What was initially a minor crash became more serious when a vehicle lost control on the ice and crashed into a parked OPP cruiser. The officer was unhurt, but the driver of another vehicle was injured and taken to hospital by EMS.
What was initially a minor crash became more serious when a vehicle lost control on the ice and crashed into a parked OPP cruiser. The officer was unhurt, but the driver of another vehicle was injured and taken to hospital by EMS.
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
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Three funeral workers have been fired for posing for photos alongside the body of soccer star Diego Maradona shortly before his funeral.The images distributed across social media created outrage, even death threats, across a nation that venerated Maradona, who died Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60. Tens of thousands lined up for a chance to file past his body at the nation's presidential palace on Thursday.Claudio Fernández confirmed to Radio Diez on Friday that he'd lost his job at the Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Claudio Medina.One of the images shows Fernández and his son — smiling and with thumb raised — alongside Maradona's body in the coffin on Thursday. Medina appears in another in the same pose.Fernández insisted that he hadn't known they'd planned to take a photograph, much less distribute it. “It was something instantaneous. I'd just raised my head and my son did it like any kid of 18,” he told the radio station.He said he had been receiving threats from others living in the El Paternal neighbourhood where Maradona debuted as a professional in 1976 with the Argentinos Juniors team.“They know me. I'm from the neighbourhood," Fernández said. “They say they are going to kill us, break our heads.”The team issued a statement saying it was considering expelling Fernández from its membership rolls.ience (asterisk)The Associated Press
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
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante can now add "author" to her resume with the publication of a graphic novel in which she recounts her entry into politics and takes subtle digs at the sexism she's encountered along the way. '"Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics," tells the story of Simone Simoneau — modelled on Plante — a young community organizer who decides to take the plunge into politics by running for a seat on city council. Published in both English and French and co-authored by illustrator Delphie Cote-Lacroix, the book follows the initially hesitant Simoneau as she learns to fundraise, knock on doors and recruit volunteers. Plante, 46, said she began to toy with the idea of publishing a book after she won the mayoralty in 2017. Writing a typical political autobiography didn't appeal, she said. "For me the graphic novel format was always what I wanted," she said in a recent interview at her publisher's offices. "I think it’s accessible, it can be fun, and I love graphic novels myself." The book is based on Plante's own sketches and anecdotes she began jotting down in 2013, during her first run for a seat on city council. Four years later, she became the first woman elected mayor of Montreal after her surprise defeat of experienced incumbent Denis Coderre. While the writing and drawings were initially a form of self-care to help her "stay balanced," she said she eventually came to see that her story might inspire others, especially young girls. "I wanted to show, and maybe tell, people it’s OK not to have all the keys and codes to do something you think would be a good thing to do or you believe in," she said. "Just go for it." She began working with Cote-Lacroix on evenings and weekends, taking about two years to finalize the story and illustrations. Plante said that, much like her character in the book, she had been looking for a new challenge before her entry into politics. Then she received a phone call from left-wing municipal party Projet Montreal, which was looking to diversify its slate of candidates. In the book, Plante doesn't shy away from the challenges faced by women who put themselves in the public eye. At one point, one of her character's posters is defaced by sexist graffiti. In another, her character's husband gets effusive praise for helping to care for the couple's children — something the book points out is a given for female political spouses. While the book "won't change sexism," Plante said she hopes it will help highlight the double standards women face. Three years into her mandate, Plante has had a bumpy year, marked by a global pandemic that has devastated the city's economy and criticism over her administration's failure to implement its big visions for affordable housing and transportation. She has also faced anger over what some have described as an anti-car agenda, which includes building bike lanes, eliminating parking spots and temporarily closing some streets to vehicle traffic to create "sanitary corridors." At times, that criticism has escalated to the level of death threats. While some criticism is to be expected, Plante attributes much of the public anger directed her way to the anxiety wrought by the pandemic. "Not to minimize their actions of being very aggressive, violent or doing death threats, but I like to hope in the future, when people are less stressed and in a better position, things will calm down," she said. She also faced criticism earlier this year over her novel itself, with some high-profile commentators questioning her decision to "draw cartoons" as the city was embroiled in the COVID-19 crisis. Plante dismissed this as unfounded, especially since she says the writing process wrapped up in late 2019. "People were just kind of trashing the book (without) even reading it, which I thought was sad, because it wasn’t about the content, it was about criticizing the author," she said. However, she did push back the book's publication for a few months when the pandemic's second wave began. Plante said she would still recommend politics to young people who want to make a difference, even as she acknowledges it's a "tough" career that comes with unusual levels of public exposure. "But hopefully people see in the book, the love that you get from your volunteers, it's a community, it’s people working together," she said. "It’s worth it." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Champion ice-dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury were among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders named to the Order of Canada.Gov. Gen. Julie Payette's office announced the new honourees Friday morning.Others in the group include Indigenous writer Thomas King, winemaker John Peller, dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Langley, geriatrician Roger Wong, Cree elder Doreen Spence, sports academic Dr. Sandra Kirby, wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and ex-politicians Bill Graham and Allan Rock.Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018.They're being honoured for their athletic excellence and for inspiring a new generation of figure skaters."Feeling all wrapped up in emotion ... Upon learning about being invested into the Order of Canada, I couldn’t help but think that as a kid, I would have never known to dream so big," Virtue posted on Twitter."I am humbled by this honour."Tewksbury, who is being named to the top companion rank, won gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.The 52-year-old Calgary native came out publicly as gay in 1998 and has been an advocate of LGBTQ rights as well as a prominent member of Canada's Olympic movement, serving as chef de mission of the 2012 London Olympic team.He is being honoured for athletic excellence and sport leadership, and for championing human rights.Kirby, a rower at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is being honoured for her research on athlete harassment and her advocacy for equity, inclusion and safety in sport. Frick coached Canada's women's wheelchair basketball team to three straight Paralympic gold medals from 1992-2000 and four straight world championship gold medals from 1994-2006.He is being honoured for his expertise in coaching and for his contributions to the advancement of parasports in Canada.The Order of Canada is one of the country's highest civilian honours.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
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
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is lashing out at people protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures outside his house. During his daily briefing, Ford called the protesters "buffoons" and asked them to respect his family and neighbours.
Selon un sondage effectué par Equifax Canada, 62 % des Canadiens prévoit dépenser un montant similaire ou supérieur à l'an dernier lors de leur magasinage des Fêtes. À l'inverse, seulement 33 % prévoient dépenser moins qu'à pareille date en 2019. La façon de magasiner sera quant à elle bien différente en raison du contexte de pandémie de la COVID-19. 65 % des répondants prévoient magasiner en ligne cette année. Le sondage révèle également que 56 % des citoyens canadiens ne visiteront pas leur famille élargie cette année. Ce nombre grimpe à 60 % pour les consommateurs de 55 ans et plus. Bien que 54 % des personnes sondées ont préparé un budget en vue de leur magasinage des Fêtes, plusieurs d'entre elles affirment avoir des difficultés à rattraper le retard dans le paiement de leurs achats (33 %) à la suite de cette période de l'année. Un même pourcentage (33 %) éprouve beaucoup d'anxiété au sujet de leur niveau actuel d'endettement personnel. On note aussi que 19 % des répondants regrettent leurs achats des Fêtes lorsqu'ils reçoivent leur relevé de carte de crédit. La COVID-19 a eu des effets sur la situation financière des répondants. 68 % d'entre eux ont dû reporter un achat important depuis le début de la pandémie, que ce soit des vacances (59 %), un projet de rénovation (25 %), l'achat d'un véhicule (22 %) ou d'une nouvelle maison (19 %). 31 % s'entendent également pour dire que leur emploi est moins sûr en raison de la pandémie. «Même si personne n’aime devoir reporter un achat important, les données de notre sondage confirment que la plupart des gens continuent d’agir de manière responsable par rapport à leur endettement, a expliqué Rebecca Oakes, vice-présidente adjointe, Analyse avancée chez Equifax Canada, par voie de communiqué. Le fait de trop s’endetter en période d’incertitude financière peut être stressant. L’optimisme est une bonne chose, mais il est très important de planifier les achats importants.» Par ailleurs, 45 % des personnes sondées disent s'attendre à ce que les finances de leur ménage se stabilisent au cours des six prochains mois.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
The P.E.I. government announced Friday the timing of its expansion of its current insulin pump program that will extend benefits to Islanders with diabetes up to age 25. The previous age cutoff for the program was 18.The province will also increase the number of glucose tests strips available through its diabetes drug program from 100 to 120 strips.It's a commitment the province made in its 2020 budget, announced in June. The other Atlantic provinces already cover insulin pumps for those up to age 25. The changes to the programs are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2021."Diabetes [affects] more than 15,000 Islanders, and it is so important that we offer additional support to these individuals so they can live healthy, fulfilling lives without cost as a barrier," said Health Minister James Aylward in a news release.Insulin pumps allow people with diabetes to auto-administer insulin rather than injecting a syringe throughout the day multiple times. According to Diabetes Canada, there are more than 48,000 Islanders living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase to 57,000 in 10 years as the population ages. Age restriction remainsAdvocates for more help for Islanders with diabetes have been calling on the province to lift the age restriction altogether, as Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and the three territories have. There was no mention of that in Friday's release.Aylward also announced a new diabetes strategy for the next four years aimed at three key areas: prevention, detection and management — exactly the same goals the province had for its very first diabetes strategy, in place from 2014 to 2017. "We want to work with Islanders to help reduce the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes; we want to make sure that more Islanders are screened for diabetes; and, we will help Islanders better manage diabetes so they can live healthy and active lives," the 2020-2024 strategy says.In addition to financial assistance, Health PEI's provincial diabetes program offers education and advice to Islanders living with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it, the release said. Diabetes Canada said in the release it is pleased the province has aligned its goal with the organization's national strategy, called Diabetes 360°, and looks forward to working on it with government. More from CBC P.E.I.
The regular monthly meeting of the Prairie Rivers Reconciliation Committee was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 9:00 – 11:00 am via Zoom and although Gilbert Kewistep was unable to attend due to another commitment but offered up a prayer and a smudge prior to the meeting. Tracey Grande Maison chaired the meeting and called for a roundtable introduction of all those present. While it’s always nice to see all the regular faces around our virtual table, it was especially nice to see three new faces and welcome Lisa Braun from Hepburn, Rev. Emily Summach from Langham, and Velma Assinewai from Aberdeen. After the introductions the meeting moved on to the report from the Social Media Committee. The sub-committee, comprised of five individuals from the ranks of the PRRC, set a goal for themselves to share on the PRRC Facebook page, at least one news item, event, or story per week but currently they have been averaging two per week. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
Service along the entire Confederation Line of Ottawa's LRT system is cancelled Sunday as part of work to install heaters to try to prevent track switches from jamming in winter weather.Replacement buses will be running throughout Sunday's closure between Tunney's Pasture and Blair stations. Most stations along the Confederation Line will also be closed Sunday, OC Transpo said. This is the second Sunday in a row service has been interrupted to install the new heaters. Last winter, snow accumulation appeared to cause switches on the eastern leg of the Confederation Line to malfunction, one of the key causes of the delays that beset the transit system.The Trillium Line has switch heaters powered by propane and natural gas, whereas the newer Confederation Line's were originally electric. The new heaters being installed will be powered by natural gas.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase among Edmonton's homeless population, the city's only isolation facility for homeless people is planning to expand. The isolation shelter opened three months ago to provide a safe place for people without a home to recover from the disease. Its location is not publicly disclosed. It has 65 beds but will soon increase its capacity by 40 per cent to contend with capacity issues that could arise in the weeks ahead, said Elliott Tanti, a spokesperson for the Boyle McCauley Health Centre, which operates the isolation shelter. The existing site will expand within the next two weeks, as soon as enough staff can be redirected to manage the new beds, Tanti said Thursday. "It feels a little bit like we're in the eye of the storm right now." Frontline workers are preparing for a possible large outbreak of COVID-19 among people who are homeless. "We did go a very long time without a confirmed case in the inner city, and that is no longer the case," Tanti said. "And so the ramp-up of cases and the pressures on the sector right now, we know will exist for the next two or three weeks. "We have to make arrangements to make sure that we're keeping our staff and the people we serve as safe as possible. That's the bottom line." Site opened in August Homeless people in Edmonton who test positive for COVID-19 — but who don't require hospitalization — are immediately transferred to the isolation shelter. The site began operating in early August after an emergency shelter at the Edmonton Expo Centre closed, leaving hundreds of people looking elsewhere for food, shelter and medical services. The lease on the isolation site was secured by the province through a partnership with a private operator. Out of privacy concerns for the people staying there, the location has never been disclosed publicly. Each resident has an individual room and bathroom and gets three meals each day. Medical staff and security officers ensure patients are safely admitted, monitored and discharged. The shelter was initially designed to house all individuals in the homeless population who were possibly infected but that is no longer the case, Tanti said. In September, shortly after the first outbreak was identified in the city's homeless population, overflow isolation sites were set up across the city for people who developed symptoms, or were considered close contacts, but had not yet tested positive. Those sites are still operating. Tanti said they were opened to ease any potential capacity issues at the isolation shelter. "It's the triaging that I know the medical sector has been doing for months now, but we're doing it now," he said. Exact numbers of patients at the isolation facility are hard to pin down, Tanti said. The number of available spaces fluctuates every day. "It's hectic," he said. "People are coming and going. For example, today we went from zero beds available to 15 beds." Although the numbers are hard to track, Tanti said confirmed and suspected cases have been steadily increasing in recent weeks, in tandem with escalating COVID-19 cases across the province. Convention centre outbreak Plans to expand the isolation facility coincide with an outbreak at the homeless shelter in the Edmonton Convention Centre downtown. On Thursday, there were 12 cases linked to the outbreak. On Friday, acting city manager Adam Laughlin told council the outbreak had grown to 22 cases. "Individuals who tested positive were immediately taken to an isolation space in the facility, before being moved to the Edmonton isolation facility," shelter officials said in a joint news release Thursday. "Additional precautions have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. These include enhanced cleaning, signage with distancing reminders and the use of personal protective equipment when responding to overdoses and other medical emergencies." The shelter will remain operational throughout the outbreak. Contact tracing is underway. The convention centre shelter opened on Oct. 30 as a temporary facility. Hundreds of people — including many who spent the summer living in now-dismantled homeless encampments — now rely on the facility each day. The outbreak at the convention centre shelter is the third cluster of cases to develop at homeless shelters in the city. The first outbreak was declared at Hope Mission on Sept. 22 and involved at least 15 cases. A second outbreak, also at Hope Mission, was declared on Nov. 18. As of Thursday, 17 cases had been linked to the second Hope Mission outbreak. Ten cases were active and 7 cases had recovered. Tanti said the sector is hopeful that new health restrictions will cut down on community transmission but many of the health directives are difficult, even impossible, to follow when living on the street. "Being able to socially distance is a privilege. How do you isolate when you don't have a home?"
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
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
Patrick Curran, a former judge and the recent interim director of Nova Scotia's police watchdog, has been appointed as the province's new police complaints commissioner. Curran's three-year-term begins Dec. 1. He will take over for Judith McPhee, who is retiring.The police complaints commissioner's office is responsible for overseeing and monitoring complaints and investigations involving municipal police in Nova Scotia. It includes public complaints about alleged misconduct from officers.In a statement, Curran said the purpose of the commissioner's office is to "enhance public confidence in our municipal police agencies through fair and effective civilian oversight of the complaint process.""I am very much looking forward to taking on this important role," he said."Throughout my professional life in the justice system, I have been reminded daily that fairness is the main yardstick by which the quality of the system is measured."Curran was a Nova Scotia provincial court judge for 38 years and served as chief judge of both the provincial and family courts. He also served as the interim director of the Serious Incident Response Team.In a statement, Mark Furey, attorney general and minister of justice, said he is "certain that Mr. Curran's oversight will serve Nova Scotians well."MORE TOP STORIES
Students in the Newfoundland and Labrador K-12 system won't be writing public exams at all this year, as the education minister announced the department will be cancelling end-of-the-year tests in June 2021.Minister Tom Osborne said the decision was made in consultation with school councils, educators, administrators, and some working in the post-secondary system."It's as a result of the time students lost — two and a half months last year — the fact that we're still in the pandemic, and to give educators and students the stability of knowing that they don't have to focus on public exams," said Osborne.Exams for the end of the fall semester were cancelled back on Sept. 1, in keeping with what schools in the other Atlantic provinces announced.Osborne at the time said June exams were still on the table. But on Friday, Osborne said their cancellation is a decision that's been in the works for a while."Speaking with educators and school councils and administrators and so on, the decision we're making today we believe is in the best interests of our students."The provincial NDP have been pushing for exams to be cancelled in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.In October, NDP MHA Jim Dinn, a former high school principal and president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association, called public exams "stressful in the best of times," and demanded just last month the provincial government make a decision before it's too late.At that time, Osborne said he wasn't going to rush the issue, and expected to make a decision in January."We wanted to take time to measure the level of progress of students and whether or not they were able to make up that two and a half months," he said.Osborne said his department will use the time to look at the value of public exams in normal, non-pandemic circumstances."I know in the mid-1990s, public exams were cancelled, and our post-secondary institutions here in the province at that particular time expressed some concern that our students were ill prepared going into our post-secondary institutions, so the decision was made in 2000 to reinstitute public exams," Osborne said."I know some of the other provinces don't have them, but whether or not it'll be public exams or some other ... form of standardized measurement throughout the province, we do need to ensure that students … have a standardized level of learning and education, so we need to have a good look at this going forward."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
TORONTO — The number of reported new cases of COVID-19 and related deaths surged in Ontario on Friday, a day after officials expressed cautious optimism the spread of the dangerous virus was moderating.Figures released show a record 1,855 new infections, a whopping increase of 25 per cent from the previous day. Public health authorities also reported 20 new deaths.There were slight decreases in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ventilators.The surge in new cases comes as the province grapples with how best to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in an effort to keep the health-care system functioning.Health Minister Christine Elliott said the sharp spike was not unexpected, given that stringent measures in the hard-hit Toronto area only kicked in on Monday. It would likely take two full weeks before the numbers start dropping, she said."We're still seeing the results from some of the events that have happened and some of the celebrations that have happened in the last few weeks," Elliott said.Premier Doug Ford spent much of Friday's briefing looking forward to the day when an anti-COVID vaccine might be available. Former chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier will oversee a distribution task force, Ford said, as he called on the federal government to provide details as soon as possible about the doses the province can expect."We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said.Several hospitals have now experienced outbreaks, including a major facility in London, Ont. Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ont., became the latest hit after three patients and two staff tested positive. The facility said it had closed its clinical teaching unit to new patient admissions and was pondering whether to close one of its eight operating rooms. It also said it was suspending in-person visits in favour of virtual connections.Staff at high risk of exposure had been tested and asked to self-isolate, Cheryl Evans, a Grand River spokeswoman, said.In recent weeks, the provincial government and local health authorities have reimposed increasingly stringent anti-pandemic measures, forcing businesses to close and strongly advising people in hot spots to all but isolate.On Thursday, police ticketed a provincial politician, Randy Hillier, for his role in an anti-lockdown protest at the legislature. Supporters carrying placards that suggested the pandemic was fake did not wear masks.Ford called the politician totally "irresponsible.""Folks that believe this is just a big hoax, which I've never figured that out, this is a very serious virus, we're seeing it around the world, around our country," Ford said.Four of the hardest hit regions all saw significant case increases, with Elliott reporting 517 new infections in Peel, 494 in Toronto, 189 in York Region, and 130 in Halton.The most recent provincial projections indicate the province was on track to see more than 9,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by mid-December without the more stringent measures.Ford has warned against planning Christmas or other celebrations, while Elliott has said it would be "very optimistic" to expect much of an improvement in time for the holidays.While schools have remained open, the education minister has warned that an extended winter break or move to remote-only learning may be needed."We are thinking ahead to be able to mitigate any increase of transmission in our schools because we've fundamentally, in this province, been able to keep that rate down,'' Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Thursday.Latest figures show 122 new cases in schools, bringing the total infections to 4,470, with at least 2,769 involving students, and at least 614 involving teachers and staff. Public health authorities on Friday closed the private Northside Christian School in Listowel, Ont., until at least Dec. 1 after an outbreak. Huron Perth Public Health said the school reported one case but others might be connected.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
As COVID-19 progresses into the holiday season, there is an overwhelming urgency to support individuals, families and children throughout the community. The Salvation Army has served Trenton and surrounding areas for over 100 years, but this year due to circumstances beyond their control, the Salvation Army is unable to operate their annual Christmas Food Hampers program. Owner of Smylie’s Independent in Trenton John Smylie explained that the Christmas Food Hampers program is a great annual initiative that typically supports from 380-450 families in the community. This has posed a challenge for families seeking support during the holiday season in the Trenton community and surrounding areas. Thankfully, At the Crossroads Church didn’t skip a beat in finding a solution. At the Crossroads Church in downtown Trenton has stepped up this year and filled the gap in the community, undertaking the local Christmas Food Hampers operation. “Normally, the Salvation Army would have their kettles,” explained At the Crossroads Chruch program coordinator Allen Robinson. “So, this is part of our fundraising to support the Christmas Food Hampers. All the money stays local and goes towards supporting families in the community during Christmas time.” On Thursday, November 26th at Smylie’s Independent, At the Crossroads Church launched their fundraising operations and is inviting residents to support the Christmas Food Hampers campaign. “COVID-19 makes what we’re doing much more difficult, from our perspective, in order to keep everybody safe,” explained Smylie. “The Trenton Salvation Army left a gap in the community this year, and the At the Crossroads Church has stepped forward to provide this great program for our community.” John Smylie and Mayor Jim Harrison made the first official donations at Smylie’s Independent, and afterwards At the Crossroads Church then stopped by The Treasure Chest, a local consignment and thrift store in support of the Trenton Christan School Society, to collect a generous donation of $2575.11 for the Christmas Food Hampers. Christmas Food Hampers provide families in need with the requirements to make a Christmas dinner for four and are distributed on the Sunday before Christmas. At the Crossroads Church is encouraging residents to consider donating one of the donation boxes located at Smylie’s Independent and Metro in Trenton. Donation boxes will also be onsite at Freshco in Trenton all day on December 11th and 12th. Residents looking for more information on how to participate can visit atthecrossroads.ca/ministries/christmas-hampers or email email@example.com.Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
After 46 years running his business, Brian Quinn of Quinn’s Meats in Yarker, Ont. is preparing to retire. He’s hoping to sell the commercial property to someone that will keep the abattoir and meat retail business intact, proving a challenge as fewer young people enter the industry. “The trade hasn’t passed down from generation to generation,” Quinn said. “Pretty much everybody here is in their 50s. There are no young kids stepping up.” Quinn describes his industry as “recession-proof, pandemic-proof and good, solid business.” “We don’t work nights, we don’t work Sundays. It’s a good, solid, full-time job and it pays really competitively,” he said. Still, during his career, Quinn said he has watched as abattoir after abattoir have closed all around him. “When I started there were six within 25 miles,” he said. His clients bring livestock from Perth, Smiths Falls and Frontenac County — anywhere within 100 mile radius, he said. If the person who buys his property does not maintain the abattoir, he said he doesn’t know what those farmers will do. Demand for his services is incredibly high, he explained. “In Eastern Ontario, east of Toronto, every abattoir is booked up a year in advance.” Quinn learned the trade from his uncle and grandfather when he was in high school. After completing a few years at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, he said the business came up for sale so he bought it. “The work is not that hard,” he explained. “It’s just when you mention ‘slaughter house’ or ‘abattoir,’ or ‘butcher,’ it just turns people off. It’s not a bad go. We have a modern facility, heated floors, all the modern equipment, so it’s not as labour intensive as it used to be. It’s repetitive work.” “If you’re working on the kill floor for example, there’s obviously going to be a smell there, and the stuff that goes on with the slaughter of an animal. It’s not a pleasant task by any means, no matter who you are. But it has to be done for the process,” he said. “I think that’s a major thing that people just can’t get their mind passed. That’s just my thinking.” He also cited increasing government regulation as a factor pushing existing business owners out of the industry. “A lot of the plants were older and weren’t up to standard, they weren’t willing to make the financial commitment to [update].” Quinn said that he has essentially rebuilt his entire facility over the years to keep it in compliance. The sale or distribution of uninspected meat is illegal in Ontario. Animals must be inspected and approved prior to slaughter, processed in a licensed facility and then stamped, labelled or tagged with an inspection license. “Most of the older plants that we’re talking about that have closed up, they were built before meat inspection was even compulsory. They were grandfathered in and regulations kept getting stricter and stricter. You either had to get up to standards, or get out,” he said. Quinn’s business, as well as the home on the adjacent property, are listed together for $1.3 million, including all equipment, license, existing inventory, a smokehouse and a stand alone generator. The processing area is suited to the custom cutting of beef, pork, lamb and goat. The retail area includes meat counters and coolers to sell beef and pork by the cut, as well as chicken and other products. According to the government of Canada, the beef industry reached retail sales of $5.4 billion USD in 2018, with beef representing 29.1 per cent of the overall retail Canadian meat sector. The sector is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent by 2023. “Meat substitutes,” or soy-based products such as burgers and grills, meatballs, sausage and other portions represented only $102.0 million USD in 2018. “Nevertheless, the sales of ‘meat substitute’ product categories are all growing faster than sales of most meat product categories… between 2014-2023,” says the federal sector overview of meat in Canada.Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
Deaths from illicit drugs in Prince George edged closer to record-setting proportions last month. The year-to-date total stood at 43 as of the end of October, according to a monthly update from the B.C. Coroners Service issued Wednesday and increase of five from the month before. The city appears on pace to surpass the record 51 deaths recorded in 2018. Four of the deaths last month involved drugs in which fentanyl was detected and raised that year-to-date total to 33. Forty-six such deaths were reported in 2018. Since the start of 2018, there have been 127 drug-related deaths in the city and the rate per 100,000 people stands at 44.8. Only Hope and Vancouver have higher rates. Across B.C., it was the fifth month this year for which more than 160 suspected illicit drug deaths were reported to the BCCS and more than double the number of people who died as a result of illicit drugs in October 2019. "We are continuing to see record-breaking numbers of people dying in B.C. due to an unsafe drug supply in our province, and it's taking a toll on families and communities in this dual health emergency," chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement. "Challenges during COVID-19, such as access to key harm-reduction services and the toxic drug supply, including the extreme concentration of illicit fentanyl, are resulting in continuing significant and tragic loss of life across the province. Our hearts go out to those grieving the loss of family members, friends and colleagues. "We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances. We also continue to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for anyone experiencing problematic substance use who is seeking this medical assistance."Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen