac compte quant à lui 11 nouvelles personnes touchées. *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 63 cas jusqu’ici.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government made sure to sign deals with a variety of potential COVID-19 vaccine producers to ensure Canadians would get one that works. He says that if everything goes according to plan, most Canadians will receive their immunization by next September.
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
THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man accused of an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver in late August appeared in court this week to plead guilty to several, unrelated charges connected to fraud from earlier this year. Colton Herneshuhta, 21, pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges relating to fraud, forgery, a break and enter and breaching probation orders on Thursday, Nov. 26 in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom. Court heard several instances where Herneshuhta used fake cheques to defraud several agencies in the city from January to April. On Jan. 6, Herneshuhta attended a loan agency business on Red River Road and presented a forged cheque for $1,139. A few days later, the business learned the cheque was fraudulent and alerted police who identified Herneshuhta as the person who cashed the cheque. He was also on probation at the time. On Jan. 9, Herneshuhta again used more fake cheques at two different businesses on Red River Road totalling $900. In a different case, another complainant gave Herneshuhta her debit card and pin number after he lied about why he needed it, according to Herneshuhta lawyer's George Joseph. “Mr. Herneshuhta made attempts to withdraw money that were outside the perimeters of the representation he made to (the complainant),” Joseph said. He initially attempted to withdraw $1,499, but was only able to take out $500, court heard. In April, Herneshuhta used a fake cheque of $850 to defraud the Children’s Aid Society. A few months later in August, Herneshuhta was identified as a suspect of a break and enter at a business on Victoria Street on Aug. 2. The Crown stated there was no estimate provided by the business of the damage caused or items stolen. Joseph told the court his client has struggled with a cocaine addiction for 10 years which has fuelled his criminal behaviour. Since being in custody, Herneshuhta has remained sober and has been working on his education as well as taking advantage of programs while in custody, Joseph said. Herneshuhta was sentenced to a joint submission of six months in custody, less pre-sentence custody. Crown counsel Piera Pasloski said Herneshuhta’s criminal record is limited and acknowledged his addiction which has been driving his criminal behaviour. “Mr. Joseph shared with me at the counsel pre-trial that Mr. Herneshuhta has had an extremely hard-wired addiction problem since age 11,” she said. “The hope is he will get himself the treatment he needs once he is released and that this behaviour will cease.” Herneshuhta was given credit at an enhanced rate for the time he has spent in pre-sentence custody of 136 days. He has 44 days left to serve going forward. After his custodial sentence, he will be placed on probation. Part of his probation conditions include participating in any assessments for counselling and substance addictions as well as completing any treatment programs if he is directed by probation. He is also not to contact any of the complainants or enter the businesses he defrauded. He will have 12 months to pay a victim surcharge fine for each of the 13 counts. Herneshuhta was not ordered to pay a restitution order. Herneshuhta also has outstanding charged connected to an alleged armed robbery from Aug. 24 of a pizza delivery driver. He is scheduled to return to court for these matters in early December.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
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
Three N.W.T. projects are getting a financial boost from the federal government, in a move aimed at fostering employment and economic growth in northern and Indigenous communities.Michael McLeod, Liberal MP for the Northwest Territories, announced the $1.3-million investment on Friday, on behalf of Mélanie Joly, the minister of economic development and official languages, who is responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).The money, which is being invested by CanNor, is meant to support "training, entrepreneurship, capacity building and infrastructure development" in the N.W.T., according to a news release from the agency. CanNor's mandate is to support economic development in the North.Of the $1.3 million in funding, $731,727 will go toward a three-year project at Makerspace YK, a non-profit organization and community hub in Yellowknife that fosters hands-on learning and skills-building."The funding will assist with the renovation of a commercial space into a collaborative space, which will support skills development, job creation and innovative new businesses in Yellowknife," the news release states. "The Makerspace will also provide access to industrial equipment and a tool lending library."The funding is expected to help create two full-time jobs, and support the local manufacturing sector.Cat McGurk, Makerspace YK president, said the organization is excited to work with territorial and federal partners to help drive economic diversification."Thanks to CanNor we'll be able to create a space where we can host workshops and work on projects, and foster a collaborative environment for the next generation of Yellowknife entrepreneurs," McGurk said in a statement.Funding for equipment in Fort LiardAnother $175,000 has been set aside to support economic development in the traditional territory of Acho Dene Koe First Nation. The money will go to Beaver Enterprises LP, a company in Fort Liard, N.W.T., that offers construction, excavation and maintenance services.The funding supports a one-year project, and will help the company purchase a grader for construction and maintenance work, according to the news release."This project is expected to result in 10 full-time jobs being maintained and additional employees being hired on a seasonal basis," the news release adds.CanNor is also putting $464,000 toward "business and financial planning for the future construction and operation of an integrated waste management facility" in Norman Wells, N.W.T.The new facility is expected to boost Indigenous employment and training, and support entrepreneurship.CanNor says jobs will be created in Norman Wells and other communities as a result of the project."Once the project is complete, the waste management facility is expected to have a significant economic impact for the Sahtu and beneficiaries of the Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement," the press release states.The federal government said Friday's investment is also aimed at helping northern businesses overcome the financial challenges posed by COVID-19."We have provided support so businesses can develop the skills they need, build the infrastructure to expand, and acquire the equipment they need to get to work," McLeod said in a statement. "This investment ... will help create good local jobs in Northern and Indigenous communities."
Windsor-Essex is becoming a "red" zone as of Monday following a dramatic escalation in COVID-19 cases this month.It's the third straight week the region has moved up a category that mandates tighter pandemic restrictions on activities and behaviour.Yet another bump-up "hurts" says Mayor Drew Dilkins, but he called on the community to pull together to protect each other."The fact that we have moved three times in the past three weeks is an obvious indicator that the situation in our region is significant, and getting worse," he said in a statement."It hurts having to take another step back, but that's what we'll do, and together we'll regroup as a community and refocus our efforts on keeping each other safe."Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the decision Friday afternoon as Windsor-Essex was one of five regions placed in new categories."Over the last week we have seen a shift in the trends of key public health indicators in regions across the province, and by moving these five regions to a new level in the framework, we can ensure that the necessary targeted measures are in place to stop the spread of the virus and allow us to keep our schools and businesses open."The "control - red" category is the second-highest tier of public health restrictions in the province's COVID-19 response framework. The next step would be a full lockdown.Under red-level restrictions, indoor dining is limited to 10 people and dining must close at 10 p.m., with alcohol sales ending an hour earlier. Gyms are limited to 10 patrons at a time, and indoor social gatherings have a limit of five people.A full list of the restrictions is available here.The announcement follows weeks of rising COVID-19 cases in the region. As recently as early November, Windsor-Essex was in the "prevent - green" restrictions category, the least strict tier.There are currently 354 active cases in the region, 51 of which were announced earlier on Friday. Two schools are shut down due to outbreaks, and there are four outbreaks in long-term care or retirement facilities.In response to the surge in cases, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced Friday that it will be adding at least 17 staff, including COVID-19 investigators.The move to the red tier of restrictions was anticipated. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health, said Wednesday that Windsor-Essex technically meets the criteria though that call would be made by the province.Sarnia-Lambton will move into the yellow "protect" level starting Monday, according to Lambton Public Health.Response from cityIn a news release Friday, the City of Windsor said that it will be taking additional measures beyond those mandated by the red level.It said will suspend recreational services in pools, arenas and community centres for a two-week period starting Sunday. The suspension will be reassessed after two weeks.Concerns from businessesEarlier this week, one business owner, Tom Lucier of Phog Lounge, said he can't keep up with how quickly the rules and regulations have evolved."Right now, they're essentially closing us without closing us and we're jumping through hoops day-to-day and it's just not fair, it's kind of silly," he said. Caesars Windsor casino told CBC News that it would temporarily close on Monday due to the new restrictions.Brian Yeomans, chair of the Downtown Windsor BIA, previously told CBC News he's heard concerns and frustration from members."[Businesses] did a fantastic job through the summer and making sure that everything was safe, they followed all those guidelines, they followed all the rules," he said. "And when things aren't getting better, they're the ones that are still being punished instead of people that are having these house parties, that are leaving and going and doing other things and that's infuriating."
Holiday events that normally attract hundreds of people across the Halifax region are being revamped, going virtual or being outright cancelled to discourage large crowds from gathering during the pandemic. Lower Sackville will stream its traditional Christmas tree lighting Friday night on Facebook so people can watch from home.In Halifax, public ceremonies have been cancelled for the lighting of the tree and the menorah at Grand Parade outside city hall. Lights on the Christmas tree will be turned on Saturday, while the menorah will be lit up during Hanukkah.There will also be a light show projected onto the exterior of city hall between Friday and Jan. 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 9:45 pm."Instead of having one night and one event, it'll be every 15 minutes," said Mayor Mike Savage. "Watch the show — I think it will be cool — but remember to keep your distance."No public event to mark Halifax ExplosionThe only day the light show will be turned off is Dec. 6, which will mark 103 years since the Halifax Explosion. Wreaths will be laid at Fort Needham in the city's north end, but again there will be no public ceremony.Savage will post an address on the municipality's Facebook page shortly after 9 a.m., which is when the explosion took place in 1917.The city's New Year's Day levee has also been cancelled.'All about lights and decorations'At Sullivan's Pond in Dartmouth, the public Christmas tree lighting will not take place as it traditionally does on the first Saturday in December. Instead, a tree with lights will be in its usual spot and downtown Dartmouth will be decorated for the holiday season."It's all about lights and decorations this year and not about any gatherings of any kind," said Tim Rissesco, executive director of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission."Battling COVID is taking precedence over everything, as it should."Downtown Dartmouth will also have a light show, similar to the one in Halifax, projected onto the former post office on King Street.MORE TOP STORIES